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MSRP: $44,400 - 60,150

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.6
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 7.5
Safety: 9.8
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2020 Acura MDX Review

The 2020 Acura MDX ranks in the top half of the luxury midsize SUV class, largely because of its strong powertrain, poised handling, and great gas mileage. Still, some rivals are more upscale and spacious.

Pros & Cons

  • Robust engine
  • Excellent fuel economy estimates
  • Composed handling
  • Poor predicted reliability rating
  • Some rivals have nicer cabins

Is the Acura MDX a Good SUV?

Despite its ranking, the Acura MDX is a good luxury midsize SUV. Outside of a poor predicted reliability rating, its only real fault is that it is overshadowed by rivals. Cabin materials are nice but not elegant. The ride is smooth but not serene. Its V6 engine is capable but not robust. Overall, the MDX is a good pick, but there are lots of better vehicles in the class.

Acura also offers an MDX Sport Hybrid, which we review separately.

Should I Buy the Acura MDX?

This three-row Acura SUV is one of the most affordable models in its class, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it's a slam-dunk buy. The nonluxury Honda Pilot has a lot in common with the Acura – including the same standard safety features and similar fuel efficiency – but adds in an adult-friendly third row and more overall cargo space. If you want to stick with a luxury brand, you might consider the three-row Lexus RX L, which has a history of great predicted reliability ratings.

Compare the MDX, Pilot, and RX 350 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Acura MDX?

The 2020 Acura MDX belongs to a generation that launched for the 2014 model year. Since Acura made no major changes for 2020, you may be able to find a similarly equipped used model for less money.

The A-Spec package launched for 2019, and Acura made some tweaks to the infotainment system for 2018, including adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For the 2017 model year, Acura refreshed the MDX’s exterior styling and made several safety features standard, such as forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control.

If you’re interested in the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, you’ll have to stick with a 2017 model or newer, as that’s when it debuted as an all-new vehicle.

Be sure to read our 2017, 2018, and 2019 Acura MDX reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 MDX »

We Did the Research for You: 46 Reviews Analyzed

By researching Acura MDX reviews, our hope is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this SUV in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 46 Acura MDX reviews. This MDX review incorporates applicable research for all vehicles in this generation, which spans the 2014 through 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Acura MDX Cost?

The 2020 Acura MDX has a base MSRP of $44,400. That makes it one of the most affordable models in the class. A fully loaded MDX costs a little more than $60,100, which undercuts the higher trims of many rivals.

We review the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid separately.

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 Acura RDX?

The Acura RDX is a luxury compact SUV that can't match the overall cargo and passenger room of its larger sibling. The RDX only comes with two rows of seats, but it has a more upscale cabin and a lower base price, costing around $6,800 less to buy. Despite all of that, these SUVs have nearly identical lists of standard features. The RDX lacks a V6, but its turbocharged four-cylinder feels plenty peppy for its size. Unless you need the MDX’s extra space, the RDX is a better choice.

Which Is Better: Acura MDX or Lexus RX 350?

The Lexus RX 350 is a good luxury midsize SUV. In fact, these two vehicles are similar, with both offering a good list of standard safety features and a hybrid powertrain option. Both have capable V6 engines and similar fuel economy estimates too. The base Acura seats up to seven to the Lexus’ five, but RX L models come with a third row that adds two seats. The MDX has more cargo room, but the Lexus has a richer cabin. The main thing holding the Acura back is its poor predicted reliability rating. By contrast, the Lexus has a history of great predicted reliability. That gives the RX 350 a slight edge in this side-by-side comparison.

Compare the MDX, RDX, and RX 350 »

MDX Interior

How Many People Does the MDX Seat?

The MDX seats up to seven people. Leather seats are standard, as are heated and 12-way power-adjustable front seats. One-Touch Smart Slide is also included, which lets you fold and slide the second-row seats with the push of a button for easy access to the third row.

Ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, and a heated steering wheel are available. You could also opt for second-row captain's chairs, which reduces the seating capacity to six.

The front seats are comfortable and provide plenty of support for longer drives. Space in the second row is decent, though taller passengers may find headroom a bit lacking. The third row is best left for kids.

MDX and Child Car Seats

There are complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the RX’s second row and a single tether anchor for each third-row seat.

MDX Interior Quality

This luxury crossover has a handsome cabin with some soft-touch materials, but there are also a few cheap plastics scattered about. A number of rivals have more luxurious cabins.

MDX Cargo Space

The MDX’s 15 feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats is a bit small for the class. Its other totals – 38.4 cubic feet behind the second row and 68.4 cubic feet in total – are more typical.

MDX Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The standard infotainment system consists of two monitors - an 8-inch upper screen and a 7-inch lower touch screen. You'll also get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an eight-speaker stereo, six USB ports, Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free. Upgrades include a navigation system; a 10, 11, or 12-speaker stereo; HD Radio; and a rear-entertainment system with either a 9-inch or a 16.2-inch screen.

Mastering the infotainment controls takes some time because each screen controls different functions. However, both displays are responsive, and the menus are straightforward.

Read more about interior »

MDX Performance

MDX Engine: Strong and Capable

The sole engine in this Acura is a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 290 horsepower. It comes with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The MDX isn’t going to break any speed records, but it’s no slouch either. Acceleration is moderately quick, and the MDX will be just fine in most driving situations.

MDX Gas Mileage: Fuel Sipper

The MDX gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. That’s great fuel economy for the luxury midsize SUV class. Models with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) lose 1 mpg from each figure, and the A-Spec gets 19/25 mpg city/highway.

For something more efficient, consider the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, which we review separately.

MDX Ride and Handling: Capable Cruiser

This vehicle rides smoothly over most roads, though a few critics comment that some road flaws make their way into the cabin. The MDX tackles turns confidently, though not eagerly, and its light steering helps with maneuverability. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is available.

Read more about performance »

MDX Reliability

Is the Acura MDX Reliable?

The 2020 MDX gets a poor predicted reliability rating of two out of five from J.D. Power.

Acura MDX Warranty

Acura covers the 2020 MDX with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

MDX Safety

MDX Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the MDX a five-out-of-five-star overall rating, with five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in rollover tests.

MDX Safety Features

Standard safety features in this Acura include automatic high beams, lane departure warning, a rear view camera, and the AcuraWatch suite of advanced driver aids. This standard features package includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and a road departure mitigation system.

A few more safety features are available, such as front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a head-up display, and a surround-view parking camera system.

Read more about safety »

Acura MDX Dimensions and Weight

This SUV is about 16.4 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,032 to 4,350 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Acura MDX Built?

The Acura MDX is built in Ohio and Alabama.

Which Acura MDX Model Is Right for Me?

Acura offers the MDX with option packages that add to the SUV's standard features list. The MDX comes standard with a V6 engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive can be added for $2,000, but models equipped with the A-Spec and Entertainment packages come standard with AWD. Models with the Technology package are a good bet for their added safety features.

We review the MDX Sport Hybrid separately.

Acura MDX

The MDX retails for $44,400. Standard features include a dual-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an eight-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, six USB ports, and Siri Eyes Free. You'll also get leather-trimmed seats with 12-way power-adjustment and heating for the front, tri-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, and a moonroof.

A rearview camera, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams are standard. The MDX also comes with the AcuraWatch suite of safety features, which includes a collision mitigation and braking system, lane keep assist, road departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

Acura MDX with Technology Package

Starting at $49,400, the MDX with Technology package gains rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, a navigation system, a 10-speaker ELS stereo, remote start, GPS-linked climate control, and perforated leather seats.

Acura MDX with A-Spec Package

Models with the A-Spec package retail for $54,900 and only come with all-wheel drive. Other additions include ventilated front seats, distinctive interior and exterior styling, and the contents of the Technology package.

Acura MDX with Advance Package

The Acura MDX with Advance package has an MSRP of $56,150. It adds the Technology package plus ventilated front seats, second-row heated captain’s chairs, upgraded leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, two third-row USB ports, a head-up display, and a surround-view parking camera system.  

Acura MDX with Entertainment Package

The Entertainment package requires you to get either the Technology package ($53,400) or the Advance package ($60,150). As with the A-Spec, it's only available with AWD. With the Technology package, the Entertainment package has a 9-inch rear-seat screen and heated second-row captain’s chairs. With the Advance package, it has a 16.2-inch screen and a second-row bench seat.

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 2020 Acura MDX specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Acura MDX has a lot of appealing traits and an affordable price, which helps make it a good value. Its engine is capable, its cabin is handsome, and it comes with a long list of tech and safety features. However, its poor predicted reliability rating weighs it down in our luxury midsize SUV rankings, and many rivals outclass it with richer interiors and smoother rides.

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)
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