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2014 Acura MDX Adds Performance, Practicality, and Technology

2014 Acura MDX Adds Performance, Practicality, and Technology

By Jeff Youngs, March 29, 2013
At the 2013 New York International Auto Show, the redesigned 2014 Acura MDX debuted on a new platform, equipped with a new engine and offered with new safety and connectivity technology designed to "once again set the luxury SUV benchmark," according to an Acura spokesperson.

The new 2014 Acura MDX is longer, lighter, and more aerodynamic than the model it replaces, and incorporates Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering II safety construction. The automaker claims the new 2014 MDX is 275 pounds lighter, and that its new "Executive Aero Sculpture" body design is 17% more aerodynamic, contributing to gains in fuel economy and interior quietness. Additional efforts made to quiet the new MDX's cabin include additional sound-deadening material, acoustic glass, expanding body sealers, and Active Noise Cancellation technology.

Equipped with standard 7-passenger seating in three rows of seats, the new MDX includes a 10-way power driver seat and an 8-way power passenger seat, separated by a large center console that Acura says can hold a large purse, laptop computer, or a couple of tablet computers. The crossover SUV's second-row seats provide new Extended Slide capability with 6 inches of fore/aft travel to adjust space as is necessary, along with standard 4-position reclining and optional side window sunshades.

For 2014, the Acura MDX offers significantly improved third-row space and comfort. A new One-Touch Walk-In feature, in combination with a 2-inch lower step-in height and 3-inch wider access pathway, makes getting into and out of the third-row seat easier. The MDX's cargo area is larger, too, and offers a new storage compartment under the floor.

Premium leather upholstery is standard for the 2014 MDX, as well as heated front seats, LED cabin lighting, AcuraLink smartphone connectivity and cloud-based services, and a 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Display (ODMD) that reduces the number of buttons on the MDX's center control panel from 41 to 9. The new MDX rides on standard 18-inch aluminum wheels, but purchase any of the three option packages and the SUV receives a set of 19-inch wheels.

Options are grouped into a Technology package, Technology and Entertainment package, and an Advance package. Acura does not define the contents of each, but highlights include Jewel Eye LED headlights, Smart Entry passive entry system, remote engine starting, premium Acura/ELS audio system, and an adaptive cruise control system with Low Speed Follow capability. The rear-seat entertainment system includes a 9-inch screen in the mid-level package, and an ultra-wide 16.2-inch screen with the Advance package. Available safety equipment for the 2014 MDX includes a multi-angle reversing camera, a lane-departure warning system, lane-keeping assist system, blind-spot information system, forward-collision warning system, and a Collision Mitigation Braking System.

Acura will offer front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the 2014 MDX, the latter equipped with the company's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, which includes torque vectoring capability for the rear wheels. A new Earth Dreams 3.5-liter V-6 engine is installed under the hood, featuring direct fuel injection and Variable Cylinder Management technology designed to shut half the engine's cylinders off under low-demand driving conditions.

Acura says the new V-6 generates 290 horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of torque, managed by a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift paddle shifters. The automaker estimates that the 2014 MDX with front-wheel drive will get 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while the 2014 MDX SH-AWD is expected to return 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway.

Acura emphasizes that the new MDX spent plenty of development time running laps on Germany's Nurburgring race circuit, its engineers fine-tuning the new SUV's driving dynamics to deliver quicker acceleration, more responsive braking, and more precise steering. As such, the 2014 MDX is equipped with a MacPherson strut front and compact multi-link rear suspension, Amplitude Reactive Dampers, Agile Handling Assist, and an Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with Comfort, Normal, and Sport driving modes. The new IDS allows the driver to adjust steering effort, throttle response, "active sound" system, and SH-AWD calibration accordingly, according to Acura.

Designed, engineered, and built in the United States, the 2014 Acura MDX goes on sale this summer. Prices will be announced closer to the luxury crossover SUV's arrival at dealerships.

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