- 2015 Acura MDX Elite
- 3.5L V6-cylinder engine
- 6-speed automatic transmission
- Super Handling All-Wheel drive (SH-AWD)
- Seating Capacity: 7
- Road Test Terrain: 60% city, 40% highway
- Tested MSRP: $66, 420CAD
The Acura MDX has been a leading luxury SUV for many years, and we’re not surprised! After road-testing this 2015 Acura MDX Elite we can see why families would lean towards this fully loaded vehicle!
The overall exterior has evolved over the years into a sleeker and sportier look. Our first reaction upon seeing this vehicle was awe of the stylish Obsidian Blue Pearl colour, added to that is the dazzling Jewel Eye LED.
These lights give the overall look of luxury, while providing bright lights on the road ahead. LED headlights tend to be brighter and last longer than traditional halogen or HID lights, without blinding oncoming traffic!
The interior of the MDX is very similar to the previous year, but in comparison to just 2 years ago, there are BIG differences! At first look, the centre dash appears much more clean and organized. Less buttons make it easier to distinguish between the tasks you are trying to complete.
The centre dash houses two different display screens, the lower screen is touch and controls a series of actions including climate, heated and vented seats. The top screen controls similar actions but also displays the navigation. We enjoyed having two screens because it allowed the driver to keep displays, such as the navigation, on without interruption when changing the climate or media. One of the downsides that we noticed with the new layout was that tasks that were once a simple press of a button, now require a series of steps to complete through the touchscreen.
While steering wheel controls are becoming more and more common, we always appreciate when we see a style that is not overwhelmed with too many buttons, yet still allows for control over a variety of settings. On the steering wheel of the 2015 Acura MDX, driver’s are able to control display settings on the cluster, audio volume and source, general voice commands, use Bluetooth, turn on and adjust Adaptive Cruise Control and even safety features such as Lane Departure Warning. The design of the wheel includes a mix of buttons, scrolls, and toggles which is something we love when manufacturers do – it allows driver’s to distinguish between the controls through touch, minimizing distraction.
One of our favourite aspects of the Acura MDX is the cabin! Overall, it feels very spacious and passengers have plenty of room and cargo space. The third row can seat two passengers, making the total capacity a 7-seater. The style of the second row is similar to the front driver and passenger seats – cushioned, comfortable bucket seat style.
The rear third row seats are a flatter, less cushioned style and while we were able to comfortably sit in the third row seats, the seats seem to be best suited for the younger passengers! While roomy, the MDX does not feel ‘big’ when driving on the road. When loaded up with a full house, the MDX felt sturdy and safe on the road, but also when driving around the city solo, it didn’t give the feeling of an oversized vehicle. With the ability to toggle driving modes between Normal, Sport and Comfort, drivers are able to adjust the driving feel to match their desire!
Another detail that is easily overlooked is the control system in the rear. Passengers are able to control a series of tasks such as climate, seat warmers, and audio controls. That means no more distracting “it’s too hot” and “now it’s cold!” At the same time, there’s no need to worry about unwanted button-pushers because through the main display in front, drivers can lockout the rear controls and override the system.
The first thing that your backseat passengers will notice is that the 2015 Acura MDX Elite comes equipped with a widescreen DVD player. Having the larger screen means all of your passengers will be able to clearly see the screen! Included is a detachable remote so passengers do not need to lean forward to make changes while the vehicle is moving.
We loved the option to listen to audio through Bluetooth headsets! As a driver, we didn’t find ourselves unwillingly singing along to Barney or Dora the Explorer (which we love, of course!) But when all passengers wanted to enjoy the show, the headset was easily disconnected.
A safety feature that many manufacturers have built into their newer cars, including the MDX, is navigation lockout while driving. The feature is meant to prevent distracted drivers that are manually inputting addresses while driving. There are the suggested options of pulling over, or using the voice commands to set a destination. We definitely support the implementation of safe driving however, unlike other makes/models, the MDX does not recognize a passenger in the vehicle and allow them to use the system.
Child Car Seat
When installing a rear facing child car seat in the MDX, like many other vehicles, there is the chance of the child seat interfering with the front passenger seat even though there is plenty of cabin space. There is a slight dip of the bench seats which could require the use of a pool noodle in order to create the right angle of the child seat. The rear seat bench doesn’t have too much of an outer cushion which means there is little interference for wider seats.
Impressively, the third row bench even has tethers for child seats to be installed, which is a great feature for families with multiple car seats and require the extra seats!
The second row features a small button that easily moves the seat forward to allow passengers easy access to the back. This process takes such little effort even a child would be able to do it!
The anchors are discretely hidden away when not in use, but can be easily accessed through tiny slits in the seat. As always, the location of the anchors are clearly marked on the outer edges of the seats.
Storage / Trunk
Storage is not an issue for this vehicle! As with many SUVs, the 2015 Acura MDX allows for the rear seats to be folded completely flat for additional trunk space when needed. Even when all of the rows are fully raised, there is plenty of space for the necessities you’ve got to carry around!
The Acura MDX trunk has a hidden storage as well – doubling up on the space you get, or keeping things secured in a smaller pocket.
As with any of our road-tests, there is so much information to share, we can’t cover it all – like the endless amounts of power outlets strategically placed in the vehicle, or the additional storage pockets on the outer edge of the trunk. Bottom line – we think the 2015 Acura MDX is an awesome buy at a Starting Price of $50, 290.