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2021 Acura MDX Review - Release Date, Prices, Trims , Features, Performance, Interior And Rivals

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Totan Banerjee

Automotive Journalist

October 19, 2020 at 11:58 AM

The 2021 Acura MDX gets a major overhaul with a redesigned exterior, revamped interior, and improved hybrid powertrains. Acura recently unveiled the MDX Prototype which is an overview of the upcoming luxury SUV. With the new Type S trim being confirmed, the 2021 MDX has a total of six trims. Engine options are also being expanded with a new 3.0L turbocharged V6 that will power the MDX Type S. The 2021 MDX will be priced marginally higher from $45,500 and will launch by early-2021.

2021 Acura MDX Latest Updates:


Acura is all set to launch the all-new 2021 MDX, following the lines of the revamped 2021 RDX and the much sharper 2021 TLX. The spy shots of the 2021 Acura MDX had been doing the rounds, but Acura has finally put an end to the anticipation with the Next-Gen Acura MDX Prototype unveiled recently. The earlier speculation of this being the 2022 Acura MDX has been wronged, as the production version of the 2021 MDX Prototype will go on sale by early 2021. The evolutionary styling for the new MDX show more sculpting surfaces, prominent shoulders, and a bigger next-gen model which will finally bring it back among the modern bunch of competitors.


Know More About the Acura MDX:


The new 2021 Acura MDX breaks benchmarks by providing an abundance of luxury inside and a very athletic powertrain setup to go with, including the new 3.0L Turbocharged V6 slated for the Type S. With a speculated starting MSRP of $45,500, the three-row Acura has traits of a powerful sedan mixed with the luxurious cabin of a premium SUV. The impressive feat is that Acura has aggressively priced the MDX, which drastically undercuts most of the premium luxury SUVs. It gets undercut only by the Infiniti QX60 that is priced from $44,350. The 2021 Acura MDX Type S will be the range-topper with an MSRP of $66,000 (est.).

2021 Acura MDX

Model Specs

Price Range (Expected)

$45,500- $66,000

Release Date

Early 2021

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6/ 3.0L Turbocharged V6

Transmission

10-Speed Automatic

Drivetrain

AWD

Trims

5 trim packages - Standard/ Technology/ A-Spec/ Entertainment/ Type S

Colors

  • 5 Standard colors - Platinum White Pearl/ Lunar Silver Metallic/ Modern Steel Metallic/ Majestic Black Pearl/ Performance Red Pearl
  • Trim Specific colors -  Apex Blue Pearl/ Canyon Bronze Metallic/ Fathom Blue Pearl/ Gunmetal Metallic

Changes

  • Redesigned Exterior
  • Upgrades powertrain options
  • New safety and comfort features
  • Bigger infotainment system
  • Redesigned dashboard
  • The first generation of MDX to get Double wishbone front suspension

The 2021 MDX will continue to come with a standard 3.0L V6 and available Acura's SH-AWD system. Acura has officially confirmed the Type S variant, and performance enthusiasts can pin their hopes on it. With bigger proportions, the revamped MDX offers a more spacious interior that can be configured for six- or seven-passenger seating. With comfortable seating, quiet cabin, smooth ride, and spacious cabin, the 2021 MDX  will no doubt crawl up to the top list of popular luxury 3-Row SUVs in the States. The 2021 line-up offers five exciting trims including the Type S, with the most luxury element at the top SH models and takes on the likes of BMW X5Audi Q7, and Infiniti QX60.

What are the Pricing, Trims, and Features of the 2021 Acura MDX?

The Acura MDX is known for its abundance of standard features and luxury elements for a reasonable price. The new 2021 Acura MDX shows off its bolder design language, intriguing LED headlights, taillights, and sizable alloy wheels that surprisingly provides optimum all-terrain performance and the latest technology. The 2021 MDX gets a total of 6 trims including the new Type S, and pricing has been bumped up marginally as well with prices starting from $45,500 and topping out at $66,000 for the Type S trim.

The latest lineup is expected to offer the same four exciting trims. Acura, as always, will give a variety of options to choose from and make your MDX unique. Varying interior options, luxury elements, and premium features will be distributed across the base trim, Technology, A-Spec, and top-end trims. There is a new pumped-up engine on offer- a 355 hp turbocharged V6 for the 2021 MDX. Apart from the much-needed design update and a few interior updates, the Acura MDX will mostly be based on the same platform as the new 2021 Acura TLX.

Trim

Standard 

Technology Package

A-Spec Package

Advance Package

Entertainment Package 

Type S

MSRP (FWD) (est.)

$45,500 $51,000

-

$57,750

-

-

MSRP (SH-AWD) (est.)

$48,000

$53,000

$56,500

$59,750

$55,000 (with Technology Package)/ $61,750 (with Advance Package)

$66,000

Key Features

Tri-zone Automatic Climate Control

Adds/ Upgrades to Standard 

Adds/ Upgrades to Technology Package

Adds/ Upgrades to A-Spec Package

Adds/ Upgrades to Advance Package

Adds/ Upgrades to Entertainment pacakage
 

Power Moonroof

Rain-sensing Wipers

Dark-chrome Lighting Details

Auto-dimming Side Mirrors

11-speaker w/Technology Package/12-speaker w/Advance Package; ELS Premium Audio System

New 3.0L turbocharged engine (355 hp and 354 lb-ft)
 

Power Tailgate

LED Puddle Lights

LED Fog Lights

Body-color Lower Trim

9-inch LCD Overhead Rear Entertainment Console w/Technology Package 

Sporty design cues with tweaked front and rear bumpers
 

Jewel Eye LED Headlights

Power-folding Mirrors

A-Spec Exclusive Dual-exhaust Outlets

Sport Seats w/Perforated Milano Premium Leather-trimmed Interior w/Contrast Stitching and Piping

16.2-inch Extra-wide LCD Overhead Rear Entertainment Console w/Advance Package

Type S specific interior features including upholstery and badging

We expect all of the trims from 2020 Acura MDX to be carried over mostly unchanged. The only major addition will be the new Type S trim that will bundle in features from the Hybrid Acura MDX and additional curated features to highlight its sporty appeal. It will include special exterior colors and design elements to set it apart from the standard line-up. Even when comparing the pricing, the 2021 MDX will be marginally higher than the 2020 MY with the bump in pricing ranging from $1000- $1800.


Also Read:


What are the Engine upgrades in the 2021 Acura MDX?

One of the most exciting parts of the Acura MDX is its thrilling performance and athletic handling abilities. The 2021 MDX continues with a massive 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine clubbed to a highly responsive 10-Speed Automatic Transmission that pumps out 290 hp and 267 lb-ft. The 2021 model will be underpinned by a new platform and is finally confirmed on getting the much-anticipated turbocharged V6 unit that makes 355 hp in the Type S. The Type S will push the limit of Acura MDX's performance with improved 0-60 mph timings and top speed and will establish itself strongly in the segment, as quickly as the arrival of the 2022 MDX!

The Sport Hybrid trims are loaded with a 3.0-liter V6 engine and produces 257 hp and 218 lb-ft. Around the corners, even when its momentum is put at the threshold, you still get the confidence to further push its limits, thanks to the advanced AWD system inculcated in the MDX. Its all-wheel-drive setup helps improves stability in corners and off-road ability of the SUV. The steering system comes with power control which improves the handling abilities of the car at high speeds. 

Model

2021 Acura MDX

2020 BMW X5

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Infiniti QX60

MSRP

$45,500 (est.)

$62,195

$55,795

$47,375

Engine

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6 

3.0-liter Turbocharged Inline-6

2.0-liter Turbocharged Inline-4

3.5-liter NA V6

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

10-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

CVT

Power

290 hp @ 6,200 rpm

335 hp @ 5,500 rpm

248 hp @ 5,000 rpm

295 hp @ 6,400 rpm

Torque

267 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

330 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm

273 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

270 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

Even with a new and less-potent 2.0L engine, the Acura MDX will remain a high-performance SUV with a best-in-class transmission option and an AWD Drive system. Acura's strongpoint remains the aggressive pricing that easily makes it over $10,000 cheaper than the closest German, the Audi Q7. The BMW X5 turns out to the most powerful of this lot, thanks to its turbocharged V6. Audi Q7 seems to be in no hurry, whatsoever but compensates for its dull performance with involving dynamics.

How do the 2021 Acura MDX fare in 0-60 mph and quarter-mile timings?

In the 2021 Acura MDX crossover, the highly responsive 10-speed Automatic transmission makes the 2021 Acura MDX sprint the 0-60 MPH run in an impressive 6.5 seconds. This is for RWD equipped trims and the AWD models can do it slightly better with a 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds. These figures are very impressive given the fact that it's being churned out by a naturally aspirated V6 unit that has been underpinning the MDX for the last 7 years.

The FWD Acura MDX has a top speed of 130 mph and does the quarter-mile in 14.6 seconds. This improves notably for the AWD trims with a top speed of 145 mph but quarter-mile timing remains mostly the same at 14.6 mph. The interesting bit to look out for is the new 2021 MDX Type S that will get a more powerful Type S model and will do the 0-60 mph run in under 6 seconds. It will also have a top speed close to 150 mph.

Model

2021 Acura MDX

2020 BMW X5

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Infiniti QX60

0-60 mph

6.3 secs 5.2 secs 6.9 secs 7.6 secs

Quarter mile

14.6 secs 13.7 secs N/A 16.0secs
Top Speed 130 mph 155 mph 140 mph 120 mph

Acura has continued with its aggressive pricing which puts it against a rather odd bunch of rivals. Infiniti is the closes one when it comes to pricing but is gravely behind the MDX in terms of performance and acceleration. BMW X5 and Audi Q7 are way ahead in terms of performance but it's only feasible if you are willing to shell out at least $10,000 more as opposed to the Acura!

What are the expected MPG figures for the 2021 Acura MDX?

High-performance SUVs don't necessarily have a stable relationship with efficiency. The 2021 Acura MDX turns out to be no exception as well. With the massive engine options, it sure chugs in a lot of fuel. However, one can also opt for an Acura MDX with a Hybrid engine if efficiency stands high on your priority list. As the powertrain options are changed for 2021, Acura MDX will return better fuel efficiency figures than the 2020 model, i.e., above 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway.

The hybrid model which has a greener edge in terms of the economy uses a smaller 3.0 L V6 engine and returns an impressive 26 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. Acura sure knows to keep everyone happy. The 19.5-gallon fuel tank returns a satisfactory driving range of 429 miles which helps it stay clear of the last spot in the segment. Hybrid trims will return an impressive 527 miles that will help to drive farther than any other SUV in this segment, without a pitstop.

Model

2021 Acura MDX

2020 BMW X5

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Infiniti QX60

MPG (City)

19

20

19

19

MPG (Highway)

26

26

23

26

MPG (Combined)

22

22

21

22

Fuel Capacity

19.5

21.9

19.8

19.5

Range (City/Highway/ Combined) (mi.)

371/ 507/ 429

438/ 569/ 482

376/ 456/ 416

371/ 507/ 429

The maximum range is offered by the BMW X5, which also has something new in-store for 2021. Otherwise, it has similar MPG figures but is equipped with a larger fuel tank. Infiniti QX60 shares its numbers with Acura MDX and Audi Q7 come out to be the least efficient of this lot. Having the most powerful engine in this lot surely has its downsides. The Bimmer has utilizes every ounce of that bulkiness to its advantage.

What are the updates for the 2021 Acura MDX Interior?

The new Acura MDX Prototype impresses us with a top-in-class interior range. 2021 MDX will come with a spacious and luxurious seating arrangement wrapped in leather so the occupants can enjoy great comfort. Also, the cabin is loaded with the latest technology features to keep you company on those cross-country drives. The best part of being an SUV is its sheer size, and the MDX also uses that to its full potential by providing a well laid-out cabin.

The seats are heated and ventilated, which adds on to its overall comfort factor. Even the steering wheel has got a heating feature and gets wrapped in premium leather on higher trims. The standard tri-zone automatic climate control takes care of ambient cabin temperature at all times. The trunk capacity of the Acura MDX is also sufficient for a long weekend getaway, and if you fold down the third-row flat, a humongous 90.9 cu-ft of cargo space is the answer to all your problems!

Model

2021 Acura MDX

2020 BMW X5

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Infiniti QX60

Seating Capacity

6

5

7

7

Front Row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

38.1/ 61.1/ 41.1

40.7/ 60.0/ 39.4

39.9/ 59.5/ 41.7

40.7/ 60.3/ 42.2

Second row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

38.3/ 59.1/ 36.6

38.7/ 58.1/ 37.4

38.8/ 58.5/ 38.8

38.2/ 60.4/ 41.7

Third Row (Head/ Shoulder/ Leg) (in.)

35.6/ 54.7/ 28.1

N/A

35.9/ 49.4/ 29.2

36.5/ 57.1/ 30.8

Cargo Capacity (cu. ft.)

15.0

33.9

14.8

15.8

As we can interpret from the above table, the Acura MDX provides with lavish legroom, headroom, and shoulder room. Still, it is not as lavish as the BMW X5, which has the most spacious front row of this lot. A reason for this is that the Bimmer is devoid of a third row which restricts its "spacious" tag only for the first row. If we look at the bigger picture, then the most comfortable among this bunch is the Infiniti QX60, which even churns commendable third-row seating space. Having 2-rows also gives the X5 an advantage in terms of cargo space, but when the third-row of others gets folded flat, things turn out very differently. The various interior features of the MDX are:

  • Leather-Trimmed Interiors with fresh upholstery options
  • Front 12 Way Power Adjust Seats with Power Lumbar Support
  • Heated and Ventilated Front Seats
  • Heated Rear Outboard Seats
  • 60/40 Split-folding second-row seats
  • Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control with Humidity Control
  • Keyless Access with Push Button Start
  • Auto-Dimming Frameless Rearview Mirror
  • Heated and Leather Wrapped Electronic Tilt/Telescopic steering wheel
  • Ambient Cabin Lighting and Active Sound Control

What are the Infotainment updates for the 2021 Acura MDX?

Acura MDX definitely won't carry forward its two-piece split-screen infotainment setup, something that is not so common among this line of SUVs. It has ample of technology features but doesn't impress due to its lethargic user interface. The screen is also dull with the age-old reception rate. Yes, there is the smartphone integration feature in-built via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which makes media streaming fast and hassle-free but that alone isn't enough to help it stand victorious against the much superior systems in its competitors, especially the Germans.

Hence, the 2021 model could feature the same setup as the 2021 TLX which includes a 10.2-inch infotainment unit. That new infotainment system and connectivity options will make the new Acura MDX SUV quite engaging. The outgoing model is more than a high-performing, premium SUV. The dashboard glazing with the dual-screen interface, a 7.0-inch, other 5.5-inch touchscreens, steering mounted controls for easy accessibility, and a premium 10-speaker audio setup, keep everyone amused. But the new 2021 version will definitely be a league above. The various infotainment features in the 2021 Acura MDX are:

  • Voice Recognition/Siri with Bluetooth hands-free
  • 10 Speaker ELS Audio System
  • USB Charging Ports and Media Connectivity ports
  • SiriusXM/HD Radio with Bluetooth and AUX connectivity
  • 10.2" Touchscreen Infotainment System with Navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Audio USB with iPod integration
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Wireless Charging

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What are the Exterior updates for the 2021 Acura MDX?

SUVs, in general, have compelling looks but this premium offering gets additional twists. A generous chrome treatment, LED headlights, bold and sporty front grille, and massive alloy wheels are the attractive aspects of the MDX. All of these design cues are expected to get sharper and flaunt varying patterns for 2021, but we expect the form factor to remain intact. We don't want Acura to fiddle with a well-propositioned SUV that can be sporty and luxurious at the same time.

The higher trims of the 2021 MDX will get new 20-inch sporty wheels and chrome-finish, which makes it look even muscular and premium. The various packages on offer will enhance the exterior with varying treatments, and our personal favorite is the A-Spec package which darkens out everything, giving it a rather sinister look, even better in the red shade! Expect a restyled front and rear fascias that will be in-line with the RDX SUV. The LED lighting setup will also get an overhaul with redesigned bits.

Model

2021 Acura MDX

2020 BMW X5

2020 Audi Q7

2020 Infiniti QX60

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4,264

4,813

4,784

4,519

Length (in.)

196.2

194.3

199.6

200.6

Width (in.)

77.7

78.9

77.5

77.2

Height (in.)

67.4

68.7

68.5

68.8

Ground Clearance (in.)

7.3

8.7

N/A

6.5

Wheelbase (in.)

111.0

117.1

117.9

114.2

With the lightest chassis in the segment, smallest wheelbase, advanced safety features, and SUV-worthy stance, the new Acura MDX SUV will cherish its praise-worthy balanced design language. The dynamic stability of the car will improve due to the low height and sleeker body structure. Sufficient ground clearance helps in tackling rough road conditions easily but we highly doubt its extreme off-roading credentials. Audi Q7 has the largest footprint of the bunch and it is visible from its lavish cabin. Infinite QX60 stands tall in this bunch, whereas, the Bimmer tries to be a sports machine. Notable exterior features of the MDX are:

  • LED Headlights with Auto On/Off Function
  • LED taillights
  • 20" redesigned alloy wheels
  • Powered Moonroof
  • Remote Linked Power Operated Tail Gate
  • Rain-Sensing windshield wipers
  • LED puddle lights and fog lights
  • Auto-Dimming, Heated and Powered ORVMs with Integrated LED Turn Signals
  • Roof Rails

What are the Safety updates for the 2021 Acura MDX?

The new MDX has impressed us with the best-in-segment safety features and driver-assistance features. Some of the highlighted features are Lane Keeping Assist which comes in handy at highways, Adaptive Cruise Control feature which also helps in keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, Surround-View Camera which is a part of the higher trim package and helps in parking, and a lot more.

Also, the Acura MDX has been highly acclaimed by top agencies like IIHS and NHTSA on its safety front, thanks to its rigid yet light chassis construction that helps irradicate most of the damage caused during impact. Belonging to a reliable Japanese automaker also adds its boon as reliability is going to be a no-brainer, and who doesn't love a luxury SUV that is as cheap to maintain as a Honda! Various safety features in the 2021 Acura MDX will be:

  • Driver, Passenger, Front and Rear Head, Front Side Airbags
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Child Safety Locks
  • Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors
  • Traction Control
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keeping Assist

When is the Release Date for the 2021 Acura MDX and is it Worth Buying?

If you are looking to experience all the premium features of a luxury SUV at a budget price, the 2021 Acura MDX will be a fitting choice. Backed by high-performance figures, premium interiors, subtle yet sharp exterior design language, and advanced safety features, the MDX is a worthy SUV expected to release in early 2021. The much-needed redesign speculated for 2021, makes this Acura ever the more desirable. Powertrain options will be altered, and so both enthusiastic and conservative drivers can have their pick of this poison.

Going in for a Used Acura MDX is a no-brainer as the SUV has majorly remained unchanged from 2014 up until 2020. So you can actually get a very good deal for a lot less sacrifice. There are speculations of the Next-Gen Acura MDX being a 2022 model as compared to earlier reports of 2021 MY. The official reveal which is slated for October 14 will bring all of these speculations to light and give you a clearer insight into the all-new MDX.


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2021 Acura MDX FAQs

Will the 2021 Acura MDX be redesigned?

The Acura MDX is expected to be the next-gen for 2021. The fourth-generation MDX follows the footsteps of its smaller siblings including the RDX and TLX sedan. The release date of the prototype is October 14, and soon the production version will follow.

Which cars does Acura MDX compete against?

Acura MDX is a mid-size luxury SUV that competes against the likes of Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, and Lexus RX350.

Is Acura MDX AWD or FWD?

Acura MDX is available in both FWD and AWD configurations. The 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 motor is available with both FWD and AWD options but the 3.0L Hybrid V6 comes only in AWD.

How much will it cost to lease an Acura MDX?

Acura MDX can be leased from your nearest dealership for a minimum amount of $409 with $2,999 to be paid upfront. This is the lease value for the base MDX and will cost you $419 per month for the SH-AWD trims.

What is the difference between 2020 and 2021 Acura MDX?

The 2021 Acura MDX is an all-new crossover that has been revamped just like the recently revealed TLX sedan. The 2021 model is longer and wider than the current 2020 MDX. Inside, the cabin layout is much similar to the TLX including the technology features for your comfort. Also, the exterior styling of the new MDX looks handsome and athletic than the current model.

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