2010 Acura MDX

Even with nineteen-inch wheels, the MDX rides surprisingly well, much better than our Four Seasons Audi Q5. Acura's 300-hp V-6 powers the chunky MDX with authority, and it sounds good doing so. This vehicle is a little more annoying to get into and out of than the Audi, particularly in back (with a high step-in and narrow door aperture), but cabin space is good. Of course, there is the standard third-row seat, for those who need cramped occasional quarters for two more. Massively thick pillars, large rear headrests, and a shrunken tailgate window mean rear-quarter visibility stinks, making the blind-spot warning system a near necessity. The interior is nicely finished, not a work of art but uniformly good materials quality and no fit or finish issues. Lots of buttons on the dash could be better grouped by system, but even as is, it's better than wading through onscreen menus, and there are knobs for some important functions.

Joe Lorio, Senior Editor

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