Friday, August 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Acura refines its largest SUV, the MDX

By
From page C1 | February 14, 2014 |

Acura’s luxury MDX sport utility vehicle is redesigned for 2014 with quieter interior, more cargo space, a new, more powerful engine, better fuel economy and improved handling.

The starting retail price is down to $43,185, including destination charge, because for the first time, the MDX is available in front-wheel drive. All previous MDX SUVs came standard with all-wheel drive.

The MDX remains a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine, which lists the SUV’s reliability as above average. And the 2014 MDX earned an overall top, five out of five stars in federal government crash tests.

That’s not all.

The federal government’s gasoline mileage ratings for the 2014 MDX — 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 mpg on the highway for the new, front-wheel drive model — lead all other non-hybrid, non-electric, gasoline-powered 2014 SUVs that have three rows of seats.

The new-for-2014, third-generation MDX even has new sheet metal, though casual observers might not notice the subtle exterior styling updates. They will, however, take note of the dazzling, new, light-emitting-diode headlights.

Even the base 2014 MDX packs a lot standard equipment. It includes leather-trimmed seats with front seats heated, moonroof, three-zone, automatic climate control, rearview camera, paddle shifters, power tailgate and premium audio system with eight speakers.

Plus, the new MDX has a semi-power, push-button system that automatically moves the second-row seats forward and out of the way for easier entry and exit to the third row. This smart, one-finger system eliminates the fussy and sometimes awkward working of manual levers at the side of second-row seats that occurs in other SUVs.

The lowest starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, for a 2014 MDX with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive is $45,185.

All MDX models come with a 290-horsepower, direct injection V-6 whose engine cylinders automatically deactivate, say, when the vehicle is coasting, to save fuel, without a driver being aware. The V-6 is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Competitors are luxury-branded SUVs with three rows of seats that typically cost more than the MDX, such as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec, which has a starting retail price of $63,925. This GL comes standard with all-wheel drive, but the base GL only has two-zone climate control, no moonroof and no real leather on the seats. Note that the GL350 Bluetec has a 240-horsepower, diesel V-6 and seven-speed automatic.

Still, the base MDX received higher federal government fuel economy ratings. Even an all-wheel drive 2014 MDX has higher fuel mileage on the highway — 27 mpg — compared with the GL350′s 26 mpg.

Built on a new platform, this third-generation MDX is a bit lower and narrower than its predecessor. Ground clearance is shaved from last year’s 8.2 inches to 7.3 inches, making it convenient for even small-stature riders to get inside.

In addition, the changes in dimensions provide better aerodynamics for better fuel economy.

The vehicle gains both gasoline mileage and agility because it’s some 275 pounds lighter than the 2013 MDX, thanks to lighter-weight parts and more high-strength steel.

But the MDX wheelbase grew 2.8 inches for improved interior room. Wheelbase is the distance from the middle of one wheel on one side of the vehicle to the middle of the other wheel.

As a result, maximum cargo space grew from 83.5 cubic feet last year to 90.9 cubic feet. Second- and third-row seats fold down easily and provide a flat cargo floor.

The test MDX, a top-level model, immediately rode in a refined manner and felt tightly put together. Though it was more than 16 feet long, the MDX drove nimbly and turned easily into parking spaces, moved adeptly around obstacles and made U-turns with ease.

There was no telling that the engine, down from a displacement of 3.7 liters to 3.5 but with new, direct injection, had 10 fewer horses than last year. In fact, peak torque of 267 foot-pounds coming on at 4,500 rpm is just shy of the 270 foot-pounds from last year’s V-6.

Power came through quickly, so the seven-seat MDX was responsive in city and highway driving. When pressed to accelerate hard, the engine sounded confident.

Even with some aggressive driving, the tester averaged 20.4 mpg, which is nearly the government’s combined city/highway rating of 21 for this model.

Shifts were smooth, and brakes worked strongly. The responsive nature of the new MDX is reflected in an estimated, improved 0-to-60-miles-an-hour time of 6.5 seconds.

The test MDX stayed planted to the pavement even in long sweeping curves and turns as Acura’s all-wheel drive system expertly distributes torque not just front to back but side to side.

The interior is refined and uncluttered, with supportive and comfortable seats.

Front-seat headroom is reduced 1.1 inches, but legroom is up to 41.4 inches in the front seats. In the second and third rows, legroom is cut a bit to 36.6 inches and 35.6 inches, respectively. But since the second row slides forward and back, legroom can be apportioned for optimum comfort among the two rows.

The tester’s two display screens on the dashboard were confusing at times. And the test vehicle’s center console lid had a troublesome latch that sometimes jammed.

Maximum towing capacity, when properly equipped with tow hitch kit, remains at 5,000 pounds.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported two safety recalls involving the 2014 MDX.

In November, NHTSA said 19,197 vehicles were being recalled because bolts attaching the drive shaft to the automatic transmission assembly might loosen. If the drive shaft were to become disconnected, drivers face the risk of a crash.

In July 2013, the agency reported the recall of 652 trailer hitch harness kits used for the 2014 MDX because wiring may be faulty and hamper braking.

2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD

BASE PRICE: $42,290 for base FWD model; $44,290 for base SH-AWD model; $46,565 FWD with technology package; $48,565 SH-AWD with technology package; $50,565 SH-AWD with technology and entertainment packages; $56,505 for SH-AWD with advance and entertainment packages.

PRICE AS TESTED: $57,400.

TYPE: Front-engine, all-wheel drive, seven-passenger, luxury sport utility vehicle.

ENGINE: 3.5-liter, single overhead cam, direct injection V-6 with i-VTEC and Variable Cylinder Management.

MILEAGE: 18 mpg (city), 27 mpg (highway).

TOP SPEED: NA.

LENGTH: 193.6 inches.

WHEELBASE: 111 inches.

CURB WEIGHT: 4,297 pounds.

BUILT AT: Lincoln, Ala.

OPTIONS: None.

DESTINATION CHARGE: $895.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
Chapkis Dance brings award-winning moves to Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Ducks on the pond, sturgeon in the water

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Jazz invasion Aug. 30 at performing arts center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

How I spent my summer vacation

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
 
Housing specialist to speak before Senior Rountable

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

Brown approves ‘dining with dogs’ law

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
 
Small fire takes place at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

Fairfield police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Aunt of toddler killed pleads not guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
Cops greet students at school where plot thwarted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

San Francisco to tally bird-into-window death toll

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
GPS devices find huge water loss in western US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

California plans aid to immigrant minors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
California to appeal ruling tossing death penalty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Stunt blocks traffic on Golden Gate Bridge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Bodies of 2 men found in adjacent California yards

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Assembly approves greater disclosure for campaigns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US judge strikes down Florida gay marriage ban

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Gov. Nixon taking National Guard out of Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
American Ebola doc: ‘I am thrilled to be alive’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

No bail for woman in Amish girls’ kidnapping in NY

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Lawyer: Utah restaurant had other chemical burn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Ice bucket challenge goes awry, firefighters hurt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Marathon bombing suspect’s friend pleads guilty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Indonesian court rejects election loser’s appeal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Liberia gives food in slum sealed to stop Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Foley case lays bare debate over paying ransom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Pentagon: Islamic State militants will regroup

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syria opposition: Deadly chemical attack forgotten

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Russian aid convoy advances toward Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Israel kills 3 Hamas military commanders in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Turkey’s Davutoglu named new premier

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Thai army ruler named prime minister

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment | Gallery

.

Opinion

Get it straight in Ferguson

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Aug. 22, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Are America’s police over-militarized and under-accountable?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

 
Young men helped me, and I thank them

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My whole house shakes when my new neighbors drop their barbells

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 22-28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
The voice-overs can’t save ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B2

Review: A sweet Moretz rescues ‘If I Stay’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Emmy hopefuls play the angles to nab trophies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Seth Meyers prizes his new role as Emmycast host

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Aug. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

‘Doctor Who’ returns with a new season on BBC America

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Julianne Hough dances back to ‘Dancing’ as judge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Jon Hamm hopes Ferguson will come out stronger

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Fade to black: Leonard Maltin ending movie guides

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Raiders’ Woodson returning to Lambeau, faces Pack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Local boxers make weight and are ready to fight

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Serena Williams to face Townsend in Open 1st round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Loose sod at new Levi’s Stadium removed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Phelps back in international comp, advances in 100

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Tigers’ Price throws 1-hitter, loses to Rays 1-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Philly loses to Chicago in LLWS

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Ryu sets course record at Canadian Women’s Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
McIlroy stumbles to 74, worst start in 2 months

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Cal interim AD Williams jumps into new role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Teams test out a new helmet, but does it work?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Goalkeeper Tim Howard taking break from US team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Signups for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

.

Business

Big 2015 Chevy Tahoe remains a rare breed of SUV

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
US housing recovery appears to be back on track

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Airline group forecasts uptick in Labor Day travel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Applications for US unemployment aid fall to 298K

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

United lures top fliers with promise of a hot meal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
Family Dollar rejects Dollar General offer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

S&P 500 closes at a record; Hewlett-Packard gains

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Ford recalling more than 160,000 vehicles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Bank of America settlement likely to benefit few

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Richard Ray Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Mary Louise Loveall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9