The MDX draws both power and efficiency from an all-new 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower V-6 engine that features Direct Gas Injection, Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) and the Acura i-VTEC® system.
- Intelligent Variable Timing and lift Control (i-VTEC) increases horsepower by advancing valve timing relative to engine rpm. High-rpm airflow is enhanced at approximately 4500 rpm when intake valve openings are extended deeper and for longer duration.
- VCM® significantly improves highway fuel efficiency by automatically changing the V-6 engine to run on six or three cylinders, depending on driving conditions. The cylinder activation is so seamless, it will likely go unnoticed by your passengers.
- Direct Gas Injection injects fuel directly into each cylinder injector for a more precise and effective air fuel mixture. It also uses significantly less fuel during engine starts.
- Direct-injected fuel also has a cooling effect, which allows the power-increasing effects of a higher compression ratio without engine knocking.
- The Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system varies throttle sensitivity to provide the appropriate throttle response and feel to different driving conditions.
- The net result? The MDX engine produces 290 horsepower at 6200 rpm, and 267 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net) at 4500 rpm and has an EPA Ratings38 of 20 / 28 / 23 mpg (city/highway/combined) for the front-wheel drive model and 18 / 27 / 21 for the SH-AWD model.
No longer are the terms “fuel efficiency” and “SUV” on opposite sides of the road. The EPA Fuel Economy Ratings38 of 20 city, 28 highway and 23 combined are largely unheard of for a luxury 3-row SUV. Acura pulled out all the stops to make the MDX as efficient as possible.
- The weight of the MDX was reduced by 275 pounds with no loss of interior room making it one of the lightest vehicles in its class. The result is improved MPG ratings, handling and power-to weight ratio all at the same time.
- The vehicle’s 18" and 19" tires provide 20% lower rolling resistance than the previous MDX model.
- In addition to the tires, reduced friction brakes and bearings reduce overall load force by 19%.
- Extensive wind tunnel testing resulted in 16% greater aerodynamic efficiency with improved airflow around the body.
6-Speed Sequential SportShift Automatic
There’s a driving mode to match your mood with the 6-speed Sequential SportShift transmission. In automatic mode, you can choose between efficient or sporty shifting. Or you can opt for either temporary or full manual control with the paddle shifters.
- Set the transmission to “Drive” for smooth gear changes with an emphasis on fuel efficiency. Select “Sport” for quicker acceleration, as the transmission allows the engine to rev higher before up-shifting.
- Tapping a paddle shifter while in “Drive” engages a manual gear change and will remain in manual mode until you reach a steady speed, at which point automatic shifting returns. This allows you to make quick gear changes without switching in and out of manual mode.
- Using a paddle shifter while in “Sport” puts the transmission into full manual mode, giving you complete control in instances such as high-performance or hilly driving.
- For better climbing or increased downhill engine braking in automatic mode, Grade Logic Control instructs the transmission to hold a gear to higher rpm during a steep uphill or downhill grade.
- To avoid disrupting the chassis or power delivery, Shift Hold Control will delay up-shifting 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 has handling and cornering down to a science with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). This sophisticated system is designed 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 feel of such enhanced high-performance cornering is one 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 between the rear wheels—based on an analysis of wheel speed, steering angle, lateral G-force and yaw rate.
- To improve fuel efficiency, 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.
- On 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.
Comfort and control were top of mind when Acura developed the MDX suspension system. Both driver and passenger wish to be comfortable, but the driver also wants to feel in control. To achieve this dynamic, the rear multi-link suspension has been completely redesigned, while the front suspension has been enhanced in several ways.
- The front MacPherson strut design has been altered to reduce steering wheel vibration and torque steer for front-wheel drive models.
- To decrease road noise and vibration, the front system uses fluid-filled bushings, while both the front and multi-link rear systems are mounted on separate sub frames.
- The rear suspension shocks now mount directly to the body side rail to improve rigidity. The result is a softer ride without sacrificing handling precision.
- Amplitude Reactive Dampers feature one internal spring to absorb road irregularities and a second stiffer spring to control larger body movements.
The new Electronic Power Steering system has been finely tuned to enhance the driver-vehicle connection. And with the standard Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), you can even choose the type of steering you would like to experience during each drive.
- IDS lets you choose between Comfort, Normal and Sport settings. Each has its own steering feel, from light and low resistance to significantly firmer for the Sport setting.
- At all IDS settings, the steering system operates easily at parking lot speeds but has a firmer feel on the highway as the power assist varies by vehicle speed.
- A quick steering ratio results in sharp steering response and less hand-over-hand steering in parking maneuvers.
- The power is applied directly to the rack, rather than the pinion of the steering system which results in a more direct response and feel.
Integrated Dynamics System
The Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) enables you to choose the feel of the dynamic responses within your vehicle. With a button located by the shifter, you can change from the “Normal” setting to “Sport” to increase steering feel and quicken throttle response. On Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) models, the system more aggressively distributes power to outside wheels in a curve.
- A third “Comfort” setting creates an even lighter power steering feel.
- The Multi-Information Display (MID) informs you of your steering setting after it has been changed. You can also set the MID to continuously display your IDS setting.
- Two MDX key holders can each have their preferred IDS setting stored in memory, so the individual IDS preference is automatically set when you enter the driver’s seat.
- The IDS and transmission’s Sport settings can be synchronized for a more engaged driving experience or engaged separately.
Agile Handling Assist
Precision handling is enhanced with the Agile Handling Assist system. Agile Handling Assist uses the components of the Vehicle Stability Assist™
(VSA®)12system to further improve handling. While VSA brakes individual wheels to avoid oversteer or understeer, Agile Handing Assist uses active braking— usually on an inside wheel—to help you smoothly and easily trace the desired line through a curve.
The MDX brake system is engineered to match the sophistication of the engine and suspension systems with effective and easily controlled braking in dry, wet and icy conditions. It is also tuned to provide the precise modulation necessary for the utmost confidence during spirited driving.
- The ventilated front discs measure 12.6 inches in diameter and are gripped by dual-piston, cast-iron calipers.
- The solid rear discs are 13.0 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
Less weight, more rigidity and improved impact viability. These were the three primary goals set by Acura engineers when designing this MDX chassis. To accomplish those goals, they broke new ground—from the materials used for the new, lighter frame to the way it’s built.
- To reduce weight, approximately 64% of the body structure is constructed of lightweight hot-stamped steel, aluminum or magnesium.
- MDX features the world’s first hot stamped front door frame. This one piece frame replaces the previous four-piece frame for improved fit and finish, as well as smoother energy and load transfer during impacts.
- Body torsion rigidity increases by 12.4% over the previous design. Greater rigidity not only reduces squeaks and rattles but also improves handling by allowing more precise suspension tuning.
Smooth & Quiet Ride
From the engine to the suspension to the body structure; and every stage from design through development, every designer and engineer was tasked with making this newest MDX design a quiet and comfortable companion on the highway. Even the wheels were specifically designed to reduce road noise.
- Windshield and front side doors feature sound absorbing acoustic glass.
- Doors and tailgate are triple sealed.
- Floor pan has been smoothed and there are fewer breaks in carpet insulation.
- Special insulators have been applied to the rear wheelhouse and rear floor.
- Wheels are designed with a high resonance frequency that will not interact with tire cavity noise.
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.