2010 Acura MDX Advance & Entertainment

According to a recent issue of Consumer Reports, the Acura MDX achieved an “Excellent” overall rating in a comparison test suite that pitted the Acura and the Land Rover LR4, the Lincoln MKT, the Audi Q7, and the Lexus GX 460—all three-row luxury SUVs—against one another.

According to a recent issue of Consumer Reports, the Acura MDX achieved an “Excellent” overall rating in a comparison test suite that pitted the Acura and the Land Rover LR4, the Lincoln MKT, the Audi Q7, and the Lexus GX 460—all three-row luxury SUVs—against one another.

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All of which is to say that according to Consumer Reports, if you’re in the market for a vehicle that is large and luxurious, the MDX ought to be your key consideration—or at least one that you have on your list if it isn’t there, which may not be entirely surprising, given that I can’t remember the last time I saw an ad for an MDX—because in that comparison it pretty much spanked the other contenders.

That is: the MDX had an overall score of 85, and second place, the LR4, was down at 73, so that is not some sort of rounding error.

  M Here’s the really good thing about the MDX scoring so well: It provides peace of mind for those who really want to make sure that a vehicle has been put through its paces by the folks at Consumers Union on their 327-acre Connecticut Auto Test Center. (To make a slight digression: It does seem a bit odd that up until very recently, anyone who read CR would feel confident and comfortable buying a Toyota or Lexus vehicle, because they almost invariably scored exceedingly well. But as is well known, millions of Toyotas and Lexi have been recalled of late, and last April 13 Consumer Reports labeled the aforementioned GX 460 as a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk,” which it eventually lifted. All of which is to say that no one should make a judgment about a major purchase like a car or SUV based simply on what Consumer Reports recommends. It is generally a fine metric, but it is not the entire story. Digression over.)

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Anyway, back to the really good thing: Say you really like the futuristic styling of the MDX. Say that you’ve had the opportunity to take more than a test drive around the Motor Mall’s industrial park, that you’ve had the chance to take it out on a freeway, had the chance to take it over more than a couple of potholes. Say you’ve had the chance to really appreciate the bolstered seats and the beyond-Audi interior execution and material selection. Say you’ve availed yourself of the elements in the “Advance Package,” such as the blind spot detection system (a friend points out that if you have your side view mirrors adjusted correctly such systems are superfluous; I’ve come to find them rather handy) or the “collision mitigation braking system” that I guarantee will scare the fluid right out of you if you’re closing too fast on an object ahead and not smartly applying the brake.

Say you want the car.

Then all you really need do is to say to your significant other, “Honey, I really think we need a full-size SUV, and according to Consumer Reports, the MDX tops the list.”

Which is absolutely true.

What is also true is that the MDX, even though it weighs 4,627 lb., is absolutely exhilarating to drive even if you’re just taking the kids to soccer practice.

Selected specs

Engine: 3.7-liter, SOHC VTEC V6

Valves per cylinder: Four

Materials: Aluminum alloy block

Horsepower: 300 @ 6,300 rpm

Torque: 270 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic with Sequential Sport Shift

Drivetrain: Super-Handling All-wheel Drive

Front suspension: Fully independent with MacPherson struts

Rear suspension: Multilink with trailing arms

Shocks: Magneto-rheological monotube dampers

Wheelbase: 108.3 in.

Overall length: 191.6 in.

Overall width: 78.5 in.

Overall height: 68.2 in.

Curb weight: 4,627 lb.

EPA fuel economy: 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway/18 combined