The 2018 Acura MDX may be cheaper than the same sized three-row luxury SUV, but that does not mean it’s a disappointment. This popular three-row crossover SUV is versatile and has an attractive blend of safety and luxury-oriented features.
The 2018 MDX is fun to drive. Its available with two powertrain options, a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine and an optional gas-electric hybrid, which both provide the suitable amount of power for fast acceleration or passing the freeway. The available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system can also improve the MDX agility when you’re driving around turns.
The above-mentioned hybrid system is specific to the MDX that designed to provide increased both in power and fuel economy. And after last year’s refreshment, the 2018 Acura MDX is improved further with a faster and robust entertainment system. Although there are still some weaknesses, they are quite small. Overall, MDX remains a strong option if you shop for a luxury three-row midsize luxury crossover SUV.
The 2018 MDX Acura focuses on the biggest complaints from the previous model with a refreshed dual-screen infotainment system, including a new, faster capacitive touchscreen and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Trim levels and features
The 2018 Acura MDX is a seven-passenger three-row luxury SUV. It’s offered in four trim levels: Standard, Technology, Advance and Sport Hybrid.
Equipment for the Standard package includes keyless entry and ignition, 18-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, automatic LED headlights with automatic high beams, a sunroof, a power liftgate, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, tri-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, power-adjustable front seats with heating and leather upholstery.
Tech features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7-inch touchscreen with a dual-screen infotainment system, four USB ports, Bluetooth, and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio and a CD player. Also standard is AcuraWatch safety suite, which bundled adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane and road departure warning and mitigation.
The Technology package adds 20-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic wipers, power-folding side mirrors, remote engine start, a color driver information display, a navigation system and a 10-speaker premium audio system with HD radio.
The Advance package adds automatic engine stop-start, LED foglights, front and rear parking sensors, a top-down surround-view camera system, front-seat ventilation, sport seats with premium leather and trim, a heated steering wheel, second-row sunshades, heated second-row captain’s chairs and two additional USB ports for the third row.
The Technology or Advance package can be ordered with the Entertainment package and adds a DVD-based rear entertainment system. If you add it to the Technology package, it also adds a 9-inch screen and 11 audio speakers. If you add it to the Advance package, it comes with a 16.2-inch screen with an HDMI input and 12 audio speakers. Keep in mind that it replaces the captain’s chairs with the standard second-row bench seating.
The 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is available with the Technology and Advance packages only.
The 2018 Acura MDX is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) available as an option.
Acceleration is smooth and confident. Although low-end torque is not this V6 strong suit, the transmission does a great job of keeping the revs high at full speed. The MDX impressive torque-vectoring AWD system whips this big SUV around corners and allows it to maneuver in tight lines than you could imagine.
In performance testing, the 2018 Acura MDX with SH-AWD accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, making it a solid, mid-pack performer. Properly equipped, the MDX SH-AWD can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
EPA estimated fuel economy stands at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway) with FWD. The Advance package with its auto stop-start feature bumps the rating up to 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway). The AWD models return 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway) and 22 mpg combined (19/26) with the Advance package.
The 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid uses a combination of 3.0-liter V6 engine and three electric motors. Together they produce a total output of 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission sent that power to all four wheel.
In track testing, the 2018 Acura Sport Hybrid went from 0 to 60 mph in quick 5.7 seconds. EPA fuel economy rating at 27 mpg combined (26 city/27 highway).
The 2018 Acura MDX is one of the most functional luxury crossovers. The front seats are nicely shaped and supportive even if they do not have the extra adjustments offered by competitors in this class. The second-row seats slide forward and backward to add flexibility, providing spacious legroom in its rearmost position. It also slid forward for easy access of third-row, although the pass-through result is rather small. The third row is best suited for children, as only small adults fit in back there, but that’s actually good enough for a seven-seater luxury SUV.
The 208 Acura MDX cabin is well-built with quality materials, but lacks the style and luxury ambiances like direct rivals Audi Q7 or even Jaguar F-Pace. It just feels less special.
The 2018 Acura MDX interior storage is excellent, with large cupholders and door bins, plus a deep center bin that can hold a small purse or smartphone. The MDX does not give you much space behind the third-row, since it only has 15 cubic feet of space. But folding the seats opens up to 38 cubic feet worth of space for a long journey. As you fold both the second and third-rows, the maximum cargo capacity increases to 68 cubic feet, which is better than most two-row midsize crossover, but far less than models like the 2018 Honda Pilot.
Release Dates and Price
The 2018 MDX is available in one trim and starts at $45,175 (include the $975 destination fee). The Technology Package costs $4,400 and bringing the price up to $49,575. The Entertainment Package cost $2,000, while the most expensive Advance Package demand $6,050.