Acura presents its third generation of 3-row luxury SUVs with the all-new 2014 Acura MDX, designed to offer better comfort, performance and connectivity than its competitors. Available with a single-engine option- a 3.5l, 24-valve V6 with a torque of 267 lbft and power of 290hp, the 2014 MDX is a package of high-end amenities and sporty-driving dynamics. Priced at $42,490 (MSRP), it offers a lucrative advantage of $990 over its predecessor. This new version of MDX also sports a more compact look with a sleeker frame and a 17% improvement in aerodynamic drag over its 2013 version.
Visually, the new 2014 MDX version appears to be a lot more compact than its predecessor with a 1.5-inch reduction in height and 1.3-inch reduction in width. On the other hand, the wheelbase is stretched by 2.6 inches with an overall increase in the vehicle length by 2.0 inches.
The redesigned interior is more promising with a less-cluttered and more user-friendly center stack sporting nine hard buttons as opposed to the unnecessary 41 in the previous model. Even with the noticeable reduction in dimensions, the size feels just about right making maneuvering in parking lots less cumbersome.
The 2014 MDX comes with a number of standard features which include Jewel Eye LED headlights, motorized second-row seating sporting a one-touch walk-in feature for convenient third-row access, a push-button, keyless start, a 432 watt powerful sound system with a 3-layer acoustic windshield and window glass and an expanded-view driver mirror. Additional features include Bluetooth, SMS text messaging, Pandora, a multi-angle view camera and an 8-inch multi-information touch-screen.
This new incarnation of Acura sports a new efficient engine enhanced with an SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) and 6-speed standard automatic transmission that, together, provide an estimated figure of 18/27 mpg in the city/highway in all-wheel drive mode, a massive change from the previous 16/21. The VCM or variable cylinder management enables a swift change from V6 to the 3-cylinder mode for a smooth drive on the highway. The 2014 MDX, is the first ever to come with a front wheel drive that not only saves weight but is also responsible for an enhanced economy rating of 17% increase in the EPA over the previous model. Although Acura has not disclosed the 0-60mph acceleration yet, the German North Loop testing revealed an 8-second increase in lap time.
The 2014 MDX trim levels:
The new 2014 Acura MDX is available in four trims levels, each available in the standard- FWD and SH-AWD models:
- The standard MDX
- The MDX Tech- with a technology package
- The MDX Navi- with technology and rear entertainment package
- The MDX Elite with advance package.
The 2014 MDX comes with a body of lightweight materials- aluminium, magnesium and high-strength steel- a perfect combination that allows for a walloping weight drop of 275 pounds that gives it a huge leap from its industry competitors. Also, nothing beats the convenient one-touch walk-in feature that slides and folds the second-row seats on the push of a button.
While the company’s efforts to slim down the 2014 MDX can be appreciated, there is no denying that it is still ponderous from the point of view of size. Also, it could have done better with a magnetic suspension and a better feedback for the hydraulic steering system.
Despite the underwhelming outward redesign, the combination of the light-weight construction and motorized middle-row seats along with fuel-efficiency and reasonable pricing, it is easy to settle for this high-end performance SUV. The 2014 Acura MDX comes as a winner in the market, sure to dominate in its segment which includes the Infiniti KX35, Buick Enclave and Audi Q7.