2016 Acura MDX Technology and AcuraWatch Plus Packages SUV Review & Ratings

2016 Acura MDX SUV

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2016 Acura MDX Technology and AcuraWatch Plus Packages SUV

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • Offering familiar comfort, value and performance plus a slew of updates, the 2016 Acura MDX is a top pick among three-row luxury crossovers.

  • Pros

    Generous number of features for the money; adept handling; good fuel economy; confident acceleration; quiet cabin; excellent crash-test scores.

  • Cons

    Distracting tech interface with subpar graphics; cabin looks and feels less luxurious than rivals; modest cargo space behind the third row; dim-witted adaptive cruise control.

  • What's New for 2016

    The 2016 MDX gets a standard nine-speed automatic transmission with push-button gear selection, an optional suite of safety technologies called AcuraWatch Plus and a revised all-wheel-drive system that Acura says is lighter and more responsive. Other changes include a standard frameless rearview mirror, Siri Eyes Free voice controls for compatible Apple devices, an easy-entry driver seat and (via the Advance package) auto stop-start.


Shoppers have flocked to the reasonably priced Acura MDX for years due to its strong resale value and reputation for reliability. The 2016 MDX boasts numerous updates, including a standard nine-speed automatic transmission and a widely available AcuraWatch Plus bundle that provides cutting-edge safety technologies. Add the MDX's rewarding driving dynamics to the mix and you're looking at one of the best picks for a three-row luxury crossover SUV this year.

The popular 2016 Acura MDX receives a few changes this year, including a new nine-speed automatic transmission.

Notably, the AcuraWatch Plus package isn't completely new, although it does mark the debut of both rear cross-traffic alerts and a camera-based lane-keeping assist system that Acura calls "Road Departure Mitigation." Many of its features were offered on the 2015 MDX, too, including lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems, adaptive cruise control and a collision mitigation system with automatic braking. In order to get them, however, you had to specify the top-of-the-line Advance package, whereas AcuraWatch Plus is available across the lineup. That means safety-minded consumers can save a hefty chunk of change for 2016 by specifying AcuraWatch Plus on lower-priced MDX models.

On the road, the 2016 Acura MDX remains one of the more satisfying three-row crossovers to drive, with a quiet interior at highway speeds and surprising athleticism when driving around turns (especially with all-wheel drive). The standard 3.5-liter V6 engine lacks the strong low-rpm torque of some turbocharged rivals, but wind it out a bit and you'll find that the MDX is still one of the quicker vehicles out there.

Add it all up and this versatile, well-made and feature-packed Acura is arguably the most sensible choice in the midsize luxury SUV segment. As such, we gave it an "A" rating, but know that there are other options out there that can be more desirable, if not more sensible. The 2016 Volvo XC90, redesigned at long last, has wowed us with its slick styling, exquisite interior and strong yet fuel-efficient power plants. When similarly equipped, it also offers similar value to the MDX. The overhauled 2016 Audi Q7, meanwhile, has a more restrained design, but it offers a sumptuous cabin, an advanced infotainment interface and an available turbodiesel V6.

Other popular picks include the BMW X5, which serves up the most engaging performance of the bunch but has less third-row space and a substantially higher price. The Infiniti QX60 is well-equipped and spacious, but is comparatively slow and unexciting to drive. We would also be remiss if we didn't mention the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot, which gives up little to its pricier Acura corporate cousin, while being less expensive and offering even more utility. All are worth a look, but the well-rounded MDX may represent the best balance of value, utility and luxury of them all.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2016 Acura MDX is a luxury crossover SUV that seats seven. Standard features include 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, a sunroof, rear privacy glass, keyless entry and ignition, 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. Technology highlights include twin dashboard displays (lower 7-inch touchscreen and upper 8-inch information display), a multi-angle rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Siri Eyes Free voice controls for compatible Apple devices and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB interface, Pandora and Aha compatibility and satellite radio.

The AcuraWatch Plus package adds a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking, lane-keeping assist, Road Departure Mitigation and adaptive cruise control.

A navigation system is standard on the 2016 Acura MDX if you select the Technology, Entertainment or Advance option packages.

The MDX Technology (available with or without the AcuraWatch Plus package) adds a navigation system, voice controls (navigation and audio), a color driver information center, 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, rear-door keyless entry, GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control and a trio of safety systems: lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring (with rear cross-traffic alert) and a forward-collision warning system (but without the automatic mitigation braking that's part of the AcuraWatch package).

The Entertainment trim level requires the Technology package and 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. AcuraWatch Plus is again available for this MDX combination.

The Advance trim level includes the contents of the Technology and the AcuraWatch Plus package, and it adds roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, remote engine start, automatic engine stop-start, auto-dimming sideview mirrors, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, power lumbar for the front passenger and heated second-row seats.

You can also get the Advance and Entertainment trim level, which combines the respective features of those two lower trim levels while adding an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a bigger 16.2-inch screen, another speaker (bringing the total to 12) and an HDMI input.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2016 Acura MDX employs a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) available as an option.

EPA-estimated fuel economy starts at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway) with front-wheel drive. Adding the Advance package with its auto stop-start feature to the front-wheel-drive MDX bumps the rating up to 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway). As for the AWD models, they return 21 mpg combined (18/26) in standard form and 22 mpg combined (19/26) with the Advance package.

In Edmunds testing, the 2016 MDX with SH-AWD went from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, making it a solid, mid-pack performer. Properly equipped, the MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds.


Standard safety equipment for the 2016 Acura MDX includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, a driver knee airbag, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is also standard, and AWD models come with a stabilizing function for trailer towing. Optional or standard, depending on the trim level, are blind-spot monitoring (with rear cross-traffic alert), a frontal collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal crash mitigation, a lane-departure warning system, lane keeping assist and Road Departure Mitigation. The latter essentially combines the functions of the camera-based lane-keeping system and the automatic braking system to help you avoid drifting off the road into roadside objects.

In Edmunds brake testing, an MDX required 122 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is a decent stop, but it displayed brake fade on subsequent stops. This could be an issue on mountain roads and grades.

In government crash tests, the MDX earned a perfect five-star overall rating, with five stars each for total frontal impact safety and total side-impact safety. The MDX also aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests, earning the top score of "Good" in all categories and additionally garnering a second-best "Advanced" rating for its optional frontal collision mitigation system.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Acura MDX is one of the more functional luxury crossovers. Its front seats are nicely shaped and supportive even if it lacks the extra adjustability offered by certain competitors in the segment. The second-row seats slide fore and aft for added flexibility, providing generous legroom in their rearmost position. It also slides forward for third-row access at the press of a button, though the resulting pass-through is rather small -- especially compared to the Infiniti QX60. The third row is best suited for kids, as only small, limber adults will fit back there, but that's actually pretty good for a luxury seven-passenger SUV. If you want something bigger, you'll have to go for a non-luxury model.

Interior storage is excellent, with big cupholders and door bins, plus a deep center bin that can hold a small purse or tablet. The MDX doesn't give you much room for groceries with all three rows of seating in use, but folding those rearmost seats opens up a respectable amount of space suitable for lengthy road trips. When you fold both the second and third rows, its maximum cargo capacity is better than most two-row midsize crossovers, but considerably less than in mainstream models like the 2016 Honda Pilot.

Behind the second-row seats of the 2016 Acura MDX you'll find about 40 cubic feet of cargo space.

The MDX's cabin is meticulously well-constructed with quality materials, but it lacks the style and luxurious ambience of competitors like the Lexus RX and Volvo XC60. It just feels less special. There are also a few Honda-grade plastics and switchgear if you look closely. Some unintuitive controls are also problematic. The push-button gear selector is gimmicky, requiring you to pull a switch for Reverse and push buttons for Park and Drive. The dual-screen infotainment system is confusing as well, especially for the audio system. You use the lower touchscreen for many functions, but others such as media player control require the multicontrol knob and upper display screen. Certain climate controls are also in the touchscreen, resulting in multiple button presses for things like heated seats that used to require only one. Neither screen boasts the super-crisp graphics we've come to expect in this class either.

Driving Impressions

The MDX's V6 is a sweet engine with a nice-sounding snarl when you plant your right foot. Nine-speed transmissions have a tendency to produce odd low-speed tendencies and inappropriate gear selections, but that's not the case with this new-for-2016 automatic gearbox. It's smooth, smart and has resulted in improved acceleration and fuel economy, although its automatic stop-start system included with the Advance package can send some uncouth shivers through the car when it's stopped. We also aren't enamored with the optional adaptive cruise control, which is too quick to slam on the brakes, too slow to speed up again and generally mediocre at keeping the set speed.

Thanks to its strong V6 and composed handling, the 2016 Acura MDX is pretty sporty as three-row crossover SUVs go.

We do know that the Acura MDX rides a little more firmly than some competing crossovers on the highway and around town, but most owners likely won't find it objectionable. Overall levels of wind and road noise are quite low, an area in which the MDX has improved markedly in recent years. Should you elect to hustle this three-row luxury crossover along a winding road, you'll be rewarded with responsive steering and composed handling. The all-wheel-drive version is particularly adept at powering out of turns.

2016 Acura MDX Video Review

Reviews from owners of the 2016 Acura MDX Technology and AcuraWatch Plus Packages SUV

Infinity to acura a different story

by on
Vehicle: 2016 Acura MDX

I was in a journey in 2016 looking for a new car since I changed it every 3 years, I delayed the decision a little bit because I love the Infinity JX35 car performance including the outstanding customer service I received throughout all this years while doing the car maintenance. After doing a lot of research I decided to change to this vehicle and for my surprise the car stopped itself in the middle of a drive thru creating a chaos at the fast food lane and all the people shouting how a new car doesn't move. After the journey to move the car to the Customer Service facility, a couple of weeks to determine what happened, without a courtesy car...they communicate that for my surprise it was the transmission computer that had issues and after two months I am paying the car without having it back at home. I am concern more with the consequences of having another situation in a more risky situation when I understand that might be a safety issue... Bottom line, totally disappointed with the car, I do not recommend this brand and customer service far away from the one received by Infinity. I do not recommend this brand by any chance.

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2016 Acura MDX

We liked it, but not enough to buy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Va mdx suv for momma

by on
Vehicle: 2016 Acura MDX

Great SUV, lots of safety & comfort features and rides nices. Don't like the 9 speed transmission; it shifts hard & unexpected in lower speeds. My wife loves it, and that's all that matters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Transmission issue on brand new mdx

by on
Vehicle: 2016 Acura MDX

Purchased a brand new 2016 MDX and within 10 months started having problem with the transmission - jerking with sharp squeaking sound whenever gears shifted (lower gear). Had driven only around 9500 miles when this problem started. Dealership replaced the transmission, but then also changed the radiator and the starter (since those also apparently had issues !) - all this took almost a month. In short, major components were bad/poor quality (?) in a brand new car - only major remaining part to replace is the engine !!! After the repairs, car still gives slight jerk during gear shifts. Dealership and Corporate customer service response was - slight jerk is normal for MDX. So buyers beware - from personal experience it seems Honda quality is not transferred to its luxury brand !!! Consider alternatives & do your research before spending your dollars....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I can't believe this is an acura...

by on
Vehicle: 2016 Acura MDX

After owning 5 Accords, 2 Odysseys, 1 CRV and a Pilot without any issues, I figured the next logical step was Acura. We test drove and almost bought a Ford Explorer Sport, but the Honda loyalist inside of me said the Acura would be a better overall purchase. From the moment we leased this MDX 6 months ago it has been a HUGE let down. The transmission is horrible and shifts almost violently (dealer said this is normal), the suspension pops and clunks on every bump (3 attempts by dealer to fix), the touch screen is cool in theory, but when you just want to turn on the seat heater or adjust the fan it takes far too much effort. The cargo area is poorly designed (in my opinion) because the roof slopes in the rear and limits capacity. The seats seem to be okay; they are a little small for my 6'3" frame but my wife finds the car comfortable. On the plus side, the ride on the freeway is compliant and gas mileage is phenomenal (although, keep in mind you have to use premium fuel which offsets some of the MPG savings). I love the LED headlamps, but more and more cars are adding this feature, which makes is less special on the Acura. Remote starter was standard on my Accord, but we had to pay $400 extra for it on the Acura. Overall, the car looks much better than it performs. I never thought I would say this about a Honda product, but if you are in the market for a midsize SUV, do yourself a favor and drive several other vehicles...this Acura just doesn't live up to it's name.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Best vehicle i've ever owned

by on
Vehicle: 2016 Acura MDX

I've driven the Acura MDX model since it arrived in 2001 and been an Acura owner since 1995. This being my 4th MDX the 2016 is the best driving experience I've ever had. I was a little nervous with the move to a crossover design, happy with the feel of the RL I've missed. The slight one inch lowering to the ground was a concern but still keeps me high enough on the road to see ahead in traffic. The new safety innovations are incredible and give me a new sense of road safety beyond what I've ever experienced. The gas mileage is through the roof beyond what I expected which was my main motivation for buying in May of 2016. I don't get all the transmission complaints, but I must say, I don't drive the car fast, I drive it economically for safety and good gas mileage. For this reason, the car is a dream. If you want a sports car, then go buy one. I love having the option of the engine stopping if you press the brake a tad harder at a stop. At first this was strange, but now a natural part of driving the car. All the technology took a small learning curve but once you learn, it's part of you. My Acura dealership has been completely responsive with any questions I have. The MDX handles beautifully with new smart technology helping to keep me in my lane when driving the freeway. I love the distance setting of three choices when using cruise. I'm not trying to out drive anyone, just selecting my space on the freeway to drive most economically. Hitting 28 miles to the gallon on a long trip is the best MPG I've ever received from any Acura. The sound system and tech package is delivers all I need and then some. This new 2016 MDX delivers the most enjoyable driving experience I've ever had!

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2016 Acura MDX Suv in VA is:

$70.67 per month*

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Features and Specs for the 2016 Acura MDX SUV


  • FUEL ECONOMY (CTY/HWY) 19/27 mpg
  • TRANSMISSION 9-speed Shiftable Automatic
  • BASIC WARRANTY 4 Yr./ 50000 Mi.
  • DRIVE TRAIN Front Wheel Drive


Exterior Colors

Crystal Black Pearl Dark Cherry Pearl Fathom Blue Pearl Forest Mist Metallic Graphite Luster Metallic Lunar Silver Metallic White Diamond Pearl

Interior Colors

Ebony, leather Eucalyptus, leather Graystone, leather Parchment, leather


LENGTH 16ft 1.6in
5ft 7.6in
0ft 7.3in
Body style illustration may not reflect the actual shape of this vehicle.

Exterior Measurements

0 ft. 7.3 in. (7.3 in.) 5 ft. 7.6 in. (67.6 in.)
16 ft. 1.6 in. (193.6 in.) 9 ft. 3 in. (111 in.)

Interior Measurements

38.1 in. 59.0 in.
41.4 in. 61.1 in.
38.3 in. 57.8 in.
36.6 in. 59.1 in.


22 19/27 mpg
19.5 gal. Premium unleaded (recommended)
370.5/526.5 mi.

Weights and Capacities

14.9 degrees 15.2 degrees
4004 lbs. 147.3 cu.ft.
3500 lbs. 15.0 cu.ft.
68.4 cu.ft.
** When adequately equipped, which may require engine and/or other drivetrain upgrades.


Front wheel drive 9-speed shiftable automatic

Engine & Performance

3.5 L Gas
Single overhead cam (SOHC) V6
290 hp @ 6200 rpm 267 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
38.7 ft. Variable


  • Four-wheel independent suspension

  • Front and rear stabilizer bar


4 yr./ 50000 mi. 6 yr./ 70000 mi.
4 yr./ 50000 mi.


Interior Features


1st Row Seats


2nd Row Seats

split folding
folding with storage

3rd Row Seats

manual folding split-bench

Standard seating shown. Other seating may be available as optional equipment.

Front Seats

  • 8 -way power driver seat

  • 8 -way power passenger seat

  • Bucket front seats

  • Height adjustable driver seat

  • Height adjustable passenger seat

  • Leather

  • Multi-level heating driver seat

  • Multi-level heating passenger seat

  • Driver seat with power adjustable lumbar support

Rear Seats

  • Folding with storage center armrest

  • Manual folding split-bench third row seats

  • Rear ventilation ducts with fan control

  • Reclining rear seats

  • Split-folding rear seatback

Power Features

  • 4 one-touch power windows

  • Hands-free entry

  • Heated mirrors

  • Reverse tilt dual mirrors provides curb view when vehicle in reverse


  • Clock

  • Compass

  • External temperature display

  • Tachometer

  • Trip computer


  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Electric power steering

  • Front and rear door pockets

  • Front seatback storage

  • Front, rear and 3rd row cupholders

  • Keyless ignition

  • Overhead console with storage

  • Rear view camera

  • Tilt and telescopic steering wheel

  • Universal remote transmitter (for garage door, security system, etc.)

  • Transmission, cruise and audio controls on steering wheel

  • Destination Download*

  • Destination guidance (also Turn-by-Turn Navigation)*


  • Sun sensor

  • Electrochromatic inside rearview mirror

  • Interior air filtration

  • Leather steering wheel

  • Turn signal in mirrors

  • Dual illuminating vanity mirrors

  • Three zone climate control

Memorized settings

  • Memorized settings for 2 drivers

  • Memorized settings includes climate control

  • Memorized settings includes steering wheel

In Car Entertainment

  • 1 subwoofer(s)

  • 10 total speakers

  • 501 watts stereo output

  • USB connection

  • Auxiliary audio input and USB with external media control

  • Satellite radio satellite radio

  • Speed sensitive volume control

  • AM/FM stereo


Exterior Features

Roof and Glass

  • Intermittent rear wiper

  • One-touch power sunroof

  • Power glass sunroof

  • Privacy glass

  • Rear defogger

  • Remote sunroof operation

  • Variable intermittent rain sensing wipers


  • Rear spoiler

Tires and Wheels

  • Alloy wheels

  • Temporary spare tire

  • Underbody mounted spare tire

  • 19 x 8.0 in. wheels

  • All season tires

  • P245/55R H tires


  • Fixed lifgate window

  • Rear power liftgate door

Safety Features

  • 2 front headrests

  • 2 rear headrests

  • LED headlamp

  • Auto delay off headlamps

  • Blind spot and lane departure warnings accident avoidance system

  • Child seat anchors

  • Daytime running lights

  • Dual front side-mounted airbags

  • Dusk sensing headlamps

  • Engine immobilizer

  • Front, rear and third row head airbags

  • Pre-collision safety system

  • Remote anti-theft alarm system

  • Stability control

  • Tire pressure monitoring

  • Traction control

  • 4-wheel ABS

  • Emergency braking assist

  • Passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation

  • Rear center 3-point belt

  • Rear door child safety locks

  • Rear height adjustable headrests

  • Turn signal mirrors

  • Ventilated front disc / solid rear disc brakes

  • Airbag Deployment Notification*

  • Stolen Vehicle Tracking/Assistance*

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2016 Acura MDX Suv in VA is:

$70.67 per month*


No optional equipment offered

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