If you’re in the market for a mid-size crossover with distinctive styling, plenty of luxury, and a reasonable pricetag, then the 2012 Acura MDX may be for you. The vehicle hasn’t received any major updates since 2010 but it continues to be a segment-leader in several areas, especially in terms of comfort.
The 2012 MDX is certainly eye-catching though its looks may not sit well with everyone. Inside, it’s a different story, with leather-trimmed seats, a thick sport-style steering wheel, and seating for up to seven all on offer. Other goodies include a three-zone climate control system, a power tailgate, Bluetooth, XM satellite radio, and steering-wheel audio and phone controls are all standard.
The available nav system includes 15 gigabytes of storage for music, and real-time traffic and rerouting functions. There's also a rear DVD entertainment package, and an Advance package that adds on ventilated front seats, adaptive suspension, and a host of safety pieces like blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and pre-emptive braking technology.
The MDX’s 3.7-liter V-6 engine is a gem, with strong acceleration and impressive passing power making the MDX one of the most capable crossovers in its class. It develops 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, and comes with a range of technologies aimed at widening the engine’s powerband--making it useable at more rev levels--as well as improving efficiency.
These technologies include variable valve adjustment of the intake valves, revised high-lift camshafts, a computer controlled dual-stage induction system and an electronic drive-by-wire throttle system. The end result is very respectable gas mileage for a vehicle of this size and performance. The EPA rating for the 2012 Acura MDX is 16/21 mpg city/highway. The two rating is 5,000 pounds.
Drive is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Note, the MDX doesn’t use just any old all-wheel drive system but rather Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). The setup uses torque vectoring to actively distribute the optimum amount of power not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels.
As a result, the MDX is surprisingly entertaining to drive. Along with the responsive powertrain, the suspension keeps the body from leaning too much around corners. If you can afford definitely go for the Advance package, which not only nets you an adaptive suspension setup but 19-inch wheels and tires as well.
For more details on the 2012 Acura MDX, check out the full review on our sister site The Car Connection.