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2012 Acura MDX

Base MSRP: $43,030 to $52,655
May 2012
by ConsumerSearch
2012 Acura MDX

Best luxury midsize SUV

  • Standard V6/AWD combo
  • Excellent performance and handling
  • Quiet, comfortable and reliable
  • Third-row seat could stand more room
  • Busy dashboard controls

Reviewers extol the Acura MDX's combination of performance, luxury and utility. For a luxury SUV, the MDX hits all the right points: a stylish exterior, a luxurious interior with plenty of tech options, three rows of seating, fantastic handling and a comfortable ride. As summarizes, "when it comes to a deft blend of luxury, technology, and drivability, the MDX is peerless."

Critics love the MDX's standard (and sole) powertrain: a silky 3.7-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic, and Acura's SH-AWD (SH stands for Super Handling) system, which can transfer torque to the outside wheels in a turn. The precise handling that results is what makes the MDX so engaging to drive, according to testers.

The MDX's available technology features include an 8-inch navigation system, an upgraded 10-speaker surround sound system, GPS-enabled climate control (it tracks the sun's position relative to the car) and auto-leveling headlamps, among others.

The 2013 Lexus RX 350 (Base MSRP: $39,310 to $40,710) and the 2012 Volvo XC60 (Base MSRP: $32,900 to $47,600) are also considered well-rounded competitors, but both only seat five, while the MDX's third row lets it carry up to seven people. The 2012 Porsche Cayenne (Base MSRP: $48,200 to $107,100) is another reviewer favorite that delivers excellent performance, but it starts at a higher price and the highest-end models easily reach into six figures.

EPA Fuel Economy Estimates

V6 AWD: 16 mpg city / 18 highway / 21 mpg combined

The Acura MDX's fuel economy estimates assume the use of premium-grade gasoline.

NHTSA Safety Ratings:

Front Impact: 4 stars

Side Impact: 5 stars

Rollover Resistance: 4 stars

Overall: 4 stars

IIHS Safety Ratings:

Front Offset Impact: Good

Side Impact: Good

Roof Strength: Good

Named 2012 IIHS Top Safety Pick

For additional details, see our 2011 review

Since the 2012 Acura MDX is carried over largely unchanged, you can learn about reviewers' feedback in much greater detail by reading our full report on the 2011 Acura MDX.

Our Sources


In this overview of the 2012 Acura MDX, editors provide useful insights on the SUV's performance, comfort and overall usability. Edmunds also talks about the MDX in comparison with other models and summarizes any year-to-year changes.

Review: 2012 Acura MDX, Editors of


The 2012 Acura MDX carries over unchanged from last year's model. This full report on the 2011 Acura MDX analyzes and summarizes a variety of expert opinions on Acura's flagship sport utility vehicle.

Review: 2011 Acura MDX, Editors of, July 2011


The 2012 Acura MDX comes in one configuration, all-wheel drive with a V6 engine, and gets 18 mpg in combined city/highway use based on EPA estimates.

Review: 2012 Acura MDX, U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency


The 2012 Acura MDX fares well in government crash tests, with an overall rating of 4 stars out of a possible 5. NHTSA performs front- and side-impact tests and applies a rating for rollover resistance.

Review: 2012 Acura MDX, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety names the Acura MDX a Top Safety Pick after it earns the best possible scores in the organization's battery of safety evaluations.

Review: Acura MDX, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

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