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The Acura MDX has always had a graceful but forward look. The latest model continues to impress us with its style. It's about the same size as it has been for several years now, but it looks a little leaner, thanks to a few upscale styling cues and its overall more curvaceous design.
With a more chiseled nose, a tapered roof, and a smooth design at the rear end, the new MDX looks smaller than it should, an optical feat it doesn't get so right with the smaller RDX crossover SUV. The MDX's sport-wagon silhouette only has a flaw or two; a big one is the beak-like front end, which doesn't mate well with the softly penned shape. The LED headlights bring it back into a more restrained realm. At the back it's almost generic, but big LED lamps brighten the look.
The 2015 Acura MDX is powered by the brand's direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 engine, producing 290 horsepower. It's connected to a six-speed automatic in all versions of the MDX, and that transmission can be paddle-shifted from the steering wheel.
The transmission responds quickly to paddle shift inputs with a blip of the throttle and a change of the gear. It will hold a gear up to redline, or down near idle, a wide range of latitude given the MDX's family-oriented mission.
The MDX is one of the best-handling vehicles of its kind thanks to a reworked suspension. The suspension is multi-link independent, with new shocks that help shut down body motion over large bumps, while smoothing out the transition with cushy suspension mounts. The ride and handling of the MDX is much improved; it's a capable vehicle when moved quickly through esses and steep corners, though the steering doesn't feel as sharp and doesn't transmit much in the way of road feel.
The MDX offers more space than most of the vehicles it competes with. The front seats meet our expectations for a luxury vehicle, and the rear cabin has been vastly improved over past models. The wheelbase is about four inches longer now than it has been in past generations, which means the third row can handle more frequent traffic, should you need to make use of the extra seats in the rear.
The second-row seat slides on a six-inch track, so cargo and leg room can trade off as needed. A button on the second-row side seats can be pressed to move those seats out of the way when passengers climb into the third row.
The center console in the MDX has a lot more storage than before, and it's easier to access, too. A tablet device will fit in the center bin; ahead of that is a tray that can hold a smartphone.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.