LONG AND SNAPPY
Base prices start at $42,290.
Mileage ranges from 18 MPG city to 28 MPG highway.
What it is: The latest version of the large crossover from Honda’s luxury division.
What’s worth knowing: Acura has struggled to attain the premium reputation of competitors such as Lexus as Mercedes, partly because of inconsistent marketing and partly because of cost-conscious shortcuts such as the lack of a genuine rear-wheel drive platform. The MDX is an exception. Among large crossovers, it has been a perennial favorite of car buffs, and the redesigned 2014 model continues the love affair.
Who it’s for: With three rows accommodating 7 passengers standard on all trim lines, the MDX is a glorified familymobile. But it’s also muscular and refined, for discerning (and well-heeled) parents who wouldn’t be caught dead driving a minivan.
What’s good: The MDX has a surprisingly nimble feel, given its heft, with swept styling to match. It also features several clever innovations inside that show the engineers were sweating the small stuff. The second-row seats, for instance, spring forward for access to the third row at the single touch of a button, as if they operate on hydraulics. The optional overhead video system includes a remote that snaps into an overhead compartment, so as not to get lost or trampled. Nearly every corner of the vehicle demonstrates this sort of thoughtfulness.
What’s bad: The price, especially if you add a few option packages, which can easily push the cost over $50,000. Drivers will also notice the MDX’s considerable size when maneuvering in parking lots or other tight spaces.
How it stacks up: The MDX has the same 7-row capacity as the new Infiniti FX, which gives it an edge over the otherwise excellent Lexus RX, which only fits 5. And it’s a less pricey than competing crossovers from Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
What to do if you want one: The MDX feels like a car you won’t get tired of—even once the kids go off to school. Splurge accordingly.
Rick’s latest book is Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback To Success. Check out his writing for Yahoo! Finance and follow him on Twitter.