Test Drive: 2014 Acura MDX Elite car test drives luxury cars acura
2014 Acura MDX. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Tom Sedens  

The “all-new” 2014 MDX is very clearly derived from the previous one. Though enthusiasts will quickly notice differences, the shape is without question evolutionary – and that is a good thing. It has always been a fine looking vehicle, and the newest one is no exception.

Strikingly similar lines to the Lexus RX are immediately evident, especially as the roofline drops down through the tailgate and to the rear end. They are, after all, mortal marketplace adversaries and I suppose Lexus should consider this flattering. But the MDX isn’t a total copycat. It has a sophisticated and confident elegance about it, without giving up that little bit of tough-guy swagger.

The front end gets Acura’s new jewel-eye headlight treatment, which you can see a mile away. They look cool and they’re quite effective. The beaky grille remains, but looks fine and the area below it is flanked by large, aggressive intakes.

The side, deeply sculpted, is marked by an interesting character line that starts halfway up the back of the front wheel well and extends back midway into the rear doors.

Test Drive: 2014 Acura MDX Elite car test drives luxury cars acura Test Drive: 2014 Acura MDX Elite car test drives luxury cars acura Test Drive: 2014 Acura MDX Elite car test drives luxury cars acura Test Drive: 2014 Acura MDX Elite car test drives luxury cars acura
2014 Acura MDX. Click image to enlarge

The rear end gets new taillights that have a very distinct signature in the dark, quickly setting the MDX apart from others. And for the first time ever, tail pipes are no longer visible – they’re integrated beneath the rear skirting, allowing for a slightly cleaner (if not tamer) look.

The combination of 245/55-sized rubber and my tester’s 19-inch rims did a good job of looking meaty and performing well.

Test Drive: 2014 Acura MDX Elite car test drives luxury cars acura
Test Drive: 2014 Acura MDX Elite car test drives luxury cars acura
Test Drive: 2014 Acura MDX Elite car test drives luxury cars acura
2014 Acura MDX. Click image to enlarge

The MDX’s well-crafted interior makes a big impression right away. Beautifully textured and sculpted soft-touch plastics, combined with real wood trim and splashes of metallic brightwork come together to make this a luxurious, relaxing, effective cabin. Fit and finish are outstanding, and the vehicle always felt as though it was carved out of a solid ingot. Headroom is great, and you’ll find a nice mix of spaciousness and intimacy.

The perforated Milano leather front seats are power adjustable, heated, cooled (with a driver’s side memory) and are as comfortable as they are nice to look at. Ahead of you is a very, very busy heated and power-adjustable steering wheel – it has controls for media, phone, hands-free command, driver information screen and trip meters, cruise, lane departure warning and on the back, paddle shifters. Phew!

Behind the steering wheel are two basic gauges, separated by a sharp driver information screen. The centre stack starts with a large information screen in a hooded bin. Below it is the main-screen – it manages your front and rear media, navigation, phone, cameras, vehicle information and settings. You control it as a touchscreen or via a rotary joystick knob. It’s not the easiest user interface to grasp, but you slowly get used to most of its complexities and intricacies.

The ELS audio system feeds off any source you can imagine and sounds absolutely spectacular – one of the best factory systems I’ve heard to date. The bottom of the main screen is used as the display for the dual-zone automatic climate control system – you’ll find the buttons for it directly below the screen.

The centre console is home to a 12V plug, your gear selector, two cupholders and an innovative armrest/storage bin combination.

The MDX is outfitted with a complete suite of driver assistance technology – blind-spot monitoring system, lane departure warning and Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, Surround View camera system with front and rear parking sensors keep you and your passengers safe and sound. None of this tech seemed intrusive and much of it is defeatable if you so choose.




About Tom Sedens

Tom Sedens is an Edmonton-based automobile journalist, husband, dad and driving enthusiast, as well as an accredited member of AJAC.