2020 Acura MDX

model. 2020 Acura MDX

price. $45,395 (incl $995 dest) 

as tested. $56,295 (SH- AWD A-Spec)

seating/style. 6-7-pass/4-door SUV

powertrain. 290-hp 3.5-liter V6

transmission. Nine-speed auto

driveline. FWD, AWD available

fuel economy. 19/25/21

available. now

also shop: BMW X5, Audi Q7, GMC Acadia Denali

The popular Acura MDX is a premium crossover mainstay. It offers attractive exterior styling with seating for six or a cozy seven, ideal for active families. The SH-AWD A-Spec I drove features a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine with a 9-speed smooth-shifting automatic transmission. Acceleration is good, although handling feels heavy and not as athletic as competitors; think draft horse versus Thoroughbred, even with “super handling” (SH) AWD. The ride quality is composed and the brakes sharp, but require a firm press to engage stop-start.

 

The cabin materials are recently upgraded and the A-Spec provides Alcantara suede inserts and sporty, comfortable seats. Acurawatch driver assistance, standard in every MDX, delivers non-intrusive and highly useful audio and haptic feedback.

 

The MDX has two large center-dash screens: a high mounted one for visibility and a smaller lower one within comfortable touch-screen distance. But the system is cumbersome, with the volume knob awkwardly placed. Voice recognition was poor, with “Pardon?” a frequent (and maddening) refrain. It may take time (read: weeks) mastering this system.

 

If budget allows, add the Technology Package ($5,000) and AWD ($2,000). The MDX won’t disappoint, but shop around, as competition is fierce in this category.

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