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MSRP: $44,300 - 60,050

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.5
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Acura MDX Review

The 2019 Acura MDX finishes in the middle third of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. There's a lot to like both inside and out, but the MDX’s low predicted reliability rating keeps it from ranking higher in the class.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of tech features
  • Good gas mileage
  • Composed handling
  • Low price for the class
  • Competitors feel more luxurious inside
  • Poor predicted reliability rating
  • Some rivals have smoother rides

New for 2019

  • New MDX A-Spec package
  • Minor revisions to transmission and engine stop-start system

Is the Acura MDX a Good SUV?

The Acura MDX is a decent three-row luxury SUV. The MDX has refined handling, comfortable seats, and a wide array of standard safety features. It’s one of the least expensive options in its class, thanks to its $44,300 starting price. It also earns better-than-average fuel economy for a vehicle this size. That said, the MDX has too many drawbacks to recommend fully. The MDX rates poorly for predicted reliability, and its complex dual-screen infotainment system and some mediocre cabin materials draw flak from critics.

Should I Buy the Acura MDX?

The MDX’s seven-passenger layout, many standard features, and relatively low price make it a tempting option in this class. Still, you should first consider alternatives like the three-row Lexus RX L, which starts at $48,000 but rates much higher for predicted reliability.

Compare the MDX and RX 350 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Acura MDX?

The 2019 MDX belongs to a generation that began with the 2014 model year. For 2019, Acura adds a new A-Spec package and makes minor updates to the transmission and engine stop-start system. The 2018 model also only saw minor changes, with a few new infotainment features. There haven't been many other updates over the years. With so few changes, you can buy an older MDX and not miss out on much while potentially saving thousands of dollars.

If you think you might be interested in a used model, check out our reviews of the 2017 and 2018 Acura MDX. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for savings and incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 MDX »

We Did the Research for You: 46 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current MDX generation, which runs from 2014 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Acura MDX Cost?

The MDX has a base price of $44,300. That's one of the lowest starting prices in the class. There aren't any higher trims, but you can add several packages. A fully loaded MDX costs around $60,000, which is less (by a large margin, in some cases) than what you'd pay for most fully loaded competitors.

If you don’t absolutely need the MDX’s third-row seat, you may want to consider the smaller and less-expensive Acura RDX, which starts at just $37,400. It has five seats plus similar styling and amenities. If you do need the third row, check out the Honda Pilot. It shares the MDX’s V6 engine and standard safety features, but it has a larger cargo area and a lower $31,500 starting price.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Acura dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Acura deals page.

Acura MDX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Acura MDX or Lexus RX 350?

The Lexus RX 350 and Acura MDX both feature potent V6 engines, as well as hybrid variants for those looking to cut their fuel costs. Both can seat up to seven passengers and are equipped with many standard safety features. The MDX provides more cargo space and a few more tech features, like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. On the other hand, the Lexus rates considerably higher for predicted reliability, and it has nicer cabin materials. Choosing between the two may boil down to personal preference, but for most shoppers, the RX 350 is the better bet.

Which Is Better: Acura MDX or Audi Q7? 

The three-row Audi Q7 is pricier than the MDX, but its perks and refinement are worth it. The Q7 has a much nicer interior with higher-quality materials. Its infotainment system is easier to use, and the Audi offers a smoother ride in addition to its sportier handling. Additionally, all Q7s come standard with all-wheel drive, which is a $2,000 option in the MDX.

Compare the MDX, RX 350, and Q7 »

MDX Interior

How Many People Does the MDX Seat?

The MDX seats six or seven people, depending on whether you opt for the second-row captain's chairs or stick with a model that features the standard second-row bench. The front seats are superb, with plenty of space and support. The second row offers enough room for most people, but like many 3-row SUVs, only children can fit in the third row with ease.

MDX and Car Seats

The MDX comes with three full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the MDX's LATCH system an Acceptable rating (the second-highest) for ease of use. IIHS noted that the lower anchors are set too deep in the seats and the tether anchors can be hard to find. 

MDX Interior Quality

The MDX looks good inside, and soft-touch materials cover most surfaces. However, there are a number of cheaper-looking plastic pieces scattered in less obvious areas. If a jaw-dropping interior is what you’re after, check out class rivals like the Volvo XC90 and BMW X5.

MDX Cargo Space

With all seats in use, the MDX gives you about 15 cubic feet of cargo space – enough room for roughly a dozen grocery bags. Fold the second and third rows down, and you get more than 68 cubic feet of space.

MDX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The MDX comes standard with a moonroof and a dual-screen infotainment system with an upper 8-inch display and a lower 7-inch touch screen, as well as six USB ports, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Siri Eyes Free.

Available features include navigation, a 10-, 11-, or 12-speaker ELS audio system, HD Radio, voice recognition, two USB ports in the third row, and a 9-inch or 16.2-inch rear-seat entertainment system with two wireless headphones.

While it seems high-tech, the MDX's dual-screen infotainment system isn't as intuitive as some competitors' systems. That's because the two screens control different functions, so you'll need some practice to figure out which screen does what.

Read more about interior »

MDX Performance

MDX Engine: It Gets the Job Done

Look under the hood, and you find a 290-horsepower V6 powering the MDX. It's a solid, if unspectacular, engine that delivers enough power and acceleration for most driving situations, though some rivals feel more energetic.

MDX Gas Mileage: Ahead of the Pack

Few class rivals can match the MDX when it comes to fuel economy. This Acura gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

MDX Ride and Handling: Solid, but No Standout

The MDX acquits itself well on the road. It has a comfortable ride, and there's not much body lean around turns. All-wheel-drive models provide plenty of road grip. However, a few class rivals are more athletic, and some have a smoother ride.

MDX Towing Capacity

A properly equipped MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Read more about performance »

MDX Reliability

Is the Acura MDX Reliable?

The 2019 MDX has a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Acura MDX Warranty

Acura covers the MDX with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

MDX Safety

MDX Crash Test Results

The 2019 MDX earned an overall crash test rating of five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the MDX the highest rating of Good in five crash tests. 

MDX Safety Features

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. Available features include front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and a head-up warning for emergency braking.

Read more about safety »

Which Acura MDX Model Is Right for Me?

Instead of having multiple trims, the MDX comes in only one trim and lets you pick and choose option packages to add extra features. This system may seem a little confusing at first because the higher packages require you to add lower packages. However, it also means you have more flexibility to get the features you want without paying for those you don't. You can add all-wheel drive independent of any package for $2,000.

The right setup depends on what you want from your MDX. The base trim comes well-equipped and makes a fine choice for many buyers. The Technology package adds a few additional driver assistance features. The MDX A-Spec package adds some styling upgrades. The Advance package adds premium comfort features.

There is also an MDX Hybrid, which we cover in a separate review.

Acura MDX

The MDX sports a base price of $44,300. It features a 290-horsepower V6 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, a moonroof, heated front seats, a rearview camera, the AcuraWatch suite of safety features, and a dual-screen infotainment system with satellite radio, Bluetooth, six USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Acura MDX With Technology Package

The MDX with Technology package starts at $49,300. This package adds GPS-linked climate control, a 10-speaker ELS audio system, HD Radio, navigation, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic alert.

Acura MDX With A-Spec Package

The MDX with A-Spec package has a starting price of $54,800. The A-Spec package is new for 2019, and it requires you to add the Technology package and SH-AWD. The A-Spec package adds multiple styling upgrades, ventilated front seats, and Alcantara leather trim throughout the interior. You cannot add the Advance or Entertainment packages if you add the A-Spec package.

Acura MDX With Advance Package

The MDX with Advance package has a starting price of $56,050. Like the other packages, the Advance package requires the purchase of the Technology package.

Standard features include premium Milano leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, two third-row USB ports, a head-up warning, and a surround-view camera system.

Acura MDX With Entertainment Package

The MDX with Entertainment package starts at $51,300. To add the Entertainment package, you must also add the Technology package. The MDX with Entertainment package comes with an 11-speaker ELS audio system, a 110-volt power outlet, heated second-row captain's chairs, and a rear-seat entertainment system with a 9-inch screen.

You can also combine the Entertainment package with the Advance package. This still requires you to add the Technology package, and it starts at $58,050. In this setup, you get a 12-speaker ELS audio system, second-row bench seating, and a rear-seat entertainment system with a 16.2-inch screen and HDMI compatibility.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Acura dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Acura deals page.

See 2019 Acura MDX specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2019 Acura MDX deserves a look from anyone shopping for a luxury midsize SUV. It delivers solid performance and offers a mostly quality interior loaded with features. It gets a low predicted reliability rating, but it doesn't have many other big flaws.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The current generation MDX dates back to the 2014 model year, which is definitely getting into senior citizen status for the automotive world. Yet the 2019 Acura MDX's virtues are intact. Thanks to a constant stream of updates, the MDX remains a top pick for a luxury SUV. With three rows of seating and a large, comfortable cabin, it works great as a family hauler, and it presents plenty of value thanks to an impressive number of standard features for the money." -- Edmunds
  • "Whichever MDX you select, you'll get a well-sorted, luxurious and roomy crossover that's ready for a road trip." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "If you want a 3-row luxury SUV with standout safety features, a long list of amenities, plenty of power and a solid reputation, the 2017 Acura MDX is a smart choice." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: August 16, 2019

Steady Sales: Acura MDX sales currently sit in the top third in the luxury midsize SUV class. The rival and class sales leader Lexus RX is outselling the MDX by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. MDX sales have remained consistent this year relative to the same period last year.

Research more buying advice »
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