2020 Acura MDX SUV Performance

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in Midsize Suvs
2020 MODEL
$44,500 - $60,250 See Inventory Prices
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2020 Acura MDX SUV Performance, 0-60, Top Speed and MPG

Updated on: September 24, 2020

Madhav A Nigam's image
Madhav A Nigam

Content Writer


When it comes to building performance vehicles that look futuristic and fascinating at the same time, Acura’s name has to be mentioned. The brand that has given the iconic NSX, also gave this world its first three-row SUV, the MDX. Launched in the year 2001, Acura MDX has been there in the market for almost two decades now. Come 2020, the three-row SUV is yet alive and kicking. The auto-marque carries over the 2019 MDX to 2020 as well, without any substantial changes. 

2020 Acura MDX SUV front view

Being offered in a range of 5 trims, you get the option to choose one that takes your fancy according to your budget and needs. Starting at $44,000 for the MDX's base trim, it can go up to $60,000 for the top trim. Going up against the likes of Cadillac, Buick, and Lexus, let’s see what kind of punch does the 2020 MDX pack.

What powers the Acura MDX?

The engine in the 2020 MDX remains unchanged from the previous year. The car is powered by a 3.5 Liter naturally aspirated V6 that can happily deliver 290 hp at 6200 rpm and 267 pounds-feet of peak torque which kicks in at 4700 rpm. This is coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission that is also standard across all the trims of this SUV.

2020 Acura MDX SUV 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 engine 

The transmission does a decent job in shifting but is slightly on the lagging side of things. Acura could have refined it further to make it a near-seamless experience. MDX's hybrid variant which gets the Dual-Clutch Transmission (DCT) offers a much better experience than the 9-speed automatic unit.

Models

Acura MDX

Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury

Buick Enclave Preferred

Lexus RX 350

MSRP

$44,500

$50,790

$41,195

$44,150

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

Transmission

9 Speed automatic

9 Speed automatic

9 Speed Automatic

8 Speed Automatic

Horsepower(hp)

290@ 6200rpm

310@ 6700rpm

310@6800rpm

295@6300rpm

Torque(lb-ft)

267@ 4700rpm

271@ 5000rpm

266@2800rpm

268@4700rpm

Drivetrain FWD FWD FWD FWD

The engine feels underpowered in contrast to its competitors which have better-refined engines in the same price bracket. The Cadillac XT5, on the other hand, decided to scrub off the 3.6L V6 from its base trim 'Luxury' and replaced it with a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder for refined power delivery and efficiency. The V6 is offered only in the Premium Luxury trim of the XT5 that costs a little north of 50grand. 

Even though the engine is underpowered, the power delivery in the MDX is instant and very smooth. The engine is silent and subtle when you drive it under normal conditions. However, every once in a while when the crave of adrenaline calls in, the car grunts a lot in order to cater to your feeling.

Click here to read an in-depth account of the performance on offer in the Acura MDX Hybrid

How quick is it from 0-60MPH?

Being underpowered, the engine takes some time to adapt to the surge in the air that it is taking in and delivering the corresponding output. The naturally aspirated engine obviously needs to work before it can churn out a burst of power.

2020 Acura MDX SUV hits 0-60 MPH in just 6.5 Sec.

That being said, the engine is still quite robust and offers enough performance characteristics that can help you overtake most cars in the city. When you are on the highway, the MDX will definitely put a smile on your face as it performs equally well like in city driving conditions.

Models

Acura MDX

Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury

Buick Enclave Preferred

Lexus RX 350

0-60 MPH (in secs)

6.5

6.9

6.9

7.7

Quarter mile (in secs)

14.9

15.1

15.2

15.4

Top Speed (MPH) 130 130 130 124

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

6.4

6.9

6.9

6.5

Compared to its rivals, Acura is the quickest on the 0-60 MPH line thanks to its lower curb weight despite having a third-row seating. The Lexus RX350 is the last to finish lagging behind its competitors with a relaxed time of 7.7 secs. The MDX is not particularly made for racing, but when you do want it to overtake some cars, it will instigate your feeling for the pedal to the metal. On the emission front, Acura MDX is the most eco-friendly vehicle of the lot.

Also Read

Is Buick Enclave a good SUV?

Mercedes-AMG launches GLE63 4MATIC+ Coupe SUV

What about the braking performance of MDX?

The brake configuration on the Acura MDX is up to the mark but is definitely not one of the greatest in this segment. The MDX gets 13-inch brake rotors on the front wheels and 12.6-inchers towards the rear. The MDX comes equipped with disc brakes in the front and rear with brake assist safety feature as standard.

2020 Acura MDX has 12.6" front brake rotor

The brake pedal is aptly weighted and does not need much effort for actuation. Speaking of panic braking conditions, the MDX decelerates from 60-0 in a distance of 116 feet, without any sway. The effect of the jerk is very minimal, thanks to the refined suspension setup.

Model

Acura MDX

Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury

Buick Enclave Preferred

Lexus RX 350

Brake Front (in.)

12.6

13.6

12.6

12.9

Brake Rear (in.)

13

12.4

12.4

13.3

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4032

3997

4359

4222

60-0 MPH (ft.)

116

111

122

123

Despite being a 4000 lb vehicle, the MDX managed to stop quicker than expected. This may seem like a mediocre score when compared to its other heavier competitors, but in reality, this is quite a respectable figure for a three-row SUV. 

How is the handling?

Coming from a parent brand like Honda, handling is something that the Acura vehicles are meant to be great at. The steering wheel is quite responsive and offers a very firm grip. Also, it can easily adapt to even the minutest shift in driver’s input. Its accurately machined and tested steering rack helps to add to the dynamics thereby enhancing its character.

2020 Acura MDX SUV third quarter view

The car also comes with a well-damped suspension setup that can easily help you glide over all the imperfections on the road. The differential fitted in the Acura MDX is a torque vectoring differential. Pick it up in tandem with the optional AWD configuration and you will definitely be floored with its handling dynamics. The differential adds a hint of athleticism to an everyday SUV. Opt for the Active Damper system, those hard road bumps are evenly ironed out thereby enhancing comfort. The vehicle also comes with Agile Handling Assist as standard for those quick maneuvers.

What about the towing capacity of the MDX?

With a towing capacity of 3500lbs, you can hitch an Airstream Sport for those quick weekend getaways. The engine doesn't feel stressed while towing that weight. The AWD drivetrain enhances traction thus towing is a breeze for the vehicle. With a maximum towing capacity of 5000lbs when its V6 is equipped with a trailering package, Buick Enclave proves to be the strongest of the lot. However, it is only available in Essence and higher trim configurations.

Model

Acura MDX

Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury

Buick Enclave Essence*

Lexus RX 350

Towing Capacity (lbs)

3500

3500

5000

3500

*Buick Enclave Preferred trim cannot be equipped with a towing package. Trailering package available only in Essence and higher trims

Is the 2020 Acura MDX worth buying?

With the 2020 MDX, the brand has certainly carved out a great vehicle. The car may not be a pure all-out luxury vehicle but it cannot be knocked off as an econobox either. It sits comfortably high up from the standard brands and just below the luxury German brands. As an added bonus, the flagship fully loaded MDX from Acura still costs less than the base trim of most luxury cars of the same segment. So, if you want something that can put on a smile on your face and give you a touch of luxury at the same time, the 2020 Acura MDX is certainly a strong contender.

Also Read

How well does the Lexus RX450h perform?

Looking for a 3-row SUV with great driving dynamics? Check-out the Lexus RX350 F Sport?

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2020 Acura MDX Performance Reviews


DW

Dennis V. Williams

2020 Acura MDX SUV

4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 9A)

9

User Overall Rating

Posted On: October 7, 2020

refinement redifined

Pros - Enhanced digital screen, trunk space, comfortable seats

Cons - Nothing

Performance Review

8 /10 Performance Rating

One of the most comfortable car available in the market. it provides ride quality like no other, with a superb suspension and comfortable seats. the cabin is so quiet it doesnt let any engine or road noise penetrate insde.

9/10
Features
9/10
Interior
8/10
Design
9/10
Safety
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Deal Value
9/10
Dealer Review

DB

David N. Bruton

2020 Acura MDX SUV

4dr SUV w/Advance Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A)

7

User Overall Rating

Posted On: October 7, 2020

So much fun on the drive!!

Pros - Smartphone connectivity, comfortable and spacious interior.

Cons - Transmission Still Has Room for Improvement

Performance Review

8 /10 Performance Rating

Took the 2020 Acura MDX up north for some end of winter season fun and driving was a breeze. The powerful 3.6l V6 engine is a charm to drive on high revs and has enough low end torque to get this big suv going. This is the Front wheel drive version but you barely notices the need of Rear wheel or all wheel drive system. I dont take it to any off road conditions so no need of AWD system.

8/10
Features
8/10
Interior
7/10
Design
10/10
Safety
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Deal Value
10/10
Dealer Review

PM

Peter J. McLaren

2020 Acura MDX SUV

SH-AWD 4dr SUV AWD w/Advance Package (3.5L 6cyl 9A)

7

User Overall Rating

Posted On: October 7, 2020

Best looking performance SUV.

Pros - Handling, driver seat adjusted to multi-level, pricing

Cons - Confusion two infotainment screens.

Performance Review

9 /10 Performance Rating

It drives smoothly and turns well. It? comfortable and sometimes I feel like I? gliding on the road instead of driving. The handling is also very good on curves and highways.

7/10
Features
8/10
Interior
8/10
Design
6/10
Safety
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Deal Value
9/10
Dealer Review

Read all Reviews

Top User Reviews

9

User Overall Rating

refinement redifined

One of the most comfortable car available in the market. it provides ride quality like no other, with a superb suspension and comfortable seats. the cabin is so quiet it doesnt let any engine or road noise penetrate insde.

by Dennis V. Williams

7

User Overall Rating

So much fun on the drive!!

Took the 2020 Acura MDX up north for some end of winter season fun and driving was a breeze. The powerful 3.6l V6 engine is a charm to drive on high revs and has enough low end torque to get this big suv going. This is the Front wheel drive version but you barely notices the need of Rear wheel or all wheel drive system. I dont take it to any off road conditions so no need of AWD system.

by David N. Bruton

7

User Overall Rating

Best looking performance SUV.

It drives smoothly and turns well. It? comfortable and sometimes I feel like I? gliding on the road instead of driving. The handling is also very good on curves and highways.

by Peter J. McLaren

7

User Overall Rating

MDX is the best car for the snow, hands down.

Driving department and comfort is always taken care by Acura and same goes on for the MDX. The MPG figures are on the lower side all thanks to the beafy V6 engine. you will enjoy this car on the long drives with your group of friends, it is comfortable as well as equipped with a lot of gimmicks to keep everyone entertained on the go.

by Albert F. Poland

9

User Overall Rating

Premium SUV.

With the A spec package which adds 20 inch wheels and tyre combo, the driving and handling improves a lot when compared to the 18 inch wheel option vehicle. The super handling AWD is a charm to drive with.

by James H. Fry

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