2014 Acura MDX Photo
/ 10
On Performance
On Performance
Busy parents or empty-nesters expecting a responsive driving experience will find plenty to satisfy here in the 2014 Acura MDX.
8.0 out of 10
Shopping for a new Acura MDX?


PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

remains among the sportiest and most dynamic three-row SUVs extant
Car and Driver

the MDX drives in the same self-effacing way – coolly comfortable and always steady on its feet, as if it has been this way before
Automobile Magazine

The Integrated Dynamics system sees Acura finally following the German builders with a pushbutton setup and performance settings including Normal, Comfort and Sport modes
MSN Autos

The carry-over six-speed automatic isn’t great. Whether in Sport mode or through the steering-wheel-mounted paddles, shifts aren’t as quick as those executed by state-of-the-art seven- or eight-speed automatics offered by German competitors.
Car and Driver

The Acura is lighter on its feet and planted through the corners. And yet here is a crossover that delivers near Lexus-like ride quality and quietness.
Popular Mechanics

The 2014 MDX is powered by a 290-horsepower version of Acura’s always-excellent 3.5-liter V-6 engine—now fed with direct injection and kosher with the full suite of Honda’s so-called Earth Dreams technologies. Across the lineup, it’s mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that includes steering-wheel paddle shifters.

Click down to the 'S' mode and click the paddle-shifters, and you get quick throttle-blip downshifts. Furthermore, it's closer to a true manual mode, as the transmission here will actually let you hold onto gears—all the way up to redline, or all the way down to where you're starting to lug the engine.

The so-called Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system that’s available in the MDX (yes, front-wheel drive is now standard, if that’s all you need) provides more all-weather traction, and even a little more cornering control in some situations, and it can vary front-wheel torque distribution from 90 percent down to 30 percent (70 percent to the rear)—or up to a hundred percent to either the left or right wheels.

Acura has worked to mitigate torque steer by changing the geometry in front, reducing the driveshaft angles and the center offset. The powertrain itself has been lowered, too. Likewise, the former model's trailing-arm rear suspension setup has been dumped, in favor of a multi-link, coil-over-damper layout.

New amplitude-reactive dampers reduce the damping force for high-frequency inputs—jittery pavement surfaces, for example—while hydraulic sub-frame mount bushings help seal out road vibration. Acura claims that the new approach improves ride comfort with no trade-off to handling.

For the most part, they're right. Although the MDX's steering feel might not feel quite as crisp, or transmit as much feel of the road, as that of the previous version, the vehicle as a whole feels surprisingly capable and coordinated when driven near the limit.


Busy parents or empty-nesters expecting a responsive driving experience will find plenty to satisfy here in the 2014 Acura MDX.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »

Would You Prefer a Free Dealer Price Quote?

With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
There are no dealers in our network that are located near the ZIP code. Please change your ZIP code or see cars for sale near you.
Update ZIP Code
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
Used Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

© 2015 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.