Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot
The midsize SUV segment is as hot as ever, with families flocking to dealers to scoop up high-riding ‘utes capable of providing loads of cargo room, passenger comfort, and tech choices. Two of the most popular entries in this space come from Honda, including the Pilot, and, from its premium Acura brand offering, the MDX. But the question is this - which should you buy?
For starters, the MDX is one of the most popular three-row luxury SUVs ever created, with the current model headed for a new fourth generation sometime next year. However, there’s a newly refreshed Honda Pilot out as well, which is set to make its full debut later this month. Choosing between these two can be tricky given how similar they are, but luckily, we’re here to lay out all the important info, bringing it right here to help you pick the right model for your needs.
Continue reading for the full comparison buying guide.
Acura’s Still Tight-Lipped but an NSX Type R Could Happen After All!
Ever since the Acura NSX made its glorious debut, folks everywhere have been blowing up Acura’s (and Honda’s) lines begging for an NSX Type R. The truth is that the Japanese company has been rather tight-lipped, and it remains that way, but a few little hints here and there have come about. In an interview with Motoring, Acura’s Vice President and General Manager, Jon Ikeda, was asked about the idea of a Honda NSX or Acura NSX Type R, and his response gives us a lot of hope.
“I’m a car guy, so always faster performance vehicles … yeah, we like that, we talk about it.”
Of course, he was very careful not to officially confirm anything, but he never denied the fact that it does exist (or will soon, anyway.) Acura’s U.S. PR Manager, Matt Sloustcher, was privy to the conversation as well. He stopped well short of actually confirming the Type R, but he did say “anything can happen” but that there aren’t necessarily plans in the works:
“We’ll see … anything can happen,” he said. “There’s always proposals,” he said, before cautioning that the company had no plans “at this stage.”
The suits from Acura were also quizzed about other things, including upgrade packages for existing NSX owners and the response was just as intriguing, saying that there’s “nothing that can be discussed.” With that in mind, Acura has managed to sell close to 1,000 examples of the NSX, and it’s still trying to get the word out if you will. If the car continues to sell, a Type R is very possible, as long as the demand is really there. Sure, journalists everywhere want an NSX Type R but do those with pockets deep enough want it too?
There’s no reason why not, but then again, it might not happen until the next-gen NSX comes about. When that happens, it could even go all-electric. It could feature a four-motor system like that found in the Pikes Peak EV Concept. That would deliver gut-wrenching performance to the tun of 1,000 horsepower. The 60-mph sprint could come in 2.5 seconds while 124 mph could come in as fast as six seconds.
Of course, we’re getting a little far ahead of ourselves at the moment. The point is that an NSX Type R could literally be around the corner.
Donut Media Explains VTEC: Video
Matching gas-gulping speed-making with frugal efficiency isn’t an easy thing to do. Some folks slap a turbo on it and call it a day, while others add some extra batteries and an electric motor and call it a hybrid. But what if you didn’t need either of those things to have your cake and eat it too? Well, turns out Honda has been doing exactly that since the ‘80s, and it’s called VTEC.
The acronym stands for Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control, and basically, the system works to modify the exhaust and intake valve timing in the head to better extract more efficiency from the engine. While older engine design used a single cam profile to time the valves, VTEC actually manages to change the cam profile for increased power when you want it and decent fuel mileage when you don’t.
The first example came out in 1989 with the JDM Acura Integra, eventually hitting the States a few years later with the high-tech Acura NSX. Ever since then, H-badge fanboys have never been the same.
There’s obviously a lot more to it than we’ve explained thus far, so hit play for all the details.
Video of the Day: 2017 Honda Civic Type R vs 2005 Acura NSX
In one corner we’ve got the 1991 - 2005 Acura NSX; in the other corner, we’ve got the 2017 Honda Civic Type R. What do these two cars have in common other than coming from the same place and sharing common roots? Well, not much. The NSX was rear-wheel drive and rocked out less than 300 horsepower while the new Type R delivers as much as 320 ponies to the front wheels. Oh, and don’t forget that the NSX doesn’t have the same engine configuration as the Civic. Nope, it’s mounted midship compared to the more common frontal location of the Civic’s beastly little four-cylinder. Both cars are legendary in their own right.
The Civic Type R is the first one to roll off the production line and straight into U.S. Market. It’s also the most powerful production Civic Type R ever made. The NSX is, well, it’s an NSX. It was unbelievably reliable (as all Honda’s typically are) it looked amazing, and despite it’s relatively lower power output, it had world-beating performance thanks to a lightweight chassis and crazy aerodynamics. It even had a manual steering rack folks. So, what did all of that compute to? Well, it could beat the hell out of Ferrari at the time for less than $80,000. Now, the question is, can it beat today’s Civic Type R? Well, Check out this video from Carwow to see just how they stack up head-to-head!
The Acura NSX is one of those cars that constantly come up in conversation, and that conversation usually revolves around either the baby NSX or the NSX Roadster – neither of which have ever been confirmed. The baby NSX, for that matter, might as well be filed away in the drawer of things that will never happen, but German site Autobild has now put out a report that NSX Roadster is coming as one of several sporty, open-top vehicles.
Reminder: Acura is Working on a Turbo V-6 Engine and Type S Models are Coming to Offer the Performance A-Spec Models Won’t
We were shocked at first sight of the MDX A-Spec. It had all of the looks that scream killer performance, yet we were left wondering just where the extra performance was at. As it turns out, there was a reason for the lack of extra performance, and it will always be this way for Acuras that wear the A-Spec badge. That may seem like a letdown but don’t go switching brands just yet. In case you forgot, Acura has big plans, most of which revolve around the long-lost Type S moniker that is set to make its return sometime in the fairly near future. Arguably more important is the fact that Acura is working on a turbocharged V-6 engine that could be associated with future Type S models. It’s not fresh news, but it serves as an explanation to why the A-Spec trim is what it is.
Acura is Not Interested in a Subcompact SUV; Aims to Always Put Performance over Luxury
The launch of the redesigned 2019 Acura RDX marks an important time in Acura’s business. Honda’s performance brand has been on the right side of business recently, and the introduction of the new RDX gives the automaker another model to offer to the public. Should the RDX become a success, it could convince Acura to beef up its lineup with a smaller, subcompact SUV. That may be a possibility in the future, but for the moment, don’t expect to see one, at least according to Acura Division general manager Jon Ikeda.
2018 New York International Auto Show - Worst In Show
We saw loads of good stuff at the New York International Auto Show this year, including a variety of sultry luxury machines like the Cadillac CT6 V-Sport and Audi RS5 Sportback, not to mention the stunning new Essentia EV GT concept from Genesis. However, as is inevitable these days, we found plenty of less-than-desirable debuts as well, five of which we’ve listed here for your communal derision.
Continue reading for the worst debuts from the 2018 New York International Auto Show.
2019 Acura RDX
Now that Acura has effectively moved on by the design slump it was once in; the brand has begun to blur the line between luxury and performance. The new RDX is a prime example of that, taking cues from the 2017 Acura Precision Concept and the Acura NSX. As the latest addition to Acura’s revamped model portfolio, the RDX takes on a striking new look, has more than enough power to take on the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, and is luxurious enough to make you wonder why you’re not paying more for a vehicle of this caliber. That’s where that blurred line comes in, and that’s why you need to keep reading to learn more about the model that will make BMW and Audi fanboys reconsider what brand they represent.
Acura MDX A-Spec Looks Sportier, Lacks the Extra Power
Redesigned in 2013, the Acura MDX received a comprehensive facelift in 2016 that changed its appearance quite dramatically. Come 2018, and the premium brand is trying to keep the SUV fresh with a new, sportier variant called A-Spec. Part of a series of new trim levels that also includes the ILX and TLX, the MDX A-Spec just made its official debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show.
The New Acura RDX Takes the Stage as BMW and Audi Fanboys Shed Tears of Jealousy, Hate, and Resentment
If you thought the new Acura RLX looked good, you’re going to fall out of your seat when you see Acura’s Precision Crafted design language plastered all over the new RDX. It’s got that Diamond Pentagon Grille, NSX-inspired Jewel-Eye headlights, and one of the sharpest design styles we’ve seen this decade. Acura designed it to stand out in the segment and stand out it does while keeping things more efficient than ever thanks to a new chassis architecture, and an all-new four-cylinder with damn near the same horsepower and more torque than the outgoing V-6 mill. Add to that the longer wheelbase, extra cargo room, and a completely revamps AWD system and you’ve got what could become the most desired compact SUV on the market.
This Crazy Wrap on a First-Gen Acura NSX Makes It Look Like a Sketch Came To Life
Car wraps come in many different colors and sizes. Some are subtle in their creativity, while others border on being overbearing. Then there’s this wrap created by artist Joshua Vides. The man is known for making sneakers look like black-and-white sketches, but now, Vides is setting his sights on more ambitious projects. Case in point: this first-generation Acura NSX that was given a similar treatment. From afar, you’d think it’s actually just a sketch. But it’s the real thing. That’s an actual NSX hiding under that wrap.
Acura Will Uppercut BMW and Audi with the Fifth-Gen Acura RDX and RDX A-Spec at the New York Auto Show
Now that SUVs reign supreme and account for a huge chunk of sales, automakers are pushing them harder than a drug dealer pushes crack on the street. And, that’s exactly why Acura’s next big move after updating the RLX is to breath new life into the RDX nameplate. Moving into its third generation, the new RDX will be the first Acura SUV to adorn the A-Spec badge and styling and will be graced with an all-new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, VTEC, and an efficient 10-speed automatic transmission. Acura’s even going all out by bring in an Integrated Dynamics System with some NSX DNA and to make things even better, this baby was conceived, styled, and built right here in the great U.S.A.
Despite Patents and Trademarks, a Baby NSX isn’t on the Horizon
Bad news, gentlemen. Forget about seeing a baby Acura NSX on the road anytime soon. It’s not happening, at least according to the company’s brand leader, Emile Korkor. Speaking with Autoguide, Korkor admitted that a baby NSX would be an awesome addition to the automaker’s portfolio, but nothing, at this moment, is on the cards.
Acura Dusts Off Type S Performance Brand, Plans New Models With New Engine
It’s been 10 years since Acura released a full-fledged Type S model for the masses. We haven’t seen a performance brand from the automaker since, but that’s about to change because Acura’s bringing back the Type S brand with the expectations of new performance models in the near future.
Acura Swings For The Fences With 2019 RDX – New Look, New Tech, Extra SUV
The 2018 Detroit Auto Show is now officially hitting its stride, and amid a flurry of high-riding utility vehicle debuts, Acura is joining the fray with its brand-new third-generation RDX compact luxury SUV. The Japanese automaker is calling it the “most extensive Acura redesign in more than a decade,” unveiling the five-passenger in “prototype” form, even though this thing looks pretty much good to go in terms of production status. Overall, the updates cater to American buyers in a big way, adding in extra inches for the size, as well as new technology like a True Touchpad Interface, and new styling to boot. Inspiration comes from Acura’s latest Precision Concepts in terms of exterior aesthetics and interior layout, which is sure to get the attention of stateside buyers, and Acura boasts the 2019 model year is the “quickest, best-handling RDX ever.” The updated RDX will hit dealers by mid-2018, but until then, read on for more info.
Continue reading for the full story.
What Can We Expect From The Third-Generation Acura RDX?
The Acura RDX burst onto the scene in 2006, taking the reigns from the MDX as the brand’s entry-level crossover. 11 years and two generations later, the RDX is still a presence in its segment. The third-generation model is scheduled to make its debut at the 108 North American International Auto Show, and it’s entering a more competitive segment that now includes high-value offerings from the likes of Jaguar, Infiniti, and Volvo. The third-gen RDX needs to step up its game to compete in this segment, so ahead of its unveiling, we’ve pieced together a few of our expectations for one of Acura’s most important models.
The Tesla Roadster Looks like a Blurry Version of the Honda NSX
When the new Aston Martin Vantage came out, I criticized the brand for producing a car that looked like a serious rip off of the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Now, as I was looking over the news from the past week, I see that there’s another look-alike out there, and this time, it looks like Tesla decided to copy the Honda NSX and slap a Tesla Roadster badge on it. Now, it isn’t a blatant and condemning rip-off, and maybe not even as bad as the Vantage vs. MX-5 copying scheme, but it’s pretty bad. I would say the Roadster looks like a blurry version of the NSX – almost like cars in 128-bit video games used to look compared to their real-life counterparts. Don’t believe me? Check out the quick comparison below.
2018 Acura RLX
Introduced in 2013, the RLX is one of Acura’s newest nameplates. Designed to replace the severely outdated second-generation RL, the RLX was received with mixed reviews. While praised for its powerful V-6, hybrid drivetrains, and technology, the full-size sedan was criticized for its bland looks and relatively high prices compared to its rivals. This is probably why Acura is introducing a new styling for the RLX only four years after the original model hit the market. The redesigned sedan was just previewed ahead of the Monterey Car Week, where it will make its public debut on August 15.
Although a four-year-old vehicle usually gets a mild facelift, the RLX was redesigned from the ground up on the outside, now reflecting the company’s new Precision Crafted Performance styling language. Granted, the interior carries over unchanged save for additional equipment and the drivetrain options all have the same specifications, but Acura solved one of the RLX’s biggest issues: the dull design. Let’s have a closer look at what it brings to the table in the review below.
Updated 11/06/2017: Acura announced prices for the 2018 RLX which is now on sale at dealer nationwide. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Acura RLX.