2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD Long-Term Update 5
Checking out the Competition
My updates thus have focused more on experiences with the MDX and comments about said experiences. Now I would like to look at the MDX's competitive set. I pulled these comparative vehicles from our testing data base, meaning these are vehicles that we had in-house and tested. Now, we simply aren't able to test every vehicle that comes out, so a couple of these vehicles are a year or so older that others, but nothing on the older vehicles has changed significantly compared to current vehicles. The comparable vehicles are as follows: 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35, 2013 Lexus RX 350 F Sport, and 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4MATIC.
Our Acura MDX has the Advance/Entertainment package and is the top of the line for the MDX, meaning you can't get any more options. It comes in at $57,400. The BMW starts at $56,450, and our tester came in at $67,375, meaning it probably had almost all available options as well. An un-optioned similar Lexus started at $48,245. Adding an LCD display, navigation and rear entertainment package and blind-spot monitoring (which the MDX has) adds $6,415, bringing the price to $54,600, but it's still lacking features the MDX has. We don't have an as-tested price for the one we had, as it was a pre-production vehicle. The Benz starts at $50,675 with our tester coming in at $63,915, so, like the BMW, it was a pretty well-optioned vehicle.
Now let's talk measured performance. The MDX hit 60 mph in 6.4 seconds and completed the quarter mile in 14.9 seconds at 92.7 mph. The BMW ran 5.9 seconds to 60 mph and finished the quarter mile in 14.5 seconds at 95.1 mph. The Lexus took 6.9 seconds to hit 60 mph and tripped the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds at 92.1 mph. The Benz ticked 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, finishing the quarter mile in 15.0 seconds at 92.9 mph. Only the BMW was quicker than the MDX – while it weighs more, it also has more horsepower and torque.
We can't look at this segment without talking fuel efficiency. According to fueleconomy.gov, the Acura, BMW, and Lexus have close to the same MPG numbers: 18 city, 27 highway (26 for the Lexus) and all three get 21 mpg combined. The Benz gets 17 city, 22 highway, 19 combined mpg. Our Real MPG numbers for the MDX are 19 city, 27 highway, 22 combined, actually a tick better than official EPA numbers.
What does all this information mean? You have to look at it as a whole, like we do in all comparisons. Take the value, add performance and mileage information, then throw in amenities, personal likes/dislikes as far as styling and cache (if you care about cache), and all of that will lead you to the vehicle in this group that best fits your needs/wants. (Those can be two completely different things.) For me, after looking at all this information, and having driven them all, the MDX is still at the top on my list. The MDX gives me all the amenities, second-best performance, and best fuel economy at a more reasonable price than the rest of the vehicles in this "comparison."
More on our long-term 2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD: