2016 Acura MDX: New Features, 9-Speed Auto
Adding appeal to America's best-selling 3-row luxury SUV, the 2016 Acura MDX rolls into showrooms this month with new functional upgrades and convenience features. Completely redesigned for the 2014 model year, the 2016 MDX enhancement is highlighted by a new shift-by-wire 9-speed automatic transmission and a more advanced version of Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. The update also brings a Multi-View Angle Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines, frameless rearview mirror, Siri Eyes Free voice recognition and an easy-entry/exit driver's seat across the entire MDX lineup along with a tire-fill assist feature that provides an audible alert when the pressure is correct.
Starting in 2016, the AcuraWatch suite of safety/driver-assist technologies is available on all MDX models. Standard on models with the Advance Package, it includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Blind Spot Information, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning -- the last three also being part of the MDX Technology Package. For 2016, MDXs with Technology or Advance Packages also can be had with or without the Rear Entertainment System.
Better performance, more agility
While the MDX's 290-horsepower/3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 carries over for 2016, its 6-speed automatic transmission gets swapped for a new electronically-controlled 9-speed unit that also replaces the current console shifter with a space-saving rotary selector and steering wheel-mounted paddles. Along with being 66 pounds lighter - a fact that helps weight distribution and overall vehicle balance - it serves up 25-percent quicker cog changes. Closer ratio spacing also promises to improve the MDX's acceleration. While the 2016 MDX's EPA numbers actually dip a bit - 19/27 mpg vs 20/28 mpg on front-drive models and 18/26 mpg vs 18/27 mpg on SH-AWD versions - a new idle-stop feature available on certain models raises the city stat by one mpg. Performance gets a further boost on MDXs fitted with the available SH-AWD system. Nineteen pounds lighter than the present package, this setup incorporates a new twin-clutch rear differential that improves the SH-AWD's functionality and torque vectoring capability, making the MDX feel more stable and predictable under all driving conditions.
Pricing for the 2016 Acura MDX opens at $43,785 while a top-line Acura MDX SH-AWD with Advance Entertainment & AcuraWatch Plus Packages will set you back $58,000. Both figures reflect a modest $300 bump over 2015.
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