The Acura MDX gets some updating for 2019 but Honda’s upscale brand doesn’t tinker with all of the features that made the MDX the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time. The MDX is still very well equipped with a smooth, capable ride and costs less than many rivals.
The MDX comes in just one trim and then you choose packages and options to get the features you want. The base MDX starts at $44,300. The MDX with Technology Package starts at $49,300. The MDX with Entertainment Package starts at $51,300. My tester, the MDX with A-Spec Package starts at $54,800. The MDX with Advance Package starts at $56,050. Acura’s all-wheel-drive system SH-AWD is available on all trims.
The A-Spec trim has been around for more than a decade on the TL, and for 2019 is reintroduced on the TLX, and added to the RDX and MDX. It makes the MDX stand out from the SUV crowd with A-Spec badging, red or black leather sport seats with Alcantara inserts and contrast stitching.
On the outside, the 2019 MDX looks more athletic and aggressive.
It’s powered by a 3.5-liter direct injected V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque paired with a new nine-speed automatic transmission and push-button shifter in the center console.
There’s plenty of smooth power for most driving situations, although some competitors do have livelier handling. Still, the MDX is fairly quick off the line and accelerating at freeway speeds feels effortless. Steering is responsive. The ride is fairly firm but still comfortable.
You can choose from Comfort, Normal and Sport modes to tweak the driving dynamics to your liking. The relatively small A-pillars make for good visibility all the way around.
All in all, the MDX is pleasant to drive whether you’re inching in busy city traffic or cruising on a road trip. You’ll likely forget that you’re driving a full-sized crossover that weighs more than two tons!
Fuel efficiency is good for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 21. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Models with front-wheel-drive are rated at 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.
The roomy and airy cabin has mostly upscale materials but the interior isn’t as posh as some rivals. There’s room for seven passengers with bench seating in the second row, or six passengers with the optional captain’s chairs. Passengers in the first and second row enjoy good leg- and headroom, while the third row is best suited to smaller kids, as is usually the case. Getting into the third row is easy. Just push a button on the second row and it quickly folds to provide access.
All MDX models come standard with AcuraWatch, several driver assistance technologies including forward collision warning, automatic braking, lane-departure warnings, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.
Standard features on the MDX include a moonroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, two-screen infotainment system with an eight-inch display on top and a seven-inch touch screen below, six USB ports, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Siri Eyes Free.
Options include remote start, GPS-linked climate control, AcuraLink telematics system, navigation, a 10-, 11-, or 12-speaker ELS audio system, HD Radio, voice recognition, two USB ports in the third row, 110-volt power outlet, and a nine-inch or 16.2-inch rear-seat entertainment system with two wireless headphones.
The two-screen infotainment system takes some getting used to as each screen controls different functions. Thankfully the system has a logical interface and responds quickly to touch or voice commands. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay make it easy to pair your smartphone.
Storage space is about average for the class. The MDX has 15 cubic feet of storage with all three rows of seating in place, 38.4 cubes with the third row folded and 68.4 cubes with the second and third rows folded. There’s also a hidden storage area underneath the cargo floor. A power liftgate is standard.
Low starting price for the class
Lots of features and technology for the money
Nimble handling for a large crossover
Smooth, comfortable ride
A-Spec trim provides sportier option
Decent fuel economy for the class
Seats six or seven passengers while some competitors seat eight
Some rivals have more athletic handling
Interior not as posh as other luxury brands
My tester starts at $54,800. Exterior color upcharge is $400. Destination fee is $995 bringing the grand total to $56,195.
The 2019 Acura MDX stays competitive in the full-size SUV category. It boasts a ton of premium features and technology, a smooth ride, and a roomy and comfortable cabin at a lower price tag than many rivals. The addition of the A-Spec trim gives buyers another option and will make you look super sharp as you’re hauling a gaggle of passengers!