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2015 Acura MDX Review

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2015 Acura MDX Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.5

The Acura MDX has earned a reputation as one of the best loved, most reliable luxury crossover SUV's on the market. True to its roots, the 2015 Acura MDX continues to offer luxury and convenience, not to mention handling on par with much sportier rivals – especially when equipped with Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). The MDX's recent makeover saw marked improvements in 3rd-row-seat access, fuel economy and body structure, the latter greatly improving the MDX's strength and safety. Unlike some luxury SUVs, the MDX for 2015 remains reasonable in both size and weight, keeping it competitive with newer SUVs such as the Infiniti QX60 and Audi Q7, and making it a viable alternative to such luxury giants as the Cadillac Escalade and Lexus LX.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a luxury crossover SUV big enough to hold the entire family, luxurious enough to impress the neighbors, and reliable enough to keep well past the last payment date, the 2015 Acura MDX is an easy pick.

You May Not Like This Car If...

There are many well-equipped 7-passenger SUVs on the market that can do a lot of what the MDX can do, but for less money. If you're looking to save some green, the Toyota Highlander, GMC Acadia and Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid make excellent alternatives.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.5
  • 9.2
  • 8.2
  • 7.7
  • 8.2
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#5

out of 25

Fuel Economy

#12

out of 27

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

7.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Acura MDX Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

Fresh from its 2014 redo, the 2015 Acura MDX luxury crossover SUV cruises into the new year with no major changes.

Driving the MDX
2015 Acura MDX Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions When Acura remade its 7-passenger MDX, it didn't just pretty it up with a new face and a few extra features. The 2015 Acura MDX luxury SUV benefits from an...

... improved suspension, a stiffer structure and liberal use of high-strength yet lightweight steel. The changes result in a driving experience that's more sport sedan than tall SUV, with the MDX able to round corners and respond to steering inputs in a way few SUVs can. Acura's suspension setup strikes a perfect balance between the softly sprung Lexus RX and the abruptly harsh (and complex) BMW X5. The driver is allowed some input, however, in the form of Acura's Integrated Dynamics System that allows throttle and steering modulation, as well as three driver-selectable modes on models equipped with SH-AWD. As for power, the tried-and-true 3.5-liter V6 never disappoints and is barely noticeable thanks to the MDX's extremely quiet cabin.

JEWEL EYE LED HEADLIGHTS
Not only are they stunning in appearance, the 2015 Acura MDX's "Jewel Eye" headlights recreate the spectrum of daylight, delivering better visibility at night with less eyestrain.

PUSH-BUTTON 3RD-ROW ACCESS
Sometimes, the simplest designs are the most impressive. The MDX's one-touch walk-in feature allows quick and easy access to the 3rd-row seat without having to strain, lug or tug to move the 2nd-row seats.

2015 Acura MDX Details
2015 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 2015 MDX crossover SUV, with an emphasis placed upon comfort and ease-of-use. Interior materials are of a highest quality, 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 QX60 and Audi Q7. Instead of a sea of dash buttons, the 2015 MDX directs most vehicle functions through a pair of LCD displays. And, unlike some competitors, the MDX's 2nd-row seat slides and folds with minimal effort.

Exterior
2015 Acura MDX photo

Save for the multi-projector "Jewel Eye" headlights, you'd be hard-pressed to distinguish the 2015 Acura MDX from its predecessors. Nevertheless, the overall look is by no means dated. The spec sheet shows that the MDX measures about two inches longer, 1.3 inches narrower and 1.5 inches shorter than the last generation, which appears to be just the right size for most repeat buyers. Because of its leaner proportions, the 2015 MDX is 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 2015 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. Safety features consist of seven airbags, Acura's reinforced ACE body structure, and trailer stability control for all-wheel-drive models. Moreover, Acura anticipates the 2015 MDX will again earn top crash-test scores.

Optional Equipment

The Technology Package includes goodies like Acura's next-generation navigation system with class-exclusive surface street traffic overlays, 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, and a forward-collision warning system that uses visual and aural alerts to warn you of a potential impact. The Advance Package adds such high-tech gems 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 Lane Keeping Assist System, which provides automatic steering assistance to gently nudge the MDX back into its lane.

Under the Hood
2015 Acura MDX Engine photo

The sole powertrain combination in every 2015 Acura MDX is a 3.5-liter V6 matched with an efficient 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, the 2015 Acura MDX qualifies as the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid SUV in the category. Lastly, to the delight of those living in Sunbelt states, Acura offers the MDX with front-wheel drive in addition to the automaker's sophisticated Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system for the snowbirds. Alas, to achieve maximum power and fuel efficiency, the MDX requires Premium fuel.

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 (all-wheel drive)

At just over $43,000, including destination, the 2015 Acura MDX is priced just a few hundred dollars more than the 2014 model. Adding the Technology and Entertainment Package will set you back an extra $6,275, while a top-of-the-line model equipped with all-wheel drive and the Advance Package checks just under $58,000. The 2015 BMW X5 and Audi Q7 start closer to the $50,000 mark and flirt with the $80,000 figure when fully optioned. The Lexus RX starts just below the MDX's base price 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 2015 Acura MDX. As a long-term investment, the 2015 MDX is expected to maintain some of the highest residual values among luxury SUVs.

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2015 Acura MDX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.8
Out of 10

Based on 33 Ratings for the 2014 - 2016 models.

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

love it

By on Saturday, May 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive , great sound, quiet , comfortable."

Cons: "takes time to learn tech package."

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

"more fun to drive than you would think. very comfortable, very quiet, best sound system ever. Just plane fun to drive and it will get up and go."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Good vehicle, but light weight affects traction

By on Friday, May 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfort, acceleration, fuel efficiency"

Cons: "Low traction and fuel injection sound"

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

"I like the 2014 MDX. However, two nagging problems prevent me from recommending it. First, I believe that Acura removed too much weight from the drive wheels for the 2014 model. That makes traction less than acceptable when starting on hills when the road is slick, even rain-slick. Secondly, the sound that comes from the injection when the fuel injection system is automatically changing is obnoxious. It sounds like flatulence."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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."

21 people out of 25 found this review helpful

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