3.7-liter VTEC V-6 Engine
The MDX features Acura’s largest engine, which offers a remarkable combination of power and efficiency. This V-6 has been widely lauded in the industry for its smooth delivery and refinement—a hallmark of Acura engines.
- The 3.7-liter VTEC® V-6 delivers 300 horsepower and 270 lbs.-ft. of torque.
- Variable Valve Timing and Electronic Lift Control (VTEC) increases high-rpm horsepower by opening the intake valves deeper and longer when engine speed reaches a designated rpm.
- EPA mileage ratings27 are 16 city / 21 hwy / 18 combined. Based on the EPA rating and its 21-gallon fuel capacity, the MDX has an estimated 400-mile plus highway cruising range.
- The Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system varies throttle sensitivity to provide the appropriate throttle response and feel to different driving conditions.
- Lightweight magnesium-alloy cylinder head covers with hardened aluminum cylinder sleeves help improve vehicle balance and the power-to-weight ratio.
- A forged crankshaft results in lower weight and increased strength.
- A high-flow exhaust system increases the engine’s power efficiency.
Sequential SportShift Automatic With Paddle Shifters
The 6-speed Sequential SportShift automatic with paddle shifters allows you to choose from full set-and -forget mode with precise and intuitive shifting to full manual control with quick gear changes on demand, and even provides a convenient step or two in between.
- Set the transmission to “Drive” for smooth gear changes with an emphasis on fuel economy. Select “Sport“ for quicker acceleration, as the transmission allows the engine to rev higher before upshifting.
- Tapping a paddle shifter while in “Drive” brings a quick gear change with automatic operation returning when reaching a steady speed. This allows you to make quick gear changes without changing in and out of manual mode.
- Using a paddle shifter in “Sport” puts the transmission into full manual mode, where you’ll have complete control in instances such as high-performance or hilly driving.
- For better climbing or increased downhill engine braking, Grade Logic Control instructs the transmission to hold a lower gear when encountering a steep uphill or downhill grade.
- To avoid disrupting the chassis or power delivery, Shift Hold Control will delay upshifting as you accelerate through a curve.
- Hill Start Assist eases starts on inclines. Sensing an uphill grade, the system holds brake pressure momentarily while your foot moves from the brake pedal to the throttle for a smooth, secure start.
Super Handling All-Wheel Drive
Acura developed its revolutionary Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system to enhance high-performance dry-road handling while providing the same all-weather advantages of conventional all-wheel drive. By continuously directing engine power to match weight distribution, available traction, and other conditions, SH-AWD provides seamless power transitions and supreme agility. The result is enhanced high-performance cornering that simply can't be matched by front, rear, or conventional all-wheel drive systems.
- The system continuously determines the optimal level of power distribution between the front and rear wheels, and also between the rear wheels based on an analysis of wheel speed, steering angle, lateral G-force and yaw rate.
- For better fuel economy, up to 90% of the power is sent to the front wheels when cruising in a straight line.
- As weight shifts to the rear of the MDX during hard acceleration, the SH-AWD system transfers up to 45% of engine power to the rear wheels to take advantage of available rear-wheel traction.
- In a curve under hard acceleration, 70% of effective torque can be directed to the rear—all of which can go to the outside wheel to improve cornering by directing power where weight has shifted.
- The system reduces understeer and increases stability by turning the outside rear wheel slightly faster than the rest of the wheels, rotating the vehicle through the turn.
Active Damper System
The available Active Damper System is one of the most sophisticated suspension technologies in the industry. It can adjust suspension stiffness changes in a split second, to both smooth the ride and sharpen handling, according to driving conditions. This allows the MDX to remain soft and comfortable during highway cruising, yet firm when the road requires high-performance handling.
- The dampers—also known as shock absorbers—are filled with a fluid that significantly thickens in the presence of a magnetic field. The stronger the field, the stiffer the damper.
- Each damper can adjust from soft to race car-stiff in as little as five milliseconds.
- A button on the console allows drivers to manually select their preference for a “Comfort” or “Sport” ride.
- The Active Damper System is on whenever the ignition is engaged.
The MDX suspension system was designed with many extras that help deliver a light, graceful feeling on the road. For the best balance of handling precision and ride feel, the front strut and rear multi-link suspensions were designed to accommodate the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ system’s unique lateral and forward forces.
- The front MacPherson strut design features forged-aluminum lower control arms, aluminum uprights, and other lightweight components for a smoother, more comfortable ride.
- To reduce road noise and vibration, the front system uses fluid-filled bushings, and both the front and multi-link rear systems are mounted on separate subframes.
- The rear system also isolates springs and dampers from lateral forces to maintain composure in hard cornering.
- Thick front and rear stabilizer bars control body roll for flatter cornering.
Because steering is a key aspect of the driver-vehicle relationship, Acura engineers spent considerable time raising the quality of the steering feedback—just one of the reasons the MDX feels so much more responsive on the road.
- The MDX gets its precise steering feel during curves and other conditions as a result of the hydraulic power assist.
- The steering system operates easily at parking lot speeds but has a firm feel on the highway since the power assist varies by engine speed.
The brake system is engineered to provide best-in-class braking capability in dry, wet and icy conditions. It is also tuned to provide the precise modulation necessary for the utmost confidence during spirited driving. The disc brakes are the largest ever provided on a production Acura.
- The ventilated front discs measure 13 inches in diameter and are gripped by dual-piston, cast-iron calipers.
- The solid rear discs are 13.2 inches with single-piston, cast-iron calipers.
- To satisfy the enthusiast driver, the brake pedal feel is firm with short brake pedal travel.
Rigid Body Structure
A rigid body structure is vital for a smooth ride, precise handling and a quiet cabin. The MDX achieves a high level of rigidity—particularly for an SUV—by using an array of stiff, yet lightweight materials throughout the body.
- The lower weight, yet superior strength of high-tensile steel is used in key areas such as roof arches, front rails, and around the tailgate opening.
- Pounds were also reduced by using aluminum in areas where less weight is beneficial and the strength of steel is not essential, such as the hood and instrument panel.
Smooth & Quiet Ride
Acura first reduced noise vibration and harshness by attacking vibration in the body during the engineering phase, rather than just adding sound-insulating materials to the body later.
- The rear suspension mounts are attached directly to the body for greater rigidity and reduced vibration.
- The front and rear subframes are stiffer, which allow for softer mounting bushings and a further reduction in noise and vibration.
- To diminish the “drumming” noises inherent in SUVs, insulating materials were used in critical areas, including those on the front bulkhead, the floor, side body, doors and roof.
- A unique carpet and padding system further reduces noise intrusion.
Battery Charge Protection
The MDX has a Power Management System that can help prevent the inconvenience of a dead or weak battery. The system will shut down accessories if it detects the battery may soon be too weak to start the engine.