The 2014 Acura MDX makes an admirable attempt as a player in today’s SUV market, but comes up disappointedly short. This is unfortunate considering Acura’s proven track record for luxury and performance.
Exterior styling is reminiscent of a surgeon’s scalpel, with sharp edges extending from the front grille creating a rather lackluster, unassuming appearance. Step into the cabin and you will find the same conservative feel. Although fitted with leather seating, the interior doesn’t remind you that you’re in a luxury SUV with one exception, the prominent touch screen audio and navigation system which Acura touts as “easy to operate.”
We beg to differ. We found this system to be overly complicated particularly when compared to other very intuitive systems offered in lower-end vehicles. The interior, however, is spacious, accommodating five comfortably in the first and second rows. When in use, the third row seats allow for seating up to seven. Those relegated to the third row will quickly find themselves wishing for a short trip due to the lack of adequate space.
If not in use, the third row folds flat, creating ample cargo space. The optional Advance Rear Entertainment system features a very wide 16.2” drop down screen that allows two separate video sources to run simultaneously. This option will surely be a hit for your second and weary third row passengers.
Navigating the urban and suburban jungles is a breeze given the MDX’s purposeful compact size making it a very suitable everyday around town vehicle. On the open highway, the 290 horsepower i-VTEC V6 provides ample power while yielding a commendable 28 mpg.
With an MSRP of $42,290 for the base MDX and $56,505 for the MDX AWD with the Advance and Entertainment Packages and given today’s strong SUV market, the 2014 MDX leaves a lot to be desired.