2015 Acura MDX SH-AWD Advance review notes

I'm not really too impressed with the design. It looks too generic compared to all the other SUV's out today.
FROM: AN
Smooth powertrain highlights Acura’s MDX
[b:4e9bea1b88] ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG[/b:4e9bea1b88]: As Acura is busy rebuilding its sedan portfolio with the new TLX and updated ILX, its SUV/crossover lineup continues to hum away smoothly with brisk sales of the smaller RDX and the three-row MDX. The RDX didn’t really catch on until Acura debuted the second-generation model a couple of years ago replacing the first version that wasn’t ideally suited for the mass market with a peaky turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a chassis that was sprung much too stiffly. But Acura seemingly got things right with the MDX from the beginning.
It never been perfect (because nothing ever is), but the MDX consistently been at the top or near the top of the luxury three-row crossover segment in my opinion overall. With this third-generation model that launched for the 2014 model year, Acura right-sized it, tried to remedy some interior complaints, and began offering a front-wheel drive model as a more affordable alternative for customers who didn’t necessarily need the SH-AWD system.
The body is a little a narrower than the previous model to make maneuvering around tight parking lots and structures easier. You can tell that the cabin doesn’t feel quite as expansive as before, but honestly the old car did feel freaking wide. Like I said, it feels right sized now.
There were roughly 40 buttons on the old center console, which some people found overwhelming. To drastically reduce the hard button count, there’s a touchscreen now that controls all infotainment and climate functions. I do have to take the touchscreen to task because I think Acura went a little too far with it and implemented too many things into it. Do you want to adjust fan speed? You need to do it through the touchscreen, sometimes having to sift through two menus. Want to adjust your heated seats? That’s in the touchscreen, too. Some things are better left to be controlled by a regular button or knob, in my opinion. Thankfully, audio volume is controlled by a knob.
The silky smooth 3.5-liter V6 remains and is connected to a slick six-speed automatic transmission. I challenge anyone to find me a smoother V6 than the Honda/Acura 3.5-liter unit. Power is definitely serviceable for all daily challenges like merging onto freeways, and it briskly gets going from a dead stop.
Suspension tuning is about right, providing a smooth enough ride quality, while also being firm enough to keep the MDX from feeling sloppy in corners. For something so big, it’s a confident handler. I’ve said this before, but I still do miss the magnetic dampers that were available on the old model, but I also do understand the fact that it was a pricier system. Steering weight could be adjusted, but most of the time I kept it in normal mode that offered just the right amount of heft.
Getting back to the interior, the materials throughout are nice and my backseat passengers had no complaints about room. It was easy to find a comfortable seating position behind the wheel and the front bucket seats are really comfortable and offered a good amount of support.
If you’re looking for a luxury three-row SUV, it remains very tough to beat the Acura MDX. You could look at the Infiniti QX60 (formerly the JX35), but then you would have to live with a continuously variable transmission. They're getting better, but I still would rather not have one. The new Volvo XC90 looks promising, but I haven’t driven that yet. So the Acura is still my pick at this moment in this class. [b:4e9bea1b88] EDITOR WES RAYNAL[/b:4e9bea1b88]: The previous generation MDX had so many buttons on the center console, I remember once sitting in the garage and counting them. I can’t remember how many there were, but it was a ton. This new MDX has far fewer and thus the center stack looks cleaner, but somehow Honda has made it harder to perform simple tasks like switching from AM to FM or turning on the seat heaters. With most functions controlled by the touchscreen, there’s now (at least) an extra step involved, adding distraction. Example: Want to turn up the fan speed? It’s not a matter of hitting just the fan speed. First you have to get to the screen wherein the fan speed buttons lie, then do the adjustment, then x out of that screen to go on to whatever next function you want. Frustrating.
OK. Rant over, on to the driving: Honda’s V6 remains one of the smoothest powerplants in the business and returns damned fine fuel economy -- the in-dash trip computer was showing as much as 27 mpg, admirable for an AWD three-row crossover spending its weekend sloshing through snowy/icy roads.
The all-wheel drive keeps the thing fairly planted no matter the road conditions and the driving was solid and quiet all weekend.
With the latest sales numbers sitting on my desk as I type this I see Acura moved almost 4,200 MDXs last month, a slight increase over last year, and more than all Acura passenger cars combined. It’s also more than Mercedes-Benz ML-class and BMW X5, but fewer than Lexus RX. View the attachments for this post at: http://www.jlaforums.com/viewtopic.php?p28915317#328915317
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Hi, Personally I don't care much about how it looks. I am more interested in refinement in engineering and driveability.
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail-dot-com.no-spam.invalid (cazza13) wrote:

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