By on December 6, 2006

2007_acura_mdx_028.jpgBrace yourself gentle readers. The sophomore model Acura MDX is neither appreciably larger nor significantly heavier than the outgoing 2006 model. Yes, it’s true. In this era of automotive bloat, when the vast majority of major manufacturers cater to fashion and safety requirements with steadily-increasing automotive obesity, Acura’s engineers have attained the near impossible: improvement without additional mass. So is it a small step sideways for Acura, or a giant leap forwards for the MDX? 

The rivet counters amongst you will maintain that the redesigned MDX is 2” longer and .5” wider than the outgoing model. True; but it’s also nearly 3” shorter (without sacrificing ground clearance) and only 46 pounds portlier (a 1% increase). My unscientific conclusion on this weighty matter: the MDX’ mass has been reapportioned but not materially increased. Anyway, standing pat makes perfect sense.

2007_acura_mdx_014.jpgUnlike other midsized SUV’s, the MDX never pretended to be anything other than a tall street rod. In 2007 garb, Acura’s puddle plugger takes another stylistic step away from its [theoretical] off-road roots. The designers ditched the wheel wells’ Jeepish trapezoids for something more rounded and refined. Following this fall’s trend in CUV couture, Acura blackened the C-pillars and widened the D-pillars at the top, creating an aerodynamic downward sweeping arc of sidelights.

The MDX’ new streetwise face closes the outgoing model’s gaping open-mouth bumper, and pushes the fog lights lower and wider.  Two dimpled metal chevrons frame the Acura logo. Up close, they appear surprisingly like ornamental cheese graters. From a distance, they make the MDX front end look like the head of a giant Remington MicroScreen electric shaver – ready to trim unsightly hair from America’s highways. 

2007_acura_mdx_066.jpgIn typical Acura fashion, the MDX’ dashboard is infested with gizmology; from a 10-speaker Dolby music system that plays every post-tape audio source extant, to a sat nav system that tells you how to avoid traffic to get to your Bluetoothed reservation at a Zagat-approved restaurant. Unfortunately, swoopy swaths of pseudo wood flank the center dash’s geewhizzery. At least, I think it’s simulated wood grain; the dark, grayish, black-banded pattern that looks like the floor of a garage after brake cleaner has been sprayed on dirty disks.

The MDX’ eight-way power adjustable heated memory front seats and reclining rear chairs are elegant, comfortable and at least as supportive as an AA meeting. The Acura’s middle row is equally accommodating, offering plenty of knee room for two. The MDX’ two-plus-two arrangement relegates spare brats and unlucky (reviled?) adults to the way back. Accessing this kiddie-only cavern requires all the flexibility of youth, and most of the contortion skills of a Cirque de Soleil performer. Any buyer depending on the MDX’ third row note: when your third child hits eight, it’s time to move on.

2007_acura_mdx_008.jpgPistonheads will no doubt be tantalized by the MDX’ 3.7-liter V6’ three hundred horses (enough equines to feed a French village for six months). Needless to say, Honda (for it is they) have fettled the Hell out the MDX’ mill, tweaking it with VTEC, a dual stage intake manifold and high flow exhaust system, magnesium cylinder head covers, drive-by-wire throttle, etc. The result is a smooth spinning powerplant whose peak power and 275 ft-lbs. of torque arrive at 6000 and 5000 rpm respectively.

But the normally aspirated engine’s impressive output and refinement are hamstrung by the SUV’s bulk. Despite the aforementioned weight control measures, the MDX tips the scales at more than 2.5 tons. Both performance and efficiency suffer. The SUV fails to plant you in your seat when you put the hammer down; zizzing from rest to 60mph in 7.5 seconds. The EPA’s ever-optimistic prognosticators foretell 17/22mpg.

2007_acura_mdx_029.jpgThe MDX’ handling almost makes up for its pusillanimous ponderousness. To that end, Acura honed the new MDX’ handling on the Nürburgring. It was worth the trip. The MDX offers both exceptional poise on surfaced roads and velvety smoothness over life’s bumpy imperfections. When push comes to shove, the MDX’ really rather Super Handling All-Wheel Drive pushes the weighty beast through corners by rotating the outside rear wheel faster than the other three. An optional Sport Package enhances control with stiffer front and rear sway bars and an Active Damper System that battens down or softens the ride according to driving conditions. 

Bottom line: the MDX takes corners astoundingly well for a hulking SUV. Leaving us with a relatively slow, relatively graceful luxury car on stilts. While Acura is to be commended for adding more of everything to the MDX– luxury, performance, handling and safety– without bulking-up, someone needs to remind me again why extra ride height and SUV style is worth sacrificing a good 25% in average fuel economy over say, an Acura TL. Oh right, the third row. Perhaps Acura isn’t the only one who should try not to add weight to its existing family, or accept the Odyssey ahead.   

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99 Comments on “Acura MDX Review...”


  • avatar
    webebob

    My OUTLOOK in this MDX is a VUE towards SATURN. Who stole who’s cookie cutter?

  • avatar
    JJ

    Those rear lights look so much like those on your average Audi…especially the A4 comes to mind. I guess that was left outside the review because nobody wants to state the obvious.

  • avatar

    The A4 “eagle’s head” tail light comparison was made on TTAC when the new Civic debuted. They carry through to the MDX, flattering Ingolstadt’s imitators everywhere.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Who stole who’s cookie cutter?

    Given the looks of the just introduced 2008 Vue, it looks like the cookie cutter has frequent flyer miles from being passed between design studios.

    The A4 “eagle’s head” tail light comparison was made on TTAC when the new Civic debuted. They carry through to the MDX, flattering Ingolstadt’s imitators everywhere.

    So if the Civic came out 6 months before the revised A4 rear end did, instead of the other way around, how would we rephrase this?

  • avatar
    Travman

    It is ugly.

  • avatar
    tlcastle

    Anybody who spells the possessive form of MDX as “MDX’” instead of “MDX’s” should be beaten senseless by a stale baguette.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    its another blend-into-the-parking-lot SUV….does it really matter what it looks like?! it goes, it stops, it turns.

  • avatar
    ash78

    WTF? I’ve long had a love-hate relationship with everything Honda makes, and this one is squarely in the hate category. Get some f*cking style of your own, already!

    Profile: CRV (meh), complete with Mitsubishi fender flares (yak). Rear view: Audi everything (no surprise). Front: well, at least they kept it in the family with a funhouse mirror version of the Acura nose…but those proportions don’t look right on a larger vehicle. Maybe a Mach3 or Quattro instead of the twinblade grille?

    I want to commend them on the commendable bits, but like I said, love-hate. All in all, I think they cheapened the look. This looks like where the Pilot should be, not the MDX.

  • avatar
    tlcastle

    Doesn’t this new MDX have the dread fallopian dash first seen in the Tribeca?

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    This years designer fad – the sagging bottom lip grill. At least it’s one step above the Subaru/Edsel toilet seat.

  • avatar
    WaaaaHoooo

    So it's okay for an Acura to have a shaver grill, but Ford catches heck for throwing 3 blades on its front end. That being said, and although I wouldn't be caught dead in either, I'd take the MDX over the X5 (or Cayenne) any day.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    We’ve had our first generation MDX for 5 years now. It would be six, but we had to wait 11 months for delivery because I refused to pay more than MSRP. It has served us well – always reliable, has handled whatever we threw at it, and is comfortable on road trips.

    I like the new one, but we won’t be a buyer. While all three kids technically fit in the MDX, we know the day will come when an Odyssey will darken our driveway. The third row thing on mid-sized SUVs is really a gimmick. It’s fine for kids, provided they are old enough to put on their own seat belts and be trusted to keep them on, but it is so difficult to get to the third row that it is really just for occasional use.

    Anyhow, this was a great review of the top vehicle in a class that probably shouldn’t exist. To those who think the new MDX looks ugly in pictures, you’re right; although in person I think it works because Honda got the dimensions right.

  • avatar

    tlcastle: Anybody who spells the possessive form of MDX as “MDX’” instead of “MDX’s” should be beaten senseless by a stale baguette. Uh… I hate to be picky here, but if you're going to be the grammar police you should be careful what you write. How could a stale baguette beat anyone senseless? Someone has to swing it. I think what you meant to say was "should be beaten senseless with a stale baguette."

  • avatar
    sawaba

    Yawn. Next!

    I’d be interested to see an automotive design/engineering list of priorities and goals for a model (not necessarily this one). I know such a thing would never be released to the public, but it is fun to imagine the lists that would have been made…

    AWD
    Bluetooth
    Parking sensors
    Flak Cannon
    Improved Handling
    Suspension tuning at the Nürburgring
    Scissor doors
    Larger standard wheels
    Wider rubber
    Wings

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    No, no, no, you should be eaten senseless by a pale baquette.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    WCM-

    I take it your tester was not equipped with the active GM/Delphi magnetic suspension (Sport Supension)?

    What did you think of the handling without it?

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    I hear a lot about tuning cars at the Nürburgring lately. Is this just because I visit TTAC and Jalopnik a lot, or is this becoming common to TV and radio like “Trail rated.”

    I know I’m hearing it, but I just can’t remember where

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Third row seating in this class of vehicle is no more usefull than the third rows seats were in a 1980s Volvo wagon. What a waste.

    It seems like the MDX is about as good as it gets in this class of vehicle, but the whole category is mostly silly.

    Now where is my TSX wagon???? The European Accord is sold everwhere else as a wagon, so why not make the US version available? It would make a whole lot more sense for a large fraction of the MDX buying segment, especially if all wheel drive were an option.

    Maybe I need to move to another country :(.

  • avatar

    With three young children, I’d personally find the third row very useful.

    The wood is fake. If you want real wood in an Acura, you have to get the RL.

    Despite all of the improvements, the price remains much the same as before once you adjust for features. To compare the pricing of the MDX with the competition:

    http://www.truedelta.com/prices.php

  • avatar
    adrift

    Not to continue in the pedantic mold, but I think you mean “extant” instead of “extent” (“…that plays every post-tape audio source extent…”). :)

    lol

  • avatar
    JJ

    I hear a lot about tuning cars at the Nürburgring lately. Is this just because I visit TTAC and Jalopnik a lot, or is this becoming common to TV and radio like “Trail rated.”

    It’s quite common on TV, for instance on TopGear. By the way, I know for a fact that BMW and especially Porsche have been using Ye Olde Nürburgring (Ze Nordschleife) for decades to fine-tune their chassis setup. Quite succesfully too I would say.

    If I remember reading correctly, back in the day only Porsches that could manage a laptime below 9 minutes got the honory title “Carrera”.

    The A4 “eagle’s head” tail light comparison was made on TTAC when the new Civic debuted. They carry through to the MDX, flattering Ingolstadt’s imitators everywhere.

    Ow, ok. I guess I missed that because (for now) we only get the Civic 3- and 5 door hatchback here in Europe and the Hybrid sedan (that nobody buys btw). I don’t recall any Audi headlights on those.

  • avatar

    My bad. Sorted.

  • avatar
    finger

    Seems OK. About as exciting as watching hair grow.

  • avatar
    Jon Furst

    Can we stop with the brown top/beige bottom interiors? Pretty please?

  • avatar
    adrift

    It’s all good. I love the way you guys write. It makes reading these articles so much more entertaining than the rest. You actually use vocabularies beyond the 6th grade reading level, and aren’t afraid of off-color commentary!

    More power to you!

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    tlcastle: Anybody who spells the possessive form of MDX as “MDX’” instead of “MDX’s” should be beaten senseless by a stale baguette.

    The traditional usage of possessive polysyllabic proper nouns (such as the acronym MDX where you enunciate each letter) ending in the sibilants s, z, and x is with an apostrophe (i.e. s omitted). For instance you would write Jesus’, not Jesus’s. As you advocate, some sources recommend that all possessive proper nouns use apostrophe + s to more accurately mirror the spoken word, but this usage is not mandatory.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    Just curious.

    If 7.5 seconds is “relatively slow” in getting yet another luxo-shite-barge from hulking rest to 60, what is decent acceleration considered nowadays?

    Isn’t 7.5 pretty fast? Sub 4 seconds is supercar range, 5 to 6 seconds is spors car fast, over 6 is slowing down, and now over 7 seconds (I bet most sports cars in the 80′s were slower) is slow?

    What are the general standards here?

    Just askin’.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    In pictures I think the MDX isn’t half bad. In person it comes off the same way as many of Honda’s other recent efforts: slightly overweight. Perhaps this works well for the American market, but whenever I see an Accord (USDM), RL, or new MDX I can’t help but think it looks bloated.

    The plood on the dashboard really is nasty, and Acura needs to cease using fake wood as soon as possible. Really. It’s marginally acceptable in the TSX, but the darker stuff in the TL, RDX and MDX needs to go now.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Now where is my TSX wagon???? The European Accord is sold everwhere else as a wagon, so why not make the US version available?

    Hear hear. A TSX wagon with AWD would hit the sweet spot in the luxury sport wagon market: classier than the Outback and more affordable than the A4 Avant.

    But if I can’t get that (and I really doubt Honda’s going to start bringing wagons back to the US), how about an Acura version of the Honda Stream?

  • avatar
    jdv

    My wife has a MDX. The third row seat is far from useless.

    We don’t use it often, so it is usually folded down flat, and we don’t give up anything by it being there. But when we need to give a couple extra kids (even teenagers) a ride to the movies or mall, we’ve got a place for them to safely sit.

    Who cares if they are comfortable? We aren’t using it to travel cross country. And we never have had a need to carry 8 adults (who I would be a little more concerned about their comfort).

    Kids can be squished for short rides, especially if the alternative is to have to take 2 cars, or worse yet, be forced to drive a minivan .

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    I’d still stick with a Nissan Murano compared to all other CUV’s currently out there including the MDX and X5. It does almost everything as well or better for less money and it looks better. I admit that I’m biased since I used to own one.

    I’m actually a bit surprised that other then MB none of the luxury brands has brought out a mini-van. Rich people don’t want to be seen in anything as suburban as a Honda or Toyota, so what are they supposed to drive when they have 3 or more kids under 5?

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Eric Miller, I did drive the non-sport MDX without the electromagnetically controlled Active Damper System. It seemed suspiciously loose to me at slow speeds but really stayed composed during aggressive cornering, albeit with more lean and rebound than the ADS model. I attribute its improved agility when pushed hard to the SH-AWD that pushes you through corners (when your foot is on the accelerator, not on the brake).

  • avatar
    Jim H

    I really like the new MDX. I do appreciate the comparison to the TL as well…I was lucky enough to test drive the TL after I traded in my old TL after 7+ years…what an amazing car they have in the TL (especially the Type S). Yes, yes…it’s not perfect because it’s not AWD or RWD, but it really is a great car…and they obviously aren’t targetting sports-car junkies. :)

    Great write-up…the AA reference was a bit of a stretch however.

  • avatar

    The review doesn’t mention the most entertaining thing about the MDX: the little LCD readout that show how power is being distributed. I just wish they could stick it in an HUD, because I found myself taking my eyes off the road to see how much power I could get it to send to the outside rear wheel.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    Pasted from the X5 thread:

    jthorner wrote: “You just cannot find and beat the MDX’s features anywhere else for the price.”

    Eric Miller wrote: “GM benchmarked the previous generation MDX when they developed the Lambda large CUVs (Outlook, Acadia, Enclave). Please don’t laugh when I suggest that they come pretty close to the new one as well. Believe it or not, they also offer more features. I have driven both. The MDX is fantastic, but the Lambdas are at least 90+% as good for less than 90% the price. I was impressed, as my TTAC review (and this comment) shows. Flame suit on.”

    jthorner wrote: “Why can’t GM produce a 110% as good vehicle instead of another 90% effort? Almost as good and a bit cheaper is not a prescription for greatness or success. Once you factor in the difference in resale values the bargain priced GM vehicle isn’t a bargain.”

    Outlook vs MDX

    They’re much more similar than one would think
    Tire size, track, and suspension set ups are similar

    Outlook beats MDX on:

    Useable third row seating (+4″ leg/ +3″ head/ +5″ hip)
    Access to the third row is larger and easier
    3 passenger third row with LATCH child center (vs 2 pass MDX)
    Available center-row buckets
    More cargo space (max 116.9 vs 83.5 MDX)
    Large (3′x4′) fixed-panel rear sunroof
    Available factory remote start
    Available in front wheel drive (MDX is AWD only)
    Touch-screen use of nav/audio (both are voice)
    Heated windshield washers
    DOHC with continous phasing int/exh (vs SOHC VTEC MDX)
    6 speed automatic (vs MDX 5spd)
    2-3 mpg better fuel economy, despite its increased size
    Uses regular unleaded (vs Premium MDX)
    10.5″ longer wheelbase for better ride, larger door openings
    Available 19″ wheels (18 only MDX)
    100,000 mile powertrain warranty (vs 70K MDX)
    $4400 price advantage option-for-option

    MDX beats Outlook on:

    25 hp / 25 lbs-ft advantage (300/275 MDX vs 275/251 OL)
    250 pound weight advantage
    1/2 second advantage zero-to-sixty
    Available GM/Delphi magnetic ride w/ Sport (~$2000 more)
    SH-AWD is more sophisticated and improves handling
    Blue-Tooth interface (std) and available DVD audio
    Available heated seating for second row (front only OL)
    8-way power passenger’s seat (vs 4-way OL)
    Power tilt and telescope steering column (non-power OL)
    Real-time traffic and Zagat with optional navigation
    LED taillights
    Better standard warranty (4/50 vs 3/36 OL)

    Every feature not discussed here is available or equal on both
    That’s the list. (Micheal Karesh may do it better)

    Whether the $4400 is worth it is a personal call.
    The biggest difference is size. It may be important to some, a detriment to others.
    Resale value is conjecture as neither have been projected by ALG. Saturn has historically done very well (#1 domestic) and so has Acura (#5 luxury).

    CSJohnston brought up the Acadia and Enclave, and yes, the Enclave will fill the feature gaps including second row heated seats, better ride (maybe air or magnetic), same 4/50 basic warranty, and add features like heads-up display, double-pane ‘quiet tuned’ side windows and acoustic windshield, etc. Enclave may also be the first Lambda to feature GM’s direct injection version of the 3.6L HF reported to be 304-320hp (we’ll see it in the new CTS at Detroit IAS). Enclave, however, will be priced with MDX.

  • avatar

    Huh boy….well, this “thing” is hideous, as I said yesterday in the X5 review. Just plain hideous. Like the Pilot, the headlamp design is too busy and looks unfinished. The ass looks like an Audi A4 Avant that’s eaten way too much. The fenders are Mazdaesque and out of place on this “SUV”. And that grille…..well….it’s the world’s most expensive cheese grater.

    Like I said yesterday….if I want an SUV, I’ll get a Jeep. If I want an all weather street car that can fit stuff in it, I’ll get a Legacy wagon, BMW 530xi wagon or an Audi S4 Avant.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    “Steve_S: Rich people don’t want to be seen in anything as suburban as a Honda or Toyota, so what are they supposed to drive when they have 3 or more kids under 5?”

    If you’re rich (and I think we’re talking rich in the image-concious, Bimmer-leasing, second mortgage-having, upwardly mobile, nouveau type), 3 kids under 5 could make you not rich in a hurry.

    And if you’re the real kind of rich, aka wealthy, you probably don’t give a crap about your image, and you get the Honda.

  • avatar
    buzzliteyear

    While we’re on the subject of writing style and grammar…

    “pusillanimous ponderousness”?

    I know the author has only 800 words to get his message out, but I’m not sure such preciosity is warranted when a phrase such as “excess avoirdupois” or “a superfluity of corpulence” would convey the concept just as well…;-D…

  • avatar
    miaomix

    I drive the current generation MDX, and my wife loves it. The interior was usable, and certainly not as cluttered or busy as some cars I have sat in. The new one? Exterior isn’t bad (followed one for a few miles on the freeway the other day), but the interior just will not do.

    As for the Murano comparison, sit in the two side by side. The interior of the Murano is cheap as only Nissan does. Sit in both after 15k miles, then see the difference. And how does a car that weighs 500 pounds less, and has a CVT, get worse mileage? I don’t get that.

  • avatar
    tlcastle

    Frank:

    Touche.

    But I wasn’t acting as the grammar police, I was acting as the punctuation police. ;)

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    3 kids under 5 could make you not rich in a hurry.

    Easy decision here – money went into our 3 boys’ 529 accounts, and they are ferried in a more affordable Sienna that comfortably holds 8 – useful when family is visiting. Much better use of funds in the long run.

  • avatar
    Pezzo_di_Merda

    Nice Review.

    Has Honda worked out that transmission problem…yet?

    A quick glance at Acura MDX. o r g suggests they haven’t…yet.

    But then, if they would invest some money in how to design a functional tranny instead of paying off the UAW building cars “infested with gizmology…”

  • avatar
    ash78

    Don’t bother with the minivan talk. We all know it’s the best use of space and money of any vehicle type on earth.

    The SUV craze is dependent on the “craze” portion of the term.

    On a related note, where are the minivans with more focus on handling–air suspensions, larger wheels, etc? They could probably take them a lot further, with minimal functionality compromise, if only the market demanded it.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    The review doesn’t mention the most entertaining thing about the MDX: the little LCD readout that show how power is being distributed. I just wish they could stick it in an HUD, because I found myself taking my eyes off the road to see how much power I could get it to send to the outside rear wheel.

    This was my experience when I drove the RL this summer. It’s like drivnig a video game.

  • avatar
    quantimouse

    So if the Civic came out 6 months before the revised A4 rear end did, instead of the other way around, how would we rephrase this?

    Except it didn’t. Audi revealed this design before Honda.

  • avatar
    rohman

    “Those rear lights look so much like those on your average Audi…especially the A4 comes to mind. I guess that was left outside the review because nobody wants to state the obvious.”

    I agree. However, there is one significant difference – they work. It seems every Audi/VW I see on the road, including mine, has one non-functioning rear tail lamp. Form is useless without functionality.

  • avatar
    quantimouse

    And if you’re the real kind of rich, aka wealthy, you probably don’t give a crap about your image, and you get the Honda.

    Or, you don’t give a crap about your image, and you get the best you can get (whatever that is).. Why is it people love to float the theory that super wealthy people own inexpensive cars because they don’t care about their image, ignoring the reality that most people buy the best thing they can afford…?

  • avatar
    quantimouse

    I agree. However, there is one significant difference – they work. It seems every Audi/VW I see on the road, including mine, has one non-functioning rear tail lamp. Form is useless without functionality.

    WTH? I have never seen what you’re talking about, on my Audi RS4, nor on any of the 4 Trillion A4s/A6s that are driving around NY/CT every minute.

  • avatar
    Brendan McAleer

    Nice review William (Can I call you Will, Willy, Bill, Eddy Baby?).
    I especially like the reference to brake cleaner…some of us still do our own wrenching, much as we can!

    The seemingly good news here is that Acura apparently fought the battle of the bulge. Perhaps we could see a reversal of the trend to blimp one’s ride.

    Seems like a worthy ML and X5 competitor. However, for this kind of money, I expect three blades and a pivoting head.

  • avatar
    Hutton

    quantimouse, I’m just floating the theory that a wealthy person with 3 or 4 young children is not likely any more put off by the notion of driving a Honda minivan than the average person.

    people with loads of cash tend to indulge in the things that they personally care about. That might be luxury vehicles, might not.

  • avatar
    MW

    Why is it people love to float the theory that super wealthy people own inexpensive cars because they don’t care about their image, ignoring the reality that most people buy the best thing they can afford?

    1) Because, at least in some cases, it’s true. Real research bears this out. Sure, some folks like to buy the best stuff they can afford, but there is also a significant segment of wealthy folks who stay that way by living well below their means.

    2) Because it’s a way to tweak the marketers’ unspoken assertion that as one moves up the economic ladder, one should of course move up the automotive brand hierarchy. I know plenty of successful people who keep a “downmarket” truck or SUV around for bad weather / utility duty. Just because you can afford an X5 or MDX doesn’t mean you should buy it.

  • avatar
    rohman

    “WTH? I have never seen what you’re talking about, on my Audi RS4, nor on any of the 4 Trillion A4s/A6s that are driving around NY/CT every minute.”

    I live in western Canada. We had almost a week of -35 to -45 C weather recently. Audi/VW’s also have issues with headlights. I am not saying I don’t like these cars. They are just to delicate for our conditions. Honda and Toyota products just seem to be more durable in adverse conditions.

  • avatar
    finger

    My experiences with Audi/VW products is that they break. A lot.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    The MDX wood is “simulated Koa wood-grained trim”

    I’m sure they weren’t going for the brake cleaner streak look

  • avatar
    finger

    Does KOA stand for K Mart of america?

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    i saw a rdx in a parking lot last week, it is much cooler lookin than this car. actually the rdx is a stunning design. this car is OK if u need so much space, which i dont. The rdx seems about right in size for me – i dont know anything about it tho – is there a review coming?

  • avatar
    rohman

    “My experiences with Audi/VW products is that they break. A lot.”

    And the dealers who sell them don’t know how to fix them. And then they charge a lot to do what they don’t know how to do.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    My Audi dealer was great. They treated me well. They knew how to fix my 2002 A6 2.7T 6spd Quattro every time it was in – - all 23 times.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    jerseydevil:

    My review of the RDX
    RDX

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    If BMW, Audi, Lexus and so forth offered an opulent minivan with all the trimmings it would sell. While putting the extra dough in the kids 529 and getting the Sienna or Odyssey is the right choice it doesn’t fly. If this were true you would see people driving only Camry’s and Accord’s instead of 545i’s and E500’s and putting that same money in the kids 529’s.

    Thats not saying all wealthy peopel do this, many couldn’t care less what they drive. Then again some buy 1million plus Veyrons too.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    thanks!

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    If BMW, Audi, Lexus and so forth offered an opulent minivan with all the trimmings it would sell.

    If they thought so, wouldn’t they have made them?

  • avatar
    NoneMoreBlack

    No, no, no, you should be eaten senseless by a pale baquette.

    Genius. (It’s ‘baquet’, but poetic license is justifiable)

  • avatar
    blautens

    I liked the styling of the old MDX a bit better – less “Transformers” and more “form follows function”.

    If the old MDX had a power tailgate option, we’d have one today – instead I squeeze into an RX330. Glad to see this model finally has a power tailgate available.

    But the styling…not hideous…but not handsome.

    If you’re like me and prefer the old one, the good thing about the syling change/new model – it might make a left over models very attractively priced (assuming there are leftovers of such vehicles – it’s not DCX after all).

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying to
    My Audi dealer was great. They treated me well. They knew how to fix my 2002 A6 2.7T 6spd Quattro every time it was in – - all 23 times.

    My Honda dealer fixed my 2002 Civic 1 time out of 1.

    My dad owned his Corolla for 13 years and never found out about the repair ability of his Toyota dealer.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    “If BMW, Audi, Lexus and so forth offered an opulent minivan with all the trimmings it would sell.”

    Uh, MB did, and it has been universally panned; even Dr. Z has expressed regret. I don’t know why — as opposed to so many poser SUVs/CUVs/SAVs, the R at least knows it will never go off road and has real room and accessibility for 6.

    I’d get one, but I want my kids to go to school with starlightmica’s.

  • avatar
    Jon Furst

    # jerseydevil:
    November 23rd, 2006 at 8:50 am

    Hoosier Red:

    tall vehicles roll over. they dont turn very well. like u said, the laws of physics cannot be ignored. I would rather be in a small easy to maneuver vehicle, than a suv on stilts any day.

    # jerseydevil:
    December 6th, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    i saw a rdx in a parking lot last week, it is much cooler lookin than this car. actually the rdx is a stunning design. this car is OK if u need so much space, which i dont. The rdx seems about right in size for me – i dont know anything about it tho – is there a review coming?

    LOL.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    My VW has been fairly reliable. The dealer repair shop was expensive, so I got a good VW mechanic, my repair bills dropped alot. The car is a 95, with 180,000 miles and still purrs. I am pleased. I would have no problem buying another VW or Audi product.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    You could always get a Lucerne with a front bench. If 3 across the front was good enough for me when the space was needed, it’s good enough for the kids.

    If I had $45K to blow on a people carrier, I’d go to a Mazda dealer and walk out with a 5 and a RX-8.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Jon Furst:

    I said it looked cool, i did’nt say i was gonna buy one. I prefer little cars. But it is a strikingly handsome design.

  • avatar
    Eric Miller

    The car is a 95, with 180,000 miles and still purrs. I am pleased. I would have no problem buying another VW or Audi product.

    I had great luck with my 86 5000CS Turbo Quattro, my 91 200 20V Turbo Quattro, my 93 ur-S4, and my 95.5 ur-S6. Seriously, they were all great cars. The 91 had the weird UFO brakes that I replaced, but otherwise…

    Most experiences with 98-up VW/Audis are different than ‘the good old days’

  • avatar
    pharmer

    The new Hyundai Santa Fe is a better looking vehicle to my eyes.

    Never thought I’d say that. Shock! Horror!

    I also could never bring myself to spend any more than the absolute minimum on a vehicle like this….just what I need and no more. In that sense the Santa Fe looks better to my checkbook, as well.

  • avatar
    ghillie

    “The rivet counters amongst you will maintain that the redesigned MDX is 2” longer and .5” wider than the outgoing model. True; but it’s also nearly 3” shorter (without sacrificing ground clearance) and only 46 pounds portlier (a 1% increase).”

    Honda has also, quite brilliantly, made it 100% uglier.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    Honda gave up on the SW thing in America after ’94 because nobody (other than me) bought one. After 190,000 miles, I must say it is the best car I ever owned (and still do) and my children grew up in the it. At least back then you had an affordable well built option to those damn minivans. The Honda parts guys think it was the best thing Honda ever built.

    Um, I also have a 2001 Golf 1.8T (90k miles) and other than the window clips (replaced under warranty) no problems. Well, the headlights fail every other year, but I put that down to the fact they are always on. What is the matter with you people?

  • avatar
    buzzliteyear

    The logical conclusion of this “Razor Blade” grille styling
    trend?

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/33930?issue=4228&special=2004

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Maybe it’s a secret conspiracy to get folks to start looking away from SUVs and to mini-vans? :)

    Cliff: I didn’t quite understand your question: “What is the matter with you people? ” Was it rhetorical or did you need some valid answers to a generic question?

    I’ll go ahead and answer for me: I’ve got a rapidly receeding hairline, a mind that wants to do activities for an 18 year old…but my 37 year old body doesn’t let me any longer, an addiction to blogs and the internet in general, a video game addiction I should of grown out of about 17 years ago, a slight arthritis in my left hand from being bit by a rattle snake when I was younger…hmm…what else? Oh yeah, if you ask my dad, brother, or sister, I should be a bazillionaire by now…or at the very least make enough money to buy them all a house and multiple cars allowing them to retire…but keeping me at work about 100 hours a week (screw that!).

    So there’s my list…what’s yours? :)

  • avatar
    phil

    i think there’s light on the horizon for we speed afflicted sorts. the current issue of Winding Road included photos of a gorgeous 3 series sport wagon with M treatment and a 400 torque diesel. Yes, yes, calm down, it won’t be coming over BUT the author of the piece claims that similar ultimate dieselmobiles of the 5 series persuasion are on the way for 2008, including the wagon version. so instead of these bloated crapmobiles imagine a 5 series wagon with 400+ torque getting close to 30mpg overall!

  • avatar
    Ryan

    Honda’s engineers deserve kudos for what they’ve done with the MDX, keeping it at a reasonable weight.

    But where’s Acura’s Odyssey? A big part of the reason that a minivan in a tux would have trouble selling stems from the minivan association. But if the manufacturers bamboozled us into thinking trucks and military vehicles were cool and needed in our daily lives, the marketing people could just as easily fool us into thinking that James Dean would drive a minivan. If the rumours are true that Chrysler is going to drop the Hemi into their next-gen vans, that’s a start at least.

  • avatar
    balthazar

    KeeRiceT that’s an ugly box! Is the new Pilot as ugly?

  • avatar
    koobah

    Unless you live in a sunny Florida suburbia where tere’s no snow, roads are smooth and you commute mostly alone, please tell me why so many people here criticize SUV’s? I would agree that 10-15 years ago all SUV’s drove like trucks, but today it’s a different story. I drove the MDX (with adaptive suspension) and in my opinion it handles much better than many cars. It does not have the the same gas mileage as a Civic, but much better than many cars with V8′s or “enthusiast cars” like S or RS4. I drive an SUV and when it comes to daily year round commute I am much happier with it than I’ve been with all my previous “cars” including 3 M3′s. Here’s why: practicality, utility, better visibility (helps to navigate through traffic), more comfortable seating position (even more so for longer trips), winter and bad weather traction as well as towing capability. Also, I don’t take it off road since my SUV like most others does not have off road capabilities, but compared to a car, it’s much better through city potholes and construction zones (almost like off-roading sometimes). Does anyone agree with this? I agree, the MDX’s styling (especially front) is questionable, but if you can get past that it’s much better than any similarly sized SUV on the road today. MDX’s German competition has weaker engines (although they have newly developed transmissions full of bugs and rough shifts- ML anyone?) and if you want to equip and ML, X5 or Q7 with the MDX’s options, they will run chunk ($15 to 20k more). The only thing the Acura does not have is “the badge”, some consider the brand semi-luxury, but as I’ve mentioned in the previous comment forum my X5 (almost double the price) does not compare to this new MDX in all aspects less power and acceleration.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Replying to koobah:
    Unless you live in a sunny Florida suburbia where tere’s no snow, roads are smooth and you commute mostly alone, please tell me why so many people here criticize SUV’s?

    Right now, it’s -20C here outside with lots of snow. I can tell you that SUV’s are very unsafe during these times. They have a much greater chance of slipping (due to the mass) or roll over (due to the higher center of mass). I would choose a sedan over an SUV for my own safety.

  • avatar

    Has that truck been doing the same glute exercises as the Tribeca?

  • avatar
    HawaiiJim

    We can certainly lobby for better SUV exterior design, but let’s not get too exercised about the issue. It’s not easy to make that hunk of metal known as an SUV aesthetically pleasing. It’s tough even to make attractive sedans. Personally, I’d rate the Volvo S40 as a real head-turner and the new Civic sedan a close second, better than Mercedes and Lexus and BMW and all those “luxury” cars.

  • avatar
    koobah

    wsn:
    I agree that SUV’s are abit heavier and because of AWD or 4WD, many people get a false sense of security, but having said that any vehicle in the snow is only as good as its tires, so if a vehicle (or SUV) will be equipped with proper snow tires for winter season, the braking will be more than adequate. The most important factor imo is experience which vast majority of drivers in the states are lacking. In Europe for example where drivers are better educated, many will switch to snow tires for winter, not here.

  • avatar
    alanp

    It took me a bit to figure how the MDX could be “2 inch longer … and 3″ shorter” at the same time. But I guess saying it “lost 3 inches in height” would have been longer. :-)

  • avatar
    Cavendel

    koobah:

    While I agree that a $45K SUV might cruise along the freeway better than a Honda Civic, I don’t think it compares well to a $45K sedan. Once you start adding some winding roads to the mix, SUVs are just not as much fun.

    For winter driving, tires are definately an important consideration. Unfortunately, skinny tires are better than wide tires when snow and ice are about. That MDX has 255 or (optional) 275 mm wide tires. If you reduced them to a (still slightly portly for the winter) 225, then your driving dynamics in the dry would suffer.

    Lower the weight, then you will need smaller tires and a smaller engine. This leads to less weight, so you can again put on smaller tires. Keep doing this for a while and you’ll have your Miata, a car that is more fun in the winter than Frosty the snowman.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Good vehicle, but that grille is UGLY.

  • avatar
    koobah

    Heavier cars or SUV’s will never handle as good as small cars like Miata, because of higher center of gravity and obviously weight but utility and practicality aside, which one would feel safer in? A Miata or a 4500 pund SUV? The tires on the MDX are proportional to vehicle’s weight, so while a Miata wouldn’t have great traction if you were to put 255′s on it, an MDX or heavier sedan would. My current SUV came from factory with 315′s on 20 inch wheels and althought the ride is choppy (wish I had adjustable suspension like the ML or MDX), the vehicle handles pretty good in adverse conditions. Drive the MDX with that suspension and handling is unbelievable, honestly better on winding roads and corners than my 4.6is… newer technology I guess.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “Unless you live in a sunny Florida suburbia where tere’s no snow, roads are smooth and you commute mostly alone, please tell me why so many people here criticize SUV’s?”

    Because anything a vehicle like this can do on road can be done just as well by an AWD wagon like a Subaru Legacy while not blocking the field of view for everyone else and while not wasting as much fuel.

    For the vast majority of people who buy them, SUVs are a poor choice to meeting their actual needs. People buy SUVs because they think it makes them look good.

    John

  • avatar
    finger

    NEW YORK — General Motors’ U.S. market share has bottomed out and new products such as crossover vehicles are going to help drive market share gains, GM executives said.

    The company is also making progress in key negotiations on labor and contract issues with former unit Delphi Corp., though it has no timeline for completing a deal.

    Asked about GM’s U.S. market share, Mark LaNeve, its North American sales chief, said: “We stabilized it, and it’s going to trend up.” He added that GM’s retail market share was about 22 percent.

    “I believe that is the bottom,” LaNeve said at a GM holiday event in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 6. “We think we’re going to gain incremental share with some new products we’re bringing into the market.”

    He expects annual production of 120,000 to 130,000 of GM’s new crossovers — vehicles combining the properties of cars and SUVs such as the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave — and said industry sales of crossovers were expected to reach 3.5 million by 2010, from about 2.5 million now.

    LaNeve said the company was focused on strengthening its key brands, retaining customers, and working to create the perception among consumers that GM vehicles represent value, without resorting to short-term sales incentives.

  • avatar
    koobah

    jthorner, I agree about this and also a fact that every type of vehicle has its own advantages and disadvantages. Reason I prefer SUV’s to wagons is because of greater comfort (better seating position) and better view that helps me navigate through SUV infested streets, making me feel safer at the same time. In case of an accident, say a serious side collision, I would prefer to be inside of a heavier SUV than a Subaru wagon.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    “Because anything a vehicle like this can do on road can be done just as well by an AWD wagon like a Subaru Legacy while not blocking the field of view for everyone else and while not wasting as much fuel.

    For the vast majority of people who buy them, SUVs are a poor choice to meeting their actual needs. People buy SUVs because they think it makes them look good.”

    jthorner: Not everyone buys SUV strictly for vanity reasons. :) This site is becoming infamous for such accusations as “all truck owners are compensating for something”, “all sports car owners are compensating for something”, etc. It’s getting rather tiresome and very juvenille.

    Part of the joy of find an automobile is finding one you yourself enjoy. I’ve got a long list of automobiles that are better than a Hummer, Dodge Viper, or Porche…but that’s on criteria I define, not what the drivers who own those cars do.

    Anyone can criticize, that’s not very tough to do. Empathize for a change and try to figure out why folks are buying these huge, bulky SUVs (but actually quite small and agile in comparison to an 18-wheeler or earth mover…it’s all about perspective) rather than a civic, outback wagon, prius. :)

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “Empathize for a change and try to figure out why folks are buying these huge, bulky SUVs (but actually quite small and agile in comparison to an 18-wheeler or earth mover…it’s all about perspective) rather than a civic, outback wagon, prius. :)”

    I will do so once the Hummer buyers empathize with those of us who don’t appreciate people buying Hummers to intimidate the rest of us. If you think buying a Hummer isn’t about projecting an intimidating self image then you probably need to think again.

    John

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    koobah:
    December 6th, 2006 at 11:55 pm
    Unless you live in a sunny Florida suburbia where tere’s no snow, roads are smooth and you commute mostly alone, please tell me why so many people here criticize SUV’s?

    I live in philadephhia where it snows, sometimes alot. I have NEVER owned as SUV, or an all wheel or 4 wheel drive vehicle.

    I have NEVER been stuck in the snow. EVER. Even with rear wheel drive and absolutely not even a slip with my front wheel drive VW Golf.

    So you don’t need all wheel drive or SUV’s for the snow. Its just not necessary.

  • avatar
    Jim H

    “So you don’t need all wheel drive or SUV’s for the snow. Its just not necessary. ” — jerseydevil

    That is funny! Let’s try that theory in Colorado, shall we?

    “I will do so once the Hummer buyers empathize with those of us who don’t appreciate people buying Hummers to intimidate the rest of us. If you think buying a Hummer isn’t about projecting an intimidating self image then you probably need to think again.” — jthorner

    I never realized that “Hummer” is the only SUVs you meant. That’s completely different. I have no idea why folks buy SUVs…but considering they tint the windows black, I don’t think it’s about their “self” image at all…since you can’t see them inside it. I do know that two folks out where I live bought hummers to pull people out of the snow…the local fire department (volunteer) has their phone numbers and they are very busy during the winter months. I’m sure this blows your theory all to hell…I apologize.

    I’m not intimidated by any of the cars, suvs, trucks, or 18+-wheelers on the road. [shrugs] Perhaps it’s about your self image…and not the hummer drivers?

  • avatar
    P1h3r1e3d13

    The third-row seat in my dad’s (last-gen) MDX is quite usable for for myself (6’3″) and another adult for maybe up to 20 minutes.
    It is just fine, however for my 5’8″ sister alone on indefinite-length trips.
    The trick with tiny third rows is for one person to use the whole thing by stretching out sideways.

    For the record, the outside rear wheel always rotates faster than at least the inside two (hence, the differential). What SH-AWD does is send more torque to that wheel.

  • avatar
    MgoBLUE

    Ummm….the new MDX is ugly relative to what? ML? R350? RX300? Tourag? XC90? LR3? I don’t think so…

    Forget the exterior. The interior is beautiful and comfortable, the technology is industry-leading, 300hp @ ~20mpg, and the lowest price in its segment.

    V – A – L – U – E !!!

    ACURA manages to blend the quasi-utility of an SUV with the handling of the RL. I took several off-ramps at 70mph. The tires didn’t even squeel, let alone lose traction. Blending the handling of a sports car with the higher-sitting comfort and visibility of an SUV is a win-win in my book.

    Just like six years ago SherbornSean….there is a waiting list for these things…

  • avatar
    moto

    So many comments, so few about the MDX.

    Personally, i think Acura missed the opportunity to provide a class-leading car. Like most Honda products, it can claim 2nd place in all categories. That’s perfect for some folks, but I’d rather have the vehicle that excels in my preferred measures, and to heck with the non-essential bits. So, wagon it is (Passat, in our case). The MDX and the rest of the cross-ute/whatever you want to call it this year class just don’t have the room, performance, or fuel economy to justify their existance. I’ll do very well without the tall seating position, thanks.

  • avatar
    bucky370

    As we were looking for a new vehicle, we were looking at both minivans and suv’s. This was going to be temp vehicle for my wife with our first child, so we chose to get the suv now, and in about a year get the minivan. Than I get the new SUV. Until than, it’s hers.

    Needless we drove about 20 different suv’s. BMW x5, Lexus 400, Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot etc etc etc.

    Lexus was too goudy and seemed very small, BMW although really awesome, I don’t trust the electronics with BMW (as we’ve had nothing but problems with our car) Mazda was nice, but a bit cheap and was only about 5k less. Pilot was our first thought, nice, but the redesign in 2008 bothers me. I was not seriously considering the MDX as the price was a concern. But after looking and seeing what these other suv’s are going for, we were going to spend mid to upper 30′s no matter what. It came down to the Highlander at 37 to 39k or the MDX around 40. The MDX was just too smooth!!!

    When comparing to other SUV’s, the MDX price was probably in the higher range, but in my opinion you can’t beat the quality. Looks wise, their all going this direction, and I am one of them that love the looks. I prefer the 2005ish look more, but still very happy with this one.

    First this vehicle is a very smooth comfortable ride. We have never owned a bigger vehicle and I understand now why people love the view. I can see so much more of the road. I understand that this isn’t for everyone, but this was what we chose. Gas mileage is not the best, but again, it’s what we chose. The gas mileage is very comparable to other’s in the same category.

    For those comparing to a station wagon or cars, your comparing apples and oranges. If you go to the store for milk and come home with OJ, the wife may not be happy as you can’t cook a cake with OJ. So Please don’t make that comparison.

    We’ve now owned for about 1 month, and we love it. We believe we made the right choice.


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