2015 Acura MDX Review
2015 Acura MDX Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- 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.
The Acura MDX cruises into 2015 unchanged.
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2015 Acura MDX 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.92 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$208/mo for MDX Base
Avg. Midsize SUV
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
1 out of 5 stars
2015 Acura MDX 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?
3.63 out of 5 stars
A Nice SUV ripe with electronic issues - Too bad really
2015 Acura MDX SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology and Entertainment Packages (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.
5 out of 5 stars
Very good vehicle ***UPDATED*** x6
2015 Acura MDX SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Advance and Entertainment Packages (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Owned the car for about two months now. Purchased in Oregon and drove the AlCan highway up to Alaska in Feb. to where I live. This vehicle handled every bit of snow & ice thrown at it. I drove 2400+ miles, for 3+ days on glaze slick roads & never felt a slip. Very comfortable & lots of room. It drives much smaller than it is. The LED lights are very crisp & reach pretty far. The … infotainment system is definitely something you have to get used to. It does so many things & is extremely complex so initially it was a little overwhelming, but after a few hours of seat time, things are getting easier now. I drove the RX450 Hybrid, Audi Q5 & Q7, VW Touareg & Pathfinder & the MDX won us. I recommend it. *** UPDATE*** Been about three years now and I'm still pretty excited about driving the MDX every time I walk towards it with the key in my pocket.... It's our vehicle of choice when it's icy or snowy outside as it handles most everything Alaska has thrown at it with ease. The SH-AWD is amazing. I'm still not very good at using some of the tech that's installed. The voice command systems is a bit sketchy. It misinterprets my commands quite often, although I've used others and have had similar results with others, so I think the technology industry wide is still getting up to speed. There are a couple of bugs I've noticed in the electronic system, like heated seats won't work after I've auto-started it twice, but nothing that would change my mind about owning it. We can load quite a bit of cargo in it so long trips and stops at Home Depot work well, and if I keep my foot out of the "go fast" pedal, we get in the lower 20mpg's combined. All in all, I am still very happy with our choice and knowing what I know now, I'd do it exactly the same again. ***UPDATED AGAIN*** Four years in now and still very happy with the car. Haven't had any maintenance or failures out of the norm. I'm a little surprised at the drop in resale value however. I would have figured that being an Acura, it would have held it's value better. According to Edmunds and other valuation sites, this vehicle has lost about 45% of its original value. We have purchased a new Ram 1500 (Laramie - completely optioned out) in the last 6 months and although the excitement of driving a new vehicle is there, and the Ram has many creature comforts, the MDX is still our favorite vehicle for longer trips as it handles better, is more comfortable and is just all around a much safer vehicle. As stated before (and even with my new truck) the voice recognition software that is designed to make things safer is entirely frustrating and it is simply easier (at least for me) to pull over and do it all by hand like I used to. *** 5th Year UPDATE*** Still happy overall. Still hate the voice recognition software. Still not happy about the resale value. Still have less than 30k miles on it but it seems that the MPG's are getting better. Still our go-to car for trips. I recommend it totally if you're looking for a few year old car that is a great machine. ** UPDATE Year 6** All of the above still applies. Runs like a champ. Will replace the Michelins this year due to age only. Still have plenty of tread. **UPDATE 2022** Still loving it. Put a set of Michelin CrossClimate2’s on it and the performance is even better. **UPDATE 2023** Still our driver of choice. Only issue at this point is the HVAC doesn't seem to like blowing hot air on our feet. I'm guessing it's a vent actuator issue. I'll take it in at some point.
4 out of 5 stars
Beware of rear suspension clunk/thumping
2015 Acura MDX SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Bought a 2015 MDX w/ 33,000 miles on it last weekend. Noticed a clunking sound from rear suspension right away, mainly only at slow speeds on rough pavement, however very noticeable. I just dropped it back off at dealer last night. I was just told they need to replace the rear dampers as they are faulty. I have had a really good experience with dealer and am confident they will … take care of it. Just want to raise awareness for any potential buyers of used 2014-2016 MDX. I was unaware when I bought the vehicle-acura is aware of the problem and issued a service bulletin 16-035 in a July 2016.
2015 MDX Highlights
|Combined MPG||23 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$208/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover16.4%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood