Who would think a midsize crossover would be a company’s best selling vehicle. Well Acura’s 2014 seven passenger AWD MDX is a top seller as it was in prior years. But the 2014 has been made even better since it has been redesigned with a host of refinements. It boasts a quieter interior, a lengthy list of standard amenities and a new front end that smoothed the beak grille of earlier models. And added were five sexy shark eye headlamps per side.
Prior to the 2014 model, the MDX used a Honda Pilot and before that a Honda Odyssey minivan platform. But the 2014 is built on a completely new platform that provides more interior space. It allows for a new second row power sliding seats (5.9 inches fore & aft) for easier third row access, plus it affords either more leg or cargo room.
When perusing the window sticker of the MDX, it’s surprising to see that there are no extra cost options. That’s because Acura included everything but the kitchen sink. Actually the only extra cost is for delivery. To say the MDX is loaded is an understatement.
The Tech Package, for example, includes such niceties as a 115-volt power outlet, heated rear seats, rear door window shades, a rear seat entertainment system with a 9-inch screen and more.
The Advanced and Entertainment packages include remote start, auto dimming side-view mirrors, collision mitigation system, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise, upgraded entertainment system with 16.2-inch screen, roof rails and more.
The latter is a sore subject with our son who bought a ’14 MDX and spent an extra $1000 for the rails because he didn’t opt for these packaged deals. The problem is, the rails are solid strips (essentially ornamental) since he couldn’t secure a Christmas tree to them, as there are no openings to tie it down.
That aside, the MDX has loads of grunt from its standard 3.5-liter, 290-hp (267 lb/ft of torque) V6. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the MDX does not want for power. It has EPA mileage ratings of 18 city, 27-highway and carries a tow rating of up to 5,000 pounds.
The MDX is laden with a host of safety equipment to include ABS, front-seat side airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, agile handling assist dynamic braking, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor and much more.
Acura designers did a commendable job on the interior that requires a mere 19-inch step-in. Perforated leather seats are supportive and sofa soft. The vertical stack houses an 6.75x4.5-inch LCD screen for GPS nav, audio and a multi-angle rearview camera. Then there’s another 6x3.5-inch display for operator information and vehicle warnings.
MDX’s seats heated quicker than others, but they require several touches on the screen to select settings. When selecting heat, a neat orange rectangular display shows the desired temperature setting. The higher the setting, the brighter the rectangle gets. And on the center stack a silver dial serves as an operational mouse.
Back in the cargo area and with the third row seats up, the area measures 20 inches deep, 45.5 wide and 29 high (15.8 cubic feet). Fold the third row and depth reaches 46.5 inches and with the second row flipped, there’s 80 inches of depth. There’s also a nifty underfloor storage bin measuring 37x15.5x6.5 inches. Cargo load height is an easy 30.5 inches.
As for the AWD system, a four-wheel display shows which wheel is applying the traction. And the application is seamless.
Another neat feature is that the doors lock/unlock automatically when nearing the vehicle provided the keyfob is on you.
Ride wise, MDX is smooth and quiet and a great vehicle to take for the long ride to Orlando with the kids in tow. Handling too is taut with nary any body lean in sharp turns taken at speed.
As a luxury crossover, the MDX, with all the aforementioned goodies, priced out at $57,400 with delivery. This puts it in a crowded class of which some are higher priced while others are a bit lower in price. Price aside, the MDX retains quality build and luxurious comfort.
Stop by Lehigh Valley Acura to test-drive an MDX for yourself. And to automatically receive auto news and reviews from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.