2016 Acura MDX Preview

FAST FACTS
  • New 9-speed automatic transmission
  • New all-wheel-drive system
  • Optional AcuraWatch package of safety technologies, including new Road Departure Mitigation and rear cross-traffic alert systems
  • Standard frameless rearview mirror, Siri Eyes Free voice recognition, audible tire-pressure filling notification, easy entry and exit driver's seat design, multi-view reversing camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Available bi-directional remote engine starting, engine idle stop and start system, head-up warning system
  • Rear entertainment system now optional with the Advance package
  • Silver Moon paint replaced by Lunar Silver
  • Black leather now offered in combination with White Diamond Pearl paint

Introduction

While it is unchanged from a styling perspective, the 2016 Acura MDX receives a significant number of updates for the new model year. The MDX continues as a 3-row, luxury crossover SUV with a base price starting in the low $40,000 range.

Exterior Features

Aside from a new shade of silver paint, Acura makes no visual changes to the 2016 MDX's exterior. The company's Jewel Eye LED headlights remain standard, and buyers choose the Technology package or the Advance package for an upgrade to 19-in. aluminum wheels.

Interior Features

A black interior is now offered with white exterior paint. In addition to this change, the 2016 Acura MDX's center console is cleaner thanks to a new electronic push-button automatic transmission design.

Standard equipment is enhanced with the addition of a frameless rearview mirror design, multi-view reversing camera equipped with dynamic guideline display, easy entry and exit driver's seat that automatically moves back to simplify getting into and out of the MDX, and Siri Eyes Free voice-recognition capability for iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 users.

Optional Features

Choose the Advance package and this luxury SUV is now equipped with an engine idle start/stop feature designed to conserve fuel. A new head-up warning display is included with the Advance package, as well as 2-way responsive remote engine starting that allows Acura to extend the distance between the key fob and the vehicle when the system is in use.

Under the Hood

The 2016 MDX continues with a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Choose an MDX with Advance package and the engine includes a new idle start/stop system that incrementally improves fuel economy.

A new 9-speed automatic transmission debuts this year, operated using a new electronic push-button control system located on the center console. The transmission is 66 lbs. lighter than the 6-speed unit it replaces, improving front-to-rear weight distribution for what Acura says are subtle handling improvements. Additionally, gear changes occur 25% faster than before.

Acura also debuts a new Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system for the 2016 MDX, one that is lighter in weight and uses a twin-clutch rear differential. The new SH-AWD system saves another 19 lbs. compared with the 2015 model. Acura also says the new system "greatly enhances" the torque-vectoring characteristics of the setup.

Safety

Acura refers to its suite of active safety technologies as AcuraWatch. The contents of the AcuraWatch package vary depending on whether the buyer chooses the base MDX, Technology package, or the Advance package.

For 2016, AcuraWatch now includes Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) technology that senses when the MDX might leave the lane of travel or drift off the side of the road. The system emits visual and audible alerts and also applies active steering to keep the MDX in its lane. If necessary, RDM also applies active braking to prevent a crash.

Rear cross-traffic alert is also new for 2016. This technology can sense when other vehicles are approaching the MDX from the sides and can alert the driver to the presence of other motorists. Rear cross-traffic alert is useful when reversing from parking spaces or driveways, when it is difficult to see other vehicles approaching.

Beginning with the 2016 model, a multi-angle reversing camera is now standard for all MDX variants.

Technology

A rear-seat entertainment system is now optional for both the Technology package and the Advance package; last year it was standard with the latter upgrade. All 2016 Acura MDX SUVs now include Siri Eyes Free technology, which is a voice-recognition system that is compatible with a paired iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 smartphone.

A head-up warning system also debuts for the 2016 MDX, and the remote engine starting system is designed to operate at greater distances. Additionally, every 2016 MDX includes an audible alert that tells the owner when he or she has reached the proper tire pressure while inflating the tires.