$34,320 - $46,125

2018 Acura MDX Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.0

The 2018 Acura MDX features plenty of premium materials throughout the interior, and while it may not be the most upscale cabin in the class, it definitely feels like a luxury vehicle. There are a lot of standard and available tech and active safety features, including new-for-2018 smartphone connectivity options. The seats are comfortable, but like many 3-row SUVs, only the first two rows have enough space for adults. Cargo space is below-average for the class.

  • Fit/finish is excellent, as is front-seat comfort, but the third row is best used for kids. A pair of 2nd-row captain's chairs is available, but they decrease seating capacity to six. Ergonomically the MDX takes a little getting used too, especially its dual-infotainment screens and its push-button shifter." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The MDX's cabin is well-constructed with suitable materials, but it lacks the style and luxury ambience of similarly priced competitors like the Lexus RX 350 and Volvo XC90. There are a few Honda-grade plastics and switchgear if you look closely." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "Well-styled sheetmetal can turn heads, but it's the interior that consumers have to spend extended periods of time with on a daily basis. Recognizing this, Acura put a great deal of effort into making the cabin a comfortable and user-friendly space." -- Left Lane News (2016)

Seating

The base MDX seats seven. If you add the Advance package, which includes second-row captain's chairs, seating capacity drops to six. However, when you combine the Advance package with the Entertainment package, the second row defaults back to a bench seat.

The MDX comes standard with leather upholstery, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated front seats, a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and a sliding and reclining second row. Milano leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

The front seats are roomy and provide all-day support. The second-row seats offer similarly plush accommodations and can slide forward and backward to provide more legroom for taller people. Second-row headroom will be tight for some passengers, however. The third-row seats are easy to access but best left to children – as is the case with many 3-row SUVs.

Each second-row seat in the MDX has a full set of LATCH connectors for installing car seats. The third-row seats have tether anchors but no lower anchors. The tether anchors are generally difficult to find, and the lower anchors can be tough to maneuver around. However, attaching car-seat straps doesn’t require a lot of force.

  • The third row will suit only kids and perhaps adults of short stature. Still, it's better than the third rows of some other luxury SUVs. The front seats feel spacious in every dimension, but headroom in the second row is surprisingly tight." -- Edmunds
  • "Both driver and passenger accommodations are comfortable, well-padded and roomy." -- Autotrader
  • "All 3rd-row access should be this easy. Just push a button on the 2nd-row seat in a new MDX, and it flips and folds quickly to provide access to the pair of seats in the rear without having to strain, lug or tug. Other SUV manufacturers should take notes." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Interior Features

Standard features in the MDX include tri-zone automatic climate control, four USB ports, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, a moonroof, a proximity key, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Siri Eyes Free, and a dual-screen infotainment system with an upper 8-inch display and a lower 7-inch touch screen.

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

Standard active safety features include a rearview camera and the AcuraWatch suite of driver assistance features, which comes with active lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control.

Available driver assistance features include advanced adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The MDX’s dual-screen infotainment system can be a bit confusing at first, especially since the screens control different functions. Once you get used to it, the system is user-friendly and responsive, and the interface is easy to master. For 2018, the MDX comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, making it easy to pair your smartphone with the vehicle.

See 2018 Acura MDX specs »

  • "For 2018, the Acura MDX gets a revised dual-screen infotainment setup with a better user interface and faster response times, as well as standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility." -- Autotrader
  • "After a refresh last year, the 2018 MDX is improved further by a faster and more powerful entertainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, addressing the biggest complaints we've had with prior years of the MDX." -- Edmunds
  • "This year the 2018 MDX gets an improved infotainment system with more intuitive menus and a redesigned dual-screen interface with faster response. The new system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity." -- Kelley Blue Book

Cargo

The MDX provides 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row of seats, 38.4 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 68.4 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. For a 3-row SUV, those totals aren’t that impressive. Max cargo capacity is more in line with what 2-row SUVs provide, and many other luxury midsize SUVs have more cargo room.

A power liftgate comes standard, and folding the seats down provides a flat cargo floor, which makes it easy to organize your stuff and load larger items.

  • "Total cargo volume isn't the biggest, but easy-to-use fold-flat seats make loading long items a breeze." -- Edmunds
  • "Cargo space behind the third row isn't impressive, though you could argue that there are bigger SUVs available for those who value that attribute more." -- USA Today (2016)
  • "Acura uses every centimeter from the MDX's interior design, creating more usable space behind the third-row seat, as well as creating a level loading floor when the rear seats are folded flat." -- Autotrader (2016)

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