We’ve seen styling as one of several key components to the MDX’s continued success over the years, and it’s clear that Acura wasn’t out to shake up the formula in the 2014 MDX. It’s within a few inches of the outgoing model in almost every respect, but a somewhat sleeker profile, more curvaceous sheetmetal, and some new, precise front-end details serve to give it a leaner look overall.
While Acura’s smaller RDX looks a bit larger with the last redesign it received, for 2013, the effect is pretty much the opposite with the new MDX. A more tapered roofline, somewhat more chiseled front end, and an even smoother rear-end design all serve to make this latest MDX impress as something that’s close than ever to a sport wagon.
Our editors are split on whether Acura’s ‘beak’ front end works, but we think that it’s much more flattering on the brand’s utility vehicles—and this new MDX—than on its sedans. A relatively simple front airdam design, complemented by crisp matte-chrome details and ‘jewel-eye’ LED headlamps, altogether gives this model a streamlined, elegant look, and while in back the MDX runs the risk of being generic, with its integrated tailpipe and ‘lined’ LED lamps, it all fits in.
Inside, Acura has paid much more attention to properly coordinated materials and trims, and it shows. And from a design standpoint, the dash, with its sloping, tiered look and V-shaped center stack, is a step more in pace with those in Acura’s sedans. We’re not entirely in love with the center stack's functionality—see the Quality (Comfort) and Features sections for more on that—but we like the way the entire dash fits in with the rest of the cabin, from a design standpoint.
If we have a complaint about the interior styling, it’s that the interior is only offered in four interior hues—Parchment, Eucalyptus, Graystone, and Ebony. A few more are on the way, an Acura official told us, but it’s a surprisingly limited, conservative range of possibilities at a time when the Acura’s European rivals seem to be offering almost countless possibilities with various lines, trim packages, and accessories.