2019 Acura MDX AWD A-Spec Review by David Colman +VIDEO
A top pick for a large family looking for all weather transport in high style
By David Colman
Special Correspondent to The Auto Channel
The A Spec is also visually distinctive from lesser MDX models, thanks to an exclusive styling package that provides a different front fascia, larger exhaust tips, and body-colored side sills. These refinements lend the A Spec a muscular, beefy appearance that sets the top line MDX apart from all other Acura SUVs. The upgrades continue inside the spacious, three row cabin. A thicker-rimmed, perforated leather steering wheel is a pleasure to grasp. Black leather sport seats with Alcantara inserts and contrasting red stitching are supportive and soothing. Both front seats are ventilated and heated, though the steering wheel lacks heat. Standard fitment on this model is the Tech Package which consists of a navigation system with voice recognition, AcuraLink communication, and the house brand ELS premium audio system featuring 10 speakers.
The AcuraWatch suite of safety nannies is all too evident. There's collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist. Although some of these may prove useful to the preoccupied driver, most of them prevent you from operating the vehicle in peace and quiet. So I spent about 15 minutes perusing various menus on the dashboard's "Multi-Use Display Screen" in order to disable a number of these features, eliminating as well valet seat slide, key off steering wheel lift, and automatic door locking. Thusly re-configured, the MDX was a pleasure to drive.
Part of that pleasure stemmed from the lively response of the V6 engine, which feeds 267lb.-ft. of torque to all four wheels through a 9 speed automatic transmission. I am finally beginning to feel comfortable with the new Acura/Honda method of gear selection which eliminates the conventional shift lever and gear quadrant in favor of a series of transmission tunnel mounted slides and buttons. Since this system is not intuitive and doesn't save any console room compared to a conventional shifter, I'm not sure what the justification for the redesign is. However, after a week behind the wheel, the push and press system felt almost comfortable to use.
The latest A Spec MDX AWD is a top pick for a large family looking for all weather transport in high style. Acura enjoys an excellent reputation for durability, earning Consumer Reports top rating for used vehicle reliability. If you seek fast, safe, efficient transport in a handsome new package, check out the latest A Spec MDX.
2019 ACURA MDX AWD A SPEC
• ENGINE: 3.5 liter VTEC V6 with Variable Cylinder Management
• HORSEPOWER: 290hp
• TORQUE: 267lb.-ft.
• FUEL CONSUMPTION: 19MPG City/25 MPG Highway
• PRICE AS TESTED: $56,195
HYPES: Eager V6, Relaxed 9 Speed Automatic, Plush Interior
GRIPES: Too Many Nannies
STAR RATING: 10 Stars out of 10