Acura’s been hard at work in the kitchen, cooking up a new flagship sedan in the form of the RLX, but the luxury brand’s ever-popular MDX crossover has been redone practically from scratch. The chefs in the company’s engineering department just took the freshly prepared 2014 model out of the oven in Manhattan.
This crossover is powered by a brand-new 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine. It features direct fuel injection, which helps boost output. The end result is 290 horsepower with 267 lb-ft of torque. Just as important is the engine’s dance partner. The MDX is offered exclusively with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Adding a little zest to the driving experience it comes with sport mode and paddle shifters.
Consumers living in fair-weather states can opt for a front-wheel drive version, which can stretch a gallon of fuel 20 miles in urban conditions and up to 28 on the expressway. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive is available for performance-minded motorists or those who simply want more traction in bad weather. According to the EPA, SH-AWD models sticker at 18 MPG in the city and 27 on the highway.
When it comes to cars mass is the enemy of just about everything. Acura has managed to trim 275 pounds from this three-row crossover’s curb weight. Its wheelbase has also been increased by 2.75 inches.
Helping ensure an entertaining drive, the new MDX was tuned on Germany’s Nürburgring. The 2014 model made it around the legendary race circuit 8 seconds quicker than its predecessor, not that any crossover buyers should really care about lap times.
Giving drivers some choice the Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) features three modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort. This technology adjusts the vehicle’s steering effort, throttle response and active sound system.
Access to the third-row seat has been improved by increasing the width of the entry pathway three inches; step-in height has been lowered by two inches.
In the cabin there’s a 7-inch touch screen with haptic feedback. This display is augmented by a separate 8-inch unit. Cleaning things up the button count has been reduced from 41 to just nine. A 16.2-inch screen is available for rear-seat passengers and is part of the Advance package.
The third-generation MDX crossover will be offered in four different trim levels. It’s scheduled to go on sale this summer.
GALLERY: 2014 Acura MDX Live Shots
GALLERY: 2014 Acura MDX
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