2018 Acura MDX

MSRP $44,200 - $58,650

Ranked #16 in Suv

6.9

Overall Rating

2018 Acura MDX Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 14, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Coming just from a complete refresh last year the 2018 Acura MDX receives minor changes only. For this year our review will focus on how the Acura MDX stands in front of its rivals and is it still the luxurious three-row SUV that can be had at a bargain price ranging from $44,200 to $56,650. The Acura MDX is as usual powered by a 290 hp V6 engine mated to a 9-speed gearbox which is capable of a 0-60 mph time in a shade above six seconds.

Being a luxury SUV the main talking point is the cabin and boy the MDX will disappoint you here. The cabin although gets a ton of features with leather upholstery but somehow still feels not as luxurious as seen in some of the German rivals like the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, or for that matter Volvo XC90. That said, the cabin space and cargo capacity offered on the MDX isn't the best and that can be attributed to its smaller exterior dimensions.

2018 Acura MDX Latest Updates

  • Aug' 27, 2021 : 2022 Acura MDX Type S: Expected Release Date, Prices, MPG, And Performance Read More »
See detailed review »

Pros

Great ride and handling

Smooth power-delivery from the V6

Excellent NVH inside the cabin

AcuraWatch and standard safety features

Cons

Isn't as luxurious as some rivals

Cumbersome to use infotainment

Transmission isn't smooth shifting

What's New?

The 2018 Acura MDX now gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard

Two-new shades of Red available for exterior


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$44200

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

155 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

83 cu.in.

horsepower

138 hp @ 4900 rpm

torque

148 lb-ft @ 1850 rpm

transmission

9 speed shiftable automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

brake rotors (f/r)

11.8/10.6 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

111 in.

length

196.2 in.

width

77.8 in.

height

67.4 in.

curb weight

4001 lbs.

ground clearance

7.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

132.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

90.9 cu ft.

towing capacity

3500 lbs.

payload capacity

1150 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6 sec.

zero to 100 mph

14.2 sec.

rolling start 5-60 mph

6.1

standing 1/4-mile

14.2 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

168 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

19/22/27 mpg

highway range

507.0 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

powertrain warranty

6 yr./ 70,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

base$44,200 onwards

SH-AWD$46,200 onwards

Technology Package$48,600 onwards

Technology and Entertainment Packages$50,600 onwards

SH-AWD w/Technology Package$50,600 onwards

SH-AWD w/Technology and Entertainment Packages$52,600 onwards

Advance Package$54,650 onwards

Advance and Entertainment Packages$56,650 onwards

SH-AWD w/Advance Package$56,650 onwards

SH-AWD w/Advance and Entertainment Packages$58,650 onwards

Colors and Styles

2018 Acura MDX in Basque Red Pearl II color
Basque Red Pearl II

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

6.5

Engine and Performance

5.3

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

9.0

Exterior

8.0

Safety

7.0

6.9

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

6.9

Overall Rating


The three-row luxury SUV segment is filled with offerings from major brands and the Acura MDX happens to be one of them. The 2018 MDX was completely redesigned just last year so no major changes for this year. Although the redesign did sort out the exterior looks of the MDX which now not only gives it a better stance and appeal but even more chance to woo buyers. As for the mechanicals, you get a V6 engine mated to a 9-speed gearbox that sends power to either front wheels or all four wheels which the Acura calls SH-AWD.

2018 Acura MDX Front Angular View

Inside the MDX there is nothing special to talk about and as a matter of fact, the MDX isn't much different in terms of luxury feel than its more plebian cousin the Honda Pilot which is a bummer. That said, the V6 engine of the MDX has decent punch and can tow around 3,500 pounds which is far less than what rivals can tow. Speaking of rivals, the 2018 MDX has a lot of cars to beat but the main competitors remain the Volvo XC90, Lexus RX 350, and Infiniti QX60.


6.5/10
Features

5.3/10
Engine and Performance

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

9.0/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety


2018 Acura MDX Features

6.5/10

The 2018 Acura MDX is a three-row SUV, from the luxury brand Acura, that can be had in three trims namely Standard, Technology, and Advance. The standard engine is a V6 mated to a nine-speed gearbox with the option of either FWD or AWD. The AWD goes by the acronym SH-AWD or Acura's Super Handling AWD. All the trims are offered in FWD as standard with prices starting from $44,200 for the Standard trim and going up to $54,650 for the Advance package trim. Going for the SH-AWD on any trim costs $2,000 extra over the trim's base price. That said, there is also an MDX Sport Hybrid trim which we have reviewed separately so don't forget to check that out too.

2018 Acura MDX Top View

The Standard trim packs in all the nifty features which are otherwise seen in the higher variant of mainstream SUVs while the Technology and Advance package either upgrades those features or gives you access to even more luxury features. Another noteworthy package on the Acura is the optional Entertainment package that can be clubbed with either the Technology or the Advance package. Adding it to the topmost Advance package gets you a 16.2-inch screen and 12-speaker sound system but downgrades the second-row captain's chair with a bench seat. While when clubbed with the Technology package the screen size reduces to 9-inch and you get one speaker less for audio.

Trims Standard Technology Package Advance Package
MSRP (FWD) $44,200 $48,600 $54,650
MSRP (SH-AWD) $46,200 $50,600 $56,650
Key Features 290 hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine 20-inch alloy wheels LED foglights
  18-inch alloy wheels Navigation system Heated steering wheel
  Adaptive suspension dampers Remote start Surround-view camera
  LED headlights Premium sound system w/ HD Radio Front and rear parking sensors
  Automatic headlights Automatic wipers Heated second-row captain's chair
  Sunroof Blind-spot monitoring w/ rear cross-traffic alert Ventilated front seats
  Leather upholstery Power-folding side mirrors Upgraded leather upholstery
  Power-adjustable front seats and steering wheel   Automatic engine start-stop
  Tri-zone automatic climate control   Second-row sunshades
  Heated front seats    
  Power liftgate    

We Recommend

We suggest picking the MDX with Technology Package. This one gets you nifty driving aids, a better sound system, and some more feel-good features like remote start, power-folding mirrors, etc. While the premium you pay for this one over the base trim is just four grand and the upgrades justify it without a doubt.

2018 Acura MDX Engine and Performance

5.3/10

“Powerful and agile, the 2018 Acura MDX is one of the more athletic 3-row SUVs out there. The Acura’s big V6 is more than strong enough for most buyers and its 9-speed automatic transmission is responsive and smooth.” – Kelley Blue Book

2018 Acura MDX Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Acura MDX is powered by a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine which is mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The setup sends around 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque to either the FWD or AWD. The engine in higher trims gets Start/Stop system along with cylinder deactivation. The former switches off the engine in case of idling while the latter deactivates three-cylinder while cruising and decelerating.

2018 Acura MDX Engine

.The nine-speed gearbox is smooth shifting and quick to respond to throttle inputs while delivering fuel efficiency near to what you get with a CVT gearbox. The engine on the other hand is a strong puller and you won't need to work the engine on the freeway to keep up with the speed. While around town the start/stop system might get irritating otherwise it has plenty of power to close quick gaps and launch you with wheelspin from a stop signal.

Model

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Lexus RX 350

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Infiniti QX60

MSRP

$44,200

$43,470

$46,900

$43,300

Engine

3.5-liter V6

3.5-liter V6

2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4

3.5-liter V6

Transmission

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

CVT

Power

290 hp @ 6200 rpm

295 hp @ 6300 rpm

250 hp @ 5500 rpm

295 hp @ 6400 rpm

Torque

267 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm

268 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm

258 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm

270 ft-lbs. @ 4800 rpm

Except for the Volvo XC90, all the rivals are less expensive than the MDX while the Volvo commands a hefty four grand premium and is the only one with a turbo-four engine. As for power and torque, the Infiniti QX60 puts out the highest numbers, and compared to the MDX the power is more by 5 hp and torque is more by 3 lb-ft.

2018 Acura MDX Acceleration

“Acceleration is quick enough to be thrilling, and there’s plenty of passing power.” – Kelley Blue Book

The 2018 Acura MDX sprints from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 14.7 seconds. The MDX thanks to the nine-speed gearbox and lower curb weight accelerates smoothly and picks up the pace with ease.

Model

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Lexus RX 350

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Infiniti QX60

0-60 MPH

6.1 sec

6.9 sec 6.2 sec 7.2 sec

Quarter mile

14.7 sec

15.3 sec 14.8 sec 15.6 sec

Engine

3.5-liter V6

3.5-liter V6

2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4

3.5-liter V6

Among the rivals, the turbo-four powered Volvo XC90 is the quickest got beaten by the MDX by one-tenth of a second in both the runs.

2018 Acura MDX Ride and Handling

The ride and handling of the 2018 Acura MDX are very polished and are in the league of luxury three-row SUVs. Although the MDX isn't sporty at all from the pulling power point-of-view the handling of the MDX is sure in the leagues of sporty SUVs. The SH-AWD-equipped MDX is another game that gets mechanically torque vectoring a system that ensures the MDX takes tighter turns around a corner without unsettling. 

2018 Acura MDX Driving

The adaptive dampers equipped MDX ensures the ride quality is supple but slapping on the bigger 20-inch wheels robs away that suppleness. The steering of the MDX is also good and can be adjusted in three modes. The lowest setting is for the lightest steering but feels disconnected while the mid and high are the ones that offer nice heft with proper feedback. On the higher setting, the steering weighs up a bit and is well-suited for highways only.

2018 Acura MDX Braking

The 2018 Acura MDX took 168 feet to stop from 60-0 mph. The MDX gets a 12.6-inch rotor at the front and 13.0-inch rotor at the rear which feels sufficient to stop this 4,001 pound SUV. The brake pedal is easy to modulate and feels light thus needs a little bit of time to get accustomed to it.

Model

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Lexus RX 350

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Infiniti QX60

Brake Front (in)

12.6

12.9

13.2

12.6

Brake Rear (in)

13.0

13.3

12.1

12.1

Curb weight (lbs.)

4,001

4,222

4,394

4,390

70-0 MPH (ft.)

168 165 167 177

In this comparison, the Lexus RX 350 took the least 165 feet to stop from 60-0 mph which is 3 feet less than what the MDX took.

2018 Acura MDX Towing capacity

The 2018 Acura MDX has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds which is not the best in the segment.

Model

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Lexus RX 350

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Infiniti QX60

Towing Capacity (lbs.)

3,500

N/A

4,000

5,000

In comparison to that, the Infiniti QX60 can tow the highest 5,000 pounds, 1,500 pounds more than what the MDX can tow.

2018 Acura MDX Fuel Economy

6.0/10

“The MDX’s EPA fuel-economy ratings are very similar to those of the competition, but it outperformed expectations—and its rivals—in our real-world highway fuel-economy test.” – CarandDriver

The 2018 Acura MDX has an EPA estimated gas mileage of 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. The Acura MDX with SH-AWD system returns one mpg less in all three conditions. The 2018 MDX equipped with auto start/stop improves the fuel economy by 1 mpg in the city for both the FWD and SH-AWD models. As standard, the MDX gets a 19.5-gallon fuel tank which ensures sufficient range and fewer fuel stops.

Model

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Lexus RX 350

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Infiniti QX60

MPG (city)

19

20 22 20

MPG (highway)

27

27 29 27

MPG (combined)

22

23 25 22

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

19.5

19.2

18.8

19.5

In this comparison, the turbo-four-powered Volvo XC90 beats all the V6-powered SUVs. The Volvo XC90 manages 3 mpg more in the city, 2 mpg more on the highway, and 3 mpg more combined compared to the Acura MDX.

2018 Acura MDX Interior

9.0/10

“Fit/finish is excellent, as is front-seat comfort, but the third row is best used for kids. A pair of 2nd-row captain's chairs is available, but they decrease seating capacity to six.” – Kelley Blue Book

2018 Acura MDX Seating and Comfort

The cabin of the 2018 Acura MDX although tries to appear luxurious and opulent but the material quality and the overall impression which get tell a completely different story. Being a luxury brand if you compare the cabin of the MDX with the likes of German brands or for that matter Volvo the difference becomes starker. One thing that Acura gets right is build quality although the ergonomics has taken a hit with the dual-screen setup and the all-new push-button shifter, using either of them is a learning curve. The seat height is sufficient to give a good view of what's around and sliding in and out of the seats in both the rows is without an issue. 

2018 Acura MDX Dash

Speaking of the seats, the front seats offer a host of adjustments with heating functionality. The cushion of seats is firm yet comfortable thus you won't feel tired over long hauls. Moving to the rear, the seats here too are comfortable and you get the options to slide and recline for better comfort but at the expense of third-row space. While the third row is cramped and best suited for small kids although getting in the third row is easy. Higher trims offer sports front seats and captain's chair for the second-row seats. The front ones are not much of a difference from the regular ones but the captain's chair is worth the upgrade.

Model

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Lexus RX 350

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Infiniti QX60

Passenger capacity

7

5

7

7

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.1/ 61.1/ 41.4 39.4/ 57.8/ 44.1 38.9/ 57.7/ 40.9 40.7/ 60.3/ 42.2

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.3/ 59.1/ 38.5 39.1/ 57.6/ 38.0 38.5/ 56.5/ 37.0 38.2/ 60.4/ 41.7

Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

35.6/ 54.7/ 28.1

N/A

36.3/ 46.9/ 31.9 36.5/ 57.1/ 30.8

In this comparison, you will see easily the Infiniti QX60 is the one that offers the best space in all three rows. The fact that can be attributed to its larger length and wheelbase among all. Surprisingly, the Volvo XC90 which is wider and taller than all the SUVs here fails to provide the best head and shoulder room among all. Although the longer wheelbase in the XC90 helps it provide the best legroom space in the third-row seats.

2018 Acura MDX Seats

Interior Features:

  • Power-adjustable seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Driver-seat memory function
  • Available ventilated front seats
  • Available heated second-row captain's chair

2018 Acura MDX Infotainment System

The 2018 Acura MDX gets a dual-screen setup with a 7-inch touchscreen as standard. The infotainment screen is located below the screen that is used for navigation. Both the screens are easy to read and use with crisp displays. As standard, you get Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, AM/FM/CD player, Bluetooth, USB ports, 8-speaker sound system, etc.

2018 Acura MDX Infotainment

Higher trims offer a 10-speaker premium sound system while going for the entertainment package adds either a 9-inch or 16.2-inch screen with 11- and 12-speaker sound systems respectively.

2018 Acura MDX Cargo Capacity

The 2018 Acura MDX offers 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats up. The third-row seats offer 50/50-split or can be completely folded to liberate 43.4 cubic feet of space. While folding down both the rows gets you 90.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

Model

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Lexus RX 350

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Infiniti QX60

Cargo Capacity behind the third row (cu. ft.)

14.9 N/A 12.6 15.8

Cargo Capacity behind second row (cu. ft.)

43.4 18.4 35.6 40.5

Cargo Capacity behind first row (cu. ft.)

90.9 56.3 65.5 76.2

In this comparison, the Infiniti QX60 offers slightly better cargo space than the MDX while none can beat the cargo space on offer in the MDX with all the seats folded.

2018 Acura MDX Exterior

8.0/10

“Last year’s restyle included Acura’s new, more attractive diamond-pentagon grille, as well as a new hood, front fenders and intricate headlights.” – Kelley Blue Book

2018 Acura MDX Dimension and Weight

The 2018 Acura MDX was re-designed last so this year it carries the same looks and style without any changes. The front of the MDX after the re-design is now looking more mature and imposing courtesy of the new grille design, jewel-like LED headlights, and sharp lines running through the bonnet.

2018 Acura MDX Front Angular View

From the sides, the Acura MDX looks like a vanilla crossover with nothing loud in terms of design. While at the rear the subtle use of chrome at the tailgate and the exhaust tip lends it a premium look. The lower bumper has been blacked out to reduce the overall visual bulk of the MDX.

Model

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Lexus RX 350

2018 Volvo XC90

2018 Infiniti QX60

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4,001

4,222

4,394

4,390

Length (In)

196.2

192.5 194.9 200.6

Width (In)

77.8

74.6 79.1 77.2

Height (In)

67.4

67.7 69.9 68.6

Ground Clearance (In)

7.3

8.2

N/A

6.5

Wheelbase (In)

111.0 109.8 117.5 114.2

Dimensions of the Acura MDX are the biggest in this comparison. The Infiniti QX60 is the longest SUV while the Volvo XC90 is the one that is the tallest, widest, and has the longest wheelbase. The Lexus RX 350 enjoys the highest ground clearance which is 0.9-inches more than that of MDX. While the MDX is smaller than the QX60 by 4.4-inches and shorter than XC90 by 2.5-inches. MDX's wheelbase is smaller by 6.5-inches than the XC90.  

2018 Acura MDX Rear Angular View

Exterior Features:

  • LED headlights
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Sunroof
  • Power-folding outside mirror
  • Automatic headlights w/ automatic high beam
  • Available automatic wipers
  • Available 20-inch alloy wheels

2018 Acura MDX Safety

7.0/10

The 2018 Acura MDX comes with AcuraWatch as standard that adds a long list of safety features and advanced driver-assist systems. Thus there is no doubt the 2018 MDX passes the crash test with flying colors. The NHTSA gave the MDX a perfect score of five stars in overall safety ratings while the front and side crash test also got a similar score and the rollover mitigation was given four out of five stars. The IIHS also followed the suit with a rating of 'Good' in all five parameters although the headlights of the MDX were rated as the second-best 'Acceptable'.

2018 Acura MDX IIHS Crash-Test

Safety Features:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning w/ mitigation
  • Forward collision warning
  • Available blind-spot monitor w/ rear cross-traffic alert 

2018 Acura MDX Competition

2018 Acura MDX vs 2018 Volvo XC90

The 2018 Volvo XC90 is four grand expensive than the MDX and is powered by a smaller turbo-four compared to the V6 that the MDX gets. But in return, the XC90 was only one-tenth of a second slower and managed to tow 500 pounds more than the MDX. And all that with a stellar fuel economy which was 3 mpg more than what the MDX offered in the city and combined.

2018 Volvo XC90

Moving inside, the gap between the two widens even further with the Volvo taking a bigger lead over the MDX with a more luxurious and spacious cabin. Although the MDX boasts of better cargo space the cabin space and overall impression make the Volvo a clear winner here.

2018 Acura MDX vs 2018 Lexus RX 350

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 might be cheaper than the MDX but it only gets seating for five as standard while the MDX offers seating for seven right from the base trim. Other than that major difference there are not many things in which the Lexus differs from the Acura. Both get a V6 and offer good gas mileage. 

2018 Volvo XC90

Although moving inside the things changes a bit and the MDX offers better cargo space. That said, in terms of reliability the Lexus as a brand fare better than the Acura. So it gets kind of difficult suggesting one over the two as both have their own set of pros and cons. Thus choosing one between the two is up to you.

2018 Acura MDX Final Verdict

The Acura MDX hat slots in the luxury three-row SUV segment are not without competition. The all-rounder Volvo XC90 with a fuel-efficient engine, luxurious cabin, and high-reliability score gives stiff competition to the MDX. Then there is Infiniti QX60 that offers better cabin and cargo space and a V6 engine thus making it a more practical and compelling choice for a buyer with a big family. Lastly, there is Lexus RX 350 that again beats the MDX in a lot of comparisons and still costs less and feels more luxurious and premium than it. And we haven't even taken the fight to the big three Germans who can eat the MDX for their lunch. Thus the MDX may find some buyers looking for a reliable luxury SUV with a good resale value but still, it will remain a hard-sell in the category.

More on Acura:


FAQs on the 2018 Acura MDX:

Is the 2018 Acura MDX reliable?

The 2018 Acura MDX has a predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of 5 from J.D. Powers which is subpar for the segment.

How much does the 2018 Acura MDX costs?

The prices of the 2018 Acura MDX ranges from $44,200 to $56,650.

Can the 2018 Acura MDX run on regular gas?

As per the manufacturer the 2018 Acura MDX should be filled with premium unleaded 91 octane fuel but running it on the regular gas is also not an issue.

What does the MDX in the 2018 Acura MDX stands for?

The MDX stands for 'Multi-dimensional luxury'.

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