When Acura's redesigned seven-seat MDX arrives at dealerships in early July, it will start at $43,185, including an $895 destination charge. That's nearly $1,000 below the 2013 MDX, but the 2014 model comes without all-wheel drive, which has been standard since the original MDX arrived in late 2000. Acura expects a significant portion of shoppers to opt for the front-drive MDX, which gets an impressive EPA-rated 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined. That beats the front-drive Lexus RX 350 and Infiniti JX35 (both 21 mpg city/highway combined) as well as the Buick Enclave (19 mpg).
The starting price eclipses the 2013 Enclave ($39,340) and JX35 ($42,245), as well as the two-row RX 350 ($40,555), but it undercuts a couple players with standard all-wheel drive: the Audi Q7 ($47,695) and BMW X5 ($48,425). That will likely change for the just-introduced 2014 X5, which will have rear- or all-wheel drive, but BMW has yet to reveal pricing or standard features.
Relative to that set — where three of the vehicles charge extra for leather and heated seats, and four charge extra for a moonroof — the Acura comes well-equipped. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, full-LED headlights, a backup camera, one-touch power windows, keyless access with push-button start, fully adjustable second-row seats and a power tailgate are standard. So are leather seats, three-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats with eight-way power adjustment and power driver's lumbar support. The standard stereo incorporates CD/USB/iPod/satellite and HD radio compatibility with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming; it also has dual color displays with integrated Pandora and Aha radio apps, which streams off a compatible smartphone.