2014-2020 Acura MDX: What You Should Know Before Buying
The Acura MDX is one of the most popular luxury SUVs in Canada.
If you're considering a used one because you'd rather opt for a proven product, here's what you roughly need to know about the older-generation Acura MDX, which was released between 2014 and 2020.
For the 2014 model year, Acura felt the need to renew the MDX, which was then in its third iteration. Lighter and more fuel-efficient than its predecessor, it remained very spacious, seating up to seven people comfortably (though access to the third row can be a bit tricky). For cargo, the 447-litre trunk expands to 2,575 liters by folding the two rear rows.
Under the hood, the 3.5-liter V6 produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission (or nine starting in 2016) and, most importantly, to Acura's excellent SH-AWD all-wheel-drive system. The fuel economy averages 11.1 L/100 km, which is reasonable for an SUV in this class. However, there are two caveats: Acura recommends premium gasoline, so expect to pay more at the pump, and towing capacity is 3,500 pounds while some competitors can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
In terms of equipment and amenities, be aware that the MDX lineup generally comes in base, Navi, Technology, and Elite trim levels, with the latter being the plushest. When shopping, check the leather seats for wear and tear and make sure all the electrical and electronic gadgets, including the various driving aids, are working properly.
By the way, the designers opted for a two-screen multimedia interface in the center of the dashboard - the kind of thing that doesn't please all drivers. Speaking of likeability, while the MDX's ride is quite smooth and pleasant, the large turning circle limits maneuvering around town. Take the test.
More interestingly, the 2017 MDX has received a nice cosmetic update that brings it closer to current Acura models. There's also a Sport Hybrid version that combines a 3.0-liter V6 with three electric motors for a total output of 321 horsepower. Fuel consumption was also reduced to 9 L/100 km.
A mid-range A-Spec model was added for 2019, with a more aggressive appearance and some exclusive interior trim.
Finally, when it comes to reliability, the Acura MDX shouldn't give you any trouble. Only the transmission deserves your attention. Consumer Reports magazine also does warn buyers of 2018 MDX's, since that model-year has a higher number of listed problems than others. A dozen recalls have also been issued for this generation of the MDX, the most important of which involves the fuel pump that could fail. This needs to be checked on the 2019 and 2020 models.