The Acura MDX three-row premium SUV continues its reign of popularity into 2019 by fine-tuning its nine-speed automatic transmission, smoothing out the idle start-stop function, offering five dreamy new exterior colors, and introducing an A-Spec sport appearance model.
MDX’s allurement factors include eye appeal, lavish standard features and technology, roomy seven-passenger seating, a quiet and comfortable cabin, attractive pricing for a luxury vehicle, and the high reliability and resale value associated with the Honda/Acura brand.
New additions to the MDX color palette are Majestic Black Pearl, Performance Red Pearl, Canyon Bronze Metallic, Gunmetal Metallic, and the A-Spec exclusive Apex Blue Pearl.
I drove the new A-Spec version, which comes standard with Acura’s excellent all-wheel drive system called SH-AWD (for Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive).
Other elements of the MDX A-Spec are a more athletic stance, 20-inch Shark Grey aluminum alloy wheels, low profile 265/45-series tires, a distinct front fascia, body-color lower sills, large-diameter exhaust tips, and gloss black and dark chrome trim for the headlights, grille, window surround and tailgate spoiler.
In the passenger cabin, A-Spec variations include sport seats trimmed in red or black leather with black Alcantara inserts, high contrast stitching, sport pedals, unique gauges and steering wheel, and A-Spec badging in various locations.
Along with these exclusive features, the A-Spec model also comes with the MDX Tech Package adding an 11-item list of desirable things such as navigation with voice recognition, the AcuraLink communication system, a 10-speaker premium audio system, blind spot and rear cross traffic monitoring, LED puddle lights, and a godsend to Pacific Northwest drivers: rain sensing windshield wipers.
Keep in mind that the Tech Package is above and beyond an already impressive amount of standard features. To name just a few: power tailgate and moonroof, 12-way power adjustment for driver and front passenger seats, three zone climate control, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability.
The A-Spec is powered by the same mechanicals as the other models in the lineup. That is, a 290-horsepower V6 and the newly improved nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s an admirable pairing that provides enthusiastic acceleration and seamless transitions. The idle start-stop system operates with minimal intrusion into the peaceful cabin.
EPA fuel economy ratings for the Acura MDX A-Spec are 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. Acura recommends premium fuel.
There’s as much emphasis on practicality as there is on comfort within the 2019 MDX. Access to the third row seats is easy, stowage for personal items is plentiful, and the infotainment system is first rate in its intuitiveness, performance and placement of controls.
The AcuraWatch equipment group helps keep those inside the MDX safe and secure with its adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
Including the destination charge, pricing for the 2019 Acura MDX ranges from $45,295 for the base model with front-wheel drive to $61,045 for a fully loaded all-wheel drive version.
2019 ACURA MDX AWD A-SPEC
Base price, including destination charge: $55,795
Price as driven: $56,195
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.