By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
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.
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.
Fresh from its 2014 redo, the 2015 Acura MDX luxury crossover SUV cruises into the new year with no major changes.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Linus on Friday, March 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
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."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By NBB8214 on Thursday, March 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Love the looks"
Cons: "question quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I absolutely love the appearance and interior of the MDX. It handles nicely although I've driven older MDX's and felt like they were more "solid." I would like more power, acceleration. As others have mentioned, the screen for Ac/heating, audio, etc is not user friendly. It takes at least 2 steps just to turn the fan up. I've had my vehicle about 18 months and it's been in the shop three times for recalls and/or warranty work. I expected better quality from Acura. My husband's 6 year old GMC truck has only been in the twice. I went with the MDX over BMW X5 thinking it was of better quality but now I'm not so sure. That being said, it is easy to drive, park and I really like the looks."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Rob on Thursday, February 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Acura quality, great on gas"
Cons: "Need a little more driver room, better USB interfa"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Traded an 04 Acura MDX reluctantly for a new Chevy Traverse and was not happy with it, decided to get a new Acura MDX w/ SH-AWD and Tech package, couldn't be happier. Interior and exterior fit and finish is near perfect except for a couple of loosely fitting trim pieces and some air pockets in their acoustic laminated glass. Seats hold you firmly in place but are extremely comfortable, sliding arm rest and power adjustable steering wheel provide excellent ergonomic positioning. Although I wish Acura had added power adjustable pedals or one more inch of driver's seat adjustment. The steering wheel is thick with padded leather and little bolster bump outs, feels very comfortable in my hands. Exterior visibility is actually quite good compared to other crossover vehicles. Gauges are clear and well lit, a convenient LCD screen in the center of the cluster provides almost all your information without having to look away from the road. The LED headlights are the best I've ever used, even surpassing a good set of HID projector lamps. I love having an eyeglass holder, a simple little item often overlooked by most manufacturers. The two screen setup is a little overwhelming at first, but once you get used to the redundancy it actually becomes quite easy to operate. The one-touch third row access is simple and works well, also, the second row seating can slide fore and aft to accommodate a mixed bag of passenger sizes. The Honda motor runs exceptionally smooth and quiet as expected. The six speed trans is a little dated but adequate, there is an occasional shudder as if it shifts into fourth a little too soon sometimes, I'll have to keep an eye on it, as Acura transmissions have always been the Achilles heel of the MDX. The MDX accelerates quickly and tracks nice (very car like handling). The steering feel is adjustable through the Acura IDS, I normally leave it set on normal for back roads and sport for highways. The other power controls in the vehicle operate smoothly and uneventful. Cabin noise is very hushed, except for low speed driving where the suspension noise seems to be transferred directly into your ear, very clunky sounding, and low speed suspension damping seems very harsh, but accelerate to 45 MPH and greater and the problem seems to disappear, as if the high speed damping is more finely tuned. But Acura has always seemed prone to these issues, so its like second nature coming from another MDX. Also, I might need some flash cards to help remember voice commands, as there are hundreds. The USB audio when used with a flash drive is extremely slow, especially when scrolling through music files, I might just use bluetooth audio exclusively for now on. Overall, I have been very happy with this MDX so far, feels like putting on an old glove."
6 people out of 12 found this review helpful