2013 Acura MDX Review

  • MSRP: $43,280
  • MPG City: 16
  • MPG Hwy: 21
  • Seating Capacity: 7
  • Rating: 8.5

For the last several years, Acura has offered an assortment of luxury vehicles and SUV’s that consistently rate among the top performers in the auto industry. These high performance vehicles are reasonably priced according to luxury standards and include technological advancements unique to the Acura brand.

Pros and Cons

  • Good cargo space
  • Strong engine and performance
  • Surprisingly nimble handling
  • Below average acceleration
  • Controls and dashboard are overly complicated

Body Styles, Trim Levels and Options

The 2013 Acura MDX is a midsize crossover SUV available in 5 trims that range from $43,000 to $55,000. Advanced entertainment systems and technology separate the various trim levels. The base model’s sound system includes the AM/FM Acura Premium Audio System tuner, 6-disc in-dash CD and MP3 player. It also includes a WMA6 changer, 8 speakers and an equal number of subwoofers. All other MDX models maintain the Acura/ELS Surround 32, 410-watt Premium 10-speaker Sound System. This also includes a hard disk media storage, CD, DVD-Audio, MP3, WMA6 and DTS player, Dolby 5 Pro Logic II and AM/FM tuner.

Base Specifications

  • Class: 4dr AWD Sport Utility
  • Trim: AWD
  • Passenger Capacity: 7
  • Passenger Doors: 4
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic transmission w/OD
  • Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
  • MPG: 16 City / 21 Hwy
  • Engine: Gas V6 3.7L/224
  • Horsepower: 300 @ 6300
  • Torque: 270 @ 4500 3.7L/224

With the exception of the base model, all models are equipped with an advanced navigation system that displays real time traffic and weather updates as well as Zagat restaurant reviews. Prospective owners will be pleased to know that Acura offers the Blind Spot Information (BSI) system on select models. Owners will also enjoy the Adaptive Cruise Control feature that adjusts to traffic flow. Acura’s rearview camera system comes standard on the base MDX model. All other models maintain multi-view camera systems that make tight space manoeuvring quick and simple. Depending on trim level, the Acura MDX sits atop an 18 inch or the more aggressive 19 inch wheel.

Reviewer Comments

“It offers creamy ride quality (even in sport mode, which is the default setting), generally good steering feel, comfortable seats, respectable roominess in its second and third rows, subdued road and wind noise in most conditions, and ease of operation.”

– Car and Driver

“Acura’s bread-and-butter SUV is getting a bit long in the tooth, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an excellent vehicle that’s worth your consideration.”

– Consumer Guide

“The 2013 Acura MDX delivers plenty of luxury, refinement and performance without breaking the bank, making it a standout in its class.”

– Edmunds

“The 7-passenger MDX doesn’t offer a host of different trims or engine choices, nor is it the freshest face on the block. What the MDX does have going for it is a long and stellar history, one chock-full of positive accolades and repeat customers.”

– Kelley Blue Book

Performance and Powertrain

The suspension, power and handling of the MDX is second to none. This vehicle features a tough 300 horsepower, 3.7 liter, 24 valve, V-6 engine. Fuel economy is rated at 16/21 mpg in the city and on the highway, respectively. Torque is 270 @ 4500 rpm. The automatic transmission is equipped with six speeds that power the All-Wheel Drive system. It is also equipped with sport paddle shifting.

Safety Features

Safety features include front and rear ABS disc brakes. The braking system includes Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distributions. The Vehicle Stability Assist provides additional control by monitoring speed and stability levels. Additional safety features include the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that uses pressure sensors mounted in each wheel. These sensors communicate with the central electronic control unit that determines whether or not the tire pressure is sufficient. Drivers receive alerts from the Multi-Information Display (MID) system indicating abnormal pressure levels.

The Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) is included in the Advanced Package and is designed to warn drivers through its audio and visual alert systems when the MDX approaches another vehicle based on closure rate and distance. This is accomplished through a transmitter located in the grille of the vehicle that monitors distance by radar. If speed is not reduced, the CMBS automatically begins light braking. More aggressive braking and greater driver restraint is initiated when accidents are unavoidable. The CMBS is a tool designed to assist the driver and not designed to work independent of the driver.

The airbag system includes two front, two front-side airbags, and two side airbags that protect passengers throughout the cabin. Force and deployment speed is calculated to provide ultimate protection for passengers while reducing potential injury due to deployment.

The two-stage, front airbags will only be deployed as a result of significant impact. The Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS) deactivates the side airbag depending upon the size of the passenger in the front seat and is designed to protect small children. Owners should remember that airbags work with restraint systems and not in lieu of. Frontal collisions can be among the most severe. Therefore, Acura has implemented the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure that disburses energy throughout the front end, reducing potential injury to the driver and front passenger.

Special Features and Interior Design

Special features of the MDX include 10-way adjustable, power seats that can heat or vent through high quality, perforated leather. Automatic memory features are designed to store seat, mirror, steering wheel position, radio stations and climate control. The climate control system is linked to the GPS navigation and constantly monitors temperature levels based on the position of the sun. Theater seating defines the second and third rows of the MDX and offers plenty of leg room for passengers. The second row is also equipped with temperature controls and provides easy access to and from the third row.

Driving Impressions

Many SUV’s lose points in the handling department. Consumers concur that the MDX feels like a car. Owners and prospective owners rave regarding the superior handling of the luxury SUV. It is typically defined as smooth, and feels much smaller than its 7-passenger size. Consumers also give it high marks for comfort and price relative to features and amenities. Some consumers have even compared the MDX against its European counterparts that offer very little at comparable prices. Many owners are also pleased with fuel economy relative to engine size and power. Vehicles generally receive ratings for appearance, comfort, performance, value and reliability. The MDX has consistently received 4 and 5 star ratings in all of these categories.

Prospective owners have the luxury of building their vehicle to personal specifications. Owners can choose from one of several vehicle colors in addition to interior and exterior accessories. Customers can also take advantage of a variety of finance and leasing options offered by Acura. Ownership also includes benefits that allow customers to enjoy 5 star and concierge services at some of the most premiere entertainment venues in Los Angeles, New York and many leading metropolitan areas throughout the United States. Acura realizes the discriminating tastes of its clientele and consistently meets their demands through a high quality vehicle that is reasonably priced while delivering performance to be expected from higher priced vehicles. Ownership appears to be more than driving and encompasses a way of life for many satisfied customers.

Photo Gallery

Acura MDX Front Exterior View

Acura MDX Side View

Acura Side View

MDX Interior and Dashboard

MDX Rear Cargo

Leave a Comment