Review: 2014 Acura MDX – What Would the Huxtables Drive?

2014 acura mdx snow front grill

Remember the Cosby Show?  Sure you do.  The Cosby sweaters, the cute little kids, the car they drove.  Wait, you don’t remember the car?  I don’t either, which made me wonder, WWHD?  What would the Huxtables drive?  Enter the 2014 Acura MDX.

STATS Starting Retail Price As Tested Price HP / Lb-Ft
2014 Acura MDX $56,505 $57,400 290/267
EPA Rating MPG As Tested MPG
Rating: LEASE IT! 18/27 Combined 21 City 13.6

The MDX has been updated on the outside with a redesigned grille and five jewel-eye LED headlights.  The rear gets a more sophisticated look with a redesigned lift gate and sleeker taillights.

The 2014 Acura MDX with SH-AWD gets a 3.5L V6 engine good for 290 horsepower and 267 lb/ft of torque.  Yes, that’s down 10 horsepower from 2013, but this year’s model has lost some 275 pounds to make up for it. Power goes to the wheels via a six speed automatic transmission.  EPA fuel ratings are 18 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined.

My real world mileage was pretty dismal; a mere 13.6 mpg over nearly 70 miles of city driving.  However, after navigating through some of the screens (more on that later), previous history shows data from other drivers/reviewers.  It’s unknown whether these other numbers are city or highway numbers.  The only certain statement is – your results will vary.

The MDX gets a whole slew of  standard features, including: heated front seats, heated mirrors, iPod integration, satellite radio, Bluetooth, back up camera, 8” color display information screen and a 7” color touchscreen, power accessories, automatic climate control, and keyless entry/ignition.

2014 acura mdx dash interior steering

This top of the line test model included the Tech Package with navigation, a 10-speaker  audio system, GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control, lane departure warning, blind spot and forward collision warning systems, and 19” alloy wheels.

It also had the Advance and Entertainment package, wit heated second row seats, cooled front seats, parking sensors, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, a collision avoidance braking system, and a rear-seat entertainment system with a 16.2” screen.

The MDX handles more like a car than one would expect for a 7 passenger vehicle.  Even on wet pavement the SH-AWD keeps the car planted in the corners and easy to maneuver.  There are three ways to drive the MDX: comfort, normal, and sport. Comfort leaves something to be desired as both throttle and steering are much too loose.  Normal brings a fairly neutral throttle with sharper steering that gains a bit more weight but remains light at parking lot speeds.  Those wanting performance will find themselves in Sport mode, where gears are held longer, throttle is very responsive, and steering is crisper and sharp.

2014 acura mdx rear tail lights

The power and handling of the MDX meet the expectations for a luxury SUV.  Many of the features, however, do not.  The center stack, while getting away from the 41 buttons in last year’s model, now only has nine.  However, they are not thoughtfully laid out.  Front seat passengers are treated to an 8-inch On-Demand Multi-Information Display touch screen with a separate navigation screen, but that On-Demand screen is not the most intuitive out there.  Even programming a radio preset takes a few minutes.

So how much would the Huxtable family need to pay for such a vehicle?  Our test model comes in at $57,400 with all the options.

On the TFLcar scale of:

  • Buy it!
  • Lease it!
  • Rent it!
  • … or Forget it!

The 2014 Acura MDX gets a Lease it!  

The power and handling are there, but it falls short of the luxury expected of the Acura brand, and the price tag.

Check out the TFL Car video review of the 2014 Acura MDX