2013 Acura MDX
2013 Acura MDX
2013 Acura MDX
2013 Acura MDX. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Brendan McAleer

At time of writing, the wraps are fully off the redesigned 2014 MDX: revealed at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, a prototype model follows Acura/Honda’s long-held tradition of releasing concepts they actually intend to build. It’s sleeker, it’s curvier, it’s – oh, who are we kidding. It looks the same as the old one except with LED headlights.

Still, in with the new and out with the old. At six model years old and counting, Acura’s 2013 MDX three-row crossover is a little long in the tooth. Actually, given that cuttlefish front end, call it a little long in the beak.

But here’s the thing: this truck is the answer to the question, “What is Acura?” As the brand has struggled for meaning in the miasma of the last few years, the MDX has soldiered onward, selling, selling, selling. People like these trucks, and they buy them. After a week behind the wheel, I can see why.

First, let’s talk a bit more about that angular look. Yes, Acura’s corporate grille tends to make their cars look like something Kirk Douglas would throw a harpoon at (and is it just me, or is the MDX really happy to be here?), but in side and three-quarter profile, this is a good-looking rig and hardly dated at all. Flared wheel arches give it a bit of street cred, and are amply filled by either the standard 18-inch alloys or this Elite model’s 19-inchers. What, no chromed-out 20s? Nope, and all the better for it.

Plus, check out that decent-sized greenhouse and big back window. Whatever you feel about the MDX’s looks, I can’t help but point out that they’re a result of the functionality of the truck, rather than the other way around. While there are longer, and therefore larger, three-row crossovers on the market, the MDX does a great deal with a reasonably sized footprint.

2013 Acura MDX2013 Acura MDX
2013 Acura MDX. Click image to enlarge

Cargo space in the rear is good (if you need a little extra, functional roof-rails will support a cargo box), but it should be noted that deploying the third row seats cuts space to a third. The MDX still posts better volume numbers than something like a Volvo XC90, and dropping all the seats to move the kids off to college produces numbers not far off a Land Rover LR4. Standard power liftgate, too.

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