Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs
  • Compact SUV Buyer's Guide
  • 15 Best Family Cars of 2015
Go

2014 Acura MDX Review

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more. See what you should pay

Buy used | Trade-in/Sell

2014 Acura MDX Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.6

When it debuted for the 2001 model year, the Acura MDX established itself as the quintessential luxury crossover SUV for the soulful-yet-sensible family car shopper. While staying true to its original formula, the completely redesigned 2014 Acura MDX displays a number of incremental improvements, including easier access to the third row, class-topping fuel economy and an entirely new body structure that yields significant reductions in NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). The 2014 MDX also bucks the "bigger is better" trend by shedding over an inch in height and width. The upmarket Audi Q7, stylish Infiniti JX (renamed the QX60 for 2014), and 5-passenger Lexus RX are strong alternatives, but for those who seek the ideal middle ground, it doesn't get much better than the MDX.

You'll Like This Car If...

Looking for a no-compromises luxury SUV with comfortable accommodations for seven, exceptional urban maneuverability and a sticker price that won't break the bank? The 2014 Acura MDX won't disappoint. Above all, the MDX's reputation for long-term reliability, low maintenance costs and upstanding resale value equates to one of the most rewarding ownership experiences in the business.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you can do without the premium badge, the recently refreshed Mazda CX-9 deserves your attention, delivering a near-equal measure of athleticism and versatility for thousands less. On the other end of the spectrum, enthusiasts might tilt toward the dynamically superior but notably more expensive 2014 BMW X5 (available late 2013).

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.6
  • 9.3
  • 8.3
  • 7.8
  • 8.3
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#12

out of 51

Fuel Economy

#21

out of 51

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

7.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Acura MDX Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

Now in its third generation, the Acura MDX is all-new for 2014.

Driving the MDX
2014 Acura MDX Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions Thanks to a thoroughly reworked suspension, increased structural rigidity, and an extensive diet of high-strength steel, the 2014 Acura MDX settles into corners with the aplomb of a vehicle half...

... its height. We're big proponents of the single calibration suspension, as the MDX's ride quality strikes the right balance between the sofa-soft Lexus RX and high-strung BMW X5 without the complexity, weight and cost associated with electronically actuated systems. And while damping forces are non-negotiable, the 2014 MDX comes standard with Acura's Integrated Dynamics System, which lets you tailor the throttle response, steering effort, and all-wheel-drive (AWD) settings (if so equipped) by way of three driver-selectable modes. In terms of acceleration, the new 3.5-liter V6 dishes out plenty of passing power throughout the rpm range, while gearchanges from the long-refined 6-speed automatic go virtually unnoticed. Around town, the use of additional sound-deadening materials, acoustic front glass and active noise cancellation help make this MDX the quietest ever.

JEWEL EYE LED HEADLIGHTS
Designed to recreate the color of daylight, the MDX's standard LED headlights deliver greater contrast to help lessen eyestrain and improve reaction times.

PUSH-BUTTON 3RD-ROW ACCESS
Though its "wow" factor may not thrill, the MDX's new one-touch walk-in function will tug at the heartstrings of on-the-go parents everywhere. For quick 3rd-row access, simply press a button located on either side of the vehicle to slide the 2nd-row seats forward and fold the seat backs.

2014 Acura MDX Details
2014 Acura MDX Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

As is the case with most Acuras, drivers will find a restrained show of luxury inside the 2014 MDX, wherein the key emphasis is placed upon comfort and ease-of-use. Interior materials are of a higher quality than those found in the Infiniti JX, and on par with the Lexus RX and BMW X5. On the other hand, faux wood, dull textures and basic shapes fail to evoke the rich ambiance of the JX, RX and Audi Q7. Instead of a sea of dash buttons, the 2014 MDX directs most vehicle functions through a pair of LCD displays, bringing the total number of center stack buttons to nine (down from a staggering 41 last year). And, unlike some competitors, the MDX's 2nd-row seat slides and folds with minimal effort.

Exterior
2014 Acura MDX photo

Save for the multi-projector "Jewel Eye" headlights, you'd be hard pressed to distinguish the 2014 Acura MDX from its 2013 predecessor. Nevertheless, the overall look is by no means dated. The spec sheet shows, dimensionally, that the 2014 MDX measures about 2 inches longer, 1.3 inches narrower and 1.5 inches shorter than the outgoing model. Because of its leaner proportions, the new MDX easier to maneuver through narrow spaces than the Audi Q7, and you won't have to think twice about squeezing into tight parking spots.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Acura MDX is offered in one trim level with four progressive options packages. In base form, the MDX offers the longest list of standard equipment in the segment. Highlights include energy-efficient LED headlights, keyless access and start, a backup camera, leather, 3-zone climate control, heated front seats, a power liftgate and an 8-speaker audio system with Aha Radio and Pandora connectivity. The Audi Q7 and Lexus RX don't include heated seats, a backup camera or non-halogen headlights as standard fare. Safety features consist of seven airbags, Acura's reinforced ACE body structure, and trailer stability control for AWD models. Moreover, Acura anticipates the 2014 MDX will earn top crash-test scores.

Optional Equipment

The $4,200 Technology Package includes goodies like Acura's next-generation navigation system with class-exclusive surface street traffic overlays, 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a forward-collision warning system that uses visual and aural alerts to warn you of a potential impact. For those who want it all, the Advance Package adds such high-tech goodies as a rear-seat entertainment center with a 16.2-inch split-screen display, a 12-speaker ELS premium audio system, full-range adaptive cruise control that employs millimeter wave radar to maintain a specified following distance behind the vehicle ahead, and Acura's new Lane Keeping Assist System, which provides automatic steering assistance to gently nudge the MDX back into its lane.

Under the Hood
2014 Acura MDX Engine photo

The sole powertrain combination in every 2014 Acura MDX is a new 3.5-liter V6 matched with a carryover 6-speed automatic transmission. The V6 mill features Variable Cylinder Management, which "shuts off" three of the engine's six cylinders during cruising and deceleration to improve fuel economy. And speaking of efficiency, a 275-pound weight-loss regimen together with refined aerodynamics and a 19-percent reduction in rolling resistance qualify the 2014 Acura MDX as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid SUV in the category. Lastly, to the delight of those living in Sunbelt states, Acura will, for the first time ever, offer the MDX with front-wheel drive in addition to the automaker's sophisticated Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system for the snowbirds.

3.5-liter V6
290 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
267 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 18/27 mpg (AWD)

At just over $43,000, including destination, the 2014 Acura MDX starts about $1,000 less than the 2013 model. The 2014 lineup also includes a more generous serving of standard equipment, though all-wheel drive has been removed from the standards list. Adding the Technology and Entertainment Package will set you back an extra $6,200, while a top-of-the-line model equipped with all-wheel drive and the Advance Package checks in right around $57,000. The 2013 BMW X5 and Audi Q7 start in the $48,000 range and flirt with the $80,000 mark when fully optioned. The Lexus RX and Infiniti JX start at $40,000 and $42,000, respectively, but can't match the MDX when it comes to standard features. Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to take a look KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price at the bottom of this page to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2014 Acura MDX. As a long-term investment, the 2014 MDX is expected to maintain some of the highest residual values among luxury SUVs.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.

2014 Acura MDX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 31 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    7.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.3/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

The 2015 MDX failed as a premium car

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,100

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"I purchased my 2015 MDX all-wheel drive with tech pack in December 2014. Got it in black on black. The car looks really nice with the jewel lights and has really nice curves. The interior appeared well appointed and good quality on first impression. However, after owning the car for 4 months and after 2,000 miles on the tachometer, I have come to a different conclusion. The first impression did not stand the test of time. Here are the things I have noticed: The pros first: - Very nice styling. You can see a little Q7 in the front, a little Porsche Cayenne in the rear roof lines and some of the old MDX carryover. - Top safety ratings from both institutions - Spacious mid-size crossover - Strong engine…quick acceleration for a car this size The cons: - Door panel alignment issues. The rear passenger doors show noticeable alignment gap…the doors sticks out more than the panel and the tailgate are off center creating a big gap on the left side - Chirping engine noise. Took car to dealer, the mechanic confirmed the noise, but claimed that he hears that noise on other MDXs as well…told me to check back later when Honda has identified a fix for it. Reading the MDXer forum, others have the same issues and they believe it’s the water pulley misalignment that cause the chirping noise…will bring up to the dealer at next oil change. - Spongy brakes. You can really feel the weight of the car during braking and it takes more foot pressure to stop the car i.e., compared to the Lexus RX. - Grinding steering wheel noise when making big turns at parking lots. Dealer claimed that all MDX makes that noise and that its normal for that car. - Hollow doors…can be easily pushed in with your fingertips at the inside door hinge area. It might be due to thinner materials for the sake of weight saving. My sister’s Highlander and my Honda accord doors feels much more solid from inside. - Clunking noise from the rear suspension, which is echo through the rear compartment area. I suspect that the rear end is too light. Similar like a truck, the suspension is mounted directly to the frame instead to a suspension tower like in the previous generation MDX. When I have a gown up person sitting in the second row, the clunking noise almost becomes unnoticeable. My friend owns a truck and he always has a few bags of dirt in the back of the truck for the same reasons. - Electric system is sensitive to cold weather. On one occasion in January when the temperature was sub 30F all system lights turned, but went away when weather warm up a few days later. I think more or less most cars have some minor issues; however some of the issues identified in the 2015 MDX are more than minor. Frankly I was expecting more from the MDX after paying 50k for it (including Chicago city tax). I am partially mad at myself for not doing a better job on inspecting the car at dealership. I let my guard down because the car got raving reviews by many car reviewers and on YouTube…thought it’s the best value proposition…what can go wrong, right? My advice for future MDX buyers, don’t just rely on expert opinion, as they usually spend only a few hours behind the wheel of the car. They seldom look at build quality in great details. You can definitely avoid my mistake as most of the issues listed above could have been identified if I had spent more time inspecting. Also ask the sales person to let you alone with the car. They can be distracting you from seeing build quality flaws or hearing unusual noises. Finally, I would also advise new car buys to check out the Highlander. In my opinion it’s as good of a car and 14k cheaper. Waiting for the Honda Pilot might be also worthwhile…it will come out this fall. It shares the same platform with the MDX, basically has the same engine, transmission, suspension, safety feature, etc. for much less. The only difference is the brand name. I my view, an Acura is a marked up Honda. It failed to distinguish itself from Honda technologically. The performance, build quality and materials do not truly distinguish from Honda. In fact, Honda quality has been more consistent over time. This is my first and last Acura, but I would not rule out a Honda product in the future."

11 people out of 14 found this review helpful

only 2 bad things

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Drives like an X5"

Cons: "Stiff ride and hollow doors"

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

"I think the MDX is a great SUV. Drives like an X5 but lighter and not as bulky. The 2 bad things- rides like an X5. Suspension is very firm and you feel the bumps and the doors seem a little hollow. Otherwise I love the MDX"

26 people out of 38 found this review helpful

Poor Quality

By on Friday, March 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Creature comforts"

Cons: "Quality that is far from Acura standards."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I have owned 5 previous MDXs. I purchased expecting the same quality. What a disappointment. Car has been back to the dealer five times in the first 2,000 miles (it has had $4,500 of factory parts and labor to date). They finally had to contact Acura to find out the main computer processor is a problem. It was replaced and now there are only intermittent problems. Safety features go off for no reason. Bluetooth is sporadic. In any turning situation combined with braking the suspension creaks and groans. There is considerable transmission noise and awkward premature or delayed shifts. The consolation is that on the highway it is an extremely comfortable road vehicle. Creature comforts are excellent."

14 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Advertisement

Why ads?
Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.