2014 Acura MDX: Third Attempt for Wide Cargo
August 28, 2014
Yeah, yeah, another stuff-in-the-cargo-area post. But bear with me. Our long-term 2014 Acura MDX was actually the third vehicle I attempted to transport said stuff. Third! The MDX succeeded where other vehicles in our fleet did not (or had only partial success).
Three times, charms, and all that.
In this case I was attempting to transport a headliner to and from an upholstery shop.
A pickup like our Ram 1500 would have easily swallowed the headliner in the truck's box, but I didn't want to expose it to the elements/tree droppings/bird smartbombs or risk it blowing in the wind back there. In the truck's backseat the headliner would have had to rest entirely vertically on one edge, which I wasn't crazy about either. Really, a minivan would have been ideal for this job, but we don't have one in our fleet currently.
Now, you might ask: why didn't I just use the MDX in the first place? Simple. It wasn't available at the time. So instead I first tried fitting the headliner into a car/wagon/hatch/thing that was available, our BMW 328i GT. The tape measure said fitting it diagonally would be close but ought to work. All was going swimmingly...until I attempted to (very slowly) close the hatch, whereupon the inordinately thick frame around the backlight was clearly going to foul the corner of the headliner before the hatch could latch. No dice.
A few days later, I found myself with the Jeep Cherokee. Again, this was going to be close. The headliner fit diagonally and the hatch closed. It sort of dragged on the Jeep's various pillars on its way in, so I had to jimmy and juke and adjust the piece into position. Not ideal. That, plus in this orientation the edges of the headliner were taking some load, but I figured it was okay for transporting it in its then-current, sad-looking, drooping-fabric state. That stuff was getting trash-canned anyway. But I did not want to load the freshly-reupholstered headliner in this position or do any dragging when loading it. The Jeep was not gonna cut it for the return trip.
Voila, the MDX. Not only is its cargo area deep, it is, crucially, wide. Wide enough that there was about a half-inch of clearance to either side of the headliner. Perfect.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor