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STYLING | 7 out of 10
'Techno-futuristic' but 'funky'
Car and Driver
Interior gets a 'thumbs-up'
Ugly wood trim
The 2011 Acura MDX has a handsome profile, but the face is one only a few mothers (and fathers) will truly love.
The MDX has been one of our favorite crossovers since it was redesigned for the 2007 model year. It's one of the better efforts by Honda at disguising the design's big-box roots. The few sleek curves applied to its fairly upright body really do wonders, particularly at the back pillar--the same visual trick that rounds the roofline works here, while it fails on the smaller Honda CR-V crossover.
What doesn't work, of course, is the big chevron of chrome across the MDX's nose. It's Honda's latest attempt at a family theme for all its products, and it's been dubbed everything from a bottle opener to a "bionic beaver." The controversial front end hasn't been tweaked on the MDX as it now has on the TL sedan, and in truth it almost fits on the big ute--there's more vertical space for it to seem right-sized, and not completely out of scale. Thankfully, the rest of its lines stay clean and neat, and the gentle downward arc and taillamps slim it somewhat at the rear.
Step into the big doors, and the MDX gives a great first impression. The cabin’s a well-executed comfort zone. Milano leather trim and wood-grain trim cascade from the midline of the dash, as on the bigger RL sedan. The gauges are clear and crisp, though with the usual Acura array of buttons, knobs and switches in abundance. In all, it’s a modern, well-tailored workplace.
The tech-influenced shapes of the 2011 Acura MDX are almost outpointed by its busy controls and an out-of-place grille.