By on June 23, 2010

The MDX was the first luxury brand crossover to offer three rows of seating, and Acura was rewarded accordingly. For its tenth model year the second-generation MDX has received a refresh. But is there enough here to maintain Acura’s position in an increasingly crowded segment?

Much of the Acura MDX’s exterior remains the same with the 2010, with the front end receiving the most noticeable changes. With the 2007 Acura introduced its first highly controversial front end. The grille opening was largely filled with a faux-metal shield that no other Acuras received. Instead, their grilles have sent owners in search of especially large blocks of cheese in need of grating. For 2010 the MDX’s shield has been replaced by the cheese grater. A pair of chrome-ringed openings have also been inserted in the upper half of the bumper, above the gray fascia that houses the fog lights. The overall effect, also found on the related ZDX, is more aggressive than the previous nose, and it looks better here than on Acura’s cars. The rest of the exterior remains clean and well-proportioned, it’s only fault being a lack of distinctiveness.

If there have been any changes to the Acura MDX’s interior for 2010, they aren’t readily apparent. A mild high-tech vibe continues with the various metallic trim bits, countered a bit by the wide band of faux wood that spans the dash and covers the top surface of the center console. The wood at least looks real. The metallic plastic looks and feels less than premium. Sadly, the interior door pulls, the first point of contact when getting into the car, are composed entirely of the stuff. The switchgear might be good by the standards of a decade ago, but the target has been moving upwards. The overall fit and finish of the interior (or lack thereof) is clearly second tier among premium brands. The door-to-dash panel fit is downright awful.

Even GM’s interiors are more tightly and precisely constructed lately, and the new SRX looks and feels much nicer inside than the latest MDX. Then again, the SRX also costs quite a bit more. The MDX probably competes more directly with the Buick Enclave, which it continues to lead in interior quality.

The best thing about the interior: the front seats. Large and amply bolstered, they provide both comfort and lateral support to such a degree that I wonder why so many front seats clearly make tradeoffs between the two. The driving position provides very good forward visibility and doesn’t place the various controls too far away. A wide center console contributes to a somewhat sporty ambiance, but might leave larger people wishing for more space.

Putting three rows of seats inside a 191.6-inch long vehicle tends to compromise rear legroom and cargo room, and this is certainly the case in the MDX. Legroom in the comfortable second row is adequate, if not outstanding. Adults won’t want to spend much time in the third row. But then most people will use it for kids, anyway. There’s less cargo space behind the third row than in longer competitors. So when traveling families with have to either pack very light, fold the third row, or add a rooftop luggage carrier.

Beyond-sufficient power continues to be supplied by a 3.7-liter V6 that sounds a little less sporting and a little more truck-like than the related unit in the Acura TL. Honda has yet to announce its first direct-injected engine for the U.S. market. The big powertrain news with the 2010 MDX: while other luxury car makers are introducing seven- and eight-speed automatics, Acura is introducing its first six-speed. Remember when Honda was a powertrain innovator? Since it’s so late to the party, hopefully the new six-speed is at least solid. Honda’s past record with transmissions for its larger vehicles has been spotty. Time will tell. The new transmission’s shorter first gear (14.3:1 vs. 12.2:1 when multiplied by the final drive) translates into more punch off the line. The top gear overall ratio, little changed, makes for an EPA highway rating of 21. What could a taller top gear do? The quicker, heavier 2011 BMW X5 manages 25.

When I drove the 2007 MDX three years ago, with the optional auto-adjusting shocks set to “Sport,” I thought it handled well for a 4500-pound crossover. Partly because I drove the base model this time around, the 2010 felt large, with excessive understeer in hard turns despite the trick SH-AWD system and a disjointed overall feel that borders on clumsy. Here as with the interior I felt as if I were driving a domestic car from five years ago. The steering, overly light at low speeds, never provides much feedback. Other manufacturers have been making major improvements in the handling of their large crossovers, and Acura has some catching up to do.

With the standard, non-adjustable shocks the ride is less floaty than with the optional shocks set to “Comfort,” but still absorbs pumps pretty well. The problem here is a traditional one for Honda: road noise. There’s more of it here than in the typical luxury crossover.

Pricing for the Acura MDX is commensurate with its interior ambiance. You’ll spend much less for it than any three-row crossover wearing a European badge—even a Volvo XC90 V8 (the base I6 doesn’t provide competitive performance) lists for about $6,000 more. But the MDX seems little if any more upscale than a Buick Enclave or even a top-level Mazda CX-9. The Buick is priced about even with the MDX, but the Mazda is about $5,000 less than either, based on comparisons run using TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool. Both the Buick and the Mazda provide more space in both the third row and for cargo behind it. And yet both also handle better than the more compact Acura.

Overall, with the 2010 refresh Acura hasn’t done enough to keep the MDX competitive. The Acura brand image calls for tighter, more precise handling. The interior ambiance positions the Acura between the mainsteam and luxury brands rather than as one of the latter. But then the pricing isn’t at luxury brand levels, either. The third row seat is a match for those from BMW and Volvo, but cannot compete with those from Buick and Mazda. IN the end, we have a good vehicle for people who want a slightly upscale vehicle with an occasional-use third row. People who want a crossover that handles especially well, that has a truly luxurious interior, or that can handle six people AND their luggage will be better off elsewhere.

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online source of auto pricing and reliability data.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

58 Comments on “Review: 2010 Acura MDX...”

  • avatar

    Does anybody else think that these toothless-grin Acura grilles are the fugliest thing to hit a front end in a long time? Just add oversized googly eyes and you have the 21st-century clown car.

    And holy crap, if the center consoles get any wider we’ll end up using a hand-throttle like we did a century ago.

    /drive-by commenting mode off

    • 0 avatar

      No, you’re the only one. I think they’re as handsome as an Edsel. Only the Audi gape is better….

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll say that it looks better here than it does on the TL, but, since I’m not now nor will I probably ever be an SUV person, this is a moot point. Also, I don’t believe I would ever pay more than perhaps $25k for a car. There are other things that I can do with money than spend it on an expensive depreciating asset.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      You don’t remember the original Acura Legend & Integra?

      I think this is a homage to the original buck-toothed face.

    • 0 avatar

      @SVX Pearlie:

      Sorry, not seeing a buck-toothed smile on the original Legend/Integra, unless you’re referring to the license plate:

      Looks pretty typical late-80s Honda to me (elements of both the 86 and the 89 Accord in both).

    • 0 avatar

      “Does anybody else think that these toothless-grin Acura grilles are the fugliest thing to hit a front end in a long time? Just add oversized googly eyes and you have the 21st-century clown car.”


      You are not alone. I can not stand that front end.
      And then the side view…looks like everything else out there.

  • avatar

    The cheese grater grills on all the Acuras are simply awful looking. MDX is still better looking than the truly horrendous ZDX.

  • avatar

    The original MDX was a real category-killer on value. I don’t know why they went so wild on the new styling

  • avatar

    An honest review of a Honda product – I guess that’s why this blog is called, “The Truth about Cars”. Couldn’t agree more, except the original ML320 was the first premium SUV to offer 3 rows (excluding the Land Cruiser/Lexus LX). It was an option, but we had it. What made it work was a sliding second row, which the MDX incredibly lacks, even in this second generation. Curious, too, since the Pilot has that feature.

  • avatar

    This should be a top tier product considering its origins, but like Acura as a whole, it sounds like Honda is committed to mediocrity above everything else.

    Acura. Advance. Just kidding.

  • avatar

    The center stack looks a lot better and seems a lot more manageable without that ugly control knob and the requisite 10,000 buttons surrounding it. It seems Acura still can’t resist plastering buttons at random all over the steering wheel though, even in the base car.

    Unfortunately Acura isn’t the only one trying to get away with plastic door pulls in a luxury car. I remember when I first sat in a last gen Jag XJL, and went to grab the pull to close the door. The rock hard plastic felt like a Kia’s, and when I tapped it with a fingernail, it made a very hollow “tink” sound.

    They can’t spend a dollar for even a fake leather cover for something you touch every time you drive the car? Really?

    • 0 avatar

      The hollow plastic door pulls in bg saab 9-3s and post 2005 9-5s are gm’s most egregious swede-rape event. My 05 9-5 has solid rubbery ones which aren’t bad – though there exist solid wood replacements which I will purchase at my first opportunity…

  • avatar
    Frayed Knot

    I recently bought a CPO 2007 MDX, which as Michael states, isn’t all that different than the 2010. (I didn’t think it was worth a $15k premium for some superficial update, a 6-speed auto, and a USB input to the audio system.)

    I chose this vehicle after testing almost every other one it its class: Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Tribeca, Hyundai Veracruz, Land Rover LR3, Chevy Traverse, Volvo XC-90, Ford Flex and Audi Q7. And the reason I chose it was because in my opinion it represented the best compromise in price, size, comfort, utility and handling.

    I could go over the pros and cons of each of those vehicles, but it would take too long. The CX-9 is a great choice, but it is too long for my taste and needs, and also did not come with third two anchors for car seats. I also liked the Verzcruz, but when that third row was up, there was almost 0 cargo room – not even enough for a stroller.

    By the way, I would disagree with Michael’s contention that a family would have to pack light or add a rooftop cargo box for a road trip. I took my wife and two kids on a 4 day trip and the truck swallowed everything we packed, and then some.

  • avatar

    We have a 2005 MDX…it’s been my wife’s daily driver since new, and it’s been dead reliable. At 80K+ miles it’s never once been in for an unscheduled repair, no recalls, nothing.

    Maintenance has been regular oil changes, coolant flush/fill, new trans fluid, new tires, new battery, new brake pads. That’s it. This has been a revelation for us, as we bought our MDX after a disappointing string of Tahoes/Yukons/Suburbans, all of which had problems.

    While the new MDX may no longer be the near-luxury family truckster class leader it once was, I’d buy another just on the Honda/Acura quality and reliability factor alone.

  • avatar

    I’m glad someone else has noticed the MDX’ horrendous dash-to-door panel fit. Every second-generation MDX I’ve been inside has suffered from the same embarrassing misalignment.

    • 0 avatar

      The odd thing with Honda’s panel fits is that they’re often bad, but bad in the exact same way on every car. So the problem is with design, not manufacturing variation. Which means that they should have fairly easily been avoidable. So why do they happen?

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I’m curious if it is still has the 4500/3500 lb. tow rating. 4500lbs for boats due to tongue weight and aerodynamics and 3500lbs for everythign else. I like the looks. Definitely a good vehicle for people w/ kids that need something capable enough to tow their 18-20′ bow rider or pop-up camper on the weekends. i

  • avatar

    I went with my sister to test drive a CPO MDX. She just had her first child and her accord was giving out. She wanted an AWD SUV/CUV that had room for a stroller and that could handle her trips to Costco. The interior was OK, not what I was expecting from an Acura. I’ve sat in the Lexus RX and I thought the quality was much better. I didn’t get a chance to drive it, but I heard good things about the SH-awd system.

    In the end, she didn’t end up with it. She spent a few grand more and got a brand new Venza. The venza has awd, comes with a warranty, and she gets free maintenance for two years. The interior of the Venza is on the same level as the MDX, which I was not expecting.

    • 0 avatar

      “She just had her first child and her accord was giving out.”

      You know, this kinda makes it sound like an accord is a part of the female anatomy which was damaged in childbirth. A bizarre image, to be sure.

    • 0 avatar

      Wow, that finally helped me figure out how Honda got the styling inspiration for the Accord.

    • 0 avatar

      I have to comment that I think the Venza and Highlander are the epitome of “good enough” vehicles. Take a Camry, which has nothing interesting at all but sells well to the masses, and stretch it in a few dimensions. Really an ugly commentary on the state of the auto industry.

  • avatar

    It’s painful to read yet another review of a Honda/Acura product which used to be class-leading, and is now mediocre. As someone with stock in HMC, I am beginning to wonder whether I should sell out and consider buying stock in another automaker that starts with the letter “H”.

    Maybe Honda/Acura is just trying to do too much. Remember the old Honda? Just three models, and a tagline about keeping it simple. Maybe if they didn’t spread their engineering talent across so many overlapping products, they would return to form.

    For Acura, I think that would mean:
    – one sedan to replace the TSX, TL and RL, which are essentially the same size anyhow,
    – one crossover, essentially a well-engineered MDX
    – one sport coupe, not too expensive

    If they could sell 50K units of each, rather than 20K each of 6 models, I think Acura would be much better off.

  • avatar

    I haven’t been able to look at the front end of recent Acuras without my eyebrow pulling an involuntary Spock.

  • avatar

    Acura ,or should I just say Honda, shows no sign or desire to correct this ugly looking monster. Where did Chirs Bangle go after BMW let him go? Is he running Acura’s lack-of-style dept? Luxury or near luxury has to be about a classy look and Acuras are either bland or butt-ugly. It’s a shame. Honda should rule in this near luxury catagory, but they went cheap and seem happy foisting the likes of the RL/Insight/Ridgeline on the public. Where’s the Honda R&D, the engineering excellance? All gone I’m afraid. All Honda needs is a few exposed flaws (think Toyota) and the whole house of cards that once stood for something will begin to fall. You can’t live off your past reputation forever and build a bunch of ugly, less than adverage cars and not lose in the end ….or could you?

  • avatar

    Another muddled, expensive, and somewhat underwhelming product from Honda.

    Why is it that Honda is fumbling the things that they used to get right without effort – like having clean, uncluttered designs? Or excellent steering? Or attention to good fit and finish? They seem to have lost their focus. And I smell the sort of iffy decisions that get churned out when companies get bogged down in many committee meetings. You know … the GM disease.

    Honda/Acura will still sell a ton of MDXs, based on brand loyalty and resale value (and the fact that it is still a pretty good vehicle … but just not as good as it could be). They will probably not notice all the lost sales that are leaching away to the competition. But Honda is making itself vulnerable – and is opening a real opportunity for more aggressive competitors (particularly Ford and Hyundai).

    • 0 avatar

      My personal impression is that Honda is in much worse shape than Toyota, but like you note they haven’t had this exposed by any headline-worthy catastrophe.

    • 0 avatar

      My personal impression is that Honda is in much worse shape than Toyota

      Honda is much more arrogant than Toyota. Toyota, to it’s credit, has spent the last few years making vehicles that people want, even if they’re bland, and at a price they want, even if they have to cut corners. Where Toyota went wrong is that they became insular and mildly paranoid and slow to react; a kind of Japanese Ford, if you will.

      Honda has been making the vehicles it wants, and assuming customers will buy them because they’re Honda. This is a little different than Toyota, and it’s a tough difference to spot, but it’s there. It’s why Honda is the Japanese GM or VW.

      There’s a will to ram product and design down people’s throat at Honda, for good or ill. It’s the difference between the Prius and the Insight/Civic/Accord/Insight/CR-Z, or the Tacoma and the Ridgeline.

    • 0 avatar

      Honda/Acura will still sell a ton of MDXs, based on brand loyalty and resale value (and the fact that it is still a pretty good vehicle …

      But…Imagine a world where it had Brand loyalty,resale value,was a pretty good vehicle, and PEOPLE LIKED the WAY IT LOOKED.

      They could probably sell 2 tons of MDX’s


  • avatar

    Interesting you mention the build of the interior. A couple years ago, I was able to compare two Accords, one assembled in Ohio and one in Japan. The Japanese-assembled car was better finished, but very subtly. I’d wager this one is from Ohio.

    In defense of Honda, a well finished interior isn’t an indicator of overall build quality or reliability. I remember reading a quote from Ferdinand Piech, who said a well finished glovebox will make a buyer think the same attention extends to the cylinder head. A Touraeg may have a gorgeous interior (until the rubberized surfaces pick up your finger grime) but those electronic gremlins won’t do it any favors.

    • 0 avatar

      No, the MDX has always been built in Alliston, Ontario. Also, you can’t really compare the JDM Accord with the US model (Honda Inspire in Japan, I believe) because these two are different vehicles.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    One of our fellow readers calls the newer Acura front-end design motif “pissed-off vegematic”. Perfectly hilarious…the face on the TL closely resembles my special cousin.

    The good old days for Honda/Acura were only 10 years ago – excellent engines, well-designed vehicles, top build quality (well, ok…except for the trannys)….what the hell happened?

    How could the last-gen TL be so subtlety beautiful, while the new one makes you gasp in horror? (Hint…sure, the economy sucks…but the TL dropped, what, 70% in sales?)

    The new Odyssey? Was the design team in the same room?

    The next Civic will be very telling…..

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    A face only an orthodontist could love.

  • avatar

    I am a Honda fanboy but I have to tell you… The ACURA He-man shield grille’s are beyond hideous…

    Honda WTH is your problem???

  • avatar

    Another “Jet Jaguar meets JVC boom box designer” more or less car from Japan. Yawn… If I was in the market for an up-market Honda, it’d probably come with an adjustable blade and grass bagger.

  • avatar
    Ashy Larry

    In looking for a family truckster a few years ago, we looked at the MDX as well as the CX9, XC90 V8, X5, Q7, Enclave/Outlook/Acadia, XL7 and a few others.

    Apart from the really nice front seats, we found the MDX generally a poor value next to the CX9, which offered more room, rear seats that slid and folded on both sides (not just the passenger side) for easier access to the 3rd row, and almost as much techno-gimcrackery; all for thousands less MSRP than the MDX (and given Mazda’s curious inability to sell many cars here in the US, the discounts on CX9’s at the time were staggering).

    For our needs (which included a need for 3 rows and more room but none-too-sluggish or truck-like handling/acceleration, I would rank the cars CX9, GM Lamba, MDX, XC90, X5, then the rest. Personally, outside family considerations, if I wanted a 45-50k SUV, I would splurge for the X5 (in diesel form) before the MDX.

    In short, Acura has priced this too high and the redesign/refresh uglifies the car more than the somehwat homely-but-functional look of the pre-refresh 2007-2009 mode.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    The question that no one has asked is why should someone buy this over a loaded Pilot? An extra 50 hp? The trick “SH-AWD” system? Really. In ’08 when my wife and I shopped replacements for our Saab 9-5 wagon (which my wife felt was a little small), we shopped the Acadia/Outlook/Enclave, the MDX, the CX-9, the Highlander . . . and bought a Pilot, even knowing that the following year’s model was due for a freshening. The GM CUVs and the CX-9 seemed a little big for our needs. The Highlander was obviously de-contented and, while having a good engine/transmission combo and reasonably non-ponderous handling characteristics had terrible seats, even in the topline model. The MDX couldn’t justify the price premium in our minds, and the Pilot’s boxy shape had more utility, which is, after all, what these vehicles are supposed to be about. (I could not begin to understand or appreciate the concept of the Infiniti FX CUVs.) At least one could say about the Pilot that it did not try (unsuccessfully) to be something that it wasn’t.

    If I had felt more prosperous, I would have considered the X5; but even the 2-row model of the time was a little short on luggage space. In fact, IIRC, the 5-series wagon has more cargo volume with the second row up.

  • avatar

    Can’t comment on the new body but the old style MDX is a noticeably more nimble handler / had better roadfeel than the old Pilot counterpart. We have both vehicles in the extended family and the Pilot feels very unpolished

    Both pale to the x5 of the same generation on driving feel. But the x5 is a short vehicle with limited trunk space (had to drop the 2nd row to really carry anything)

  • avatar

    This car has no alibi, its boringly ugly. People buying this thing today are like those who purchased bad american car modelsin the early 1980’s, out of habit.

  • avatar

    It’s better-looking than the TSX, TL, and ZDX. I want to like this car (and Acura in general), but they have been chasing Lexus and BMW too much. If they make simple, sporty, luxurious cars that look like they were styled by people with eyes, they will sell. Maybe not as much as mass-market luxury like Mercedes, but better than they are now.

  • avatar

    ‘The second-gen X5 is only 0.4 inches shorter than the MDX.’

    ‘With 81.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the MDX dwarves five-passenger competitors such as the BMW X5 (54.4 cubic feet) and Infiniti FX (64.5). It beats all but the Volvo XC90 (84.9 cubic feet) among seven-passenger competitors. And thanks to its space-efficient design, the MDX offers more cargo room when all three rows of seats are in place ( 14.8 cubic feet for MDX vs. 11.1 for XC90).’
    It’s what’s on the inside that counts :)

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Our Acura RL went through two air conditioner compressors in a little over four years. Had to fight for warranty replacement. Now the CD changer is jamming. Dealer says it’s a common problem. Quoting $600 for the repair. Like the car but not impressed with its quality or Acura customer care. Won’t buy the brand again.

    Our Infiniti FX has been flawless.

  • avatar

    We own a 2008 MDX Sport/Entertainment (read as: has every available option).

    We drove the CX-9 and the Enclave prior to purchasing the MDX.

    The CX-9 is decidedly less comfortable and luxurious inside, though the 3rd row and access to it are definitely better. Also, it looks goofy with the standard 17″ or 18″ wheels, but the 20s that complete the look also RUIN ride/handling balance.

    The Enclave is quieter and the interior design is more “blingy”, but its handling is noticeably more ponderous and the V-6 struggles to make it go with any authority. Also, the Enclave’s seats (or for that matter the CX-9’s) aren’t in the same class as the MDX Sport’s. It drives bigger than it is, while the MDX drives smaller.

    They’re all nice vehicles, and all have tradeoffs. If you care about the driving experience, the MDX with the magneto-rheological shocks (Sport version) is by far the best.

    The X5 looks decent, but isn’t in the same class with regards to roominess or (especially) reliability.

  • avatar

    As a 50 year old guy whose kids are now in college and high school, I have had 15 years with Japanese SUV’s with 3 rows of seats.

    Initially, we bought a fully loaded 1996 Mazda MPV – 4WD, 4 doors and three rows of seats in a plain box exterior. Mazda was a real leader here and had this vehicle for sale long before the MDX was even a thought. We put 160,000 miles on that Mazda with no real problems. But the one issue was that truck, with only 160 hp, was very underpowered.

    So after the first MDX came out we traded the Mazda in for one. Much more powerful, much more luxurious and Honda built – all was good. But with 90,000 miles the transmission went bad. Of course the MDX was serviced by the book at our dealer. They wanted almost $6000 to repair it but we argued and ended up paying only half. Still not what I expected. We traded it for a GMC Envoy XL – actually avery nice vehicle that gave us no problems, but that my wife just never really liked – too much TRUCK for her.

    When it came time to replace that Envoy a few years ago we looked at all the options. In the end we went back to Mazda and the CX-9.

    There is no doubt the Acura may be a bit sportier, a bit more luxurious, a bit quicker. But none of that is worth the almost $9,000 differnce in price we saw between the Acura, which they were barely dealing on, and the Mazda which was selling at invoice plus rebates.

    And the Mazda has far better third row seat room, third row access and overall space and utility – all important to us with older bigger kids. We already have 50,000 trouble free miles on the CX-9. Motor Trend even rated the CX-9 first over the MDX and Acadia a few years ago.

    These are all nice vehicles. But I don’t need our SUV to drive like my sports car. For my family, I need our SUV to be practical, safe, comfortable, and reliable with some modern technology and features, at a fair price. The CX-9 offered all that and more, for thousands less than the Acura.

    Of course the Mazda does not carry the status of driving an Acura . . and I know several people who bought the MDX simply because it says Acura. But if I were in the market today I’d pick the new Honda Pilot over the MDX – still a Honda, uses regular gas, plenty of space and utility, less money, and I like the styling much better.

  • avatar

    We have often asked why some brands exist. Acura is definately worthy of similar questioning. This brand is redundant to Honda. This vehicle stands out only because it is so ugly. If it wasn’t ugly, it would be as invisible as typical Hondas.

    Acura is to Honda what Mercury was to Ford, or what Oldmobile was to GM. For it to exist demonstrates the market viability of it’s parent company, not it’s excellence.

  • avatar

    I’m surprised at the interior quality. The last gen TL was surprisingly nice inside.

    But my question is when is Acura gonna grow up and get into the rear drive business? They did bring us the NSX and S2000. Come on Honda get it together!

  • avatar

    Again, the responses shows that most self-claimed enthusiasts knows **** about cars or SUVs.

    MDX is selling very well as of now and is built much better than the X3 (as a same price comparison). No, don’t compare to the RX or X5, because they are way more expensive after all rebates kicks in.

  • avatar

    I too was disappointed with interior quality of new MDX.

    Honda used to be fairly adept at making interior at least “look” deluxe, even if everything was made out of hard plastic.

    But this new MDX was a shocker. Fit and finish were just poor, even by average car standard. Plastic color was uneven, and materials felt cheap.

    People knock Lexus ES for being a rebadged Camry, but the quality of material, fit and finish, and other more qualitative aspects of luxury like damping of switches, vacuum-sealing-thunk of closing door were far superior than that of its Toyota cousin. (I’m speaking about the previous generation ES. I’m not sure about the 2007+ ES, which I know suffered some cost cutting measures)

    Honda still wonders why Acura is considered inferior brand to Lexus after all these years. The ugly truth is, Honda doesn’t know how to make luxury car.

  • avatar

    I remember the old school days when Acuras had real names and were much better looking . Sadly now the Hondas and especially the Acura brand is so strangely styled . What are they thinking ?The new Acuras are a joke ,people buying upscale cars probably buy elsewhere bacause the sales are sad at Acura.

  • avatar

    I’ve had a new gen since they came out. It came down to MDX or X5, as a lease. The MDX drove closest to the X5, but the loaded MDX vs the six cylinder (slow) X5 was a win for the MDX (Add 20k then the v8 wins)

    This is, of course, the way pricing always works. The eastern competitor for the german car is the same price loaded as the german car is stripped.

    It is surprisingly tossable even if it does drink like a sailor on leave. No issues, no problems, one TSB for a rear shock replacement.

    Sustained running @ western highway speeds is sure footed and very comfortable.

  • avatar

    Acuras as much maligned on this site, while Audis revered.

    But buying public know better as the sales of each brand indicates.

  • avatar

    My wife and I bought a 2007 MDX used after driving several competitors. It’s a bit bland and boring, but it hauls the kids, the stuff, it’s great in snow, it’s safe, and it’s really comfortable around town, commuting, and on the highway.

    The interior fit is lousy, though. That was a shock. Uneven, wide panel gaps and parts that don’t line up. It’s terrible. The MDX is okay but not great. With so many other choices, and Acura’s downright ugly styling and abandonment of light, thrifty, sporty luxury, we much prefer the European true luxury brands or else the resurgent American brands.

  • avatar

    All you posters need to start reading more independent reviews of the Acura MDX.  The 2007 model took top honors against alot of other “luxury” models..  The 2011 model is awesome – now with 6 speeds.
    I guess all the publications that rate the MDX are wrong right.  Consumer Reports, US News, Car & Driver, on and on..
    I don’t think this is really “”, I think this is the whining site.

  • avatar

    TTAC’s observation of bad door-to-dash panel fit is not a one-off. I noticed the exact same problem in a 2012 MDX a few weeks ago for the passenger’s side panels (didn’t check the driver’s side). Maybe it’s a systemic problem.

    This kind of panel alignment wouldn’t even be allowed on a 90s Ford, much less a 90s Honda Civic, back when Civics were better engineered. Yet we see it on a $46K car (sticker of the one I was in).

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Kenn: When I walked by the open door of the GM’s office at a SoCal Toyota dealer, the day I took delivery of my...
  • slavuta: Before traveling to space he could take care of public transport. You should like this...
  • ToolGuy: I spend that $169/year on washer fluid and oil filters instead.
  • mcs: Another thing is that I sneak up on deer all the time on my mountain bike. I’m sure it would be the same...
  • ToolGuy: I am 99.997% confident that I will never buy an electric vehicle which is labeled as a “Turbo”:...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber