2016 Acura MDX Reviews and Ratings

Utility 4D Technology AWD V6

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J.D. Power Verified Consumer Reviews (1)
Overall Rating
  5 / 5
  5 / 5
  5 / 5
  5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  5 / 5

By Jordon 8/25/2017 3:09:00 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
  5 / 5
Love this SUV it rides great has a great interior and has all the functions I was looking for.
  5 / 5
  5 / 5
  5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  5 / 5

Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2016 Acura MDX
New Car Test Drive


The Acura MDX has been further refined for 2016 following a complete redesign for the 2014 model year.

The 2016 Acura MDX gets a new nine-speed automatic transmission with a push-button gear selector that frees up interior space. Meanwhile, a new twin-clutch SH-AWD all-wheel-drive system has been made available to 2016 MDX models. New safety features and more technology, including Siri Eyes Free voice recognition are available. Inside are new refinements, including a driver’s seat that moves slightly rearward when the door is opened for easier entry and exit.

MDX is a premium midsize SUV in the same class as the Lexus RX, Buick Enclave, Volvo XC90, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60, Audi Q7, and Mercedes-Benz ML-Class. Acura first introduced the MDX as a 2001 model, and it is now on its third generation.

MDX seats seven, with three rows. All models use a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 290 horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional.

MDX looks sharp and offers sharp handling and quick acceleration performance. The new nine-speed automatic allows quicker acceleration than did the previous six-speed automatic. Luxurious and enjoyable to drive, with a versatile interior, MDX has a proven record for being reliable and holding its value well.

EPA-estimated fuel mileage is 19/27/22 mpg City/Highway/Combined with front wheel drive, or 18/26/21 mpg with all-wheel drive. A Stop/Start feature comes on upper-level models that lowers the EPA City ratings by 1 mpg. Acura recommends Premium gas.

The Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system works well for wintry conditions. The 2016 MDX SH-AWD features a new twin-clutch rear differential that directs power between the front and rear wheels and also between the left and right rear wheels. SH-AWD improves handling stability.

We found the new nine-speed worked well most of the time, but it sometimes hesitated before selecting a gear, for example going from steady throttle on an on-ramp to acceleration for getting onto the highway.

Handling is responsive in Sport mode, but Sport and Normal are uncomfortably firm on beat-up streets; Comfort mode is better on broken pavement. The MDX is quiet underway.

The interior is roomy and comfortable and controls are intuitive and easy to operate. The front seats are comfortable and luxurious, and ingress and egress are easy. The 2016 MDX gets a revised driver seat that moves to the rear when the door is opened, making entry and exit easy.

Model Lineup

The 2016 Acura MDX starts at $44,865 MSRP and goes up to $57,080; that does not include the $920 destination charge. Leather-trimmed upholstery comes standard; upgraded leather is part of the Advance package. All use a 3.5-liter V6 with nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard; SH-AWD all-wheel drive is optional.


The looks of the Acura MDX have not changed since this third-generation version was launched for 2014.

The MDX nose resembles a beak, drawing mixed reviews. The profile and the rear are undistinguished, resembling those of other midsize SUVs.


The MDX interior is straightforward and easy to operate has the feel of a premium SUV. The front seats are comfortable.

2016 brought a push-button transmission shifter and it is intuitive and frees up considerable space. The shifter buttons are distinctive from one another both in appearance and feel and are very easy to use. The parking brake is a foot brake: Push down to engage, push again to disengage.

The center stack has a chrome surround that can reflect sunlight at certain angles. 2016 models get a new frameless rearview mirror that’s slim and unobtrusive.

The second row moves forward or rearward for greater room for third-row passengers or second-row passengers. Pressing a switch allows easier ingress and egress to the third row seats. Squeezing into the third row is still difficult, however, suitable only for children.

Cubby storage is superior to most European SUVs. The center console has a deep bin. Just aft of that and above is a smaller tray for a smartphone or other small items. Cup holders are straightforward and positioned well. Ahead of those is a small bin for keys with a power receptacle.

MDX offers nearly 91 cubic feet of cargo space with the two rear rows of seats folded, significantly more than that of the 2015 Lexus RX, with its 80 cubic feet. An underfloor storage area is provided. The third row folds by pulling a lever that mechanically flips them down. The third row folds perfectly flat but leaves small square holes in the corners that may need to be stuffed with rags if you have a dog. The second row is split 60/40 and folds independently almost perfectly flat though there are a lot of gaps and holes.

Driving Impressions

Acura MDX is powered by a direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 engine producing 290 horsepower. It’s connected to a nine-speed automatic in all versions of the MDX, and that transmission can be paddle-shifted from the steering wheel.

We found the suspension to be quite firm in Normal mode on rough urban and suburban streets with pot holes. Pressing the IDS button on the center console switches the Integrated Dynamic System through Normal, Sport, and Comfort, adjusting the damping of the shock absorbers. The Comfort setting makes those rough roads feel much smoother. Sport works best on smooth, winding roads.

The MDX is easy to drive. The steering does not transmit feedback to the driver, but the vehicle as a whole feels capable and coordinated when driven hard.

Pressing the D/S button on the transmission selector alters shift mapping between Drive and Sport. Using the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel when in Sport mode evokes quick upshifts and blips the throttle for aggressive downshifts.

Press Drive and it does all the shifting automatically. Overall, it works well, but the nine-speed has a lot of ratios to choose from and it sometimes seems to get confused by it all. Pull into a parking space and switch off the engine and it will automatically shift into Park, a nice feature.

Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) makes the MDX a great vehicle in wintry conditions. The Super Handling part improves handling stability by turning the wheels with the best grip.


The Acura MDX has always been a standout product in this class and continues to be. It’s a relatively sporty vehicle, fun to drive, but the ride can be uncomfortably firm on rough roads.

J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality 2 / 5
Overall Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
2 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Overall Quality - Design
2 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Design
2 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Design
4 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
2 / 5

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

J.D. Power Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards, visit the Car Ratings page to learn more about awards and ratings.