In the category of luxury midsize seven-passenger crossover SUVs, there are several understandably standout makes, especially among European models such as the 2013 BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class. When it comes to the 2013 Acura MDX, however, what consumers and expert automotive reviewers alike find impressive is that you get so much for the money, a fun-to-drive, spacious three-row, seven-passenger SUV that handily competes with the best in the class.
What Experts Think
It may not be the freshest face on the block, according to some automotive reviewers, but what the 2013 Acura MDX midsize luxury SUV has going for it is plenty: fun-to-drive, loads of standard equipment, spaciousness, and a price that undercuts many of its competition. "The 2013 Acura MDX delivers plenty of luxury, refinement and performance without breaking the bank, making it a standout in its class." (Edmunds)
"In the 2013 MDX, Acura has achieved the perfect blend of size, power, fuel economy, ride, handling and luxury. And, despite its size, the MDX doesn't verge on looking like a dowdy minivan or bulky family SUV. Instead, the MDX retains a sporty, sharp look much like the compact RDX." (Kelley Blue Book)
According to Consumer Guide, "Acura's bread-and-butter SUV is getting a bit long in the tooth, but that doesn't mean it isn't an excellent vehicle that's worth your consideration."
"The MDX has a refined and powerful 300-hp V6. It is more agile and quieter than its predecessor. The third-row seat folds easily into the floor and is a better fit for kids than adults. The dashboard is a sea of tiny, similar-looking buttons. Crash-tests are impressive." (Consumer Reports)
One commonly-mentioned negative is that the MDX delivers fuel economy that is only mediocre.
What Owners Say
In general, consumers who have purchased the 2013 Acura MDX give the midsize luxury crossover SUV good reviews for its all-wheel drive, styling, comfortable ride, sporty feel, many available upgrades and that it rides like a car.
Consumers that do mention fuel economy almost universally found it disappointing.
Kelley Blue Book consumer reviews give the 2013 Acura MDX and overall rating of 8.9 out of 10. A single customer review in Edmunds rated the vehicle with five stars, giving high praise for the eye-catching style and sleek ride.
MSN Autos posts an overall user rating of 9.8 out of 10, with owners hailing the MDX as just big enough but handles like a much smaller vehicle, luxury, style and performance, great SUV wanting nothing more than a couple extra miles per gallon.
The seven-passenger 2013 Acura MDX midsize luxury SUV comes in a single, well-appointed trim level and three different optional packages. It is unchanged from the 2012 model year.
Standard equipment, in the case of the 2013 Acura MDX, means very well equipped, indeed. Included are 18-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, heated eight-way power front seats, two-way adjustable driver lumbar, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power sunroof, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, foglamps, heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, tri-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity, an eight-speaker sound system with six CD changer, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio.
Opting for the Technology package adds a multiview parking camera, a navigation system with eight-inch display, GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control, upgraded leather seats, a 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound audio system with USB/iPod interface, and power rear liftgate.
The Advance package builds upon the Technology package, adding 19-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, adaptive suspension dampers, a blind-spot warning system, a collision warning and braking system, auto-leveling headlamps, ventilated front seats, and sport steering wheel with paddle shifters.
The MDX also offers the Entertainment package which can be tacked onto the Technology or Advanced packages, augmenting them with a rear-seat entertainment system, heated second-row seats, and a household power outlet located in the front center console.
Although the 2013 Acura MDX is powered by a single 3.7-liter V6 engine delivering 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, it is mated with a standard six-speed automatic transmission and comes equipped with standard advanced all-wheel drive.
Most reviewers agree that while the MDX might not be the quickest in its class, it delivers a pleasing ride at all times. Due to its taller SUV stance, the MDX manages to hold its poise. More to the point, the luxury crossover SUV is fun to drive on dry pavement and plants itself firmly when foul weather conditions hit.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the V6 is 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway/18 mpg combined. Properly equipped, the MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Among the automotive press, there's much praise for the luxury and comfort of the MDX cabin. Although not as luxurious as some European crossovers, the interior of the MDX gets a lot of positive comments. High-quality materials and craftsmanship are at the top of the list of likes, along with the generous list of standard features and optional packages to tailor the 2013 MDX to your liking.
Three rows of seats that comfortably transport seven passengers have to rank topmost in those searching for a luxury crossover SUV that can handle most every family transportation and cargo need. The entire cargo area expands to accommodate more than 80 cubic feet, while there's more than 15 cubic feet of space behind the third row. As one review points out, that's just two cubic feet less than the full-size Chevrolet Tahoe.
Six-footers will find more than adequate legroom in the reclining second-row seats. And, for passengers in the middle row, heated outboard seats are included with the optional Entertainment package.
Nits from the automotive press nearly unanimously center on the third row that seems best suited for smaller passengers on relatively short trips.
Another complaint is that on models with the navigation system, the control scheme is more complex than it should be, although fairly simple to operate once you get used to it.
Safety & Reliability
For a luxury crossover SUV that does double-duty as a family vehicle par excellence, the 2013 Acura MDX also boasts top safety accolades. In government crash testing, the MDX received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, four stars in frontal impact safety, and five stars for side crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the MDX a "Good" rating in frontal-offset, side, and roof strength crash tests.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and stability control with a trailer towing stabilizer feature. Safety-conscious families will appreciate the optional collision warning and braking system that monitors following distance and closure rate, using visual and auditory warnings to alert drivers to any possible collision. If an imminent collision is sensed by the system, it can automatically apply the brakes hard and cinch the front seatbelts.
As for reliability, in the J.D. Power and Associates Predicted Reliability Score, the 2013 Acura MDX earned a three and one-half Power Circle Rating, where three is about average and four is better than most.
|SUV - AWD|
|Tech Pkg||AWD with Technology Package||V6||AWD||46955|
|Tech/Entertainment Pkg||AWD with Technology and Entertainment Package||V6||AWD||48855|
|Advance Pkg||AWD with Advance Package||V6||AWD||52905|
|Advance/Entertainment Pkg||AWD with Advance and Entertainment Package||V6||AWD||54805|
|2013 Acura MDX||MSRP||Invoice|
|2013 Acura MDX||$43,280||$40,092|
|Similar Cars to Consider||MSRP||Invoice||Compare|
|2013 Chevrolet Suburban||$43,870||$40,799||2013 Acura MDX VS 2013 Chevrolet Suburban|
|2013 GMC Yukon||$41,760||$38,837||2013 Acura MDX VS 2013 GMC Yukon|
|2013 GMC Yukon XL||$45,230||$42,064||2013 Acura MDX VS 2013 GMC Yukon XL|
|2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque||$41,145||$37,648||2013 Acura MDX VS 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque|
|2013 Ford Expedition EL||$43,315||$40,390||2013 Acura MDX VS 2013 Ford Expedition EL|
Interested to see how the 2013 Acura MDX ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Acura MDX rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.
|1||2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque||24|
|2||2013 GMC Yukon||21|
|3||2013 Acura MDX||18|
|4||2013 Ford Expedition EL||15|
|5||2013 Chevrolet Suburban||12|
|6||2013 GMC Yukon XL||12|
|1||2013 Chevrolet Suburban||352|
|2||2013 GMC Yukon XL||352|
|3||2013 GMC Yukon||332|
|4||2013 Ford Expedition EL||310|
|5||2013 Acura MDX||300|
|1||2013 Chevrolet Suburban||382|
|2||2013 GMC Yukon XL||382|
|3||2013 GMC Yukon||367|
|4||2013 Ford Expedition EL||365|
|5||2013 Acura MDX||270|
|1||2013 Chevrolet Suburban||41.1|
|2||2013 GMC Yukon||40.3|
|3||2013 GMC Yukon XL||40.3|
|4||2013 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque||40.3|
|5||2013 Ford Expedition EL||39.5|
|6||2013 Acura MDX||39.2|
|1||2013 Chevrolet Suburban||41.3|
|2||2013 GMC Yukon||41.3|
|3||2013 GMC Yukon XL||41.3|
|4||2013 Acura MDX||41.2|
|5||2013 Ford Expedition EL||41.1|
|1||2013 Chevrolet Suburban||65.2|
|2||2013 GMC Yukon||65.2|
|3||2013 GMC Yukon XL||65.2|
|4||2013 Ford Expedition EL||63.2|
|5||2013 Acura MDX||61.6|
|1||2013 Chevrolet Suburban||60.5|
|2||2013 GMC Yukon||60.3|
|3||2013 GMC Yukon XL||60.3|
|4||2013 Ford Expedition EL||60.2|
|5||2013 Acura MDX||59.0|