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STYLING | 7 out of 10
'Techno-futuristic' but 'funky'
Car and Driver
Interior gets a 'thumbs-up'
Ugly wood trim
Handsome is surely a word that applies to the 2013 Acura MDX. The design has aged well since its last full redesign, and it's one of Honda's best design efforts in a utility vehicle, giving its box-on-wheels design some character, and a style feels more sophisticated and timeless than most.
One of the keys to the MDX's look, which seems contemporary at one moment and more traditional at another, is its combination of carefully sculpted sheetmetal applied to a fairly upright body--in a way that's not at all heavy-handed. This is most apparent at the rear pillar, where a rounded arc edging the rear side window, plus a curvaceous stretch of sheetmetal at the rear flank, combine to make the MDX appear more rakish than it is.
There's one letdown to the design, perhaps, and that's tghe brash front end; dubbed everything from a bottle opener to a "bionic beaver," the theme has never quite hit the elegant yet precise look and feel that underwrites most of Acura's vehicles.
Inside, Milano leather, wood-grain trim, and a dash that cascades downward at the center stack all help establish right away that the MDX is fully a luxury vehicle. The dash is a little more upright than that of Acura's cars, but it continues many of the same themes and looks well-tailored, with clear gauges and a restrained look. The only exception from both a design and practicality standpoint is that the instrument panel can seem just a bit too cluttered.
The Acura MDX is tastefully done inside and out and bridges the line between crossovers and a traditional SUV look.