After receiving a number of tweaks for 2010 Acura MDX, the 2011 Acura MDX carries forward unchanged. Among luxury SUVs, it delivers a level of performance absent in the runner-up 2011 Lexus RX 350, while still offering all the luxury and technology features you'd expect to find in this class. Unlike the Lexus, the Acura also has a third-row seat, though reviews note that when it's in use, it can be tricky to climb back there. For a complete analysis of this midsize SUV, see our report on the 2009 Acura MDX (*Est. $40,990 to $47,140).
All-wheel-drive is standard on the 2011 Acura MDX, which records an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway/18 mpg from its muscular 3.7-liter V6, which produces 300 horsepower.
Under the federal government's revised crash test standards, the 2011 Acura MDX achieves an overall rating of 5 stars, the best available. In individual tests, the MDX scores 4 stars for front impact protection, 5 stars for side-impact protections, and 4 stars for rollover risk. There is one caveat, however: following the national Highway Transportation Safety Administration's side-impact test, the MDX leaked 10.88 ounces of fluid from its fuel system. NHTSA points out, rather obviously, that leaking fuel represents a potential fire hazard.
In independent tests at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the MDX scores the best rating of "Good" for front, side, and rear-impact protection, but it falls short of IIHS's Top Safety Pick designation because the organization has not yet evaluated the Acura's roof-crush strength. Standard safety features include the expected antilock brakes; traction and stability control; and front, front-side and curtain airbags.
MSRPs for the 2011 Acura MDX range from $42,930 for the base model to $52,555 for the Advance Package, which comes loaded with navigation, perforated and ventilated leather seats and more. An Entertainment Package is also available on MDX models equipped with the available Technology or Advanced Packages.
Edmunds.com editors summarize the MDX as "one of the most luxurious and fun-to-drive midsize luxury crossover SUVs in its class." They note that it's a carryover for 2011 and go into detail regarding the various aspects of the MDX, from the interior to the on-road experience.
Review: 2011 Acura MDX SUV, Editors of Edmunds.com
The Acura MDX gets the best-possible overall rating of 5 stars after going through NHTSA's crash-test regimen, made more rigorous for 2011. After the side-impact test, however, NHTSA reports that its example leaked fluid from the fuel system, which could pose a possible fire risk.
Review: 2011 Acura MDX SUV AWD, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The Acura MDX scores the highest rating of "Good" in front, side, and rear-impact protection tests, but it falls short of the Top Safety Pick designation because IIHS has not yet evaluated its roof strength.
Review: Acura MDX, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The powerful, all-wheel-drive Acura MDX doesn't exactly blow you away with its fuel economy: 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway/18 mpg combined. On top of that, it requires premium fuel, which drives up the annual operating costs.
Review: 2011 Sport Utility Vehicles, Editors of FuelEconomy.gov
It got a new transmission and some visual tweaks for 2010, but otherwise, the MDX is essentially the same vehicle it was when we did our last comprehensive review on it in 2009. This detailed analysis links to several expert reviews of the MDX.
Review: 2009 Acura MDX, Editors of ConsumerSearch, July 2009