2010 Acura MDX tops Consumer Reports’ tests

Article by Christian A., on August 29, 2010

For the June 2010 issue of Consumer Reports, the freshened Acura MDX topped tests of four luxury SUVs. The 2010 Acura MDX got an "Excellent" overall score and overall road-test scores of 85, easily beating the Land Rover LR4, which earned a "Very Good" 73; the new Lincoln MKT, which earned a "Very Good" 72; and the Audi Q7, which earned a "Very Good" 68.

The MDX has an enhanced powertrain that leads to improved acceleration and fuel economy. The MDX is now the influential magazine's top-rated three-row luxury SUV.

David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut, described the MDX as a well-rounded vehicle that crushes its much more expensive rivals. Among the four SUVs in this test group, only the MDX is Recommended.

Cars that get CR's Recommended rating are those that have performed well in its tests and have no less than an average predicted reliability based on CR's Annual Auto Survey of its more than seven million print and Web subscribers.

To qualify, the cars also need to have performed at least satisfactorily if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test. The MKT and LR4 don't have adequate reliability data and the Audi Q7 has posted below-average reliability. The MDX is priced from $46,715 while the Lincoln is priced from $56,555.

While the new 2010 Acura MDX is stable on the road, it is able to absorb the bumps on the road. It also boasts of superior handling, and it remains very firm and unwavering even when cornering.

The Acura MDX is powered by a 3.7-liter V6 engine that delivers up to 300 hp while returning 18 mpg overall in CR’s own fuel economy tests. This powerful engine is mated to a quick-shifting and seamless six-speed automatic transmission, matched by ample stopping power by its brakes.

Moreover, the styling of the new 2010 Acura MDX is just as impressive on the interior as on the exterior. Furthermore, the MDX allows for ample cargo room once the center-and third-row seatbacks are folded out. Buyers could avail of the new Acura MDX at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $46,715.

Focusing to deliver high levels of handling performance, Acura MDX engineers worked to achieve world-class dynamics as well as driving feel of the top SUVs in Europe. This paved way for the development of a long wheelbase platform and a sophisticated suspension system, as tuned at the world-renowned Nurburgring circuit.

The four-wheel fully independent suspension of the new Acura MDX employs MacPherson struts on the front and a multi-link suspension on the rear, as mounted to a rigid unit body structure featuring isolated subframes. The front suspension of the new MDX also employs distinct hydro-compliance bushings that deliver superior chassis vibration and ride isolation control. The rear suspension, meanwhile, has aluminum-alloy uprights that help lower unsprung weight, as well as special trailing-arm mounting points that reduce body squat while the MDX is accelerating. For the 2010 model year, the new MDX makes use of stiffer rear trailing arm mounts. It also boasts of reduced levels of NVH as well as increased body rigidity.

The 2010 Acura MDX features the Active Damper System – as part of the available Advance Package – offers a greater degree of handling precision while still maintaining a smooth ride. This Active Damper System comes with a new algorithm offers two settings: Comfort and Sport. Each setting modifies the suspension dampers to deliver a more comfortable or a more sporting ride. Acura has re-tuned the Active Dampers to deliver a more refined ride in Comfort mode and a more natural feeling in Sport mode.

In addition, the Active Damper System in the new Acura MDX employs "active" Magneto-Rheological fluid dampers and predictive computer algorithms to deliver a quick respond as fast as five milliseconds (0.005 seconds). At this speed, the Active Damper System could individually adjust the damping force of the shock absorbers before the actual body movements, allowing the new MDX to offer better levels of transient handling, body control as well as road isolation.

In Comfort mode, the driver benefits from a more relaxed driving experience as the Active Damper System focuses on road isolation. In this mode, passengers experience less fatigue caused by road inputs. In Sport mode, the Active Damper System focuses on handling response and vehicle body control, allowing greater precision and vehicle composure on the road.

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