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2014 Acura MDX SJH-AWD ADV ENT Review By John Heilig

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2014 Acura MDX

By John Heilig

Reviewed Model: 2014 Acura MDX SJH-AWD ADV ENT

Engine: 3.5-liter SOHC V6

Horsepower/Torque: 290 hp @ 6,200 rpm/267 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 111.0 in.

Length x Width x Height: 193.6 x 77.2 x 66.7 in.

Tires: P245/55R19

Cargo: 45.1/90.9 cu. ft. (3rd row down/2nd row down)

Economy: 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway/16.5 mpg test

Fuel capacity: 19.5 gal.

Curb Weight: 4.962 lbs.

Sticker: $57,400 (includes $895 destination)

The Bottom Line: With a huge cargo area, the “small SUV” Acura MDX is a very capable vehicle. It has luxury, plus all the attributes of a sport ute.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I didn’t get to put to many miles behind the wheel of the Acura MDX. Had everything worked out, the MDX would have been an ideal vehicle for one of the day trips my wife and I enjoy. It’s comfortable, spacious, and drives well.

The MDX has enough power to move you along at a decent clip, yet it has acceptable fuel economy. I’m certain that if I put more miles on the car the test economy would easily be in the 18-20 mpg range.

That aside, the MDX is a pleasure to drive. From the comfortable heated front seats to an excellent entertainment system, the MDX is a vehicle that you can spend many miles in without getting tired. My wife and I both appreciated the huge center console/arm rest that didn’t leave us fighting for elbow room. In addition, the deep console has the USB plug.

The MDX is listed as a small sport utility, but this has to be one of those EPA decisions that is based solely on dimensions. From the outside and the inside, the MDX gives the overall impression of being a mid-size SUV. The MDX not only has cargo capacity, but it has three rows of comfortable seating.

Second row seats have very good leg and knee room. With a flat floor, three passengers can ride back there in comfort. Third row seats are flat and will probably only be used by larger families. While they aren’t difficult to enter, for overweight senior citizens, egress can be a challenge. The small triangular windows in the third row don’t provide that much visibility, but since the seats probably won’t be used that often they aren’t a problem. There’s also a 115-volt outlet located at the rear end of the center console.

My granddaughters loved with side shades on the second row windows.

Adding to the driving comfort is a full menu of safety features besides a bunch of air bags. The MDX has blind spot monitoring, collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control and a lane keeping assist system. Blind spot monitoring kicks in when there is a vehicle in the MDX’s blind spot and lights a symbol on the outside rearview mirrors. Collision mitigation presets the brakes and alerts the driver if the vehicles’ computers feel the approach to a vehicle in front is too quick. Adaptive cruise control slows the vehicle if you come upon one that is going slower than you are. And lane keeping assist keeps you between the lines with beeps.

Exterior styling is highlighted by a front fascia that has “jewel-eye LED headlamps.” These consist of four small projection headlights on each side. I love what modern designers have been able to do with LED lights, both front and back.

Entertainment options include a 16.2-inch DVD fear entertainment system, XM, FM, AM, Pandora internet radio and a CD player. This time we enjoyed the Sirius XM. There are two screens for the front passengers, navigation, entertainment and systems checks.

There’s a remote engine start that was convenient, even if we didn’t use it to warm up the engine in cold weather.

Often, higher end sport utilities are lacking in some of the features you expect from “non-luxury” SUVs. The Acura MDX, however, is fully loaded with everything you’d want or need. The only problem is that it’s too “pretty” to take off road and get dirty.

2014 The Auto Page