Taking the Acura MDX for a Spin or Two!
We drove our fair share of cars last year, sometimes just about town, but usually on one of our frequent road trips, and we certainly found a few favourites. Our number one was the Acura MDX, both around the city and on the highways; it was the hardest loaner to give back.
We drove the newest model last month up to Sun Peaks Resort in rather advanced snow conditions, and the vehicle certainly made the trip more comfortable and possibly saved our lives. I know that sounds rather dramatic, but the we had a near miss when an eighteen wheeler came around the corner, far too far over in our lane, and the car in front of us braked suddenly. We had full snow tires on and the grip combined with the Vehicle Stability Assist stabilized the vehicle and maintained traction, and prevented us from a full slide off the road. The MDX now also has the AcruaWatch safety system across the whole MDX line, not just in the Elite, so all models are also aided by forward collision warning, auto-emergency braking and lane-keeping. The lane-keeping can be a bit abrupt and we chose to disable as it sort of jerks the car if you veer off slightly and it’s a bit distracting.
The Acura MDX is in the luxury three-row crossover category, with a price range from around $54,000-$66,000, and there’s plenty of room for passengers, or in our case luggage. The engine is 290-horsepower, 3.5-litre V6 engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission, with variable cylinder management, meaning it runs on only three cylinders when full power isn’t needed. Our model included auto start/stop, shutting off the engine at idle, but I prefer to disable this. The fuel economy is great for such a roomy vehicle.
Driving the MDX, you’ll find it responds amazingly, and the ride is smooth, you can opt to drive it in comfort, normal or sport settings, depending on how aggressively you’d like to travel. In Canada all MDX come with the Acura’s SH-AWD (Super Handling all-wheel drive) system; which increases or reduces torque to individual wheels as the car accelerates or turns. There’s also the adaptive cruise control, a low-speed follow system that allows you to set a desired speed and also maintain a desired interval from the car ahead so you enjoy the benefits of cruise control in light traffic
There are two screens in the dash to control the stereo, heating, navigation, etc. and we liked the way the one screen can stay in navigation mode, while you adjust the temperature in the other. There’s a lot going on there though, with heated seats, a premium stereo and rear-seat entertainment too, so you do need to take some time to get to know the system and if you are solo when driving, I’d recommend pulling over for some of the more complicated functions.
The 2017 is a bit sexier than the previous year with a new streamlined grille and reshaped LED headlights, hood, rear bumper, and dual exhaust outlets. It looks sleeker, wider and slightly lower, and still parks easily in tight spots, assisted by the rear view cameras.
The Acura MDX is a great choice for families that need both room and safety, and for couples who road trip. We’re definitely booking this one again this year.