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Acura MDX

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Acura is already hard at work preparing its next-generation MDX crossover, but the current model — now seven years old — remains unchanged for the 2013 model year. Despite its age, it is one of the best-selling models in the Acura portfolio. Why? Packing a little bit of everything — i.e., comfort, performance, style, and utility — into a single package certainly doesn’t hurt. The market is awash in premium three-row crossovers and SUVs, but few handle quite as well as the MDX. It’s not easy to make a 4500-pound machine handle like a smaller sedan, but a few technological twists make such a feat possible. Acura’s ubiquitous torque-shifting Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) aids in cornering, and the available adaptive damper system helps iron out body roll on twisty roads. The 3.7-liter V-6 provides sufficient power, and the six-speed automatic transmission responds quickly to throttle inputs. Acura’s ZDX crossover might feel (and look) somewhat sportier, but the MDX has several advantages over its fastback sibling. With room for seven, loads of usable cargo space, a 5000-pound tow rating, and the agility of a vehicle half its size, the 2013 MDX is a far more well-rounded option.

COMPETITORS

BMW X5

Buick Enclave

Lincoln MKT

Volvo XC90

new for 2013

No revisions are in store for the 2013 model year, although Acura did revise interior and exterior color combinations for 2012.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; and traction and stability control are standard. Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are included in the technology package. Blind-spot detection, radar-based cruise control, and a collision-mitigating automatic braking system are part of the advance package.

MPG

CITY 16

HWY 21

PRO

Sensible yet sporty

All-wheel drive

Attractive, comfortable interior

CON

Thirst for premium fuel

Third row is a tight squeeze

Base Price Range: $43,815–$55,340

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: 4-wheel

TRIM LEVEL: MDX

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 7-passenger

ENGINE: 3.7L V-6, 300 hp, 270 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 142.2 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 5000 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 15.0/42.9/83.5 cu ft

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