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2011 Acura MDX Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2011 Acura MDX was new.


Interior: 8.4

The Acura MDX's interior has luxurious feel and comfortable seats. It’s especially alluring for families because it comes with a standard third-row seat, which brings seating capacity to seven. Despite improvements in the dash layout, there are still complaints about the cabin design.

  • "Bizarrely, Acura has slathered the dash and console in an ugly wood trim that isn't in keeping with the otherwise tech-focused nature of the interior." -- Jalopnik
  • "Wood trim, soft-touch materials and high-quality switchgear create a luxurious ambience."--Edmunds
  • "Inside you have the fit, finish and feel of a quality vehicle." -- MarketWatch
  • "Acura has decked the MDX's dash and center stack in new burlwood that isn't quite as attractive as the trim in last year's model, and the plethora of buttons throughout the cabin still comes off as a little overwhelming." -- MSN


The 2011 MDX seats seven in three rows. Reviewers find the first and second rows comfortable, but say the third row is cramped for adults. Still, if you only plan on using the third row for kids, it could be a useful feature. An added bonus for families with kids in car seats is that the MDX has three sets of LATCH connectors in the second row.

The MDX comes standard with leather upholstery and power-adjustable, heated front seats. The Advance package adds cooling to the front seats, while the Entertainment package adds heating to the second-row outboard seats.

  • "The plush leather front buckets -- and the second row as well -- have enveloping shapes with plenty of side support." -- Car and Driver
  • "The leather quality, armrests, firmness, and slight reclining ability were admired by all, and the two-way heaters on all outboard seats were a winter windfall." -- Automotive.com
  • "The MDX is one of the more spacious three-row midsize luxury crossover SUVs on the market. An adult could fit in the third row for a short journey, although the rearmost seats are better suited for kids." -- Edmunds
  • "Outboard 2nd-row seat sections are shaped like comfortable buckets and afford fine head and leg room unless the front seats are far back. The middle position is for kids, as is the cramped 3rd row." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

The  Acura MDX's interior stands out for its luxury features and high-tech options. Standard features include Bluetooth connectivity and iPod integration. In addition, the MDX comes with automatic climate control, power windows and moonroof, a premium sound system and a power tailgate.

Song By Voice, a music system with voice recognition and a hard drive, is an option on Technology and Advance package models. Also available for these models is a rear entertainment system. It features a nine-inch screen and provides wireless headphones and three audio jacks.

However, even all the frills don’t distract reviewers from the MDX’s confusing dashboard control layout. One reviewer even says the controls are more complicated than BMW's much-criticized iDrive system.

  • "Thankfully, the navigation system doesn't absorb any audio or climate controls. Its screen is mounted high on the dashboard but isn't distracting. The controller knob, however, is mounted low, near the center console, which forces eyes off the road until all functions are mastered." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The MDX's cabin is a high-tech parent's dream. Even the base model has its fair share of electronic toys, and the Technology and Sport Packages add even more goodies. The Panasonic/ELS surround-sound system is quite simply one of the best in the business, as is the navigation system. With all these items to control, however, the MDX's dash is cluttered with buttons." -- Edmunds


The Acura MDX offers average cargo space for its class, but excellent cargo space for a three-row vehicle -- around 15 cubic feet with all seats in use and a maximum of 83.5 cubic feet with the third row folded down. By comparison, the Lexus RX 350 offers around 80 cubic feet of max cargo space. However, the RX 350 doesn’t come with a third-row seat.

If you’re still looking for more cargo space, check out the Volvo XC90. It boasts just slightly more space (85.1 cubic feet) than the MDX and still provides a standard third row.

A big plus for busy families and frequent grocery shoppers is the MDX’s standard power tailgate.

  • "With the third row seats up, cargo space is virtually nonexistent." -- CNET
  • "Split 2nd-row seatbacks fold easily. Split 3rd-row seats fold forward from rear of vehicle, and all but shorter folks can raise them from there. With all seats folded, the cargo floor is nearly flat, and Acura says it can hold 4-ft-wide panels." -- Consumer Guide
  • "A total of 83.5 cubic feet of cargo space is available with the second and third rows folded, which is also above average for a midsize luxury crossover." -- Edmunds

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