The 2014 MDX is the third generation of Acura's seven-passenger luxury performance SUV, the first to be developed from the ground up using an all-new, purpose-built platform (body and chassis) fully optimized for the needs of today's luxury SUV buyers.
The new Acura MDX, like its flagship sedan counterpart, the RLX, harnesses a host of Acura signature technologies to deliver on Acura's "Synergy between Man and Machine" product direction, and to offer higher levels of luxury, quietness, comfort and prestige in a vehicle that performs "at the will of the driver" with intuitive control and exhilarating dynamic performance.
Developed on the image of an "Executive Family Jet," the 2014 MDX is sleek and refined, prestigious and powerful, and designed to deliver on the unique performance and functional needs of the luxury SUV driver and passengers, be they kids or clients. In designing the new MDX, Acura engineers focused on three core values: class-leading fuel economy ratings; new levels of prestige and luxury comfort; and top-level safety performance. At the same time, they sought to further enhance the MDX's dynamic performance while maintaining its core appeal - the family-friendly, seven-passenger cabin and nimble, mid-size SUV exterior size and appearance.
For the 2014 MDX, the designers and engineers sought to further enhance the versatility and functionality of the vehicle's seven-passenger cabin while maintaining its relatively compact and sporting exterior shape.
The 2014 MDX measures 2.0 inches longer than the previous-generation MDX and has a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase. Vehicle height has been lowered by 1.5 inches, and rear step-in height is lower by 1.8 inches compared to the outgoing model. The front track is 1.4 inches narrower and the rear wheel track is 1.2 inches narrower. The vehicle width is reduced by 1.3 inches. In this respect, the MDX presents a 2 percent smaller frontal area to the wind for improved aerodynamic efficiency, and a slightly narrower body for improved garage-ability, while the longer wheelbase helps to enhance ride quality and interior spaciousness. The passenger hip points in the first and second rows are lower by 1.2 inches and the third row is lower by 1.4 inches, improving the feeling of stability and reduced body roll for all occupants.
Utilizing its longer wheelbase and new, more compact rear suspension, the 2014 MDX makes getting in and out of the back seats even easier with a 4.5-inch wider foot entry point and 1.8-inch lower step-in height. The second-row seats now have five-position reclining seatbacks, and a new Extended Slide feature provides 5.9 inches of total fore-aft seat travel, enabling greater flexibility in accommodating the needs of both second- and third-row passengers. With the middle-row seats in their rearward-most position, first- and second-row tandem seating distance has been lengthened by 1.1 inches, an ideal setting for traveling with four occupants, whether kids, clients or couples. A new One-Touch Walk-In feature makes for easier, more intuitive one-button operation of the second-row seats - from the rear seat, outboard middle row seats, or from outside the vehicle - further easing third-row entry and exit.
Repackaging of the rear-seat HVAC system allowed for the creation of a large center console storage space, concealed beneath the sliding, leather-trimmed center armrest. About 2 inches deeper and wider, and almost 5 inches longer, the main compartment offers 2.5 times more volume than the previous model and is large enough to accommodate a moderately sized purse, a tablet computer and more. This is a key advantage of MDX in its class, where many competing models offer little or no center console storage space.
Key packaging details and features:
2.8-inch longer wheelbase for improved cabin space and ride comfort
The 2014 Acura MDX is based on an all-new, purpose-built platform. Where previous generations of the MDX were developed from an existing Global Light Truck Platform, the 2014 MDX was completely redesigned and developed from the ground up.
Tapping into their experience in developing the previous two generations of MDX, and using state-of-the-art computer modeling techniques, MDX engineers pursued a holistic vision for the new platform development, expanding the MDX's functional and dynamic performance envelope to achieve what are commonly conflicting goals - such as higher performance and class-leading fuel economy ratings; a more versatile and accommodating cabin and a significantly more aerodynamic body; and class-leading safety ratings and lower vehicle weight.
This holistic approach to body development, included the strategic use of lightweight materials - such as 64-percent high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium - resulted in a 275-pound reduction in overall vehicle weight compared to the previous model, aiding both fuel efficiency and dynamic performance. The MDX body also boasts a 16-percent gain in aerodynamic efficiency and a 19-percent reduction in vehicle running resistance. For improved dynamic response and better isolation of road noise and vibration, the 2014 MDX's torsional body rigidity is up 12.4 percent, and just as critically, the rigidity of suspension mounting points is up 67 percent versus the previous model.
All-new suspension componentry - a new strut-type front suspension with triple-path damper mounting system, and a more compact and efficient multilink rear suspension - along with lighter and more rigid front and rear subframes, new hydraulic bushing mounts, and stiffer suspension mounting points contribute significantly to the MDX's ability to efficiently and effectively manage suspension loads for both outstanding ride comfort and confident, exhilarating driving performance. New Amplitude Reactive Dampers use variable damping rates to deliver outstanding ride compliance and responsive handling.
The more compact rear multi-link suspension also eliminates the forward trailing arm of the previous system, which allowed engineers to lower the step-in height by 1.8 inches. In addition, the rear dampers now mount directly to the rigid rear frame, as opposed to the more flexible rear wheelhouse on the previous model, allowing for the use of softer bushing settings for better ride compliance without any sacrifice of handling performance. The MDX platform is also optimized for the new two-wheel-drive model by lowering the engine center by 1.2 inches, allowing for more horizontally oriented front drive shafts, which also helps reduce torque-steer tendencies under hard acceleration.
The use of ultra-high-strength "hot stamped" steel for key body components includes the world's first one-piece stiffener ring for the driver and front passenger door areas, which along with the application of Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineeringâ„¢ (ACEâ„¢) body structure, significantly enhances the ability to efficiently absorb and redirect crash energy in front and side impacts, and manage roof loads in the event of a rollover.
Key platform details and features:
275-pound lower vehicle weight
The 2014 MDX utilizes the same Earth Dreams Technology engine architecture as the new RLX sedan, Acura's first direct-injected engine, incorporating a new i-VTEC valvetrain with two-stage Variable Cylinder Managementâ„¢ (VCMâ„¢), the first application of VCM in an MDX. The MDX's engine architecture is also shared with two racecars that finished in first and second place, respectively, in the LMP2 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race in the 2013 American Le Mans Series. With a displacement of 3.5 liters, the aluminum, 24-valve V-6 engine produces 290 peak horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque (both SAE net) with approximately 8 percent more torque below 2,750 rpm compared to the 3.7-liter engine in the previous model. Due to improved operating efficiency, horsepower output per liter is up 2 percent and torque output per liter is up 4.4 percent compared to the previous 3.7-liter engine.
The 60-degree, aluminumV-6 engine is mated to a reengineered 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Sport Shift, reduced friction and smoother gear changes. On all-wheel drive models, power to the wheels is managed by Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Driveâ„¢ (SH-AWDâ„¢) system, which automatically and instantaneously apportions engine torque between the front and rear axles and the left and right rear wheels to deliver confidence-inspiring handling and outstanding all-weather traction and control.
Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) switches seamlessly between 3- and 6-cylinder modes, depending on engine load, effectively varying engine displacement to match driving conditions for improved fuel efficiency. Active Control engine Mounts (ACM) and Active Noise Cancellation allow the VCM system to operate in 3-cylinder mode across a wider range of driving situations.
Key powertrain details and features:
All-new direct injected 3.5-liter 24-valve V-6
The second-generation MDX is highly regarded for its exhilarating handling and spirited driving performance. The 2014 MDX further expands the MDX's dynamic performance envelope with quicker acceleration, shorter stopping distances and more nimble handling, in combination with increased fuel efficiency and enhanced ride comfort.
Taking full advantage of its Earth Dreams Technology powertrain, all-new chassis, and lighter and more rigid body, the MDX is quicker and more responsive in virtually every respect. A fatter torque curve - with 8 percent more torque available below 2,750 rpm - improves the new MDX's launch performance and low-end grunt. The Sequential Sport Shift automatic transmission features Normal and Sport modes and provides for full manual control of gear changes via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
A larger diameter steering column shaft combined with a new Electric Power Steering (EPS) system delivers highly responsive steering with better on-center feel and improved damping of unwanted road vibrations transmitted to the steering wheel. The steering ratio on the new MDX is also 9-percent quicker than on the preceding model.
The new 2014 MDX SH-AWD delivers a one-half-second quicker 0-60 mph time, a shorter 60-0 mph stopping distance, and higher maximum lateral g-force versus the previous SH-AWD model. Further, the new MDX turns an 8-second faster lap time on Germany's grueling NÃ¼rburgring Nordschleife (North Ring) where both the previous and new versions of the MDX were extensively tuned and tested. Additional testing and tuning, particularly for the new vehicle's 6-speed transmission, was performed on German autobahns and the Grossglockner Pass in the Austrian Alps.
To meet the varying needs of every driver in the family, the new MDX incorporates a new Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) with three driving modes - Comfort, Normal and Sport. In Normal mode, the steering effort is balanced between comfortable and sporty. Selecting the Comfort mode reduces steering effort for low-effort maneuverability, especially at low speeds and when maneuvering in tight spaces. The Sport mode provides a firmer steering feel with higher effort that complements more aggressive open-road driving. Sport mode also adjusts throttle response and SH-AWD torque proportioning, and even Active Noise Control for a more aggressive engine note in the cabin.
Standard on the MDX, Agile Handling Assist, a signature Acura technology, selectively uses the vehicle's brakes to improve corner traceability and confident handling feel, using brake torque to create a body yaw, or turning moment at corner entry. The 2014 MDX also comes standard with 4-channel anti-lock brakes, and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) for enhanced stability and control in all driving and road conditions.
Key performance details and features:
All-new 290-horsepower 3.5-liter i-VTEC direct-injected 24-valve V-6
The 2014 MDX with SH-AWD has a remarkable 17-percent increase in its combined EPA fuel economy rating versus the previous model, to class-leading levels (18/27/21 mpg city/highway/combined), while the new two-wheel-drive MDX is EPA rated at 20/28/23 mpg, a 28-percent increase in combined fuel economy versus the previous SH-AWD model (the only drivetrain configuration previously available).
Realizing this large of an increase in fuel economy ratings while meeting other critical objectives, such as top-level safety, improved dynamic performance and enhanced refinement, was made possible by the development of the new MDX platform and the resulting improvements in vehicle mass (weight down), driveline efficiency, and vehicle running resistance. As previously stated, the 2014 MDX is 275 pounds lighter than the model it replaces. Further, its all-new Earth Dreams Technology i-VTEC 24-valve V-6 engine features more efficient fuel combustion via direct injection, reduced engine friction, and the first application of Variable Cylinder Management technology to the MDX.
In addition to its lighter body and fuel-efficient powertrain, the new Acura MDX is optimized in every respect to reduce total running resistance or "road load," consisting of engine pumping losses, driveline friction, aerodynamic drag and tire rolling resistance. The MDX is the first Acura model to be developed using a new 40-percent-scale wind tunnel laboratory at the company's U.S. R&D facilities in Ohio. Through the use of the new wind tunnel with rolling ground plane and sophisticated computer modeling techniques, engineers were able to optimize the vehicle design - not only the upper body, but also the underbody as well as efficient airflow through the engine compartment - to achieve a 16 percent improvement in the new MDX's coefficient of drag to class-leading levels.
Total vehicle running resistance is also reduced 19 percent versus the outgoing model. In addition to improvements in powertrain efficiency and vehicle aerodynamics, key engineering features for reduced running resistance include new low-drag brakes (70 percent less drag versus the previous model), a new lightweight, low-drag hub and wheel bearing design, and reduced-rolling-resistance tires. The result is more efficient and effortless cruising efficiency - a tremendous example of Acura's smart approach to fuel efficiency. A low-profile 19.5-gallon fuel tank aids airflow and maintains the MDX's excellent highway driving range.
Key fuel efficiency details and features:
3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM)
In considering their mission to develop the third-generation Acura MDX, designers and engineers conducted in-depth research with existing MDX customers and owners of competing products. One major opportunity for improvement identified by the team was the overall level of refinement, in particular cabin noise that can interfere with conversations between vehicle occupants, or during hands-free cellphone conversations, and detracts from the feeling of a luxury driving experience. In addition, designers saw an opportunity to further enhance the MDX's level of luxury comfort and prestige with respect to interior materials, features and function. The resulting effort to improve overall refinement is the 2014 MDX - the quietest, most composed and luxurious MDX ever.
In fact, the engineering team developed new methods for testing ambient cabin noise and performance, including a new test mode in which the vehicle cabin is pressurized and tested for paths of sounds transmission. This and other tests led to the application of new materials, such as expanded foam in the roof pillars; new pillar separators (located at the bottom of each pillar); and new insulating materials for the rear wheelhouse, rear cargo floor and rear quarter panel. A new floor "sealing plane" further dampens road noise. The 2014 MDX also applies thicker, three-layer acoustic glass for the windshield and front side windows, thicker rear door glass, new triple seal side-sill door seal, and Active Noise Control technology to mitigate low-frequencies associated with the VCM system during three-cylinder operation.
The MDX's more rigid body, subframes and suspension mounting points, along with a new triple-path front damper mounting system, and a high frequency wheel design further enhance ride comfort and vibration damping, particularly for second- and third-row passengers. A more rigid, steering column shaft replaces the previous two-piece column and rubber bushing to greatly reduce the transmission of road vibrations through the steering wheel while providing improving on-center feel and responsive handling performance.
To realize a higher level of interior luxury, designers applied high quality, soft touch materials throughout the cabin. LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination have the appearance of a high-end chronograph. LED lamps are also used for cabin accent lighting on the center console and front foot wells, which also feature progressive illumination and are programmable (the dimming time can be programmed) through the vehicle's Multi-Information Display. Premium Milano leather is used on the first and second-row seating surfaces, and satin chrome plated trim and simulated wood-grain accents highlight the upscale cabin. The leather-wrapped steering wheel also features new, smoother Euro-style stitching.
The MDX with Advance and Entertainment Package features heated/ventilated front seats and heated rear seats that are electronically linked to the vehicle's climate control system. The synced system allows the cabin to more quickly reach the user set cabin temperature.
The MDX has standard Smart Entry Keyless Access System with front and rear hatch access. On the Technology Package and above, Smart Entry access is also added to the rear passenger doors. Advance and Entertainment Packages offers remote engine start that can be activated with a range of at least 300 feet from the vehicle, allowing the vehicle to be pre-heated or pre-cooled and defrosted/defogged based on the customer's preselected settings. Accessory Engine Remote start is available for any grade (pre-wired). Also standard on Technology and Entertainment Packages and above grades are new (manually operated) rear side-window shades.
The rear cargo area has been further refined on the 2014 MDX, with a new, fully-sealed spindle-type tailgate opening mechanism that presents a cleaner, less cluttered appearance. The trailing edge of the rear cargo floor features dual brushed aluminum trim plates for a more finished appearance, while also offering protection during the loading and unloading of goods.
Additional standard and available luxury comfort and convenience features on the 2014 MDX include push-button start, Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, One-Touch turn signals (all standard); rain-sensing wipers (Technology Package and above); and front and rear parking sensors and auto-dimming side mirrors (Advance and Entertainment Packages).
Key luxury comfort details and features:
Smart Entry Keyless Access System
Acura customers have high expectations for state-of-the-art connectivity and entertainment. Enhanced connectivity in the 2014 MDX is made possible by the next-generation AcuraLinkÂ® system, which offers thousands of media options via Ahaâ„¢ mobile, all delivered via the owner's internet-linked smartphone and data plan. There is also a host of new available security and convenience features, including collision notification, remote unlocking, stolen vehicle tracking and surface street traffic information, all delivered via built-in cell technology (in some instances, a subscription fee applies).
The new MDX will thrill audiophiles with its available music entertainment features. The 2014 MDX comes with an 8-speaker, 432-watt (up from 253 watts) audio system featuring a single-disc CD player, AM/FM/SiriusXM radio bands, and standard USB connector. The MDX with Technology Package features a 10-speaker, 501-watt Acura/ELSÂ® Studio system, also with a single-disc CD player and AM/FM/SiriusXM radio plus HD Radioâ„¢ and 16-gigabytes of Hard Disk Drive (HDD) media storage. The MDX with Technology and Entertainment Packages features an Acura/ELSÂ® Studio 11-Speaker Audio System with a new ceiling-mounted speaker and a 529-watt amplifier, along with all the features listed above. The MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages features an Acura/ELSÂ® Studio 12-Speaker Audio System with new ceiling-mounted speakers and a 546-watt amplifier, along with all the features listed above.
Additional standard features on all models includes PandoraÂ® interface, BluetoothÂ® HandsFreeLinkÂ® hands free telephone interface, and an SMS Text Message function that can read incoming texts aloud over the audio system and allow the driver to reply with any of six factory preset messages (using a compatible smartphone and data plan).
The available Entertainment Package adds a DVD Rear Entertainment system with a ceiling-mounted 9-inch full VGA screen, while the top of the line MDX Advance and Entertainment Packages features a new ultra-wide 16.2-inch full WVGA screen - the largest and highest resolution screen ever offered in an Acura vehicle. The 546-watt audio system provides 5.1-channel surround sound. For the enjoyment of rear-seat passengers, adults and kids alike, the system also includes a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port for attaching high definition players and certain gaming consoles, along with standard composite video and audio inputs. A 115-volt power outlet is rated for devices up to 150 watts.
Both the AcuraLinkâ„¢ and Acura/ELS Studio system take advantage of a 2014 MDX's new 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Displayâ„¢ (ODMDâ„¢) touchscreen with haptic feedback. The addition of the ODMD, along with other interior changes, allowed engineers to reduce the number of hard buttons in the center stack from 41 to just nine. The ODMD touchscreen controls a wide range of features and, with its contextual menus, displays relevant items while minimizing clutter. The system includes customizable shortcuts for Places, Phone, Climate and Audio functional categories.
The MDX Technology Package and above grades feature the latest generation Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognitionâ„¢ (available in all 50 United States, as well as Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico). The MDX navigation system features an 8-inch high-resolution WVGA backlit color display. The system features more than 10 million points of interest and can be controlled by voice, or with a convenient interface dial. The voice-activation system responds to casual command phrases that require less user familiarization. The system now also includes surface street traffic data and provides coverage in many areas within the U.S. (subscription required after first three years), allowing the driver to choose faster, less congested routes. Further, it offers a new level of convenience with AcuraLink, allowing users to send destination information via the AcuraLink Connect mobile phone app and web application (with the available Connect Package).
Key connectivity and entertainment details and features:
Next-generation AcuraLink with Ahaâ„¢ mobile interface
For the third-generation Acura MDX, engineers once again targeted top-level safety ratings, including a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including the highest rating of GOOD in the Institute's stringent new small overlap frontal collision test.
The 2014 MDX body utilizes the next generation of Acura's Advance Compatibility Engineering (ACEâ„¢) body structure to more effectively absorb and direct frontal crash energy away from the passenger compartment. Further, the new MDX features the world's first ultra-high strength "hot stamped" steel, one-piece stiffener ring for the driver and front passenger front door areas - comprised of the A- and B-pillar, roof rail and lower frame member - to improve crash energy management in frontal offset and side impact collisions as well as roof crush load management.
The MDX also employs a new driver's knee airbag, as well as driver- and front-passenger front airbags, driver- and front-passenger side airbags, and three-row side curtain airbags with a wider deployment profile to mitigate passenger ejection in a rollover. The Advance and Entertainment Packages adds driver- and front-passenger seatbelts with e-pretensioners. The 2014 MDX also features LATCH child-seat anchors in all second-row seating.
Other advanced safety technologies include Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) on Technology Package and above grades, and the Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) on the Advance and Entertainment Package.
Apart from those safety technologies, for enhanced visibility and road awareness, the MDX employs a range of new driver-assistive technologies, including standard Expanded View Driver's Mirror and Multi-Angle Rearview Camera; Blind Spot Information (BSI) system ) on Technology Package and above grades; and Lane Keep Assist (LKAS) and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow on the Advance and Entertainment Packages. These systems are designed to operate intuitively and with a minimum of driver manipulation, while aiding the driver and his/her ability to operate their vehicle with increased confidence and situational awareness.
Key safety details and features:
Anticipated Five-Star NCAP Overall Vehicle Score
An all-new 3.5-liter direct injected i-VTECÂ® 24-valve V-6 engine, rated at 290 peak horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. peak torque (both SAE net), powers the 2014 MDX. This is the second application of Earth Dreams Technology (following the 2014 RLX sedan) comprised of a next-generation family of powertrain technologies that greatly enhance both driving performance and fuel efficiency.
Compared to the 3.7-liter engine it replaces, the 3.5-liter V-6 in the 2014 MDX offers an 8 percent increase in torque at engine speeds below 2,750 rpm for greater overall responsiveness. Together with the 2014 MDX's 275-lb. reduction in curb weight, overall performance is enhanced, including quicker 0-60 mph times and 8-second-faster laps of Germany's NÃ¼rburgring Nordschleife (North Loop) compared to the outgoing model.
The new direct-injected engine contributes to the MDX's substantially improved EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings - The SH-AWD version of the MDX improved city ratings by 12.5-percent, highway ratings by 28.6-percent, and combined ratings by 17-percent. The 2014 MDX with front-wheel drive fuel economy ratings feature a 28-percent increase in combined mpg, achieving 20 city/28 highway/23 combined, versus the 2013 model with SH-AWD (the only type previously offered). The MDX also meets the stringent ULEV-2 California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions rating. No other vehicles in the MDX's competitive set offer a comparable combination of power and fuel economy ratings.
The 2014 MDX's new direct-injected V-6 precisely places fuel into each combustion chamber for better combustion and greater overall efficiency. The MDX engine also incorporates a range of advanced friction-reducing technologies that help boost fuel efficiency and power output. A new crossflow magnesium intake manifold, special "tumble" type intake ports, new piston-crown shapes, and an elevated 11.5:1 compression ratio are keys to the MDX's blend of power and fuel efficiency.
A new generation of i-VTECÂ® (intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) for the intake valves is now combined with Variable Cylinder Managementâ„¢ (VCMÂ®) for the first time ever in the MDX. VCM adjusts the working displacement of the engine to match the driving requirements from moment to moment. During startup, aggressive acceleration or when climbing hills - when high power output is required - the engine operates on all six cylinders. During moderate speed cruising and at low or moderate engine loads, the system operates just the front bank of three cylinders. Since the system automatically closes both the intake and exhaust valves on the rear bank of three cylinders, pumping losses from air intake and exhaust are eliminated and fuel efficiency gets a further boost.
The Earth Dreams Technology 3.5-liter V-6 is teamed with a Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission with racing-inspired shift paddles located on the steering wheel. The transmission offers two automatic modes (Drive and Sport), or the paddle shifters can be used for full manual operation of the transmission for maximum control and driving engagement.
For the first time, the MDX is available in both all-wheel-drive (SH-AWD) and front-wheel-drive layouts. With its high efficiency and lighter weight, the front-wheel drive MDX has enhanced fuel economy ratings. The MDX is also available with Acura's acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Driveâ„¢ (SH-AWDÂ®), which progressively distributes torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. Using torque vectoring to help turn the vehicle, SH-AWDÂ® creates a more responsive, neutral and predictable platform while providing outstanding all-weather confidence and control.
The MDX 3.5-liter VTECÂ® V-6 has a die-cast lightweight aluminum alloy block with cast-in-place iron cylinder liners, a smooth-firing 60-degree V-angle, and compact overall dimensions. As in the 2014 Acura RLX, the MDX powerplant combines Direct Injection with i-VTEC and Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) to give the MDX impressive fuel economy ratings and overall performance. This clean-running engine meets ULEV-2 emissions standards in select states, and Federal Tier 2, Bin 5 standards.
A wide range of improvements, including revised intake and exhaust ports and updated valve timing, help make the 3.5-liter V-6 nearly as powerful as the 3.7-liter engine it replaces. Due to greater operating efficiency, the engine's horsepower per liter has risen by 2 percent and torque has been increased by 4.4 percent per liter. The aluminum-alloy 24-valve engine now produces 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and generates 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. Torque has improved up to 8 percent at engine speeds below 2,750 rpm, aiding the MDX's responsiveness.
The updated V-6 contributes to a 28.6-percent increase in the EPA highway fuel economy rating of the 2014 MDX with SH-AWD and a 33.3-percent increase in models with front wheel drive, versus the 2013 MDX SH-AWD (the only drivetrain available in the previous model).
This enhanced efficiency is due to a range of engineering features, including internal friction reduction, an oil-ring ion-plating treatment, plateau honing, low-friction 0W-20 engine oil, and reduced auxiliary-belt tension. A new tumble-type intake port design improves combustion efficiency, and torque-converter function in the standard 6-speed automatic transmission has been refined.
Engine Block and Crankshaft
With its 60-degree V-angle, the MDX's V-6 engine is inherently smooth and has compact overall dimensions that allow efficient packaging within the vehicle. The V-6 has a die-cast lightweight aluminum alloy block with cast-in-place iron cylinder liners. Made with a centrifugal spin-casting process, the thin-wall liners are high in strength and low in porosity. The block incorporates a deep-skirt design with four bolts per bearing cap for rigid crankshaft support and minimized noise and vibration. The 3.5-liter V-6 uses a high-strength steel crankshaft for minimum weight.
A cooling control spacer positioned in the water jacket surrounding the cylinders helps control warm-up and operating cylinder liner temperatures to reduce friction. Plateau honing of the cylinder lining further reduces friction between the piston skirts and the cylinder walls by creating an ultra-smooth surface. This two-stage machining process uses two grinding processes instead of the more conventional single-stage honing process. Plateau honing also enhances the long-term wear characteristics of the engine.
Designed with "cavity-shaped" crowns, the 2014 Acura MDX engine's pistons help maintain stable combustion and contribute to stratified-charge combustion. Ion-plated piston rings help reduce friction for greater operating efficiency. The compression ratio (relative to the 2013 MDX 3.7-liter engine) has risen from 11.2:1 to 11.5:1. Heavy-duty steel connecting rods are forged in one piece and then the crankshaft connecting rods are "crack separated" to create a lighter and stronger rod with an optimally fitted bearing cap.
Like other Acura V-6 powerplants, the MDX engine's 4-valve cylinder heads are a single-overhead-camshaft design, with the cams driven by the crankshaft via an automatically tensioned toothed belt. Made of low-pressure cast, low-porosity aluminum, each cylinder head incorporates a new "tumble port" design that improves combustion efficiency by creating a more homogeneous fuel-air mixture. An integrated exhaust manifold cast into each cylinder head reduces parts count, saves weight, improves flow and optimizes the location of the close-coupled catalyst.
i-VTEC with 2-Stage Variable Cylinder Managementâ„¢ (VCMÂ®)
The MDX SOHC V-6 combines Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC), which changes the lift profile, timing and lift duration of the intake valves. A switching mechanism allows each cylinder to operate with low-rpm valve lift and duration or high-rpm lift and duration. The rear cylinder bank's valve gear closes all intake and exhaust valves to minimize pumping losses while operating in three-cylinder mode.
The "intelligent" portion of the system is its ability to vary valve operation based on the driving situation and engine rpm. At low rpm, the i-VTEC intake valve timing and lift are optimized (low lift, short duration) for increased torque, which allows a wide range of 3-cylinder operation. As engine rpm builds past 4,950 rpm, the i-VTEC system transitions to a high-lift, long-duration intake cam profile for superior high-rpm engine power.
To help improve the fuel efficiency of the MDX engine, a new variation of Acura's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) is used. The VTEC system combines with Active Control engine Mounts (ACM) to allow the VCM system to operate with three cylinders in a wide range of situations to maximize fuel efficiency and lower emissions. When greater power is needed, the system switches seamlessly to six cylinder operation.
During startup, aggressive acceleration, or steep ascents - any time high power output is required - the engine operates on all six cylinders. During moderate-speed cruising and at low or moderate engine loads, the system operates just the front bank of three cylinders.
The VCM system can tailor the working displacement of the engine to match the driving requirements from moment to moment. Since the system automatically closes both the intake and exhaust valves of the cylinders that are not used, pumping losses associated with intake and exhaust are eliminated and fuel efficiency gets a further boost. The system combines maximum performance and maximum fuel efficiency - two characteristics that don't typically coexist in conventional engines.
VCM deactivates specific cylinders by using the i-VTEC (intelligent Variable Valve-Timing and Lift Electronic Control) system to close the intake and exhaust valves while the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) simultaneously cuts fuel to those cylinders. The spark plugs continue to fire in inactive cylinders to minimize plug temperature loss and prevent fouling induced from incomplete combustion during cylinder re-activation.
The system is electronically controlled, and uses special integrated spool valves in the cylinder heads. Based on commands from the system's Electronic Control Unit, the spool valves selectively direct oil pressure to the rocker arms for specific cylinders. This oil pressure in turn drives synchronizing pistons that connect and disconnect the rocker arms.
The VCM system monitors throttle position, vehicle speed, engine speed, automatic-transmission gear selection and other factors to determine the correct cylinder activation scheme for the operating conditions. In addition, the system determines whether engine oil pressure is suitable for VCM switching and whether catalytic-converter temperature will remain in the proper range. To further smooth the transition of activating or deactivating cylinders, the system adjusts ignition timing and throttle position and turns the torque converter lock-up on and off. As a result, the transition between three and six cylinder modes is effectively unnoticeable to the driver.
Direct Injection System
The Acura MDX's V-6 engine is the second application of direct injection for an Acura vehicle in the United States, following the 2014 RLX sedan. The system features a compact, high-pressure, direct-injection pump that allows both high fuel flow and pulsation suppression, while variable pressure control optimizes injector operation. A multi-hole injector delivers fuel directly into each cylinder (not to the intake port, as in conventional port fuel injection designs), allowing for more efficient combustion.
The multi-hole injectors can create the ideal stoichiometric fuel/air mixture in the cylinders for good emissions control. Theoretically, a stoichiometric mixture has just enough air to completely burn the available fuel. Based on the operating conditions, the direct-injection system alters its function for best performance. Upon cold engine startup, fuel is injected into the cylinders on the compression stroke. This creates a weak stratified charge effect that improves engine start-up and reduces exhaust emissions before a normal operating temperature is reached.
Once the engine is fully warmed up for maximum power and fuel efficiency, fuel is injected during the intake stroke. This helps create a more homogeneous fuel/air mix in the cylinder that is aided by the high-tumble intake port design. This improves volumetric efficiency, and the cooling effect of the incoming fuel improves anti-knock performance.
Active Control Engine Mounts and Active Sound Control
A new, more powerful 28-volt Active Control Engine Mount system (ACM) is used to minimize the effects of engine vibration as the VCM system switches cylinders on and off. The 28-volt ACM is a key factor in the VCM's broad range of operation in the new MDX. Sensors alert the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to direct ACM actuators positioned at the front and rear of the engine to cancel engine vibration using a reverse-phase motion. In the cabin of the MDX, an Active Sound Control (ASC) system further mitigates low frequencies that can occur during three-cylinder operation.
There are two different Active Sound Control profiles available in the MDX. When the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) is in the Normal or Comfort setting, the ASC is tuned for maximum interior quietness. When the IDS Sport mode is selected, the ASC allows a more aggressive interior engine note.
Drive-by-Wire Throttle System
The MDX's Drive-by-Wire throttle system replaces a conventional throttle cable with smart electronics that "connect" the accelerator pedal to a throttle valve inside the throttle-body. The result is less underhood clutter and lower weight, as well as quicker and more accurate throttle actuation. Plus, a specially programmed "gain" rate between the throttle pedal and engine offers improved drivability and optimized engine response to suit specific driving conditions.
Acura's Drive-by-Wire throttle system establishes the current driving conditions by monitoring throttle pedal position, throttle valve position, engine speed (rpm) and road speed. This information is used to define the throttle control sensitivity that gives the MDX's throttle pedal a predictable and responsive feel that meets driver expectations.
There are two different throttle profiles available in the MDX. When the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) is in the Normal or Comfort setting, the transmission is in "D" (Drive) the drive-by-wire system uses the normal profile. When the Sport mode is selected, the system switches to a more aggressive throttle map to enhance responsiveness.
Direct Ignition and Detonation/Knock Control
The MDX's Electronic Control Unit (ECU) monitors engine functions to determine the best ignition spark timing. Two engine block-mounted acoustic detonation/knock sensors "listens" to the engine, and based on this input, the ECU can retard the ignition timing to prevent potentially damaging detonation. The 3.5-liter V-6 has an ignition coil unit for each cylinder that is positioned above each spark plug's access bore.
The exhaust manifolds of the 3.5-liter V-6 are cast directly into the aluminum cylinder heads to reduce weight, decrease parts count, and create more underhood space. The result of this casting design is that the two primary catalytic converters are positioned much closer to the combustion chambers, enabling extremely rapid converter "light-off" after engine start. A significant weight savings is realized by eliminating traditional exhaust manifolds. Downstream of the close-coupled catalytic converters, a hydroformed 2-into-1 collector pipe carries exhaust gases to a secondary, underfloor catalytic converter.
The 2014 MDX 3.5-liter V-6 engine meets the tough EPA Tier 2/Bin 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards, and is certified to this level of emissions performance for 120,000 miles. A number of advanced technologies are factors in the emissions performance. The unique cylinder head-mounted close-coupled catalytic converters light off more quickly after engine start up, and a 32-bit RISC microprocessor within the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) boosts computing power to improve the precision of spark and fuel delivery.
The MDX's V-6 engine features Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) that continually adjusts the fuel delivery to yield the best combination of power, low fuel consumption and low emissions. Multiple sensors constantly monitor critical engine operating parameters such as intake air temperature, ambient air pressure, throttle position, intake airflow volume, intake manifold pressure, coolant temperature, exhaust-to-air ratios, as well as the position of the crankshaft and the camshafts.
To further improve emissions compliance, the 3.5-liter V-6 makes use of an after-cat exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system that allows cleaner, cooler EGR gas to be fed back into the intake system. An EGR system, especially one that delivers a cleaner, cooler charge, reduces pumping loss for better fuel efficiency.
One-Touch Start System
To ensure consistent starting, the MDX has a one-touch start system that maintains starter engagement until the engine starts. Should the driver release the Start button before the engine starts, the system will start the vehicle. Simply push the Start button (with a foot on the brake pedal and the fob in the vehicle) and the engine will automatically start up.
Noise & Vibration Control
With its 60-degree V-angle and compact, rigid and lightweight die-cast aluminum cylinder block assembly, the 3.5-liter V-6 powerplant is exceptionally smooth during operation. Other factors that help reduce engine noise and vibration are a rigid forged-steel crankshaft, die-cast accessory mounts, and a stiff cast-aluminum oil pan that reduces cylinder block flex.
100,000+/- Mile Tune-up Intervals
The MDX's 3.5-liter V-6 requires no scheduled maintenance for 100,000+/- miles or more, other than periodic inspections and normal fluid and filter replacements. The first tune-up includes water pump inspection, valve adjustment, replacement of the camshaft timing belt, and the installation of new spark plugs.
Maintenance Minderâ„¢ System
To eliminate unnecessary service stops while ensuring that the vehicle is properly maintained, the MDX has a Maintenance Minderâ„¢ system that continually monitors the vehicle's operating condition. When maintenance is required, the driver is alerted via a message on the Multi-Information Display (MID).
The Maintenance Minderâ„¢ system monitors operating conditions such as oil and coolant temperature along with engine speed to determine the proper service intervals. Depending on operating conditions, oil change intervals can be extended to a maximum of 10,000 miles, potentially sparing the owner considerable expense and inconvenience over the life of the vehicle. The owner-resettable system monitors all normal service parts and systems, including oil and filter, tire rotation, air-cleaner, automatic transmission fluid, spark plugs, timing belt, coolant, brake pads and more. To mitigate driver distraction, maintenance alerts are presented on the MID only when the ignition is first turned on, not while driving.
Sequential SportShift 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
The 2014 MDX is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission featuring Sequential SportShift with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and two automatic shift modes. The Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic offers excellent launch-feel, acceleration performance and fuel efficiency. Gearing is unchanged from the 2013 model.
The straight-gate shifter is an intuitive and easy-to-use design that takes up little space in the center console. The shifter allows the driver to choose P (Park), R (Reverse), N (Neutral), D (Drive) and S (Sport mode) for more performance-oriented shift programming.
Both shift performance and smoothness are improved by cooperative control between the Drive-by-Wire throttle system and the electronically-controlled, Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine is throttled by the engine management system during upshifts and downshifts; thus the function of the engine and transmission can be closely choreographed for faster, smoother shifting. As a result, the peak g-forces (or "shift shock") are reduced significantly during upshifts and downshifts.
The 6-speed transmission can be controlled by a straight-gate console-mounted shifter or a steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter system that works whenever the transmission is in either of its two automatic modes.
In addition to Grade Logic Control, Shift Hold control and Cornering G Shift control, common with the outgoing model, the 2014 MDX adds a Sport mode for increased driver involvement. All of the transmission logic systems work together to automatically alter shift timing based on driving conditions.
The Sequential SportShift 6-speed transmission can be operated in two different, fully automatic modes with the console-mounted straight-gate shifter. The D (or "Drive") mode is ideal for most driving situations, and combines fuel efficiency with smooth operation and responsive power when needed. The Sport mode is for more performance-oriented driving, and features more aggressive shift mapping to keep engine rpm higher for greater acceleration and response.
When in the D mode (optimized for normal driving), the transmission incorporates an advanced Grade Logic Control System, Shift Hold Control and Cornering G Shift Control - all of which reduce unwanted shifting and gear hunting. The result is smart transmission operation that optimizes fuel efficiency and keeps the transmission in the appropriate gear for driving conditions, generating excellent performance and smooth operation.
While ascending or descending hills, Grade Logic Control alters the transmission's shift schedule to reduce shift frequency and improve speed control. The transmission ECU continually measures throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration/deceleration to determine when the vehicle is on a hill. The shift schedule is then adjusted - during ascents to hold the transmission in lower gears to boost climbing power, and during descents to provide greater engine braking.
Shift Hold Control keeps the transmission in its current (lower) gear ratio during aggressive driving, as in the case of decelerating at a corner entry. Shift Hold Control leaves the chassis undisturbed by eliminating excess shifting and ensures that power will be immediately available (without a downshift) at the corner exit. Cornering G Shift Control monitors the speed of each rear wheel independently to determine when the Acura MDX is turning. When the system detects a sufficient speed differential between the rear wheels, it will suppress any unwanted upshifts. This prevents the transmission from upshifting during a corner, which could upset the chassis balance thus requiring downshifting again at the corner exit when the throttle is applied.
Temporary Manual Operation in "Drive"
While in Drive mode, special transmission logic programming allows the use of the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. When the driver operates the paddle shifters, the transmission responds to the driver's shift command and then returns to its normal fully automatic mode if further paddle shift inputs are not made within a given time. This special logic makes it easy for the driver to command a quick downshift without leaving the comfort of Drive mode.
By moving the center console shift lever fully aft into the "S" position, Sport mode is engaged. This mode offers automatic operation with more aggressive shift mapping. A pull on the racing-inspired paddle shifters (mounted on the steering wheel) places the transmission in fully manual mode until another mode of operation is selected with the console-mounted shifter (e.g., switched to Drive mode). A digital display in the instrument cluster indicates which gear the transmission is in.
A double-kick-down feature lets the driver command a sport-minded double downshift - such as from Fifth to Third gear. By pulling on the left downshift paddle twice in rapid succession, the transmission will drop directly to the chosen lower gear ratio. The Drive-by-Wire throttle system also creates a "blip" of the throttle to help match gear speeds while downshifting.
To prevent harm to the powertrain when the transmission is paddle shifted by the driver (including during double-kick-down shifts), the system will inhibit potentially damaging shifts. As an added safety measure, the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) can also cut off fuel to the engine to prevent over-revving. If fuel cut-off is insufficient to prevent engine over-revving, as may be possible when the vehicle is on a steep downhill, the transmission will automatically upshift to prevent damage. On downshifts, the transmission will not execute a driver command that will over-rev the engine.
For improved stop-and-go performance and to help prevent "lugging" the engine, the Sequential SportShift transmission will automatically downshift to First gear even though the transmission has been left in a higher gear, (except in Second gear) as the vehicle comes to a stop. In Manual Mode, when coming to a stop in Second gear, the vehicle will start in Second gear as well.
The Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission is teamed with a special torque converter that has a high maximum torque rating and a high capacity lock-up clutch. The lock-up assembly uses multiple lock-up disks to reduce heat build-up during operation and for lock-up activation over a wide range of driving conditions that helps improve fuel efficiency.
Front Wheel Drive
For the first time ever, the MDX now offers standard front wheel drive. With its efficient design and lighter weight, the MDX front wheel drive system makes a significant contribution to overall fuel efficiency. With EPA fuel economy ratings of 20/28/23 (city/highway/combined), the front-wheel drive MDX has a 2 mpg ratings advantage over its SH-AWD counterpart in the city, a 1 mpg advantage in the highway, and 2 mpg advantage in combined ratings.
Super-Handling All-Wheel Driveâ„¢ (SH-AWDÂ®)
The MDX is available with Acura's acclaimed Super Handling All-Wheel Driveâ„¢ (SH-AWDÂ®), which progressively distributes optimum torque not only between the front and rear axles, but also between the left and right rear wheels. The system is complemented by Agile Handling Assist which employs the anti-lock brake system to individually brake either the left or right front wheel to reduce yaw delay (the period between the steering wheel input and the rotation of the body) to improve corner traceability and balance.
The benefits of the SH-AWDÂ® system are superior all-weather handling and neutral, accurate steering under power that is unmatched by front-drive, rear-drive or conventional all-wheel-drive systems.
By rotating the outside rear wheel faster than the front axle while cornering, SH-AWDÂ® uses torque vectoring to create a yaw moment to help turn the vehicle through the corner - reducing understeer and improving controllability. With cornering forces more evenly distributed between front and rear tires, overall cornering power is increased - on wet or dry roads.
Vehicles with high power ratings using conventional front or rear drive systems often employ a limited-slip differential to help maintain traction when under power. By linking inside and outside drive wheels, these systems tend to resist turning and can increase understeer. Conventional AWD systems similarly work to link the inboard and outboard tires as well as the front and rear axlesâ€”which can create resistance to turning. Using torque vectoring to help turn the vehicle, SH-AWDÂ® delivers more responsive, neutral and predictable handling performance, while providing outstanding all-weather traction and control.
Electronic Controls and Parameters
The SH-AWDÂ® system works in cooperation with the MDX's Vehicle Stability Assistâ„¢ (VSAÂ®) system and Agile Handling Assist to optimize torque distribution for superior handling and traction utilization. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) provides information on engine rpm, airflow and transmission gear-ratio selection, while the VSAÂ® ECU provides wheel-speed data. The SH-AWDÂ® ECU also monitors steering angle, lateral G-forces, vehicle yaw rate and electromagnetic clutch engagement for the right and left rear axle shafts. Drive torque is calculated from ECU information, and then the acceleration situation, wheel spin, lateral G-force and steering angle are used to determine the front-to-rear torque distribution and the torque split between right and left rear wheels.
SH-AWDÂ® System Layout
The MDX SH-AWDÂ® is a full-time all-wheel-drive system that requires no driver interaction or monitoring, thanks to a torque-transfer unit that is bolted directly to the front-mounted transaxle. The torque-transfer unit receives torque from a helical gear that is attached to the front differential's ring gear, and a short horizontal shaft and hypoid gear set within the torque-transfer unit's case send power to the rear propeller shaft, which in turn transfers power to the rear drive unit.
The MDX SH-AWDÂ® rear drive unit is constantly overdriven by 1.7-percent and the resulting overdrive effect is regulated by left- and right-side electromagnetic clutch packs (located in the rear differential) that independently control the power delivered to each rear wheel.
Direct electromagnetic clutch systems mounted on either side of the hypoid gear that drives the rear axles control the amount of torque sent to each rear wheel and provide a limited-slip differential function when needed. The clutches can be controlled as a pair to alter front/rear torque split or they can be controlled independently to allow 100-percent of available rear axle torque to go to just one rear wheel.
An electromagnetic coil modulates the pressure controlling each clutch pack, which changes the speed of the sun gear within the rear differential's planetary gear set to control the amount of torque sent to each wheel. Electromagnetic control of the clutches permits the torque delivery to each rear wheel to be proportioned in an exceptionally quick and precise manner, which reduces wheel-slip in low-traction conditions.
The clutch packs and their friction material are carefully designed to withstand the small amount of continuous slip between front and rear axles created by the 1.7-percent speed differential - all while delivering the durability expected of an Acura product. Through an oil-temperature sensor, the SH-AWDÂ® Control Unit monitors the rear differential's clutch-plate coefficient of friction (which changes with temperature) in each clutch pack and then adjusts the voltage to each electromagnetic coil to compensate. As total vehicle miles accumulate, the SH-AWDÂ® Control Unit uses data from a feedback loop to adjust the voltage supplied to the electromagnetic coils to compensate for any clutch wear, ensuring optimal and consistent transmission of torque.
Trailer Hitch and Trailer Hitch ATF Cooler Kit (Optional)
When the need to tow arises, put your MDX to work by adding the Trailer Hitch. A receiver-style hitch accommodates a variety of trailer coupler designs, and includes a draw bar, retaining pin, clip, and wiring harness with 7-pin round-style connector. A 1-7/8 -inch or 2-inch balls available separately. The optional Trailer Hitch ATF Cooler Kit will allow towing of up to 5,000 lbs.
Remote Engine Start with Vehicle Feedback
The MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages provides the ability to start the vehicle's engine remotely. This enables drivers to start their MDX, thereby activating the climate control system before they get to the vehicle - perfect for hot or cold days. The remote is designed to have a range of operation of at least 300 feet. To start the engine remotely, the owner presses the LOCK button and then holds the ENGINE button for a few seconds. When the engine is started remotely, the wipers, lighting and audio systems remain off, and the security system remains set. The engine will run for up to 10 minutes after remote starting, and then shut off automatically if the owner doesn't reach the vehicle within that time. When the owner does get to the MDX within 10 minutes, the engine will keep running while the owner unlocks the vehicle and gets in.
This system also provides feedback to the owner to confirm whether the engine is running or the vehicle is locked. The remote has three LED indicators: amber, green and red. To confirm engine start, the owner presses the LOCK button and then holds the ENGINE button for a few seconds. The amber indicator will flash while the remote communicates with the vehicle. If the engine is running, the green LED will then light for one second. If the engine is not running, the red indicator will light for one second. To verify whether the vehicle is locked, the owner presses the LOCK button once. After the amber light comes on, either the green or red LED will light for one second to indicate that the vehicle is locked or not, respectively. And if the red LED flashes three times, the vehicle is out of the remote's range.
This system can provide owners with the comfort of a pre-warmed vehicle on a cold winter morning - or a pre-cooled interior on hot days. Plus, it adds the convenience and confidence of knowing that their vehicle is securely locked, even far beyond the range of a typical remote.
The 2014 MDX design, created in the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California, was developed under the theme of "Aero Sculpture." With its alluring proportions, smooth, arching bodylines and confident stance, the 2014 MDX communicates a look of sophistication and elegance while delivering new levels of aerodynamic efficiency. Its five-point grille features a chrome surround and a decisive satin sash with black grille bars. The new MDX is the second new Acura vehicle to feature Acura's signature Jewel Eyeâ„¢ LED headlights, with five LED elements per side, providing a unique and sophisticated appearance day and night. The side mirror-mounted turn signals, taillights, CHMSL and license-plate lights are also LED, with a look that is uniquely MDX.
The MDX body sides are defined by a tall and dramatic beltline, windswept roofline, decisive upper and lower character lines, stylized chrome door handles integrated into the upper character line, dynamic fender arches, and chrome window surrounds. The Advance and Entertainment Packages also has elegantly functional chrome roof rails, and all models include a functional rear spoiler.
2.0 inches longer, 1.5 inches lower, and 1.3 inches narrower than the model it replaces, the Acura MDX is designed to cheat the wind with 2-percent less frontal area and a 16-percent lower coefficient of drag. This makes the third-generation MDX the most efficient vehicle in its luxury class, garnering higher fuel economy ratings than the previous-generation model in every EPA rating category including City, Highway and Combined. In addition to the 16-percent improvement in aerodynamic drag, the new MDX is more luxurious in appearance.
The MDX body is highly rigid with torsional rigidity improved by 12 percent. In addition, the 2014 MDX boasts a 67 percent increase in rigidity at critical suspension mounting points, which combined with overall body rigidity gains provides the foundation for its confident handling capabilities, refined ride quality and reduced cabin noise and vibration.
The MDX incorporates Acura's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineeringâ„¢ (ACEâ„¢) front frame structure for enhanced frontal collision protection. Collision protection is further enhanced by the world's first ultra-high strength steel, one-piece stiffener ring - comprising the A-pillar and B-pillar, roof rail and lower frame member - for improved management of collision energy in frontal offset and side impacts and roof load management in the event of a rollover.
The MDX's new Jewel Eyeâ„¢ light-emitting diode (LED) headlight arrays provide brighter and sharper nighttime illumination and visibility compared to contemporary high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights - and far superior performance compared to traditional halogen projector beams. Besides improving driver confidence and passive safety, the LED headlights also use less energy, helping to enhance fuel efficiency by reducing engine loads. In addition, the LED headlights last up to three times longer than HID headlights and up to six times longer than halogen headlights - contributing to less frequent replacement and the associated cost savings.
The unique styling of the LED array helps give the MDX a distinctive appearance, both day and night. The array includes five individual LEDs per side, covered by a composite lens and accented by a chrome trim surround. All 5 LEDs illuminate as DRLs. The three outer also function as the low-beams, while the inside two LEDs serve as high-beams. An auto on-off function is included, and the low-beams are also keyed to the remote key fob operation.
The MDX also features LED taillights, license-plate illumination and side view mirror-mounted puddle lights (and for overhead and accent lighting in the MDX cabin). LED fog lights are optional on the MDX.
The MDX utilizes 4.5-mm thick, 3-layer acoustic windshield and 4.8 mm front door glass mitigates wind, road and traffic noise in the cabin. The rear side windows are also thicker than in the previous MDX - up from 3.5 mm to 5.0 mm.
Carefully managing underbody airflow helps reduce turbulence and drag for improved fuel efficiency, while also enhancing stability at highway speeds. Strategically placed aerodynamic under-body components - including front splash shields, an engine exit cover, and a mid-floor undercover - help smooth airflow between the body and road surface, while also helping to minimize power-robbing turbulence and drag. A front air dam with a broad wickerbill, along with strakes positioned ahead of the rear tires, further improves efficient airflow. The result is increased fuel efficiency, increased stability and reduced wind noise on the highway.
Advanced Materials, Lower Weight
With high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium totaling 64-percent of its body structure, at a curb weight of 4,297 pounds the 2014 MDX is 275 pounds lighter than the previous model. It is also has the lightest published weight in its segment, which directly contributes to improved acceleration, light and nimble handling, and class-leading fuel economy ratings.
The MDX is assembled from steel stampings that are robotically welded together to form a single, lightweight unit-body with a high level of rigidity. A variety of advanced materials and techniques give this structure exceptional strength and uniformity. One is high-strength steel, which composes 59 percent of the body structure by weight, including the use of 1,500-megapascal ultra-high strength "hot-stamped" steel in 7 percent of the body, enhancing collision protection while minimizing vehicle weight.
An example of high-strength components in the MDX are the one-piece stiffener rings around the front doors, a world's first technology. Formed from a single piece of hot-stamped steel, each ring provides immense strength for enhanced performance in frontal offset (small overlap) and side impacts, as well as enhanced roof crush protection. Likewise, the rigid tailgate opening is engineered to distribute loads through the rear suspension mounts, further aiding body stiffness.
The MDX steering hanger beam is made of a magnesium casting, which spans the entire width of the interior (behind the instrument panel). This new three-piece component replaces the 26-piece aluminum version used in the previous MDX and saves 7.5 pounds while reducing the potential for intrusion of the steering column into the cabin in a frontal collision.
Light weight is of particular interest to driving enthusiasts. Performance can be increased by reducing weight, as is continually proven on the racetrack (including the NÃ¼rburgring Nordschleife road course in Germany, where the 2014 MDX was tested and validated). Racing experience and supercomputers were both used to reduce weight in the new MDX unit-body without sacrificing strength. This enhances its power-to-weight ratio, as well as handling abilities and braking performance.
Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) Reduction
To create a premium driving experience, extensive research and countermeasures were applied to help reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) throughout the new MDX. Acura engineers began by working to eliminate NVH at its source with technologies such as a highly rigid unit-body, tightly controlled manufacturing tolerances, a highly rigid aluminum-alloy engine block and forged-steel crankshaft, electronically calibrated engine mounts, careful aerodynamic tailoring, acoustic glass, and more.
Active Control Engine Mounts
Debuting on the 2014 MDX is an Active Control Engine Mount system (ACM) that minimizes the effects of engine vibration as the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system switches between 3- and 6-cylinder modes. Special vibration sensors alert the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to direct ACM actuators - which are positioned at the front and rear of the engine - to cancel vibration. Additionally, an Active Sound Control system, operating through the vehicle's stereo speakers, further reduces low-frequencies associated with 3-cylinder operation by producing a reverse-phase sound profile.
Road Noise Reduction
To help isolate road noise and reduce its intrusion into the cabin, the lower suspension components attach to fully isolated steel subframes that ride on specially tuned bushings. In addition, improved door sealing and melt sheet, an asphalt-based sound-damping material, is bonded to the floor and wheel arches of all Acura vehicles at the time of assembly.
Wind Noise Reduction
Smoothing airflow over the complex shape of a vehicle body can help reduce not only aerodynamic drag, but also the wind noise that is transmitted to the cabin. The 2014 MDX was texted extensively in a full-sized wind tunnel. Together with computer simulations, wind-tunnel testing combined with sophisticated computer modeling allows engineers to identify areas of the body that are prone to wind noise - and then analyze fine detail changes with a high degree of accuracy.
One result of this testing is the MDX's body-panel fit, which helps minimize gaps that create turbulence and wind noise when the vehicle is traveling at speed. Other details include carefully styled A-pillars and side mirrors, a flush-fitting windshield, moonroof and side glass, and numerous other design details that all contribute to the low wind-noise characteristics of the 2014 MDX.
Wind-noise attenuation details also include components that are not visible. For instance, the MDX's body sections are isolated using 22 clip-in foam inserts that expand during the baking cycles of the body painting process. This material reduces wind noise transmitted into the vehicle. The fin-type 2.7-inch high antenna used for XMÂ® Radio, AcuraLink and engine remote start, is positioned at the rear of the roof panel and is designed for low wind noise at speed. The AM/FM radio antenna is laminated into the right rear side window.
Outside Mirrors with Reverse Gear Tilt-Down
To improve convenience while parallel parking, the MDX's aerodynamically sculpted outside mirrors have a reverse-gear tilt-down feature that allows the driver to see the curb or curbside objects. Either the left- or right-hand mirror can be selected to automatically tilt down when reversing. After shifting into reverse, the driver simply moves the mirror-adjustment selector switch position to either the right or left. The corresponding mirror then tilts down to provide a clear view of the curb or curbside on that side of the vehicle. The mirror automatically returns to its previous position when the gear-selector lever is moved out of Reverse.
Auto-Dimming Side Mirrors (Advance and Entertainment Packages)
Included in the Advance and Entertainment Packages, auto-dimming side mirrors use the same activation sensor as the MDX's auto-dimming inside rearview mirror. The auto-dimming function of all three mirrors helps reduce glare during nighttime driving, especially from the headlights of following vehicles.
Included in the Technology Package and up, LED puddle lights, mounted on the bottom of the sideview mirror housings, add convenience for the driver and front passenger at night. These LEDs automatically illuminate when the driver approaches and the vehicle detects the remote.
Expanded View Driver's Mirror
A new Expanded View Driver's Mirror performs like two mirrors in one. The larger, inset portion of the mirror is relatively flat and works like a conventional sideview mirror to show objects to the side of the vehicle. The outer portion of the mirror is optically convex and functions as a wide-angle mirror to expand the driver's view to the side by approximately 43-percent, helping to reduce the blind-zone area.
Rain-Sensing Wipers (Technology and up)
MDX models with the Technology Package include rain-sensing wipers that automatically activate if water is detected on the windshield. Designed to cover the maximum possible windshield area, the left (driver) and right (front passenger) windshield wipers are 26 and 20 inches long, respectively. The rear wiper is 14 inches long.
One-Touch Turn Signals
The MDX's one-touch turn signals improve convenience for the driver when making routine lane changes. With this system, a quick movement of the turn-signal lever (between 0.4 sec. and 1 sec.) provides three blinks of the turn signals - an ideal strategy for changing lanes. Holding the lever for one second or longer (past the "click point") provides continuous blinking, such as for signaling a turn or exiting a thoroughfare.
Parking Sensors (Advance and Entertainment Packages)
The Advance and Entertainement Packages includes parking sensors (4 front and 4 rear), located on the front and rear bumpers. The sensors use ultrasonic wave technology to detect nearby obstacles. If an object is detected, the system will sound an audible alert and can display a warning icon in the Multi-Information Display (MID) and upper display.
Alert sound characteristics change depending on how close the Acura MDX is to the object. The system starts with slow intermittent beeps when an object is first detected, and progresses to quick intermittent beeps as the MDX moves closer. The system will sound a continuous beep when the vehicle is within a few inches of the object.
Note that the parking sensors cannot detect all obstacles, and that the driver is always responsible for making sure the path is clear when operating the vehicle.
Blind Spot Information (BSI)
Included in the Technology Package and up, the Blind Spot Information (BSI) system uses radar sensors located on both sides of the rear bumpers to continually monitor blind-spot areas to help determine whether a vehicle is in the driver's blind spot.
The system provides a visual cue by lighting or flashing an indicator near the sideview mirrors, depending on which side of the MDX a vehicle is detected. The system also gives an audible warning to further alert the driver if the turn signal is activated on the side where a vehicle is being detected. To prevent false alarms while maneuvering at low speed, the BSI system is disabled below approximately 20 mph.
Note that BSI cannot detect all vehicles, and that some vehicles or devices may interfere with the system. Drivers should always visually check for the presence of other vehicles before changing lanes.
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera
All 2014 MDX models feature a multi-view rear camera with a large console display. Its wide-view format significantly expands the driver's rearward visibility when the camera is in use, increasing convenience and peace of mind.
Low-Profile Roof Rails (Advance and Entertainment Packages)
Included with the Advance Package, aerodynamically shaped roof rails add versatility without detracting from the MDX's streamlined package. Chrome-plated for an upscale appearance, the rails accept available cross bars that can hold a variety of accessories including a storage case or racks for bikes, boards or skis.
Smart Entry with Push Button Start
The MDX features Acura's Smart Entry with Push Button Start. The Smart Entry system permits access to the vehicle's front doors without having to operate the key fob or a conventional key (all four doors are accessible with the Technology Package and up). The Smart Entry remote has a unique digital identity and the MDX can be unlocked when the driver grabs one of the door handles while the remote is in his/her possession. When carrying the fob (or if all doors are unlocked), the tailgate can be opened using the handle located on the MDX's rear tailgate.
Once the driver has opened the door and is seated, the Smart Entry system allows the MDX to be started by pushing the Engine Start/Stop button positioned on the instrument panel (so long as the driver's foot is on the brake); to turn off the MDX, the driver simply pushes the button again with the vehicle in Park. When leaving the vehicle, a press of the soft-touch button on the exterior front door handles or tailgate locks all the doors. Alternatively, pressing the Lock button on the Smart Entry remote will also simultaneously lock all doors.
Smart Entry also features a unique "quick vent" feature. When the operator depressed the "unlock" button on the keyless remote for two seconds after unlocking the doors, the system lowers all four side windows and opens the power moonroof to quickly vent interior heat. In addition, by inserting the built-in key into the driver's door lock and holding the key in the "lock" position, all open windows can be simultaneously raised.
The Acura MDX comes with two keyless remotes that can be set with a unique preference to accommodate the preferences of two different drivers. The available preferences include driver seat, steering wheel and mirror positions, along with select HVAC functions. Other preferences include turning entry lights on or off, audio system pre-sets, air conditioning preferences, and navigation system settings. In the event both owners use the car at the same time, the MDX will recognize the keyless remote that approaches the vehicle first.
Like previous MDX models, the new 2014 MDX's rear tailgate can be controlled from the remote key fobâ€”including unlocking, opening and closing the tailgate. In addition, the rear tailgate is now part of the Smart Entry system. When the MDX is locked, and the driver approaches the rear tailgate, the tailgate will automatically unlock (as long as the fob comes within about 32 inches of the vehicle). The tailgate can then be opened simply by lightly touching the switch membrane beneath the Acura badge.
The 2014 MDX is available in seven exterior colors, including three metallic and four pearl colors. All colors are expressive and luxurious in appearance, complimenting the MDX's sophisticated and dynamic body shape. The acid-resistant epoxy clear-coat paint is superior to typical clear-coat paints for increased resistance to urban pollutants.
Silver Moon Metallic
The all-new chassis of the 2014 MDX has a tremendous operational bandwidth. Among its defining characteristics, the MDX is easy to drive while fostering a high degree of driver confidence in wide range of weather and road conditions. It is also more luxurious, with improved suspension isolation that reduces road noise, vibration and harshness in the cabin.
The 2014 MDX chassis features new front and rear suspension systems. In all trim levels, the new MDX imparts more confidence for the driver with electric power steering (EPS) that improves low-speed steering effort and high-speed steering feel. It is also secure with standard Agile Handling Assist and Vehicle Stability Assistâ„¢ (VSAÂ®), and available Collision Mitigation Braking Systemâ„¢ (CMBS) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS). The chassis also contributes to fuel efficiency, with low rolling-resistance tires and low-drag bearings and brake calipers.
All of the features above make the MDX well suited to its role as a luxury transportation solution for those who want to travel in comfort, safety and style.
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
The MDX's independent front and rear suspension systems are engineered to provide long wheel travel and excellent compliance for a luxurious ride, together with the precise damping and spring rates needed for excellent handling and a sporty driving feel.
In front is an all-new strut-type system with forged-aluminum lower control arms with hydraulic bushings, coil springs and a solid stabilizer bar. This setup uses moderate spring rates, relatively firm damping and specially tuned bushings for a smooth, controlled ride with exceptional cornering abilities. The upper front damper mounts provide a "triple path" load-bearing system that absorbs road vibration and harshness.
At the rear is an all-new compact multi-link design with a tubular stabilizer bar. This multi-link system allows a generous amount of wheel travel and excellent compliance for a supple ride, together with confident cornering and handling. All rear suspension control arms are steel - including high-strength steel upper and lower control arms. Geometry for the system is improved, with the upper damper mounts located on the body side rails for greater rigidity, and softer bushings calibrated to reduce road noise without compromising handling.
Suspension load paths are reduced from ten to just six, and where the previous setup transmitted suspension loads to the vehicles rear wheelhouse, the new setup transmits suspension loads to the more rigid body side frame, which allows for more aggressive tuning of suspension bushings to aid both ride comfort and handling precision. The transmission of road vibration to the second- and third-row seats is significantly reduced. Further, the elimination of the forward trailing arm on the previous MDX's rear suspension allows for a 1.8-inch lower floor, providing for easier third-row ingress and egress (along with 4.5-inch wider foot entry point enabled by the longer wheelbase and redesigned second-row seat).
The MDX's engine, transmission and suspension components are mounted on rigid steel subframes. These subframes attach to the unit body at rubber-isolated mounting points that help keep powertrain and road noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) out of the passenger cabin. The subframe rear mounts are filled with specially tuned hydraulic fluid for maximum effectiveness. Permanently sealed, they require no scheduled maintenance. The rear subframe is particularly sophisticated, with hydroformed side elements for maximum strength and minimal weight.
Amplitude Reactive Dampers
Amplitude Reactive Dampers provide superior ride comfort and handling in all driving conditions. The dampers have two separate hydraulic circuits - one tuned to optimize the ride quality on smooth roads with relatively small irregularities, and the other tuned to handle large inputs resulting from rough roads or large steering and braking inputs. As a result, the MDX remains smooth and supple when cruising, and secure and tight feeling in corners with reduced body roll.
The key Amplitude Reactive Damper technology consists of two separate damping pistons: a main piston and a second piston. To improve overall ride comfort, when smaller inputs occur during normal driving conditions, only the main piston works to provide the ideal damping characteristics. To improve the MDX's ride and handling on rougher surfaces and during more aggressive driving, the second piston operates to provide additional damping force.
The Amplitude Reactive Dampers are a purely mechanical system that does not require electronic controls. Altogether, they provide a much wider range of effective damping performance than offered by the previous base MDX.
Electric Power Steering (EPS)
The MDX's new Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) system helps enhance fuel efficiency by putting less demand on the engine, compared to the previous engine-driven hydraulic-boost system. At low speeds, EPS lowers steering effort, improving driver comfort and convenience in city driving and while maneuvering. The system also provides a precision road feel while cornering, along with a firmer and sportier feel on the highway. Compared to the previous MDX steering system, new EPS has a 9-percent quicker ratio for quicker overall steering response that is more sedan-like than in the previous-generation MDX.
The Acura MDX's standard Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) will adjust steering effort depending on the selected mode - Normal, Comfort or Sport. In Normal mode, the steering effort is balanced between comfortable and sporty. Selecting the Comfort mode eases steering effort for a more relaxed driving experience, especially at low speeds. The Sport mode provides a firmer steering feel with higher effort that complements more aggressive driving.
Debuted on the 2013 RDX, Motion-Adaptive EPS works with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSAÂ®) and Electric Power Steering to detect instability in low traction conditions (both during cornering and under braking) and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting the driver to steer in the correct direction. This technology supports the driver's action in operating the vehicle more safely and comfortably.
The Motion-Adaptive EPS system consists of a rack-and-pinion steering gear with an electric motor is located next to pinion axle. To control the level of assist the Powertrain Control Module receives signals from a speed sensor and, coupled with a steering sensor for torque and rotation, then calculates the optimal amount of assist and sends a signal to the electric motor.
When compared to the operation of a conventional hydraulic pump power steering system, Motion-Adaptive EPS increases efficiency because it does not draw a continuous amount of power directly from the engine. Other advantages of electric power-assisted steering include its simplicity, its lower power consumption (which helps improve fuel efficiency), and its compactness (and resulting lower overall weight).
Agile Handling Assist
Standard on the MDX, the Agile Handling Assist system selectively uses the vehicle's brakes to improve initial turning response and overall cornering ability. Agile Handling Assist utilizes brake vectoring to improve corner traceability and confident handling feel. By applying braking force to the inside wheels at the entry to a corner, the system creates a yaw moment, thus generating more turning force.
4-Wheel Disc Brakes with ABS and Brake Assist
The 2014 MDX has 4-wheel disc brakes with a 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) for a powerful and linear brake feel, and confident stops in a wide range of driving conditions. The ventilated front discs are 12.6 inches in diameter and use two-piston calipers, while the solid rear discs are 13.0 inches in diameter and have single-piston calipers. The calipers are designed to reduce brake drag when not in use, reducing rolling resistance and improving fuel efficiency in the process.
An Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) independently modulates braking power at each wheel to help the driver retain steering control during heavy braking, while Brake Assist recognizes emergency braking situations and almost instantly applies full braking force when appropriate.
Vehicle Stability Assistâ„¢ (VSAÂ®)
The MDX's standard Vehicle Stability Assistâ„¢ (VSA) system works in conjunction with the Drive-by-Wire throttle, ABS, EPS and SH-AWDÂ® (if so equipped) to enhance vehicle stability when cornering. If understeer or oversteer is detected, VSA selectively reduces power and/or applies braking force to individual wheels to help correct the condition and stabilize the vehicle. VSA helps improve all aspects of performance (including turning, braking and straight-line stability) in low-grip situations, thus helping to keep the vehicle on its intended course. The system is calibrated to add stability and predictability transparently, and drivers may not even notice when VSA is working.
As an integral component of VSA, traction control monitors drive-wheel slippage, such as when starting or driving on slick surfaces. If this is detected, traction control activates one or more brake calipers and reduces engine torque to slow the spinning wheel so it can regain traction.
Trailer Stability Assist
Standard on SH-AWD MDX models, Trailer Stability Assist helps enhance vehicle stability while a trailer is being towed. An integral part of Vehicle Stability Assistâ„¢ (VSAÂ®), Trailer Stability Assist detects trailer oscillations that can result from improper loading, excessive speed, adverse road conditions, crosswinds or emergency-avoidance maneuvers.
When such oscillations are detected, Trailer Stability Assist provides a warning and gives the driver the opportunity to reduce speed. If the driver does not reduce speed - or does not reduce speed sufficiently to stabilize the vehicle - then VSA automatically activates to help damp the oscillations before they can increase and further upset the stability of the vehicle and trailer.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) alerts the driver via a lighted icon on the instrument panel whenever any of the vehicle's tires has a significantly low pressure. Should this occur, TPMS automatically activates the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, regardless of which VSA switch position is selected. At the driver's discretion, the Multi-Information Display (MID) can be configured to show the current pressure of each tire.
Wheels and Tires
The MDX has stylish 5-spoke 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, with a combined machined face and pewter gray finish. Technology Package and up models have 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. On the Technology Package, the wheels have 10 spokes and a combined machine-face and pewter-gray finish, while the 7-spoke Advance and Entertainment Packages wheels have a cast-aluminum with medium Euro silver finish.
The MDX comes standard with 245/60 R18 all-season tires, while the Technology Package and up models have lower-profile 245/55 R19 all-season tires for enhanced driving performance. All tires offer improved steering precision, as well as 20 percent less rolling resistance than the previous MDX's tires, contributing to greater fuel efficiency. For all-wheel drive MDX models, a spare tire on a steel wheel is mounted below the trunk, where it does not intrude on interior storage space (2-wheel drive trims receive a tire repair kit).
The 2014 MDX is a clean-slate design that offers a new level of luxury, convenience and technology in a spacious new cabin that's perfect for kids or clients. With the seven-passenger MDX's longer wheelbase and more compact rear suspension design, its interior packaging has been completely reworked to provide more usable and versatile passenger and cargo space, and improved third-row access.
A new One-Touch Walk-In feature for the second-row seats, along with a 4.5-inch wider foot entry point and 1.8-inch lower step-in height, makes third-row ingress and egress easier. A new Extended Slide feature for the second-row seats provides 5.9 inches of total fore-aft seat travel, allowing for more flexibility in accommodating the needs of both second- and third-row passengers. Up front, the new center console, aided by a repackaged rear HVAC system, features a large storage area that can accommodate a medium sized purse and even a couple of tablet computers, something few competitors can match.
High-end elements such as soft-touch materials, premium finishes, simulated wood-grain accents and satin chrome plated trim combine with an intuitive new control layout to create an upscale and user-friendly environment. Leather-trimmed (with stain resistant technology) heated power front seats are standard and offer all-day comfort along with abundant lateral support. Heated/ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, and luxurious perforated Milano leather first- and second-row seating come standard in the MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages. A power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with enhanced fingertip controls and a multi-view rearview camera are standard on all models.
Luxury SUV owners have high expectations for their in-vehicle information and entertainment experience. Enhanced connectivity is made possible by the MDX's new next-generation AcuraLinkÂ® system, with thousands of media channels available with PandoraÂ® and Ahaâ„¢ mobile, all delivered via the owner's internet-linked smartphone and data plan. There is also a host of available security and convenience features, including collision notification, remote unlocking, stolen vehicle tracking and surface street traffic information, all delivered via built-in cell technology.
With the expanded range of standard and available technology features, substantial engineering effort was put into making each feature in the new MDX intuitive and easy to use. The focal point of the new instrument panel is the standard 8-inch color audio/information screen that provides a range of useful information and access to an array of customizable features.
A 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Displayâ„¢ positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger controls the audio system and many other features. The touchscreen eliminates over 30 physical buttons, and is the key contributor to the clean, uncluttered look of the new MDX interior. Dynamic menus clearly display controls for each functional mode, reduce screen clutter, and help make operation simple. Audible and haptic feedback improves usability and control, and helps the driver keep their eyes on the road. Customizable shortcuts allow the MDX driver to set easy-to-access pre-sets for Places, Phone, Climate, and Audio functional categories.
A new spectrum of driver-assistive technologies is offered on the MDX. Technology grades feature Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Blind Spot Information (BSI) system. The Advance and Entertainment Packages has standard Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), and front and rear parking sensors.
Design and Materials
The new MDX interior expands on Acura's premium luxury design themes, with clean high-end detailing, intuitive functionality and elegant lines. An Acura design concept called "dual personal structure" guided development of the MDX. It divides the front cabin space into areas centered on the driver and front passenger, with a center stack and console that is easily accessible to each person. Fit and finish have received close attention throughout the interior, with high-quality, soft-touch materials and available perforated Milano leather with stain resistant technology.
The strategy behind the MDX's interior design, based on Acura's "the Synergy between Man and Machine" product direction, is to put the driver's needs first and foremost, to help the driver focus on operating the vehicle in an intuitive and natural way. All important systems and controls are within easy reach, and the systems used most frequently - audio, cruise control, BluetoothÂ® HandsFreeLinkÂ®, available satellite-linked Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognitionâ„¢ and Multi-Information Display - have controls conveniently positioned on the steering wheel. The main instrumentation is an easy-to-read analog design, supplemented with digital and graphic displays.
Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
The leather-wrapped steering wheel features new euro-style stitching and incorporates the most commonly used controls, allowing the driver to keep their hands on the wheel. Phone and audio controls are on the left side; cruise control and multi-info display controls are on the right side, along with the switches for Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow (on MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages). Tucked out of view but within fingertip reach is a pair of paddle shifters that allow for manual operation of the Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow
The Advance Package features Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow button on the lower right side of the leather-wrapped steering wheel. This vehicle speed and distance control system uses a grill-mounted millimeter-wave radar to monitor the distance between the MDX and a detected vehicle directly ahead. Like a conventional cruise control system, the ACC system can maintain a preset speed. In addition, by combining radar data with data from speed sensors, ACC can regulate the MDX's speed to maintain a preset following distance interval.
The Low-Speed Follow is a new feature to the MDX. Low-Speed Follow can reduce the driver workload in congested traffic by maintaining a selected distance interval during cruise control operation, even in stop and go traffic. If a vehicle detected ahead is in range of the system and comes to a stop, the MDX will also automatically decelerate down to a stop. When the detected vehicle moves forward, the vehicle icon on the MDX's multi-information display will blink. With a press of the RES/+/SET/- switch up or down, or with a press of the accelerator pedal, the MDX will automatically accelerate, resuming the Low-Speed Follow mode.
Heated Steering Wheel (Optional)
Acura Genuine Accessories offers an optional heated steering wheel for the Acura MDX. A heating button switch mounted on the lower left side of the steering wheel can be activated when the ignition is switched on, and is also integrated to the Remote Engine Start System for automated heating.
The MDX has sophisticated analog instrumentation with large tachometer and speedometer flanking a color Multi-Information Display (MID) that provides a range of information and trip computer functions. The tachometer and speedometer are flanked by analog coolant temperature and fuel level gauges.
A Multi-Information Display (MID) positioned between the tachometer and speedometer gives the driver access to a range of useful information. Controls positioned on the right side of the steering wheel allow the driver to cycle the MID display through multiple screens of information from sources including Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and more. The Maintenance Minderâ„¢ system alerts the MDX driver of upcoming maintenance needs via the MID and should a fault occur with the vehicle, specific warning information appears. On models with Navigation, the MID also provides turn-by-turn route guidance, a new feature for MDX.
All MDX models feature a bright, full-color 8-inch audio/information screen positioned high in the center stack of the instrument panel. Its high placement puts it close to the driver's line of sight where it's easy to see. Besides audio system information, the screen also offers backup camera views and access to a range of customizable features.
On-Demand Multi-Use Displayâ„¢
The impressive range of technology offered in the MDX presented designers with the challenge of balancing capability with simplicity. The solution was a 7-inch On Demand Multi-Use Displayâ„¢ (ODMD) touch screen positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger. The touchscreen controls a wide range of features, and with its contextual menus, it displays relevant items while minimizing clutter. To make it easy to use, the screen offers audible and vibratory touch feedback - both can be adjusted or shut off based on the owner's preference. Customizable shortcuts allow the MDX driver to set easy-to-access presets for Places, Phone, Climate and Audio functional categories.
Multi-Angle Rearview Camera
A multi-view rearview camera is standard on all MDX grades. It offers three viewing angles (wide view, normal view and top view). Drivers may select the preferred view according to driving conditions. The rearview image is displayed on the 8-inch color audio/information display. On-screen guidelines help the driver better judge distances, and predictive guidelines help make maneuvering in reverse easier.
Power Front Bucket Seats
Considering the luxury mission and performance of the MDX, its seating required extensive engineering development. The new front bucket seats are designed to provide comfortable support for a wide range of body types, along with secure lateral support for cornering. The seats feature luxurious leather seating surfaces, with upgraded perforated Milano leather in the MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages. The MDX driver's seat features 10-way power adjustability (8-way power seat plus 2-way power lumbar support). The front passenger seat offers 8-way power adjustability standard, with 10-way power adjustability available on the MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages. All driver's seat power adjustments are included in the Smart Entry system (among many other features). The system stores a pair of user profiles regarding seat settings - one for each of the two key fobs that come standard with the MDX.
Heated front seats are standard in the MDX. A new algorithmically controlled ECU allows for three temperature settings, along with faster warm-up and smoother, more precise temperature control. The Technology and Entertainment Packages adds heated rear seats. The Advance and Entertainment Packages also includes ventilated front seats.
Second-Row Seats with Extended Slide
The MDX's roomy second-row seating is designed for maximum comfort and versatility, with a 60/40 split-folding design that makes it easy to accommodate passengers or long cargo. The second-row seats also have a new Extended Slide feature that provides a total of 5.9 inches of additional fore-aft seat travel (3.9 inches forward, 2 inches rear), offering passengers greater flexibility in selecting the optimal balance of second- and third-row legroom. A nearly flat floor opens up foot room for a center passenger. Also new on the 2014 MDX are five-position reclining second-row seatbacks to further aid comfort for second- and third-row passengers. There is also a padded, folding center armrest with two cupholders. In the MDX with the Technology and Entertainment Package trim and above, second-row seat heaters are standard.
Third-Row Seats with One-Touch Walk-In Access
The MDX's more compact rear suspension, longer wheelbase and One-Touch Walk-In feature provide for easier access to the third row. Now, even young kids will find it easy to gain access to the MDX's third-row seats from either side of the vehicle via the illuminated One-Touch Walk-In buttons - one button located outboard on the base of the second-row seats and a second button on the upper portion of the second-row seatback. With a single push of the electronically actuated button, the second-row seatback (left or right) folds forward and the seat automatically slides forward. To help reduce the risk of unintentional operation, the buttons will not operate unless the brake pedal is depressed or the gear selector is in Park.
Finished Storage Space
Dual large brushed aluminum plates measuring 16.2 inches long by four inches wide protect the carpeted cargo-area floor during loading and unloading. With both second- and third-row seats folded, the cargo floor is near fully flat with only a small, 4.5-degree pitch, versus the previous MDX cargo floor, which had three varying angles of pitch.
Even with the third-row seat in the upright position, the storage area is designed to improve the MDX's ability to hold bulky items, including a golf bag, stroller, two suitcases or a 56-quart cooler. Four rectangular satin-finished tie-down anchors allow securing cargo when the third-row seat is folded.
Lifting the cargo floor panel reveals an additional hidden storage area with a cargo volume of 1.8 cu. ft. - enough to hold folding chairs (bag type) or two laptop computer cases. In addition, a handy storage bin is positioned at the left side of the cargo area behind the rear seat, with a 12-volt power outlet nearby. Two incandescent bulbs evenly illuminate the storage area.
The third-row seats are split 50/50, and each side can be folded flat with one pull of a handle. The head restraints fold forward first, and then the seatback is unlocked so it can be folded forward easily.
The MDX's analog instruments are backlit with LED lighting and feature high-contrast markings, and the look of a premium chronograph. The gauge package progressively illuminates to give the driver a welcoming feel upon entry. When the door is first opened, the instrument lighting comes to life and then brightens progressively to 100-percent illumination when the ignition is switched on. The illuminated instrument panels then come alive, indicating that the MDX is ready to go. At the end of the drive, the instrument lighting dims progressively.
The interior switches are illuminated to make them easy to locate at night, including the switches on all four doors and the steering wheel. In addition to front and rear overhead interior lights and map lights, the MDX also has a complement of low-level LED interior cabin lights. Ambient lighting in the ceiling illuminates the front center console, and the front foot wells and door handles. Entry front foot well lighting welcomes the passenger as they open the doors. The MDX interior lights feature "theater dimming," which can be set by the driver to one of several dimming rates via the Multi-Information Display.
The MDX interior offers a range of convenient storage features for the driver and passengers. All four doors offer storage bins and bottle holders, and there are cupholders on each side of the third row of seating.
The development of a new, integrated HVAC assembly for the 2014 MDX enables the center console storage space to be enlarged significantly. About 2 inches deeper and wider, and almost 5 inches longer, the main compartment offers 2.5 times more volume than the previous generation. It's large enough to accommodate a moderately sized purse, a tablet computer and more. The console also features two beverage holders, a front pocket with a 12-volt outlet, a cell phone/iPodÂ® pocket next to another 12-volt power outlet and USB Audio Interface, a sliding tray over the main storage space and another tray under the sliding, padded armrest.
GPS-Linked, Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control
MDX with Technology Package and up have a unique GPS-linked temperature control, tri-zone automatic climate control system that lets the driver, front passenger and rear passengers set temperatures to their individual liking.
To operate the HVAC system, easy-to-read buttons and controls are positioned within easy reach. The HVAC system can also be controlled by voice command (MDX with Technology Package and higher grades), and additional custom settings can be accessed through the 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Displayâ„¢.
With its position-sensing ability, the GPS navigation system (MDX with Technology Package and higher) contributes to overall passenger comfort with a 3D solar sensing feature. Based on continuously updated vehicle position information, the navigation system determines the position of the sun relative to the driver and front passenger. Combining this information with input from a solar sensor located on top of the instrument panel, the climate control system automatically adjusts the temperature and airflow from side to side as needed to compensate for asymmetrical solar heating. Further, on the Advance and Entertainment Packages, the heated and ventilated front seats are electronically linked to the climate control system, expediting the transition to the desired temperature.
For increased rear-seat privacy, reduced solar loading and glare, the MDX (with Technology and Entertainment Packages and up) now has manually operated sunshades for each rear door side window.
Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC)
Key contributors to the MDX's quiet, refined interior are Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC). The two systems are comprised of dual overhead microphones, an ANC/ASC electronic processor, and the audio system's speakers. ASC/ANC operates whenever the MDX engine is running, even if the audio system is turned off.
ANC is designed to reduce low frequency sound in the cabin caused mainly by the roughness of the road surface. The overhead microphones pick up sound waves and send them to the ANC/ASC processor, which creates and sends a precisely timed "reverse phase" audio signal to a special amplifier. In turn, the amplifier drives the door speakers to cancel the original noise signal.
ASC is a related technology designed to improve the engine sound quality by making the sound pressure level more linear as the engine revs increase. Typically, engine noise doesn't increase in a linear way with rising revs; instead there can be many resonances that create peaks and valleys in the sound pressure level, resulting in an uneven sound. ASC helps smooth out the engine sound by creating a same-phase or reverse-phase sound signal as needed and sending it to the speakers.
AcuraLinkÂ® Connectivity System
The MDX is the second Acura model, after the 2014 RLX luxury sedan, to offer the next generation of AcuraLinkÂ®, Acura's cloud-based connected car system that originally launched back in 2005. AcuraLink is the new center point for owners for hands-free access to cloud-based services, audio and information, and is designed to keep MDX drivers informed and connected while on the go.
The connectivity required for AcuraLink's various features is distributed between the MDX's embedded system (for some of the fee-based features, with Technology Package and above) and the owner's compatible smartphone and data package (for free features, in all MDX models). AcuraLink works with the owner's compatible smartphone and data package to connect the MDX with music and information resources, internet apps, and more. Ahaâ„¢ by Harman is a key AcuraLink resource.
Ahaâ„¢ organizes the MDX owner's favorite content from the web into personalized on-demand radio stations in the vehicle. Ahaâ„¢ is a comprehensive, cloud-based platform optimized for the automotive environment that provides a simple integration point for AcuraLink equipped vehicles to bring a wide range of current and future applications into the audio system head unit. This new capability allows users to access their favorite podcasts, internet and terrestrial radio, on-demand music, restaurant recommendations via Yelp, and even audio updates from Facebook and Twitter. Owners can use the AcuraLink website and smartphone apps to access information or change preferences.
AcuraLink Service Levels
AcuraLink has three available levels of services for Technology Package MDX and up. The Standard Package comes enabled on all Acura MDX with navigation, and includes services such as surface-street and freeway traffic (free for the first three years of ownership). The subscription based Connect Package adds a wide range of capabilities, including automated crash notification and an in-vehicle Emergency System that connects you with a live Operator with the push of an overhead button. The Premium Package, which also requires a subscription, adds Live Concierge operator assistance via the MDX's embedded cell phone. The Concierge service can send destination information directly to the MDX navigation system, make reservations on their behalf, update the user on weather, stocks and much more.
AcuraLink Smartphone App/Website
With an active Connect or Premium Package, the AcuraLink system gives the owner a range of features they can control or monitor remotely, via the AcuraLink Connect smartphone app or AcuraLink website.
Ahaâ„¢ by Harman
A new feature called Ahaâ„¢ is accessed via AcuraLink by utilizing the owner's compatible smart phone. Ahaâ„¢ organizes the MDX owner's favorite content from the web into personalized on-demand radio stations in the vehicle. Ahaâ„¢ is a comprehensive, cloud-based platform optimized for the automotive environment that provides a simple integration point for AcuraLink equipped vehicles to bring a wide range of current and future applications into the audio system head unit. This new capability allows users to access their favorite podcasts, internet radio, on-demand music, restaurant recommendations, and even audio updates from Facebook and Twitter.
The MDX incorporates a wide range of media features to accommodate the ever-changing preferences of customers. All MDX models are designed to provide a convenient interface for PandoraÂ®. PandoraÂ® is a free music service that allows users to open an account online and create up to 100 personalized internet "radio stations" that are based on favorite songs or artists. Users can choose among their stations and listen via computer, and can also download a free smartphone PandoraÂ® app, which allows users listen to the same list of personalized stations via their compatible phone. Although PandoraÂ® is free, phone data charges apply.
An iPhone or compatible Android phones can be connected to the MDX wirelessly, using BluetoothÂ® HandsFreeLinkÂ® (iPhone is also supported via the PandoraÂ® Audio USB interface). To use PandoraÂ®, a compatible phone is connected (via USB or wirelessly, as appropriate) and the vehicle's audio source is set to PandoraÂ® to launch the app. The audio/information screen (or navigation display in vehicles with navigation) and On-Demand Multi-Use Displayâ„¢ show PandoraÂ® information and album art, and the audio controls allow listeners to choose from among existing stations, pause, resume, skip forward, and mark a track with "Like" or "Dislike" ratings. To simplify driver use, some functionality of the PandoraÂ® app is locked out when using the MDX's PandoraÂ® interface.
SMS Text Message Function
All MDX models have a standard SMS Text Message function that can read incoming texts aloud over the audio system, and allow the driver to reply with any of six factory preset messages, or call the sender - all without handling their phone. The system works with SMS-capable cell phones that have an active data plan and the Message Access Profile (MAP), such as the Blackberry, Droid X and others. When running iOS6, text messages received on an iPhone can be read aloud, but replies cannot be sent using the MDX interface.
Available factory preset text replies:
Talk to you later, I'm driving
Like all Acura vehicles, the MDX has a standard BluetoothÂ® HandsFreeLinkÂ® hands free telephone interface that is designed to work with most BluetoothÂ®-enabled mobile phones. BluetoothÂ® is a radio frequency-based technology that allows portable devices (such as mobile cellular telephones and laptop computers) to communicate wirelessly. The MDX's HandsFreeLinkÂ® system is compatible with BluetoothÂ®-enabled cellular phones that have the Hands Free Profile (HFP). After the driver completes a one-time pairing process, the MDX can communicate wirelessly and securely with the driver's cell phone when it is within approximately 10 feet of the car. The phone needs to be on, but can be stored in a pocket, briefcase, purse, or anywhere inside the MDX cabin.
BluetoothÂ® HandsFreeLinkÂ® allows the driver to send or answer telephone calls without removing their hands from the steering wheel. When a call comes in, a press of the steering wheel-mounted "Pick up" button mutes the audio system and the incoming caller is heard over the MDX's audio system speakers. Working with an overhead array microphone, the HandsFreeLinkÂ® system helps cancel "echo effect" and reduces background noise to improve the transmission quality of the driver's speech.
To send a call hands-free, the MDX driver can dial the number by voice, again using fingertip controls mounted on the steering wheel to activate the system. The driver also can store frequently called numbers in the system's memory using unique voice tags. Up to six different compatible mobile phones can be registered with the MDX's BluetoothÂ® HandsFreeLinkÂ® system.
Acura 8-Speaker Audio System
The MDX comes standard with an 8-speaker Acura audio system that offers 432 watts of power, compared to the previous model's 253-watt system. The system has a single-disc CD player, and AM/FM/SiriusXM radio bands. Along with a physical knob for power and volume, the full range of audio system controls can be accessed using the 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Displayâ„¢ positioned within easy reach of the driver and front-seat passenger. Controls for key audio system functions are also positioned within fingertip reach on the MDX steering wheel.
The eight speakers are strategically located throughout the MDX cabin. Each front and rear door has a 17-cm full-range speaker. Separate 4-cm tweeters are positioned near the A-pillars, with an 8-cm speaker centered on the top of the instrument panel. A 20-cm subwoofer is mounted in a tuned 19-liter enclosure in the right sidewall of the cargo area (up from the previous MDX's 10-liter).
In addition to traditional source inputs, the MDX is fitted with a USB port that allows for easy connectivity to items such as an iPodÂ® or iPhoneÂ®, or a removable flash drive storage device containing WMA, MP3 or AAC format music. The USB port is located alongside a traditional AUX jack (that allows connectivity of an external MP3 music player) located in the center console's storage compartment.
Acura/ELSÂ® Studio 10-Speaker Audio System (MDX with Technology Package)
The MDX with Technology Package features a 10-speaker, 501-watt Acura/ELSÂ® Studio system (compared to the 410-watt system on the previous model) that is engineered to offer impressive sound quality from a wide range of media formats. Taking the eight speakers found in the base MDX, two additional 8-cm speakers are added to the rear quarter pillar. Since this audio system is integrated with the Acura Navigation System, it features hard drive music storage and Song By Voice. The Acura/ELSÂ® Studio audio system offers the same intuitive touchscreen and steering-wheel mounted controls as the base MDX audio system, plus select audio system functions can also be accomplished via voice command.
Engineered specifically for the MDX, the system has a single-disc CD player, AM/FM/HD Radio/XM/HDD audio source options, and delivers detailed, well-balanced sound to all seating positions. The system gets its name from multi-GrammyÂ® Award winning producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner's recording industry-recognized moniker "ELSÂ®." Scheiner's goal in the development of this audio system was to reproduce music the way it is heard in the recording studio.
Acura/ELSÂ® Studio 11-Speaker Audio System (MDX with Technology and Entertainment Packages)
The MDX with Technology and Entertainment Packages features an upgraded 529-watt 11-speaker Acura/ELSÂ® Studio Audio System. An 8-cm roof speaker is added above the second-row seating.
The MDX with Technology and Entertainment Package includes a factory-installed Acura DVD Rear Entertainment System (RES) for rear passengers with a 9-inch wide-screen LCD display that flips down from the ceiling for easy viewing. The WVGA display natively provides 800 pixels horizontally and 480 pixels vertically. User-selectable aspect ratios include normal, wide and zoom. The extended capabilities of the system allow for either DVD, CD, radio, SiriusXMÂ® Radio and auxiliary accessories (such as certain video game consoles, DVD players or cameras) to be played in the rear seating areas through headphones while the front passengers listen to a different audio source.
The DVD player can be conveniently controlled from three sources - the front audio-system controls, the integrated wireless remote control (that is stored in the ceiling near the LCD screen), or through voice activation. The DVD disc will begin to auto-play when the disc is loaded. Additional audio and video input jacks allow for a wide variety of additional equipment to be attached to the system. The system comes complete with two infrared (IR) wireless headphones and a wireless remote control as standard equipment. For convenient night use, the remote control is illuminated.
Two wireless headphones are included. Each includes a volume knob. A safety feature on the wireless headphone system prevents front-row passengers from using the headphones. The wireless headphones are automatically activated when the ear pieces are turned approximately 90 degrees (to be put on) and deactivated when the headphones are turned 90 degrees (when taken off). The automatic on/off system reduces the possibility that the AAA battery-powered headphones could be accidentally left on. A 115-volt power outlet rated for devices up to 150 watts, such as a gaming console or laptop, is included.
Acura/ELSÂ® Studio 12-Speaker Audio System
The MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages features a 546-watt Acura/ELSÂ® Studio Audio System with 12-speakers. This Elliot Scheiner-engineered system is designed to recreate the emotional experience you feel when you enjoy a live performance, regardless of where you are seated in the MDX's spacious interior.
The system has a total of 12 speakers. Each front and rear door has a 17cm full-range speaker. Separate 4 cm tweeters are positioned near the A-pillars, with an 8-cm speaker centered on the top of the instrument panel. At the rear of the MDX, there are two 8-cm speakers on the rear pillars and a 20-cm subwoofer mounted in a tuned enclosure in the right sidewall of the cargo area. For improved surround sound imaging, there are two additional 8-cm speakers mounted in the headliner, over the second row of seating as a part of the RES System.
Ultra-Wide DVD Rear Entertainment System (MDX with Advance and Entertainment Packages)
The state-of-the-art, factory-integrated Rear Entertainment System (RES) features a 16.2-inch wide display, the largest ever offered in an Acura. The WVGA display natively provides 1,600 pixels horizontally and 480 pixels vertically. User-selectable aspect ratios include normal (640x480), full (850x480), super full (1,300x480), ultra full (1,600x480), super zoom (1,300x640) and ultra zoom (1600x640). The system can simultaneously show two different sources of programming side-by-side, such as a video game and a movie. The two programs being played can be easily switched from side to side using a button near the screen. The 605-watt audio system provides 5.1 channel surround sound capability. The dual-source wireless headphones supplied with this system can be tuned to either input source as desired using a button on each set of headphones. The system includes a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port for attaching high-definition players and certain gaming consoles, along with standard composite and audio inputs. A 115-volt power outlet rated for devices up to 150 watts is included.
SiriusXMÂ® Radio is a standard feature on all Acura MDX models and provides more than 140 channels of digital programming with near CD-quality sound. The SiriusXMÂ® signal is beamed to two broadcast satellites positioned in geostationary orbit above Earth. The beams from these two broadcast satellites combine to span the entire continental United States and some of Canada.
SiriusXMÂ® Radio programming includes channels devoted to music, sports, talk, traffic, weather, children's programming and entertainment. Of the more than 140 SiriusXMÂ® channels, 71 are commercial-free. When the MDX's audio system plays SiriusXMÂ® Radio, the Audio/Information screen (or navigation display in vehicles with navigation) displays the current category, station song title, or artist's name, while the current category and station are also displayed on the On-Demand Multi-Use Displayâ„¢.
A complimentary three-month subscription to the SiriusXMÂ® Radio service is included with purchase of a new MDX, and customers are able to continue the service or cancel any time afterwards.
HD Radioâ„¢ (Technology Package and above)
MDX models with the Technology Package and above feature standard HD Radioâ„¢. HD Radioâ„¢ provides advanced audio and data features that enhance the listening experience. Sound quality is improved with HD Radioâ„¢ and there is no subscription fee.
Instead of sending out one analog signal, HD Radioâ„¢ stations send out a bundled signal - both analog and digital. Because it is digital, textual data such as song titles can be sent out as well. Unlike conventional radio, HD Radioâ„¢ stations broadcast extra channels, which are called HD2/HD3. These added channels offer MDX owners a universe of additional choices.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Audio (Technology Package and above)
MDX models with the Technology Package and above feature a standard Hard Disk Drive (HDD) system with 16 GB of storage for audio. The system can copy music tracks from pre-recorded CDs, enabling owners to store music on-board for easy access. The system will not copy music from burned CDs or from USB flash drives. Based on music files measuring an average size of 4.2MB per song at a 128kbps bit rate, approximately 3,900 songs (approximately 200 CDs) can be loaded onto the available 16 GB of storage.
The HDD-based system records music at 6-times that of the original music track time. Two recording quality settings (192 kbps or 128 kbps) are available. The automatic-recording default setting can be changed to manual if desired.
The audio system can display information about the music tracks, such as artist names and song titles, using the GracenoteÂ® database in the system software. This database can be periodically updated to reflect newly released music. Gracenote updates can be downloaded by MDX owners at automobiles.acura.com in the Ownerlink section (up to four updates per year maximum). The updates can then be loaded onto a CD-R or onto a USB thumb drive, which in turn can be used to update the MDX audio system. Even without a Gracenote update, newly released audio tracks will play on the sound system, without accompanying text information on genre, artist, album name and track name.
Song By VoiceÂ®
MDX models with the Technology Package and above are also equipped with the Song by VoiceÂ® feature. With so much audio content potentially available on the HDD or from an iPod or compatible smartphone, MDX engineers set out to make it easy to find content. From most navigation screens, the driver can simply press the TALK button on the steering wheel and give a voice command, such as "Play song 'Danny Boy,'" and the system will search all available content on the HDD and connected iPod and compatible smartphone, and automatically begin playback. Song by Voice also lets the driver choose music by artist, album, track name, genre, playlist and even composer.
Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition
MDX models with the Technology Package and above feature the latest generation Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognitionâ„¢ (available in all 50 United States as well as Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico).
The MDX's available Acura Satellite-Linked Navigation System uses GPS technology and a 100 GB hard disk drive-based (HDD) system to provide drivers with turn-by-turn guidance to their chosen destination. The system now includes surface street traffic data and provides coverage in many areas within the U.S., allowing the driver to choose faster, less congested routes. The system offers a new level of convenience with the new generation of AcuraLink. Owners can send a destination to the vehicle in advance of a trip using AcuraLink (with the available Connect Package), or while on the road via the AcuraLink Concierge operator (with the optional Premium Package) or the interactive voice response system (with the AcuraLink Connect Package). Faster, more capable and easier to use than any previous-generation Acura system, the MDX navigation system sets a new standard.
The MDX navigation system utilizes the 8-inch high-resolution WVGA (800x480 pixel) backlit color display. The system can be controlled by voice, or with a convenient interface dial. The voice-activated system responds to casual command phrases that require less user familiarization, in addition to the previous capability of being able to understand spoken city and street names. For example, a voice request for "Radio 98.3 FM" can now be spoken in approximately a dozen different ways ranging from "change the radio station to 98.3" to "98.3 FM." This logic applies to audio functionality of the audio/information screen. The navigation system can also be controlled by voice with conventional navigation commands like, "Find nearest Chinese restaurant" or "find nearest ATM."
The audio system is automatically muted when the "Talk" button is pressed. The voice-recognition technology allows the driver to simply speak city and street names aloud, and the system responds by displaying the matches available in the database. Points of interest on the map (such as restaurants or grocery stores) can be displayed with brand logo icons, or the system can provide turn-by-turn navigation - all by voice command. The point-of-interest (POI) database, with more than 10 million points, includes telephone numbers that can be dialed by using the BluetoothÂ® HandsFreeLinkÂ® system when the driver's cellular telephone is connected to the system.
The MDX's navigation screen can display regularly updated traffic information including traffic flow, incidents and construction on freeways, and on surface streets. The information is from Probe Traffic, a system that tracks the movements of participating Acura (and other) vehicles to generate up-to-date flow information. Participants opt into the Probe Traffic system to receive flow information, which is anonymous and scrubbed of any personal information. The flow information is transmitted via the MDX's embedded cellular data link and is graphically displayed on the navigation system.
When traffic congestion or road incidents are detected along the selected drive route, the system will automatically recalculate a "detour" route and display a pop-up box signifying the route change. Alternately, the driver can recalculate a route in manual mode simply by selecting "TRAFFIC INCIDENTS" from the Map Info menu followed by selecting the "AVOID" command relevant to an incident.
A digital version of the Zagat SurveyÂ® restaurant guide provides detailed information and reviews on select restaurants in the database. The reviews can be read on-screen or spoken over the audio system by a synthesized voice. The navigation system can also suggest scenic routes based on the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads guide.
Smart Entry Keyless Access System
Acura's Smart Entry with Push Button Start comes standard on the MDX. The Smart Entry system lets the MDX owner gain access to the vehicle's front doors and rear hatch without having to operate the key fob or conventional key. The Smart Entry remote has a unique digital identity and the MDX can be unlocked when the driver pulls one of the front door handles (Technology Package and above adds rear door access) while the remote is in their possession. When carrying the fob (or if all doors are unlocked), the rear tailgate can be opened by pressing a button located on the MDX's rear fascia.
Once the driver has opened the door and is seated, the Smart Entry system allows the MDX to be started by pushing the Engine Start/Stop button positioned on the instrument panel. When leaving the car, a press of the soft-touch button on the exterior door handle locks all the doors. Alternatively, pressing the Lock button on the Smart Entry remote will also simultaneously lock all doors.
The Acura MDX comes with two keyless remotes that can be set with a unique preference to accommodate the preferences of two different drivers. The available preferences include driver seat, steering wheel and mirror positions, along with select HVAC functions. Other preferences include turning entry lights on or off, audio system pre-sets, air conditioning preferences, and navigation system settings. In the event both owners use the car at the same time, the MDX will recognize the keyless remote that approaches the vehicle first.
The 2014 Acura MDX is designed to provide high levels of both active and passive safety protection. With its all-new unit-body design featuring numerous energy-absorbing crumple zones and anti-intrusion features, it is projected to earn the highest possible safety ratings: a five star Overall Vehicle Score from the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in the Institute's stringent new small overlap frontal collision test.
Safety advances begin with the new next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineeringâ„¢ (ACEâ„¢) body structure. This supercomputer-designed structure is designed to increase the amount of protection provide to MDX occupants in frontal collisions, and is expected to help the MDX garner top performance ratings in the rigorous new IIHS small overlap front crash test. The use of premium materials such as hot-stamped steel and magnesium make the MDX body structure more rigid, while also contributing to a 275-pound lower curb weight compared to the previous generation vehicle.
Next-Generation Advanced Compatibility Engineeringâ„¢ (ACEâ„¢) Body Structure
The MDX's enhanced Advanced Compatibility Engineeringâ„¢ (ACEâ„¢) body structure is the second generation of Acura's proprietary ACE structural design. ACE is an exclusive body design that enhances occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal crashes. It uses a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle, helping to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment. It can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash as well. ACE also helps reduce the chances that one vehicle will override another, improving crash compatibility of vehicles that differ in size. ACE goes further by offering additional strength and protection in small overlap frontal collisions, which are among the most severe.
Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) uses either a camera mounted in the upper portion of the windshield (Technology Package, Technology and Entertainment Packages) or the CMBS radar (Advance and Entertainment Packages) to detect vehicles ahead and to determine whether a collision is likely. This reduces the stress of driving in traffic, while also contributing to an increased level of passive safety.
If the FCW system detects a vehicle in front of the MDX and then determines that a collision may occur (due to a speed differential between the two vehicles), it will trigger visual and audible alerts for the driver. These include a "BRAKE" message on the Multi-Information Display (MID), and on the Advance and Entertainment Packages, a secondary visual warning on the windshield via the heads-up display, and a series of beeps to alert the driver to apply the brake pedal. The FCW system will not automatically brake, and the driver remains responsible for safely operating the vehicle and avoiding collisions.
Drivers may adjust the distance at which FCW alerts occur by pressing the "SETTINGS" button, selecting "Vehicle Settings," and then choosing "Driver Assist System Setup" and the "Forward Collision Warning Distance" option. At this point they may choose between "Long," "Normal" or "Short." And if they choose to, drivers may also select "Off" to disable the FCW system entirely.
Note that the FCW system cannot detect all objects ahead and may not detect a given object; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and other factors.
Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
Included in the Technology Packages and up, the new Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system is designed to alert the driver if the vehicle is leaving a detected lane without the turn signal being activated. The system functions at speeds from 45 to 90 mph on straight or slightly curved roads, alerting the driver of any deviations from a detected road.
In the Technology and Technology and Entertainment Packages, LDW uses the same upper front windshield camera as the Frontal Collision Warning (FCW) system. In the Advance and Entertainment Packages, LDW uses the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) camera. Regardless of which camera is utilized, the camera is designed to recognize lane markings so the system can detect when the vehicle is about to leave its lane.
If the vehicle begins to move out of a detected lane without the turn signal activated, LDW illuminates a Lane Departure message on the Multi-Information Display (MID) and sounds a series of beeps, advising the driver to take appropriate action. Unlike LKAS, the LDW system is passive and does not provide any steering input or correction. The driver may turn the system off by pressing the LDW button located on the instrument panel, left of the steering column.
There are certain conditions under which the system may not engage or operate, including inclement weather (e.g., snow, ice or heavy rain) and extreme cabin heat conditions. It will automatically suspend operation when the brakes are applied or the turn signals are used. LDW may not detect all lane markings or lane departures; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and road condition. The driver remains responsible for safely operating the vehicle and avoiding collisions.
Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
The Acura MDX's Advance Package features Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) to provide a less stressful driving experience by reducing steering correction movements and driving effort on the highway. LKAS uses a camera to read lane markings to assist the driver in driving in the middle of the lane.
Designed for the U.S. road structure, the system uses a camera mounted on the upper portion of the windshield to identify painted lanes, Botts' Dots and Cat Eye markers at speeds between 45 mph and 90 mph. When LKAS senses that the driver is drifting from the middle of a detected lane, the system generates counteracting steering torque to assist the driver in maintaining lane position, while also displaying a visual warning in the MID within the instrument panel to alert the driver about a potential lane departure. Compared to lane-keeping systems on other vehicles, the MDX's LKAS operates in a more linear fashion with a more natural feel.
Collision Mitigation Braking Systemâ„¢ (CMBS)
Included in the Advance Package, the Collision Mitigation Braking Systemâ„¢ (CMBSâ„¢) is one of the most sophisticated driver-assistive technologies available. It continually scans traffic conditions ahead of the MDX, alerts the driver of a potential collision, and then takes proactive action to help reduce collision forces if one becomes unavoidable.
Unlike the pre-collision systems on some vehicles, CMBS can automatically apply the brakes to help reduce the severity of a collision. When CMBS detects a potential collision, visual, audible and tactile (driver and front passenger seatbelt pre-tensioning) alerts first prompt the driver to take corrective actions. If the system determines that a collision is imminent, it applies the brakes to help reduce vehicle speed and collision forces.
It is important to note that CMBS cannot detect all objects ahead, nor is it intended to replace the driver's assessment of traffic conditions and control of the vehicle. The driver must intervene in certain situations, and must always be attentive when using the system. In addition, CMBS is not intended to apply enough braking force to prevent a collision. The system also may not perform all visual-, audible- and tactile-alert stages, and may instead automatically engage the brakes if the system deems it necessary.
Pedestrian Injury Mitigation
The MDX has an impact-absorbing front body design to help reduce injury in the event of a frontal collision with a pedestrian. Research shows that the following features can dramatically improve a pedestrian's chance of survival if struck by a moving vehicle:
Impact-energy absorbing hood - Space is provided between the underside of the hood and key powertrain components, allowing the hood to bend and deform if contact is made with either an adult or a child pedestrian.
A total of seven airbags, including dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags, side-curtain airbags, and a new driver's side knee airbag, are standard on the 2014 MDX.
Driver's Side Knee Airbag
New for the MDX is a driver's side knee airbag designed to better position the driver in the event of a frontal collision so that the front airbag and seatbelts can have maximum effect. The knee airbag is contained beneath a panel on the underside of the instrument panel, which is contoured away from the knees to provide as much clearance as possible for comfort.
Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS)
Every MDX is equipped with dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags (SRS). One or both of these airbags will be deployed only in the event of a sufficient frontal impact. If deployed, the airbags are capable of being inflated at different rates depending on crash severity, seat-belt usage and other factors. Front airbags are designed to supplement the seat belts to help reduce the likelihood of head and upper body injuries in frontal crashes.
An indicator light marked "PASS AIRBAG," located on the right of the upper display illuminates to indicate that the passenger's front airbag is off and will not deploy during a frontal impact. This happens when the weight of the front-seat passenger, or an object on the seat, is 63.8 pounds or less.
Driver and Front Passenger Side Airbags
Driver's and front passenger's SmartVentâ„¢ side airbags mounted in the outboard area of each front seatback are designed to help provide pelvis and thorax protection in the event of a severe side impact. The advanced design allows the side airbags to inflate with a low risk of injuring the seat occupant while deploying. This eliminates the need for the previous-generation MDX's Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS).
Side Curtain Airbags
All outboard seating positions include a side curtain airbag system. The side curtain airbags deploy from modules in the roof in the event of a sufficient side impact or rollover, providing a significant level of head protection in the window area. The new side curtain airbags now have a wider deployment profile and remains fully deployed for an extended time to enhance ejection mitigation. This application is two years in advance of new safety regulations taking effect in 2015.
E-Pretensioner Front Seatbelts (Advance and Entertainment Packages)
Another new MDX safety feature available on the Advance Package is a driver and front passenger seatbelt e-pretensioner system that detects yaw rate. During normal driving conditions, the e-pretensioner system provides a "tensionless" seatbelt experience, enhancing driving comfort. Then during sporty or aggressive driving, the system uses electronic controls to tighten the seatbelts.
In addition, the e-pretensioner system tightens and holds the seatbelts during sudden steering inputs like those that may occur during a skid or a minor collision. The e-pretensioner system is fully automatic and requires no intervention from the driver or front passenger, aside from the initial fastening of the seatbelt.
Adjustable Head Restraints
The first and second row (with the exception of the center in the second row) seating positions feature individually adjustable head restraints. The head restraints for the third row seats fold automatically when the seat fold-down handle is pulled, simplifying the process of converting the Acura MDX into cargo-hauling mode. The headrests can also be folded down independently, improving rear visibility.