2019 Acura MDX Review


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2019 Acura MDX Overview

Acura’s midsize luxury SUV, the MDX, surprised the press at the recent New York Auto Show with a new submodel that’s a bit more sporty and aggressive than the standard version. Called the A-Spec, it adds a different front fascia and side sills, wider exhaust tips, dark accent trim, and exclusive 20-inch aluminum wheels. On the inside, A-Spec buyers can choose between black or red leather seats with black Alcantara inserts, and the seats feature nifty contrast stitching. The gauges and steering wheel are both different and sportier as well and as are the pedals and door sills. Otherwise, the new A-Spec offers the same configuration under the hood as the normal MDX, and Acura hasn’t announced any major changes to the model for 2019. Since it got a revision for 2017, it’s understandable that Acura would bank on the A-Spec announcement to make enough of a splash, and it seems like it has. Pricing for the 2019 range, including the A-Spec, hasn’t been announced yet, but last year’s model started at a little over $44,000 for a base, front-wheel-drive (FWD) model.

Under the sharp, creased hood of the MDX, all models get a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, which drives either the front or all four wheels through a 9-speed automatic. The MDX is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is enough for hauling but nothing very serious. The new A-Spec model is offered with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. As for fuel economy, the MDX is about average for its class, with a rating of 19 mpg city, 27 highway, and 22 combined for FWD versions and 20 city, 27 highway, and 23 combined when equipped with the optional stop/start ignition. All-wheel drive versions drop to 18 city, 26 highway, and 21 combined or 19 city, 26 highway, and 22 combined with stop/start. A hybrid version of the MDX is available, but it is covered as a separate model.

The MDX has been highly praised as one of the most comfortable and high-tech vehicles in its class. The front features a large storage bin, and several well-placed cubbies sit throughout the cabin. Rear passengers have plenty of room, and second-row captain’s chairs are available in place of the standard bench seat. The third row is a little smaller, but it’s fine for children. The MDX boasts 15, 38.4, or 68.4 cubic feet of storage, depending on the placement of the rear seats. Leather upholstery, keyless ignition, a moonroof, heated power front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, several USB ports, eight-speaker stereo, and an 8.0-inch information display screen are all standard features, and so are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A rear seat entertainment package with heated second-row seats, a 9.0-inch screen with Blu Ray player in the rear, a power outlet, and 11-speaker stereo are optional extras.

Adding an available Technology package gets buyers a navigation system, an HD radio, a few extra safety features, and a remote starter, and an Advance package adds everything in the Technology package plus a surround-view camera, stop/start ignition, cooled front seats, wood accents, two more USB ports for the third row seats, and heated seats for the second row. A-Spec models get all the aforementioned sportier seats and trim, but are otherwise the same as other MDX models.

In federal crash testing, the MDX has gotten five stars overall, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives it Top Safety Pick status. The new A-Spec model, as well as all other MDX models, comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. The Technology package adds blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, and the Advance package adds a surround-view camera.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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