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2020 Acura MDX Performance Review


Performance: 7.8

The 2020 Acura MDX is neither the most athletic nor the most energetic pick in the class, but it holds its own on both counts. The ride is generally comfortable too, although a few rivals deliver plusher rides.

  • "Powerful and agile, the 2018 Acura MDX is one of the more athletic 3-row SUVs out there." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "The 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and optional Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive are key factors in the MDX's appeal. It's not as thrilling as some competitors, but it is effortlessly capable." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "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[s]." -- USA Today (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The MDX has a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This engine is capable, and the MDX accelerates with decent swiftness. The standard nine-speed automatic transmission earns praise for its responsive shifts.

This luxury midsize SUV gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, which are great fuel economy estimates for the class. Models with all-wheel drive return 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, save for the A-Spec, which gets 25 mpg on the highway.

  • "The MDX's engine does a good job of propelling the crossover down the road, and revision last year to the 9-speed automatic transmission have banished its tendency for eager upshifting into the next gear and what was a sometimes notchy feel. A quick drive down the block will have you in fifth gear before you know it, and when you ask for more acceleration to merge with traffic, the transmission does so quickly." -- Autotrader
  • Acceleration is smooth and confident. The MDX hits 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which is considerably quicker than the Infiniti QX60 and the Lexus RX 350L but a bit slower than rivals equipped with supercharged and turbocharged six-cylinder engines." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The Acura's big V6 is more than strong enough for most buyers and its 9-speed automatic transmission is responsive and smooth. Acceleration is quick enough to be thrilling, and there's plenty of passing power. This is a big vehicle, but it never feels like an oversized land yacht." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Ride and Handling

Although this luxury SUV isn’t a sports sedan, it still feels athletic around corners. Some critics think the MDX has a smooth ride, while others note that some bumps jostle the cabin, especially in models with the larger alloy wheels. The MDX has three drive modes to choose from and comes standard with front-wheel drive, which Acura calls Precision All-Wheel Steer, or P-AWS. Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is available.

  • "It handles well through the curves but shines in a straight line, where it floats along the road in serene silence and smoothness." -- Autotrader
  • The comfortable seats and ample sound deadening are hard to fault, but paying more in this segment will yield even more impressive comfort credentials. The same goes for the ride, which lacks some of the bump-smoothing sophistication of pricier rivals." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Its handling is exceptional. Its ability to turn corners will make you smile, especially models with Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. The new Acura MDX is also comfortable and luxurious. It rides well. Around town its suspension filters out just enough of the road's surface and it doesn't crash over potholes. Visibility is excellent, the steering is light and the MDX is easy to park." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Acura MDX

MSRP: $44,500 - $60,250

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