/ / /
1401 2014 Acura Mdx March Update
four seasons long-term tests

2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD - Up North

Miles To Date: 8863

Keith Guenther
#Acura, #MDX
SPRING
2014 Acura MDX reviews to date
The all-wheel drive adapted to the road conditions automatically. I could literally feel how stable it was, even in a snowstorm.

When residents of southeast Michigan want a quick and affordable break, they go “Up North,” by which they mean the northwest corner of the state. Last month, two staffers commandeered the 2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD for trips up north to escape the ennui of winter.

First, copy editor Rusty Blackwell and his family visited Traverse City’s Great Wolf Lodge. He reported that this three-row crossover was far more agreeable to drive than other big SUVs the Blackwell family has taken on northerly road trips, thanks to its responsive engine and spirited handling. Together they make the MDX “drive like a much smaller vehicle.” At the same time, he found the Acura MDX capacious enough to fit four people, food, luggage, and more without a hitch.

On the long drive, Blackwell experimented with the Lane Keep Assist function, which uses a camera to “read” lane markers and tweaks the electric power steering to keep the vehicle within its lane. “I did find the feature to be useful for allowing me to grip the wheel a bit less tightly,” he said. “But it isn’t consistent enough in keeping to the center of the lane for me to feel comfortable using Lane Keep Assist in traffic.”

Soon after that journey up north, office manager Jackie Guenther used the Acura MDX when she ventured to The Homestead resort with her family. The trip there, which usually takes approximately four hours, required nearly twice that as the Guenther clan battled wind and snow. Fortunately, the Acura MDX won praise despite the weather.

“The car drives magnificently,” Guenther said. “The all-wheel drive adapted to the road conditions automatically. I could literally feel how stable it was, even in a snowstorm.”

No doubt the Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires currently fitted to our Acura MDX helped its grip on the windswept rural highways.

After the weekend getaway, Guenther and her husband had plenty of praise of the Acura MDX and only a few complaints. They, like many others, found using the touchscreen to activate the heated seats can be a chore, and were annoyed that the navigation system can only be programmed when the transmission is in Park. The latter issue is designed to prevent driver distraction, but it’s frustrating when a companion could safely type in a new destination from the passenger seat.

With those trips pushing the Acura MDX’s odometer reading to 8520 miles, it was time for the car’s first service. The display in the instrument cluster informed us that the engine oil had only 10 percent of its useful life remaining, and recommended an “A1”service that consists of an oil change and tire rotation. Our nearby Acura dealer did the work in just a few hours, changing the MDX’s oil filter, topping the engine up with 0W-20, rotating the tires, and performing a thorough inspection. The total charge was $87.21. The MDX is now ready for more weekend getaways—or trips further afield.

2014 Acura MDX Specs
  • Overview
  • powertrain
  • chassis
  • measurements
  • equipment
  • options
Body style 4-door crossover
Accommodation 7-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.)$57,400
As tested $57,400
Engine 24-valve SOHC V-6
Displacement 3.5 liters (212 cu in)
Power 290hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque 267lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Drive 4-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 18/27/21 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 3.1 turns
Turning circle 37.6 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 19-inch aluminum
Tires Michelin Latitude Tour HP
Tire size 245/55R-19 103H
Headroom F/R 38.1/38.3/35.6 in
Legroom F/R 41.4/36.6/28.1 in
Shoulder room F/R 61.1/59.1/54.7 in
Wheelbase 111.0 in
Track F/R 66.3/66.3 in
L x W x H 193.6 x 77.2 x 66.7 in
Passenger capacity 132.3 cu ft
Cargo capacity (behind r/m/f row)15.8/45.1/90.9 cu ft
Weight 4318 lb
Weight dist. F/R 57.9/42.1%
Fuel capacity 19.5 gal
Est. fuel range 410 miles
Fuel grade 91 octane (premium)
  • Standard Equipment
    • Milano leather-trimmed interior
    • Heated and ventilated front seats
    • Heated second-row outboard seats
    • 115-volt power outlet
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Forward collision prevention
    • Lane keeping assist
    • Keyless entry and ignition
    • Remote start
    • Rearview camera
    • Bluetooth
    • 10-way power driver’s seat
    • Power tailgate
    • Power sunroof
    • LED headlights
    • Automatic tri-zone climate control
    • Rear seat entertainment w/16.2-inch display
    • Auto-dimming rearview and exterior mirrors
    • Front and rear parking assist
    • Navigation w/real-time traffic updates
    • Blind spot monitoring system
    • SiriusXM satellite radio
    • ELS Studio 12-speaker audio system
    • Roof rails
    • Rear sunshades
  • Packages & Options
    • None
    spf30
    Acura has frustrated me to no end over the last 5 years.  As a present owner of an Acura, I was fulling expecting to upgrade to a larger Acura after my time with the present one finished.  I quite enjoy the ride, handling and comfort of the current TL.  The fact that it's available with a manual is icing on the cake.  And then you step out and see a two foot chrome bucktooth on your grille and you howl to the car gods that a travesty has and is still taking place.  How this "design flair" made it past the focus groups is a story for scaring car people at Halloween.  The polarizing media and anecdotes must surely number in the tens of thousands.  So why oh why, after 6 years of this, has it not been completely revamped?  I will concede a small point that the grill offends less on the MDX and RDX but being less offended is not a win.
    The 2015 TLX concept now appears at the most recent auto shows and looks like a smart, hot looking sedan that can (finally) compete with other luxury cars, and then you see the front.  Bucktooth! (Albeit, more slimmed and framed now.  But put lipstick on a rhino.....) I was appalled.  I now believe the design was made by an Acura executive's family member and they continue to flog this design for all the royalties its worth.  It's all I can conceivably come up with.  Sales are dragging in almost all the sedans, brand awareness is dropping.  I would be worried if I were them.  Rant complete.  
    Please, please.  Acura, put some R&D into a new front!!!

    New Car Research

    our instagram

    get Automobile Magazine

    Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

    subscribe

    new cars

    Read Related Articles

    TO TOP