Reaching the 4th generation, the MDX became the Acura’s flagship model. The most stylish and performance-oriented SUV in their history, the MDX was built on a completely new platform.
The exterior design suffered lots of changes over the years and seems that Acura learned exactly what to do to turn heads.
With a bold and aggressive look, the MDX a low wide stance and the radical design transformation included a longer hood and a sleek cabin.
New LED highlits, daytime running lights and LED stoplights were part of the new package, as well as tiny foglamps.
The diamond-shaped grille emphasized the sporty-luxurious nature of the MDX.
For the new MDX, Acura improved the steering with the introduction of the EPS (Electric Power Steering) for increased steering assist. The system offered a precise, smooth and almost instantaneous steering response.
Extremely versatile, the MDX offered seating for 7 under different captain chair/bench configuration.
The third row was improved with additional headroom and legroom, while with the new sunroof, the 3rd row offered a light and spacious feeling.
The traditional cluster gauges were replaced by a 12.3-inch driver’s meter. The new MDX featured the Acura Precision Cockpit, meaning that the MDX went all-digital removing the traditional gauges.
A new engine was introduced with the MDX, a 3.5-liter V6 powerplant that developed 290 hp. The unit was paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, with a smooth gearbox that offered a wider gear ratio change.
Acura unveiled the 2019 MDX model in late 2018 at the Los Angeles Auto Show and introduced a new A-Spec version for those who expected more from the Premium Japanese SUV.
By 2018, the third generation of the MDX was already four years old, and it needed an upgrade. So the Japanese carmaker paid attention to its customers who asked for something new and introduced an A-Spec model, in line with the TSX A-Spec.
The car’s exterior received an upgrade for the headlights, which looked sharper with their five LED lamps on each headlight. Their L-shaped turn-signals and the 3D mesh-grille design were far from the knight-visor from its predecessor, and that was a good thing. On the lower side of the bumper, the carmaker added a broad black grille that covered the apron and included the fake side-scoops that hosted the fog lights.
Inside, the carmaker used the same combo of analog dials and TFT displays for the instrument cluster, similar to the one used in the TSX sedan. On the upper side, a small screen showed the status of the SH-AWD system. The A-Spec version featured black or red leather upholstery adorned by black Alcantara inserts on the sport seats.
Under the hood, Acura relied on the same 3.5-liter V6 that proved to be worthy in many Acura and Honda models. It was paired as standard to a nine-speed automatic gearbox, which sent the power in all corners.
Acura's SUV flagship has received a new, restyled, look for the 2016 model year. It added luxury features and available Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive, advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including automatic emergency braking, as standard features.
The MDX stands for Multi-Dimensional luXury vehicle and it was on the market since 2000, when it replaced the older, body-on-frame SLX model. The SLX was based on the Isuzu Trooper off-road vehicle and it was not true in the Honda spirit. But it was a large SUV and Honda needed one on the market.
The restyled 2017 MDX was highlighted by the bold and distinctive diamond pentagon grille, first seen on the Acura Precision Concept that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in January. The grille was integrated with a more sculpted hood, front fascia and front fenders coupled with new LED fog lights and restyled headlights, which enhanced the MDX's sporting demeanor. A new chrome rocker panel design added an element of contrast to the MDX's profile, while a revised rear bumper, body-colored skid garnish, and the addition of twin tailpipes further emphasized the performance characteristics of the 2017 Acura MDX.
The MDX held the title for the best selling three-row luxury SUV on the U.S. market, and it also gained the KBB title for the best-buy Luxury SUV/Crossover. The simple layout of the instrument cluster, with rounded dials, enhanced the driving experience for the driver. On the center console, between the front seats, the gearbox buttons provided a cleaner, uncluttered look. For the rear passengers, an ultra-widescreen Rear Entertainment System was available on models with the Advance ENT Package.
For the drivetrain, the MDX was offered with regular, or hybrid systems, to enhance the driving performance and lower the running costs.
Acura introduced the fourth generation of its flagship SUV, the MDX, in 2013 for the 2014 model year, and it was a total makeover compared to its predecessor.
Since the market for three-row premium SUVs was increasing, the Japanese automaker tried to keep up with customers' demands. So, in 2013 it unveiled the production version of this fourth-generation MDX at the New York International Auto Show.
The exterior looked more aggressive than before, with a diamond-shaped main grille above the bumper flanked by LED headlights and a pair of scoops. Thanks to its long hood and the cab-rearward profile, the MDX appeared sportier than before, even though it was mostly used for school runs or as a regular family hauler. At the back, the tailgate was slightly tilted forward, but the dynamic look was amplified by the D-pillar's and the third side windows' shapes.
Acura worked hard to provide a more spacious interior compared to the MDX's third generation. Still, the room on the third row was not good enough for an average-sized adult but more than suitable for kids. In addition, with all three rows in place, the trunk could still provide 16.3 cu-ft (461 liters) of space. The automaker offered a unique feature in the segment, with a removable middle seat from the second row, thus transforming the interior into a six-seat affair and a clear passage to the rearmost bench seat. At the front, the bolstered seats fronted a dashboard that sported the infotainment screen atop the center stack.
Underneath the hood, Acura installed a 3.5-liter V6 with direct gasoline injection and paired it with a six-speed automatic. Power went to the front axle or in all corners.
The Acura MDX was already a technologically advanced vehicle, but the Japanese carmaker thought it needed a refresh in 2009, after four years on the market.
Honda was still struggling to came back on its feet after the world financial crisis, when it had to cut some models from its lineup around the world, but the American car market helped it find its balance. The MDX was a top seller and, after the 2009 refresh, it became the most sold Acura on the North-American market and overtook its brother, the TL.
The MDX exterior was already known and pleasant, but Acura's design team changed its front grille to match the rest of the range. For the 2009 model, the MDX adopted a grille with a wide slat at the front instead of the two-slats style featured on the non-facelifted version. A pair of air-intakes made their way into the bottom of the spoiler. In the back, Honda installed LED taillights for its Premium compact SUV.
Inside, the MDX featured three rows of seats fitted as standard and leather-wrapped interior. The carmaker installed a rear-view camera with a small screen inside the rear-view mirror for the base model. For the upper trim levels, the image was sent to the navigation display.
But Acura added more goodies on the technical side with the introduction of a long-waited 6-speed automatic gearbox. The engine was tweaked to offer 300 hp from the 3.7-liter V6 under the hood, thanks to a higher compression ratio. On top of that, it added adaptive suspension, which improved the handling.
Acura introduced the MDX in 2000 as its contender in the premium SUV segment but kept it on the market for only six years until it launched the second generation in 2006.
Honda's premium brand, Acura, considered that there was room for improvement in the already proven MDX lineup. It tried to make an SUV that could match a minivan's interior and the on-road performances of a sports sedan. The result was named MDX.
Its shape was far from any truck-like SUV on the market. It was miles away even from the Honda Pilot, which shared its platform with the MDX. The premium SUV showed an angular front fascia, with headlights that resembled a sumo-fighter. That's what Honda said. Also, the grille sported the new shield design that almost covered the entire cooling area, even though it didn't. The raked windshield looked more appropriate for a sports sedan from its sides, while the tall greenhouse was suitable for a minivan. At the back, the C-pillar was wider on its upper side than on the lower area, which was unusual for a car in that class.
Inside, the carmaker installed a leather-clad interior. Its front bucket seats were separated by a wide center console which sported a storage area under the twin-lid armrest. The car's instrument panel featured four individual clusters and a small, vertical display between the tachometer and speedometer. In the back, the MDX provided enough room for up to three adults on the split-folding bench. Even though the trunk wasn't the biggest in its class, it was good enough for a shopping spree.
Under the hood, Honda installed its 3.7-liter VTEC engine. It was the same unit that powered the Legend. Power went in all corners via a five-speed automatic transmission.
Acura introduced a facelifted version for the MDX's first generation in 2004, adding slightly more power and an enhanced look for its biggest crossover.
Honda noticed the customers' appeal for SUVs and crossovers, but it lacked the technology to develop one fast. So even though it already had the CR-V and the Pilot on the market, it pushed harder and introduced the MDX in 2000. From 2004, the Japanese carmaker upgraded its biggest crossover and kept its sales figures high.
When Acura had to improve the MDX, its designers faced a difficult task because customers were satisfied with the car's look. Yet, Acura changed the front fascia by adding a thicker chromed slat on the grille instead of the formerly used slim horizontal line that supported the badge. Also, the bumper was changed and sported new, more angular foglights. Moreover, Acura installed a shield-like plastic panel under the bumper depending on the trim level.
Inside, Acura bragged about its touch-screen navigation system integrated into the center stack. Depending on the trim level, the leather upholstery covered all seven seats. The last row offered little room and just for two occupants. However, when folded, they provided a completely flat loading area, thus enhancing the loading of larger objects. The second row also featured a split-folding mechanism.
Starting with the 2004 model year, the MDX offered 20 more ponies than its predecessor. That enabled it to get a better acceleration time and lowered emissions.
Developed from the ground up as a separate, premium model for the Acura brand, the MDX established a new direction in the automaker's approach to the market.
In 2000, Honda introduced the MDX with no correspondent in Honda's lineup. Even though it was based on the same mid-size platform used by the Japanese automaker for the Accord and Odyssey, it looked completely different. In addition, it boasted premium materials and Honda's best engine from those times, the durable 3.5-liter V6 known as the J35.
The car's exterior featured an SUV styling but with a touch of sportiness. Thus, the front fascia didn't look like it wanted to conquer any mountain but to look good in front of the local schools. Its angular headlights swept-back on the sides included the turn signals on the corners. The lower bumper featured a wide horizontal gap that helped to cool the engine and sported fog lamps on its outer sides. From its profile, the flared wheel arches and the raked-forward C-pillars and tailgate created a dynamic shape for Acura's crossover.
Inside, the wide interior was comfortable and suitable for five adult-sized passengers. At the front, the two bolstered bucket seats were separated by a tall center console fitted with an armrest and a storage compartment. Inside the instrument cluster, the speedometer took center stage and was flanked by the tachometer on the left and the two main gauges for fuel and temperature on the right. On the center stack, the automaker installed the infotainment system, which was available with sat-nav capabilities. In the back, the split-folding bench offered enough room for three adults. As an option, Acura provided two more jump seats in the trunk, yet those were suitable only for brief jaunts.
Under the hood, the MDX was fitted with only one powertrain option, a 3.5-liter V6 paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Power went in all corners as standard for all trim levels.