- MSRP: $43,280
- MPG City: 16
- MPG Hwy: 21
- Seating Capacity: 7
- Rating: 8.5
The 2013 Acura MDX is one of only a few highly rated luxury SUVs that are both enjoyable to drive and affordable. It provides the entertainment, refinement and functionality that can typically only be found in German models. This crossover sport utility impresses with its luxury, performance and safety features.
The design and craftsmanship is superior and rarely seen outside of European makes. The standard package comes with a number of features that other manufacturers offer as options for their base trim. In addition, upgrades are reasonably priced so you can add your favorite features without breaking the bank. With a cargo area that can extend to over 80 cubic feet of space and a third row of seats, it functions quite well as a family hauler. The MDX is roomy enough for family trips, but also stylish enough for a night out on the town.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful engine
- Good cargo space
- Refined, capable handling
- Upscale, good quality interior
- Dashboard layout can be confusing
- Acceleration is sluggish from stop
- Trim: AWD
- Passenger Capacity: 7
- Passenger Doors: 4
- Transmission: Automatic
- Drivetrain: All Wheel Drive
- MPG: 16 City / 21 Hwy
- Engine: Gas V6 3.7L/224
- Horsepower: 300 @ 6300
- Torque: 270 @ 4500
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
As mentioned above, the standard package for the 2013 Acura MDX is quite impressive, and the add-on packages are smart and fairly priced. Features that come with the standard package include:
- Automatic xenon headlamps
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror
- Auxiliary audio jack with satellite radio
- Bluetooth phone connectivity
- 8-speaker sound system with 6-CD changer
- 18-inch wheels
- Heated front seats
- Heated mirrors
- Integrated rearview camera
- Leather upholstery
- Power liftgate
- Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
- Rear privacy glass
- 3-zone automatic climate control
- 2-way adjustable driver lumbar
The optional Technology package features a smart array of extras including a built in navigation system, solar-sensing and GPS-linked climate control, voice control, upgraded leather upholstery, multi-view parking camera, and an Acura/ELS surround sound audio system with 10 speakers.
The Advance package is a step up from there, and in addition to the features in the Technology package it includes: adaptive cruise control, adaptive suspension dampers, auto-leveling headlamps, blind-spot warning system, collision warning and braking system, 19-inch wheels, sport steering wheel and ventilated front seats.
An Entertainment package can be added to either of the previous packages, and adds heated second row seats, a power outlet in the center console and a back seat entertainment system.
“The 7-passenger MDX doesn’t offer a host of different trims or engine choices, nor is it the freshest face on the block. What the MDX does have going for it is a long and stellar history, one chock-full of positive accolades and repeat customers. In the 2013 MDX, Acura has achieved the perfect blend of size, power, fuel economy, ride, handling and luxury.” – Kelley Blue Book
“The 2013 Acura MDX isn’t unusual for its handsome cabin, its third row or its versatility; instead, what makes it different from many luxury crossovers is its pleasant-to-drive manners.” – The Car Connection
“The 2013 Acura MDX delivers plenty of luxury, refinement and performance without breaking the bank, making it a standout in its class.” – Edmunds
Performance and Powertrain
The 2013 MDX boasts a 300-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 engine that produces 270 pound feet of torque. It comes standard with all-wheel drive and 6-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel efficiency is 18 MPG combined and in testing it went from 0-60 mph in 7.1 seconds. Its towing capacity is 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.
The Acura MDX comes standard with numerous safety features including stability control, front-seat side airbags, front head restraints, and anti-lock brakes. Options include a collision warning system that monitors proximity of closing vehicles and warns the driver when it senses a possible collision. If an imminent collision is sensed, the front seatbelts are cinched and the brakes are applied.
The MDX scored 4/5 stars overall in government crash testing, with a 5-star score for side crash protection and 4-star rating for frontal impact safety. It was also given a “Good” score by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for roof-strength, side impact, and frontal offset tests. In brake testing performed by Edmunds, the MDX took 123 feet to stop from a 60-mph speed, which is average for a large SUV.
Interior Design and Features
The interior is made from high quality materials, even if it lacks a bit of the luxury offered by its European competitors. A number of electronic features are controlled with a handy multipurpose knob, while multimedia and climate control are accessed via the center control stack. Some people find the control panel a bit intimidating or busy, but controls are logically grouped together so they don’t take long to learn. The navigation system and Panasonic surround sound system are technological highlights, as drivers are guided by the built-in GPS system, and the sound quality pumped out by the surround sound system will make you think they threw in a free upgrade.
The MDX offers spacious and comfortable seating, but for long trips it is best to reserve the third row of seats for children or short adults. The second and third rows of seats fold down to create a generous 83.5 cubic feet of space, which is above average for its class.
The 2013 Acura MDX handles the road exceptionally well for a full size SUV. The center of gravity feels lower than it appears to be, and body roll is kept at an acceptable level on hard corners. The standard suspension softens the bumps quite well, and the optional active dampers allow for an even smoother ride—even at high speeds. All in all, the ride is very comfortable and the MDX is enjoyable to drive.
Acceleration is decent, but revs have to get to midrange before the MDX really gets going. However, from there on the power is robust and the transition shifts gears very smoothly. Overall, the myriad features of the Acura MDX put it near the top of the list of luxury crossover SUVs – especially when its price is taken into consideration.