An invitation to drive the 2010 Acura MDX is an invitation to experience loads more than simply getting from point A to point B—all the while ensconced in a lap of luxury.
First the basics: the MDX has a 300 horsepower 3.7-liter engine with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for when shifting gears is desired. It seats seven and the third-row seats can be folded down (easily, I might add) for more storage space.
It has plenty of power, which gave me confidence in those dicey step-on-it situations and at no time did I have regrets. According to Acura’s Web site, the vehicle is described as having SH-AWD “Super Handling All Wheel Drive,” which has something to do with engine power, weight distribution and traction. All I know is that it is, in fact, agile and handles admirably.
This vehicle’s owner’s manual is a hefty 592 pages, which certainly tells you something. I made a crucial mistake when I got this vehicle for a weeklong test drive. I didn’t immediately peruse the manual, especially the slimmer 37-page Advanced Technology Guide, which meant I wasn’t fully aware of all the options and features at my disposal. Because of this, I missed out on being able to give a first-hand account of the MDX’s adaptive cruise control, a new Acura feature. The driver can set the vehicle at a speed and the MDX will maintain a set distance between itself and the car ahead, automatically slowing down and speeding up depending.
Once I had a better understanding of the vehicle, I flip-flopped on an opinion I had formed at the onset—that the MDX had too many buttons and controls. It is a little busy but all those buttons and selections provide driver and passenger with an amazing range of options and information.
I especially liked the blind side alert system that let me know when another vehicle was in my blind spot and the generous size of the navigation system display screen—that’s deep set into the console to avoid glare.
The interior design is stylish with two sweeping arcs of glossy wood, which gave me a surrounded-by-luxury feel.
The MDX received five stars in government frontal crash safety tests and four stars in rollover.
Expect to get 16 miles per gallon in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, according to EPA fuel economy estimates.
Stats: 8-speed automatic transmission with sequential sport shift, vehicle stability assist, rear camera, surround sound and 10 speakers,
Price: Test vehicle with the advance entertainment package was priced at $54,565.