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2016 Acura MDX Driving Impressions


Acura MDX is powered by a direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 engine producing 290 horsepower. It’s connected to a nine-speed automatic in all versions of the MDX, and that transmission can be paddle-shifted from the steering wheel.

We found the suspension to be quite firm in Normal mode on rough urban and suburban streets with pot holes. Pressing the IDS button on the center console switches the Integrated Dynamic System through Normal, Sport, and Comfort, adjusting the damping of the shock absorbers. The Comfort setting makes those rough roads feel much smoother. Sport works best on smooth, winding roads.

The MDX is easy to drive. The steering doesn’t transmit feedback to the driver, but when driven hard, the vehicle feels capable and coordinated.

Pressing the Drive/Sport (D/S) button on the transmission selector alters shift mapping between Sport and Drive. Using the paddle shifters when in Sport mode evokes quick upshifts and blips the throttle for aggressive downshifts.

Pressing the Drive/Sport (D/S) button on the transmission selector alters shift mapping between Sport and Drive. Overall, it works well, but the nine-speed has lots of ratios to choose from and can sometimes get confused by it all. The car will automatically shift itself into Park when pulling into a parking spot and switching off the engine, which is a nice feature to have.

Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) makes the MDX a great vehicle in wintry conditions. The Super Handling part improves handling stability by turning the wheels with the best grip.

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