As the best-selling 7-passenger luxury SUV in America, the 2013 Acura MDX seems to have nailed the formula for success. And, as everyone knows, you don't mess with success. Which might explain why Acura has made little to no changes to the MDX since its redesign in 2010.
You'll Like The 2013 Acura MDX If...
If you're shopping for a luxury SUV with seating for seven, an impeccable repair and resale record and a reasonable price, you needn't look any further than the 2013 Acura MDX.
You May Not Like The 2013 Acura MDX If...
The 2013 Acura MDX's fuel economy can't match that of the Audi Q7 diesel or Lincoln MKT with the EcoBoost V6. Those who require maximum cargo space in and behind the third-row seat might be happier in a Buick Enclave.
There are no major changes for Acura's MDX for 2013.
Although clearly focused on delivering exceptional performance, the 2013 Acura MDX does not compromise on practicality. A full 15 cubic feet of cargo capacity is available behind the third-row seats (only two cubic feet less than the full-size Chevrolet Tahoe). Both rear rows fold flat to accommodate larger loads. The reclining second-row seats offer plenty of legroom, even for 6-footers. The third row, of course, is best for smaller folks and shorter trips. The MDX even offers a minivan-like 10 cup holders. Highlights include perforated leather or premium Milano leather seats, simulated Koa wood and a collection of intuitive controls and LED lighting.
Good proportions, clean lines, pronounced wheel arches and an aggressive stance give the 2013 Acura MDX a strong presence on the road. Details such as high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, turn signals integrated into the outside mirrors and LED taillights add to the high-tech flavor of the MDX. Opinion may split on the chrome "beak" grille treatment that is a corporate-Acura trademark, but at least it's recognizable. The 2013 Acura MDX is somewhat larger overall than the Lexus RX 350 and Volvo XC90.
The fact that Acura introduced the 2013 MDX 7-passenger SUV on a racetrack with other high-performance SUVS says quite a bit. The fact that the 2013 MDX put the biggest smiles on our faces says even more. When pushed hard, Acura's 300-horsepower V6 engine, sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and optional active-damping system combine to deliver an SUV that's remarkably fun to push in the turns. We were also impressed by the MDX's off-road capability. Realistically, very few MDXs will ever see a racetrack or even a seriously muddy trail, but the athletic MDX is plenty pleasing around town and on the highway.
The 2013 Acura MDX's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just over $44,000 and extends to a little over $55,000 when the top option packages are included. As a premium, in-demand vehicle, the MDX will likely see transaction prices fairly close to those MSRPs, which will be reflected in our Fair Purchase Price. The well-rounded, well-equipped MDX makes a worthy competitor to a wide range of premium SUVs – from the Volvo XC90 to the Porsche Cayenne – with pricing that we feel compares favorably to anything in the category. As for resale value, we expect the MDX to perform better than average, on par with its closest rival the Lexus RX 350 and much better than Buick Enclave or Lincoln MKT.
Even "standard" means "very well equipped" when it comes to the Acura MDX for 2013. The MDX features a powerful V6 engine and sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, power and heated front seats, power moonroof, HID headlamps, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, a 253-watt 8-speaker audio system with 6-disc CD/MP3/WMA changer, 3-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming mirror, rearview camera, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, six airbags and electronic traction and stability controls.
As is Honda/Acura practice, the 2013 Acura MDX's optional features are bundled into three distinct packages. The Technology Package includes a sophisticated navigation system with an 8-inch LCD screen, AcuraLink real-time traffic and weather reports, Zagat restaurant reviews, plus a DVD-Audio Surround Sound system and power rear liftgate. The Advance Package features active damping adjustment for the suspension, ventilated sport seats covered in rich perforated Milano leather, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, Collision Mitigating Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, blind-spot information system, auto-leveling HID front headlamps and 19-inch alloy wheels. The Entertainment Package adds a DVD rear entertainment system.
A navigation system that provides real-time traffic and weather info and an audio system that delivers amazing 6-channel Surround Sound via any medium you want make this option group a must-have.
SUPER HANDLING-ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Apply some power in a hard corner and the 2013 Acura MDX's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system transfers extra torque to the rear outside wheel, delivering truer steering response and perceptibly higher cornering limits.
Under the Hood
The V6 in Acura's 2013 MDX holds the distinction of being the most powerful engine Acura has ever offered. It works through a 6-speed automatic transmission and the clever Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system that manages the torque split not only between front and rear but also between the left and right rear wheels. In addition to cornering advantages, the system makes for a less-intrusive stability-control system. The available Active Damper System, in which the shock absorbers can change from soft to firm in milliseconds, helps mitigate the traditional trade-offs between a comfortable ride and spirited handling. The MDX features unibody construction and a fully independent suspension, and can tow up to 5,000 pounds with the added benefit of a Trailer Stability Assist feature.
300 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/21 mpg
Acura's 2013 MDX continues to wow customers and confound the competition. 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. And, despite its size, the MDX doesn't verge on looking like a dowdy minivan or bulky family SUV. Instead, the MDX retains a sporty, sharp look much like the compact RDX.