AND THE WINNER IS
2014 ACURA MDX
If the Range Rover Sport is the Swiss Army Knife of SUVs, then the MDX can claim this title amongst crossovers. Labelled by many as a luxurious minivan of sorts, the MDX is much more than that. For those looking to upgrade from their Odyssey, Sienna, Pilots or Highlander, the MDX has always been a logical choice offering nearly the same level of practical in a more stylish, luxurious package.
For 2014 Acura has done it again building a three-row utility vehicle that combines space, luxury and style all at a price that is not out of this world. But, with the new MDX, Acura took things a step further and improved the efficiency as well. By stripping out 275 lbs. compared to the old MDX, Acura has been able to downsize the engine for improved fuel economy. Replacing last year’s 3.7 L V6 is a new 3.5 L V6 with variable cylinder management. Making 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, the new engine is matched to a six-speed automatic and is officially rated at 18 MPG city and 27 MPG highway for all-wheel drive models which is up an incredible 6 MPG on the highway compared to last year’s model.
Live somewhere warm and want even more efficiency? For the first time ever, Acura is now offering the MDX in front-wheel drive only configuration that bumps fuel efficiency to 20 MPG in the city.
SPEED, EFFICIENCY AND HANDLING…
With added lightness also comes a sportier flair. The MDX has always been known for being one of the better handling three row crossovers and Acura has only improved this for 2014. The Honda luxury division claims its now eight seconds faster around the Nurburgring, which might be irrelevant for taking your kids to soccer practice, though you might appreciate the more engaging drive when the little ones aren’t around.
Inside, the MDX is still a great place to be featuring all of the latest technological wonders like adaptive cruise control, lane keep and a choice of two rear entertainment systems. The sound system is great, the front two rows of seats are comfortable and all materials are high quality.
A true sign of understanding the target audience for this vehicle Acura even looked after the little things, integrating manual window shades in the second row. Workable for privacy, their real purpose is in shading second row passengers – in particular the smaller ones strapped down to their child seats.
… AND VALUE
To top it all off the MDX comes at a price that, when compared to what German competitors are offering, is a downright bargain. Starting at $42,290 it can get pricey at $56,505 for a top trim model but well-equipped versions can be had for under 50k.
People always ask us what’s the best all-around vehicle. The 2014 Acura MDX is certainly one of them. And for that reason it’s also our 2014 Utility Vehicle of the Year.
- PRICE RANGE: $42,290 – $56,505
- ENGINES: 3.5 L V6 290 hp
- TRANSMISSION: Six-Speed Automatic
- FUEL ECONOMY (FWD): 20 MPG city /28 MPG highway
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