As we all know, the Acura MDX model that we saw in Detroit was only a prototype that gave prospective buyers "a strong indication of the styling and design direction for the third generation." Well, now that the 2013 New York Auto Show is upon us, the 2014 MDX has officially been unveiled in full-production form.
In all honesty, the prototype and the production models are very similar, but Acura basically just toned down the extreme stuff. Things like the LED bars on the front and rear bumpers are nixed. Additionally, Acura gave the front skirt a more traditional look; as opposed to the futuristic treatment it received in the prototype. From the side, the prototype and the production models are nearly indistinguishable, as they both carry almost the identical profile and the rims are identical.
One thing that we’re sure every Acura fan has been waiting for is the revealing of the new model’s interior. And Acura delivered the goods today.
UPDATE 3/29/2013: Acura has finally unveiled the production MDX at the New York Auto Show. Plus nearly all of the details have been revealed.
Click past the jump to read all about the 2014 Acura MDX.
The 2014 MDX will be featuring Acura’s new "Aero Sculpture" design language that includes the signature Acura Jewel Eye LED headlights. This new "aero" design language will improve the MDX’s aerodynamic efficiency by more that 17 percent when compared to the 2013 model.
The body is now made of 55 percent advanced lightweight materials, like high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium. The end result of these new materials is a body that is more rigid to help with handling and stability and a drop of 275 pounds from the 2013 model. As standard, you get a set of aluminum-alloy wheels sized 18 inches and you receive 19-inch alloys with the Technology and Advanced trim levels.
The body measures in at 193.6 inches long, 77.2 inches wide without the mirrors, 67.6 inches high and sits atop a 111-inch-long wheelbase, which is 2.75 inches longer than last year’s MDX. Adding to your riding comfort is a new slew of sound-deadening material, like acoustic glass, expanding body sealers and Active Noise Control technology.
Overall, the body is oddly sexy, with its swooping roofline, sharp ridges on the hood, new LED headlights and a beautifully revised rump. The total package just screams “luxury,” whereas the 2013 model just looked a little overwhelmingly angular in our opinion. The loss of the hard body lines also helps draw attention away from the monstrous Acura beak.
| Length || 193.6 inches |
| Width || 77.2 inches |
| Height || 67.6 inches |
| Wheelbase || 111 inches |
| Weight || 4,319 pounds (Est.) |
On the inside, you get a far less angular design from last year’s MDX. All of the lines seem to flow together nicely and they flow more elegantly through the cabin. The first place you’ll notice a difference is the driver interface (aka the steering wheel). The 2013 MDX’s wheel was harshly angled and all of the control buttons seemed out of place and too far spread out. The revised wheel has all of the buttons closely packed together but still easily distinguished from one another. Overall, it all flows together more nicely than last year, dashboard to seat to door panel; it’s all perfect.
Accessing the cabin of the MDX is easier than ever. First of all, the redesigned multi-link suspension on the rear end allows for more walking room to the third row. The new MDX also features a 2-inch-lower step-in height, and a 3-inch-wider entryway.
The kiddos will never argue over who sits where due to the third row being so inaccessible, thank to Acura’s all-new One-Touch Walk0In button. A the push of a button, the second-row seats fold down, then slide to their forward-most position, giving the third-row occupants plenty of room to get situated.
Speaking of the second row seats, they now have a full four recline positions for optimal comfort on those long hauls. The second row also gains Extended Slide, which gives it 6 inches of forward and backward movement, allowing for maximum second- and third-row legroom.
Also new on the 2014 MDX is an under-floor storage space for those smaller items that you don’t want rolling around.
The rear seats aren’t all that received some extra refinement, as the front seats got their fair share too. The driver’s seat features 10-way power adjustment with heat for those cold mornings, while the passenger seat adjusts eight directions under its own power and offers up a little heat of its own. Acura went the extra mile by taking into consideration the fact that front passengers need a little storage room too, by expanding the center console so it will accommodate a woman’s purse, a laptop case or two tablet computers.
Standard Interior Features
- Premium leather-trimmed interior
- Silver plated accents
- LED overhead
- Cabin accent lighting
- Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system with 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display
- Next-generation AcuraLink connectivity system
- AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic, featuring freeway traffic and surface street conditions
- 8-inch Color Information Display
Optional Interior Features
- Smart Entry
- Second-row sunshades
- Remote engine start
- Auto-linked air conditioning
- Climate-controlled seats
- DVD Rear Entertainment system with a 9-inch full VGA (optional 16.2-inch full-VGA screen)
The 2014 Acura MDX is powered by an all-new, direct-injected 3.5-liter i-VTEC SOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM). This all-new powerplant pumps out a respectable 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, that is down 10 horsepower and 3 pound-feet of torque from last year’s 3.7-liter V-6 engine, but the 275-pound weight loss that it underwent should help compensate for the loss.
The engine links up to a six-speed automatic transmission with a Sport Mode and Sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters for those people who like a little more control. The standard MDX sends the power out to the front wheels, but you can opt for the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system to get power to all four wheels.
The MDX also features a new Integrated Dynamic System that allows you to select between Sport, Normal and Comfort driving styles. This system adjusts the steering effort, throttle response, SH-AWD and active sound relative to whichever setting you choose.
While performance numbers are not yet known, we did learn in New York that the MDX SH-AWD will deliver 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined, while the front-wheel-drive model will deliver 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. Those are massive improvements over the 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway that the 2013 MDX delivered so the power loss definitely pays for itself.
The MDX features a slew of new safety devices, including:
- Next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure
- 4-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
- Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
- Brake Assist
- Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®)
- Traction Control
- Airbags (front, front side, driver’s knee and side curtain with rollover sensor)
For additional safety, you can opt for:
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems
The suspension has been revised to include new Amplitude Reactive Dampers to go along with a MacPherson strut front suspension and new multi-link rear suspension. 18-inch wheels with 25/60R18 tires are standard, but optional 19-inch rollers with 245/55R19 tires are available on the Technology and Advanced packages
Production version Acura MDX will arrive in the summer of 2013 in four trim levels: MDX, MDX with Technology package, MDX with Technology and Entertainment packages, and the top-of-the-line MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages. Prices will be announced at a later date.
| Trim || MSRP |
| MDX || TBA |
| MDX with Technology package/b> || TBA |
| MDX with Technology and Entertainment packages || TBA |
| MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages || TBA |
The Acura MDX might be a very cool model, but it has a very big problem: German competition is very strong.
The 2013 Q7 comes in at a healthy $46,800 – likely in the ballpark of the MDX – and features a 3.0-liter supercharged, DOHC V-6 engine that delivers a total of 280 horsepower and a peak torque of 295 horsepower. We’re not too certain what the 2014 model year will bring us, as it is still in development. Rumors suggest that it will share a platform with the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, and that it will use a lot of aluminum in its construction to help shed a few pounds.
The base 2013 X5 comes in at $47,500 and features a 3.0-liter six-cylinder with TwinPower Turbo engine that delivers a total of 300 horsepower. You can move up the line to the xDrive50i and get a 4.4-liter V-8 that is good for a whopping 400 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque for a little over $64K. The 2014 X5 is still in limbo, as we thought it might show up in New York, but now it is looking more like a Frankfurt debut.
We expect to see a rounder body in the 2014 model with headlights that connect to the grille. BMW also has a weight-loss program in place for the 2014 X5, as it is set to drop about 330 pounds. Supposedly, the 2014 X5 will feature two new four-cylinder engines and retain the 4.4-liter V-8 engine.
Acura just couldn’t resist beating BMW and Audi to the punch for the 2014 model year. This could end up being the best decision it ever made or a complete folly, as Bimmer and Audi may now adjust their respective model to one-up the Acura. We’ll see.
Great fuel economy
Both FWD and AWD
Loses power from 2013
Takes too long to see the production version
Still awaiting a price
All-New 2014 Acura MDX Debuts at the New York International Auto Show
,i>Third-generation MDX raises the bar with more performance, class-leading fuel economy ratings, innovative interior features and signature Acura technologies
Acura today unveiled the all-new 2014 MDX luxury SUV at the 2013 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Built on a completely new platform, the seven-passenger MDX offers improved ride comfort, a more versatile and luxurious cabin, increased fuel efficiency and enhanced dynamic performance. The MDX will also be offered for the first time in a more affordable and even more fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive configuration.
"Building on the award-winning dynamic performance of the previous model, the third-generation MDX adds new levels of luxury comfort, family functionality and fuel efficiency to once again set the luxury SUV benchmark," said Jeff Conrad, vice president and general manager of Acura Sales. "From Nürburgring-tuned dynamics and thoughtful interior appointments, to the addition of a new two-wheel-drive model, the all-new MDX continues Acura’s direction of creating vehicles that advance the synergy between man and machine."
The 2014 Acura MDX is powered by an all-new direct-injected 24-valve 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™), producing 290 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque. The MDX’s engine architecture is shared with two racecars that recently finished First and Second in the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). Employing a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode and Sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters, the new MDX will be offered in both Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) and two-wheel-drive drivetrain variants, both featuring Acura’s new Agile Handling Assist technology.
Matched to the highly efficient Earth Dreams Technology engine and the \ SH-AWD drivetrain, the 2014 MDX has an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/27/21 mpg1 (city/highway/combined), while the new front-wheel-drive model is EPA rated at 20/28/23 mpg1 (city/highway/combined).
While achieving even higher fuel economy ratings, the MDX remains a true driver’s SUV with enhanced dynamic performance, including quicker acceleration, more responsive braking and even more precise steering feel. Tuned and tested on the grueling Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany, the lighter and more dynamic new 2014 MDX with SH-AWD bests the previous model’s lap time by eight seconds.
To satisfy the preferences of multiple drivers in any family, the 2014 MDX features an all-new Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with three modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort. IDS adjusts steering effort, throttle response, SH-AWD and active sound to suit the tastes of the driver. The MDX’s new Amplitude Reactive Dampers, MacPherson strut front suspension and new multi-link rear suspension enable its more nimble and responsive handling and improved ride quality. 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 245/60-18 tires come standard on the MDX. Technology and Advance grades are equipped with 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 245/55-19 tires.
Body and Styling
The 2014 MDX body applies more than 55 percent advanced lightweight materials – including high strength steel, aluminum and magnesium – resulting in a vehicle that is both more rigid and lightweight, with total vehicle weight reduced 275 pounds from the previous model. Measuring 193.6 inches in overall length, 77.2 inches in overall width (excluding door mirrors), 67.6 inches in overall height, and riding on a 111-inch wheelbase (up 2.75 inches from the previous model), the new MDX boasts an "Executive Aero Sculpture" exterior design that lends it a sleek, tailored and sophisticated appearance. The aerodynamic body design – refined by engineers in a new wind tunnel at the company’s Ohio R&D center – helps the MDX achieve a more than 17 percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, making it one of the most aerodynamic and fuel-efficient luxury SUVs on the road.
The 2014 MDX also takes a big step up in luxury comfort and quiet. The MDX’s dynamically tuned platform, more airtight body and triple path isolated dampers, along with the use of new sound-deadening materials, such as acoustic glass and expanding body sealers, and Active Noise Control technology, make this the quietest and most composed MDX yet.
Equally adept at carrying clients and kids, the new MDX boasts a luxurious and versatile interior. The revised body dimensions and new, more compact multi-link rear suspension, combined with innovative new technologies on the second-row seats, significantly improve third-row access and all-around passenger comfort. Third-row ingress and egress is significantly improved by a two-inch lower step-in height and three-inch wider entryway, and by the introduction of a new One-Touch Walk-In feature. With a single press of the illuminated One-Touch Walk-In button, the second-row seats automatically fold and slide to their forward-most position. The second-row seats now feature a four-position recline and a new Extended Slide capability that provides six inches of total fore-aft seat adjustment for optimal balance between second- and third-row legroom. Rear cargo capacity is also improved and includes a new underfloor storage area.
Up front, there is a 10-way power adjustable and heated driver’s seat and an 8-way power and heated passenger seat. The MDX also addresses a major shortcoming of many luxury SUVs – available front-seat storage space – with a spacious new center console that can accommodate a purse, laptop case, or a pair of iPads®. The MDX’s luxury quotient is further boosted by its upgraded interior appointments, including premium leather-trimmed interior, silver plated accents, LED overhead and cabin accent lighting, along with new optional luxury features, such as Smart Entry, second-row sunshades, remote engine start, and auto-linked air conditioning and climate-controlled seats.
Acura Signature Technology
In addition, the 2014 Acura MDX harnesses a range of Acura signature technologies, including Acura Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, more powerful Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system, and the next-generation AcuraLink™ connectivity system with AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™, featuring freeway traffic and surface street conditions (free for the first three years). In addition to the traffic services, the AcuraLink™ cloud-based connected car system offers an assortment of media, convenience, information and security features via an embedded cellular system and compatible web-enabled smartphones.
Both the AcuraLink™ and Acura/ELS Studio system take advantage of a 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touchscreen with haptic feedback and an 8-inch Color Information Display. The addition of the ODMD, along with other interior changes, allowed engineers to reduce the number of hard buttons in the center stack from 41 to just nine. The available Entertainment package adds a DVD Rear Entertainment system with a 9-inch full VGA screen for the rear seats, while the Advance package replaces the 9-inch monitor with an ultra-wide, 16.2-inch full VGA screen with HDMI compatibility for devices such as a game console.
The 2014 MDX offers a host of innovative driver assistive and visibility technologies, including a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, Blind Spot Information (BSI), and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).
The third-generation MDX is expected to achieve top-level safety ratings, including a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from NHTSA and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including the highest possible rating of GOOD in the Institute’s new small-offset frontal collision test.
The new MDX is equipped with a broad array of advanced safety technologies, including the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, 4-wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, and airbags (front, front side, driver’s knee and side curtain with rollover sensor), as well as the available Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems.
The 2014 Acura MDX is scheduled to go on sale at U.S. Acura dealers nationwide this summer and will be available in four grades – the well-equipped MDX, the robust MDX with Technology package, the rear-passenger-friendly MDX with Technology and Entertainment packages, and the top-of-the-line MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages. The 2014 MDX was designed and developed in the U.S. and will be built at the Lincoln, Alabama plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. Pricing details will be announced closer to launch.