The new platform has also allowed for the option of front-wheel drive, a first on the MDX, though all-wheel drive is still available. This, coupled with the lighter mass, as well as a more aerodynamic body, sees the 2014 MDX return a respectable fuel economy of 20/28 mpg city/highway and 23 mpg combined. Opt for all-wheel drive and these figures drop slightly to 18/27 mpg city/highway and 21 combined.
Only one engine is available, a 3.5-liter V-6 with direct fuel injection and cylinder deactivation. Peak output comes in at 290 horsepower, which is channeled to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
To improve handling, the new MDX was extensively tested on the grueling Nürburgring race track in Germany. Here, engineers were able to fine-tune the vehicle’s new “Integrated Dynamic System,” which allows drivers to adjust variables such as steering effort, throttle response, the all-wheel-drive system (if equipped) and even the sound of the engine, the latter of which is actually synthesized.
The vehicle features MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear setup, adaptive dampers, and lightweight 18-inch aluminum wheels shod in 245/60 tires.
Up front, there is a 10-way power adjustable and heated driver’s seat and an 8-way power and heated passenger seat. Front-seat passengers also have access to the AcuraLink interface, which relies on a 7-inch touch-screen display. Available packages add a DVD rear entertainment system with a 9-inch screen for the rear seats, or even a 16.2-inch with HDMI compatibility for devices such as a game console.
In terms of safety, buyers will find features such as a rearview camera, lane departure and blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and a forward collision mitigation system. There’s also the usual array of electronic stability, brake force distribution and traction control. Airbags include front, front side, driver’s knee and side curtain with rollover sensor.
Pricing details will be released closer to this summer’s launch. Four grades will be available starting with the base MDX, which is followed by the MDX with Technology package, the MDX with Technology and Entertainment packages, and finally the top-of-the-line MDX with Advance and Entertainment packages.
Production is taking place at Acura’s plant in Lincoln, Alabama.
Follow all the latest announcements from the 2013 New York Auto Show, here at Motor Authority.