- Strong acceleration, even with a full load
- Sporty handling without a sacrifice in ride
- Attractive styling inside and out
- Upper-echelon safety lends peace of mind
- Rearward visibility is obscured by the back pillar
- Instrument panel layout is overly complex
- Lacks high-tech options such as adaptive headlamps or laser cruise control
- Pricier premium fuel is recommended
The 2008 Acura MDX has a little more passion than most larger SUVs, with no less practicality.
The 2008 Acura MDX is a large luxury crossover vehicle. The design of the MDX emphasizes style, passenger and cargo utility, and on-the-road comfort and handling, rather than off-roading ability. The seven-passenger MDX crossover SUV was new for 2007 and carries into 2008 with few changes.
A 300-horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6 engine brings strong acceleration to the MDX and impressive passing power, thanks to the responsive yet smooth five-speed automatic transmission. The 2008 Acura MDX has impressive towing ability for such a vehicle, with a maximum rating of 5,000 pounds. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system is standard; the full-time all-wheel-drive configuration distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels, to help maintain better stability and traction when cornering.
The 2008 Acura MDX is surprisingly entertaining to drive; along with the responsive powertrain, the suspension keeps the body from leaning too much in corners, even though the ride is quite supple, and the MDX can be hustled along a curvy road like a smaller, lighter vehicle. The steering is especially good, with an uncommon level of feedback that makes the MDX easier to drive than its peers under a range of conditions.
A very warm interior design, with a good mix of contrasting materials and matte-metallic surfaces make the interior of the 2008 Acura MDX feel sporty yet inviting. However, the controls could be simpler—for the audio system especially. Driver and front passenger seats are generously apportioned and good for even the tallest and largest folks, but the minuscule third-row seat is only for small kids. Families will find plenty of storage cubbies as well. All models come standard with leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, three-zone automatic climate control system with humidity control and air filtration, a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface, a six-disc in-dash changer, and XM satellite radio. A Sport Package with auto-damping suspension is available; it also includes a premium leather interior and a special wheel design. A navigation system including real-time traffic and a rearview camera is optional.
The Acura MDX is an all-star in safety, with top results in all U.S. crash tests, ranking as one of the most secure vehicles of any type. It’s also an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2008. The 2008 Acura MDX includes front side airbags and full-length side curtain bags, covering all three rows of seating. The standard electronic stability works in conjunction with the SH-AWD system.