If I were to play a game of word association with a friend and that friend said “luxury,” the word out of my mouth would most likely be Bentley, or Rolls Royce or Mercedes-Benz. It would most likely not be Acura. However, as I learned at the 2013 Texas Truck Rodeo, overlooking Acura would be a mistake to many auto manufacturers. Not only was I impressed with the ride quality of the 2014 Acura MDX Advance, but also the technology that comes with it. Also, competitively speaking, the Acura MDX Advance is a very affordable prospect, and it certainly won over the members of the Texas Auto Writers Association: they declared it the Luxury SUV of Texas.
In the hot and humid Texas sun, the Acura MDX was a welcoming vehicle to climb into. It features a three-zone climate control system that actually allows the rear-seat passengers to set a temperature by number instead of just hotter or colder. The system also accounts for and can control humidity inside the cabin. That makes sticky days more enjoyable and also will help prevent the windows from fogging up on humid summer nights.
The MDX Advance also has a plethora of driver-assistance controls, such as adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. The adaptive cruise control is similar to the system I recently tested in the Lincoln MKZ, except that the vehicle will come to a complete stop if necessary. The lane keeping system in the MDX is noticeably different. If a driver takes their hands off the wheel in a vehicle like the MKZ, it will “ping pong” down the road, bouncing from the center line to the side line. In the MDX, it actively keeps the vehicle in the center of the lane, constantly make slight corrections. It does feel that the wheel is tugging more often, but is easy to get used to and works very well.
The technology in the MDX Advance is great, and definitely needs to be mentioned first in any quick spin. As for the drive itself, it drives like a luxury car. The ride quality is nice and wind noise is kept to a minimum. For me, the steering is too electronically assisted. But for people who cross-shop this vehicle with the Lexus RX should feel sportier in the Acura.
The Acura MDX Advance, technologically-speaking, is more advanced than its price-tag hints at. For those looking for a luxury vehicle with great reliability, good fuel economy, loads of technology and a nice price tag, they really owe it to themselves to drive the MDX before making a final purchase decision.
Note: Acura provided the vehicle for review.