The Acura MDX is not exactly on the top of the list of the most lusted after crossovers, and that’s not a bad thing as that’s never been its raison d’être. Entering its third-generation, it does, however, remain a favourite in the highly contested luxury crossover segment. For 2016 the MDX gets a host of upgrades, the largest one being the addition of a nine-speed automatic featuring Acura’s Sequential SportShift system that has the advantage of 25 percent quicker shifts and tighter gear ratios. Despite having three more gears than the outgoing six-speed, Acura claims a weight savings of 30 kilograms in the transmission alone.
Gone is the standard console-mounted shifter and in its stead, a fully electric push-button “shift-by-wire” system is used. Instead of actually having to use your arm and shift from Park to Go or Reverse, you can now do so in your luxurious seat by simply pushing a button. Reverse is selected by pulling back on its own dedicated switch. Removing the shifter from the centre console means you now have a cleaner and less cluttered cockpit. The cleaner the better, right?
While the 290 HP silky smooth 3.5L V6 remains unchanged, the new MDX puts all that ample power to the ground via Acura’s updated SH-AWD system with advanced torque-vectoring which progressively distributes the correct amount of torque not only between the front and rear wheels, but also between the left and right wheels. What does that actually mean? It means that you will notice a more responsive and neutral feeling driving experience, especially while driving in adverse weather conditions.
On the tech and safety side of things, AcuraWatch is available as an optional package – featuring Adaptive Cruise Control, Low-Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Multi-View Rear Camera, Road Departure Mitigation and more. Basically, all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect in a luxury crossover. Taller drivers will appreciate the easy entry/exit seat feature. To make ingress and egress easier, the driver’s seat slides back 35 mm when the door is opened and returns to your desired position once the door is closed. iPhone users will certainly be satisfied with the Siri Eyes Free voice recognition and frameless mirror addition.
All in all, the new MDX isn’t breaking any new ground, but the host of new features and the nine-speed shift box will certainly add to its popularity. No pricing is available for Canada as of yet and we’ll be sure to update once we know how much it’ll cost you to get your hands on a new MDX.