The 2011 Acura MDX is both highly refined and practical ... and a clear top choice in the midsize luxury crossover SUV class. With its capable road manners, strong V6 engine, graceful and well-built cabin, premium feature abundance and strong reputation for reliability, the MDX boasts a wide ranging appeal.
Also not hurting is the availability of plenty of user-friendly high-tech features, respectable gas mileage considering the engine power, a decently roomy third-row seat and being part of an overall stable of vehicles with high brand recognition and consumer desirability. All in all, the 2011 MDX is simply one of the most luxurious and fun-to-drive choices in its segment.
Much of the MDX's engaging drive and impressive handling abilities can be attributed to Acura's "Super Handling" all-wheel-drive system (SH-AWD), which automatically transfers power to the outside wheels while cornering, giving it more grip and agility than normally expected from an SUV. Combine this with its communicative and responsive steering, powerful engine and well-controlled body roll, the MDX possesses the kind of road manners normally associated with a much smaller vehicle.
Other possible crossover SUVs to explore, with their own positive qualities, include the roomier Buick Enclave and Ford Flex, the smaller and pricier BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, as well as the Lexus RX 350, which doesn't have a third row.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
Standard features on the 2011 MDX include leather upholstery, 8-way power front seats, two-way adjustable driver lumbar, full power accessories, 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, tri-zone automatic climate control, automatic xenon headlamps, foglamps, a rearview camera, a power liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, privacy glass, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth and an 8-speaker audio system with a 6-disc CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The optional Technology package then adds a navigation system with real-time traffic, weather and voice controls, GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control, upgraded leather upholstery, a multiview parking camera and a 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound system with an iPod/USB interface and digital music storage.
The available Advance package includes everything in the Technology package plus an adaptive suspension, 19-inch wheels, a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, a sport steering wheel, auto-leveling headlamps and Acura's Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).
Also available is the Entertainment package, for those who opt for either the Technology or Advanced package, which includes a rear entertainment system and heated second-row seats.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2011 Acura MDX is a 3.7-liter V6 engine that delivers a robust 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and the "Super-Handling" all-wheel-drive system.
In performance tests, the MDX was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in a quick 7.1 seconds. And when properly equipped, the MDX has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Gas mileage for the 2011 MDX comes in at an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city and 21 mpg on the highway.
Standard safety features for the new Acura MDX include stability control with a stabilizing feature for trailer towing, antilock disc brakes (ABS) with brake assist, front-seat side airbags, active front head restraints and side curtain airbags. In addition, also available is the optional CMBS which alerts the driver if a collision seems probable and automatically tightens the front seatbelts and applies hard braking when a collision is imminent.
The 2011 MDX had not yet been government crash tested at the time of this writing. However, the 2010 model earned the highest possible rating of five stars across the board in all frontal-impact and side-impact occupant protection categories.
The MDX's cabin is attractive, roomy and solidly constructed with high quality materials. While the base model comes with an impressive level of premium features, those opting for the Technology or Advance packages will be absolutely loaded with high-tech and electronic goodies. They're also especially user-friendly thanks to voice commands and a multifunctional knob in addition to the usual buttons. In addition, both the Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system and the navigation system are among the very best available.
The MDX is also fairly spacious for a three-row midsize crossover SUV. The seating is both comfortable and supportive. And although the third-row is primarily intended for kids, it's capable of accommodating an adult on short trips. Maximum cargo capacity comes in at a very useful 83.5 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded, larger than average for the midsize luxury segment.
The drive of the 2011 MDX is capable and agile, particularly impressive for a three-row SUV. The MDX's athleticism is greatly enhanced by its "Super-Handling" all-wheel drive system, making for surprisingly confident hard cornering and added security in inclement weather. With its precise and responsive steering, powerful engine, smooth transmission action and well-controlled body roll, it's one of the most able and engaging luxury crossovers to drive.
And when equipped with the Advance package, its active dampers do an even better job of absorbing road imperfections and rough spots, while firming up on those back twisty roads.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
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Price: 2011 Acura MDX:
MDX: list price: $42,580, invoice price: $39,094
MDX w/Tech Pkg: list price: $46,255, invoice price: $42,426
MDX w/Tech, Ent Pkg: list price: $48,155, invoice price: $44,149
MDX w/Advance Pkg: list price: $52,205, invoice price: $47,821
MDX w/Advance, Ent Pkg: list price: $54,105, invoice price: $49,544