This review originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Northern & Central California Cruisin’ News published out of Folsom, California – mg
And while getting a luxury sport-utility vehicle wearing a $58,000 sticker price is certainly something special, it doesn’t get the heart racing like, say, a Corvette or a wickedly overpowered Mustang.
A three-row, seven-passenger SUV doesn’t have that kind of spice and … What the ????!!!
My MDX tester (PHOTO by Charles Glover) shows up in all its silver paint splendor, and I see right away that it’s equipped with a NINE-speed automatic transmission and an upgraded AWD system, wearing the name
Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. The front end of the thing has a
grille-by-NASCAR look and that is accentuated to the max by a string of “Jewel
Eye” LED headlights.
Further inspection of this seriously-made-over-for-2016 model reveals push-button gear shifting (I can hear the purists howling from here!!!) and a four-wheel independent suspension. Naturally, this being an Acura and priced higher than my first house, it’s loaded with enough comfort, convenience and safety perks to fill a big-city phone book.
Even as I start it up, I don’t know what to expect, given that laundry list of somewhat surprising features related to forward movement. About a half hour later, I’m pretty impressed.
Luxurious and quiet cutting through the wind, this MDX is also a performer, reaching a level that far exceeds the advertised 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 290 horsepower. And I’m not used to seven-passenger SUVs responding so quickly and enthusiastically when I mash my right foot to the floor.
The run-up through the nine gears is seamless and pleasingly rapid. Handling is downright sedan-like. The MDX felt totally secure and in control in my hands. I already know that this MDX is a big-seller in the Acura lineup, and now I’m thinking: “Wait until folks get a load of this upgraded version.”
For all its high-spirited energy propelling a weighty vehicle, the MDX gets pretty good fuel mileage at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
Cargo-carrying configurations run the gamut with moving second-row seats and folding third-row seats to produce a formidable package hauler. There’s even a handy sub-floor storage space at the very back to hide a briefcase or similar-size item.
The list of safety features is incredibly long, with enough on-board warning systems to save your bacon even if you’re asleep at the wheel. I found the front-end system warning system a little too fast on the draw, however. It seemed perpetually convinced that I was going to ram the car in front of me during typical rush-hour commutes on the freeway.
There are small, cool touches that I found interesting. For example, the digital display showing the desired interior cabin temperature would flash red when I upped the automatic control and blue when I pushed down to make it colder. A small thing for sure, but nifty.
All this was pleasant. Rarely am I surprised by a vehicle these days, but this MDX did the trick. As year-over-year improvements go, the 2016 MDX is a winner in the high-end SUV segment.