Monday, May 14, 2007

2007 Acura MDX review by The New York Times

The Acura MDX has been completely reimagined as a cutting-edge performance machine, with macho styling and a positively Teutonic array of electronic and telematic equipment. The MDX still comes only with a V-6, but the new 3.7-liter engine makes a more competitive 300 horsepower; indeed, this is Acura’s most powerful engine ever — even the discontinued NSX exotic sports car mustered only 253 horsepower. A dual-stage intake manifold and unusually high 11.0:1 compression ratio give the MDX’s engine the punch of a V-8 while sipping fuel like a V-6. In combined city and highway driving, it traveled nearly 20 miles on a gallon of premium unleaded.





This year, power is delivered as needed to each wheel through Acura’s savvy Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system (introduced in the RL sedan), wherein the outside wheels can rotate faster to facilitate cornering. The MDX’s quickness and dexterity compare favorably with pricier high-performance rivals like the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5. What’s more, towing capacity is 5,000 pounds, certainly adequate for a car-based utility.







Standard safety equipment includes front air bags, side air bags mounted in the front seats, full-length side curtain bags, active front head restraints, stability control with a stabilizing feature for towing, tire-pressure monitors and antilock disc brakes with brake assist. The brakes, by the way, provided strong, sure stops.


The MDX has grown to seven-passenger capacity, with three rows of seats; leather is standard on all MDXs. The power-adjustable front seats are handsome, firm and supportive. The roomy second row, which folds in a 60-40 configuration, has reclining seatbacks and a folding center section that doubles as an armrest with cup holders (in addition to other beverage and gear cubbies in the door pockets and elsewhere). The third row, split 50-50, is fit only for children.



An ergonomic shortcoming is the center stack with its Big Brother control knob, akin to BMW’s odious iDrive. Acura was once the industry’s model for ergonomic simplicity but it seems to have followed the Germans down a path to complexity.
The base MDX is $40,665. The Technology Package brings the price up to $44,165 and includes a navigation system, surround-sound audio system and Bluetooth wireless phone connectivity. The Sport Package adds the active-damper handling system and sport seats, pushing the price to $46,265. The $2,200 Entertainment package has a second-row DVD video system, heated second row seats and power liftgate. Fully loaded, our test vehicle topped out at a sobering $48,465, including destination.





The MDX now outpowers the Mercedes-Benz ML350 and Lexus RX 350, neither of which has a third-row seat. The redesigned BMW X5 3.0i offers three rows, and the MDX can beat it in a drag race (though maybe not on a slalom course). But the Bimmer’s base price almost equals the sticker of a fully equipped MDX. The Audi Q7 3.6 is close in power and price but a loser in the feature race.
Other competitors, like the Cadillac SRX, Volkswagen Touareg, Infiniti FX35 and Lincoln MKX, all seem a notch below the MDX in sophistication.
[Source] The Family Car - 2007 Acura MDX Photos
[Source] NYTimes.com - Acura MDX: If It Looks Like a Duck...

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