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Acura MDX

Mid-size luxury crossover SUV

Motor vehicle

The Acura MDX is a three-row mid-size luxurycrossover SUV[3][4][5][6] produced by the Japanese automaker Honda under its Acura luxury nameplate since The alphanumeric moniker stands for "Multi-Dimensional luxury". It has ranked as the second-best selling mid-size luxury SUV after the Lexus RX.[7]

The MDX was the first crossover SUV to have third-row seating, and shares its platform with the Honda Pilot.[8] The Pilot is available with a seven or eight person seating configuration,[9] while the MDX exclusively seats seven,[10] with two seating positions in the third row. The MDX was introduced on October 5, [11] as a model, replacing the slow-selling U.S.-only body-on-frameSLX, based on the Isuzu Trooper. In Japan, it was made to replace the Honda Horizon (also based on the Trooper) was discontinued in In , the vehicle went on sale in Japan and Australia as the Honda MDX; sales with Honda badges ended with the introduction of the second generation three years later.

First generation (YD1; )[edit]

Motor vehicle

Facelifted Acura MDX (USA)

Derived from Honda's Global mid-size platform which underpins cars like the Honda Accord, Acura TL, TSX and Odyssey, it is powered by a J35A3 &#;L SOHC 24 valve V6 engine with VTEC. Curb weight is 4,&#;lb (2,&#;kg), with a &#;in (2,&#;mm) wheelbase and 8&#;in (&#;mm) of ground clearance. The cargo floor can flip up to provide two additional seats. The vehicle is designed to hold 7 passengers, but the third row seats are small and only seat two, in contrast to the Odyssey and Pilot whose third row holds three passengers.

The vehicle features an automatic four wheel drive system (named VTM-4) that engages during off the line acceleration as well as when wheel slippage is detected. Additionally, the system offers a lock mode which can be activated and operated at low speeds and provides permanent 4WD and the equivalent of a locked rear differential; designed for climbing steep hills and getting out of stuck situations. To reduce drivetrain noise and increase fuel efficiency, the system runs as front wheel drive during normal cruising. The VTM-4 AWD system in the MDX has the same design as the VTM-4 systems found in the Honda Pilot and Honda Ridgeline. It is different than Honda's "RealTime AWD" system in the Honda CR-V and other models in that it can lock and it attempts to predict when traction will be lost and apply power to all four wheels before slippage occurs (by monitoring throttle inputs).

The navigation system and DVD entertainment system (also popular on other Honda/Acura models, such as the CR-V and Odyssey) options were mutually exclusive in the model. Both could be ordered at the same time since the model. The navigation option comes with a backup camera since the model. Since , the navigation system featured information from Zagat about restaurants and other points of interest. The model was rated as Ultra Low Emission Vehicle. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates 23&#;mpg&#;US (10&#;L/&#;km; 28&#;mpg&#;imp) highway and 17&#;mpg&#;US (14&#;L/&#;km; 20&#;mpg&#;imp) city.

The first two model years' litre V6 engine produces &#;hp (&#;kW) and &#;lb⋅ft (&#;N⋅m) of torque from to rpm. For the model, the engine was improved to produce 20&#;hp (15&#;kW) more power than the earlier models, and the wheel designs were updated. The through engine received a modest increase in power and produces &#;hp (&#;kW) and &#;lb⋅ft (&#;N⋅m). The model is credited with a top speed of &#;mph, and a time of seconds. The model features dual tail pipes instead of the single pipe in earlier models, side curtain airbags, new head lights and tail lights, and new wheels. Some chrome trimmings on the model use matte finish to distinguish from the polished shiny finish on earlier models. Little changed for the MDX during the model year with a few minor revisions to the vehicle's chrome and faux wood interior trim which could now be had with a dark grey wood (as opposed to reddish wood on earlier models), and also a black dash and steering wheel in tan interiors.

Second generation (YD2; )[edit]

Motor vehicle

Second generation (YD2)
 Acura MDX -- NHTSA.jpg

Pre-facelift Acura MDX

ProductionSeptember –
Model&#;years
AssemblyCanada: Alliston, Ontario (HCM)
DesignerFrank Paluch (engineering: )
Ricky Hsu (styling: )
LayoutFront engine, all-wheel drive
RelatedHonda Pilot
Acura ZDX
Engine&#;L J37A1SOHCVTECV6
Transmission5-speed BYFAautomatic ()
6-speed MT4A automatic ()
Wheelbase&#;in (2,&#;mm)
Length &#;in (4,&#;mm)
&#;in (4,&#;mm)
Width &#;in (1,&#;mm)
&#;in (1,&#;mm)
Height &#;in (1,&#;mm)
&#;in (1,&#;mm)
Curb&#;weight4,&#;lb (2,&#;kg)-4,&#;lb (2,&#;kg)

On April 11, , Acura unveiled the Acura MD-X Concept during the New York International Auto Show, showing to the public an indication about the exterior styling of the upcoming completely redesigned MDX. The second-generation MDX was released on October 17, in the U.S.

The second generation model's body has a wider track and longer wheelbase than the previous MDX, but visibility to the rear has worsened from the prior generation. The redesigned Acura MDX's unit-body was engineered with Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure designed to absorb energy from a collision. The suspension was tuned at Germany's Nürburgringrace track. The engine was upgraded to a liter (&#;cc) V6 tuned for &#;hp (&#;kW) at 6,&#;rpm and &#;lb⋅ft (&#;N⋅m) of torque at 5,&#;rpm. It accelerates from 0 to 60&#;mph in seconds and is estimated by the EPA to consume 16 miles per US gallon (15&#;L/&#;km; 19&#;mpg&#;imp) in the city and 21 miles per US gallon (11&#;L/&#;km; 25&#;mpg&#;imp) on the highway. It is one of the most powerful engines Honda has produced to date. The "VTM-4" all-wheel drive system on the previous generation was replaced by the new SH-AWD "Super Handling All-Wheel Drive" previously debuted on the Acura RL. This AWD system is one of the most advanced in its class, featuring an active rear differential often found on high performance cars. The MDX is able to tow 5,&#;lb (2,&#;kg).[12]

Like may Acura models, the MDX comes with a power sunroof, leather interior, and high-intensity discharge (Xenon) low-beam headlights. For the through model years, three option packages were available: Sport, Technology and Entertainment.

  • The Technology Package includes the Acura/Alpine DVD-based satellite GPS navigation system with AcuraLink satellite communications with real-time traffic reporting (XM NavTraffic), a watt Acura/ELS DTS Surround audio system with XM Satellite Radio, backup camera, and a remote powered liftgate, operated either from the key's remote, inside the car or directly from the lift gate.
  • The Sport Package featured active suspension dampers (co-developed by Honda and Beijing West Industries) that dynamically improves handling according to road conditions with a button in the center stack to switch to Sport/Comfort modes. This Comfort/Sport mode uses magneto rheological dampers, which change their characteristics when a magnetic field is introduced (usually in milliseconds). The Sport package also includes unique 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels, perforated leather seats and the items in the Technology package.
  • The Entertainment Package offers a flip-down 9-inch (&#;mm) LCD screen with 2 wireless Dolby Digital headphones, second-row heated outboard seats, and a unique center-stack silver trim. The Entertainment Package is only available on Sport or Technology Package models as compared to the 1st Generation MDX where the Entertainment Package was available as a standalone package on Touring Models.

All Canadian Acura MDX models, aside from the heated front seats, also get the second-row heated outboard seats as standard equipment as well. A feature unique to Canadian MDX models are headlight washers. In terms of packages, Canadian MDX models get only two: Technology and Elite. The Technology package corresponds essentially to the US model's Technology package while the Elite package is an amalgamation of the US model's Sport and Entertainment packages. However, AcuraLink real-time traffic reporting through XM NavTraffic is unavailable for Canadian MDX models.

Like the first generation model, the new generation is manufactured exclusively by Honda of Canada Manufacturing Ltd. in Alliston, Ontario, Canada. But along with the RDX, the new MDX was the first Acura model to pass the Acura Quality Line, a special quality control and verification process separate from the other Honda vehicles.

For the MDX received a new auto-dimming rearview mirror. The MDX had added more upgrades to the navigation system and there are two new colors added. The power tailgate, previously available only with the Entertainment package, is now included with Technology and Sport packages.

In , the MDX received a facelift adopting to Acura's new "Power Plenum" grille that debuted on its model year sedans. The most important upgrades to the model where a new paddle shift six-speed SportShift automatic transmission with downshift Rev-matching, and an increase in compression ratio to with forged aluminum pistons to replace the previous – L's pistons. Structural rigidity was improved for the model year. An Advance package became available that included Adaptive Cruise Control, blind spot monitor, Active Damper suspension, collision mitigation braking system, wider 7-spoked 19&#;inch wheels and tires, Premium Milano leather ventilated seats and auto leveling headlights. Non-navigation equipped MDX models now have a backup camera monitor located in the rear-view mirror.

The redesigned MDX overtook the TL as Acura's top seller in the United States.[13]

Third generation (YD3; )[edit]

Motor vehicle

Third generation (YD3)
 Acura MDX Greenwich.jpg
ProductionMay 2, –
Model&#;years
AssemblyUnited States: Lincoln, Alabama, HMA (–)
East Liberty, Ohio, ELP (–)
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive (SH-AWD)
RelatedHonda Pilot
Honda Passport
Honda Ridgeline
Honda Odyssey (North America)
Engine
Transmission6-speed automatic
9-speed ZF9HPautomatic
7-speed DCT (hybrid)
Wheelbase&#;in (2,&#;mm)
Length&#;in (4,&#;mm)
Width&#;in (1,&#;mm)
Height&#;in (1,&#;mm)
Curb&#;weight3,–4,&#;lb (1,–1,&#;kg) (FWD)
4,–4,&#;lb (1,–1,&#;kg) (AWD)

The MDX Prototype was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show,[14][15] the production version was revealed at the New York Auto Show. Production began on May 2, ; vehicle assembly shifted from Ontario, Canada to Lincoln, Alabama. US sales began on June

The MDX is powered by a liter direct injectedEarth Dreams V6 with Variable Cylinder Management. A front-wheel drive (FWD) model is available for the first time,[16] in Canada all-wheel drive remains the only configuration offered. EPA-estimated fuel economy is improved with all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) models rated at 18/27/21 mpg (city/highway/combined) and FWD models rated at 20/28/23 mpg.

The headlights are Acura's Jewel Eye LED Headlights (first introduced on the RLX).[17] Each headlamp uses five separate LED sources with three used for low-beam lighting and two for high-beam lighting. LED bumper mounted fog lamps are offered as a dealer installed option.

The interior reduced button clutter by adding a 7-inch touchscreen with haptic feedback, an additional 8-inch screen is also standard. To reduce interior noise an acoustic (PVB layered) windshield, acoustic front door glass and thicker rear glass are used as well as triple sealed door openings. Advance package models include further noise reduction using a thicker carpet base layer and front fender liners.[18] The seating H-point has been reduced.

According to Acura the exterior is more aerodynamic reducing drag by 16% with the new model lapping Nürburgring 8 seconds faster than its predecessor. The steering gear ratio is 9% quicker for a more sporty feel. The MDX rides lower reducing its center of gravity, to reduce unsprung mass the front suspension lower control arms are made from forged aluminum. Structure rigidity is improved and weight reduced through increased use of high-strength steel. Overall, 64% of the total vehicle body mass is high strength steel (HSS), aluminum and magnesium. HSS makes up 59% of vehicle body mass; 1,&#;MPayield strength steel makes up 7%. A single ring-like hot stamped HSS outer door ring component reinforces the A-pillar, roof rail, B-pillar, and lower floor rail encircling the front doors for improved crash protection. Acura states that after conducting a simulated IIHS 25% small offset frontal crash test the front doors will open with normal force.[19][20]

The updated Adaptive Cruise Control adds low-speed stop-and-go functionality. In terms of safety the MDX adds a standard driver's knee airbag, optional Lane Keeping Assist System and Collision Mitigation Braking System.

Moderate overlap frontal offset Good
Small overlap frontal offset Good1
Side impact Good
Roof strength Good2
1vehicle structure rated "Good"
2strength-to-weight ratio:

MY [edit]

Acura swapped the Honda 6-speed automatic transmission for a ZF 9-speed automatic and changed the SH-AWD system for The revised SH-AWD system uses a hydraulically-controlled clutch and is similar to system found in the TLX.[24]

MY facelift[edit]

A refreshed for model year MDX went on sale in June ,[25] and features a diamond pentagon front grille which debuted on the Acura Precision Concept, redesigned LED headlamps with automatic high beams, LED DRL light pipes and LED amber light pipe turn signals. Restyled LED fog lamps are optional from the factory. MDX models will come standard with AcuraWatch which includes forward collision warning (with automatic emergency braking), lane departure warning (with lane keep assist) and Adaptive Cruise Control. A degree surround view camera is optional. To reduce body mass the front fenders switched from steel to an aluminum panel.[26]

Hybrid[edit]

A liter V6, 7-speed dual-clutch, kWh lithium-ion battery hybrid was added to the lineup. The front wheels are powered by the engine and a single electric motor while the rear wheels are powered by twin electric motors (tri-motor[27]). The hybrid is only available in all-wheel drive. Acura's Active Damper System is standard. Sales began in April

MY [edit]

For , the Active Damper System is available for non-hybrids, the front seats feature 4-way power lumbar. During the New York International Auto Show, alongside the debut of the third generation RDX, Acura announced the introduction of the A-Spec appearance package. The exterior features black and dark chrome accents, replacing all the chrome and rides on 20" grey aluminum wheels. The bumpers are redesigned to give the A-Spec a more sharp and aggressive design. Red leather seats with black alcantara inserts is now an option for the A-Spec package. Other changes for the A-Spec trim are new gauges, carbon fiber trim, sport pedals, and thicker steering wheel with paddle shifters.

Powertrain[edit]

EngineDrivetrainTransmissionHorsepowerTorque
SOHC i-VTECFront Wheel Drive6 or 9-speed Automatic Transmission&#;hp (&#;kW) at 6,&#;lb⋅ft (&#;N⋅m) at 4,
SOHC i-VTECSuper Handling All-Wheel Drive6 or 9-speed Automatic Transmission&#;hp (&#;kW) at 6,&#;lb⋅ft (&#;N⋅m) at 4,
SOHC i-VTECSport-Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive7-speed Dual-Clutch Automatic Transmission&#;hp (&#;kW) at 6, (combined)&#;lb⋅ft (&#;N⋅m) at 5, (combined)

Marketing[edit]

As part of Acura MDX launch in the United States, a campaign called 'The Extremely New MDX - Made for Mankind' was produced. The campaign highlights the complete technical transformation of the MDX and centers around the idea of "Made for Mankind," a concept designed to highlight the unique engineering and design philosophy at the heart of all Acura vehicles - the synergy between man and machine. The campaign was developed by Mullen (Boston and LA) and with MediaVest.[28] Also, a series of 8 comedic commercials were created with comedian Jerry Seinfeld and director Barry Sonnenfeld. In addition, Acura became an exclusive sponsor of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.[29]

Fourth generation (YD4; )[edit]

Motor vehicle

Fourth generation (YD4)
 Acura MDX (United States) front view png
ProductionJanuary 12, —present
Model&#;years–present
Assembly
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive (SH-AWD)
Engine
Transmissionspeed automatic
Wheelbase&#;in (2,&#;mm)
Length&#;in (5,&#;mm)
Width&#;in (1,&#;mm)
Height&#;in (1,&#;mm)
Curb&#;weight
  • 4,–4,&#;lb (1,–1,&#;kg) (FWD)
  • 4,–4,&#;lb (2,–2,&#;kg) (AWD)

Skipping the model year, the fourth-generation MDX was revealed as a prototype on October 14, , virtually revealed on December 8, went into bulk production on January 12, for the model year, and went on sale on February 2, with the Type-S trim coming in the second quarter of [30] Acura claims the MDX is their flagship model following the discontinuation of the RLX in June

Like the discontinued ZDX, the exterior includes the same panoramic sunroof found on the current RDX, either 19 or inch alloy rims, a tailgate similar to the RDX, headlights and taillights similar to the current TLX, a differently styled grille emblem, nine exterior and seven interior colors. For the Type-S trim, a yellow color, called Tiger Eye will also be available. The improved interior includes a inch infotainment system and the Acura's first inch digital full TFT instrument cluster, touch pad, way power front seats with 3-memory positions, removable center second row seat, a removal double sided trunk floor with carpet and plastic, and more legroom and headroom compared to the third generation MDX. The MDX also features an optional audio system with speakers including four roof-mounted speakers and a foot sensor for Hands Free Access power tailgate release and closure when the key fob is nearby. A redesigned key fob that is shaped like a convex irregular polygon is included.

Powertrains are improved, with the existing liter V6 paired with a speed transmission available for four trims; base, technology package, A-Spec, and advance package. While the all-wheel-drive (AWD) is optional on the base and technology trims, it is standard on A-Spec and advance trims. The Type-S trim model will get a liter turbocharged V6 and front brakes with four-piston Brembo calipers as standard. All-wheel-drive will also be standard for the Type-S.

In the front, a double wishbone suspension with forged aluminum lower control arms, damper forks, and steering knuckles makes its way into the MDX along with more rigid cast-aluminum shock towers, larger front brake rotors and wider alloy wheels. Plastic wheel well liners are replaced with fabric material and a repositioned air intake for easier access to both battery terminals. High-strength steel (HSS), press-hardened steel and aluminum make up % of vehicle body mass. The rear body is more rigid with suspension load paths passing into the C and D-pillars, allowing for towing capabilities. Standard towing capacity is 3, pounds while it can be increased to 5, pounds when the transmission cooler is added. The cooler kit is available as an accessory for the AWD models.

Awards[edit]

Sales figures[edit]

Calendar year US sales[36]
9,
40,
52,
57,
59,
57,
54,
58,
45,
31,
47,
43,
50,
53,
65,
58,
55,
54,
51,
52,
47,

References[edit]

  1. ^"Acura MDX". Consumer Reports. Retrieved
  2. ^http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/Acura_MDX//specs/?tid=&tid=&tid=
  3. ^http://www.thecarconnection.com/cars/acura_mdx
  4. ^" Acura MDX &#; Pricing, Ratings & Reviews &#; Kelley Blue Book". Kbb.com. Retrieved
  5. ^http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/Acura_MDX/
  6. ^"Acura MDX Prices, Reviews, and Pictures | Edmunds". Edmunds.com.
  7. ^Mays, Kelsey (). " Acura MDX". Expert Reviews. Cars.com. Archived from the original on Retrieved
  8. ^Klino, Ron (). "First Drive: Acura MDX - A Better Bestseller: Acura rewrites a crowd-pleasing script". Motor Trend Magazine. TEN: The Enthusiast's Network. Retrieved
  9. ^"Honda Build & Price | Honda Canada". www.honda.ca. Retrieved
  10. ^"Specifications | MDX | Acura Canada". www.acura.ca. Retrieved
  11. ^https://acuranews.com/en-US/releases/release-b3eee54bc7bac34c8ad-mdx-to-debut-octoberwith-best-in-class-performance-safety-and-versatility
  12. ^Honda Canada Inc. " Acura MDX". acura.ca. Retrieved 14 July
  13. ^"American Honda Reports Best-Ever January Sales". hondanews.com. Retrieved June 26,
  14. ^"Acura to Debut the All-New MDX Prototype at the North American International Auto Show". Honda.com. Retrieved
  15. ^Ramsey, Jonathon. "Acura will show all-new MDX Prototype in Detroit". Autoblog. Retrieved 14 July
  16. ^Sabatini, Jeff (August ). " Acura MDX SH-AWD". Car and Driver. Retrieved 27 September
  17. ^" Acura MDX - Photos, Specs, Accessories - Acura.com". Acura.com. Retrieved 14 July
  18. ^" MDX re-engineered to pass IIHS test, reduce NVH". Archived from the original on Retrieved 14 July
  19. ^" MDX re-engineered to pass IIHS test, reduce NVH". Archived from the original on 14 July Retrieved 14 July
  20. ^"AutoNews Now: Acura's crash-minded design". Retrieved 14 July
  21. ^" Acura MDX SUV FWD". Retrieved 14 July
  22. ^" Acura MDX SUV AWD". Retrieved 14 July
  23. ^" Acura MDX Midsize luxury SUV / Acura MDX 4-door 4wd". IIHS. Retrieved 30 September
  24. ^http://youwheel.com/home//05/07/acura-sh-awd-a-comprehensive-analysis/
  25. ^"Refreshed Acura MDX Launches with Bold New Styling, Premium Features and Standard AcuraWatch™ Technology".
  26. ^https://www.revemoto.com/products/acura-mdx-painted-fender?variant=
  27. ^https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/el-concepto-supercar-nsx-de-acura-debutara-en-el-mundo-virtual-del-juego-gran-turismohtml
  28. ^Ross, Jeffrey N. " Acura MDX ad campaign the most expensive in brand's history". Autoblog. Retrieved 14 July
  29. ^Turkus, Brandon. "Acura launches ad spots for Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". Autoblog. Retrieved 14 July
  30. ^"New Flagship: MDX Prototype Previews Most Premium and Performance-Focused SUV in Acura History". Acura News. Honda of America Manufacturing, Ltd. Retrieved 15 October
  31. ^"North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Winners and Finalists". NorthAmericanCaroftheYear.org. North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year Awards. Retrieved 29 August
  32. ^Loh, Edward. "Acura MDX: Motor Trend SUV of the Year Contender". MotorTrend.com. Motor Trend. Retrieved 29 August
  33. ^" Acura MDX". IIHS.org. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved 29 August
  34. ^"Best Luxury Midsize SUVs for ". Cars.usnews.com. U.S. News Best Cars. Retrieved 29 August
  35. ^Blackley, Julie. "Cars Original Owners Keep for 15 Years or Longer". iseecars. Retrieved February 14,
  36. ^Honda Digital Factbook

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Acura MDX.
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acura_MDX
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Acura MDX Press Kit

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Acura MDX - Overview

OVERVIEW

The original Acura® MDX®, produced from to model years, broke new ground in the emerging luxury SUV segment. Now, the all-new MDX takes its predecessor's best qualities and radically expands them, pushing performance and sophistication in the luxury SUV segment to new levels. Benchmarked against some of the best performance SUVs in the world and tuned on the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany, the new MDX clearly establishes itself as a driver's SUV. Outfitted with Acura's tenacious Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system and an available sport package with Active Damper System, the MDX yields a combination of handling and comfort that is truly on the cutting edge.

The MDX is equally daring in its styling and thorough in its safety and environmental responsibilities. Included as standard equipment is the largest array of passive safety features in Acura history. The MDX's class-leading hp VTEC™ V-6 makes as much power as some competitive V-8s, yet delivers ultra-low emissions and excellent fuel economy. Inside the 7-passenger interior, the MDX offers thoughtful luxury and an unmatched range of advanced available technologies, including the Acura Navigation System and AcuraLink™ Satellite Communication System with real-time traffic and a spectacular speaker Acura/ELS Surround™ Premium Sound System.

Altogether, the all-new MDX embodies Acura's commitment to performance, luxury, quality and style, together with parent company Honda's global mandate for safety and environmental care. The MDX is the sixth Acura project to be designed and engineered in the United States, including the CL, TL, CL, MDX, and TL, and several award-winning Honda products.

POWERTRAIN FEATURES

  • liter, SOHC, VTEC® V-6 engine
  • horsepower @ rpm SAE net*
  • lbs.-ft. of torque @ rpm SAE net*
  • VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control)
  • 2-piece, dual-stage magnesium intake manifold
  • 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift
  • Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™)
  • EPA estimated mileage of 17/22 mpg (City/Highway)
  • CARB-Certified LEV-2 ULEV

*All horsepower and torque specifications reflect revised SAE J net calculations.

BODY & CHASSIS FEATURES

  • Unit body structure with extensive use of high-strength steel
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID) low-beam headlights
  • MacPherson strut independent front suspension
  • Multi-link independent rear suspension
  • Torque-sensing, variable power-assist rack-and-pinion steering
  • 18 x 8J aluminum-alloy wheels
  • P/55R18 H M+S all-season tires
  • 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control and Trailer Stability Assist
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • 5,pound tow rating
  • LED tail lamps and Center High Mounted Stop Light
  • Heated outside mirrors with reverse gear tilt-down and integrated LED directional signals

INTERIOR FEATURES

  • 7 passenger (4+3) seating
  • Driver-oriented cockpit
  • Driver's way power seat, including power adjustable lumbar support
  • Electronic tilt and telescoping steering column
  • Two-driver custom memory system
  • Front passenger 8-way power seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Tri-Zone automatic climate control system with humidity control and filtration
  • watt Acura Premium Sound System with AM/FM tuner, 6-disc in-dash CD, MP3, WMA changer and 8 speakers, including 8-inch subwoofer and XM® satellite radio
  • Auxiliary jack for personal audio devices
  • HomeLink® remote control
  • Multi-Information Display (MID) allows access to multiple electronic functions
  • Smart Maintenance
  • Adaptive and flexible cargo space with multiple configurations
  • HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface is compatible with many Bluetooth mobile phones

SAFETY FEATURES

  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
  • Side impact door beams
  • Impact-absorbing crumple zones (front/rear)
  • Driver's and front passenger's dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)
  • Driver and front passenger's dual-stage knee bolsters
  • Driver's and front passenger's side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
  • Side curtain airbags for all three rows with rollover sensor
  • Front active head restraints
  • 3-point adjustable-height front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters
  • 3-point seat belts at all seating positions
  • Automatic Locking Retractor/Emergency Locking Retractors (ALR/ELR) (driver has ELR only)
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child-seat mounting system for the second-row seats

Technology Package

  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and rearview camera
  • AcuraLink™ satellite communication system with real-time traffic
  • watt, speaker Acura/ELS Surround™ Premium Sound System with multi-format 6-disc in-dash CD/DVD-audio changer, AM/FM tuner, and XM® Satellite Radio
  • GPS-linked, solar-sensing, tri-zone, automatic climate control system with humidity control and filtration

Sport Package (in addition to the Technology Package features)

  • Active Damper System
  • Perforated premium full-grain leather seating surfaces with high-damping front-seat cushion foam
  • Exclusive alloy wheel design
  • Auto-leveling Xenon HID headlights
  • Textured metallic accents on radio, cupholder and shifter escutcheon

Entertainment Package (available with Technology or Sport Package)

  • DVD Rear Entertainment System with wireless headphones and remote control
  • volt power outlet in center console
  • Heated second-row outboard seats
  • Remote power-operated tailgate

MARKET SUMMARY

MDX has been very important to Acura, accounting for about 30% of the division's sales since the vehicle's introduction as a model. Equally important, the original MDX attracted buyers from competitive luxury makes including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, starting new relationships for Acura.

The new MDX competes in the Mid Premium CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) segment. Over the next five years () this segment is expected to grow %.*

*Global Insight, April

TARGET CUSTOMER

Focus groups with luxury customers were conducted in Seattle, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles. These cities were carefully chosen to explore how customers use their SUVs in cold climates, in areas that are traditional domestic-vehicle strongholds, and in areas known for their trend-setting character.

Early in the study process Acura also benchmarked performance SUVs such as the BMW X5 - and polled their owners, typically successful professional families with school-age children - to ensure that the new MDX would meet and exceed its performance. Satisfying these highly discriminating customers means that the MDX would be well positioned to attract a wider group of potential buyers.

The original MDX appealed to luxury customers. In the new MDX, added performance and handling capabilities boost its appeal for performance enthusiasts, while the luxurious and functional interior continues to satisfy the needs of traditional luxury customers.

ENGINE & POWERTRAIN

With a displacement of liters, the MDX features Acura's largest and most powerful V-6 engine. Developing horsepower and lbs.-ft. of torque, the MDX's output is competitive with many V-8 engines - without the fuel-economy penalty that some V-8 engines suffer. To widen the powerband and improve emissions and fuel economy the engine has VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control), a dual-stage intake manifold, and an electronic Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™. EPA estimated mileage of 17/22 mpg (City/Highway) and a large gallon fuel capacity mean the MDX also has a greater cruising range. The MDX is also designed to meet the latest CARB-Certified LEV-2 ULEV emissions certification.

A 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift is designed to satisfy the most performance-oriented drivers. Tuned on the challenging Nurburgring circuit in Germany, the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) system likewise provides handling precision that sets a new benchmark for SUVs. SH-AWD™ "actively" varies the torque distribution between front and rear axles - then between the left and right rear wheels - to provide the maximum grip under all driving circumstances. Operating seamlessly and automatically, SH-AWD™ overdrives the outside rear wheel up to % faster than the front wheels to help the vehicle "rotate" around a corner.

BODY & CHASSIS

The MDX sets new standards for Acura from styling, engineering, handling and safety standpoints. Its dramatic styling utilizes large surface areas, sweeping curves and decisive angles. Longer, wider and lower (and with a longer wheelbase) than the original MDX, the new dimensions create a more athletic appearance.

The MDX maintains the same weight as the MDX, proof of the hard work that engineers invested to keep mass out of the new vehicle in spite of added feature content. Contributing to this is widespread use of high-strength steel, as well as aluminum and magnesium. In addition, the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) unit body structure is intended to bring new levels of front crash safety to the MDX.

Befitting its position as Acura's flagship SUV, the MDX is equipped with High-Intensity Discharge (HID) low-beam headlights, a dramatic array of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in the tail lamps and center high-mounted stoplight, and exterior mirror-mounted turn signals. The new grille also reflects a fresh look for the MDX. Careful aerodynamic tailoring reduces drag noise and high speed dynamic stability.

The MDX has an all-new chassis to complement its horsepower VTEC® V-6 engine and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™). Engineers targeted the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne when developing the MDX chassis, and then tested and refined it at the Nurburgring circuit. The Active Damper System, available in the Sport Package, has proprietary fully active dampers that adjust to road conditions on a real-time basis - in less than five milliseconds ( sec.). The MDX is also at home off-road, where its excellent engine torque, responsive suspension, and generous ground clearance enable it to cross-step through rough terrain with aplomb.

For family recreation, the new MDX tows as well as it goes. With its pound towing rating, standard trailer pre-wiring, high-capacity radiator with twin cooling fans, ATF cooler and Trailer Stability Assist, the MDX needs only a dealer-installed hitch and wiring to tow a substantial trailer.

INTERIOR

Acura reinvented the MDX's luxurious interior for while adding to its appeal as a "Driver's SUV." The cockpit environment is focused on the driver, and features a host of technologies to make driving simultaneously more rewarding and relaxing. The interior styling and functionality perfectly coexist with a driver's cockpit that features a way power seat including power-adjustable lumbar support for the driver, electronic tilt and telescoping steering column, a 2-position custom memory system, and a Multi-Information Display (MID) that allows access to multiple electronic functions.

The interior design is as dynamic and contemporary as the exterior, with a "4+3 seating" concept that luxuriously hosts four passengers in the first and second row seats, while also offering comfortable accommodations for three additional passengers (one in the second row and two in the third row). The front passenger enjoys an 8-way power seat of their own, while everyone on board will appreciate the MDX's Tri-Zone automatic climate control system and new watt, 8-speaker Acura Premium Sound System with multi-format 6-disc in-dash CD, MP3, WMA changer, AM/FM tuner, and XM® Satellite Radio. An auxiliary jack for personal audio devices is also included. Standard convenience features include HomeLink®, Smart Maintenance, and adaptive and flexible cargo space with six configurations. Included in the available Entertainment Package is a power tailgate, the first on an Acura SUV.

SAFETY

A new Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) unit body structure, plus several new passive-safety technologies, help bring the MDX to the next level of safety. ACE™ more evenly distributes collision forces and helps maintain the integrity of the passenger cabin in the event of a severe frontal collision. The MDX is also less intrusive to smaller vehicles in a head-on collision thanks to a special frame member located below the front bumper that's designed to engage the front bumper of smaller vehicles. The MDX meets two newly upgraded federal safety regulations, FMVSS and FMVSS , which will begin to be required for the model year.

Also new are active head restraints and dual-stage knee bolsters for the driver and front passenger. The driver and front passenger are protected by dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) and side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS). Occupants in all three rows of outboard seats are protected by side curtain airbags. A rollover sensor adds a further level of protection.

The Acura MDX continues its "Safety Through Innovation" with pedestrian protection features such as a deformable aluminum hood and hood hinges, and breakaway windshield-wiper pivots.

MANUFACTURING QUALITY

Honda of Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario was chosen as the assembly plant for the new MDX. A special dynamic quality-control process will be used to ensure the highest possible level of attention to detail for every MDX produced. After assembly is completed, each MDX will enter a special Acura Quality line. The ability to immediately respond to the smallest quality issue positions the MDX to excel in quality - and in customer satisfaction.

Acura MDX - Powertrain

OVERVIEW

Given the new MDX's performance goals, its powertrain and driveline were required to advance on multiple fronts. The result is the most powerful normally aspirated 6-cylinder SUV powerplant currently available in America. In addition, the MDX returns competitive estimated fuel economy, and meets tough CARB LEV-2 ULEV emissions standards. To put the newfound power to the ground and provide agile, responsive handling, the MDX has standard Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™).

The MDX's sophisticated liter VTEC® V-6 powerplant develops horsepower at rpm and lbs.-ft. of torque at rpm. That gives it the highest horsepower and torque output of any engine in the Acura lineup. The MDX returns an EPA 17/22 City/Highway mpg, placing it among the leaders of its SUV class.

Compared to the previous generation MDX, the new powerplant gained 47 horsepower and 25 lbs.-ft. of torque. Of that horsepower gain, 20 horsepower came from an increase in displacement and a new compression ratio and 15 more horsepower are due to new intake port shape, valve design and VTEC® tuning. The final 12 horsepower is credited to the new MDX's high-flow induction and exhaust systems. Although more powerful, the engine is actually pounds or % lighter than the engine it replaces and offers six percent more displacement. Durability upgrades throughout the powertrain, including a high capacity radiator with twin cooling fans and a standard transmission cooler accommodate the MDX's new pound tow rating,

A 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift is standard, giving the driver the choice of fully automatic operation or manually shifted via a special shift gate. With the electronically controlled Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™ and transmission working together to execute shifts, the MDX delivers smoothly responsive acceleration.

The MDX has standard SH-AWD™, the exclusive all-wheel-drive system that actively distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear axles but also between the left and right rear wheels. The result is reduced understeer, superior cornering accuracy and more total cornering performance. For the MDX, SH-AWD™ is enhanced with Hill Logic that automatically adjusts the front/rear torque split based on hill grade.

Acura MDX
EngineSOHC VTEC® V-6
Displacementcc (liter)
Compression ratio
Horsepower @ rpm* @
Torque @ rpm (lbs.-ft.)* @
Transmission5 AT
EPA estimated mileage City/Highway17/22
Emissions certification (CARB/EPA)CARB LEV-2 ULEV
Fuel typePremium unleaded

POWERTRAIN AT A GLANCE

Engine

  • liter, SOHC, VTEC® V-6 engine produces horsepower at rpm and lbs-ft. of torque (SAE net - rev 8/04) at rpm
  • VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control)
  • compression ratio
  • 2-piece, dual-stage magnesium intake manifold
  • Direct ignition system with knock control
  • Variable flow exhaust system
  • Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™
  • Maintenance Minder system optimizes service intervals

Transmission and Drive System

  • 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift
  • 5-position straight shifter
  • Advanced shift-hold control limits upshifts during spirited driving
  • Advanced Grade Logic Control System reduces gear "hunting" when driving on steep hills
  • External transmission fluid cooler
  • Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™)

Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH)

  • degree V-angle for inherently smooth operation
  • Maintenance-free serpentine accessory drive with auto tensioner

Emissions/Fuel Economy

  • Dual high-flow close-coupled catalytic converters plus under floor catalytic converter
  • High capacity bit RISC processor engine control unit
  • Meets CARB LEV-2 ULEV emissions standard
  • 17/22 mpg (City/Highway)

ENGINE ARCHITECTURE

The liter VTEC® V-6 in the MDX is the largest and most powerful production engine in Acura's history and incorporates many of the refinements and improvements that have been developed in other Acura powerplants. The MDX engine has a smooth-firing degree V-angle, compact overall dimensions, and actually weighs pounds less than the smaller displacement engine it replaces. Aluminum alloy construction including aluminum cylinder sleeves saves weight and improves cooling, while VTEC® cylinder heads operate four valves per cylinder for maximum power development.

A high flow intake system, high compression ratio, close-coupled catalytic converters and high flow exhaust make the MDX engine the most powerful normally aspirated 6-cylinder engine in its class.

ENGINE BLOCK

The MDX's lightweight, heat-treated die-cast aluminum-alloy block has cast-in-place aluminum cylinder liners. These high-silicon sleeves dissipate heat better than iron liners. The aluminum sleeves also allow a closer piston-to-cylinder clearance for less operating noise. A new mechanical etching process during manufacturing exposes silicone particles embedded in the aluminum sleeves, which provide a hard piston-ring sealing surface. The block also incorporates a deep-skirt design for rigid crankshaft support and minimized noise and vibration.

CRANKSHAFT/PISTONS/CONNECTING RODS

The MDX uses a forged steel crankshaft for high strength with minimum weight. With their raised crowns, the MDX pistons raise the compression ratio (relative to the previous MDX) from to This elevated compression ratio is possible due to an oil jet system that sprays cooling oil on the underside of the piston crowns to keep temperatures in check. New steel connecting rods are forged in one piece and then the crankshaft ends are "crack separated," creating a lighter and stronger rod with a perfectly fitted bearing cap.

CYLINDER HEADS / VALVETRAIN

Like other current Acura V-6 engines, the MDX powerplant uses overhead camshaft cylinder heads. These lightweight components are made of pressure-cast, low-porosity aluminum, and improve overall packaging, enhance exhaust flow and allow the optimal positioning of a primary close-coupled catalytic converter on each cylinder bank. To save weight and reduce parts count, an exhaust manifold is an integral part of each cylinder head casting. Magnesium cylinder head covers save a total of pounds.

Special new camshafts are 25% lighter than the camshafts they replace. Assembled from tubular steel shafts with splined steel lobes and journals that are pressed in place, the MDX's camshafts are a first for Acura.

The MDX's new intake port design has an optimized shape that contributes seven horsepower (relative to the old design) to the MDX's horsepower total. Intake valves in the new engine are 36mm in diameter (an increase of 1mm), yet weigh 13% less due to a reduction in material in the valve head. The exhaust valves measure 30mm in diameter, same as in the previous engine.

To ensure positive sealing, a 3-layer shim-type head gasket is used. A single Aramid-fiber reinforced belt drives the overhead camshafts.

VTEC® (VARIABLE VALVE TIMING AND LIFT ELECTRONIC CONTROL)

The MDX's VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) operates the 12 intake valves in two distinct modes. Operation of the intake valves changes to optimize both volumetric efficiency and combustion of the fuel-air mixture. At low engine speeds, the intake valves have low lift and are open a comparatively short period of time during cylinder filling. At high engine speeds where breathing is critical, the valves switch to high-lift, long duration mode to deliver the best volumetric efficiency. The VTEC® changeover point is virtually undetectable to the driver and occurs at approximately rpm.

When the engine reaches the changeover point, the powertrain control module (PCM) triggers the opening of an electric spool valve that routes pressurized oil to small pistons in the intake valve rocker arms. These pistons slide into position to lock together the three intake rockers in a given cylinder, which then follow a single high-lift, long-duration cam lobe.

HIGH FLOW INDUCTION SYSTEM

To improve engine breathing and engine sound, particularly at high rpm and large throttle openings, the MDX has a low-restriction intake system. With a large diameter inlet, a pair of resonators and a low-restriction filter element, the MDX induction system flows an additional 14% more than the previous system.

DRIVE-BY-WIRE (DBW) THROTTLE SYSTEM™

The MDX doesn't use a conventional throttle cable, but instead has smart electronics that connect the throttle pedal to the throttle butterfly in the intake tract. The programmed "gain" between throttle pedal and engine offers better drivability and optimizes engine response to suit driving conditions. The throttle profile of the new MDX has been reworked to provide low speed control, followed by progressively building response at higher speed for improved linearity.

The Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™ establishes the current driving conditions by monitoring throttle pedal position, throttle butterfly position, road speed, and engine speed. This information is used to define the throttle control sensitivity. This gives the MDX throttle pedal a predictable and responsive feel that meets drivers' expectations. In the new MDX, the 64mm diameter throttle body is 25% lighter than the previous unit.

PROGRAMMED FUEL INJECTION (PGM-FI)

The MDX features Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), which continually adjusts the fuel delivery to yield the best combination of power, low fuel consumption and low emissions. Multiple sensors constantly monitor critical operating parameters, such as throttle position, intake air temperature, coolant temperature, ambient air pressure, intake airflow volume, intake manifold pressure, exhaust-air ratios and the position of the crankshaft and cams.

2-PIECE DUAL-STAGE INTAKE MANIFOLD

The MDX uses a dual-stage intake manifold that is designed to deliver maximum airflow to the cylinders across the full range of engine operating speeds. The 2-piece cast-magnesium manifold is also very light. Compared to the 1-piece, dual-stage unit used on the previous generation MDX, the new manifold weighs 53% less and saves lbs. Combined with the new exhaust system, induction flow improvements contribute 12 horsepower to the new MDX's horsepower total.

The induction system significantly boosts torque across the engine's full operating range by working in concert with the VTEC® valvetrain. Internal passages and two butterfly valves are operated by the powertrain control module provide two distinct modes of operation by changing plenum volume and intake airflow routing.

At lower rpm these valves are closed to reduce the volume of the plenum and effectively increase the length of inlet passages for maximum resonance effect and to amplify pressure waves within each half of the intake manifold at lower rpm ranges. The amplified pressure waves significantly increase cylinder filling and torque production throughout the lower part of the engine's rpm band.

As the benefits of the resonance effect lessen with rising engine speed, the butterfly valves open at rpm to interconnect the two halves of the plenum, increasing its volume. An electric motor, commanded by the powertrain control module, controls the connecting butterfly valves. The inertia of the mass of air rushing down each intake passage helps draw in more charge than each cylinder would normally ingest. The inertia effect greatly enhances cylinder filling and the torque produced by the engine at higher rpm.

DIRECT IGNITION AND DETONATION/KNOCK CONTROL

The MDX's powertrain control module (PCM) monitors engine functions to determine the best spark timing. An engine-block mounted acoustic detonation/knock sensor "listens" to the engine, and based on this input, the PCM retards the ignition timing to prevent potentially damaging detonation. The MDX has a coil unit for each cylinder, positioned above each spark plug's access bore.

CLOSE-COUPLED CATALYSTS AND VARIABLE FLOW EXHAUST SYSTEM

As in the Acura RL™, the exhaust manifolds of the MDX are cast directly into the aluminum alloy cylinder heads to reduce weight and put the engine's two primary catalytic converters as close as possible to the combustion chambers. The cell per-square-inch, high-efficiency converters mount directly to the exhaust port of each cylinder head for extremely rapid converter light-off after the engine starts. A significant weight savings and reduction in parts count is realized by eliminating traditional exhaust manifolds.

Downstream of the close-coupled catalyst, a hydroformed 2-into-1 collector pipe carries exhaust gases to a single secondary converter under the passenger cabin. This high-flow unit has a revised shape and a large 62mm outlet (up from 55mm). Downstream of the underfloor catalyst, the system splits flow into a pair of underfloor chambers (the previous MDX used a single chamber) to give the exhaust note a more refined sound. Dual silencers near the rear fascia incorporate an exhaust pressure-activated valve to balance the engine's need for proper exhaust back pressure at low speed and free flow at high speed. With the valve in each silencer closed, the exhaust sound level is muted for quiet cruising. When exhaust flow increases sufficiently due to high rpm and a large throttle opening, the silencer valves open and provide a secondary exit path inside the silencer chamber. In total, the MDX's exhaust system refinements improve flow potential by 18%.

EMISSIONS CONTROL

The new MDX gains displacement, horsepower and torque without any increase in emissions. It meets the tough CARB LEV-2/ULEV emissions standards, and per regulations, is certified to this level of emissions performance for , miles.

A number of advanced technologies are factors in this emissions performance. The cylinder-head mounted close-coupled catalysts light off quickly after engine start up, and a bit RISC microprocessor in the powertrain control module (PCM) boosts computing power to improve the precision of spark and fuel delivery. Particularly right after startup, better fuel atomization is provided by the high-efficiency multi-hole fuel injectors that deliver fuel to each cylinder.

The MDX's Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system monitors the state of the exhaust gas and tracks multiple engine inputs including intake absolute manifold
pressure, throttle position, intake air temperature, coolant temperature, etc. Based on these inputs PGM-FI continuously adjusts and optimizes the amount of fuel delivered to each cylinder.

ONE-TOUCH STARTER SYSTEM WITH HIGH-POWERED STARTER

Due to the MDX's increased displacement, a new starter motor with 18% more power is used. To ensure consistent starting, the MDX has a 1-touch starter system that maintains starter engagement until the engine starts, even if the driver releases the ignition switch.

IMPROVED AIR CONDITIONER SYSTEM EFFICIENCY

To provide greater driving range while maintaining a comfortable interior climate, the MDX has improved air conditioner efficiency. By partially mixing cool cabin air with fresh air in the blower, the amount of compressor operation can be reduced by up to 40% compared to operating exclusively on fresh exterior air. Over the course of a tank of gas, this partial recirculation mode can extend fuel economy by as much as 4 percent. This function operates automatically when the HVAC system is in Auto mode.

NOISE, VIBRATION AND HARSHNESS CONTROL

The new MDX powerplant is exceptionally smooth, given its degree V-angle and compact, rigid and lightweight die-cast aluminum-alloy block assembly. A rigid forged crankshaft, die-cast accessory mounts, and a stiff, cast-aluminum-alloy oil pan also help reduce noise and vibration.

5-SPEED AUTOMATIC WITH SEQUENTIAL SPORTSHIFT AND GRADE LOGIC CONTROL

The MDX has a standard 5-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift and Grade Logic Control to maximize acceleration performance, fuel economy and driver control. Compared to the previous generation MDX, this sophisticated transmission features lower ratios in each gear for improved pulling power and acceleration, upgraded shafts, gears, bearings and clutches to match the engine's greater power output, and increased cooling capacity to accommodate the MDX's new pound towing capacity.

Ratio MDX MDXDifference
1st overall%
2nd overall %
3rd overall %
4th overall %
5th overall %
Final Drive %

Designed for a high level of durability and low maintenance, the MDX transmission has a strengthened aluminum case that carries both high-torque clutches and high-strength gears. A transmission cooler is positioned in the front of the MDX to help keep the transmission fluid temperature under control, particularly when towing.

Automatic Mode

The Sequential SportShift transmission can be operated in conventional fully automatic mode via a console-mounted shifter. The Grade Logic Control System and Shift Hold Control are integrated into the shift programming to reduce gear "hunting" and unnecessary shifting.

While traveling uphill or downhill, Grade Logic Control alters the 5-speed automatic's shift schedule, reducing shift frequency, and improving speed control. Throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration/deceleration are continuously measured, then compared with a map stored in the transmission computer. When the system determines the MDX is on a hill, the shift schedule is adjusted to automatically hold the transmission in a lower gear for better climbing power or increased downhill engine braking.

In spirited windy road driving, where the throttle is quickly released and the brakes are applied (as might be the case when decelerating to enter a corner), Shift Hold Control prevents upshifts to higher gears (4th and 5th). This reduces disturbance to the chassis and ensures abundant power is immediately available without a downshift. On curving roads, Shift Hold Control significantly improves throttle responsiveness and reduces unnecessary shifting.

Manual Mode

The Sequential SportShift transmission can be shifted into manual mode by moving the console-mounted selector lever laterally to a special gate to the left of the "Drive" position. When in manual mode, a forward push of the selector lever commands an upshift, while a rearward pull commands a downshift. The current transmission gear is shown in a digital display in the tachometer face. To heighten control and driver involvement, special shift logic in manual mode delivers quicker, firmer shifts than in fully automatic mode.

An array of features are active when the transmission is in manual mode to help protect the engine and drivetrain from inadvertent damage. The transmission ECU cuts off fuel flow to the engine if there is a possibility of over revving. In the rare situation where the fuel cutoff alone is unable to prevent engine over revving (as could happen on a steep downhill) the transmission will upshift itself to prevent engine damage. Also, when downshifting, the transmission won't execute a driver-commanded downshift that would send the engine beyond redline in the lower gear. Regardless of the selected ratio, the Sequential SportShift transmission will automatically downshift to first gear as the vehicle comes to a stop, to prevent pulling away from a stop in a high gear.

5-POSITION SHIFT GATE

The MDX has an intuitive 5-position shift gate that simplifies the operation of the transmission. When operated in automatic mode, the transmission allows the driver to choose D (1st through 5th gear) or D3 (1st through 3rd gear). The D3 position selects only the first three gears for increased engine braking or reduced busy shifts during city driving.

COOPERATION BETWEEN 5AT AND DRIVE-BY-WIRE

Both shift speed and smoothness are improved by cooperation between the Drive-by-Wire Throttle System™ and the electronically controlled automatic transmission. Since the engine can be throttled by the engine management system during upshifts and downshifts, the function of the engine and transmission can be closely choreographed for faster, smoother shifting. As a result, the peak g's (or "shift shock") are reduced significantly during upshifts and downshifts.

SUPER HANDLING ALL-WHEEL DRIVE™

The MDX has Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™) as standard equipment. This innovative full-time all-wheel-drive system actively distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear axles but also between the left and right rear wheels. This "Direct Yaw Control" improves cornering traction and steering precision. In addition to providing exceptional performance on dry pavement, the MDX's SH-AWD™ system provides significant performance gains in snow and ice, as well as similar gains in off road performance. In fact, the SH-AWD™ system on the MDX knows when it is going up a hill and automatically shifts torque to the rear to improve launch traction - before the vehicle even starts to move.

SH-AWD™ also enhances stability on snow and ice "in cooperation" with the MDX's VSA® system. During accelerating and cornering, SH-AWD™ first maximizes available traction by "preemptively" moving torque to the wheels with the maximum load. However, if the available traction limits are exceeded - the SH-AWD™ system can directly modify the drive torque distribution to stabilize acceleration and reduce the potential for oversteer.

  • Direct Yaw Control - promotes precise line trace in all conditions
  • Full-time "active and intelligent" all-wheel drive requires no driver interaction
  • Direct-acting Electromagnetic Clutches provide ultra-quick response
  • Hill Grade Logic allows "worry free" starting on steeper grades with up to 70% of available torque being sent to the rear wheels
  • Up to 70% of available torque can be directed to the rear wheels during hill climb acceleration for maximum traction
  • Up to 90% of available driveline torque can be transferred to the front wheels during cruising to provide "intelligent" fuel efficiency
  • In hard cornering, up to 50% of available torque can be directed to the rear axle for enhanced chassis balance and increased cornering capability
  • Up to % of the torque sent to the rear axle can be applied to either rear wheel as the conditions dictate
  • When accelerating on slippery surfaces, SH-AWD™/VSA® Cooperation greatly enhances stability and control
  • 37% increase in rear torque capacity as compared to the previous MDX VTM-4® system
  • 7% reduction in weight compared to the VTM-4® system

Effect of SH-AWD™

By overdriving the MDX's rear wheels % faster than the speed of the front axle, SH-AWD™ can provide an inward yaw moment while accelerating into and through cornering. The ability of SH-AWD™ to directly create a yaw moment to allow the vehicle to track exactly as the driver intended is called Direct Yaw Control. This reduces unwanted understeer or vehicle "push out" during everyday driving and when the driver chooses to enjoy a favorite stretch of road. Up to the available traction limits, Direct Yaw Control delivers an uncanny level of precision and driver confidence. Since Direct Yaw Control acts preemptively, VSA® brake and throttle interventions are less intrusive. In changing and challenging road conditions, SH-AWD™ reacts to adjust drive torque more quickly than the VSA® can apply a stabilizing brake torque.

During acceleration and cornering on slippery surfaces, a conventional 4WD vehicle distributes torque evenly between the two rear wheels. This may lead to loss of traction of the inside rear wheel as load is transferred to the outside wheel due to load transfer during cornering. However with SH-AWD™ the side-to-side rear torque distribution varies according to the lateral g (and associated load transfer of the rear tires). For all situations including low-traction roads, the side-to-side torque distribution is naturally aligned with the tire vertical loads. This enhances both traction and allows maximum utilization of the available road surface grip during acceleration and cornering.

Electronic Controls and Parameters - VSA®

Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) is included as standard equipment. By continually monitoring the vehicle's operating parameters (such as road speed, throttle position, steering wheel position, accelerating, braking and cornering loads), VSA® anticipates if the vehicle is approaching oversteer or understeer. To help correct either of these situations, VSA® first acts to transfer torque bias to the axle with the most traction. This preventative measure significantly reduces the number of brake and throttle interventions. The response is so quick that the instability may be corrected even before the driver knows it's occurring. Traction Control is integrated into the VSA®, and helps the MDX accelerate smoothly on slippery surfaces. The VSA® can request the SH-AWD™ to adjust its torque level - thus allowing Direct Yaw Control of the MDX to maximize stability under all driving conditions.

SH-AWD™ System Layout

The SH-AWD™ system in the MDX is mechanically closely related to the system in the RDX™. (The system in the RL sedan differs mechanically from the RDX and MDX systems, but is similar in principle.) A torque transfer unit is bolted directly to the front-mounted transaxle. Attached to the front differential's ring gear is a helical gear that provides input torque to the transfer unit. A short horizontal shaft and a hypoid gear set within the case send power to the propeller shaft, which in turn carries it to the rear drive unit. The MDX rear axle is geared to turn % faster than the front axle.

Direct Electromagnetic Clutch Systems

Located on either side of the hypoid gear that drives the rear axle, two identical Direct Electromagnetic Clutch systems control the amount of drive torque that reaches each rear wheel. These clutch systems can be controlled as a pair to alter the front/rear torque split, or be controlled independently, to allow up to % of the total rear axle torque to go to one side of the vehicle. The fast acting clutches coupled with smart control logic means traction is maximized in all conditions, without the need for driver intervention.

An electric coil controls the pressure in each clutch device. The amount of available rear axle torque transmitted to each rear wheel can vary continuously, between zero and %, depending on the conditions. Since the clutches are electromagnetically operated, the amount of drive torque delivered to each rear wheel can be controlled quickly and precisely, reducing wheel slip in low traction conditions.

The clutch packs and friction material are specially designed for the small amount of continuous slip between front and rear axles (created by the % speed differential), while ensuring the expected level of Acura durability. An oil-temperature sensor allows the ECU to estimate the clutch plate coefficient of friction (which changes with heat) in each clutch pack and then adjusts the current sent to the electromagnetic coil that controls
the compensation of each clutch. To ensure that the amount of torque transmitted remains optimized as miles accumulate, a coil provides a feedback loop that the ECU uses to adjust current to the electromagnetic clutches to compensate for clutch wear.

MAINTENANCE MINDER SYSTEM

An automatic Maintenance Minder System monitors the vehicle's operating conditions to eliminate unnecessary service visits while ensuring that the vehicle is properly maintained. When the Maintenance Minder System determines that maintenance is required, the driver is alerted via a series of messages on the Multi-Information Display (MID). The alerts occur well in advance of required maintenance for scheduling convenience.

This resettable system indicates when maintenance is due on many normal service parts and systems, including oil and filter change, tire rotation, air cleaner, automatic transmission fluid, parts replacement and more. It monitors operating conditions such as oil and coolant temperature and engine rotations to determine the proper service intervals. Maintenance alerts are presented when the ignition is first turned on, not while driving, unless an urgent need arises. The driver can also check the remaining oil life at any time through the MID.

Acura MDX - Body & Chassis

OVERVIEW

The first generation MDX® provided a strong blend of adaptable space, functionality, and "anytime, anywhere" mobility, together with a high level of safety and environmental responsibility. This made it perfect for families. Now the new model retains all of these traditional MDX virtues, while providing an even more exciting visual presence, and far more accomplished handling and ride comfort.

Customers in the luxury SUV arena demand distinctive style. The MDX provides it with standard inch tires and wheels, standard High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and a signature Acura grille. Driving excitement is equally embraced with a chassis tuned and proven at the Nurburgring circuit and autobahns in Germany.

The exterior has bold, clean and advanced styling details with European cache, and was styled to connect with enthusiast drivers from the moment they first see it. Sitting in the vehicle - and then experiencing it - makes the desire even more intense. Besides featuring a horsepower V-6, the MDX includes Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™), an available Active Damper System, and lightweight aluminum components used in the suspension and body. Convenience features like a power tailgate, available with the Entertainment Package, further improve functionality and luxury.

EXTERIOR DESIGN GOALS

One of the primary goals in designing the MDX was to keep its traditional strengths but advance its performance and image. The clear direction for the MDX was to create a bold and innovative look that clearly conveyed the "Driver's SUV" nature of the completely reengineered vehicle. Though the grille retains Acura's trademark pentagon shape, it is 30% larger than that of the previous MDX. It is free of molding breaks for a cleaner look, and features dark silver satin plating.

STYLING DEVELOPMENT

The original MDX provided a fine blend of utility, luxury and style. Now the Acura MDX adds powerful dynamic styling that's a continuation of the themes that have been embodied in recent Acura products. Thanks to its mission to provide high-end dynamic capabilities as well as well-heeled luxury and contemporary design, Acura designers playfully dubbed it the "Driver Dad's SUV" - imagining it as a powerfully elegant SUV befitting a secret agent.

They found inspiration in a high-powered megayacht, which features an exceptionally bold, lean and contemporary design. The challenge was to apply the useful elements of the yacht design to an SUV, and designers found their answer in the adoption of large areas of clean surfaces and the addition of decisive line breaks and dynamic surface curvature. Large inch wheels and tires not only benefit handling, but also create a muscular look.

In front, the MDX has a distinctive, advanced Acura look. The platform is long, low and wide to enhance cornering and high-speed stability. Compared to its predecessor, the new MDX is over two inches longer overall, with a 2-inch longer wheelbase. The low-slung body also lowers step-in height, making ingress and egress easier.

MDX MDX Difference
Overall length, in. +
Overall width, in. +
Overall height, in. -
Wheelbase, in. +
Track, F/R, in. //+ /

COMPETITIVE COMPARISON

The MDX is both longer and wider overall, and has a significantly wider track than its primary market competitors. As a result it offers dramatic appearance, packaging and utility advantages.

Acura MDX BMW X5 i Lexus RX Porsche Cayenne Volvo XC90 T
Overall length, in.
Overall width, in.
Overall height, in.
Wheelbase, in.
Track, F/R, in. /////

BODY STRUCTURE

The MDX is the first SUV developed at Honda Research of the Americas (HRA) to embody the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which distributes collision forces through the structure during a frontal collision while helping to retain the integrity of the passenger compartment. The MDX has a large amount of high-strength steel to help reduce vehicle weight while increasing strength. Alternative materials including aluminum and magnesium are also used throughout the vehicle, further reducing vehicle mass, which helps lower emissions and increase performance.

Attaining a high level of dynamic body rigidity is essential for precise handling, ride quality and quietness inside the cabin. Advances in unit body design allow the MDX to achieve nearly 20% greater dynamic rigidity than the first-generation MDX. By researching the body's dynamic response to chassis loads resulting from everyday driving events, MDX engineers considered the unit body's "dynamic stiffness" as an entire system, not just as a single component. Thus body rigidity is not an end to itself - rather it is an enabler for enhanced vehicle dynamics, riding comfort, and driving quietness.

Instrumented testing revealed that the "tailgate ring" - the open area surrounding the tailgate - is particularly important for handling, stability and ride. In the MDX this area has been markedly stiffened, providing the rear suspension with a more solid mounting and netting an improvement in handling precision. In addition, the MDX's floor frames are wider than before for improved packaging and rigidity.

HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL

The MDX uses dramatically more high-strength steel than the MDX it replaces. Now % of the steel used is high-strength steel vs. 13% for the previous-generation MDX. The high-strength steel contributes to rigidity, excellent crashworthiness and light weight. High-strength steel is specified in different grades for use in different parts of the vehicle. Some unit body areas using this material include the roof arches, floor cross members, tailgate opening and front rails and body sides.

LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM

In addition, some % of the MDX body components are aluminum. This material is ideal for certain components such as the hood and instrument panel support, where light weight is required but the strength of steel is not imperative.

The hood on the first-generation MDX was steel, and the weight savings of using aluminum instead of steel for the MDX hood is pounds. Aside from using a unique metal conditioner and phosphate dip prior to painting, there are no unique production challenges for using an aluminum hood - and no ownership compromises either. To improve environmental efficiency, a factory separation line isolates different scrap materials, including aluminum, for recycling.

The aluminum instrument panel support saves an additional pounds compared to a traditional steel unit. This support, which connects the A pillars to the front floor crossmember, is a structural element consisting of cast parts, extrusions and sheet aluminum.

AERODYNAMICS

Prototypes of the Acura MDX spent a total of seven weeks in the wind tunnel to test and develop its aerodynamic properties. The attention to detail in aerodynamic efficiency included the development of body side sills that help keep air from moving underneath the car and causing turbulence. Lift balance and the coefficient of lift were also addressed to keep the MDX stable at high speeds. In this area, internal testing revealed that the MDX meets and exceeds the performance of the BMW X5.

WIND NOISE

Careful attention was paid to reducing wind noise inside the MDX cabin. An acoustic wind tunnel was used to identify and correct noise issues, resulting in the MDX's best-in-class wind noise performance (at the driver's ear point) according to Acura's internal measurements.

An added benefit of this wind tunnel was the ability to rotate the MDX sideways into the airflow. This allowed engineers to approximate even the most severe gusting side winds and solve unexpected and unwanted wind noise that could accompany such severe conditions.

The MDX's sunroof is larger than the one in the previous generation and is also the widest of any direct competitor. A finely tuned deflector ensures that the sunroof does not add objectionable wind noise when in the open position, even at highway speeds. Attention to detail in the sealing of the doors and tailgate also heightened the performance of the MDX's overall wind noise level.

INSULATION

Engineers attacked noise from virtually every source inside and outside the MDX. Their primary goal was to reduce noise at its source. One creative noise-reduction technique is the use of composite seals in the exterior door panels. These composite seals actually serve two purposes - to reduce the transmission of noise through the doors, and to shield the interior components from dirt and water while driving through rain or puddles. The new door insulators provide a substantial reduction in objectionable sound - up to five decibels on some roads.

DOORS

The MDX's door handles are sized for comfort as well as ease of use, regardless of whether the user is bare handed or wearing winter gloves. There are three door checker positions - the detent mechanism that holds the door partially open - instead of the usual two, providing a convenient "in between" position in tight parking situations. The door openings are finished with an attractive composite garnish that hides the doorsill when the door is open.

GLASS

Normally only sports cars use windshields with highly compound curves. Deeply contoured glass is more complex and costly to make and is usually reserved for low-production vehicles. Designers specified deeply curved acoustic glass for the MDX for its styling appeal as well as to improve aerodynamic efficiency and quietness. The rear glass is likewise a deep wraparound design - the deepest in the Acura product range.

The MDX has an auto up/down feature for the driver and front passenger's mm thick side windows. The MDX offers degrees of visibility compared to degrees of visibility for the BMW X5, which is a significant accomplishment considering the increased size of the new head rests mandated by the government's FMVSS safety regulations.

All glass from the B-pillar back has a gray tint to reduce eyestrain and heat buildup inside the cabin. In addition, the outside rearview mirrors use a special blue glass, sourced from Germany, that provides bright imaging along with excellent glare resistance.

HID HEADLIGHTS

All Acura MDX models include high-intensity discharge (HID) low beams with halogen high beams. The advantages of HID headlamps include greater lighting power, daylight type lighting and reduced power consumption. They provide lumens of lighting power, up from the lumens of the Acura MDX halogen low beams. In addition, the cutlines of the new HID headlights are extremely precise, providing maximum nighttime visibility without distracting other drivers.

The MDX features Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which turn on with the ignition. The MDX with the optional Sport Package features an auto-leveling feature, which similar to the Acura RL, keeps the headlights level regardless of how the vehicle is loaded with passengers or cargo.

To ensure a high degree of theft prevention the HID headlights are attached to the unit body with multi-strand steel cables. Halogen fog lamps are also included as standard equipment on all MDX trim levels.

LED TAILLAMPS

Two Light-Emitting Diode (LED) arrays, comprised of 12 LEDs apiece, are used for the tail lamps of the MDX. Likewise, the Center High Mount Stop Lamp features a single array of 16 LEDs. Advantages of the LED taillights include an elegant contemporary appearance, quicker turn-on time compared to a conventional incandescent bulbs, and significantly greater service life. LEDs are also brighter, smaller, lighter and produce less heat than incandescent lights. The LED high mount stop light was selected for its appearance and ability to produce the required lighting brightness with slender physical dimensions. LEDs are also used in the MDX's outside mirror housing-mounted turn signals, improving visibility during lane changes or turns.

POWER TAILGATE

Acura's first power tailgate system is available on the MDX with Entertainment Package. It can be operated either from the remote key fob, from a button on the driver's door panel, or from a button located inside the tailgate. The location of the motor in the D pillar instead of in the roof allows excellent headroom for the third-row seats. The tailgate can also be operated manually.

RESIN FUEL FILLER DOOR

The MDX fuel filler door is operated remotely from inside the vehicle via a switch on the driver's door panel. The fuel-filler door is made of a composite resin material that is lightweight, dent resistant and corrosion proof. For a better appearance the inside of the door is a flangeless resin design.

BUMPERS

The front and rear bumpers are constructed of a structural beam covered with a plastic fascia and are rated to withstand impacts of up to five mph without sustaining significant damage. An attachment point for a tow hook is located under a small cover on each bumper fascia. Removing the cover allows access to a threaded boss that accepts a steel eyebolt located in a holder in the jack storage area.

EXTERIOR PAINT

Inspired by the smooth finishes on fine pianos, Acura set about achieving a mirror-smooth paint finish with a wet, glossy look. To advance the surface smoothness, "orange peel" - the finely undulating surface found on some paints resulting from the evaporation of the paint solvents - had to be all but eliminated. Nine environmentally safer waterborne exterior colors are available, and each uses a durable clear-coat finish that resists scratching and airborne pollutants.

Interior Color

Exterior Color Paint TypeEbony TaupeParchmentBordeaux
Taffeta White Solid

X

X

Aspen Winter Metallic Metallic

X

X

Billet Silver Metallic Metallic

X

X

Nimbus Gray Metallic Metallic

X

X

Formal Black Pearl

X

X

X

X

X

Steel Blue Metallic Metallic

X

X

Aberdeen Green Metallic Metallic

X

X

Dark Cherry Pearl Pearl

X

X

Desert Rock Metallic Metallic

X

MANUFACTURING

Assembled at Honda of Canada Manufacturing, every MDX that comes down the line goes through a special inspection area. Here inspectors focus on finding and solving any concerns. The inspection process is dynamic, with changeable parameters based on where any concerns lie.

Along with the RDX, this represents the first time Acura vehicles are separated from Hondas during the assembly process. It represents Acura's commitment to being at the leading edge of quality, and is befitting of the most exclusive Acura SUV ever created.

CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT

From its inception, the second-generation MDX targeted the dynamics and driving feel of its strongest European competitors. The essential elements of this engineering goal included steering, suspension, braking and overall dynamic performance, as well as noise, vibration and harshness control.

At the beginning of the MDX development period, engineers tested European luxury SUVs on European roads, including the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz ML, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC These experiences provided real-world understanding of how these luxury SUVs functioned in everyday driving on their "home turf." Although later development testing was conducted in the U.S., the DNA of the MDX was largely formed in Europe.

One of the essential tools that Acura used was the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany. This mile course contains over corners and is considered the toughest natural road course in the world. Engineers used the Nurburgring as a "weakness finder" because it clearly exposes problems with a vehicle's dynamics, making them easier to identify and fix.

In order to build in a combination of increased handling agility, increased stability and comfort, the vehicle's wheelbase, tread width, and suspension technology were all changed from the first-generation MDX. Engineers changed the lift and squat characteristics of the suspension to provide a flatter takeoff. Thanks to its extended wheelbase together with SH-AWD™ (see Powertrain section), the MDX offers both exceptional high-speed stability and responsive handling.

FRONT SUSPENSION

The entire front chassis was tuned to provide the best balance of handling precision, road isolation, and impact aftershake damping. MacPherson struts with inversely wound coil-over springs and forged-aluminum lower control arms reduce unsprung weight, while the front subframe "floats" on rubber mounts to provide road and engine isolation. The front suspension also uses newly developed hydro-compliance bushings to provide superior ride isolation as well as chassis vibration control. Suspension and engine mounts are specifically tuned to provide minimum vibration transfer to the occupants, and the front struts employ internal rebound springs to improve ride and handling. Anti-dive properties were likewise revised to improve impact harshness and ride comfort.

REAR SUSPENSION

The MDX's rear suspension is a multi-link system mounted on a separate steel subframe. Squeeze-cast aluminum uprights (or "knuckles") reduce unsprung weight for improved response, while revised trailing-arm mounting points (compared to the previous MDX) reduce body squat during acceleration. Coil springs, dampers and an anti-roll bar are tuned for the optimum combination of ride and handling. Rear subframe mounts and lateral control link bushing rates were significantly revised to create a discrete level of lateral force steer at the rear axle. Since the SH-AWD™ system constantly varies drive torque at the rear axle, the longitudinal and lateral force steer properties were carefully developed for optimum response, stability and consistency.

ACTIVE DAMPER SYSTEM

Included with the optional Sport Package, the Active Damper System gives the MDX an elevated level of handling precision designed to satisfy the most discriminating drivers, while maintaining a smooth and controlled ride. Acura considered all of the available technologies before choosing electronically controlled "semi active," fast-acting Magneto-Rheological fluid dampers as the ideal technology to maximize ride comfort and handling in one integrated system.

The overall goal of the Active Damper System is to achieve outstanding levels of handling response while maintaining refined levels of ride comfort. This allows the driver intuitive vehicle control in a relaxed environment - free from neck straining head toss and other sudden vehicle motions. This is made possible by the quick response of the dampers and by the computer algorithms that keep the dampers a step ahead of the actual body movements.

Advantages of the Active Damper System include:

  • Flat cornering feel - minimal roll or pitch even during spirited driving
  • Responsive, precise and secure steering feel
  • Elimination of unwanted under-damped body heave, roll and pitch motions
  • Improved tire adhesion, vehicle stability and road isolation

REAL-TIME DAMPER CONTROL

The secret to the MDX's Active Damper System is its fast-acting "semi active" shock absorbers. These dampers are built and tuned specifically for the MDX and offer the ability to individually adjust from minimum to maximum damping force in as little as five milliseconds ( sec.). Their ability to do this hinges on the principle of electromagnetic induction. Each damper carries a field coil that generates an electromagnetic field when current is passed through it. Special proprietary damper fluid contains microscopic (on the order of 10 microns in diameter) ferric spheres that align when surrounded by the electromagnetic field, dramatically and instantly changing the effective fluid viscosity. Not only is the overall range of damping force available significantly more than that of a conventional damper, but there are literally hundreds of steps within that range.

The current that passes through the field coils is controlled by an electronic control unit (ECU) that uses special algorithms to determine the best setting for the road conditions. This combined with nearly instantaneous reaction time of the dampers allows damping control to occur before the vehicle's tires or body are allowed to have any extraneous motion.

Active Dampers can run with low damping when the road is smooth and level and the vehicle is being driven at a constant speed. This further reduces the amount of vibration and harshness that passes from the suspension to the body, quieting and improving the vehicle's ride quality.

Using the dampers' 5-millisecond response time, the Active Damper System reacts to sudden changes in driver or road inputs. The high damping force achieved in this short time allows the dampers to aid the springs and stabilizer bars in roll and pitch control, greatly improving the handling of the MDX.

The result of the improved transient handling, road isolation, and body control is that the MDX with the Active Damping System noticeably reduces the driver's workload when compared to other performance-oriented SUVs. The system is able to achieve the benefits of a sporty suspension without the traditional ride comfort tradeoffs. The overall benefit is more enjoyment, better control and less fatigue over the long haul.

Sport or Comfort Mode

The Active Damper System provides two driver-selectable settings - Sport and Comfort. Sport mode prioritizes handling response, vehicle body control and tire adhesion to allow for spirited driving with high levels of precision and composure. Comfort mode allows for a more relaxed driving experience by prioritizing road isolation and reduced passenger fatigue caused by road inputs. Either Sport or Comfort mode can be used in any type of operating conditions as preferred by the driver.

The Active Damper System does not require any special maintenance and has no scheduled replacement interval. The Active Damper system maintains the same quality, durability and performance as all other Acura components.

POWER RACK & PINION STEERING

Of all the luxury SUVs that Acura targeted in developing the MDX, the BMW X5 i offered the best steering quality. Acura set out to match and exceed the BMW's combination of linearity, precise feel and security at high speed with torque-sensing, variable power-assist rack-and-pinion steering.

Acura engineers spent considerable energy studying steering center feel in an effort to elevate the quality of steering feedback the driver receives. Beyond offering the correct effort level, the MDX provides subtle transient steering feedback that is an integral part of its subjective handling quality. Notable geometry changes include increasing the rake and trail over the previous MDX to provide a stronger steering feel.

WHEELS AND TIRES

The Acura MDX has standard 18x8J 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and P/55R18 H M+S all-season tires. The tires were specially developed for the MDX by Bridgestone and Michelin and offer a significant traction improvement in dry and wet conditions, while maintaining the previous MDX's level of snow/ice traction. Every MDX trim level except base features P/55R18 H M+S all-season tires, and P/45R19 summer tires are also available with the Acura accessory inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Acura designers purposefully moved the wheels and tires to the high end of the competitive set. In , the MDX has bigger tires than all of its 4WD base competitors, and is the only vehicle in the group with standard inch tires.

4-WHEEL DISC BRAKES

The 4-wheel disc brakes on the MDX are the largest brake system ever featured on a production Acura vehicle. The brake system is engineered to provide best-in-class braking capability in dry conditions, as well as while driving in rain, snow or icy conditions.

Engineers benchmarked the existing MDX as well as the top competitors including BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne for braking performance and pedal feel. Compared to the existing MDX, the model has shorter pedal travel and firmer pedal feel, in keeping with the direct feel that enthusiast drivers want. The ventilated front rotors are 13 inches in diameter with a thickness of inches, while the rear rotors are solid inch diameter units with a thickness of inches. Calipers are dual-piston cast iron units in front and single-piston cast iron units in back.

The MDX brake design is validated by a severe fade test utilized by the German enthusiast magazine Auto Motor und Sport, and by rigorous testing on the German Nurburgring circuit.

VEHICLE STABILITY ASSIST™ (VSA®) WITH TRACTION CONTROL

Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) is included as standard equipment. By continually monitoring the vehicle's operating parameters (such as road speed, throttle position, steering wheel position, accelerating, braking and cornering loads), VSA® anticipates if the vehicle is approaching oversteer or understeer. To help correct either of these situations, VSA® first acts to transfer torque bias to the axle with the most traction. This preventative measure significantly reduces the number of brake and throttle interventions. The response is so quick that the instability may be corrected even before the driver knows it's occurring. Traction Control is integrated into the VSA®, and helps the MDX accelerate smoothly on slippery surfaces. As stated in the SH-AWD™ section, the VSA® can request the SH-AWD™ to adjust its torque level - thus allowing Direct Yaw Control of the MDX to maximize stability under all driving conditions.

TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM (TPMS)

An onboard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warns the driver if the air pressure decreases significantly in any tire. The system helps reduce the chance of damaging a tire or losing control of the vehicle due to low air pressure. This is important because a slow leak, such as one that might be caused by a nail or road debris, might not be easily detectable but could cause significant air loss, loss of grip and potentially a blowout.

TPMS uses a sensor mounted on each wheel that continually monitors tire pressure and sends a coded signal to the TPMS electronic control unit (ECU). The process begins with a signal initiator located inboard of each tire on the chassis. The initiator sends a unique signal for each TPMS sensor. Then the TPMS sensor sends tire pressure data to the TPMS ECU, which compares the values for each tire's pressure against an acceptable range of pressures.

When a tire's pressure drops significantly below the proper level, a "check tire pressure" alert will appear on the Multi-Information Display (MID) alert screen. The system can display the air pressure in all four tires simultaneously via the MID, making it simple to locate a low-pressure tire.

At the driver's preference, the Multi-Information Display can continually show the air pressure in all four tires. Regardless of whether the driver chooses to monitor the pressures, a warning will still occur if a tire drops below specification.

OFF-ROAD CAPABILITY

Acura product planners took thorough measures to ensure that off-road enthusiasts would be satisfied with the MDX. The new vehicle meets design criteria developed for the original MDX, which was based on research at different off-road areas across the country. This research was the foundation for specific minimum performance criteria for the new MDX, including travel through standing water nearly 19 inches deep, steep approach and departure angles (28o front and 23o rear, respectively), rocks, off road and paved grades up to 60%. Components located underneath the vehicle are tucked away to avoid damage in off-highway driving, and the evaporative canister is protected by a high-strength steel guard.

The high-torque engine, SH-AWD™ system with hill logic and computer-controlled traction capabilities help the MDX meet typical off-road challenges without the need for low-range gears. The MDX outperforms its predecessor without the need for a driver-selected 4WD "lock" mode. Generous front approach, break-over and rear departure angles enable the MDX to meet the rough terrain needs of its target buyers.

SNOW AND ICE CAPABILITY

The same technologies that make the MDX capable off-road also enhance its performance in snow and ice. The SH-AWD™ system with grade logic and computer-controlled traction capabilities work together with the standard M+S tires to maximize grip and driver control in winter driving conditions.

NOISE, VIBRATION & HARSHNESS (NVH)

The MDX uses an array of technologies to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in the passenger cabin. Acura began by attacking vibration in the body during the engineering phase instead of simply adding materials to the body to damp it out later. Two examples of this process are new rear suspension mounting points, which are now attached to the unit body for greater rigidity and reduced vibration, and the stiffening of the front and rear subframes, which allowed the mounting bushings to be made softer.

Engineers paid strict attention to addressing two specific issues - concrete road noise and drumming - neither of which are acceptable to luxury customers. By nature SUVs are susceptible to drumming noises in the cabin interior because of their large open area. Where necessary, meltsheets are still used in critical areas on the front bulkhead and floor, and lighter insulators are used on the bodysides, doors and roof. A new hybrid carpet and padding system further reduces noise intrusion by balancing the transmission loss and absorption properties of the carpet.

To verify that the results were on target, engineers dynamically shook the body and measured vibration by scanning the MDX floor with lasers to see where the "hot spots" were. This provided exact information on where to focus efforts. As a result, the new MDX is 20% stiffer and measurably quieter than the previous version, registering just 64 dBA at 60 mph.

TOWING

With a towing capacity of pounds the MDX can tow boat and/or camper trailers with equal confidence. Standard towing equipment includes a high-capacity radiator with twin watt fans, an automatic transmission fluid cooler, a heavy-duty power-steering cooler and pre-wiring for an electric brake controller. A Towing Package is available as dealer-installed accessory, and includes a hitch, receiver, ball and wiring harness.

These essential towing capabilities are improved for the Acura MDX:

  • Acceleration
  • Pulling power on steep boat ramps
  • Cooling performance
  • Durability
  • Handling
  • Braking

One of Acura's durability tests was towing a pound trailer around Death Valley National Park during summer, including climbs up steep Townes Pass and Daylight Pass with temperatures between o and o F. Testers also targeted the toughest boat ramp they could find - at Shasta Lake in Northern California. The ramp is extremely steep, and its length varies depending on the lake level. They also proved the MDX trailer-pulling skills elsewhere in California as well as in Kentucky and West Virginia.

TRAILER STABILITY ASSIST

Every MDX comes with standard Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) that includes special Trailer Stability Assist algorithms. Trailer Stability Assist interprets oscillation, or wag, in the vehicle/trailer combination while driving. This may occur if the trailer is not loaded correctly, or under certain speed and road conditions. Using a combination of torque reduction and individual brakes, Trailer Stability Assist activates to stabilize the vehicle after sensing oscillations of the vehicle and trailer system.

Acura MDX - Interior and Safety

OVERVIEW

The core MDX themes of driving enthusiasm, intelligent functionality, technology and luxury are clearly in evidence in the all-new interior. Acura's flagship SUV blends sport sedan intensity with the best elements of SUV utility. And in perfect keeping with Acura tradition, the MDX integrates the latest technology into a seamlessly intuitive package that puts the emphasis on driving.

New attention to detail and luxury distinguish the MDX interior. Softer leather seating, highly supportive front bucket seats and a driver-oriented cockpit make it clear that the new MDX is focused on the driver - but not at the expense of passenger comfort. The power driver's seat adjusts 10 ways for optimum comfort, and the front passenger seat is 8-way power adjustable. The outboard second-row seats mirror the style and lateral support of the front seats, giving the MDX interior a unique 4+3 feel that highlights its blend of sport and utility. Convenience and cargo features abound, including under-floor storage in the cargo compartment and an available power-operated rear tailgate.

As Acura's flagship SUV, the MDX offers a formidable list of standard equipment. A leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel provides the driver with fingertip control of key functions in an interior environment that's maintained by a Tri-Zone climate control system with humidity control. Precise backlit LED instrumentation with spun metal appearance and Acura's legendary attention to control function and feel make the MDX driver's seat the place to be. A standard 8-speaker Acura Premium Sound System plays nearly every type of current audio format, and includes standard XM® Satellite Radio and an auxiliary jack for the easy connection of a personal audio player. The Acura Music Link system is available as an accessory for seamlessly integrated control of an Apple iPod©. With the HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface that's compatible with many Bluetooth mobile phones, staying connected on the road is no problem.

The available Technology Package adds even more capability, and integrates perfectly into the MDX's performance-oriented driving environment. The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ with rearview camera, has a brilliant 8-inch screen and includes the AcuraLink™ Satellite Communication System with Real-Time traffic, which can help the MDX driver navigate around congested freeways. The Technology Package's spectacular speaker Acura/ELS Surround™ Premium Sound System with multi-format 6-disc DVD-AUDIO changer, AM/FM tuner, and XM® Satellite Radio provides a state-of-the-art soundtrack. For each of up to six compatible phones on all trim levels the system can store up to 50 numbers with voice tags, while the technology-package equipped MDX can import up to names into the Navigation system phonebook.

For even more luxury, the available Sport Package includes extra-soft premium perforated leather seating surface inserts. The optional Entertainment Package includes a DVD Rear Entertainment System complete with a flip-down 9-inch TFT screen, dual wireless headphones, a wireless illuminated remote control, and volt plug in the center console.

Interior Features

  • 4+3 seating concept
  • Driver-oriented cockpit
  • Dynamic and layered styling theme
  • Driver's way power seat including power adjustable lumbar support
  • Electronic tilt and telescoping steering column
  • 2-driver custom memory system
  • Front passenger 8-way power seat
  • Tri-Zone automatic climate control system with humidity control and filtration
  • watt Acura Premium Sound System with AM/FM tuner, 6-disc in-dash CD, MP3, WMA changer and 8 speakers, including 8-inch subwoofer
  • Auxiliary jack for personal audio devices
  • HomeLink®
  • Multi-Information Display (MID) allows access to multiple electronic functions
  • Adaptive and flexible cargo space with six configurations
  • HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface is compatible with many Bluetooth mobile phones

Technology Package

  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and rear view camera
  • AcuraLink™ satellite communication system with real-time traffic
  • watt, speaker Acura/ELS Surround™ Premium Sound System with multi-format 6-disc in-dash CD/DVD-AUDIO changer, AM/FM tuner, and XM® Satellite Radio
  • GPS-linked, solar-sensing, Tri-Zone, automatic climate control system with humidity control and filtration

Sport Package

  • Active Damper System
  • Perforated premium full-grain leather seating surfaces with high-damping front-seat cushion foam
  • Exclusive alloy wheel design
  • Auto-leveling Xenon HID headlights
  • Textured metallic accents on radio, cupholder and shifter escutcheon

Entertainment Package (available with Technology or Sport Package)

  • DVD Rear Entertainment System with wireless headphones and remote control
  • volt power outlet in center consol
  • Second-row heated outboard seats
  • Remote power-operated tailgate

CONCEPT AND STYLING

The interior styling of the MDX is based on three key concepts: "4+3" seating, a driver's oriented cockpit and a dynamic and layered overall interior look.

4+3 Seating

The concept of 4+3 seating emphasizes the comfort, luxury and style of the front seats and the outboard second-row positions. These seats share the same styling theme, and have substantial side bolsters to provide secure lateral support when the MDX is cornering. The second-row center position and the two seating positions in the third row are used less frequently, and as such styled more stealthily. Nested headrests in these positions provide a clean appearance, and in the third row, allow the seat to be folded flat without the need to remove the headrests.

Driver-Oriented Cockpit

To put the MDX's various systems under the clear control of the driver, a "Driver-Oriented Cockpit" theme guided the design of the cockpit. Analog central instrumentation is supplemented with digital and graphic displays. The interface with the MDX's many advanced systems is simple and intuitive. Sight lines are clear with important items placed within easy view.

Frequently used systems, like the audio system and cruise control, have switches positioned on the steering wheel. The multifunction Interface Dial, which operates navigation system functions, is positioned just ahead of the shifter lever within easy reach.

Dynamic Styling

The MDX envelops its passengers with dramatic shapes that sweep from the center console, across the instrument panel and then into the door panels. Sculptural and warm wood-patterned trim creates a zone of luxury for the front passenger. Rich textures interplay with sleekly technical metallic accents in the MDX interior to create an atmosphere of luxury and advanced technology.

LEATHER-WRAPPED STEERING WHEEL

The MDX's driver-focused control layout is clearly in evidence in the steering wheel. Audio system controls are positioned on the left spoke, and cruise control switches are on the right spoke.

The five o'clock position on the wheel has switches that operate the Multi-Information Display (MID). The seven o'clock position is reserved for HandsFreeLink® and Technology Package navigation system controls, including a push-to-talk button to activate the voice recognition system, which provides voice control over a wide range of features.

INTERIOR MATERIALS AND CRAFTSMANSHIP

The MDX pushes interior luxury to a new level with a range of thoughtful touches. Special care has been taken to create surfaces with a pleasing tactile feel. Door grab handles have a soft-touch grip, the instrument panel has a soft feel and a seamless passenger airbag cover, and passenger grab handles have a dampened motion. Quality is further revealed in the soft, low-gloss instrument panel top, detailed door panels, door sash garnishes, and flush seatbelt upper anchors.

SEATING

In keeping with its 4+3 seating arrangement, the MDX offers two types of seating. To provide a blend of sporting support and comfort for four passengers, the MDX has deeply-bolstered sport sedan seating in front and in the outboard second-row positions. For the less frequently used second row middle position and the two third-row positions, comfort and versatility are the goals.

The front bucket seats and outboard rear seats have pronounced side bolsters to provide lateral support for aggressive cornering, along with abundant comfort for long drives. On the Sport Package, the front seats feature a new type of seat base foam that improves damping of small vibrations for improved comfort. Redesigned seat frames and power adjustment mechanisms reduce flex for a more solid feel. The driver's seat is way power adjustable and includes a power-adjustable lumbar support mechanism. The driver's seat is part of a 2-driver automatic memory system that includes the exterior mirrors, climate control, and electronic presets. The front passenger seat is 8-way power adjustable. Both front seats are heated.

For easy access to the third row of seats, the passenger-side second-row seat slides forward and the seatbacks flip forward. The MDX's seating surfaces are wrapped in special leather using a new soft and flexible tanning system, solid embossing and color coating. The result is a softer, richer feel coupled with excellent durability.

In terms of seating dimensions, the MDX is similar in size when compared to its predecessor. It has gained second-row leg room, front headroom, shoulder room in the first two rows, and has more hip room in the second row.

SEATING SURFACES

All MDX models feature high quality perforated leather seating surfaces as standard equipment for the first and second row seats. In addition, the special premium leather included in the Sport Package is the softest leather ever offered in an Acura. This full grain leather has not been corrected or altered and shows the natural leather grain. A soft, flexible coating system provides maximum softness while retaining excellent abrasion resistance. Breathable perforated inserts in the first two rows add to passenger comfort. With the premium leather, leather application is increased to the second row center passenger area.

INTERIOR CONVENIENCE AND UTILITY

Thoughtful features abound in the MDX interior. The front center console has individual armrests for driver and passenger to allow for storage access without disturbing the other armrest. A pocket in the passenger side of the console provides room for small items. In the second row, the flip-down padded center console features pullout dual cup holders. All four doors offer storage pockets, and storage for sunglasses is provided in the front overhead console. Storage pockets and cupholders add convenience to the third row seating area. Under-floor storage, grocery bag hooks and cargo tie-down points boost cargo area usefulness.

CARGO CARRYING VERSATILITY

The MDX easily adapts to a variety of missions. In all, there are six possible configurations for the MDX's three rows of seating. Behind the rear seats, there are 15 cubic feet of storage that's easily accessible though the flip-up rear hatch (power-operated in the Entertainment Package). With the 50/50 third row seats folded flat (the headrests can be left in place), the capacity jumps to cubic feet. For the maximum cargo volume of cubic feet, the 60/40 split-folding second row seats can also be folded down, producing a flat load floor in the rear.

INTERIOR LIGHTING

Significant engineering went into the MDX's interior lighting, to provide clear visibility, the right ambience and optimized illumination levels regardless of ambient lighting. The analog instruments are LED backlit, with high-contrast markings and a subdued blue accent hue. Transparent illuminated pointers provide clarity and a high-end look. Auto Interior Dimming automatically and progressively adjusts the instrument and navigation system (if so equipped) illumination to suit the ambient lighting conditions. The sensitivity is owner-adjustable to one of five different levels, or interior dimming may be switched off entirely.

The MDX has a progressive self-illuminating gauge package. When the door is first opened, the instrument lighting comes to life, and then brightens progressively when the ignition is switched on. The illuminated instrument needles and enunciator lights then come alive, indicating that the MDX is ready to drive. When the key is switched off, the instrument lighting dims progressively.

For easy location in the dark, all of the MDX's switches are illuminated, including those on all four doors and the steering wheel. Blue low-level LED ambient lighting in the ceiling illuminates the front center console and map lights are provided for the two front seats and the two outboard second row seats. A dome light is provided above the third-row seats. All four doors have courtesy lights that are illuminated when the doors are open; the rear tailgate has a light that illuminates the area immediately behind the vehicle for easier cargo loading. The MDX has interior lights featuring "theater dimming," which can be set by the driver to any of three dimming times, via the Multi-Information Display (MID).

TRI-ZONE AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEM

To maximize passenger comfort, the MDX has standard Tri-Zone automatic climate control that allows the driver, front passenger and rear zone to be set to different temperatures. Rear zone controls are conveniently positioned on the rear of the center console. With the touch of a button, the driver can synchronize the rear temperature with that of the driver area at any time.

When equipped with the Technology Package, the climate control benefits from GPS-linked, solar-sensing. Based on its continuously updated vehicle position information, the navigation system determines the position of the sun relative to the driver and passenger. When in AUTO mode, this information is combined with input from the solar sensor located on top of the instrument panel to automatically adjust the temperature from side to side as needed to compensate for asymmetrical solar heating.

Humidity Control System

To help avoid window fogging situations, the MDX's automatic climate control system has a cabin humidity control system. This new control system provides greater passenger comfort and minimizes the time the air conditioning runs. When set to operate in AUTO mode, a temperature and humidity sensor located in the front of the passenger cabin monitors the interior climate. If the system determines that there is a low probability of window fogging, it maintains a comfortable humidity level of around 20%. The more natural humidity level compared to the previous MDX makes for greater skin comfort, reduces fatigue and dehydration and improves passenger alertness.

If the system determines that potential window fogging conditions exist, it changes the climate control parameters to help keep the windows clear. In these situations, the air conditioning system is set to MAX, the air outlet mode is switched to HEAT/DEF and the fan speed is gradually increased to reduce the chances of window fogging.

MULTI-INFORMATION DISPLAY (MID)

A LCD Multi-Information Display (MID) positioned in the instrument cluster provides important vehicle information to the MDX driver. An illuminated control on the instrument panel lets the driver cycle through various screens, including vehicle mileage and trip mileage and trip computer functions including average and instantaneous fuel economy. The Maintenance Minder System also alerts the driver of upcoming maintenance needs via the MID. The MDX has controls positioned near the steering wheel hub that allow the driver to cycle the display through multiple screens of information while keeping both hands on the wheel.

OVERHEAD CONSOLE

The overhead console incorporates a variety of useful features. Controls for the standard HomeLink® system are positioned here within easy reach. This latest generation of HomeLink® is simpler to program. Other overhead console features include sunglasses storage, controls for interior lighting and the power tilt/slide moonroof.

WATT ACURA PREMIUM SOUND SYSTEM

To give owners excellent sound quality along with the ability to enjoy a wide range of audio formats, the MDX comes standard with a watt Acura Premium Sound System with AM/FM tuner, 6-disc in-dash CD, MP3, WMA changer and 8 speakers, including 8-inch subwoofer.

Positioned prominently just below the center instrument panel vents, the MDX audio system has large-format controls that make the audio system easy to operate. The system sends a total of watts of power through six channels and eight speakers. The instrument panel has a inch soft-dome tweeter positioned on each side, with a 3-inch mid-range polypropylene cone speaker centered atop the dashboard. Mid/low-range inch dual thickness polypropylene-cone speakers are positioned in each door, and an 8-inch subwoofer is located in a special tuned enclosure in the sidewall of the cargo compartment.

This system can play CD, CD-R/RW, CD-Text, and MP3/WMA discs, in addition to AM and FM radio bands. Embedded text information on CDs can also be displayed. Speed-dependent volume control automatically adjusts as road speed increases to maintain a clear and comfortable sound level. The amount of compensation can be set to three different levels or turned off completely.

The MDX system includes XM® Satellite Radio, which provides more than channels of digital program material and near-CD quality sound. Informational text on the programming appears on the audio system display. XM® Satellite Radio offers virtually uninterrupted coverage of the 48 contiguous states and coast-to-coast signal coverage to the densely populated regions of Canada; service for Alaska and Hawaii is not available at this time. Three months of complimentary XM® Satellite Radio service is provided with the MDX. When equipped with the Technology Package, the complimentary period also includes traffic service. After the complimentary period, XM® Satellite Radio requires a monthly subscription.

To make a high-quality audio connection simple for owners who have personal music players, the MDX has an easily accessible auxiliary input jack with a nearby volt power outlet.

SPEAKER ACURA/ELS SURROUND™ PREMIUM SOUND SYSTEM WITH 6-CD/DVD-AUDIO CHANGER

Engineered by Grammy® Award-winning recording engineer and producer Elliot Scheiner, Panasonic and Acura, the available Acura/ELS Surround™ Premium Sound System brings a new level of audio performance to the MDX. Included in the available Technology and Sports Packages, the system pumps watts through 10 speakers, to provide a total of six discrete audio channels.

Audio Head Unit

Like the MDX's standard Acura Premium Sound System, the Acura/ELS Surround™ Premium Sound System is remarkably versatile. The 6-disc in-dash changer can play CD, CD-R/RW, CD-Text, and MP3/WMA discs. In addition, it can also play DVD-Audio discs (the system will not play DVD movies). The system also includes AM, FM and XM® Satellite Radio. It's easy to connect a personal music player to the system via an auxiliary input jack with nearby volt power. The auxiliary input jack is located at the rear of the center console in the Entertainment Package, and in the center console for all other packages.

Large-format controls make the system simple and intuitive to operate. A prominent display below the center instrument panel vents shows the current audio system status at all times, independent of the navigation system (which is also included in the Technology Package). Screens within the navigation system menus display the current audio system status, audio track listings and more. Items that appear on the navigation system screen can be navigated and selected via the Multifunctional Interface Dial, which is conveniently positioned on the console.

Acura/ELS™ Surround Sound

Acura/ELS Surround™ Sound gets its name from Elliot Scheiner's industry-recognized moniker "ELS." His goal with the system was to capture and reproduce music the way it is heard in the recording studio. The key to accomplishing this is through the use of the extra data-encoded on each DVD-Audio disc, which has six channels of information instead of just two channels of stereo information. In addition, DVD-Audio material can be recorded at a much higher resolution than CD material. Produced and mastered for the surround format, DVD-Audio recordings give recording artists and producers dramatically more creative freedom and control. The Acura/ELS Surround™ system makes the most of this added information, reproducing it with spectacular accuracy and power, without processing or modifying the artist's original creativity.

The system delivers a remarkable listening experience even when not playing DVD-Audio discs in Acura/ELS Surround™ Sound mode. Specially engineered equalization for each media type allows the sound quality to be optimized regardless of whether the system plays XM® Satellite Radio, conventional CDs, or any other format. The system also features selectable Dolby Pro Logic II signal processing that creates simulated channel surround sound from CD, MP3/WMA, XM or AUX. For optimum sound regardless of vehicle speed, the system includes automatic speed-dependent volume control.

Amplification/Speaker System

Advanced electronics in the Acura/ELS Surround™ Sound system gave Scheiner the ability to precisely tune the acoustics of the MDX cabin and time of each of six audio channels to achieve the truest possible reproduction. The Acura/ELS Premium Sound™ System uses a bit D/A converter and a kHz sample rate for smoother sound.

High-energy Neodymium magnets are used throughout the system for optimum sound quality and substantially reduced weight. The carefully optimized speaker positions create an uncanny surround sound experience particularly for front seat passengers. There's a inch mid/low-range dual thickness polypropylene-cone speaker in each door and a inch soft-dome tweeter near each A-pillar. A 3-inch mid-range polypropylene cone speaker is centered on top of the instrument panel, and two more are positioned just behind the second-row seats, positioned high and angled into the interior. A special 8-inch Super Low Distortion subwoofer with a new cone design is positioned in a tuned enclosure on the right sidewall of the cargo area so it does not intrude on passenger room or useful storage space.

HANDSFREELINK® WIRELESS TELEPHONE INTERFACE

The MDX includes the HandsFreeLink® hands free phone interface. Designed to work with many Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones (sold separately), Bluetooth is a radio frequency-based cable replacement technology that lets portable devices like mobile phones, laptops, PDAs, and other devices communicate wirelessly. Bluetooth enabled cell phones that have the Hands Free Profile (HFP) are compatible with the MDX system. Some early Bluetooth-enabled phones do not have this communications protocol (go to www.handsfreelink.com for more information). After a 1-time "pairing" process, the MDX can communicate wirelessly and securely with the driver's cell phone when it's within approximately 10 feet of the vehicle. The phone must be on, but can be stored anywhere inside the MDX cabin - even in a pocket, briefcase or purse.

HandsFreeLink® boosts convenience by allowing the driver to send or answer calls without taking his or her hands from the steering wheel. The number of the incoming caller is displayed on the Multi-Information Display (MID) located in the instrument cluster and a ring tone is played over the audio system. A press of the steering wheel-mounted "Pick up" button mutes the audio system and the incoming caller can be heard over the audio system speakers. A microphone in the overhead console picks up the driver's voice and algorithms built into the HandsFreeLink® system cancel "echo effect." This reduces background noise and improves the transmission quality of the driver's speech. Using fingertip controls mounted on the steering wheel to activate the system, calls can be sent hands-free by dialing the number by voice.

On all models with the navigation system, up to 50 names with one number per name can be stored with voice tags in the system's Voice Tag Phonebook. For users with large phonebooks in their mobile phone memory, the available navigation system, working in conjunction with HandsFreeLink®, can import up to names with 10 phone numbers per name. Up to six different compatible mobile phones can be paired with the HandsFreeLink® system at one time. Additional information can be found at www.acura.com/handsfreelink (or www.handsfreelink.com).

ACURA NAVIGATION SYSTEM WITH VOICE RECOGNITION™

The MDX with Technology and Sports Packages are equipped with the latest generation Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™. This highly capable system is similar to the units in the RL and RDX, and is designed for intuitive and quick operation.

Feature Summary

  • 8-inch screen for clear viewing
  • Interface Dial is centrally located to provide simple control of system and is accessible to driver and front seat passenger
  • Voice recognition function with over commands allows control of most audio, climate and navigation features
  • Voice recognition system recognizes city and street names as spoken words
  • Seven million points of interest are stored on updatable DVD
  • Business and recreation phone directory of virtually the entire continental United States
  • Improved data accuracy of all road data
  • Audio system automatically mutes for turn-by-turn voice guidance in either male or female voice (which can be turned off at any time)
  • Destination memory includes current trip addresses, previous destinations, a stored "home" location, selecting locations on the map and user address books
  • Directory categories include restaurants (searchable by type of cuisine), lodging, shopping, airports, hospitals, recreation areas and much more
  • Zagat Survey® restaurant guide provides detailed information and reviews on select restaurants in database, which can be read on-screen or spoken over the audio system by a synthesized voice
  • Split-screen mode features a simultaneous "map view" and selective "3-D" route visualization showing details of your next turn
  • Make calls to on-screen points of interest with HandsFreeLink®
  • User selectable Day/Night screen or display off modes and automatic screen brightness control
  • Trip routing can include up to five user-chosen way points
  • Trip routing can avoid user-selected areas
  • Exit list shows which businesses are available at a given highway exit
  • On-screen picture of highway interchanges indicates which lane to use to stay on route

System Operation

Based on positioning data from up to 12 orbiting Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), the Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ locates the vehicle's position. If the GPS antenna is blocked by a tunnel, tall building or parking garage, an internal gyroscopic system and a speed sensor track the location of the vehicle to help keep the mapping information current and reliable until satellite reception is restored. A DVD database is located in the system's ECU. Updated DVD data discs are available on an annual basis on-line or by calling a toll-free number.

The system can be controlled by voice, or by the multifunctional Interface Dial. For voice operation, the driver simply presses the "Talk" button on the steering wheel and says any of a number of preset command phrases. The system responds to over command phrases, as well as to spoken city and street names. Sophisticated voice recognition technology allows the MDX owner to simply speak city and street names aloud, and the system responds by displaying matches from the available database.

When the "Talk" button is pressed, the audio system is automatically muted, and an overhead microphone receives the command from the driver. Commands can be given in plain English, like "Display gas stations," "Find nearest hospital," or "Find nearest Chinese restaurant." You can choose to display points of interest on the map (like restaurants, or ATMs, for example), or have the system provide turn-by-turn navigation - all by voice. The extensive point-of-interest database includes phone numbers, which can be dialed easily by using the HandsFreeLink® system and the driver's compatible Bluetooth cell phone.

The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and real-time traffic can also be controlled via the Multifunctional Interface Dial by choosing menu options or spelling out a word (e.g., an address, business name or place) using the multifunctional interface Dial much like a computer mouse to select characters from an on-screen keypad.

ACURALINK™ SATELLITE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM WITH REAL-TIME TRAFFIC

The MDX with Technology and Sport Packages comes with the latest generation of the AcuraLink™ Satellite Communication System with real-time traffic. AcuraLink™ allows for 2-way communication between Acura and the vehicle, providing customers with the latest information specific for their vehicle. In cases where communication to and from the Acura server is needed, the owner's Bluetooth®-compatible cell phone is used (once the owner has paired it with the vehicle and enabled its data-transmission function and agreed to the data charges from their carrier).

AcuraLink™ messages consist of a limited amount of displayed text plus full details via Text-To-Speech that can be heard over the MDX audio system. Each message is prioritized by importance. High priority messages are displayed immediately upon receipt. Other messages trigger an icon on the navigation display. In all cases, the MDX owner can choose to read the message immediately, or archive it to be read later.

A variety of messages can be viewed in the MDX, including Maintenance Minder™ (detailed information regarding the next required maintenance), Quick Tips (information to help maximize the benefit and enjoyment of MDX features), Feature Guide (supplements to the Owner's Manual), Diagnostic Info (detailed information and instruction should an onboard system issue arise), and Dealer Appointment Reminders. Depending on the message type, the owner may contact their dealer, Acura Roadside Assistance, or the Acura Client Assistance Center using their Bluetooth® phone directly from the message. The MDX owner has complete control over the types of messages received. All AcuraLink™ preferences can be set via the Owner Link® web site.

Since the system allows 2-way data communication between the MDX and the Acura Server, AcuraLink™ can provide the owner with vital information that previously has been unavailable. For example, if a "CHECK VSA SYSTEM" warning light should appear on the MDX instrument panel, AcuraLink™ will automatically send a trouble code to the Acura server (if a paired phone is in range and the user has authorized data transmission), which interprets the code, then sends a message back to the MDX, such as "AcuraLink server results: VSA and TCS may not operate. Regular brakes work." This way, the owner knows if a particular fault is serious enough to cancel a trip, if it can be dealt with later or if it requires special driving techniques. AcuraLink messages as well as the data connection are enabled even if the monthly XM® Satellite Radio service package is not in effect.

Real-Time Traffic Information

The navigation screen can display up-to-the-minute traffic information including flow (traffic speed where available), accidents, incidents, construction and weather on freeways in 44 major metro areas. The information is aggregated by NAVTEQ™ from multiple sources including police and highway patrol accident reports and transportation departments and then transmitted by XM® Satellite Radio satellites to the MDX where it is graphically displayed on the navigation system.

MDX drivers can select an icon on the map to see incident details. Traffic information is continuously updated, allowing drivers to avoid congestion en route and choose the best path to their destination. The system gives MDX owners a useful timesaving tool on freeways. Unlike radio or television traffic reports, the real-time traffic system provides a constant flow of relevant information reflecting conditions along a driver's chosen route. Real-time traffic data services are offered on a subscription basis for a nominal fee following the 3-month free trial period. In addition to the on-screen traffic information, MDX owners who maintain their XM® Satellite Radio service also receive more general audio traffic information that runs on a minute loop in selected metropolitan areas.

44 major metropolitan markets
(Traffic flow data and incident reporting coverage vary by market)

Atlanta
Austin
Baltimore
Boston
Buffalo-Niagra Falls
Charlotte
Chicago
Cincinnati
Cleveland
Columbus
Dallas/Ft. Worth
Denver-Boulder
Detroit
Houston
Hartford-New Britain-Middletown
Indianapolis

Los Angeles
Kansas City
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Memphis
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
Milwaukee-Racine
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Nashville
New York City
Norfolk-Virginia Beach/Newport News
Orlando
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Portland
Pittsburgh

Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket
Sacramento
San Antonio
San Francisco/Oakland
San Diego
San Jose
Sarasota-Bradenton
Seattle
St Louis
Tampa
Washington D.C.
West Palm Beach-Boca Raton
Wilmington, DE

REAR DVD ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM (RES) (Optional with Technology or Sport Package)

The MDX is available with an Entertainment Package that features a rear display screen. With a large 9-inch (diagonal) flip-down Thin Film Transistor (TFT) screen mounted in an overhead console, the system provides on-the-road entertainment for the second and third row passengers. Audio plays through the MDX's speakers in Dolby Digital surround sound, through two wireless Personal Surround headphones, and through three audio jacks. The system also includes a separate LCD control screen that makes operation clear and intuitive. An AUX input jack in rear of the center console is provided for game play or other inputs. A volt, watt outlet is positioned inside the center console to provide power for a game console, laptop computer or other small device. Besides video programming, the system also plays the full range of audio content available from the MDX audio system, complete with on-screen information. The RES can also operate independently, in most cases allowing the rear passengers to enjoy one type of programming, while the front passengers listen to another.

The Rear Entertainment System main controls and DVD player are built into the center section of the MDX instrument panel, just below the audio system. An illuminated and removable, wireless remote control is also positioned in the overhead console for easy operation by second- and third-row passengers.

SAFETY

The Acura MDX continues the MDX's commitment of advancing SUV passive safety. Standard features include dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, front active head restraints, side curtain airbags and driver dual-stage knee bolsters. In addition, the MDX features the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, designed to manage and disperse frontal collision forces and improve car-to-car collision safety.

Acura terms this compendium of safety features as "Flagship degree safety" - quite literally, passengers are completely surrounded with safety features. The MDX is targeted to meet and exceed the highest crash-test standards from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and is anticipated to earn top test scores in all categories.

Specific Safety Targets

  • Newly upgraded FMVSS frontal and FMVSS rear collision standards implemented by the federal government
  • 5-Star rating in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) frontal and side impact crash tests
  • "Good" ratings in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Frontal Offset, Side and head restraint tests
  • Enhanced crash compatibility with smaller vehicles in a car-to-car collision compared to previous generation vehicles
  • Advanced protection for pedestrians in the event of a collision

CRASH PERFORMANCE TARGETS

The MDX is projected to pass all National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tests at the highest levels. NHTSA tests include Frontal, Side, and Rollover, while IIHS tests include Frontal Offset, Side Impact (also known as SICE), and Rear Crash Protection indexes.

Anticipated NHTSA test results include:

  • NCAP Driver - 5 STARS
  • NCAP Passenger - 5 STARS
  • SINCAP Front seat - 5 STARS
  • SINCAP Rear seat - 5 STARS

Anticipated IIHS test results include:

  • IIHS Frontal offset - GOOD
  • SICE - GOOD
  • IIHS Rear crash safety - GOOD

At the time of this document's publication, neither the NHTSA nor IIHS tests had been conducted.

REQUIRED VS. OPTIONAL TESTS

All new model-year vehicles, including the Acura MDX, must meet the latest upgraded federal crash-performance regulations that phase in starting in September These standards are known as FMVSS (frontal) and FMVSS (rear). Optional but not required is an array of safety evaluations by IIHS.

OFFSET REAR COLLISION (FMVSS)

The newly upgraded FMVSS standard is much more severe than the previous standard. In the new test, a 1, kg (2, lbs.) deformable barrier strikes 80% of the vehicle's width at 50 mph. In contrast, the previous FMVSS used a 1, kg (3, lbs.) flat rigid barrier that struck the full width of the vehicle at 30 mph. The new standard requires more body energy absorption than before - and the Acura MDX provides it, ensuring a high level of protection for its occupants.

VOLUNTARY IMPROVEMENTS

As the popularity soared for full-size pickups and SUVs in the last decade, so did the risk of these large vehicles colliding head-on with smaller ones. The disparity in vehicle mass - as well as the higher bumper height of the larger vehicles - put the smaller vehicles at a disadvantage. For the Acura MDX, however, engineers integrated a more stringent internal vehicle-to-vehicle collision standard to help correct this discrepancy. This front-to-front collision standard goes above and beyond what is required by government.

ADVANCED COMPATIBILITY ENGINEERING™ (ACE™)

Like the Acura RL and RDX, the new MDX features Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) unit body design. It distributes frontal crash forces much more widely to reduce cabin intrusion and deformation, and absorb frontal crash energy forward of the passenger cabin. ACE™ also helps maintain the structural integrity of the passenger cabin during a severe car-to-car offset frontal crash. It does this by distributing forces through multiple load paths during the crash, thus allowing more uniform energy absorption and less cabin intrusion.

If the MDX should collide head-on with a smaller and lighter vehicle, Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) helps provide good engagement of the small vehicle's frame. This helps reduce the risk of intrusion while simultaneously helping to disperse the crash energy across a wider area at the front of the vehicle. The upper portions of the ACE™ front structure also improve cabin protection.

IIHS SIDE IMPACT CRASHWORTHINESS EVALUATION (SICE)

The MDX was also designed to achieve a "Good" rating in the rigorous (but also voluntary) IIHS Side Impact Crashworthiness Evaluation (SICE) evaluation, which measures how well a vehicle withstands intrusion from a large SUV in a side collision. The MDX's high-strength steel safety cage, and the use of high-strength side door beams help make it resistant to intrusion.

FRONT ACTIVE HEAD RESTRAINTS

The MDX has front active head restraints that help minimize the potential for the driver or front passenger to suffer a neck injury during a rear-end collision. During this type of collision, the occupant's body applies pressure to the seatback. This pressure activates a lumbar plate that pushes the head restraint upward and forward to help equalize forces acting on the head, neck and spine during a collision. This ability to manage rear collision forces directly contributes to a reduction in whiplash injuries.

PEDESTRIAN SAFETY

As part of Acura's "Safety Through Innovation" initiative, the Acura MDX makes pedestrian safety a high priority. It adopts several pedestrian-safety measures that U.S. law does not require. The MDX hood is designed to help protect pedestrians by absorbing collision energy. In addition, the hood hinges are designed to bend in the event they are contacted by a pedestrian. The wiper pivots also feature a breakaway design to help reduce injury in the event of contact, and the front fender brackets are also designed to bend if a collision with a pedestrian should occur.

SEATBELT PRETENSIONERS AND LOAD LIMITERS

Both of the MDX front seat belts have pretensioners and load limiters to help protect the driver and front passenger in a collision. These components automatically work together in a sequence. Research has shown that seat belts that are snugly secured around the occupants provide better protection, so in the first few milliseconds of a collision the pretensioners - powered by a pyrotechnic device - automatically tighten the front seat belts. Then if the deceleration forces rise above a predetermined threshold, the load limiter releases a small length of seatbelt webbing to reduce the pressure on the occupant in a controlled manner. This helps reduce the injuries that seatbelts can cause in a severe high-speed collision. In addition, the driver's seatbelt has a dual-stage load limiter. This provides a higher initial load, then steps down to a lower load after a certain amount of belt spools out. It is specially designed to prevent too much forward driver movement, given the close proximity of the steering wheel.

DRIVER AND FRONT PASSENGER DUAL-STAGE, DUAL-THRESHOLD AIRBAG SUPPLEMENTAL RESTRAINT SYSTEM (SRS)

Dual-stage airbags are provided for the MDX driver and front passenger. These airbags are designed to maximize protection for the head and chest during a moderate to severe front collision. Each airbag inflator has two stages that can be deployed at different times instead of a traditional single inflation stage. Combining dual-stage and dual-threshold technology with technology that detects if the occupants are belted or unbelted, the airbags are deployed in a sequence based on crash severity.

Dual-Stage, Dual-Threshold Airbag Parameters

  • Airbag deployment characteristics are finely controlled depending on the severity of a collision
  • The dual-stage, dual-threshold strategy applies to front airbags only and does not affect operation of side airbags or side curtain airbags

The MDX airbag system uses a seat weight sensor to assess the weight of the front passenger. The front passenger airbag is shut off if the weight sensor indicates that a small child or a baby carrier is occupying the front seat. A seamless instrument panel cover fully conceals the passenger airbag. The driver's seat has a seat position sensor. If the seat is in a more forward position, where the occupant will be close to the airbag, the airbag is fired with a longer delay to reduce the chance of any injury caused by the airbag itself. The driver's airbag is located in a small steering wheel mounted housing.

DRIVER AND FRONT PASSENGER KNEE BOLSTERS

To help prevent injuries to the driver or front passenger's legs in a frontal collision, the MDX has energy absorbing knee bolsters. They are designed to dissipate collision forces if the driver or front passenger's legs should contact the lower instrument panel during a frontal collision. In addition, the driver's side has dual-stage knee bolsters that are designed to provide additional protection to small-stature occupants who have to sit close to the steering wheel.

DRIVER AND FRONT PASSENGER SIDE AIRBAGS WITH FRONT PASSENGER OCCUPANT POSITION DETECTION SYSTEM (OPDS)

Side airbags mounted in the outboard area of each MDX front seatback are designed to provide upper torso protection in the event of a sufficient side impact. In addition, the front passenger's seat is equipped with Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), an innovative system designed to deactivate the side airbag if a small child (or small-stature adult) leans into the side airbag deployment path. When the passenger returns to an upright seating position, the side airbag reactivates so it can deploy to help protect the occupant in a side impact. This unique system utilizes sensors in the passenger seatback to determine the height and position of the occupant, and determine if it is safe to deploy the side airbag.

SIDE CURTAIN AIRBAGS

In a sufficient side impact or rollover, the MDX's side curtain airbags deploy from roof-mounted modules, providing head protection for all three rows of seating. Side curtain airbags effectively cover the side window area from the front seats all the way to the third-row seat. Tests show that the "g" forces acting upon an occupant's head are far lower with side curtain airbags.

In the MDX the side curtain airbag system includes three satellite sensors and a main unit, and detects a crash within milliseconds. It also includes a rollover sensor, even though the new MDX is projected to offer better rollover stability than the previous MDX, and perform solidly with a 4 Star rating in the NHTSA rollover category. It is also projected to be superior to the Porsche Cayenne in rollover stability.

LATCH (LOWER ANCHORS AND TETHERS FOR CHILDREN)

The MDX includes a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat mounting system for the second-row seating positions. LATCH features built-in lower anchors and ready-to-use tether attachment points that allow compatible child safety seats to be installed without using the vehicle's seat belt system. Additionally, the LATCH system simplifies child-seat installation when an owner installs a LATCH-compatible child seat.

FUEL TANK SAFETY

The MDX's gallon fuel tank, up from gallons in the previous MDX, is positioned in front of the rear body-deformation zone to minimize the risk of damage in a collision. Locating the fuel tank in this protected area optimizes vehicle balance by moving the weight of the fuel tank and fuel farther forward. Thus, handling characteristics are minimally affected whether the fuel tank is full or near empty.

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Acura MDX - Specifications

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Genuine Acura MDX Valve Body

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  • Acura MDX Valve Body - B
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