The 2009 Acura MDX has a lot going for it. It drives almost like a sport sedan, its earned impressive safety scores, its got plenty of high-tech bells and whistles and its got a powerful engine that still gets decent gas mileage. What's more, for a midsize luxury SUV, it has a fairly large and comfortable third row.
For those of you needing a family-friendly SUV but hate the thought of giving up your fun-to-drive sedan, the MDX may very well be the answer. Its impressive handling abilities owes much to its special all-wheel-drive system and its available adjustable suspension. Tack on a 300 horsepower V6 engine, as well as the luxury feature and high-tech toy factors and an MDX is almost irresistible.
Standard Features And Options:
Standard features on this well-equipped crossover SUV include 18 inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, leather upholstery, a sunroof, heated eight-way power front seats with driver lumbar adjustment, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, a trip computer, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker stereo, an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
Although technically Acura considers them trim levels, there are three available option packages for further refinement:
The Technology Package features a power liftgate, voice-activated navigation with real-time traffic, GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control, a cell phone address book downloading feature, and a ten-speaker Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system.
The Sport Package includes everything in the Technology Package, and adds an active sport suspension, auto-leveling headlights, unique 18 inch wheels, a metallic interior trim and perforated leather upholstery.
The Entertainment Package is available with either of the the other packages and adds a heated second-row, a rear DVD entertainment system, and a 115-volt house-style power outlet.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2009 MDX is a 3.7 liter V6 engine that delivers 300 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. It's coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control.
The MDX's all-wheel-drive system is the same found in Acura's RL and TL sport sedans. Called the "Super Handling" AWD system (SH-AWD), it can transfer different power levels to different wheels to maximize traction and grip.
The MDX can go from a standstill to 60 mph in a respectable 8.1 seconds and can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.
The EPA estimated gas mileage for the 2009 MDX is also respectable for a vehicle with these capabilities, coming in at 15 mpg city and 20 mpg on the highway.
Standard safety features on the MDX include antilock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist, stability control (with a stabilizing feature for trailer towing), front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and active front head restraints.
In government crash testing, the 2009 MDX scored top five-star ratings in all categories, which include both frontal and side-impact protection for both driver and passengers.
The MDX's cabin is attractive, well-designed and very high tech. Both the navigation system and the Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system are among the best available. Yes, the MDX's dash at first seems overrun with buttons and gizmos. But once you learn what everything is, it's intuitive and user friendly.
The MDX is also among the most roomy three-row midsize luxury crossover SUVs available. While the third row is best left for children, an adult can use it on short trips. And with the second and third rows folded, there's 83.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
The 2009 MDX certainly doesn't drive like a three-row SUV. With its strong engine and SH-AWD system, it does a fine job handling those back twisty roads. The MDX's five-speed automatic transmission is smooth in both upshifts and downshifts and the overall feel is quiet and comfortable. Even better ride comfort is available when equipped with the two-mode dampers that come with the Sport Package.