When I think of a luxury SUV with three rows of seats, I think of Acura’s MDX.
And apparently I’m not the only one.
With nearly a million units sold since its inception, the MDX is still the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time. It’s the only three-row luxury SUV in segment with six straight years of more than 50,000 units sold, and it’s the No. 1 retail-selling three-row model in segment year-to-date.
One of the main reasons is Acura’s continuous product improvement. It will not rest on its laurels. And the 2019 model year is no exception. Upgrades to the MDX interior, expanded color palette, nine-speed automatic transmission enhanced for smoother, more fluid acceleration and an available active damper system, are all examples.
But the big news is an A-Spec appearance package is available for the first time. And, of course, my tester included that package along with AWD. What is A-Spec, you ask?
A-Spec features a more athletic stance highlighted by exclusive, half-inch wider, 20-inch Shark Grey aluminum alloy wheels in low-profile 265/45-series tires. An aggressive new front fascia, body-color lower sills, larger diameter exhaust finishers, as well as gloss-black and dark chrome trim for the headlights, grille, window surround and rear tailgate spoiler distinguish the MDX A-Spec.
Interior enhancements included sport seats trimmed in rich red or black leather with black Alcantara inserts, high-contrast stitching, unique A-Spec gauges, sport pedals, gloss-black trim, and a thicker-rimmed A-Spec-badged steering wheel with paddle shifters.
Powered by a 3.5-liter VTEC V6 engine that generates 290-horsepower, the MDX seats seven (as many as eight) adults without complaint, and gets combined city/highway 21 miles per gallon as estimated by the EPA. When cargo is priority, the third-row seats fold flat and either golf clubs for numerous annual flats fit with room to spare.
Other refinements are realized via an upgraded Idle-Stop feature that is now standard across the MDX lineup. I turn it off. System enhancements shorten engine restart response and operational smoothness via a new brake pressure trigger and software upgrades, resulting in a more natural, seamless feel.
My tester came with a tech package that added a navigation system with voice recognition, ELS studio premium audio with 10 speakers, HD radio, blind-spot information, remote engine start, rain-sensing wipers, LED puddle lights, rear cross-traffic monitor and front and rear parking sensors.
All 2019 MDX trims come standard with the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including collision-mitigation braking system with forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and road-departure mitigation with lane-departure warning.
In addition to AcuraWatch technology, all MDXs boast a comprehensive array of active and passive safety features, including four-channel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution, vehicle stability assist with traction control, and tire-pressure monitoring system.
Base Price: $56,195
Price As Driven: 56,195
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.