2010 Acura MDX Review

Friday August 6th, 2010 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: hollyrrr

2010 Acura MDX SH-AWD
By Holly Roberts

Pros:

  • Comfortable seats
  • Roomy interior
  • Ventilated front seats (my favorite in the summer!)
  • Nice safety features (that take a bit of getting used to)
  • All kinds of places to put things so they are out of sight

Cons:

  • 3rd row seating is just for kids or those with very short legs!
  • Bluetooth kept dropping calls
  • Collision Mitigation Braking system (I hated it!)


The MDX is definitely an SUV, and a very luxurious one at that.  Having seen a lot of MDX’s on the road over the last few years, I had no idea how roomy they really were.  In my opinion, the design of the 2nd generation model is a huge improvement over the first generation models.  Naturally, we get to review the most-blinged out models, and this one surely did not disappoint!

Fuel Economy:
Advertised: 16 in the city, and 21 highway (18 combined)
Actual: 18.4 (I had mostly highway miles, with a bit of local and some stop-and-go traffic and a very hot weekend, so lots of A/C usage).

Driving Impressions:
The safety features took some getting used to, and being in heavy traffic is no time to figure out how to turn them OFF.  The Blind Spot Information System (a small car near the A-pillar and by the rear-view mirror would light up when someone was in your blind spot.  That was kind of nice, although it was weird the first few times it illuminated.  I easily got used to it and it was a nice feature.

The Collision Mitigation Braking System was a whole other beast and I couldn’t wait to turn it off.  The first time it went off, it nearly CAUSED me to have an accident.  Imagine, as you’re getting ready to pass someone, and suddenly the person in front of you decides to be a jerk and hit the brakes.  All I hear is BEEP BEEP BEEP and I see flashing in the center of the dashboard BRAKE!  BRAKE!  BRAKE!  BEEP BEEP BEEP BRAKE! BRAKE! BRAKE!  Holy cow.  Fortunately, I had neither a crash, nor a heart attack… but it was really alarming.  I’m not sure that knowing it was turned on would have had a different outcome.  Maybe some folks need that feature – I am not one of them.

Other than the safety features freaking me out, I thought the MDX was a really nice drive.  It’s large, and does handle like an SUV (large turning radius, hefty weight), but it really drove nicely and didn’t feel like a “truck”.  It handled very well in traffic, got up to speed adequately on flat roads, braked well, cornered well, etc.  It was a little sluggish up steep, slow inclines, but I suspect that if I’d floored it, the 300-hp V6 engine would have handled it just fine.  I drove it up and down some really curvy roads, in and out of the rain, and it handled itself with aplomb.

2010 Acura MDX SH-AWD

Build:
Interior:  solid construction.  No creaks, excessive noise, etc.  The glove-box, center console, windows, cup covers (etc) closed easily and felt solid.  As one would expect from an Acura, the interior construction was stylish, but functional.  Excellent, quality construction.
Interior and exterior door handles were easy to grasp and well-built.
As far as the exterior, the hood, doors and auto lift-gate: all solid.  Not that I’d want to (it’s just too nice!), but one got the impression that if you took the MDX off road, it could handle it, without things falling apart.

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics:

The good:
My absolute favorite feature for warm weather:  ventilated front seats.  Okay, you have to get the MDX with the Advanced Package to get ‘em, but totally worth it.  I run hot in the summer, and my chief complaint about leather in the summer is sliding around in my own sweat whilst driving.  NO chance of that with these seats.  They kept me cool, even when the heat, traffic (and over-zealous safety features) were elevating temperatures and my blood pressure.

Everything in the interior area of the vehicle blended and matched perfectly into the next section. I’m definitely not a huge fan of the faux wood, but somehow that, blended with the matte silver was a really nice touch, without being tacky.  The dark interior coloring with the wood was really gorgeous.

2010 Acura MDX interiorAcura MDX steering wheel controlsAcura MDX center stack and nav-screen

Huge fan of the hidden cubby in the trunk area of the Acura.  Easy to open, latches shut nicely.  A nice little place for putting things away that might fly around in the back while zooming around corners!

The bad:
I really wish that when Acura had put the push-button ignition into the MDX.  But then, I’m spoiled.
The 3rd row seats!  Don’t put any adults back there unless you don’t like them, or they owe you money.  I’m not particularly tall, and I was really squished sitting back there.

Performance:
Although the MDX has a 300 hp 3.7 Liter SOHC 24-Valve VTEC V6 engine, I wouldn’t describe it as sporty.  The power was adequate for the vehicle weight (just over 4500 lbs), and helped to get the MDX up to speed and up hills at speed without too much bogging down (slow speed, steep uphills were a bit different and it felt more sluggish).  While not considered sporty, it had no issues with accelerating into traffic from the highway on-ramps, or accelerating and passing slower-moving traffic.  And it was fun to drive – not boring!

Handling:
I thought the MDX handled really well for a pretty good-sized SUV.  It didn’t feel as though it was too tall, too wide, too heavy, or too super-sized.  It was relatively easy to parallel park, handled great in traffic, on country roads, in the rain, driving up and down curvy roads.  The MDX drove really nicely both up and down a curvy road I use for a test road, and while I couldn’t drive the road as fast as I did in a sports car – I never expected to be able to.

2010 Acura MDX SH-AWD

Styling:
As far as the exterior, I really liked the entire package.  Some don’t like the nose/front of the new models, but I think they look really nice.  And it FITS the rest of the MDX.  The lines are a bit square, but the MDX doesn’t look like a box.  The edges are rounded off enough to look sleek, and the overall impression is that the MDX could resemble Mike Tyson (before the ear-biting and weird tattoos) – tough, but a winner.  The MDX could talk smack AND back it up.  Overall, I think it’s  a really nice-looking SUV.

Value:
The MDX is not inexpensive.  The model we tested came in at around $54,000, but that’s the top of the line – includes every possible option you could dream of – version.  Minus the Entertainment Package, $52k.  Minus the Entertainment and Advance Packages, $46k.  Mixing and matching packages gives an array of prices and with no extra packages, you could grab an MDX for $42.2.

Safety features included:  Driver and front-passenger dual-stage airbags, drivers and passenger side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, vehicle-stability assist, ABS, electronic brake distribution, 3-point seat belts, active front head restraints, tire pressure monitoring system, side-impact door beams, daytime running lights and the LATCH system for child seats.

Standard features included:  XM Satellite Radio, MP3/auxillary jack, Driver Recognition Memory System, Driver’s 10-way Power Seat, Front Passenger 8-way Power Seat, Heated Front Seats, Homelink System, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Acura Personalized Settings, Auto-dimming Rear-view Mirror, Power Tailgate, Power MoonRoof with Tilt Feature, Fog Lights and Heated Power Door Mirrors with Turn Indicators and Remote Entry with Security System.

2010 Acura MDX SH-AWD

As our test vehicle had all the packages, I’ll list some highlights:

Tech package:  Acura Navigation system with voice recognition and multi-view rear camera, AcuraLink Communication system with real-time traffic and weather, Acura ELS surround-sound system with 10 speakers and AM/FM/DVD-A, CD, DTS, Dolby ProLogic II, Hard Disk Drive, Bluetooth Audio, USB Audio Interface, Radio Data System, GPS linked and the Tri-zone auto climate control with air-filtration system.

Advance Package:  Active Damper System, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Blind Sport Information System, Sport Seats with Perforated Premium Leather Trim, Ventilated Front Seats, Front Seatbelts with Pre-tensioning System, Adaptive Cruise Control, 19″ x 85″ Alloy Wheels, P255/50 R19 All-Season Tires and Auto-leveling Xenon HID Headlights.

Entertainment Package: Motorized DVD Rear Entertainment System with 9″ display and wireless headphones, Heated 2nd row seats, and 115-volt power outlet.

2010 Acura MDX SH-AWD

Conclusion:
The MDX is a seriously luxurious SUV.   If you wanted to get one with any ONE package, I’d definitely go for the Advance Package.  It seems to have the most safety features, but also will end up costing you the most.  But isn’t our safety (and that of our family) worth it?

BUILD INTERIOR PERFORMANCE HANDLING STYLING VALUE OVERALL
RATING 5.0 5.0 4.5 4.75 5.0 4.25 4.75/A-

Who should buy it?
The MDX is not the person on a budget, or someone who’s trying to save the planet! Other than that, it would suit pretty much anyone from a single person to the family of 5.  It’s sporty enough to suit the single jock, yet safe and practical enough to haul around the most precious cargo – your family.  Additionally, it has enough room for 2-4 adults and all of their sports equipment, more so with a bike/ski/cargo rack on the top.  And even though it’s an SUV, it’s luxurious enough for a black-tie night on the town.

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PHOTO GALLERIES
Photo Galleries:
2010 Acura MDX | 2008 Acura MDX
AcuraThe official website of Acura – www.acura.com




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