NEW FOR 2008:

– Exterior colour: Sterling Gray added

All-new and redesigned for 2007, the Acura MDX moves into 2008 with no changes.

The seven-passenger MDX uses a 3.7-litre V6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission; it uses Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), which automatically delivers the optimum amount of torque between the front and rear axles, and also between the left and right wheels for better cornering. It comes in a base model or with two packages, the Technology and the Elite.

Features on the base model include 18-inch alloy wheels, tri-zone automatic climate control with second-row controls, eight-way power heated leather seats, second-row outboard heated seats, tire pressure monitoring system, trailer stability assist, high-intensity discharge headlights with washers, fog lights, heated mirrors with reverse tip-down, power sunroof, intermittent rear wiper, rear roofline spoiler, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, garage door opener, power tilt and telescopic column, six-CD/MP3 stereo, 60/40 split-folding second-row seats, and 50/50 split-folding third-row bench seat.

The Technology package adds bilingual voice-activated navigation system and backup camera, premium perforated leather seating, and premium surround-sound six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack.

The Elite package adds premium 18-inch alloy wheels, active damper system, auto-levelling headlamps, roof rails, 115-volt power outlet, power tailgate and rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

Powerful, confident and with sharp handling, the MDX is much more nimble than its size would suggest, and its fuel economy is relatively good, given the engine’s power and the vehicle’s footprint.

The two packages boost the price, but offer quite a bit in return, especially the back-up camera that’s useful on all SUVs. Second-row passengers are fine for legroom, but the third row is suitable mostly for children. Both rows fold flat to form a massive cargo area, and the 5,000-pound towing capacity, along with built-in trailer stability assist, make this a viable choice for hauling boats and other big toys.

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