2014 Acura MDX Front-Wheel Drive HD Video Review

Most buyers who need station wagons these days buy crossovers because… well, I don’t know why. Like most auto writers, I really like wagons. Currently I own two of them. Money talks though and the station wagon is not all that popular in the US of A.

Last Import - 16Often times, crossovers come with all-wheel drive and there’s the argument that most buyers don’t need it. Snow tires anyone? Those in the Sun Belt can do without power to all tires completely, unless they are performance junkies. But really, how many SUV owners in Arizona autocross their rigs? Just saying…

All of this leads up to the fact that Acura has made the once standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system optional for the first time. This makes MDX less expensive and ever so slightly more fuel-efficient for people who don’t need to get to the ski slopes or traverse muddy roads. Besides, SH-AWD is not made to compete with the trail rated systems found in Jeep Cherokee and Range Rover.

I like the MDX. A lot. If you want to read the full review or watch the SH-AWD video, click here. This video describes the front-drive version and it’s dynamics. In nutshell, I had a few friends drive it (without the knowledge that the rear wheels were only along for the ride) and none of them could tell the difference. A few- a first-gen Last Import - 08MDX owner included- praised the superior handling dynamics of the AWD system. Cough, cough. They will remain nameless.

True, I find the styling tepid and non-committal. I’d also like to see Acura have some fun with features like panoramic glass in the roof. The company continues to be a bit too practical when it comes to pampering. But in front front-wheel drive, MDX remains tech rich, versatile and fun to drive. Just like a station wagon.

One Comment

  1. Facepalm says:

    It took a little while at first, but nowadays I’m starting to see more and more of these around, which is good. Still see a lot models of the previous iteration around, too.

    While the styling has gone backwards in terms of standing out from the crowd, the jewel LEDs up front make this instantly recognizable, and is probably the only thing keeping me from wondering whether I’m looking at a current-gen MDX or a previous-gen one from a distance, lol. I’m not yet entirely able to tell the taillights apart, however.

    Overall, the MDX is a solid vehicle, especially if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient three-row. A shame it occasionally gets written off “because it’s an Acura.”
    If it had a ZF 8-speed transmission, it could probably get an EPA-rated 30MPG on the highway in its 2WD trims. As good as the current efficiency is, being able to show off 30MPG would be great for their ads. I hope Honda is working on transmissions with more gears, because while their current ones are pretty good, they’ve been falling behind the competition’s… namely the ZFs that have begun to float around to several brands, as well as some of the dual-clutches and other fancy transmissions.

    Oh, and great review, as usual.