2014 Acura MDX: Weak Air Conditioning, Stuffy Seats
September 22, 2014
If you don't live in Southern California, you may not have noticed, but we're having a bit of a heat wave. Triple-digits-in-the-day, too-hot-to-even-bother-going-to-the-beach, if-you-need-me-I'll-be-in-a-kiddie-pool-full-of-ice hot.
Our 2014 Acura MDX doesn't play well with this kind of weather.
Before we really get started, let's get one thing out of the way: I'm an American male. What that means, in this instance, is that my passport is blue, I've eaten a steak the size of a toilet seat and even though I'm not obese (toilet steaks are a treat, not a normal part of daily life) I want every room to be 62 degrees at all times.
I park in a subterranean garage, so managed to avoid melting between my door and the car. It was a reasonable 80-ish down there. And then I drove into the sun. Not literally, but it kinda felt like it.
As soon as I hit the open road, the MDX turned from its normally ultra-pleasant place to spend time, into a really well put together easy bake oven. Interior temperatures skyrocketed and I could feel the heat from the windshield, sunroof and side windows (all unfortunately standard). I cranked the A/C as low as it would go. That only seemed to enrage the heat. Fan to full speed. My eyes have never been drier and I'm slightly deaf now, but I no longer feel like I'm in a Turkish bath. Still, my eyebrows are sweating. I need it to be colder. Rear climate control, ACTIVATE!
It takes some time, but eventually the whole thing cools to an eyebrow-sweat-preventing 75 in there. Estimated. And it's then I notice a new source of heat.
My backside is cooking. The seat heater. Someone must've left it on. "DEROSA!" I cried and fumbled through the infuriating menus to turn off the butt-cookers.
They're not on.
They reset each time you get in. This heat, then, is passive. (I mean, if you consider endothermic metabolism passive.) It's me. I'm the seat heater and these non-ventilated-or-perforated leather buckets aren't doing anything to help. I'm stewing in my own juices (keep that image in your head, next editor to drive the MDX) and considering making my own perforations.
Perforated and ventilated front seats are available on the MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages which rings up $56,780 for 2015, nearly $5k above the $50,840 price the 2015 MDX with Technology and Entertainment package costs. Of course, you get other stuff here, too. A 16.2-inch rear entertainment screen, 12-speaker ELS stereo, remote start, collision mitigation braking, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.
But really, this one's worth it just for the seat ventilation alone. Go re-read that "stewing in my own juices" comment again if you don't agree.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 21,903 miles