2010 Acura MDX
Acura has updated its MDX for the 2010 model year, with a number of styling, performance, and technology updates to keep it fresh against its rivals. The big SUV keeps its versatile seven-passenger, three-row layout but sports a new exterior look, a revised powertrain, several chassis refinements, more comfort features and a longer standard equipment list.
The MDX may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, especially when it comes to off-roading, but it’s still an entertaining vehicle to drive and, despite some odd exclusions on the features list, a supremely confident family vehicle with an excellent safety record. Pricing starts at roughly $43,000 and stretches beyond $50,000 for fully loaded versions. TheCarConnection.com accepted travel expenses to an Acura-sponsored event to produce this hands-on road test.
Visually, the seven-passenger 2010 MDX receives more aggressive styling in the form of new front and rear bodywork, a new front grille and numerous new trim enhancements. Other details include a revised hood, new side sills, polished stainless-steel exhaust tips, and revised taillights with brighter LEDs.
Inside, the 2010 MDX benefits from the expanded use of Milano leather, a new, thicker sports steering wheel with racing-inspired paddle shifters, new gauges, optional ventilated front seats and upgraded interior trim.
Under the hood sits a more refined version of the 3.7-liter V-6 engine from the 2009 model. The VTEC unit produces 300-horsepower and 270-pound-feet of torque and is mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission with pseudo manual control.
The engine is a gem, with strong acceleration and impressive passing power making the MDX one of the most capable SUVs in its class. To widen the powerband while simultaneously improving fuel efficiency, the V-6 engine also features 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 a gain in fuel economy--it’s up to 16/21 mpg, higher than in 2009--as well as the ability to tow 5,000-pounds while snapping off quick gearchanges and stepping smartly away from stoplights.