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2016 Acura MDX Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Acura MDX was new.


Performance: 8.4

The 2016 Acura MDX's V6 engine is plenty powerful and is mated to a quick nine-speed automatic transmission, test drivers agree. The MDX also earns great fuel economy estimates for the class. Reviewers say the MDX's handling is very nimble for a midsize SUV. While some reviewers report that the MDX has a comfortable ride, others find it to be too firm.

  • "The 2016 transmission and technology updates help keep it competitive in its class and take nothing away from its spirited handling and fun-to-drive character." -- Car and Driver
  • "On the road, the 2016 Acura MDX remains one of the more satisfying three-row crossovers to drive, with a quiet interior at highway speeds and surprising athleticism when driving around turns." -- Edmunds
  • "Stepping back and regarding the MDX as an entire package, we'd say it's easy and inviting to drive, classy enough to satisfy those addicted to premium machines, high-tech enough to indulge that tendency in many of today's driver." -- USA Today
  • "With a powerful V6 engine, available all-wheel drive, agile handling, and luxurious surroundings, the tough-to-beat 2016 Acura MDX dominates its luxury SUV competition." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Acura MDX has a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 horsepower. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard. According to the EPA, the front-wheel drive 2016 MDX gets an EPA-estimated 19/27 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class.

Reviewers praise the 2016 MDX's strong engine and say it produces brisk acceleration. A new nine-speed automatic transmission is introduced for the 2016 model year, and test drivers say it's quick and accurate.

  • "The standard 3.5-liter V6 engine lacks the strong low-rpm torque of some turbocharged rivals, but wind it out a bit and you'll find that the MDX is still one of the quicker vehicles out there." -- Edmunds
  • "A new nine-speed automatic transmission shifts in dandy fashion, Acura apparently having avoided the not-quite-right tuning that has plagued Fiat Chrysler Automobiles nine-speeds." -- USA Today
  • "As for power, the tried-and-true 3.5-liter V6 never disappoints and is barely noticeable thanks to the MDX's extremely quiet cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

Handling and Braking

While some reviewers think the 2016 Acura MDX feels comfortable over rough roads, others report that its ride is too firm. Test drivers agree that the MDX rounds corners with ease and handles better than most midsize SUVs. An Integrated Dynamics system comes standard on the 2016 MDX, allowing you to adjust the steering and throttle response between three modes: Normal, Sport and Comfort. Front-wheel drive is standard, and a new version of Acura's all-wheel drive system (SH-AWD) is available for 2016.

  • "The second detail we noticed were the vast improvements Acura has made to the MDX's suspension, namely to the dampers and subframe mounts, which were designed to better absorb small road imperfections. The MDX's ride remains luxury-car smooth, but it can now run through twists and turns with more confidence." -- AutoTrader
  • "Should you elect to hustle this three-row luxury crossover along a winding road, you'll be rewarded with responsive steering and composed handling by segment standards. It doesn't feel as sporty as the X5, but it makes the QX60 feel downright ponderous in comparison." -- Edmunds
  • "Oddly enough, Test Drive found the MDX rides hard, beyond just firm. A new suspension system could perhaps be a culprit. We remember other Acuras having a better blend of ride and handling than the tested MDX did." -- USA Today

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