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Used 2018 Acura MDX SH-AWD SUV Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Acura MDX SH-AWD SUV.

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
This is our second MDX
Charlie N.,02/06/2018
SH-AWD w/Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Love this car. Love the transmission. Love the gas mileage on the freeway. Love the night time visibility with the LED lights. I have owned this car now for a little over 2 months and put about 5.5k on it. The trans has 9 speeds. It has drive, sport and manual via paddle shifters. I like using the sport mode going down hill and when I really need to get up and go. Put it in sport at a stop light and it is a rocket ship taking off. O.K. not a Tesla, but for as big as it is it gets up and goes. I haven't driven up to Tahoe yet so I can't say how it performs climbing the hills. If it is anything like the previous 2004 MDX, I am sure it will do great. I am happy with the gas mileage on the freeway. I have achieved 25 mpg at 75 mph. That is on the flat. City mileage is around 16 to 18 mpg. I love the LED headlights. I don't like that the headlights do not self adjust when the car is loaded. For the price and that it is the Advanced Package, Acura should have installed load sensors and headlight adjustment motors. On coming traffic really does not like to be blinded by LED lights. That is a big letdown in my opinion for a '17 SUV. I am not real happy with the voice activation everything. It is very clunky, does not understand your voice and very slow. If you have not memorized the commands it will just frustrate the hell out of you. I also don't like the little upper screen and the very grainy picture for parking assist. My '04 MDX with the rear view camera had a more clear, crisp picture. I don't like that I couldn't get 18" or 19" wheels. They are 20" and are not low profile tires or run-flats. I wanted a smaller wheel so it won't bend so easily when you hit a pot hole. Aluminum wheels bend easy and are really, really expensive to replace. I am not real happy with the active cruise control. I was zooming along at 75 mph the other day with the car in front of me going the same speed. We were in the middle lane of a three line freeway. A car from the fast lane decided it want to be in the far right lane. With no blinker, they moved between me and the car in front and then to the far right lane. The active cruise freaked out, slammed on the brakes (collision avoidance) and sounded the alarm and the flashing orange light on the dash. It scared the $h_T out of me!!! When I bought the car I asked if the radar could be turned off and the cruise control be regular cruise. "Yes" they told me. No you actually can't. I tried. Today I was listening to a podcast on my i-phone (6) when I got a phone call. I answered the call and I could her the caller, but she could not hear me. This is the first time I have had a problem with an incoming call. My wife has an i-phone (8 plus) and the contacts will not completely load. Acura says it is and Apple software problem. I can not comment on the cost of maintenance yet as I have not had anything done on it yet. I have changed the oil because on a new engine I like to change the oil withing a few thousand miles to drain out the engine break-in byproducts. Over all I am very happy with this car. It is fun to drive and very comfortable.
3 out of 5 stars
Slow to leave 1st gear
SH-AWD w/Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Love the car but leaving from a stop its slow to go. Jerks coming out of first into second. Disappointing. Drove another mdx and it was ok so the problem is with mine. Dealership said it seemed fine but its not.
4 out of 5 stars
Nice Car-Could Be Better
Clare Conley,04/15/2018
SH-AWD w/Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
We've had our 2018 MDX for about seven months, and have taken it on five road trips. It replaced a 2010 RL, which in turn replaced a 2005 RL. We like practically everything about the car except the adaptive cruise control (which picks up large trucks in the lane immediately to our right), the dimmed rear view mirror, and-significant blind spots only partly mitigated by the blind spot monitoring system. However, the big turn-off is the navigation system's traffic information. Both the 2005 and 2010 RLs had the identical system, backed by XM radio based traffic info. The MDX traffic is HD radio-based, and at least in Arizona, California, and Oregon, is spotty-some places it works some days. Other days, it doesn't work in the same places. Why, oh why, did they replace a functioning delivery system with a defective one?
1 out of 5 stars
Not worth the money or the fuss
Whitney Green,07/11/2021
SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Advance Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
While technically the MDX is a third row, you basically have no legroom and not cargo space with the third row up. If you’re using it for small kids sure but adults couldn’t possibly ride longer than 15 minutes without cramping up. On top of that we had repeated electrical issues in the 3 weeks we had it before returning to CarMax. I now have a VW atlas. Much more value for your money and SO much more space. Do your research guys!

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2018 Acura MDX SH-AWD SUV

What’s new

  • Updated dual-screen infotainment system with a new capacitive touchscreen
  • Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support
  • Part of the third MDX generation introduced for 2014

Pros & Cons

  • Generous array of features and active driver aids for the money
  • Optional SH-AWD system enhances handling and all-season sure-footedness
  • Smooth and confident acceleration from the V6 engine
  • Quiet, comfortable and spacious cabin
  • Cabin looks and feels less luxurious than those of some rivals
  • Auto stop-start function for V6 can be a bit rough
  • Adaptive cruise control can be slow to respond and abrupt when it does

Which MDX does Edmunds recommend?

While the improved power and fuel economy of the Sport Hybrid model seem appealing, the model's lack of responsiveness at low speeds can be annoying. For this reason, we recommend the standard MDX equipped with all-wheel drive and the Advance package. You won't be disappointed by its power, and the all-wheel-drive system adds welcome agility to this three-row SUV. Plus, the Advance adds features such as 20-inch wheels, a surround-view camera, premium leather and ventilated front seats.

Full Edmunds Review: 2018 Acura MDX SUV

What’s new

The 2018 Acura MDX addresses some of our biggest complaints with prior models with the addition of a refreshed dual-screen infotainment system, including a new capacitive touchscreen that Acura says is 30 percent faster. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support is now standard as well.

Vehicle overview

The 2018 Acura MDX may be less expensive than similarly sized three-row luxury SUVs, but by no means does that imply disappointment. This popular three-row crossover SUV is versatile and has an appealing mix of safety and luxury-oriented features.

The MDX is enjoyable to drive, too. Its two powertrain options, a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine or an optional gas-electric hybrid with a 3.0-liter V6, provide a suitable amount of oomph for quick passes and freeway merging. Acura's available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system can also enhance this SUV's agility when you're driving around turns.

The aforementioned hybrid system is distinctive in that Acura designed it to deliver increases in both power and fuel economy. Indeed, we've found the Sport Hybrid is quicker than the regular MDX in our testing, and the EPA estimates you'll get 27 mpg combined in the Sport Hybrid compared to 22 mpg in a regular all-wheel-drive MDX.

After a refresh last year, the 2018 MDX is improved further by a faster and more powerful entertainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, addressing the biggest complaints we've had with prior years of the MDX. Though there are a few remaining drawbacks, they're pretty minor. Overall, the MDX remains a strong contender if you're shopping for a three-row midsize luxury crossover SUV.

What's it like to live with?

Want to know even more about the Acura MDX? Learn about day-to-day ownership from our editorial experts' long-term test of a 2014 SH-AWD with Technology and Entertainment Packages. How much did we like the MDX's quiet interior? How was the tech? Was the cargo room sufficient for everyday use? How was the fuel economy? Learn this and more from our test. Note that the 2018 MDX differs from the 2014 model we tested — in 2016, it added a new SH-AWD system, nine-speed automatic, smartphone integration and a hybrid trim — but our coverage is otherwise applicable.

2018 Acura MDX models

The 2018 Acura MDX is a three-row luxury SUV that seats up to seven. It's offered in three trim levels: Standard, Technology and Advance. The Standard and Technology MDXs come nicely equipped, and the Advance has all the features you'll likely want in this class of vehicle. All of the above employ a 3.5-liter V6 engine (290 horsepower, 267 pound-feet) that's paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission with either front- or all-wheel drive. The Sport Hybrid uses a smaller 3.0-liter V6 in conjunction with three electric motors (combined 321 hp, 289 lb-ft) and a seven-speed automatic transmission to deliver an estimated 27 mpg combined.

Highlights of the Standard package include 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights with automatic high beams, adaptive suspension dampers, a power liftgate, a sunroof, and keyless entry and ignition. Inside, you'll find power-adjustable front seats with heating, driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Technology features include support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a dual-screen infotainment system (with a 7-inch touchscreen), Bluetooth, four USB ports, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player and satellite radio. The MDX's standard AcuraWatch safety suite features forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane and road departure warning and mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.

The Technology package adds niceties such as 20-inch wheels, automatic wipers, remote engine start, power-folding side mirrors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a navigation system, a color driver information display, and a 10-speaker premium audio system with HD radio.

The Advance package turns on the charm with front and rear parking sensors, LED foglights, automatic engine stop-start, a top-down surround-view camera system, a heated steering wheel, sport seats with premium leather and trim, front-seat ventilation, heated second-row captain's chairs, second-row sunshades and two additional USB ports for the third row.

The Entertainment package can be specified with either the Technology or Advance package and adds a DVD-based rear entertainment system. If you add it to the Technology package, it comes with a 9-inch screen and 11 audio speakers; if you add it to the Advance package, it comes with a 16.2-inch screen (with an HDMI input) and 12 audio speakers. Note that it replaces the captain's chairs with the standard second-row bench seating.

Finally, there's the all-wheel-drive MDX Sport Hybrid. It's available with the Technology and Advance packages only.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Advance and Entertainment Packages (3.5L V6 | 9-speed automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current 2018 Acura MDX has received some revisions, including an updated infotainment system that includes standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's MDX.


The 3.5-liter 290-horsepower V6, nine-speed automatic transmission and optional Super Handling All-Wheel Drive are key factors in making the MDX one of the most confident midsize SUVs to drive. It's not exciting, but it is effortlessly capable.


Comfortable seats and ample sound deadening are hard to fault, but paying more in this segment will yield even more impressive comfort credentials. The same goes for the ride, which lacks some of the bump-smoothing sophistication of pricier rivals.


The MDX is spacious and versatile for the midsize luxury segment, and though its third row is tight, it's more usable than most. Still, mainstream models such as the mechanically related Honda Pilot are even more practical.


Convenience and efficiency play a big part in vehicle utility, and the Acura MDX capitalizes on the space it occupies. Total storage volume is spacious, and easy fold-flat seats make loading long cargo a breeze. Interior storage space is another area that was thoughtfully configured.


The MDX's dual-screen setup certainly looks high-tech, but it isn't terribly intuitive, even after you've used it for a while. It's difficult to remember which screen contains which settings. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present, but the dial controller is suboptimal.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2018 Acura MDX in Virginia is:

$72.50 per month*