Wednesday, July 23, 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

Fairfield labor pact wins City Council OK

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
County supervisors hear from Solano grand jury

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

2 hurt after traffic signal apparently malfunctions

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A3

 
Solano leaders feel left out of Delta decision-making

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3

Vacaville man to stand trial on arson allegations

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

 
Polk first to file for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Governor signs 2 bills by Frazier into law

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Dally seeks to retain seat on Vacaville school board

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Carpenters training center set to expand in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
2 Vacaville homes hit by gunfire

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Library friends set spring book sale

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6

 
Video chair exercise class returns to senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Man, woman, comic and dance contest primed for box office

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

Vice Mayor Vaccaro will attend LA conference

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A8

 
Rockville Trails hike on August calendar

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Mayor’s Commission on Crime hears from community

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A12, 3 Comments | Gallery

.

US / World

Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
IRS employee charged with identity theft

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Assailants sought in fatal train platform beating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Senate, House on collision course on border money

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

ACLU may fight for California migrant shelter

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Board puts soda tax before San Francisco voters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

George Harrison memorial tree killed by beetles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
California agency to consider hiring “water cops”

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Gaza blockade key to any Israel-Hamas truce deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Mexican-born professor eyed for state high court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Airlines ban flights to Israel after rocket strike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
AP source: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Obama nominee McDonald pledges to ‘transform’ VA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Body of missing S. Korean shipping tycoon found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Plane crash bodies removed from war zone

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Lax security at crash site hampers investigations

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Will history repeat in child immigrant crisis?

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
 
Walmart donation benefits Meals on Wheels

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Batson’s column on Mideast peace is wrong

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

 
Fix our problems first

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History for July 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

How to argue appropriately with your mate

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
A summer sausage roll with a triple dose of fennel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

10 Things: 10 fresh ways to use fresh blueberries

By J.M. Hirsch | From Page: B6

 
Horoscopes for July 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

Bulking up the classic BLT without adding fat

By Sara Moulton | From Page: B6

 
I’m tired of my parents judging me because of who I date

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

.

Entertainment

‘X-Men’ VR experience coming to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘Downton Abbey’ back on Jan. 4 for season 5

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

 
.

Sports

Giants beat Phillies 9-6 in 14 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s agree to 10-year lease to stay in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Raiders enter camp with ‘chip’ on shoulders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers start fresh after forgettable offseason

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Seahawks start atop AP Pro32 rankings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Selig still waiting on Tommy John report

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
AP source: Cavs to sign Andrew Wiggins to contract

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Paterno son, other former assistant sue Penn State

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Warriors announce Brandon Rush’s signing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
CEO: Rivers to quit Clippers if Sterling stays

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Racehorse owned by Britain’s queen fails dope test

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Mudcats score early, get 7-3 win over South Bay Storm

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

.

Business

Ackman goes after Herbalife’s nutrition clubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8, 1 Comment

 
China meat scandal hits Starbucks, Burger King

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Solid earnings drive more gains in US stocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Microsoft 4Q earnings hurt by Nokia acquisition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Apple post biggest earnings gain in nearly 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
One in every 25 New Yorkers is a millionaire, study says

By Los Angeles Times | From Page: B8

California firm issues nationwide fruit recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Joseph Ross Smith Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John Klefstad

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6