2015 Acura MDX Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
June 25, 2015

The 2015 Acura MDX continues to offer an attractive blend of content, comfort, and entertainment for the entire family–including the driver.

When cross-shopping family vehicles, 'compromise' is probably the operative word. Yet the 2015 Acura MDX is a responsive, sharp-looking SUV that makes few of them--especially if you're looking for reliability and strong resale value. And when heading off-road isn't at all a priority, but you want an SUV that's practical and sensible and luxurious, too--the 2015 Acura MDX should land near the top of the list.

The MDX has always had a special appeal as a minivan alternative -- a premium-grade, family-friendly crossover that offers three rows of seats, a lower load floor, and many of the conveniences found in less stylish family vans. There may be questions about where Acura's sedan lineup is headed, but the MDX appears to be more focused on its goals than ever.

No surprises lurk in the MDX's style. It's more sporty-looking than other crossover SUVs, maybe. A sleek profile pairs with nicely sculpted sheetmetal and an interior trimmed to a rich standard. The recent front-end treatment is awkward when it shows up on Acura's sedans, but on the SUV it's less shocking. Big LED headlamps help trim down its appearance, and they give the front end a sleeker look. The coordinated trims and well-finished dash give the interior the kind of upscale lift Acura needs across the range.

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The MDX does a great job masking its height and size with strong acceleration and good handling. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 with 290 hp; a 6-speed automatic can be shifted via steering-wheel paddle controls. The front-drive MDX can be fitted with all-wheel drive that can shift power around to the rear wheels and between them for crisper behavior, too. With its most recent updates, the MDX does a much better job of muting ride imperfections, thanks to more sophisticated shocks and suspension mounts.

The MDX is one of the larger 3-row crossover SUVs as well, though still substantially smaller than big truck-like utes such as the Expedition and Tahoe. The MDX has plush, supportive front seats. The second-row bench slides on a track to expand leg or cargo room by up to 6 inches. A lighted button leads the way to a tilt-and-fold mechanism that slides the seat for easier third-row entry and exit. The MDX has all that plus a big and deep center console. When it comes to utility, it does not play, but it's also very quiet, thanks to noise cancellation and engine mounts that soak up noisy vibrations, as well as thicker side and front glass.

With its new body, the latest MDX has much better crash protection, which earns it excellent crash-test scores. New features include a rearview camera, blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings and active lane control.

This year's MDX can be ordered in four different versions. Base models get the usual goods, from leather to power features. Top versions have parking sensors, remote start, adaptive cruise control, a wide-screen rear entertainment system, 12 speakers of ELS premium audio, and finer leather with ventilated front seats.

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