By Shari Prymak
The luxury SUV has pretty much become the default choice of daily transportation among many affluent consumers, and, as far as large luxury SUV’s go, few are as popular among consumers as the MDX.
Despite sharing its bones with lower-end Honda Pilot, the MDX looks and feels the way a proper luxury SUV should. Sure, it has the high ride height, cargo hauling and flexible seven passenger carrying capability that many SUV shoppers look for. But beyond that, it excels at two of the most important luxury car qualities of all: comfort and silence. The ride is as plush as a down comforter and the cabin is so silent that you feel as though you are contained in a different dimension cut off from the world.
The drivetrain consists of the familiar 3.5L, V6 mated to a new 9-speed automatic transmission. Although many MDX owners probably won’t use their vehicles for towing, it’s nice to know that the MDX is capable of pulling 5000lb behind its backside. That may be a good thing, however, because, without any cargo besides myself, the MDX still drank around 12.0L/100km in mixed city and highway commuting.
If you are the type who values, well, value, then the MDX will not disappoint. For the base MSRP of $52,990, standard kit includes leather seating, heated front seats, power adjustable steering column and front seats with memory, LED headlights, climate control, sunroof, power tailgate, back-up camera, and Acura’s intelligent Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system (SH-AWD).
There upper trim levels add features like GPS navigation, premium entertainment system, premium leather, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring system, and many other high-tech gadgets. They can also drive the MSRP north of 60 grand. For the best value, I’d go with the well-equipped NAVI trim for an MSRP of $55,990.
As far as large luxury ‘utes go, you will be hard pressed to find one as well-rounded as the MDX. The Lexus RX350 is a great alternative, but it can only seat five. The Volvo XC90, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GL, and Audi Q7, though all very nice, are too pricey, especially with options.
The MDX is a luxury ‘ute for those who want it all. It offers comfort, refinement, practicality, safety, and value at, or above, benchmark levels. And given Acura’’s quality history, the MDX should also prove to be a reliable vehicle if you plan to buy one for the long haul.
I recently discovered that the MDX currently is, and has been for a while, Acura’s best selling vehicle. I’m not surprised; in fact, I would have been surprised if it wasn’t.