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2012 Acura MDX

Overview
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2012 Acura MDX Review

By

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.

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 268 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

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

Beautiful/ luxury, reliable in snow and highway

By on Saturday, September 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"The Acura MDX is a great understated/ high end vehicle. The cock pit is space aged with beautiful finishing touches of leather and textured glossy paneling. The Sport and technology packages are great for family trips. The DVD in the back and back up cameras come in handy for extra convenience. The car is great on the highway but can easily maneuver off road and in snowy conditions. The interior is roomy for big and tall people and the cargo space adequate for large Costco runs or lots of gear. I've owned my car for 5 years and I still like it. I'm usually over a vehicle after about 2 1/2 years so that says a lot. I would suggest going no larger than 17 inch rims if you want to drive more aggressively off road. I have 19's and can't get an all terrain tire to fit that size rim; only street tires. I can still do most everything I want went driving except aggressive off roading. Besides that I have few to no complaints with the overall quality of this make and model vehicle."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I love this car except for the gas mileage

By on Friday, August 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Very comfortable, adjustable suspension"

Cons: "Not enough power outlets (usb & electric)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This car is very comfortable, great road handling, has adjustable suspension (sport & comfort settings), and plenty of power. The only trouble I have had a problem with the drivers seat being a little loose when coming to a stop. Acura fixed it right away. The other problem I have had is I needed the battery replaced after 2 years. This was replace at no charge also. The only complaint I have is with the gas mileage (of course it is AWD) and IT STATES UNLEADED PREMIUM FUEL ONLY (It does not say recommended)."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Great Car--174K miles

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 173,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Style, handling"

Cons: "Front seats are a bit uncomfortable, gas mileage"

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

"Great car--never had any problems--religiously performed required maintenance. Have no trouble or concerns to take on long trips. Hope to make it to 300k miles!"

Great highway car, comfortable and quiet

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "reliability, comfort"

Cons: "rear visin while backing up"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Great reliability, virtually no repairs in 80K miles. Powerful yet quiet. Gas mileage is better than expected for this size car and engine; I get 22- 24 mpg on the highway. The only issue is rear window visibility with no back-up camera, especially at night."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Finest car I've ever owned.

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Drives like a dream. Reliable comfort."

Cons: "None"

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

"I bought this car used with only 15,800 miles on it. It has everything on it, from adaptive cruise control to cooled front seats. Nothing has failed and it drives like a dream with available sport or comfort ride."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Good Entry Level in Luxury for Families

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "smooth ride, nice interior, maintains value"

Cons: "gas mileage,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I enjoy this car. It rides very well and we have had no issues with the engine. However the 'plastic' like covers on the edge of the door between the front and back do have a tendency to warp leading to a vibration. Acura has since redesigned the car and have omitted this. The gas mileage is okay - nothing great. However it is a conservative number, and we seem to usually exceed what is expected."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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