If you’re shopping for a three-row SUV – and sales figures for the past few years suggest many Canadians are doing exactly that – Acura will be more than happy to point you in the direction of their MDX. Starting at $57,900 plus destination, this all-wheel drive hauler is the fourth-generation to wear this badge and was recently refurbished to maintain its place as the flagship of Acura showrooms.
Under the hood is a 3.5-litre direct injection V6 making a wholly reasonable if entirely average 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Unlike some of its competitors, the MDX deploys a 10-speed automatic with real gears
instead of a sad-sack CVT. All-wheel drive is standard equipment as is an adaptive damper system designed to smooth out bumps even better than a professional butler ironing formal wear.
Acura has finally found its way out of the styling wilderness, ditching the guillotine-like grille a few years ago and concentrating their efforts on a natty so-called Diamond Pentagon nosepiece and a much more cohesive overall design. The entry-level MDX is infuriatingly only available in hues found on the grayscale; adding insult to injury is the brand’s decision to charge extra for even milquetoast choices like Majestic Black and Platinum White. Only the Lunar Silver shown here is a no-charge paint option. Still useful features like a front wiper de-icer and heated side mirrors are standard kit. There’s a washer on the rear camera for when life gets muddy.
An enormous 12.3-inch colour centre display is included on all MDX crossovers, with the entry trim missing only navigation tools from its box of tricks. Alexa built-in, wireless device charging, and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are some of the system’s highlights. A premium sound system with nine speakers and a subwoofer takes care of the tunes. Driving aids like adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, traffic jam assist, and a lane keeping system with haptic feedback are also on board. A panoramic moonroof, tri-zone climate control, and front seats trimmed in fake leather with a dozen different adjustment planes round out the well-equipped entry-level trim of MDX.
What We'd Choose
Knowing the brand’s ELS Studio premium audio system is worth the cash, making a $4,000 walk to the Tech trim is this author’s recommendation. Along with a hands-free liftgate (both open and close!), heated seats for second row ankle biters, and a better choice of colours – get the Obsidian Blue Pearl – this second rung on the MDX latter seems to be the better deal.
Of course, one doesn’t get even a scintilla of extra power by upgrading to the Tech trim. In fact, output remains the same until one reaches the tasty $79,000 Type S model which is motivated by a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 good for 355 horses and a like amount of torque. But unless you absolutely must be the first to soccer or hockey practice, the MDX Tech will check a lot of boxes for most Canadians.