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2012 Acura MDX

Overview
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2012 Acura MDX Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

From its debut in 2001 right through to the current 2012 model, the Acura MDX SUV has continued to be one of our favorite SUVs. And we are not alone. In addition to critical acclaim, the MDX has always been well regarded by consumers, as measured by its consistently strong sales position in the segment (second only to the Lexus RX 350). Balance is the MDX's strong suit. It manages to combine good useful space and room for seven with reasonable overall size, and it is responsive and easy handling while still being comfortable and accommodating. Back in model year 2010, the MDX was significantly upgraded with a new powertrain and fresh exterior styling, and the 2012 Acura MDX remains in essentially that same form.

You'll Like This Car If...

Power, performance and usability make the 2012 Acura MDX an unusually capable premium midsize SUV. It also features a generous helping of clever, advanced technology.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Other players in the category, including the Lexus RX 350 and Buick Enclave, may offer more pure comfort and a softer attitude all around.

What's New for 2012

There are no major changes for 2012.

Driving the MDX

Driving Impressions The fact that Acura introduced the current-generation MDX on a racetrack with other high-performance SUVS says quite a bit. The fact that the MDX put the biggest smiles on our...

faces says even more. When pushed hard, the MDX's 300-horsepower engine, sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and optional active-damping system combine to deliver an SUV that's remarkably fun to drive hard. We were also impressed by the MDX's off-road capability. Realistically, very few MDXs will ever see a racetrack or even a seriously muddy trail, but the athletic MDX is plenty pleasing around town and on the highway.
Favorite Features

Technology Package
A navigation system that provides real-time traffic and weather info and an audio system that delivers amazing 6-channel Surround Sound via any medium you want make this option group a must-have.

SH-AWD
Apply some power in a hard corner and the MDX's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system transfers extra torque to the rear outside wheel, delivering truer steering response and perceptibly higher cornering limits.

2012 Acura MDX Details
Interior

Though clearly focused on delivering exceptional performance, the 2012 Acura MDX does not compromise on practicality. A full 15 cubic feet of cargo capacity is available behind the third-row seats (only two cubic-feet less than the full-size Chevrolet Tahoe). Both rear rows fold flat to accommodate larger loads. The reclining second-row seats offer plenty of legroom, even for 6-footers. The third row, of course, is best for smaller folks and shorter trips. The MDX even offers a minivan-like 10 cupholders. Up front, the 2012 MDX is an attractive mix of sport, luxury and technology, with highlights that include perforated leather or premium Milano leather seats, simulated Koa wood or metallic trim and a collection of intuitive controls and LED lighting.

Exterior
2012 Acura MDX photo

Good proportions, clean lines, pronounced wheel arches and an aggressive stance give the 2012 Acura MDX a strong presence on the road. Details such as high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, turn signals integrated into the outside mirrors and LED taillights add to the high-tech flavor of the MDX. Opinion may split on the chrome "beak" grille treatment that is a corporate-Acura trademark, but at least it's recognizable. The 2012 Acura MDX is somewhat larger overall than the Lexus RX 350 and Volvo XC90.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even "standard" means very well equipped on the 2012 Acura MDX. You get the powerful V6 engine and sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, power and heated front seats, power moonroof, HID headlamps, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, a 253-watt 8-speaker audio system with 6-disc CD/MP3/WMA changer, 3-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming mirror, rear-view camera, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, six airbags and electronic traction and stability controls.

Optional Equipment

As is Honda/Acura practice, the 2012 Acura MDX's optional features are bundled into three distinct packages. The Technology Package includes a sophisticated navigation system with an 8-inch LCD screen, AcuraLink real-time traffic and weather reports, Zagat restaurant reviews, plus a DVD-Audio Surround Sound system and power rear liftgate. The Advance Package features active damping adjustment for the suspension, ventilated sport seats covered in rich perforated Milano leather, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, Collision Mitigating Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, blind spot information system, auto-leveling HID front headlamps and 19-inch alloy wheels. The Entertainment Package adds a DVD rear entertainment system.

Under the Hood

The V6 in the 2012 Acura MDX holds the distinction of being the most powerful engine Acura has ever offered. It works through a 6-speed automatic transmission and the clever Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system that manages the torque split not only between front and rear but also between the left and right rear wheels. In addition to cornering advantages, the system also makes for a less-intrusive stability control system. The available Active Damper System, in which the shock absorbers can change from soft to firm in milliseconds, helps mitigate the traditional trade-offs between a comfortable ride and spirited handling. The MDX features unibody construction and a fully-independent suspension, and can tow up to 5,000 pounds with the added benefit of a Trailer Stability Assist feature.

3.7-liter V6
300 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21

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2012 Acura MDX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 247 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Love this car

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, safe, premium style, versatile"

Cons: "None so far"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

""The car is roomy and versatile. The seats are so comfortable for long drives. We did a four hour drive with four adults and one car seat toddler and everyone was exceptionally comfy. Independant climate controls in the back helped with that as well. The premium sound system is excellent. Love the auto hatch, and personalized settings. Have not used the third row seat yet, but glad it's there for when we need it. The ride is aggressive and solid, grips the road, but fast. Sports mode is fun in the mountains and open roads and helpful in sketchy, fast moving traffic. It's just an all around fun car to drive, powerful, safe for my toddler, and so versatile. The leather and premium interior design don't hurt either. My wife and I both love this car.""

Fun, comfortable car that spoils you

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, safe, premium interior, great sound."

Cons: "So far, we don't have any."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The car is roomy and versatile. The seats are so comfortable for long drives. We did a four hour drive with four adults and one car seat toddler and everyone was exceptionally comfy. Independant climate controls in the back helped with that as well. The premium sound system is excellent. Love the auto hatch, and personalized settings. Have not used the third row seat yet, but glad it's there for when we need it. The ride is agressive and solid, grips the road, but fast. Sports mode is fun in the mountains and open roads and helpful in sketchy, fast moving traffic. It's just an all around fun car to drive, powerful, safe for my toddler, and so versatile. The leather and premium interior design don't hurt either. My wife and I both love this car."

Fun, comfortable car that spoils you

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, safe, premium interior, great sound."

Cons: "So far, we don't have any."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The car is roomy and versatile. The seats are so comfortable for long drives. We did a four hour drive with four adults and one car seat toddler and everyone was exceptionally comfy. Independant climate controls in the back helped with that as well. The premium sound system is excellent. Love the auto hatch, and personalized settings. Have not used the third row seat yet, but glad it's there for when we need it. The ride is agressive and solid, grips the road, but fast. Sports mode is fun in the mountains and open roads and helpful in sketchy, fast moving traffic. It's just an all around fun car to drive, powerful, safe for my toddler, and so versatile. The leather and premium interior design don't hurt either. My wife and I both love this car."

Fun, comfortable car that spoils you

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, safe, premium interior, great sound."

Cons: "So far, we don't have any."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The car is roomy and versatile. The seats are so comfortable for long drives. We did a four hour drive with four adults and one car seat toddler and everyone was exceptionally comfy. Independant climate controls in the back helped with that as well. The premium sound system is excellent. Love the auto hatch, and personalized settings. Have not used the third row seat yet, but glad it's there for when we need it. The ride is agressive and solid, grips the road, but fast. Sports mode is fun in the mountains and open roads and helpful in sketchy, fast moving traffic. It's just an all around fun car to drive, powerful, safe for my toddler, and so versatile. The leather and premium interior design don't hurt either. My wife and I both love this car."

third MDX- Acura has lost my business

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "options are two or three to get everything"

Cons: "quality gone, fuel economy terrible"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Engine performance same yet Fuel economy down to 15 MPG, cabin noise, suspension did not last, quality down, Not what I was used to from Acura"

Fantastic SUV for the price

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "drives/corners well, comfortable, good in snow"

Cons: "3rd row nice but better for kids on long drives"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I looked at every mid-to-large luxury SUV and just couldn't justify buying anything other than this given its great price point and better reliability and resale than most others. But it's not just a good deal, it drives great. Second row seats are comfy and even recline, which is nice on longer drives. Doesn't feel like a big vehicle at all, and is even easy to park. I lived in Vienna, Austria with my MDX and it was easy to park in the small city spots and great in the mountains/winters. Even my wife loved to drive it... didn't seem big to her, either. And the handling is great at higher speeds. Very solid and corners well with no noticable roll/sway at all (in part because of how the SH-AWD speeds up the outside rear wheel to push you through turns). Fun to drive. I honestly looked forward to the days I got to drive to work/errands back when I lived in Vieanna and usually took the metro. The SH-AWD system is as good as it gets, short of maybe a Land Rover for ultimate off-roading. Only negative that I have is I wish third row was easier to access (e.g. if the second row slid forward like in the 2014 redesigned model) and had an inch or two more leg room. Still, my mother and father-in-law each sat back there for drives of up to an hour and were OK. But I'm 6'3 so it wouldn't have worked for me. If gave it 10 stars given it's price. Were we comparing it to SUVs costing $20,000 more then I would have to give it 9 stars, as of course those are even nicer inside with more advanced extra features. But, I really have no complaints other than I wish I fit in the third row... but I got that for our kids/thier friends anyway so I can't complain much."

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?