2019 Acura MDX: A-Spec Package Creates a Sharp, Adept Handling Crossover [Review]

The A-Spec package adds a sporty flavor to Acura's largest crossover.

2019 Acura MDX
[Photo: Acura]


The MDX underwent a major design refresh in 2017, with key technological updates added in 2018. The 2019 Acura MDX comes with new interior enhancements designed to heighten the luxury content level. 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 feature standard 4-way power lumbar adjustments, while the Technology and Entertainment packages get an updated second-row seat configuration, making for easy passage to the third row. The MDX with Advance Package adds trim-exclusive matching wood center console trim. The 2019 model lineup the popular A-Spec sport appearance package for the first time.

2019 Acura MDX A-Spec
[Photo: Acura]


The 2019 Acura MDX serves up an all-new A-Spec sport appearance package for the first time. That comes complete with Acura’s torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). The A-Spec features a more athletic stance, heightened by its 20-inch Shark Grey aluminum wheels. Those wheels come wrapped in low-profile 265/45-series tires. An aggressive new front fascia and body-color lower sills strike a different look from the standard MDX. Larger-diameter exhaust finishers, as well as gloss-black and dark chrome trim for the headlights, grille, window surround and rear tailgate spoiler add significantly to the exterior sporting nature of the 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec.

The interior enhancements include sport seats trimmed in rich red or black leather with black Alcantara inserts. Acura also includes high-contrast stitching, unique A-Spec gauges, sport pedals, Alcantara door inserts, and gloss-black trim. Drivers have a thicker-rimmed A-Spec-badged steering wheel with paddle shifters to round out the changes with the A-Spec package.

2019 Acura MDX A-Spec
[Photo: Acura]


In addition to AcuraWatch technology, all MDX models host an array of active and passive safety features. That includes Acura’s stiffened Advance Compatibility Engineering body structure, advanced airbags, and driver assist features as part of the Technology package. The Tech Package comes with A-Spec models and provides Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Road Departure Mitigation.

The base price for the 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec I tested starts at $54,800. The addition of an exterior color upgrade and destination fees hiked the final tally to $56,195.

2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
[Photo: Acura]


The A-Spec’s power is supplied by a 3.5-liter direct injected V6 engine. The naturally aspirated V6 pumps out 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Energy is geared to the all-wheel drive system through a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Acura recently reworked that transmission which to provide smoother, more fluid feedback in normal driving by prioritizing second-gear starts.

Acceleration is brisk and instantaneous. The progression through those nine gears is smooth and virtually seamless. The steering is responsive and the handling is agile. The ride quality is firm without being harsh. It’s reasonably comfortable and stable.

[Photo: Arv Voss]


The 2019 Acura MDX starts at $44,300. On that basis, it’s possible to buy a less expensive MDX than the A-Spec. It’s also possible to spend upward of $60,000 with the Advance Package. Whichever option you choose in that range, you’ll end up with a smooth, comfortable, well-equipped and adept handling crossover.


On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $54,800
Price as Tested:
Engine: 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6
Drivetrain (Layout): Transversely mounted front engine, all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 290 hp @ 6,200 rpm
Torque: 267 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Suspension: Front: MacPherson strut, 25 mm stabilizer bar and Amplitude Reactive Dampers

Rear: Multi-Link, 26.5 mm stabilizer bar and Amplitude Reactive Dampers

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front)
Tires: Continental CrossContact LX Sport P265/45 R20 104H
Fuel capacity: 19.5 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 19 City / 25 Highway / 21 Combined mpg


Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length: 196.2 inches
Width: 77.7 inches
Height: 67.4 inches
Turning Circle: 38.7 feet
Curb Weight: 4,275 pounds