2019 Acura MDX Review
2019 Acura MDX Review
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Used MDX for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Senior Vehicle Test EngineerJason joined Edmunds' testing team in 2006 as a vehicle testing engineer. Jason believes true appreciation of modern cars stems from owning really, really bad old ones.
- Generous array of features and active driver aids for the money
- Optional SH-AWD system enhances handling and all-season traction
- Smooth and confident acceleration from the V6 engine
- Quiet, comfortable and spacious cabin
- Cabin looks and feels less luxurious than those of some rivals
- Adaptive cruise control can be slow to respond and abrupt when it does
- Two-screen infotainment system is nonintuitive and difficult to control
- Revised calibrations for transmission programming and engine stop-start system
- Advance package-equipped MDXs have continuously variable suspension dampers
- New A-Spec variant
- Part of the third MDX generation introduced for 2014
The current generation MDX dates back to the 2014 model year, which is definitely getting into senior citizen status for the automotive world. Yet the 2019 Acura MDX's virtues are intact. Thanks to a constant stream of updates, the MDX remains a top pick for a luxury SUV. With three rows of seating and a large, comfortable cabin, it works great as a family hauler, and it presents plenty of value thanks to an impressive number of standard features for the money.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A) 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 $4.00 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Midsize SUV
It's available with two powertrains. The optional gasoline-electric hybrid has a 3.0-liter V6 engine, while the base version has a 3.5-liter V6. While the hybrid delivers better fuel economy and quicker acceleration, the base version is no slouch. All MDXs are available with Acura's sophisticated Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system, which has a tangible positive influence on handling.
The MDX has a couple of downsides, with the main one that its interior doesn't quite match the opulent luxury found in some rival models. Overall, though, the 2019 MDX remains a worthy contender among three-row midsize luxury crossover SUVs.
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 2019 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.
Edmunds' Expert Rating8.0 / 10
The 2019 Acura MDX is versatile, well-made and feature-packed. It's also sporty and fuel-efficient. The MDX's cabin isn't quite as luxurious as what you'll find in some other luxury SUVs, but overall this is an eminently sensible choice for a midsize luxury SUV.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Acura MDX SH-AWD A-Spec (3.5L V6 | 9-speed automatic | AWD).
|Overall||8.0 / 10|
The 290-horsepower 3.5-liter 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.
Acceleration is smooth and sufficient at low speeds, but there's not a lot of thrust in the middle of the rev range. Freeway passing needs a heavy foot to force multiple downshifts. The MDX accelerates to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds — considerably quicker than the Infiniti QX60 and Lexus RX 350L, but it trails luxury rivals equipped with boosted six-cylinder engines.
Pedal effort is light, and the initial bite is lower in the pedal stroke. Push past this point, and the brakes feel grabby. You can still bring the MDX to a stop smoothly, but it requires some practice. A 60-0 mph stopping distance of 131 feet is average for the segment.
Among the three steering modes, Normal's effort is suitable, and Sport's tighter on-center effort lends an impression of stability at highway speeds. Comfort mode is overly light. The wheel communicates some road texture so you can feel what's under the tires, which is unusual for a family-oriented crossover, and we like it.
The torque-vectoring AWD system is impressive. It reduces understeer and allows this big SUV to turn around corners with poise and confidence. In most situations, the MDX doesn't feel like a sporty SUV, but it sure handles like one.
Transmission shifts are smoother than in the 2016-2017 MDX, and they are generally pleasant in routine driving. The engine stop-start system is too slow to restart the engine, which causes the MDX to feel slightly lurchy when you pull away quickly from a stop.
The MDX’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is designed more for inclement weather than off-road exploration, which is typical in this luxury-oriented class. It lacks the terrain and surface settings of the Honda Pilot and doesn't offer hill descent control.
Comfortable seats and ample sound deadening are hard to fault. The ride is a little smoother and cushier than in last year's model. The climate controls are a little difficult to use as they are split awkwardly between hard keys and digital buttons.
The seats are well-shaped and offer all-day comfort. Set the seat position once and you'll never have to adjust it. If you're traveling over poorly paved roads, you won't feel it through the plush cushioning. The A-Spec's unique faux-suede upholstery is thick and pliable, and it keeps cool on hot days.
Even with large 20-inch wheels, the MDX rides comfortably. The retuned suspension has smoothed and reduced the impact of sharp bumps. Overall, body motions are well-controlled, and bigger undulations are nicely damped.
Noise & vibration8.5
Wind noise is minimal at highway speeds. The smooth-revving V6 never feels harsh and stays quiet below 5,000 rpm. There is some mild thumping from the tires over surface changes, but overall this machine is well-isolated.
The climate controls are split between the touchscreen and a row of buttons and rocker switches. The layout is more logical than in some other Acura and Honda products, but it requires an extra step for certain adjustments. The seat ventilation isn't very strong. The third row lacks air vents.
Spacious and versatile for the midsize luxury segment. Though its third row is tight, it's still more usable than most. We like the MDX's near-ideal driving position, but the two-screen display and transmission selector could be better. Note that the mechanically related Honda Pilot is even more practical.
Ease of use5.5
The push-button gear selector requires that drivers look down to see what they're doing, which isn't optimal. The same goes for the two-screen infotainment system, which divides functions between the upper display (with a dash-mounted knob controller) and the lower touchscreen.
Getting in/getting out7.5
Clever single-press buttons slide the second-row seats forward for third-row access, but the resulting pass-through can be a squeeze for adults. Otherwise, access to the front- and second-row seats is good and comparable to others in the segment.
A highly adjustable driver's seat and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column are standard on all MDX models, so chances are good that you'll be able to find a comfortable position. The dead pedal is too close to the driver to really stretch your left leg comfortably.
The front seats feel spacious in every dimension, but there's not as much headroom in the second row as in rivals. That said, only very tall people will notice. The third row will suit only kids and perhaps adults of short stature. Still, it's better than the third rows of other luxury SUVs.
The tall side windows, an upright windshield and big side mirrors all facilitate visibility, but the second-row seat blocks the rear-quarter window. The optional surround-view camera lends significantly more confidence while parking, but it's only available on the top Advance trim.
Everything appears meticulously put together, and the A-Spec's faux-carbon trim and faux-suede upholstery add an air of sportiness. European competitors manage to feel more substantial than the MDX, and their cabin designs are more elegant.
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 cabin features large cupholders and door bins, plus a deep center bin with clever flip compartment configurations that can hold a purse or a tablet. The smart use of space stands out.
The MDX has a slightly larger total cargo capacity than other three-row midsize luxury crossovers, and it's more sizable than two-row rivals. We loved how the third- and second-row seats fold flat and provide a level load floor, and the in-floor storage bin in the cargo area is a nice touch.
Child safety seat accommodation8.0
There are two car seat anchors on each of the outboard middle seats, hidden under slits. They are slightly below the slit and quite easy to access. Tethers are on the bottom of the second-row seatback. No anchors in the third row, but there are two tethers in the middle of the seatback.
The all-wheel-drive MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds (front-wheel-drive models are limited to 3,500 pounds), but you'll have to buy the $990 hitch. It has a higher tow capacity than some rivals, but competitors from Germany and the UK can all tow more than 7,000 pounds.
The MDX's dual-screen setup certainly looks high-tech but 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 knob controller is suboptimal.
Audio & navigation7.5
Acura updated the MDX's user interface last year, but it isn't any more intuitive than the previous one. Functions are split between two screens. The upper screen is controlled via a knob, while the lower is a touchscreen with a confusing menu structure and layout. There's lots of unused space in some menus and a cluttered display in others. Audio is excellent.
The A-Spec features five USB ports: three under the front armrest console and two behind the console for rear passengers. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but the image is displayed on the top screen. That means you have to use the dash-mounted knob controller to access it.
The MDX boasts many features, but they're not all well-sorted. The adaptive cruise accelerated and braked suddenly in heavy traffic. In several instances, it accelerated after coming to a complete stop, even though the car in front hadn't moved. It slammed on the brakes afterward, preventing a collision, but the action was jarring. Lane keeping assist didn't always activate. The surround-view camera display resolution is muddy.
The voice control system recognizes speech well, and navigation instructions are easily understood. It didn't always have our phonebook indexed, so calling via voice commands ("Call Mike," for example) wasn't always possible.
Which MDX does Edmunds recommend?
We recommend the regular MDX over the hybrid version despite the latter's power and fuel economy advantage. The standard MDX is simply more responsive in day-to-day driving, and it has no shortage of power in its own right. If you like to drive with spirit, opt for the all-wheel drive because it enhances the agility of this three-row SUV. As for features, get the Advance package to help bolster the MDX's luxury SUV credentials.
2019 Acura MDX models
The 2019 Acura MDX is a three-row luxury SUV that seats up to seven. It's offered in four trim levels (also referred to as packages): Standard, Technology, Advance and A-Spec. The Standard and Technology MDXs come nicely equipped, and the Advance has all the features you'll likely want in this class of vehicle. A-Spec is an appearance package.
All of the above employ a 3.5-liter V6 engine (290 horsepower, 267 lb-ft) 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 in combined city/highway driving.
Highlights of the Standard trim include 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, 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.
Tech features include support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a dual-screen infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, five USB ports, and an eight-speaker sound system. 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 trim 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.
This year's new A-Spec trim level is similar to the Technology but has blacked-out exterior trim, wider wheels and tires, a thicker-rimmed steering wheel, front seat ventilation and unique cabin cosmetics.
Compared to the Technology trim, Advance turns on the charm with front and rear parking sensors, LED foglights, automatic engine stop-start, adaptive suspension dampers, wider wheels and tires, 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.
An Entertainment package can be specified with either the Technology or Advance package and adds a rear entertainment system. If you add it to the Technology package, it comes with a 9-inch screen and 11 audio speakers. If you pair 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 standard second-row bench seating with heated captain's chairs for the Technology trim.
Finally, there's the all-wheel-drive MDX Sport Hybrid. It's available in the Technology and Advance trims only.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
MDX solid and proven after 10k
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Solid proven well appointed, good size, excellent technology package, 20 inch tires, very comfortable. Beats my Mercedes ml class. No real extras. best price thru Edmunds After 1 year, 10k mileage, not a single problem. Great
5 out of 5 stars
Active Damper System is GREAT!
2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD w/Technology Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM)
I have only had this vehicle for a couple of months now, so still getting used to the hybrid part of it. Traded in my 2018 Acura RDX Advance because the ride was so non-luxury. Drove a regular MDX and it rode much nicer, but the Hybrid with the Active Dampers is amazing! (it is also now standard on the 2019 MDX advance non hybrid) It rides so nice. It is fast yet comfortable, and … rides beautifully. The switch from battery to gas is mostly seamless. The 7 speed dual clutch is great, but at lower speeds tends to stumble like most dual clutch transmissions. There could be less road noise (an Acura trait). I love the infotainment system, and while it is dated, it has been in my last 3 cars and it works GREAT. Of course that is if you take the time to learn it and speak to it correctly and clearly. Love my MDX and may buy this one at the end of the lease!
5 out of 5 stars
An SUV handles like a car
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Technology and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
Handles like a car. The new tech package is great. We love the 2nd row captains chairs. Many cool features. I leased the car now wishing we bought.
4 out of 5 stars
Hybrid or Not
2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD w/Technology Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM)
When I saw the specs comparison of the Standard 2019 MDX w/ Tech and the Hybrid Tech model my decision was clear . The hybrid adds up to 5 extra miles per gallon while providing 30 more horsepower. I said where do I sign . This is my first hybrid and I am still getting used to part of the engine turning off while in traffic or waiting for a signal light to change. It can become annoying … but other than that the car rides great. One important point to note the Hybrid model you can not add a hitch or tow. also the vehicle does not come with a spare or lug wrench or jack: instead comes with an inflator system .
2019 Acura MDX SUV Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 20 City / 27 Hwy / 23 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.5 gal. capacity
- 7 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 9-speed shiftable automatic
- V6 cylinder
- Horsepower: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm
- Torque: 267 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 196.2 in. / Height: 67.4 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 77.7 in.
- Curb Weight: 4032 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 15.0 cu.ft.
Our experts like the MDX models:
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Identifies lane markings and works to keep the vehicle within its detected lane if it starts to drift due to driver inattention.
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Allows you to set a speed and maintain a desired distance from the car ahead. Will bring you to a stop if needed.
- Surround-View Camera System
- Four exterior cameras create a 360-degree view of the MDX's immediate surroundings.
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.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2019 Acura MDX
Used 2019 Acura MDX Overview
The Used 2019 Acura MDX is offered in the following submodels: MDX SUV, MDX Hybrid. Available styles include SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A), SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A), Technology Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 9A), 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 9A), SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Advance Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A), SH-AWD A-Spec 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A), Advance Package 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 9A), Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Advance Package (3.0L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM), Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology Package (3.0L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 7AM), SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Advance and Entertainment Packages (3.5L 6cyl 9A), SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Technology and Entertainment Packages (3.5L 6cyl 9A), Technology and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 9A), and Advance and Entertainment Packages 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 9A). Pre-owned Acura MDX models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 290 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2019 Acura MDX comes with all wheel drive, and front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 9-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2019 Acura MDX comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2019 Acura MDX?
Price comparisons for Used 2019 Acura MDX trim styles:
- The Used 2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD is priced between $29,550 and$44,998 with odometer readings between 12076 and70991 miles.
- The Used 2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD A-Spec is priced between $31,499 and$45,998 with odometer readings between 22933 and105392 miles.
- The Used 2019 Acura MDX Base is priced between $32,590 and$38,998 with odometer readings between 19087 and66705 miles.
- The Used 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is priced between $35,500 and$46,998 with odometer readings between 24213 and61896 miles.
- The Used 2019 Acura MDX Technology Package is priced between $34,000 and$37,998 with odometer readings between 10129 and61092 miles.
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Which used 2019 Acura MDXS are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2019 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.