For 2014, Acura made numerous changes inside and out to the MDX. The exterior styling has been smoothed out, giving the MDX a cleaner, more mature look. The 3.7-liter V-6 from 2013 is replaced by a smaller and more fuel-efficient 3.5. The MDX's interior keeps getting more refined, and the sea of buttons on the dash has been completely replaced. For all these reasons, and a few others, we added one to our long-term fleet.

As with all Acura vehicles, you don't get options, per se -- you get unbadged trim levels that we treat as options. These include Technology (nav; telematics; blind-spot, lane-departure, and collision warnings), Tech/Entertainment (adds a 9-inch rear screen and better sound), and Advanced/Entertainment (active cruise, lane keeping, collision braking, a bigger rear screen, etc.) We opted for a top-spec SH-AWD model -- for the first time, you can get a front-drive MDX.

Among the laundry list of features on our loaded MDX, two have already been standouts since I started driving my new long-termer. The first is Acura's Lane Keeping Assist System. I'm not used to seeing this kind of system on a vehicle at this price point -- it's very cool and works well. The second is the massive rear entertainment screen. It's great to be able to pop on some "Chuggington" to keep the boy happy on a longer drive.

Compared with the 2013 MDX, overall height and width have been reduced, while overall length and wheelbase increased. These new dimensions mean a little more room up front and for the third row, a little less for the second row, and more overall cargo room. All three rows lose some shoulder and headroom, while the front and third rows get a little more legroom. It's all about packaging, and Acura has done a fine job packaging its new MDX.

Having just gotten out of our long-term RDX, I'm really looking forward to my upcoming time in the MDX. Initial impressions are this will be a much better family vehicle. I'll keep you updated along the way.


2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD
Base price $45,185
Price as tested $57,400
Vehicle Layout Front-engine, AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
Engine 3.5L/290-hp/267-lb-ft Sohc 24-valve V-6
Transmission 6-speed automatic
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 18/27/21 mpg
Curb Weight (F/R Dist) 4289 lb (58/42%)
Lateral Acceleration 0.85 g (avg)
Energy Cons, City/Hwy 187/125 kW-hrs/100 mi
CO2 emissions 0.92 lb/mi
MT figure eight 26.5 sec @ 0.68 g (avg)
0-60 mph 6.4 sec
Quarter mile 92.7 mph @ 14.9 sec
Braking distance 60-0 mph @ 116 ft