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2020 Acura MDX Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Acura MDX Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Standard vs Technology vs A-Spec, Advance & Technology

What 2020 Acura MDX Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Introduced back in 2014, the Acura MDX's third generation has seen some success and a good number of changes, most of which were for the better. With being reasonably priced for a luxury SUV, it becomes more apparent as to why people like the MDX. Even jumping to one of the more expensive packages keeps the price tag competitive.

The one thing that buyers have to understand about the MDX right off the bat is that it does not have trim levels - it has packages. These packages start off with the Standard MDX, then jump to the Technology, A-Spec, Advance, and Entertainment Package. Front-wheel drive is available on the Standard, Technology, and Advance. SH-AWD can be equipped on any MDX. Also, a Sport Hybrid SH-AWD can be put on the Technology and Advance.

There are a lot of advantages to each of these packages, but, in the MDX's case, the base variant and the higher Advance Package are probably going to be the ones that attract the most attention from potential buyers and car gurus alike.

Before you make a decision, read through this trim level (or, in this case, package) comparison and get a feel for which one might offer you the most for your money.

Price Tip
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Compare the 2020 Acura MDX Standard vs Technology Trims. What is the difference?

The Standard is equipped with a 3.5-L direct injection V6 engine and 24-valve valvetrain, as is the Technology. However, the Technology has the option of equipping the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 3.0-L V6 engine. The FWD and SH-AWD powertrains get 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. The Sport Hybrid's powertrain generates 257 hp and 218 lb-ft of torque. Both of these styles get 23 mpg combined on the FWD models, 22 mpg combined on the SH-AWD, and 27 combined mpg on the Sport Hybrid. Additionally, the FWD and SH-AWD have a 9-speed automatic transmission while the Sport Hybrid comes with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.

In terms of their build, the Standard does have a slightly smaller curb weight, coming in at 4,032 pounds on the FWD and 4,239 on the SH-AWD. Meanwhile, the Technology has curb weights of 4,054 pounds on the FWD and 4,264 pounds on the SH-AWD. The Standard trim rides atop 18-inch 5-spoke pewter gray metallic machine-finished wheels while the Technology trim has 20-inch 10-spoke wheels.

On the outside, both the Standard and Technology trims have a power moonroof and power tailgate, but the Technology gets the addition of smart key entry on the rear doors. Jewel Eye LED headlights come standard across the line-up, as does LED illumination on the taillights, center high mount stop light, and rear license plate area. The Technology Package adds LED puddle lights, and power-folding side mirrors.

On the inside, these two vehicles look slightly different. The seats provide one of the bigger differences, as the Standard's premium leather-trimmed interior and sport seats get contrast stitching on the Technology. Both come with heating on the 12-way power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats. GPS-linked climate control gets added to the Technology, as does a previous navigation display and voice recognition. A natural wooden trim adorns the interior of the Technology, further setting it apart from the Standard.

Buyers should take note that, regardless of which style they get it equipped on, the Sport Hybrid's motor does infringe on some room in the rear seat. These variants have an inch less of space.

Of course, technology is another point where these two styles dramatically differ. Of course, the Technology has quite a bit more in this area. It adds the Acura/ELS Studio premium audio system, designed by Grammy Award-winning music producer Elliot Scheiner. This system has 10 speakers and a subwoofer and can have almost all of its controls operated by voice recognition technology. Song by Voice and HD Radio also get tacked on. Also, the Acura Navigation System with 3D view nabs you traffic rerouting, a color multi-information display with turn-by-turn guidance, and AcuraLink with real-time traffic.

As far as safety features go, the Technology adds on helpful things like blind-spot monitoring, a rear cross traffic monitor, front and rear parking sensors, and remote engine start.

Compare the 2020 Acura MDX Technology vs A-Spec Trims. What is the difference?

One of the big differences here is that the Sport Hybrid powertrain is not available on the A-Spec. The SH-AWD, which comes standard on the A-Spec, gets lower fuel economy at 21 combined mpg.

The A-Spec sits atop 20-inch shark gray 5-spoke wheels. Other exterior changes include Dark Chrome and lighting details, LED fog lights, A-Spec Exclusive Dual Exhaust Outlets, A-Spec Exclusive front and rear bumpers, and dark chrome and gloss black trim.

The A-Spec's interior sees some upgrades as well. The Sport A-Spec seats are given ultra-sporty and chic-looking perforated Milano leather and an Alcantara-trimmed interior with piping and contrast stitching. Also, the front seats get ventilation in addition to heating, making it easy to cool down on blistering hot days. The steering wheel is a unique leather-clad A-Spec design, and the A-Spec's sporty design includes trim done in metal, a gauge cluster set in silver and red, unique garnish on the door sills and on the steering wheel, an ebony headliner, and stainless steel sport pedals.

When it comes to the infotainment system, the A-Spec's is just the same as the Tehcnology's. The safety features are the same line-up too. The A-Spec basically just takes everything on the Technology and adds a sportier edge.

Compare the 2020 Acura MDX A-Spec vs Advance Trims. What is the difference?

Unlike the A-Spec, the Advance can be equipped with the Sport Hybrid powertrain and gets the same fuel efficiencies as the Standard and Technology on the FWD and SH-AWD.

Exterior upgrades to the Advance include the 20-inch 5-spoke shark gray machine finished wheels (or the Sport Hybrid's 20-inch shark gray twisted machine-finished split 5-spoke wheels), automatically dimming side mirrors, lower trim that shares the body's color, and roof rails. Of course, it does not share the A-Spec's unique exterior design elements and shares the lower trim levels' features.

On the interior, the Advance gains piping and the perforated Milano premium leather sport seats, heating on the rear outboard seats, and the option for having second-row captain's chairs (taking the number of available seats down to six). The second row of seats is 40/40 split folding, and manual sunshades get added to this row's windows. The steering wheel is heated, and the second row gains a center stack.

There are also a few differences to the infotainment system. The Advance gains two USB ports (charge only) in the third row of seats. Safety features also get a few upgrades, such as the surround view camera system and head-up warning. Other than those few things, though, things remain the same.

Compare the 2020 Acura MDX Advance vs Entertainment Trims. What is the difference?

The Entertainment Package is the priciest option you can pick from, but it includes quite a few upgrades. The Advance and Entertainment Packages differ in that the Entertainment does not have an option for the Sport Hybrid powertrain.

You can equip the Advance Package with the Entertainment in order to get quite a few of its features, such as auto-dimming side mirrors, roof rails, and lower trim in body color. The interior adds 4-way manual seats to the second row of seats, a 110-volt power outlet to the front center console, and the rear entertainment system that was developed by Acura. This system gives rear seat passengers a 16.2-inch ultra-wide full VGA screen and HDMI compatibility (with the Advance Package) or 9-inch full VGA screen (with the Technology Package), two wireless headphone sets, and rear door sliding sun-shades.

With regard to safety features, there are a few different options. You can get the surround view camera system if you opt for the Advance Package, but, otherwise, you will get the multi-view rear-view camera with dynamic guidelines. Other safety features that you will find on the Entertainment variant are blind spot monitoring, a rear cross traffic monitor, the collision mitigation system that assists with applying the brakes when an impending crash is detected, head-up warning (with the Advance Package only), the road departure feature, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors, LED daytime running lights, automatic high-beam headlights, and the next generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure.

The ACE body structure is quite compelling since it has a front end that is designed to distribute energy evenly throughout the body when the vehicle does get into a front-end crash. The front corners of the MDX have additional braces that absorb energy and send out impact energy from narrow off-set collisions. There are outer braces that send the impact load to the frame's center, which is where energy gets sent more evenly into the cabin. The goal of this body structure is to lessen the amount of energy sent into the passenger area and send out the forces transferred to any other vehicle(s) involved in the crash more evenly. Overall, it is a way of trying to make front-end crashes safer for everyone involved.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals,   Edmunds,   CarsDirect,   NADAguides  &  Motortrend. These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

There are clearly some pros and cons to owning each variant of the 2020 Acura MDX. Regardless of which variant you end up buying, you are getting a good deal on a luxury vehicle. The infotainment interface can sometimes be a bit wonky, but the interior is beautifully designed. The higher up in packages that you go, the fancier things get.

With that being said, the Advance Package is absolutely worth the cost to upgrade if you are settled on buying the 2020 Acura MDX. The Standard Package works well as a base trim since it truly is a well-equipped vehicle and is one of the most competitively priced luxury SUV base trims around. Of course, those who are going for a luxury vehicle might be willing to spend a bit more than that, and that is why the Advance Package is such an attractive option.

The Advance Package tacks on a good amount of additional standard features for the price. It is honestly a better option than the A-Spec. Sure, the A-Spec looks cool and sounds pretty rad on paper. However, the A-Spec is not for everybody. All-wheel drive is mandatory, and not every buyer is going to want that. The Advance gives you the option of having either FWD or SH-AWD. There is also the option for getting the Advance with the Sport Hybrid powertrain, which is a great choice if you are concerned about fuel efficiency.

Give the 2020 Acura MDX a shot. It is a delightfully smooth ride and provides many desired luxury features. The Advanced Package (preferably with the Sport Hybrid powertrain) is the way to go since it gives you all the good things you could possibly want without forcing you to spend a fortune.
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