What’s New in the 2020 Acura MDX?

When discussing the top midsize luxury SUVs on the market, be sure to mention the 2020 Acura MDX. A starting MSRP of $44,500, makes the MDX several thousands of dollars less expensive than its German competitors. However, it feels just as plush.

Let’s find out if the new MDX is worthy of your hard-earned money.

Performance Specs

The 2020 Acura MDX offers two different powertrains. A Honda-built 3.5-liter, V6 engine comes standard. This engine has a reputation for being extremely reliable and easy to maintain. It produces a competitive 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Sending power to the wheels is a nine-speed automatic transmission.

If you crave more performance, step up to the MDX Sport Hybrid. It uses a different V6 engine, which combines with a three-motor hybrid system. Output increases to 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. This model uses an exclusive seven-speed automatic transmission.

Both of the MDX’s available powertrains feel strong. The standard MDX clocks a zero to 60 mph time of 6.3 seconds. On the other hand, the more powerful Sporty Hybrid model accelerates to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. While the Sport Hybrid model may be slightly quicker, only the conventional MDX is recommended for towing. With the standard MDX, drivers will be able to haul up to a 5,000-pound load.

On the road, the 2020 Acura MDX showcases its athletic nature. It feels extremely poised in virtually every driving situation. However, Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system transforms the MDX into an even sportier SUV. When taking a curve, SH-AWD sends up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. This means that handling will be especially sharp.

While the MDX may not have the softest ride in the segment, it does deliver a smooth performance over most road surfaces. For a smoother ride, an Active Damping suspension is found on the MDX Sport Hybrid.

Fuel Efficiency

You can expect the 2020 Acura MDX to deliver up to an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. Opting for the hybrid powertrain raises fuel economy to 26 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.

Like so many of today’s other luxury SUVs, the MDX requires premium fuel.

Safety Features

You can compare the 2020 Acura MDX to the safest family vehicles on the market. It scored a five-star rating in every crash test performed by the NHTSA. The MDX also received excellent marks from the IIHS for its impact protection.

Fortunately, buyers don’t have to pay extra for the MDX’s AcuraWatch safety package. It’s standard throughout the lineup. With this package, drivers will enjoy automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Road Departure Mitigation is also included. This feature can help prevent you from unintentionally driving off the road.

While a self-parking system isn’t available for the new MDX, it does offer some helpful driving aids. A surround-view parking camera and parking sensors help you to avoid crashing into obstacles. Furthermore, Blind Spot Information with rear cross-traffic alert will keep you aware of approaching vehicles. A head-up display is available as well.

Entertainment Features

The MDX provides enough high-tech features to satisfy most people. A dual-touchscreen setup comes standard. Although the upper eight-inch display handles your infotainment, the lower display allows you to operate the climate control system. Additionally, the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto simplify the task of linking your smartphone.

While an eight-speaker stereo comes standard on the MDX, you can upgrade to a 10-speaker ELS Studio premium audio system. It gives your music a more impactful sound.

To keep kids happy on long rides, Acura offers the MDX with a rear entertainment system. Youngsters can relax playing video games and watching movies on a 16.2-inch display with split-screen functionality.

Pros

Very Strong Value

The 2020 Acura MDX is a great choice for luxury car shoppers who don’t want to pay a premium price. Rivals, like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, are significantly more expensive.

Lower maintenance costs further highlight the MDX’s great value. Moreover, a 70,000-mile powertrain warranty helps give buyers an extra degree of protection.

Luxurious Accommodations

Your family and friends will appreciate the MDX’s comfortable interior. While the SUV’s third row is more appropriate for kids, its first two rows are extremely spacious. Heated/ventilated front seats and heated second-row captain’s chairs are optional.

You can also opt for a GPS-linked climate control system, which automatically adjusts to the outside weather.

Nice-Looking A-Spec Appearance Package

Available as an option, Acura’s A-Spec appearance package adds black chrome accents and sportier exterior treatments. This package is a must for drivers who desire a more aggressive look. Wider 20-inch wheels also help give the SUV a more powerful stance.

Enjoyable to Drive

The MDX isn’t just a practical family vehicle, it’s also enjoyable to drive. This is even more true for the Sport Hybrid model, which features an adaptive suspension and standard Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive.

Cons

Not Great for Off-Roading

If you decide to buy a new Acura MDX, you should probably stick to driving it on the street. This SUV is not recommended for serious off-roading. As such, it lacks features like a trail-tuned suspension and underbody shields.

Infotainment System Is Just Okay

While the MDX has a much-improved infotainment system, it’s still not the best. It takes a while for some drivers to get used to the dual-screen design.

Final Thoughts

The 2020 Acura MDX is a solid pick for anyone in the market for a three-row luxury SUV. It’s a genuine bargain compared to some of the competition. While the MDX may not be made for off-road adventure, expect it to deliver an impressive performance on the street.

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