2014 Acura MDX first drive – – Autos – MSN CA

2 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2014 Acura MDX first drive – – Autos – MSN CA
Acura MDX

2014 Acura MDX first drive

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2014 Acura MDX Elite

Newburg, Ore. – Camaro versus Challenger. Corolla versus Civic. Impala versus 300. CR-V versus RAV4. All direct competitors, all built in Canada.

But when the all-new 2014 MDX arrives in Acura showrooms this summer, the MDX versus RX 350 luxury crossover duel will no longer be an all-Ontario battle, as Honda’s upscale brand has moved production of its seven-seater to Lincoln, Alabama.

Right away, Acura may lose some loyalty points from buyers who’d prefer to buy Canadian. But there’s also a valid argument that the MDX’s third row of small seats puts it in a different category than the five-seat-only Lexus RX, and as such are not really true market rivals. But Acura’s planners see things a little different.

They see the Lexus RX as the best-selling luxury SUV in Canada, while the MDX is the best-selling seven-seat luxury SUV. And Acura wants the overall plush people-mover crown, no matter the seat numbers, figuring its buyers can easily fold that third row away and never see it again until the lease is up, if then.

So Acura has made a number of changes to help the MDX attract more Prada-pursed and Louis Vuitton-loafered potential five-seat luxury SUV buyers. The MDX’s starting price is now down under $50,000 (even luxury buyers like a bargain), it’s narrower to fit more garages, and the company has increased its fuel efficiency from near the bottom of the pack to close to the front – as long as you’re not comparing it to hybrid or diesel rivals like the RX 450h and Audi Q7 TDI.

Acura MDX

Conservative changes in design, more significant inside

Photo: Michael Bettencourt

Midsize luxury SUV buyers are not usually after the most avant garde-looking vehicle, and so the MDX plays it safe with a modernized yet conservative look overall. Perhaps too safe for some, since even the new wheels look similar to the outgoing model. The main design giveaway that this is a ’14 model are the MDX’s five new small circular LEDs, which help decrease the size of the headlights to be tighter and sleeker, with slightly less pronounced fenders to go with a new sharp body crease starting from the lower front fender that then dissipates into the rear doors.

Getting back to that small but useful third row is also easier, with a handy and illuminated one-touch button at the base of the second row that tilts and slides the seat forward slickly. A button up high on the second row’s seat back folds the second row seat forward easily, making quick jump outs easier for smaller kids – the only ones that fit back there, really.

The MDX is no minivan, but even with all three rows up, there’s still a fairly impressive amount of cargo room thanks to a redesigned hatch that’s a bit more upright. You can now fit a wheeled cooler inside the trunk, where you formerly couldn’t.

Acura MDX
Acura MDX
Acura MDX
Acura MDX
Acura MDX
Acura MDX
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