2020 Acura MDX
When you shop for a luxury mid-size SUV, what do you consider before you buy? Is it space? Passenger comfort? Looks? How about the nameplate?
This is why you should not only be surprised by how the Acura MDX will satisfy families. It offers plenty of style and luxury at more attainable price.
We had a chance to drive a 2020 MDX with the sporty A-Spec trim. Maybe this is the luxury SUV you might need?
The overall design of the Acura MDX has been around for a few years. A mid-cycle refresh came a few years later to align itself to the brand’s new diamond grille aesthetic. Today, that look remains as handsome and distinctive, as ever. That also includes the Jewel-Eye headlamps that not only looks great – it lights up the roadway at night just fine.
The roofline ends with a semi-fastback look that offers true three-row space. There is nothing squared off and angled on the MDX.
Our tester is the A-Spec trim level, which mixes sportiness with the MDX’s luxury. On our tester, the dark grey 20-inch 8-spoke alloy wheels, dual exhaust ports, and blacked-out trim around the side windows make the A-Spec stand out among other MDXs in any parking lot.
There are seven seats positioned over three rows. The front seats are big with shoulder bolstering, which might not work for all bodies behind the wheel. All three rows are upholstered in a mix of leather and Alcantara. We found the second row comfortable, but the third row to be relegated for seating children only.
The big knob on the center stack handles the function of the dual screens in the middle – the lower one is a touch screen that operates most functions. The instrument binnacle offers straightforward readouts between two sizeable dials, a couple of additional gauges and a TFT center screen. Every switch and control are solid to the touch, especially the ones of the thick-rimmed steering wheel. We also like the monochromatic interior scheme with the glossy black trim pieces and Alcantara inserts.
As for cargo space, the third row seats folds flat to the rear cargo hold. With the rear seats down, we had 38.4 cubic feet of space to work with. With the third row up, that would reduce our space to 14.9 cubic feet. Fold all seats down, and we have a maximum capacity of 68.4 cubic feet.
Our MDX A-Spec tester had the 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 underneath its hood. It is connected to a push-button actuated 9-speed automatic transmission and Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. Performance was fine, when kept in Normal mode. Putting the MDX in Sport mode will require some engagement from the paddle shifters to help smooth things out from the transmission.
As for fuel economy, the MDX with SH-AWD should be able to achieve 19 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway.
We like the MDX’s ride quality, even with the 20-inch wheels. For its size, it certainly feels big. Yet, it is very maneuverable and handles extremely well. The steering is quite good with decent on-road feel and response. It has a tighter turning radius compared to other vehicles in its class. The brakes are superb. Pedal response is great and offered good stops in normal and panic situations.
Pricing for the 2020 MDX lineup starts at $44,500. Our A-Spec tester came with a sticker price of $56,425.
The MDX plays in a segment where image, luxury, and badge are the most important bullet points for a customer in this market. Its competitors include the Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5, Audi Q7, Jaguar F-Pace, Cadillac XT6, Lincoln Aviator, Buick Enclave, Volvo XC90, Lexus RX L, and Infiniti QX60.
However, Acura offers a great value in a luxury mid-size SUV. With three rows of seats and a choice of luxury and sporty trims, an MDX customer can’t really go wrong. Not to mention, 34 years of building a brand that offers a different take on an image-driven segment.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors