The MDX is a large crossover sporting three rows. As is the case with most crossovers in this class, the third row is more suitable for the kids. Passengers in the front and second row have nothing to complain about, with copious amounts of space available. All models come as standard with a panoramic moonroof, which means the headroom is slightly down compared to the old model. Since there's still loads of headroom available, it doesn't matter. The seats are notably comfortable, and they'll keep passengers happy on long trips. Interior storage is good, and the cabin has a genuinely upmarket feel, though some European competitors feel more premium. Standard features include power-adjustable front seats with heating, tri-zone climate control, and traffic sign recognition.
The Acura MDX is a three-row vehicle with seven seats, and it's been improved in nearly all dimensions compared to the outgoing model. Front passenger space is excellent with 38.5 inches of headroom and 41.6 inches of legroom, increases of 0.4 and 0.2 over the old MDX. In the second row, passengers receive 38.1 inches of headroom (a slight decrease) and a generous 38.5 inches of legroom. Not only do the second row seats slide and recline, but owners can also remove the middle seat entirely to create a captain's chair layout. Getting into the third row is a cinch thanks to spring-loaded buttons that move up the second row seats. Once back there, you'll find that legroom is increased to 29 inches, a 2.4-inch improvement over the outgoing MDX. We'd still say the third row is best left for children or adults on shorter journeys though.
|Acura MDX Trims||3.5L||3.5L with Technology Package||3.5L with A-Spec Package||3.5L with Advance Package||Type S||Type S w/Advance Package|
|Headroom Front Seat||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||38.1 in.||38.1 in.||38.1 in.||38.1 in.||38.1 in.||38.1 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||41.6 in.||41.6 in.||41.6 in.||41.6 in.||41.6 in.||41.6 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.||38.5 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||61.9 in.||61.9 in.||61.9 in.||61.9 in.||61.9 in.||61.9 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||60.3 in.||60.3 in.||60.3 in.||60.3 in.||60.3 in.||60.3 in.|
|Hip Room, Front||59.3 in.||59.3 in.||59.3 in.||59.3 in.||59.3 in.||59.3 in.|
|Hip Room, Rear||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.||57.8 in.|
The base MDX is equipped with leatherette seats available in Ebony or Parchment. The Technology Package adds sports seats in perforated Milano premium leather with contrast stitching. This upholstery is also available in Ebony and Parchment but adds a light brown color known as Espresso. The A-Spec gets the same perforated Milano leather but with Ultrasuede inserts, contrast stitching, and piping. This interior is only available in Ebony or Red. The Advance Package removes the Ultrasuede but retains everything else included with the A-Spec. Color options include Espresso, Parchment, and Ebony. Type S models have Milano leather with premium Black Ultrasuede inserts, but color options are restricted to Red, Evony, or Light Orchid. The Type S with Advance Package ups the luxury ante and gets full Milano leather with a special quilted pattern on front and middle-row seats, with contrast stitching and piping for all seats. Exclusive to the top trim is Azurite Blue leather when paired with Tiger Eye Pearl exterior paint. Across the lineup, exterior colors will determine which interior scheme is available.
All models have a leather-wrapped steering wheel but the A-Spec's steering wheel has a sporty flat-bottom design. Ambient lighting is standard but on all but the base model, customers can choose from 27 color themes. Brushed Aluminum trim on the entry-level MDX and MDX with the Technology Package makes way for open-pore wood with the Advance Package and geometric-patterned brushed Aluminum for the A-Spec. The Type S with Advance Package has model-specific black metallic wood trim and an ultra-premium headliner. Compared to some of its European counterparts, the MDX feels a bit pedestrian in terms of fit and finish, but it's far from spartan.
The more significant overall length and increased wheelbase have had a drastic effect on cargo capacity. Seats in all three rows are adjustable, which means you get a standard cargo capacity and a maximum capacity with the seats moved forward. With all three rows in place, the MDX provides 16.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity. While the third row does not slide forward, the available space increases to 18.1 cubes when you include the under-floor storage. With the third row folded flat, you have 39.1 cubes to work with, rising to 48.4 cubes with the second row moved forward. Fold both the third and second-row flat, and you get 71.4 cubes. Slide the front seats forward and it increases to a colossal 95 cubes of space.
Interior storage space, as you'd expect in a family-sized SUV, is excellent. Besides the usual glovebox and well-sized door pockets, there are two large cupholders for front occupants, a slot ahead of this for your smartphone, and a covered center console armrest with a small tray on top and a larger compartment beneath this. In the second row, there are seatback map pockets and the middle seat can fold down when not in use, revealing two cupholders and a cutout where you can store two smartphones.
Acura has been extremely generous with the new MDX. Even from the base model, you get many standard surprise and delight features that German rivals would charge extra for. The base model comes with 12-way power-adjustable and heated front seats, a removable center seat in the second row, one-touch access to the third-row, tri-zone climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, a panoramic moonroof, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering column, ambient LED lighting, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Higher spec trims add niceties like GPS-linked cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, LED fog lights, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. The top-spec model comes with a surround-view camera system whereas all other models get a multi-view rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, providing clear images to the driver when parking. Type S Advance models have nine-way massaging front seats as standard.
All of the infotainment features are operated via a 12.3-inch high-definition, dual-content center display. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a touchscreen, so you have to operate it via a True Touchpad Interface. Fortunately, it comes with a lot of functionality from the base model upwards. Traffic Jam Assist, Amazon Alexa, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity are all part of the package. The Amazon integration here is seamless, meaning the voice command immediately wakes up to the "Alexa" trigger word, and offers the same functionality found on your Echo Dot at home. This is a game-changing feature in a vehicle because you can ask it nearly anything about the weather, local news, or other topics and receive a near-instant, distraction-free response.
All models also come with HD Radio, a USB audio interface, charging ports in the first two rows, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Higher-spec models add navigation and additional USB points for the third row. A nine-speaker sound system is standard. The Technology Package gets a 12-speaker ELS Studio system, while the A-Spec and Advance models get a 16-speaker premium ELS Studio 3D premium sound system. Though its speaker count is lower than some others in the segment, the ELS Studio audio system is one of the best we've tested, and it retains near-perfect quality at any volume. For the best there is to offer from Acura, the top-spec Type S Advance gets a 25-speaker Signature Edition Premium Audio system from ELS Studio.