2018 Acura MDX Walk Around

The diamond pentagon grille comes from the Precision concept car that got a positive reaction at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. The facelift for 2017 included sculpted front fenders, a new hood, and jewel-like headlamps, with available LED foglamps.

We find the chrome rocker panels and body trim tarnish the styling.

The profile seems less upright than some SUV rivals, with its chiseled front end, tapered roofline, and the smooth rear end. Ironically, while the smaller Acura RDX crossover looks larger than it is, the Acura MDX looks smaller than it is.


The sloping and tiered dashboard sort of mimics the grille, as it leads into a V-shaped centerstack that doesn’t try to be opulent, but again the chrome trim gets in the way of things, sometimes reflecting into the driver’s eyes.

The center console offers a whole lot of function, with a deep bin, tray for cellphone, another larger tray with sliding woodgrain top, traction strips so things don’t slide around, conveniently located cupholders, and another small bin for keys, with power outlet.

The front seats are plush and supportive, with low side bolsters that make sliding in and out easy. The driver’s seat slides back automatically when the door is opened.

The MDX is roomy for its class. The second row slides six inches fore and aft, giving either second- or third-row passengers more legroom (but not both). It’s split 60/40 and folds almost flat, although there are a lot of gaps and holes, not good for dogs. A small illuminated button at each side of the second row moves the seat to enable reaching the third row.

The optional captain’s chairs are the best way to reach the third row. Without them, getting back there is for kids. And once back there, the high floor level puts your knees at your chin, if you’re an adult or tall kid.

The third row folds perfectly flat by pulling a lever; the headrests flip forward, and can stay with the seats rather than having to be removed, a good safety feature because they won’t be missing when needed.

With both seats folded, the cargo space reveals an underfloor storage area with room for a laptop, camera bag, or more shoes. It has a lid that can be moved out of the way.

The cabin is very quiet and vibration-free, thanks to an active noise-cancellation system, an active engine mount system, acoustic glass in the windshield and windows, and heaps of insulation elsewhere.

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