2019 Acura MDX tech offers premium performance and luxury Auto review By Veeno Dewan

2019 Acura MDX

Let it be known that the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada voted the MDX the Best Large Premium Utility Vehicle in Canada for 2018, and so, the venerable MDX has the official seal of approval if you need a premium quality crossover that offers a usable third row with cargo space, technology, and performance.

The 2019 Acura MDX arrives in dealerships recently, boasting upgraded interior fitment, new available premium exterior colours, drivability and dynamics enhancements, and an A-Spec sport appearance package. The 2019 MDX with standard AcuraWatch® technology and available SuperHandling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) carries a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP1) of $54,390 while the new MDX A-Spec starts at $60,490 with standard SH-AWD®.

Building on a major design refresh in 2017 and key technology updates in 2018, the 2019 Acura MDX comes with new interior enhancements designed to up the luxury quotient. New features include available authentic Desert Olive Ash wood trim, high-contrast seat and door panel stitching, and contrasting front seat side garnishes. Driver and front passenger seats now feature standard 12-way power lumbar adjustments, The MDX with Elite Package adds trim-exclusive matching wood centre console trim.

For the 2019 model, MDX adds an all-new A-Spec sport appearance variant. Available exclusively with Acura’s torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), A-Spec features a more athletic stance highlighted by exclusive half-inch wider 20-inch Shark Grey aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in low profile 265/45-series tires. An aggressive new front fascia, body-colour lower sills, larger-diameter exhaust finishers, as well as gloss-black and dark chrome trim for the headlights, grille, window surround and rear tailgate spoiler further distinguish the MDX A-Spec.

Interior enhancements feature sport seats trimmed in rich red or black leather with black Alcantara™ inserts, high-contrast stitching, unique A-Spec gauges, sport pedals, Alcantara door inserts, gloss-black trim, a thicker-rimmed A-Spec-badged steering wheel with paddle shifters, and an exclusive A-Spec door step garnish.

The 2019 MDX is available with Acura’s Adaptive Damper System offering both ride comfort and handling advantages.   The responsive 3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC® 24-valve V6 engine continues to power MDX with 290 peak horsepower (SAE net) and 267 lb.-ft. peak torque (SAE net), in either standard front-wheel drive configuration, or the available SH-AWD® system. SH-AWD® delivers up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels and the ability to distribute up to 100 percent of that torque between the left and right rear wheels to optimize available traction and sharpen steering and handling response.  The 2019 model year also brings significant drivability enhancements to MDX. Its 9-speed automatic transmission gains a smoother, more fluid acceleration feel in normal driving by prioritizing second-gear starts.

There is also the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, the brand’s first ever hybrid SUV. The Sport Hybrid is available only on the top tier MDX Elite trim  powered by a 3.0-litre V6 gasoline engine that itself generates 257 horsepower and 218 lb.-ft. of torque on its own, while the hybrid system comprising a battery and three electric motors (As in the NSX)   increases power to 321 horsepower and 289 lb.-ft. of torque.  The Elite six-passenger version offers more luxury replacing the second-row bench for two captain’s chairs, and adds a centre console with two additional USB ports for third-row passengers —it is  the   only luxury SUV in its class to offer this seat configuration.

On the road, the MDX handles very impressively with a firm, stable planted feel when cornering and satisfying, smooth acceleration. In addition the careful synchronization of Acura’s SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive enables excellent on road dynamics. With its high level of performance, fuel economy and equipment, unlike some competitor models, the Acura MDX is a more fulfilling and satisfying SUV to drive. Highly recommended.

2019 Acura MDX    MSRP from $54,490