2023 Acura MDX

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2023 Acura MDX Review: Traditional Class With A New Face

by Nikesh Kooverjee

The 2023 Acura MDX sits in the midsize luxury SUV segment, where the competition is heating up as manufacturers start to throw sleek EVs into the mix. The many competitors for the new Acura MDX SUV include the Lexus RX-L, Genesis GV80, Audi Q7, and Cadillac XT6 - this is without even adding BMW and Lincoln rivals to the mix. Despite being brand-new for the 2022 model year, the MDX has not adopted downsizing and electrification, with only two gasoline V6 options available: a naturally aspirated 290-horsepower 3.5-liter engine, and a turbocharged 355-hp 3.0-liter for the Type S. Much like the new TLX sedan, the MDX has an utterly conventional powertrain and trades on its sharp dynamics and sleek appearance instead, hoping to capture keen drivers attracted to its sense of fun. The fact that it boasts a fairly long list of standard features makes it a pleasingly sporty, high-value crossover. Will it be hamstrung by offering slightly less premium furnishings inside, or lacking hybridization?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2023 Acura MDX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 MDX?

No noteworthy changes have been made to the 2023 Acura MDX crossover as the new generation model was introduced in 2022. As of this year though, all models come standard with a three-year subscription to AcuraLink services, including in-car Wi-Fi powered by AT&T, Amazon Alexa connectivity, and a driver-feedback app. A standard maintenance plan valid for two years or 24,000 miles is also now part of the package.

Pros and Cons

  • The Type S offers impressive performance
  • Sophisticated suspension offers balanced and enjoyable driving characteristics
  • Well-specced in its segment
  • Generous cabin space
  • Lofty ride height perfect for urban and highway use
  • Traditional non-hybrid powertrains trail competition
  • Touchpad for the infotainment is frustrating to use
  • The standard V6 is down on torque
  • Could do with stronger brakes

What's the Price of the 2023 Acura MDX?

The FWD MDX has a base price of just under $50,000 in the US, while the Technology Package retails at an MSRP of around $55,500. An SH-AWD system can be added to both these models for an additional $2,200. A-Spec and Advance Package models come standard with the SH-AWD system. The A-Spec Package retails for just under $60k, while the Advance Package goes for a few grand more.

The Type S starts in the high $60k area and the Type S Advance tops the charts at over $70k. The price of the Acura MDX excludes the handling and destination charge of $1,195.

Best Deals on 2023 Acura MDX

2023 Acura MDX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.5L V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L with Technology Package
3.5L V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L with A-Spec Package
3.5L V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L with Advance Package
3.5L V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Type S
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Acura MDX Trims and Specs

2023 Acura MDX Handling and Driving Impressions

The base 2023 MDX uses a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque while the Type S employs a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with 355 hp and 354 lb-ft. The base model can be had in front- or all-wheel drive while the Type S is AWD only. The 10-speed automatic transmission is standard fit on both cars, and is responsive and refined, but torque is somewhat lacking, low down. Once wound up, it reaches 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds. The turbocharged Type S has the extra torque missing from the base engine and enough power to cut down the benchmark sprint by another second.

A sophisticated suspension setup gives the MDX's handling a pleasing sense of athleticism and more than acceptable ride quality, considering the fun handling setup. The air suspension and adaptive damping of the Type S add more control and precision and rides even more comfortably than the standard suspension.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Acura MDX A Good SUV?

As mentioned in our review of the Acura MDX's TLX sedan stablemate, the latest Acuras stand out for their modern styling, striking interiors, and excellent chassis dynamics. This holds true for the new MDX and proves that a sensible and comfortable family crossover SUV can be fun to drive. It comes as a bit of a letdown, then, that Acura does not follow this up with the type of fuel-saving tech expected of an SUV today, especially given parent-company Honda sold the first-ever hybrid in the USA - the Insight. So, it stops short of being the full package deal, but the mechanical simplicity does have the upshot that the MDX undercuts most of its rivals on price. Those looking for more economical SUVs in this segment may prefer the Audi Q7 or Lincoln Aviator, which feature downsized turbocharged or gas-electric hybrid engine options. As it stands, you might forgive the MDX its previous-generation powertrain approach once you see its striking figure in the flesh, settle in the superbly comfortable seats, and enjoy the rewarding drive it offers.

What 2023 Acura MDX Model Should I Buy?

While the base Acura MDX is a fine vehicle, we think this SUV is best enjoyed with the $4,700 Technology Package, adding premium leather sport seats, 20-inch wheels, parking sensors, built-in navigation, a 12-speaker ELS Studio audio system, and more. From there, you can choose between the sporty A-Spec ($3,500) and luxurious Advance ($7,050) Packages. The Advance Package is tempting, but we'd go for the more aggressive styling and cabin found in the less expensive A-Spec Package. This package requires SH-AWD for $2,000, but includes sportier exterior details such as 20-inch grey wheels, Ultrasuede seats with heating and ventilation in front, a 16-speaker ELS Studio sound system, and more. With the Technology and A-Spec Packages, a new MDX costs around $60,000.

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