Test Drive Tuesday: 2017 Acura MDX Marks The Spot
Another kick ass 3rd row SUV? You betcha, kids. So I don’t want to hear any whining about what to buy.. we’ll get to that in a minute.
Let’s talk about Acura’s latest entry into the SUV game. The MDX has been around for a while, enjoying cult-like status among people who consider themselves too thrifty to buy a Mercedes and too spoiled to drive a Pilot. At around $55k loaded, this is a really sweet spot for a modern demographic. Today’s mom is working & often out-earning their partners, so if you think for one red-hot minute that they don’t deserve a bit of luxury while shuffling their little monsters to belly dancing/horseback riding/ puppy class/the mall or guitar lessons, you got another thing coming! I know you’re a gear head and want your wifey to rock a $20k minivan so you can buy that vintage 911, but if you value your sex life, I beg you to reconsider. Enter the Acura MDX.
The MDX’s upgrade includes a pimp interior, a dramatic change to its signature front grille and …wait for it..a great 3rd row. Maneuvering in and out of this 3rd row is simple–it doesn’t feel dangerous (I’m talkin’ to you, Audi Q7) and doesn’t feel like a lame afterthought (yeah, BMW x5 that’s yours). Even in the 3rd row, you know you’re in a luxury car with all of these amenities that make you feel like a boss:
I loaded 2 kids and two dogs in this baby and made the trek to my brother’s house and was so glad I did. I averaged 23.9 mpg for the entire trip, in the gas 3.5L AWD model which is not only great mileage but it also never felt like I was driving a bulky car. Plus, Acura’s got that super smooth transmission, which made the road trip truly enjoyable. I also took advantage of the standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which was is one of the most intuitive I’ve used (God Bless the Japanese).
If you don’t have or have never used Adaptive Cruise Control, here it is in a nutshell– you set the speed you wanna go, the distance you want from the car in front of you and lock it in, the MDX does the rest. All I had to do was steer. My kids think I’m a genius. I’m happy to say I didn’t have to use the Collision Mitigation Braking, but the Forward Collision Warning did keep me from plowing into the dude in front of me several times.
So, how does it compare to the competition? I knew you were gonna ask me that. Compared to the Volvo XC90, it offers an attractive price for a third row and a hybrid option that isn’t plug in. Compared to the Infiniti, who cares, Infinitis are weird. Compared to the BMW X5, the 3rd row is vastly superior, the interior comparable & the pricing is more attractive. The person who is going to love this vehicle wants AWD, a third row, luxury, reliability and respectable fuel economy. If you want to go around the track, you’re going to need to add a somewhat pricier accessory:
The 2017 I drove was $57,340 (pre-delivery) as tested. That’s loaded. Oh, and this vehicle was made in the USA. Deal with it.