Is The MDX A-Spec Really A Luxury SUV?
I had the keys to this MDX A-Spec for a week. Here are my thoughts.
The Acura MDX has been around for almost twenty years. For the most recent generation, the A-Spec model came out to the world after the face-lift refresh in 2017. With a new look and new options, the MDX took the world by surprise. But, is it really all people think it is? Well, is it nice to look at? Does it have the comfort and convenience as a luxury SUV? Does it perform well? Let's find out, shall we?
The exterior of the MDX A-Spec is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Especially when looking at the lines that run down the hood. When looking through the windscreen, it looks like claws of a monster bulging from underneath the hood. Compared to the rest of the MDX generations, this new looking model looks so much more aggressive than before. Luxury SUV's either are elegant or aggressive looking. The MDX A-Spec is the latter. For the rear, the final touches can be seen with the diffuser and dual exhaust.
Now, the interior of the MDX is not a reflection of what the exterior has to offer. It is actually quite lacking in the luxury department. Aside from the faux leather, red stitching, carbon trim and alcantara, the MDX looks like a Honda with Acura badges. This is where Acura really messed up. Especially because the MDX is supposed to be a luxury SUV. The only good thing out of the design is the wireless charger. Sure, there is tons of cabin space, but the third row really works as trunk space instead of seats. Sadly, that is a waste because of space because if Acura wanted to, it would perfectly work as an SUV with almost minivan space. But no, trunks seem more important than making the best out of a back row. Sadly, the MDX A-Spec just falls short in almost every aspect of the word luxury.
Price and Options
So, how much does this MDX A-Spec cost? With the options included, the price reaches $56,295. What does this entail? For safety, this MDX A-Spec comes with airbags all around, stability assist, electronic brake distribution, braking assist, agile handling assist, tire pressure monitoring, blind spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, road departure warning, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, back up camera and lane keep assist. For comfort and convenience, the MDX A-Spec has satellite navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, and push button gear selector.
The 3.5L VTEC V6 engine under the hood of the MDX A-Spec produces just 290 horsepower. But it is just enough for a luxury feel. The all-wheel drive system is able to keep power evenly distributed for traction in almost all situations. The suspension keeps everything tidy and gives great ride comfort. Traveling long distances doesn't give any aches or pains. Steering can either become sharp in sport mode or light in comfort. Thankfully, the MDX performs like a luxury vehicle. A little get up and go and great ride comfort.
So, is the MDX A-Spec really a luxury SUV? Not even close. $56,000 and some change cannot be justified when the interior is so cheap feeling and looks like a Honda. Sure, the MDX A-Spec performs great and looks beautiful on the outside, but it should definitely be judged on the inside. The interior is too much of a disappointment to let the MDX off the hook. Luxury needs to be felt all around, not in only a couple of places. It would be more acceptable for the RDX A-Spec reviewed previously to be luxurious over the MDX A-Spec. And that's saying something.
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