Too little sport. Not enough utility. These two realities are what curse most premium SUVs. They’re no fun to drive, and they’re not particularly adept at getting anything done. The 2011 Acura MDX, on the other hand, offers both the spirited driving experience you’d expect from an Acura, as well as utility you would only expect from a truck-based SUV. It’s the secret weapon you’ve been longing for.
Forget the eye-catching looks and the luxurious interior cabin for a moment – though that’ll be difficult once you’ve seen either. What makes an MDX unlike any other SUV in this class is the powertrain and the chassis. The two combine to provide incredible V8-like engine performance with the fuel economy of a six, roadholding capabilities much more akin to those of a sport sedan, and a strong, stable structure that allows for better hauling abilities than any vehicle it competes with.
First, the powertrain: The 2011 Acura MDX uses a 3.7-liter V-6 with VTEC® that delivers the kind of power you wouldn’t be surprised to see from a V8. Making use of a cast aluminum engine block, a high strength crankshaft, heavy duty connecting rods, high compression pistons, high-flow aluminum cylinder heads and unique, long-reach spark plugs, the MDX engine is capable of 300 hp at 6,300 rpm and 270 lb/ft of torque at 4,500 rpm.
While heavy duty components are part of the MDX engine’s bill of fare, so is advanced technology. As a means of widening the MDX powerband to the maximum, while still maintaining exceptional fuel economy, Acura employs its patented Variable Valve Timing and Electronic Lift Control (VTEC) system applied to the intake valves, as well as a computer controlled, dual-stage intake manifold. The fuel system is modulated by a Drive-by-Wire™ electronic throttle that replaces the inefficient cable-operated throttle systems of the past.
Fuel economy from the 3.7-liter V6 is remarkable, at 16mpg city, 21mpg highway and a combined fuel economy estimate from the EPA of 18 mpg. The large, 21-gallon tank means that you have a range up to approximately 440 miles. And while fuel economy is important to the environment, so are vehicle emissions. The MDX complies with the latest EPA TIER 2 – BIN 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards.
While the engine provides the power, the chassis provides the MDX with exceptional driving dynamics. Targeting the world’s most recognized European luxury SUVs, and fine tuned on Germany’s legendary Nürburgring circuit, the MDX features a fully independent four-wheel suspension system mated to a long wheelbase platform, matching driving performance with comfort.
The suspension utilizes MacPherson struts up front with a multi-link suspension at the rear, components that are mounted to a rigid unit-body with isolated subframes, and unique hydro-compliance bushings which keep unwanted harshness from entering the cabin. The rear suspension features aluminum uprights for reduced weight and improve response, and special trailing-arm mounting points reduce body squat during acceleration.
For even greater responsiveness and control, the Advance Package’s Active Damper System features active “Magneto-Rheological” fluid dampers and unique algorithms that allow the suspension system to respond in as little as five milliseconds, individually adjusting the damping force of the shock absorbers before the body has a chance to move. The system provides two driver-selectable settings that deliver either a more sporting ride (Sport) or one that’s more designed for hours of comfortable cruising by prioritizing road isolation (Comfort.)
Acura Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) puts power to the road not only in inclement weather conditions, but all year long, providing drivers with the ultimate in handling confidence. Torque vectoring and selectively overdriving one outside rear wheel when cornering allow the yaw moment (the point at which the MDX turns on its axis) to be controlled throughout a turn, reducing understeer and providing confidence-inspiring cornering ability. In conjunction with Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) and traction control, SH-AWD provides power delivery and control no matter what the road condition
And while the suspension, drivetrain and SH-AWD work together to provide a comfortable ride and thrilling performance, they also do double-duty on the utility front. With 300 hp and 270 lb/ft of torque on tap, and a strong, secure unitbody construction, the MDX offers a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, enough to easily haul a trailer full of motorcycles, snowmobiles, horses or watercraft. Special algorithms built into the VSA logic helps to stabilize the MDX if the system senses any oscillation while towing a trailer, and the SH-AWD system automatically adjusts front-to-rear torque distribution when climbing steep hills. Throw in a standard front-mount transmission cooler, and the MDX proves itself to be a formidable trailer towing machine that exceeds the capability of most recreational trailer haulers.
With the sport you crave, the comfort for your daily driving requirements, and the utility to safely and confidently haul significant loads, the 2011 Acura MDX is a vehicular Swiss Army knife, ready to take on the tough jobs, and the fun ones, too. Stop in to drive one today.
Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $885.00 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary