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2020 Acura MDX Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Acura MDX?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Acura MDX? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Finding the right luxury vehicle isn't easy. They are even bigger investments than non-luxury vehicles. Your hard-earned money needs to go toward something that is both chic and reliable. That's why the 2020 Acura MDX might be the right vehicle for you.

But does it meet all of your needs? What are some of its downfalls? This review will help you figure that out and hopefully make the right buying decision.

What's New for 2020?

Nothing much is new for 2020. The 2020 Acura MDX is currently in its third generation, which was introduced back in 2014. While the MDX might not be vastly different from previous model years, it is still a contemporary vehicle that makes luxury affordable.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Acura MDX – The Pros

1. The Optional All-Wheel Drive System

Front-wheel drive comes standard on the 2020 Acura MDX, but there is a SH-AWD option available. The AWD system makes handling that much more secure and efficient, and there is a great deal more in the way of traction control. It is a smart option for those who live in colder climates or are frequently driving in inclement weather. The front-wheel drive is decent, but the AWD is an upgrade that many will benefit from.

2. The Smooth V6 Engine

Not all V6 engines run as smoothly as the base V6 that comes in the MDX. It isn't turbocharged, but it still gets a solid 290 hp. Also, it can get from 0 to 60 mph in a decent 6.8 seconds. It absolutely trumps the competitors outfitted with base 4-cylinders and even many others with regular V6s. The transmission helps with smooth shifts, which makes the MDX feel even more pleasant to drive.

3. A Spacious Cabin

One of the biggest advantages that the 2020 Acura MDX has over its competition is the generous space offered within its cabin. This third-row SUV leaves a lot of room up front and in the second row. The third row is adequate for children. Up front, there is a ton of head, hip, and leg space, and the second row offers quite a bit as well.

4. Seats Up to Seven

Buyers with small children will appreciate the amount of seats that are available. You can get a six-seater with two seats per row. If you need an extra seat, though, the seven-seater models are optimal. Three small children can easily fit into the third row. Growing families will find this vehicle's set-up to be very practical as well as cozy.

5. A Well-Equipped Base Trim

The 2020 Acura MDX has a remarkably well-equipped base trim. The base sits atop 18-inch wheels and includes features like heated side mirrors, a power sunroof, a power liftgate, heated power-adjustable front seats, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and beautiful leather upholstery. There is also an 8-speaker audio system, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. Some of these features normally get reserved for higher trim levels, but Acura goes all-out on the base MDX, which is also reasonably priced.

6. Easy Third-Row Access

In many vehicles, getting to the third row can be difficult because space is limited. This is not the case for the MDX. Getting to the third row is simple since the cabin offers a space-savvy design. While bigger adults will have a little bit of trouble getting back there, some adults and all kids should not have any problems.

7. Finding a Good Driving Position is Simple

Finding a good driving position is quite easy since the driver's seat is power-adjustable a number of different ways. Shorter-legged people can get their feet onto the pedals with a quick adjustment, and long-legged folks can stretch their legs out so they aren't banging their knees on anything. There is also a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel that can be adjusted to fit drivers of any size.

8. A Lot of Cargo Space

Need a lot of space to store bulky items like a stroller or camping gear? The 2020 Acura MDX has you covered. With all seats upright, there is 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space. When you take both rows of seats down (which do fold with ease), cargo space maxes out at 90.9 cubes. This puts the MDX near the top of the pack when it comes to the competition.

9. AWD Versions Can Tow Up to 5,000 Pounds

For those who need something with moderate towing capabilities, the AWD variants of the MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds. That is quite good for this class. A hitch does not come equipped, but you can buy an aftermarket hitch for a reasonable cost. If you buy the FWD variant, you can tow 3,500 pounds.

10. Respectable Fuel Economy For Its Class

It is hard to expect a decent fuel economy from a luxury third-row SUV, but the 2020 Acura MDX manages it. This vehicle gets up to 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Combined, you get between 21 and 23 mpg depending on whether you get FWD or AWD. For this class, these numbers aren't too shabby and help make this well-priced luxury SUV all the more attractive.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Acura MDX – The Cons

1. Climate Control Isn't Very Effective

One of the biggest downfalls of the 2020 Acura MDX is a bit nit-picky. The tri-zone climate control is not the most effective system out there. The seats have weak ventilation, and there are not even any vents in the third row. Acura also seems confused as to how they should construct their controls since they divvy them up between digital buttons and physical ones. It would be more efficient for Acura to streamline these controls.

2. The Infotainment Screens Are Difficult to Use

The two-screen infotainment set-up is nothing short of distracting and confusing. The upper screen has a physical turn knob, and the system's functions are awkwardly distributed between that set-up and the lower touchscreen. Drivers can easily become distracted by these controls while driving which totally negates Acura's push for safety.

3. Sluggish Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive cruise control is a handy feature to have when it works. When it does not, it is frustrating. The 2020 Acura MDX has standard adaptive cruise control, but it is definitely wonky. It tends to speed up and slow down rather abruptly in high traffic areas. Again, this is not safe, as it could potentially cause the MDX to rear-end a vehicle in front of it.

4. The Shifter Doesn't Feel Intuitive

The final flaw in the MDX is that the shifter does not feel very natural or intuitive while using it. It is something that will take some getting used to, especially if you have driven a vehicle that has a responsive, easy-to-use shifter knob.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2020 Acura MDX vs. 2020 Audi Q7

The 2020 Acura MDX has stiff competition from the 2020 Audi Q7. The Q7 is about $10,000 more than the MDX, and it does not have as much cargo space or third-row space. Also, the drivetrain warranty is two years shorter than the MDX's generous 6-year/50,000 mile warranty. The Q7 does have a stronger engine that gets 329 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, and its fuel economy falls just short of matching that of the MDX. The true cost to own the Q7 for five years is significantly more expensive than the MDX, which means the MDX ultimately presents the better deal.

2020 Acura MDX vs. 2020 Honda Pilot

The 2020 Honda Pilot might not be a luxury SUV, but it is a stand-out performer. It is less expensive than the MDX and offers quite a lot of standard features. It too has an overly-sensitive adaptive cruise control, and access to the third row is limited. However, it does offer chic leather upholstery and a sunroof. The engine gets 280 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, which is quite comparable to the MDX. Fuel economy is right on par with the MDX, and the Pilot bests the MDX with 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in place.


The 2020 Acura MDX is not a flawless vehicle, but it has a lot of features and a strong V6 engine. It is also comfy, and riders in all seats can enjoy long journeys. The MDX is ideal for families with multiple small children, and the AWD variants are fantastic choices for anyone who lives in places where winter weather gets dangerous. Of course, another bonus is the overall cost, which is modest for a luxury SUV. And the warranties? They are some of the most generous warranties you will find on any vehicle.

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