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Comfortable, Accomodating: 2011 Acura MDX

The 2011 Acura MDX is packed with safety and convenience features and it’s a great-looking ride, writes Sally Miller Wyatt.

(Above): Exterior view of the 2011 Acura MDX.

I know, I know, I’ve said it before, but I do get a chuckle out of the word pairing “luxury SUV,” because it seems contradictory at times. Who would leave a top-of-the-line, leather and chrome-detailed vehicle in the parking lot at a dusty trail-head or slush-encrusted ski area?

Well, owners of the Acura MDX leave their well-heeled cars at these places because they know they’re getting there in style and wrapped in a safety cage with state-of-the-art technology features. And, when they get home again, the car cleans up pretty nicely.

Now in its second generation, the 2011 Acura MDX adds some new features over the all-new 2010 models, but still remains a luxury SUV that is, in my opinion, an unpretentious ride, a very well-dressed workhorse, if you will.

The Acura MDX was completely re-engineered for 2010, and for the 2011 model year it still has that fresh new exterior with a restyled front and rear bodywork; a revised powertrain and re-tooled six-speed automatic transmission for improved fuel efficiency, refinements to the chassis and the addition of many top-of-the-line technological components.

It also has three rows of seats, which means you can accommodate seven passengers. What Mom wouldn’t find having extra seats to be the ultimate luxury?

(Above): Exterior view of the 2011 Acura MDX.

The Acura MDX’s 300-horsepower, 3.7 liter VTEC V-6 engine is teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission that offers a V-8 level of performance but within the fuel efficiency of a V-6. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system is a full-time, all-wheel-drive system that distributes the optimum amount of torque between front and rear axles as well as left and right rear wheels. This package improves traction and cornering ability, which offers plenty of peace of mind while driving on those slushy and muddy roads, especially when the package is working with the MDX’s Vehicle Stability Assist.

Safety features start with Acura’s Advanced Engineering body structure, or ACE. It uses a network of interconnected front frame structures to absorb and redirect crushing forces more evenly throughout the passenger cabin. ACE’s design also means an improved crash compatibility with vehicles of different sizes in frontal crashes. Even better yet, designers added a special frame below the MDX’s front bumper so that fender benders between cars of different sizes won’t be so damaging. Other standard safety features include the highly desirable anti-lock braking system with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist.

Onboard the MDX are side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensors, front active head restraints to minimize whiplash risk, and side impact door beams.

The 2011 Acura MDX also has an handy blind spot information system, Adaptive Cruise Control and a Collision Mitigating Braking System. This helps the driver reduce the likelihood of a collision by sounding an alert if it seems a collision is inevitable, and then activating brakes tightening the seat belts.

(Above): Interior view of the 2011 Acura MDX.

Inside the passenger cabin, you’ll find plenty of leg room for the front and second row passengers, and adequate foot room for the third row. Seats in the first and second row are comfortably firm, covered in leather seats and either heated or ventilated. Even when the third row of seats is in the “up” position, there is still a good amount of cargo space available.

Standard interior features include XM Satellite Radio, MP3 input jack, driver recognition memory, a 10-way power seat for the driver and eight-way power seat for the front passenger, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink wireless telephone interface, an Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition with Real-time Traffic and Weather. That system alerted us to bad road conditions ahead, including dense fog and snow.

Overall, we found the 2011 Acura MDX continues to be a comfortable, accommodating SUV, totally packed with many desirable safety and convenience features. And, it’s a great-looking ride, whether your cruising at freeway speed or on slushy roads.

2011 Acura MDX

Base Price: $54,105
Price as Tested: $54,965
Engine: 3.7-liter VTEC V6
Horsepower: 300 hp
Torque: 2705 lb.-ft
Transmission: six-speed automatic with Sequential SportShift
Mileage: 16/city, 21/highway

Sally Miller Wyatt is a freelance writer who writes family-oriented auto reviews for newspapers, magazines and the Web.


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