Two Japanese siblings battle for SUV supremacy

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.

2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2019 Honda Pilot Exterior

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Note: 2018 Acura MDX pictured on the left, 2019 Honda Pilot pictured on the right.

To kick things off, we’re checking out the latest 2018 Acura MDX, which was most recently updated for the 2017 model year. To give it a fresh exterior aesthetic, Acura equipped the MDX with a new diamond pentagon front grille, which carries a design similar to that of the Acura Precision Concept. The MDX’s frontend also adds in new headlight housings with LED lighting elements and an automatic high-beam feature, plus there are LEDs used for the daytime running lights and amber-colored turn signals.

The headlight design is something Acura is calling the Jewel Eye layout, and it comes as standard on the new MDX. Out back, the rear comes standard with a dual-chrome exhaust set-up, while the corners come occupied by optional wheels up to 20 inches in diameter. The standard wheels are 18 inches in diameter.

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot
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We think it looks good, but if you need even more visual pop, Acura is also offering the MDX with a new A Spec model treatment.

We think it looks good, but if you need even more visual pop, Acura is also offering the MDX with a new A Spec model treatment, which adds a host of extra aggressive components to give it that high-performance sporting vibe. Check out the Prices section for more information.

Up next is the Honda Pilot, which was also recently updated with a new exterior styling package. The Honda comes with optional LEDs in front, plus an automatic on/off feature and automatic high beams to boot. The rear also comes with LED lighting elements, and there’s an available hands-free power tailgate.

Further options include a trailer hitch and roof rails, available LED daytime running lights, and available 20-inch wheels. The standard spec throws in 18-inch wheels under the arches.

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot
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To our eyes, the Honda looks less refined than the Acura, but the latest 2019 model year changes that somewhat.

To our eyes, the Honda looks less refined than the Acura, but the latest 2019 model year changes that somewhat, with the new style more closely mimicking the Honda’s high-end cousin. This is especially the case in front, where we see the Honda takes on Acura’s signature Jewel Eye headlight design.

In terms of exterior dimensions, the Acura MDX and Honda Pilot are very close, with just a few inches either added or subtracted between the two. When it comes to parking these two SUVs, the measurement differences should not be terribly impactful. Rather, it’s the technology (either standard or optional) that’ll make the bigger difference.

2018 Acura MDX Exterior Dimensions 2018 Honda Pilot Exterior Dimensions
Wheelbase 111 inches 111 inches
Overall Length 196.2 inches 194.5 inches
Overall Width 77.7 inches 78.6 inches
Overall Height 67.4 inches 69.8 inches
Front Track 66.3 inches 66.3 inches
Rear Track 66.3 inches 66.3 inches
Ground Clearance 7.3 inches 7.3 inches
Angle (Approach / Departure / Breakover) 14.9º / 17.4º / 15.2º 18º / 19.7º

2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2019 Honda Pilot Interior

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Note: 2018 Acura MDX pictured on the left, 2019 Honda Pilot pictured on the right.

The Acura MDX is both comfortable and roomy, and it comes with loads of nice tech to keep you safe, entertained, and informed. Indeed, one of this midsize SUV’s greatest selling points is the fact it seats up to seven passengers, with two up front, three on the second-row bench, and two seated in the rearmost third row. Acura is also offering a six-seater package that tosses in a pair of captain’s seats for the second row, giving passengers seated there a little extra space to stretch out and relax.

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot High Resolution Interior
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Acura claims the MDX as the first-ever crossover to offer third-row seating, so it makes sense for the brand to focus so heavily on making the most of the layout.

Acura claims the MDX as the first-ever crossover to offer third-row seating, so it makes sense for the brand to focus so heavily on making the most of the layout. To that end, the MDX comes with an adjustability function for the second-row seats, providing buyers with more room where desired. There’s also a memory function for those who sit up front, with adjustability offered for the steering wheel and side mirror positions, as well as several other aspects of the vehicle, including stuff like 10-way power seat adjustability, extra lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and eight-way power adjustability for the front passenger seat. There’s also an Easy Entry system which moves the seat back for ingress and egress, then moves it forward again after you’re seated.

The two front seats also come with three levels of heating and an available three levels of ventilation, both of which should be highly appreciated in any climate under the sun (or clouds, as the case may be).

As for the interior layout, the MDX still uses several hard buttons for the climate control system and infotainment, but there’s also a new dual-screen interface to clean it up a bit, and the center console is simplified a bit thanks to the multi-use display. The system includes a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen, now with faster response times, and the standard spec includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. There’s voice control as well, plus Bluetooth streaming.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
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Standard spec includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.

Further standard features include keyless ignition, a moonroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats, three-zone automatic climate control, an array of USB ports, an eight-speaker audio system, and an 8.0-inch infotainment screen. In the rear, there’s an optional second-row heated seat feature, as well as a 9.0-inch rear entertainment screen with a Blu Ray player. An 11-speaker stereo system is optional. All told, the MDX can support up to 10 individual audio sources, which is useful when catering to a variety of interests for onboard passengers.

However, equally as important is storage, which on the MDX is rated at a segment-middling 16 cubic feet behind the third row. However, there’s also an impressive 43 cubic feet with the second row down, and more than 91 cubic feet with the third row down. Note, these numbers were calculated using the standard SAE J1100 cargo volume, and include the floor space between the first and second seats with the front seats moved forward.

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot High Resolution Interior
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Utility and flexibility are paramount here, so Acura made sure to offer buyers a plethora of interior configurations and seat placement options.

Utility and flexibility are paramount here, so Acura made sure to offer buyers a plethora of interior configurations and seat placement options. Further cargo-swallowing features include a 60/40 split for the second row and a 50/50 split for the third row, and there are additional cubby holes placed throughout the cabin, from front to back. There are four chrome tie-downs in the cargo area to keep it all secure, plus a system of sub-floor storage compartments to help hide away any delicate, important, or expensive items.

There’s also multiple compartments in the center console, both small and large, or alternatively, you can open it all up for a large storage compartment. The compartment is both slidable and adjustable, and it provides access to the infotainment system’s various jacks and input ports.

Up front is an overhead compartment for sunglasses storage, while the door panels get water bottle storage front to back. In the rear, passengers can put items in the seat back pockets, and the third-row gets an outer armrest, drink holders, and further storage bins.

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot
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The latest Honda Pilot also offers a redesigned instrument cluster, a new dash, and a new steering wheel as well.

Moving on to the Honda Pilot, we find that the interior design was recently updated to include a traditional volume knob, included as a replacement for the outgoing model’s rather troublesome virtual volume slider. The latest model also offers a redesigned instrument cluster, a new dash, and a new steering wheel as well. Up top, there are two moonroof configurations, with an available panoramic moonroof for those seeking extra natural light.

Like the MDX, the Pilot also offers standard third-row seating, although the Pilot can accommodate a maximum of eight passengers total, one more than the maxed-out MDX. Other similarities include a one-touch feature for moving the second row forward, opening up easier access to the rear row of seats. Additionally, buyers can opt into the available captains chairs, which once again replace the second-row bench to make for a roomier seven-seater configuration. The seven-seater layout is offered as standard equipment on the Elite trim level.

Optional bits include available leather upholstery, and there’s three-zone automatic climate control. Keeping the devices topped off should be no problem with up to five USB ports placed around the cabin, plus there are two auxiliary headphone jacks, three 12-volt outlets, one 115-volt outlet, and an HDMI port, the latter of which can be used to run things like an X-Box or Playstation console for a little on-the-move gaming fun.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Interior
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The main hub for the infotainment can get upgraded to an 8.0-inch Display Audio touchscreen, while a 5.0-inch screen is included as standard.

The main hub for the infotainment can get upgraded to an 8.0-inch Display Audio touchscreen, while a 5.0-inch screen is included as standard. The latest model year for the Pilot comes with a new Display Audio system, as well as integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot keeps passengers connected, while the Rear Entertainment System with playback and video streaming features keeps them from getting bored. The latter of these two features comes with a nine-inch display screen, a DVD player, and a Blu-Ray player.

One of the Pilot’s coolest features has to be Honda’s CabinTalk in-car PA system, which enables easy communication in the cabin via a smartphone-enabled CabinControl app. There’s also Active Noise Cancellation to keep the powertrain sounds to a minimum.

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot
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One of the Pilot’s coolest features has to be Honda’s CabinTalk in-car PA system.

Rounding out the infotainment stuff is Bluetooth streaming and a USB audio interface, plus there’s a smartphone audio interface and MP3 input jack as standard. App support includes standards like Pandora, and there’s the option for SiriusXM Radio and HD Radio. The latest Honda Pilot also includes Qi wireless device charging.

Drivers will enjoy the available Honda Satellite-Navigation System, which comes with 3D imagery, a live search function, and a lane guidance system. A Multi-Angle Rearview Camera helps to park the mid-sizer.

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot Interior
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When it comes to packing in the cargo, the Honda Pilot beats the Acura MDX.

When it comes to packing in the cargo, the Honda Pilot beats the Acura MDX, offering as much as 109 cubic feet with all the seats folded down. Making the most of it is a 60/40 split for the second and third rows, and there’s a cargo cover to keep things hidden away.

Finally, the Pilot offers more EPA-rated passenger volume than the MDX. Check out the exact numbers in the tables below.

2018 Acura MDX Interior Dimensions 2018 Honda Pilot Interior Dimensions
Front Headroom 38.1 inches 40.1 inches
Second Row Headroom 38.3 inches 40.2 inches
Third Row Headroom 35.6 inches 38.9 inches
Front Legroom 41.4 inches 40.9 inches
Second Row Legroom (adjustable) 35.6 inches to 38.5 inches 38.4 inches
Third Row Legroom (adjustable) 28.1 inches to 30.9 inches 31.9 inches
Front Shoulder Room 61.1 inches 62 inches
Second Row Shoulder Room 59.1 inches 62 inches
Third Row Shoulder Room 54.7 inches 57.6 inches
Front Hip Room 57.5 inches 59.1 inches
Second Row Hip Room 57.8 inches 57.3 inches
Third Row Hip Room 40.6 inches 44.6 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 132.7 cubic feet (FWD, AWD), 131.4 cubic feet (Sport Hybrid) 152.9 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 15.8 cubic feet (behind third row), 43.4 cubic feet (behind second row), 90.9 cubic feet (behind front seats) 18.5 cubic feet (behind third row), 55.9 cubic feet (behind second row), 109.2 cubic feet (behind front seats)

2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2019 Honda Pilot Drivetrain

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Note: 2018 Acura MDX pictured on the left, 2019 Honda Pilot pictured on the right.

Behind the restyled grille, the Acura MDX mounts a 3.5-liter V-6 with direct fuel injection and 24 valves. Peak output is rated at 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, and 267 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. The MDX also gets FWD as standard, or you can get it with an optional AWD system.

Go for the front-wheel driver, and you’ll net 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined. Meanwhile, AWD will tick off one mpg from each of those figures, with returns of 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. Helping it achieve these figures is an Idle Stop feature, which cuts out the engine at red lights and stop signs, as well as the Variable Cylinder Management system, which will reduce the active cylinder count from six to three in the appropriate conditions (such as cruising on the highway under light load).

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The most recent MDX models come with a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.

Previous models of the MDX came with a six-speed automatic transmission for the 2014 through 2015 model years, but the most recent models come with a nine-speed automatic transmission as standard.

If you wanna go even more high-tech, there’s also the MDX Sport Hybrid model, which joined the MDX lineup only recently. Upping the ante here is a three-motor Sport Hybrid powertrain, which is somewhat similar to that of the NSX and RLX. The heart of the MDX hybrid is a 3.0-liter V-6, which is used to power the front wheels, while the rears get twin electric motors for motivation, effectively making for AWD as the only powertrain option.

There’s also an electric motor inside the transmission. Each of the electric motors is juiced by a lithium-ion battery pack, which in turn is topped off by a regenerative braking function. Lay it all out, and the hybrid makes a combined output of 321 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 289 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Fuel returns come to 27 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg combined.

The hybrid MDX is also sportier than the rest of the line, offering up sharpened handling thanks to its NSX-derived electric torque vectoring system. In the hybrid, the nine-speed automatic gets replaced by a crisp-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which once again comes with technology and features Acura describes as derived from its impressive racing background.

Sport Hybrid models also come with an exclusive Active Damper System, which continuously monitors the driving situation and adjusts the damper stiffness to match. The new dampers also enable sportier driving modes. Finally, the MDX hybrid gets a little extra visual sportiness to match with new lower trim paint.

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot High Resolution Exterior
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If you opt into the non-hybrid MDX, you’ll have a vehicle capable of hauling up to 3,500 pounds.

Unfortunately, the Sport Hybrid is not recommended for towing duties, but if you opt into the non-hybrid MDX, you’ll have a vehicle capable of hauling up to 3,500 pounds, which isn’t bad for basic purposes. Go for the AWD model, and that figure gets a bump to 5,000 pounds, but you’ll also need to equip it with the appropriately rated trailer hitch and an ATF cooler (automatic transmission fluid cooler).

In testing, reviewers loved the MDX for its crisp handling and surprising dynamics, with Car & Driver labeling it as “undeniably quick,” while also praising the MDX’s AWD system as enabling it to be “more agile and engaging on the road than we expect a three-row crossover to be.”

Under the skin, the MDX shares a platform with the Honda Pilot, which is good news considering the MDX’s surprising agility. What’s more, the Pilot also matches the MDX in terms of the powerplant configuration, once again placing a 3.5-liter V-6 in front with 24 valves, a single overhead cam, i-VTEC, and direct fuel injection.

Output, however, is just a bit under that of the Acura, peaking at 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm 262 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. Fuel returns are also quite close, rated at 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. Each of those numbers is for FWD vehicles equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, but adding in the optional AWD dings a single mpg from each figure across the board. Meanwhile, adding in the optional nine-speed automatic transmission adds a single mpg to the city and combined figures. Features like Eco Assist and Variable Cylinder Management help it get there.

As you’d expect, FWD is standard, but each Pilot model is offered with optional AWD and Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. Go for the range-topping Elite model, and you’ll get AWD as standard.

5 Points Honda Had To Address To Make The 2019 Honda Pilot The Best Pilot Ever
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The Pilot’s available nine-speed automatic transmission was updated for the 2019 model year, as it originally experienced several mechanical problems.

On the gearbox front, the available nine-speed automatic transmission was updated for the 2019 model year, as it originally experienced several mechanical problems that lead to overheating, and occasionally, outright transmission failure. With this latest update, we don’t expect the Pilot to continue to have those issues. In addition to upping reliability, the fresh transmission is also more refined thanks to new software bits, and it was reprogrammed for greater engagement as well.

Towing capacity for the Honda Pilot matches that of the Acura MDX, rated at 3,500 pounds for FWD vehicles and 5,000 pounds for AWD vehicles.

2018 Acura MDX Drivetrain Specs 2018 Acura MDX Hybrid Sport Drivetrain Specs 2018 Honda Pilot
Drivetrain Layout Front engine, FWD/AWD Front engine, AWD Front engine, FWD/AWD
Engine Type N/A 3.5-liter V-6 Hybrid 3.0-liter V-6 N/A 3.5-liter V-6
Horsepower 290 hp at 6,200 rpm 321 at 6,300 rpm 280 hp at 6,000 rpm
Torque 267 lb-ft at 4,700 rpm 289 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm 262 lb-ft at 4,700 rpm
Transmission Nine-speed automatic Seven-speed automatic six-speed automatic, nine-speed automatic
Fuel Returns (highest configuration) 20 mpg city / 27 mpg hwy / 23 mpg combined 27 mpg city / 26 mpg hwy / 27 mpg combined 20 mpg city / 27 mpg hwy / 23 mpg combined
Towing 3,500 lbs (FWD), 5,000 lbs (AWD) Not recommended 3,500 lbs (FWD), 5,000 lbs (AWD)

2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2019 Honda Pilot Safety And Convenience

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Note: 2018 Acura MDX pictured on the left, 2019 Honda Pilot pictured on the right.

When it comes to the midsize SUV segment, safety and technology rank right up there on the list of priorities, and the Acura MDX delivers on both in a big way. Headlining the safety features is the AcuraWatch tech suite, which includes a host of complementary systems, including a Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, low-speed follow, and Road Departure Mitigation, all of which comes as standard equipment. There’s also Vehicle Stability Assist, a Blind Spot Information System, Front & Rear Parking Sensors, a Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, and a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera system, also included as standard-spec equipment, plus a Surround-View Camera System, a heated steering wheel, a Smart Entry Keyless Access System, and a push-button starter.

What’s more, the Acura MDX boasts a five-star overall NCAP rating from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), with five stars in frontal crashes, five stars in side impacts, four stars in rollover tests. The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) also considers the Acura MDX to be quite safe, awarding the 2018 model year with its Top Safety Pick award, as well as a top “Good” rating in every crash worthiness test and a top “Superior” rating in crash avoidance and mitigation.

Next to the Acura, the 2018 Honda Pilot is also very safe, but gets a few dings here and there when it comes to the ratings. For example, the NHTSA gives it five stars in overall safety, but four stars for frontal crashes. However, side impacts and rollovers testing matches that of the Acura, with five stars and four stars, respectively.

Meanwhile, the IIHS gives the 2018 Pilot its top “Good” rating in every crash worthiness test except for one - the passenger-side small overlap front test, where it earned the second-best “Acceptable” rating. The crash avoidance and mitigation rating was also rated as “Superior,” but only just missed the Acura’s top rating.

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot
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While not quite as stellar as the MDX’s ratings, the Honda Pilot is still very safe.

While not quite as stellar as the MDX’s ratings, the Honda Pilot is still very safe. Part of this is due to the standard Honda Sensing safety tech suite, which includes features such as a Blind Spot Monitor, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keeping Assist. There’s also backup sensors, while the HondaLink system offers access to fuel and range status, a remote engine start feature, and remote door locking and unlocking.

2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2019 Honda Pilot Pricing And Trim Level Information

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Note: 2018 Acura MDX pictured on the left, 2019 Honda Pilot pictured on the right.

The 2018 Acura MDX starts at $44,200. Buyers get three additional packages to choose from, as well as a separate sportier trim level called the A-Spec.

Let’s begin with the MDX’s Technology Package, which tacks on an extra $4,400. For the money, you get a Remote Engine Start feature, Navigation with HD Traffic, a Blind Spot Information System, 20-inch aluminum wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power-folding side mirrors with LED puddle lighting, and Voice Recognition. Go for the MDX hybrid model, and you’ll get the Technology package as standard equipment.

Then there’s the Advance Package, which tacks on an extra $6,050, but includes all the same stuff as the Technology Package, plus additional equipment and features like an Idle Stop feature, LED fog lights, automatic dimming side mirrors, roof rails, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row captains chairs, a heated steering wheel, Milano leather upholstery with contrast stitching, wood interior trim, a second-row center console with a sliding tray, second-row sunshades, a surround view camera, and parking sensors at both the front and the rear.

Finally, there’s the Entertainment package, which can be had for an extra $2,000 when combined with the Technology package. Grab this one, and you’ll add a 9.0-inch VGA screen, an eleventh speaker for the audio system, second-row bench seating, heated outboard second-row seats, rear door sunshades, two wireless headphones, a removable ceiling-mounted remote control, and a front 110-volt power outlet in the center console. Go all out and get it with the Advanced package, and you get all the same stuff as the Technology Package, plus a 16.2-inch Ultra-Wide Full VGA display with a split screen feature, a twelfth speaker for the audio system, and HDMI connectivity for gaming or anything else that outputs to HDMI.

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot High Resolution Exterior
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There’s also the MDX A-Spec model, which was just introduced for the 2019 model year.

There’s also the MDX A-Spec model, which was just introduced for the 2019 model year. This more aggressive iteration of the MDX comes with a host of aesthetic upgrades to give it a more aggressive appearance, including black and dark chrome accents outside, which were added as a replacement for the shiny chrome of the stock vehicle. There’s also wider exhaust tips in the rear, while the wheels are upgraded to 20-inch grey aluminum rollers. The bumpers were also redesigned for a sharper, sportier look.

Inside, the A-Spec gets the option for red leather and black Alcantara on the upholstery, as well as new gauges, carbon fiber trim pieces, sport pedals, and a thicker steering wheel. Unfortunately, all these styling changes don’t come with any powertrain upgrades whatsoever, which is a shame considering the aesthetic improvements.

Either way, Acura currently offers the 2018 MDX with a special lease program at $419 a month for 36 months, with $2,799 due at signing for 2018 MDX 9 Speed Automatic with FWD models. Alternatively, you can get the 2018 MDX 9 Speed Automatic with AWD for $3,299 due at signing. Other programs include a special finance offer, and special programs for recent college graduates and military service members.

Moving on, the 2019 Honda Pilot is expected to go on sale this summer, but until then, let’s check out the current model’s options.

For now, the model lineup starts with the LX, which comes standard with 18-inch wheels, a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, and eight-passenger seating. Above that is the EX, which adds in Honda LaneWatch, a Remote Engine Start feature, a Display Audio Touchscreen, and Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control. Following the EX is the EX-L, which drapes the interior with leather upholstery, adds one-touch second-row seating, comes with an optional rear entertainment system, and gets the option for the Honda Sensing Package. The penultimate trim level is the Touring, which equips a nine-speed automatic transmission and 20-inch wheels, while Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation and Honda Sensing are found in the cabin. The top of the line model is the Elite, which comes with heated second-row captain seating, a panoramic moonroof, a Blind Spot Information System, and LED low-beam headlights with an automatic on/off feature.

Expect updated option information and pricing information when the refreshed 2019 Honda Pilot drops later this month.

2018 Acura MDX Pricing
MDX (FWD) $44,200
MDX (FWD) with Technology Package $48,600
MDX (FWD) with Technology and Entertainment Packages $50,600
MDX (FWD) with Advance Package $54,650
MDX (FWD) with Advance & Entertainment Packages $56,650
MDX (AWD) $46,200
MDX (AWD) with Technology Package $50,600
MDX (AWD) with Technology & Entertainment Packages $52,600
MDX (AWD) with Advance Package $56,650
MDX (AWD) with Advance & Entertainment Packages $58,650
2018 Honda Pilot Pricing
LX $30,900
EX $33,330
EX-L $36,760
Touring $41,970
Elite $47,470

Final Thoughts

Buyers Guide: 2018 Acura MDX Vs. 2018 Honda Pilot High Resolution Exterior
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The MDX is going strong - so strong, in fact, Acura calls it the best-selling three-row luxury crossover of all time.

The MDX was first produced in 2000, with the most recent model hailing from the third-generation crop for the 2018 model year. With the third-gen models first introduced in 2014 and refreshed in 2017, the inevitable fourth generation isn’t expected until next year for the 2020 model year.

All told, the MDX is going strong - so strong, in fact, Acura calls it the best-selling three-row luxury crossover of all time, selling well in markets across the world.

However, there’s now a refreshed Honda Pilot as well. With full info available a little bit later this summer, we’ve decided to compare what we know thus far against the MDX, filling in the gaps as we go with the 2018 model year. Expect updates soon.

Either way, both of these vehicles are very closely related, especially under the skin. However, even when it comes to features, both available and standard, there is a good deal of overlap to consider.

But the question remains: is it worth it to step up to the MDX from the Pilot?

2016 - 2019 Honda Pilot
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If maximum practicality and bang for your buck is what you’re after, the Honda Pilot is the way to go.

Well, it works like this - if maximum practicality and bang for your buck is what you’re after, the Honda Pilot is the way to go. It’s got everything you could possibly need in a midsize SUV, coming loaded with features and equipment across the line, not to mention the option for eight-passenger seating and a huge amount of space.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
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If aesthetics and luxury are what you’re after, the Acura MDX is the obvious choice.

However, if aesthetics and luxury are what you’re after, the Acura MDX is the obvious choice. This thing is definitely far more attractive than the Honda, and it’s sure to provide far more refinement than its lower-priced sibling as well. What’s more, the MDX is the obvious choice for something a bit sportier too, especially with regards to the hybrid model, which is pretty dang quick for an SUV, and it handles quite nicely to boot.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
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Given the choice, we’d probably end up going for the MDX Sport Hybrid.

And it’s for those reasons that, given the choice, we’d probably end up going for the MDX Sport Hybrid. We think it ticks all the right boxes, and even though its pretty pricey compared to the Pilot, in our eyes, it’s worth the extra outlay.

Further reading

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Aucra MDX.

5 Points Honda Had To Address To Make The 2019 Honda Pilot The Best Pilot Ever
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Read our full review on the 2016-2019 Honda Pilot.

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Read more Honda news.

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