2010 Acura MDX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Capable handling, high safety scores, loads of optional high-tech toys, powerful engine with decent fuel economy, relatively large third-row seat for a midsize luxury SUV.
  • Dashboard cluttered with buttons, non-premium crossovers offer more passenger and cargo space.
List Price Range
$10,499 - $15,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The updated 2010 Acura MDX is a solid choice for a midsize luxury crossover SUV thanks to its sporty performance, technology features and all-around utility.

Vehicle overview

If you're looking for a well-rounded luxury crossover SUV, you're going to like the 2010 Acura MDX. The latest MDX covers the expected bases in terms of utility and luxury, yet it also boasts crisp handling and a boatload of technological features. This well-rounded approach does mean that other competing models might better the MDX in one particular area or another, but overall Acura's midsize crossover is pretty appealing.

For 2010, Acura has also made a fair number of changes. The most obvious is the adoption of Acura's new corporate grille. To be honest, most of us don't think very highly of Acura's newest grille (we've previously noted its visual similarity to a bagel slicer), but no doubt Acura wants to have some commonality for its stable of vehicles.

You certainly won't find any objections about what's under the hood: a new six-speed automatic transmission that replaces last year's five-speed that gives a minor boost to fuel economy and acceleration. The MDX's 3.7-liter V6 engine has also been updated. It's essentially the same in terms of size and power, but Acura says it has beefier internal components.

Inside, the MDX gains a revamped cabin with new gauges and a new steering wheel with paddle shifters. There are also new high-tech features such as a hard-drive-based navigation system (with music storage, traffic rerouting and weather reporting) and a multi-angle back-up camera. As before, though, the MDX dash has a lot of buttons that take time to get used to.

This quibble aside, though, the 2010 Acura MDX is one of our top picks for a luxury crossover. It is true that if you have performance as a top priority, the BMW X5, Infiniti FX35 and Porsche Cayenne are worth looking at. And on the other side of the spectrum, family-friendly choices like the Buick Enclave, Ford Flex Limited, and Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring are all roomier. The similarly priced Lexus RX 350 is also worth checking out, although it is smaller. But even in this upstanding company, the 2010 MDX represents a solid choice if you're looking for the ideal middle ground.

2010 Acura MDX models

The 2010 Acura MDX is a midsize seven-passenger crossover SUV available (via packages) in five trim levels. Standard on the well-equipped base MDX are 18-inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, a power liftgate, a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated rearview camera, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, heated eight-way power front seats, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, leather upholstery, a trip computer and Bluetooth. An eight-speaker stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack is also standard.

There are then four packages to choose from: Technology package, Technology with Entertainment package, Advance package, Advance with Entertainment package.

The Technology package adds upgraded leather trim, an automatic phonebook-downloading feature for the Bluetooth system, a multi-angle rearview camera, a hard-drive-based navigation system (with voice activation, Zagat restaurant ratings, weather reporting and traffic reporting with rerouting), a GPS-linked/solar-sensing climate control system and a superb 10-speaker Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system with digital music storage.

The Advance package includes all the Technology package items, plus 19-inch wheels, an active sport suspension, perforated leather upholstery with contrasting stitching, ventilated front seats, a sport steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot detection system and Acura's Collision Mitigating Braking System. The Entertainment package requires either of the former packages and includes heated second-row seating, a 115-volt house-style power outlet and a rear-seat entertainment system.

2010 Highlights

Updates for the 2010 Acura MDX crossover bring a new corporate grille, revised front and rear fascias, an updated V6 engine paired with a new six-speed transmission, a freshened cabin and a gaggle of new high-tech goodies. The latter include a hard-drive-based navigation system (with music storage, traffic rerouting and weather reporting) and a multi-angle back-up camera.

Performance & mpg

The 2010 MDX is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control (via paddle shifters) is standard. The MDX features the same "Super Handling" all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) system found in Acura's RL and TL sport sedans, which is capable of transferring different levels of power to individual wheels to maximize traction and grip through turns and in inclement weather.

Although we haven't yet tested the 2010 MDX with the new six-speed, we'd estimate its 0-60-mph acceleration at less than 8 seconds given that last year's model with the five-speed transmission posted an 8.1-second time at the track. Fuel economy goes up 1 mpg across the board this year, yielding estimates of 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. When properly equipped, the MDX's maximum towing capacity is 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the 2010 Acura MDX includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and stability control with a stabilizing feature for trailer towing. The Collision Mitigating Braking System, by monitoring following distance and rate of closure will alert the driver if a collision seems probable via visual and auditory warnings. If a collision is imminent, the system can automatically apply hard braking and cinch up the front seatbelts.

In government crash tests, the Acura MDX earned a top five-star rating in all of the frontal-impact and side-impact tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave a top score of "Good" to the same vehicle for occupant protection in frontal offset and side-impact crashes.

Driving

For a three-row SUV, the 2010 Acura MDX does a fine job of acting as if it's not one. On curvy roads, the MDX is an eager partner thanks to the SH-AWD. There's a sensation of the torque shifting from wheel to wheel as needed during hard cornering, cluing the driver into the magic behind the electronic curtain, but it all happens so effectively that it's encouraging rather than distracting. Equipped with the Advance package, the MDX's active dampers soak up the bumps when necessary and firm up when the pace quickens.

Acceleration from the 3.7-liter V6 is a shade soft until the tach needle climbs into the midrange, at which point the engine pulls with enthusiasm. The MDX's six-speed automatic transmission readily provides transparent and smooth upshifts and quickly downshifts when the throttle is prodded.

Interior

The MDX's cabin is a technology lover's dream. Even the base model has its fair share of electronic toys, and the Technology and Advance packages add even more goodies. The Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system is quite simply one of the best in the business, as is the navigation system. With all these items to control, however, the MDX's dash is cluttered with buttons. It can be overwhelming at first, but once you know where everything is, it becomes intuitive.

The MDX is one of the more spacious three-row midsize luxury crossover SUVs on the market. An adult could fit in the third row for a short journey, although the rearmost seats are better suited for kids. A total of 83.5 cubic feet of cargo space is available with the second and third rows folded, which is also above average for a midsize luxury crossover.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2010 Acura MDX.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

MDX torque converter failures
curious52,03/29/2012
There are many, many MDX owners out there who have experienced torque converter failures over the years from 2002 up to 2010. For newer models there has JUST been a recall, within the last month. New software needs to be installed by the dealer. Be sure to ask if this recall applies to your car. My TC was replaced two months ago in my 2010 vehicle. I find it interesting that only now has Acura accepted the fact that a general problem has existed across many years of the MDX production. This damages my long-time positive feelings about Acura automobiles.
Third MDX, Best Yet
Karol Kittelson,07/29/2010
This is my third MDX -- had a terrific 2004 and the then-new style 2007. However this Advance model has the best Navigation on the market as well as the Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Indicators and the Collision Warning system. Took a 4,000 mile trip recently, got 23 MPG, and enjoyed effortless interstate driving assisted by the Adaptive Cruise control. In multiple lane Big City traffic, the side radar (Blind Spot Indicators) are priceless from a safety aspect. (Side Note: In late 2009, I was the victim of a intersection T-Bone accident in my 2007 MDX and was saved from extensive personal injuries by the wonderful safety equipment in my Acura MDX).
Good Value and Lots of Gadgets
JJ10,10/06/2010
Have had the car for a month and overall quite happy with it. It is the best value for the money in this size/category. The tech pkg has tons of features, though some are more gimmicky than useful. Not crazy about the exterior, but interior is roomy and comfortable. Cargo area is smaller than I'd like. Performance is ok. The engine lacks torque and has to rev hard for power (while making a lot of noise). Coming from a European SUV, I feel the suspension is too soft and steering is way too loose. The torque vectoring is a bit unpredictable when cornering. Road noise is surprisingly high. The car had a couple of small issues upon delivery, which is disappointing for a Honda product.
Transmission Cycling will cause performance delays
er405,02/24/2011
I traded my new 2010 MDX after months of working with Acura Client Services and the Dealer. The MDX's progressive transmission, in my opinion, is poorly designed. Although, the driver is pressing the gas pedal, the MDX will have long delays during gear cycles. This could be dangerous if attempting to make a quck turn in on-coming traffic. You want to go, but the MDX moves very slowly or not at all. Second, the cabin lets in so much air that during the winter, the heat must be set to keep the cabin warm, especially at the feet. Last, the MDX looses lots of horsepower as it cycles through the gears. A sluggish ride at best. For the money, find something else.

Features & Specs

MPG
16 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
MPG
16 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
300 hp @ 6300 rpm
See all Used 2010 Acura MDX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2010 Acura MDX
More About This Model

According to Acura, MDX is an acronym for "MultiDimensional luXury." We usually dismiss this type of jargon as marketing gimmickry, but in the case of the 2010 Acura MDX, we're inclined to label it as justified. Unlike many of the luxury crossovers from domestic and Asian manufacturers, the MDX will satisfy a wide variety of drivers on many levels, a feat we usually equate with European brands.

Our 2010 Acura MDX test vehicle, in Advance Entertainment dress, represents the fully loaded trim level, and rings in about $11,500 more than the base model. Priced in the mid-$50,000 range, this MDX competes against the elite luxury crossovers from Germany. Fortunately for Acura, the latest improvements to the drivetrain and upgrades to the interior and technological gadgetry have the MDX giving the lofty competition a run for its money.

In terms of price, performance and features, the 2010 Acura MDX compares favorably against the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne. At this level, brand equity figures into the equation quite heavily, and in this arena Acura comes up a bit short. However, the smart shopper should note that when you outfit any of these German utes with the same features as this MDX, the price begins to climb farther out of reach. For those who can do without the countless bells and whistles, the price-to-benefit ratio swings authoritatively toward the multidimensional 2010 Acura MDX's favor.

Used 2010 Acura MDX Overview

The Used 2010 Acura MDX is offered in the following submodels: MDX SUV. Available styles include Technology Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Technology and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), Advance and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A), and Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2010 Acura MDX?

Price comparisons for Used 2010 Acura MDX trim styles:

  • The Used 2010 Acura MDX Advance Package is priced between $11,900 and$13,500 with odometer readings between 101046 and132666 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Acura MDX Technology Package is priced between $10,499 and$10,900 with odometer readings between 137092 and159900 miles.
  • The Used 2010 Acura MDX Advance and Entertainment Packages is priced between $15,995 and$15,995 with odometer readings between 99623 and99623 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2010 Acura MDXES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2010 Acura MDX for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2010 MDXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,499 and mileage as low as 99623 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2010 Acura MDX.

Can't find a used 2010 Acura MDXs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Acura MDX for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $11,300.

Find a used Acura for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,232.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura MDX for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $13,243.

Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 11 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,112.

Should I lease or buy a 2010 Acura MDX?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Acura lease specials
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