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2016 Acura MDX Review

The 2016 Acura MDX offers nimble handling for an SUV, along with a winning combination of robust power and good fuel economy. It sits in the top third of our luxury midsize SUV rankings, though some in the class have more space and better reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Sharper handling than rivals
  • Good on gas
  • Strong V6 engine
  • Not a lot of space in the rear seats

New for 2016

  • New nine-speed automatic transmission
  • New Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system
  • Additional advanced safety systems available

Rankings & Awards

The 2016 Acura MDX's #3 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Luxury Midsize SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2016 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for the Money award and a finalist for our 2016 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for Families award. Currently the Acura MDX has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 32 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.3
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.1
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Acura MDX Overview

Is the 2016 Acura MDX a Good Used SUV?

The MDX’s outstanding crash test scores and sporty performance make it a good used SUV to consider. When it was new, we named it our 2016 Best Luxury 3-Row SUV for the Money.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the 2016 Acura MDX in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 32 professional Acura MDX reviews.

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2016 Acura MDX?

Prices range from $28,700 to $41,000 for a 2016 MDX. These figures are based on more than 880 listings for the used SUV on our site, with the average price listed at $34,800. Keep in mind that factors such as vehicle mileage and condition can shift the sales price up or down.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Acura MDX Cost to Own?

Paying for a used SUV involves more than just the purchase price. Insurance premiums, fuel, maintenance, and repairs are among the other ownership costs. With the 2016 MDX, you'll pay around $26,600 over five years on these expenses. That's more than the 2016 Infiniti QX60's expenses but less than the 2016 Infiniti QX70's and 2016 Cadillac SRX's.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New MDX?

The price difference between a base 2018 MDX and the average used 2016 model is dramatic: about $9,400. With the overall scores changing very little in that time, budget savvy shoppers may prefer to stick with the older model. However, it's worth noting that you'll miss a few upgrades if you pass over the 2018 MDX.

Every new MDX comes standard with AcuraWatch, a collection that bundles together advanced safety systems such as collision mitigation braking and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. Many of these items were only optional in the 2016 MDX, so not all models have them. Automatic high beams and four USB ports are also among the standard features for 2018. The outside dons a new look, with a refreshed grille, hood, fenders, and headlights. Shoppers will need to decide if these upgrades, along with the 2018's new-car warranty, are worth the steep increase in price.

Read about the new Acura MDX »

Acura also offers the 2018 MDX as a hybrid by adding a three-motor hybrid system that's similar to the one found in the NSX supercar. The 2018 MDX Hybrid (which we review separately) is a bit pricey at $52,100, though it comes richly equipped with added entertainment features, more active safety systems, and a sport hybrid version of Acura's all-wheel-drive system. This hybrid launched for 2017, so it isn't available as a 2016 model.

The 2018 Lexus RX (available in both conventional and hybrid forms) is also an appealing option. Its below-average MSRP (starting at $43,270) helped the RX 350 bring home our Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for the Money award. The 2018 Honda Pilot is even more affordable. Its $30,900 starting price is less than the average price of a 2016 MDX, and it offers passengers lots of room to spread out, plus an adult-friendly third row.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Acura MDX?

The 2016 Acura MDX has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power, which is average for a midsize luxury SUV.

Read more about MDX reliability »

2016 Acura MDX Recalls

At the time of writing, Acura has issued only one recall for the MDX, affecting less than 40 vehicles. Recalled models may have a problem with the welds on the fuel tank, which may cause fuel to leak. You can search a car's VIN to see if this problem affects a specific vehicle, and you should make sure this problem has been fixed before you buy a used MDX.

See more information on Acura MDX safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Acura MDX Is Best?

The 2016 MDX is part of a generation that began with the 2014 model and includes the 2018 model. From 2015 on, the MDX scores an 8.0 or higher in our rankings. A 2015 MDX will likely save you money compared to a 2016 model, but you’ll miss some features added for 2016, like a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Also, you won’t have access to available features like the updated all-wheel-drive system, road departure mitigation, and pedestrian detection.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 MDX »

Which Used Acura MDX Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Acura MDX comes in essentially one trim, but models with different packages have different features. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, and Acura's all-wheel-drive system (called SH-AWD) is available. Look for models with the Acura MDX Advance package. It adds nifty features like a rear-seat DVD player, a 12-speaker audio system, heated leather seats, and numerous advanced safety features.

See 2016 Acura MDX trims and specs »

What Does Acura's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Acura offers a certified pre-owned program for cars six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles get a limited warranty that is good for up to two years or 100,000 miles after the four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty has expired. Acura covers the powertrain for seven years or 100,000 miles. These CPO models must pass a 182-point inspection. Additional benefits are available, including roadside assistance and the first scheduled maintenance, so read Acura’s warranty page carefully.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Acura’s CPO program is about average, according to our research. You’ll find better programs from Lexus, Audi, and Infiniti.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the MDX?

The 2016 MDX has terrific safety ratings for its class. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it an overall rating of five out of five stars.

A rearview camera comes standard in the 2016 Acura MDX. There are also a number of available driver assistance features: front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning. Available safety features that were new for 2016 include pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and road departure mitigation. For more information on these features, check out Today's High-Tech Car Safety Features and What They Do.

See MDX safety scores »

2016 Acura MDX Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Acura MDX or 2016 Acura RDX?

The Acura RDX is the MDX's smaller sibling. It has less cargo space and only two rows of seats. Like the MDX, the RDX comes with a V6 engine that delivers plenty of pep for passing on the highway. The RDX doesn’t feel quite as sporty as other compact SUVs, but it rides comfortably – even over rough roads. For most value seekers, the RDX is the better option. It is slightly more fuel-efficient and around $5,700 less expensive. Although the MDX comes standard with more features – like leather upholstery, a moonroof, and third-row seating – the RDX’s lower average price leaves you wiggle room to get a well-equipped trim.

Which Is Better: 2016 Acura MDX or 2016 Infiniti QX60?

While the MDX is one of the sportier luxury midsize SUVs, the Infiniti QX60 is more relaxed, with a supple ride that remains calm over bumpy roads. The Infiniti also has three rows of comfortable seats that accommodate seven adults, a rarity in this class. Of the two, however, the MDX is the better buy. It is expected to be more dependable, comes with far more standard features, and has a lengthy list of high-tech safety options available.

Compare the MDX, RDX, and QX60 »

2016 MDX Performance

How Does the 2016 Acura MDX Drive?

The Acura MDX’s standard V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission work well together, delivering quicker acceleration than most rivals. Front-wheel drive comes standard; all-wheel-drive models are available. Handling is nimbler than in other midsize luxury SUVs, but the MDX’s ride is on the firm side. Most will find it comfortable, but some will want a more cushioned ride.

Does the 2016 Acura MDX Get Good Gas Mileage?

Fuel economy is excellent for the class: 18-19 mpg in the city and 26-27 mpg on the highway.

2016 Acura MDX Towing Capacity

The MDX can tow up to 3,500 pounds with front-wheel drive and 5,000 pounds when equipped with all-wheel drive.

Read more about MDX performance »

2016 MDX Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 MDX Seat?

Although the MDX’s hushed, luxury-grade cabin is fitted with leather seats and power-adjustable heated front seats, it doesn’t have the richness of many rivals. This seven-passenger SUV also lacks the plentiful seating space of its competitors. Its second-row seats slide back and forth to alleviate this problem, and they collapse with the touch of a button. The MDX’s third-row seats are tight for adults – a common trend with 3-row SUVs.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Acura MDX?

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and a tether-only connection on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it an Acceptable rating – the second-highest – for ease of use.

2016 Acura MDX Features

Standard features include tri-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, a rearview camera, and an eight-speaker audio system. The MDX’s infotainment system features two screens: an 8-inch display above a 7-inch touch screen. You won’t have a problem connecting to your digital life with features like satellite radio, four USB ports, Bluetooth, and Pandora app connectivity. The available navigation system is helpful, but some rivals’ systems have more vibrant graphics. A unique available feature is GPS-linked climate control. It uses a solar sensor to determine the sun’s intensity and position, then adjusts the climate settings accordingly.

See 2016 Acura MDX specs »

Read more about MDX interior »

2016 Acura MDX Dimensions

Acura MDX Cargo Space

The MDX's total cargo space is typical for the class (at 68.4 cubic feet), but its 14.8 cubic feet of room behind the third-row seat is quite limited.

Acura MDX Length and Weight

The MDX is 16.1 feet long, with a curb weight that ranges from 3,960 to 4,268 pounds, depending on trim and powertrain.

Where Was the 2016 Acura MDX Built?

Honda built the 2016 Acura MDX at its facility in Lincoln, Alabama, alongside the Honda Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline.

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