Acura MDX SH-AWD: improved technology and a new 9-Speed Automatic transmission with an eye on future

2015-05-29 11:12:44
Acura MDX SH-AWD: improved technology and a new 9-Speed Automatic transmission with an eye on future
Acura MDX SH-AWD: improved technology and a new 9-Speed Automatic transmission with an eye on future

The 2016 model of Acura’s best-selling version might appear the same as it was last year, but behind the chiseled architecture lots have changed. This Acura MDX SH-AWD is now equipped with ZF nine-speed automatic, and the increased three cogs generate a wider ratio compared to the six-speed equipped previous model. 

The new transmission apparently assists the MDX’s 3.5 Liter V-6 with 290-hp to distribute the power and torque level efficiently. That last model was not exactly a dud, and it had the same power and transmission combination, but Acura is one brand which keeps improving the mileage of its vehicles in whichever way they can. The Honda luxury arm is ostensibly more at ease with dispensing nine-speed automatics than the CVT.

The first gear is superslow for creepy speeds, and the rest catapults the MDX out of its slot by using 20.4:1 overall ratio and the result is a 5.9 seconds 0-60mph dash. This is half a second faster than the last year model that was driven by us with a six-speed automatic. The quarter mile takes 14.6 seconds which is three-tenth swifter over the 2014 model.

The Acura comes with a new feature for 2016 namely “idle stop” and this stops the engine when the car is parked at red lights. It has been done to save fuel and the 1mpg increase in fuel economy is the result of that. When it restarts, you feel a bump that is abrupt but not enough to jolt you out of slumber like it is with the Porsches and BMWs. Overall the 2016 MDX achieves a 21mpg average in our observation which is also Improvement of 2mpg over the 2014 MDX with six-speed we tested.

The shifting business is done by buttons and not lever which takes some time to catch up.  It is the same case with the new TLX sedan with the nine-speed transmission. You may feel the need of a shift lever when you try to do a quick U-turn on the face of an approaching vehicle. At such incidents, you may need to take your eyes off the road and search the gear button to activate, which is not very desirable under those circumstances.

Similar to the other brands Acura heaps the MDX with more advanced luxury features too. The AcuraWatch has been extended to all range of MDX models and the test vehicle costing $58,000 with the Advanced and Entertainment packages had rear cross-traffic, which is good for vehicles built with wider C or D-pillars, Collision Mitigating Braking, and Road Departure Mitigation. Overall the Acura MDX still stands as the favorite crossover with seven-passenger capacity. The improvements made in the transmission and technological upgrades keep the vehicle on par with the latest of its class and at the same time do not lack the fun element when it is handled with spirited driving.

The base price of the 2016 Acura MDX SH-AWD is $45,785, and the test vehicle cost $58,000 as it had come loaded. The crossover makes a top speed of a governor limited 114mph.

Acura models:

Acura SLX
Acura CL
Acura Integra
Acura ZDX
Acura NSX
Acura RDX
Acura MDX
Acura ILX
Acura Legend
Acura RSX
Acura RLX
Acura TSX Sport Wagon
Acura RL
Acura TL
Acura TSX
Acura Vigor

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