The 2014 Acura MDX is not a striking car and it’s not meant to be. The third-generation is supposed to carry on the tradition of the two MDXs that came before in providing luxurious, unpretentious, and straightforward transportation for seven. The look of the new car apes that of the smaller RDX that debuted last year, while blending in some of aesthetic elements from the RLX flagship sedan — like the jewel LED headlights. The look will offend no one, and is generically handsome.
However, there is one odd incongruity to the design: the rear reflectors. Mounted low on either side of the “diffuser,” these reflectors inhabit the space you would expect to see tailpipes in. In fact, the reflects are shaped exactly as you would expect a set of integrated exhaust outlets to be shaped. Without crawling under the MDX, the tailpipes are nowhere to be found.
This is an interesting departure away from current trend to show off and integrate the tailpipes. The last-generation MDX actually had its tips enhanced with bright trapezoidal outlets during the midcycle facelift. Most other automakers have been working to further emphasize their exhaust outlets in recent years, too. Here, the 2014 MDX looks a little unfinished to my eye, as though the reflectors were stuck on at the last second because a production-spec bumper with exhaust outlets wasn’t ready in time for the reveal. It’s a strange incongruity in an otherwise well-done package.