The Acura MDX luxury midsize SUV has three rows of seats accommodating up to seven passengers. After an update for 2017 including styling revisions and additional technology features, for 2018 the MDX is now equipped with an infotainment system supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, with a touchscreen whose reaction time is much faster than the previous version could claim.
MDX is available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. With a base price of $45,195 including the $995 destination charge, it’s one of the most attractive buys among midsize luxury SUVs.
The purchasing process itself is attractive too, with the uncomplicated choice of one model, the Standard trim, to which packages can be added to create the Technology and Advance trims.
All versions have a V6 engine producing 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, combined with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s an able-bodied powertrain that drives the MDX forward energetically but with attention to fuel efficiency by running on four cylinders when V6 power isn’t necessary, such as during highway cruising.
Fuel economy ratings for a front-drive model are 19/27/22 mpg except for the Advance trim, whose Idle Stop feature boosts fuel economy to 20/27/23 mpg. All-wheel-drive versions deliver 18/26/21 mpg, or 19/26/22 mpg for the Advance.
My tester was an Advance model with all-wheel drive and a package adding a 12-speaker Acura ELS premium audio system and rear-seat entertainment system with wireless headsets. Features found on the Technology trim are included on the Advance, so the tester was packed with every great thing large or small available on the MDX, and yet even with the destination charge included, the tester’s price was under $60,000. Just barely under $60,000, but still.
The Acura MDX delivers supremely when it comes to comfort. Excellent seats, a quiet cabin and a smooth ride make this an SUV you can travel long distances in, without emerging as a deteriorated version of the person you were when you embarked. This can be said about most full-size luxury SUVs, but they don’t have the agility of a midsizer like the MDX, which also provides an enjoyable experience on winding roads and is easily maneuvered in parking lots.
The faster response time of the infotainment system is amazing. When entering an address into the navigation, typically the slowest operation for infotainment, the response is so quick you’d think the system is clairvoyant, sensing the address you have in mind and displaying it almost before you’ve touched the screen.
By the way, there is also an Acura MDX Sport Hybrid model, with all-wheel drive, a 27-mpg combined fuel economy rating, and a base price of $52,100 plus destination charge.
2018 Acura MDX AWD Advance
Base price, including destination charge: $59,645
Price as driven: $59,645
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.