2015 Acura MDX Review

Pros & Cons

  • Capable handling
  • good fuel economy
  • quick acceleration
  • quiet ride
  • excellent crash test safety scores
  • long list of standard and available features.
  • Touchscreen has so-so graphics and a distracting interface
  • less cargo space behind the third row than some rivals.
List Price Range
$21,225 - $24,270

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Acura MDX is a top pick for a three-row luxury crossover, offering abundant refinement, luxury and comfort at a relatively reasonable price.

Vehicle overview

The Acura brand offers a sensible take on luxury. While costly European nameplates may do a better job of awing the neighbors, this Japanese marque excels at delivering premium quality and features at a relatively reasonable price. Plush yet pragmatic, the 2015 Acura MDX embodies the manufacturer's value-oriented philosophy.

With the MDX, buyers get a crossover that's livable, luxurious and a whole lot of fun. It's always an accommodating companion, thanks to features like a sliding second row of seats that glides forward at the touch of a button to facilitate third-row access. The list of standard amenities is steeped in luxury and includes high-end items that buyers have to pay extra for on rival models. For example, base models are equipped with LED headlights, heated leather seats and a multi-angle rearview camera. Topping it all off is the MDX's thoroughly entertaining disposition. Acceleration is brisk, the engine note is pleasing and the crossover feels tight and sporty when tackling turns.

Though undeniably compelling, the MDX isn't the only desirable three-row luxury crossover out this year. Infiniti's QX60 and Lincoln's MKT are impressive alternatives, though neither delivers a driving experience as engaging as the Acura's. The BMW X5 is a better pick for shoppers who place utmost priority on performance, but it's notably costlier than the MDX. Also worth a look if you need more cargo or third-row-seat room than the MDX provides is the larger Buick Enclave.

But what we like about this Acura is how it distinguishes itself from the pack by pulling off a neat balancing act: It manages to be both lively and level-headed. Packed with features and a treat to drive, the 2015 Acura MDX is an easy choice for shoppers seeking a three-row crossover that straddles luxury and value.

2015 Acura MDX models

The 2015 Acura MDX is a midsize luxury SUV that seats seven. It is offered in one well-appointed trim level with progressive add-on packages.

Standard features include 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, a sunroof, rear privacy glass, keyless ignition and entry, heated eight-way power front seats (with driver power lumbar), driver memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Electronic features include twin console displays (7-inch touchscreen and 8-inch information), a multi-angle rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB interface, Pandora and Aha compatibility and satellite radio.

The Technology package adds a navigation system, voice controls (navigation and audio), AcuraLink and a 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound audio system with HD radio. Also included with this package are 19-inch alloy wheels; rain-sensing wipers; LED puddle lights; rear-door keyless entry; GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control; and a trio of safety features: lane-departure, blind-spot and forward-collision warning.

The Technology and Entertainment package adds a 110-volt power outlet, heated rear seats, rear-door window sunshades and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with a 9-inch screen and an additional speaker.

The Advance and Entertainment package builds on the above features with roof rails; front and rear parking sensors; remote engine start; auto-dimming sideview mirrors; upgraded leather upholstery; ventilated front seats; a frontal collision mitigation system; lane-keeping assist; adaptive cruise control; an eight-way power front passenger seat (with power lumbar); and an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a 16.2-inch screen, two additional speakers and an HDMI input.

2015 Highlights

The Acura MDX cruises into 2015 unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Acura MDX is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is available as an option. In Edmunds testing, an MDX SH-AWD accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is a slightly quicker-than-average time for this class of vehicle.

EPA-estimated fuel economy with front-wheel drive is 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway), while the AWD version rates 21 mpg combined (18/27). Properly equipped, the MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the 2015 Acura MDX includes antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, active front head restraints and traction and stability control. At our test facility, the MDX required 125 feet to stop from 60 mph. This performance is not as good as others in its class. A rearview camera is also standard, and AWD models come with a stabilizing feature for trailer towing.

Optional safety features include lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems. A forward-collision warning system is also available, and it works by warning the driver of a possible collision with auditory and visual alerts. The MDX is also offered with collision-mitigation braking, which automatically applies the brakes to prevent or mitigate an impending collision. A lane-keeping assist system is available as well, and it provides automatic steering assistance to keep the MDX in its lane.

In government crash tests, the MDX earned a top five-star overall rating (out of a possible five), with five stars each for total frontal impact safety and total side-impact safety. The MDX also aced its Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. It earned a top score of "Good" for its performance in the moderate-overlap and small-overlap frontal offset impact tests. It also received a "Good" rating in the side-impact, roof-strength and whiplash protection (head restraints and seats) tests. The MDX's optional frontal collision mitigation system earned a second-best "Advanced" rating.

Driving

The 2015 Acura MDX is one of the more enjoyable luxury crossovers to drive. The V6 engine is strong and fuel-efficient. It also makes a nice-sounding snarl when you plant your right foot and the revs approach redline. Having just six forward gears might seem a little behind the times for a sporting luxury crossover, but the transmission is smooth and downshifts quickly whether you're pressing the gas or using the shift paddles.

On the highway and around town, the MDX does ride a little more firmly than some competing crossovers, but we don't think owners will find it objectionable. Overall levels of wind and road noise are very low. The true highlight, however, is how the MDX behaves when driven around turns. It turns in smartly, feels secure and imparts a sporty feel that's often absent on vehicles this size. The MDX's all-wheel-drive system provides an extra helping of athleticism as well as traction.

Interior

The MDX's interior is driver-focused, with a pleasantly thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel and easy-to-read gauges. Materials quality is high, and the center stack boasts a simple, clean layout anchored by two display screens. Overall, the cabin is a pleasant and luxurious place in which to spend time.

Using the navigation system is simple and intuitive, as Acura allows you to look up destinations by using the central control dial, a 7-inch touchscreen interface (mounted below the 8-inch nav screen) or an enhanced voice recognition system. Unfortunately, neither screen boasts the super-crisp graphics we've come to expect of this class, and some of the more basic functions (such as turning on the seat heaters) require multiple pushes of virtual touchscreen buttons, which can be distracting. A relative lack of radio presets is another disappointment.

Second-row seats slide fore and aft, with an adjustment range of 5.9 inches, for added flexibility. Rear legroom is reasonably generous. The front seats are comfortable, though compared with other models in this segment, they offer only basic adjustments. The third row is best suited for kids, but adults should be OK back there on short trips.

With 15.8 cubic feet of space behind its third row, the MDX trails its bigger competition in cargo room when all three rows are in use. However, when you fold the second and third rows, cargo capacity becomes quite generous, with 90.9 cubic feet of room available for luggage and belongings.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Acura MDX.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Bad Transmission
Diane,05/17/2016
Technology Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I bought a used 2015 Acura MDX. You can feel the transmission changing with every gear. At slow speeds the car feels like it is missing. Took to dealer and software was updated but still same problem. Returned to dealer and was told it had an adaptable transmission and to drive it until it got used to the way I drove. I have driven it about 2,000 miles and still the same problem. Very disappointed as I thought Acura was a great car. Has anyone else had this problem?
A Nice SUV ripe with electronic issues - Too bad really
goddo,04/14/2015
SH-AWD w/Technology and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I feel like a guinea pig. I was sold a vehicle and I am the one testing it. This SUV is an amazing highway cruiser and family hauler when it's not in the garage for electronic issues. My vehicle has been in the garage for multiple two-week periods trying to fix an electrical issue and now the newest issue is the keyless entry/start system doesn't work. I can't even unlock the doors without removing the key from the fob, and I have to hold the fob next to the button just to start the car (even then you wonder if it will work). I have rattles, knocks, and electronic issues that you would expect from a $15K car but not from a luxury brand. I want to like this car, I really do.
Poor visibility in rear
mdx514,01/02/2015
SH-AWD w/Technology Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Overall, I have been very pleased with my 2015 MDX AWD with tech package. After driving the car for a couple of months, I have become familiar with programming the nav and radio. My biggest concern with the model is the rear visibility. When crossing a four lane highway, stopping in the median to continue a left-hand turn, visibility is completely blocked by the rear window brace. I have experienced this a few times when the car is sitting at an angle and look to the right, you cannot see anything--very scary and dangerous.
GPS and Bluetooth are unsable- get a base model
jesseg2,06/14/2015
SH-AWD w/Technology Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I have had my tech package MDX for over 6 months now and can confidently say that a $100 tomtom GPS beats the in-dash hands down. Boot time takes about 60 seconds. Sluggish input. Passenger cannot input an address while moving. score 0 of 10. The Bluetooth phone is horrible. People ask if I have the windows down or if they are on speaker phone. My $100 Plantronics voyager works perfectly. Also can't press any digits on touchscreen when vehicle is moving. But can use the iPhone to press # for conference calls, etc. 0/10 Save your money and get the base MDX. I do love the ride and 28mpg highway that I average. Probably the most comfortable front seats on any SUV out there. 10/10 After owning for 3 years, not a single issue and they treat me well at Acura of Troy. 10/10

Features & Specs

MPG
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
290 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
290 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
18 city / 27 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
290 hp @ 6200 rpm
MPG
20 city / 28 hwy
Seats 7
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
290 hp @ 6200 rpm
See all Used 2015 Acura MDX features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2015 Acura MDX

Used 2015 Acura MDX Overview

The Used 2015 Acura MDX is offered in the following submodels: MDX SUV. Available styles include SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Technology Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Advance and Entertainment Packages (3.5L 6cyl 6A), 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Advance and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology and Entertainment Packages (3.5L 6cyl 6A), SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and Technology and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Acura MDX?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Acura MDX trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Acura MDX SH-AWD is priced between $21,225 and$24,270 with odometer readings between 66696 and91419 miles.

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Which used 2015 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) 2015 Acura MDX for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2015 MDXES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $21,225 and mileage as low as 66696 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 2015 Acura MDX.

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Find a used Acura MDX for sale - 2 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $23,292.

Find a used Acura for sale - 1 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,373.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Acura for sale - 11 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $14,244.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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.

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