Make us your home page
Instagram
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers: Acura MDX is a fun and luxurious SUV

We've both been longtime fans of Acura's MDX and a recent drive only confirms our views. The MDX is a star of the brand's lineup, and it might be one of the best all-around midsize luxury SUVs on the market.

Appearance: The MDX has a chiseled look, with slightly flared fenders and just a hint of resemblance to its smaller cousin, the Honda CR-V, in its roofline. It has Acura's signature metallic-shield grille, which we think works better on the MDX than on some of its siblings. The grille is complemented below by angled air scoops with silver accents. The wraparound headlamps give the front end a unified look. In the rear, the liftgate gets a subtle spoiler. The 19-inch alloy wheels, which are optional with the Advance Package, and the dual exhaust add even more bling.

Performance: Acura tuned the MDX on Germany's famed Nurburgring track and it shows. The 3.7-liter 300-horsepower V-6 is plenty powerful and has lively acceleration. We like the Super Handing All Wheel Drive, which Lyra knows from her own Acura RDX. The SH-AWD keeps the car planted, adjusts for driving conditions and makes for nimble handling for the 4,600-pound vehicle. Still, Peter found the steering feel to be too light. Whether in comfort or performance mode, we both found the MDX fun to drive — a quality lacking in many SUVs. In sports mode, using the paddles of the six-speed Sequential Sportshift, the transmission clicks off gear changes effortlessly and gives you more driver input. The estimated mpg isn't great: 16 city, 21 highway. Still, the 21-gallon gas tank can give you a good range.

Interior: The MDX's comfortable and well-appointed cabin is loaded with technology, which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it's fairly easy to use and has highlights that include navigation with voice recognition, rear-view camera, Bluetooth, AcuraLink Communication (real-time traffic and weather) and GPS-linked climate controls. The curse is, that with all that gadgetry, the steering wheel and console are cluttered. Our quiet tester was outfitted in light taupe, which brightened the cabin and kept the plush, perforated-leather seats from getting too hot. That's perfect for the Florida sun. The dash and interior are trimmed in burl wood, faux metal and soft-touch leather and plastic. The fit and finish are, as we've come to expect from Acura, precise. The third-row seats are best-suited for kids. A nit: The AC is loud, even at low speeds. The MDX does have good cargo space — up to 83.5 cubic feet with the rear seats dow .

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Driving feel: It gives you confidence behind the wheel.

Interior: The fit and finish are first-rate.

Powertrain: The new-to-MDX six-speed clicks through shifts rapidly.

Lyra Solochek

SH-AWD: You can whip through turns with sure-footed control and minimal body roll.

110-volt outlet: For electronics with regular plugs.

Plush seats: Perforated leather seats have good support for a comfortable ride.

The bottom line: The Acura MDX packs fun, practicality and luxury into a crossover SUV, which is no small feat.









2011

Acura MDX

Price: $42,930 start, $53,440 as tested

Powertrain: 3.7-liter SOHC

V-TEC V-6, 6-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift, SH-AWD, variable-assist rack-and-pinion power steering.

Horsepower: 300 at 6,300 rpm

Torque: 270 pound-feet at 4,500 rpm

Curb weight: 4,645 pounds

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 108.3

Length, 191.6

Width, 78.5

Seats: 7

Fuel economy:

16 miles per gallon city, 21 mpg highway

Fuel type:

Premium unleaded

Safety features: ABS, airbags and curtains, rollover sensor, vehicle stability assist, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, side-impact door beam, collision mitigation braking system, blind spot warning, backup camera, adaptive cruise control, auto-leveling headlights. Website: acura.com/mdx

The Daily Drivers: Acura MDX is a fun and luxurious SUV 10/28/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 28, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]