Updated for the 2010 model year, the Acura MDX again impresses with its athletic drive, high-tech features and overall versatility. Toss in its powerful engine with respectable gas mileage, excellent crash test scores and solid build quality, and you've certainly got one of the top picks in the midsize luxury crossover SUV segment.
Making the Acura MDX even better for 2010 are updated front and rear fascias, a new grill, an upgraded V6 engine mated with a new 6-speed transmission (instead of the previous 5-speed), a refreshed interior and the introduction of lots of new high-tech gadgets, including a hard-drive-based navigation system (with voice activation, traffic rerouting, weather reporting and music storage), a multi-angle back-up camera, new gauges and a new steering wheel with paddle shifters.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The seven-passenger 2010 Acura MDX is offered in five trims, including the base MDX and four package choices: Technology package, Technology with entertainment package, Advance package, Advance with Entertainment package.
Standard features on the already well-equipped base Acura MDX include a sunroof, a power liftgate, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated rearview camera, leather upholstery, 8-way power front seats, 18 inch wheels, xenon HID headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt/telescoping steering column, a 50/50-split-folding third-row seat, Bluetooth, a trip computer and an 8-speaker audio system with an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Technology package adds the hard-drive-based navigation system, a GPS-linked/solar-sensing climate control system, upgraded leather trim, the multi-angle rearview camera, an automatic phonebook-downloading feature for the Bluetooth system and an excellent 10-speaker Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system with digital music storage.
The Advance package includes all of the above Technology package features, and adds an active sport suspension, 19 inch wheels, perforated leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control, a sport steering wheel, a blind-spot detection system and Acura's Collision Mitigating Braking System.
The Entertainment package requires either of the other packages and adds a rear entertainment system, heated second-row seating and a 115-volt power outlet.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2010 MDX is a 3.7 liter V6 engine that delivers 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. It's mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control paddles. As found in the Acura TL and RL sport sedans, the MDX comes with the same "Super Handling" all-wheel drive system called SH-AWD. This system maximizes traction and grip by transferring varying amounts of power to individual wheels through turns and in poor weather conditions.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the new MDX has gone up by 1 mpg this year for both measures, coming in at 16 mpg city and 21 mpg on the highway. In addition, the MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.
Standard safety features for the 2010 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, active front head restraints and the Collision Mitigating Braking System, which warns the driver of a probable collision and can also automatically brake and tighten the front seatbelts when a crash is imminent.
In government crash tests, the 2010 Acura MDX was given the highest scores of five-out-of-five-stars for all frontal and side-impact protection categories for both the driver and passengers.
The interior of the new MDX is well-designed, solidly built and very attractive with a refined look and feel. Technology enthusiasts will be particularly pleased. While even the base model has a nice supply of technical goodies, the addition of the Technology and Advance packages is a techie's dream. What's more, the Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system and the navigation system are considered some of the best available anywhere.
It's also among the roomiest three-row midsize luxury crossover SUVs on the market. Usually intended for children only in midsize SUVs, even the third-row can accommodate adults for short trips. And with the second and third rows folded, there's an above average 83.5 cubic feet of available cargo space.
Handling for the 2010 MDX is particularly strong for a third-row SUV. The MDX is a fine performer when cornering or maneuvering through back, curvy roads due to its impressive SH-AWD. And there's plenty of acceleration with its strong engine while still providing a quiet and comfortable drive. The MDX is particularly adept on the road when outfitted with the Advance package.