2019 Acura MDX

2019 Acura MDX
2019 Acura MDX Rear Angle View 1
2019 Acura MDX Dashboard 1

2019 Acura MDX Test Drive Review: A-Spectacular New Look

The MDX may no longer be Acura's best-selling model (that honor goes to the smaller RDX), but it is still one of the most important vehicles Honda's luxury arm has ever produced. How successful has the MDX been for Acura since it was introduced back in 2001? Well, it is currently the best-selling three-row SUV of all-time.

Keeping the MDX fresh should be job #1 for Acura and for 2019, the MDX benefits from some trim changes and a new A-Spec sport appearance package. But is a sporty new trim level enough to keep third-generation MDX competitive? Well, yes and no.

Read in this review:

What is BuzzScore?

2019 Acura MDX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 MDX?

Acura has handed the MDX a bunch of updates to try and keep the offering fresh against the likes of the new three-row Lexus RX. These upgrades include adaptive dampers, a revised nine-speed automatic transmission tune for smoother shifts, and an improved start/stop system standard on all models. The A-Spec package has been added to the non-hybrid line-up on all-wheel-drive derivatives, giving sporty styling in the guise of dark trim, larger alloy wheels, and low profile tires. Inside, the A-Spec gets faux-suede seating inserts, A-Spec gauges, and an A-Spec specific steering wheel. Advance Package-equipped variants receive new 20-inch wheels for 2019. Across the range, new paint hues have been added to the available palette, and the interior trim has a new wood treatment option.

Pros and Cons

  • High levels of driver assistance tech standard on all trims
  • Impressive handling for a three-row SUV
  • Smooth power delivery from V6 engine
  • Spacious cabin with clever storage
  • Low price for a premium model
  • Interior quality feed sub-par for the class
  • Automatic gearbox dulls an impressive engine
  • Below average real-world gas mileage
  • Poor dual-screen infotainment system

What's the Price of the 2019 Acura MDX?

In its cheapest guise, the Standard Acura MDX will set you back $44,300 before the addition of licensing, registration, tax, and destination charges, the latter a standard $995 fee. From there, the Technology Package carries an MSRP of $49,300, while the A-Spec as tested here is priced from $54,800 in the USA. The Advance Package starts at $56,050 in FWD guise, while the Entertainment Package can be equipped with the Technology Package starting at $51,300 or with the Advance Package, carrying a price tag of $58,050. All-wheel-drive can be added to all models except the A-Spec Package, on which it's standard, but adds an extra $2,000 to the asking price.

Best Deals on 2019 Acura MDX

2019 Acura MDX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L with Technology Package
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L with Technology & Entertainment Package
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Technology Package
3.0L V6 Hybrid
7-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L with Technology & A-Spec Package
3.5L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2019 Acura MDX Trims and Specs

2019 MDX Exterior

2019 Acura MDX Front Angle View Acura 2019 Acura MDX Rear Angle View Acura 2019 Acura MDX Side View Acura
2019 Acura MDX Front Angle View
2019 Acura MDX Rear Angle View
2019 Acura MDX Side View
See All 2019 Acura MDX Exterior Photos


  • Length 196.2 in
  • Wheelbase 111.0 in
  • Height 67.4 in
  • Max Width 77.7 in
  • Front Width 66.3 in
  • Rear Width 66.3 in
  • Curb Weight 4,032.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Majestic Black Pearl +$400
  • Performance Red Pearl +$400
  • Canyon Bronze Metallic +$400
  • Apex Blue Pearl +$400
  • White Diamond Pearl
  • Lunar Silver Metallic
  • Fathom Blue Pearl
  • Modern Steel Metallic
  • Gunmetal Metallic

2019 MDX Performance

2019 Acura MDX Engine Acura 2019 Acura MDX Engine 1 Acura 2019 Acura MDX Gauge Cluster Acura
2019 Acura MDX Engine
2019 Acura MDX Engine 1
2019 Acura MDX Gauge Cluster

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    3.0L V6 Hybrid, 3.5L V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    7-Speed Automatic, 9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Acura has no trouble admitting the A-Spec package is only for appearance and is not meant to be a performance upgrade. Despite this, the MDX is still a very enjoyable SUV to drive. The suspension sits on the firmer side of the SUV spectrum but limits body roll to an enjoyable level. Those who are simply seeking a comfortable ride may want to opt for the Advanced Package, which adds adaptive dampers. We were very impressed with Acura's SH-AWD, which is able to torque vector, sending additional power to the outside wheel through corners. In layman's terms, the AWD system can nudge the MDX around corners more gracefully than most SUVs of this bulk. Acura likes to compare the MDX's AWD to the system found in the NSX supercar and although the comparison is a stretch, it is possible to sense how the two are connected.

Acceleration feels strong from the 3.5-liter V6, though it does beg to be revved out. Even in normal mode, the transmission will often let the engine rev to 3,000 to 4,000 rpm under light throttle, which can feel disconcerting to anyone just hoping for a quiet, uneventful trip to the pickup line at school. For gearheads, the experience is pretty fun and might be just the experience you are looking for after trading in a two-seat sports car for a more practical family runabout.

2019 MDX Interior

2019 Acura MDX Dashboard Acura 2019 Acura MDX Driver Seat Acura 2019 Acura MDX Rear Passenger Seats Acura
2019 Acura MDX Dashboard
2019 Acura MDX Driver Seat
2019 Acura MDX Rear Passenger Seats
See All 2019 Acura MDX Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.4 in
  • Front Head Room 38.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.3 in

2019 MDX Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Acura MDX Maximum Cargo Space Acura 2019 Acura MDX Trunk Space Acura 2019 Acura MDX Trunk Space with Third Row Folded Acura
2019 Acura MDX Maximum Cargo Space
2019 Acura MDX Trunk Space
2019 Acura MDX Trunk Space with Third Row Folded

2019 MDX Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: Is the 2019 Acura MDX A Good SUV?

The Acura MDX A-Spec is an enjoyable SUV to drive but it is let down by a number of crucial shortcomings. It has a wonderful engine but the transmission does a poor job allowing the driver to access it. The technology feels years out-of-date and the cabin materials feel like they should be compared with Toyota more so than Lexus.

It is clear Acura has paid more attention in recent years to the smaller RDX and we think the best-selling MDX is in need of an update to remain on top. Lexus has recently added a three-row RX to the lineup, which could steal a lot of the MDX's thunder. We love the look of the MDX A-Spec but feel there are better options in the three-row crossover segment, including its own corporate sibling, the cheaper Honda Pilot.

What Acura MDX Model Should I Buy?

We feel the A-Spec package adds enough visual excitement to warrant its $3,500 cost over a standard MDX. However, the MDX Hybrid is more powerful and provides improved fuel economy over the gas mode, so it should also be worth consideration. In all truthfulness, the MDX we'd buy is the Honda Pilot, which offers similar packaging, powertrain, practicality, and premium feel all at a lower cost.

Check out other Acura MDX Styles

2019 Acura MDX Comparisons

Acura RDX Acura
Honda Pilot Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Acura MDX290 hp19/26 mpg$49,550
Acura RDX 272 hp22/28 mpg$41,750
Honda Pilot 285 hp18/23 mpg$36,300

2019 Acura MDX vs Acura RDX

If you'd rather stay within the Acura brand, the smaller RDX may be of serious consideration, and judging by the sales records, for many buyers its been the more enticing option. Key to the decision might be price, with the RDX priced $7,000 cheaper than the MDX, for the loss of the third row of seating. Those five seats in the RDX feel more premium and more comfortable than the MDX, and the cabin space is put to better use for passengers, and while the MDX may offer more overall cargo volume, the RDX bests its direct rivals by a substantial margin. The RDX pulls further ahead with a more premium interior look and feel, compared to the MDX which feels like a redesigned Honda Pilot. The RDX may make do with less power at 272 horsepower, but its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and refined ten-speed automatic gearbox are better performers in a lighter body while providing comparable gas mileage. There's really not much going for the MDX in this comparison, and unless you desperately need three rows of seating, you're better off opting for the RDX in just about every aspect.

See Acura RDX Review

2019 Acura MDX vs Honda Pilot

As corporate siblings, there's much shared between the Acura MDX and the Honda Pilot, including three-row seating for up to seven occupants, a potent 3.5-liter V6 engine, and much of the same safety equipment. However, the MDX gets a little more grunt from the engine to the tune of 10 hp more. Where the Honda has more, though, is in the third-row space, which can accommodate adults more comfortably so than the MDX's third row. Both offer comparable cargo volume, too, and similar gas mileage estimates. The biggest difference is in price, with the MDX nearly $14,000 more expensive than the Pilot in base guise. Is it $14,000 better, though? We're inclined to say no, as the Acura's interior quality feels far too close to the Honda's to justify a premium price-tag for what is essentially a premium-badged Pilot itself. Our recommendation, opt for a well-specified Pilot and save yourself a big chunk of change.

See Honda Pilot Review
To Top