Honda has unveiled the fourth generation of the Acura MDX, its best-selling three-row SUV. Going on sale early next year, the new MDX will assume the flagship role in the Acura lineup as the most premium performance-focused and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the vehicle’s new bold design is complemented by an arsenal of new technologies and an all-new performance-focused platform with the MDX’s first-ever double wishbone front suspension.
“The new MDX marks a turning point for Acura as our new flagship and the most far-reaching effort yet to deliver on our Precision Crafted Performance brand promise,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. “We knew we needed to deliver something more emotional and premium with performance at its core. This new MDX builds on the past 20 years of success and elevates the model to an even stronger position in the market.”
The exterior design is more muscular, with a lower and wider body with bulging shoulders, enabling a 6-inch increase in dash-to-axle dimension. It has such signature elements as a three-dimensional Diamond Pentagon grille flanked by four-element JewelEye LED headlights, underscored by Chicane LED daytime running lights. The front fascia has been sculpted to highlight the wide grille, emphasizing the vehicle’s wider track.
The 21-inch wheels have been pushed to the corners, giving the MDX Prototype a nearly 3-inch longer wheelbase, aiding in a smoother ride and allowing for more space in all three rows of seating, as well as a larger cargo hold.
Its all-new light truck platform was built for handling, with refined ride comfort and exceptional cabin quietness. The most rigid Acura SUV body to date, the new MDX is engineered to support a new performance-focused chassis featuring MDX’s first-ever double wishbone front suspension, delivering sharp and sporty handling with improved road holding and ride comfort.
On the inside, the MDX Prototype has a more sophisticated cabin design, with a cleaner, upright instrument panel taking on a wide structural motif. Next-generation Acura sport seats offer a more sculpted form with curvilinear quilting in all three rows, gradient perforation and high-contrast stitching and piping. The trim includes open-pore wood infused with metallic flake, polished aluminum and soft-touch Milano leather. The ultra-wide panoramic moonroof opens the cabin up to provide natural light to all three rows. The Acura sport seats offer 16-way power adjustment and integrated massage functionality with nine massage modes to relax the driver and front passenger.
The MDX Prototype also debuts Acura’s all-digital Precision Cockpit, replacing physical gauges with a customizable 12.3-inch driver’s meter. It also features the True Touchpad Interface, with an ultra-wide 12.3-inch, full-HD center display.
Inside the Signature Edition, the ELS Studio 3D audio system sets the standard for concert-quality in-vehicle audio, complete with 25 speakers, including six ceiling-mounted Highline speakers and six carbon fiber coned mid-range woofers — the most advanced and powerful audio system ever offered in an Acura vehicle.
The vehicle also offers the latest generation of Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, enhanced with occupant and pedestrian collision protection capabilities, an expanded suite of AcuraWatch safety and driver-assistive technologies, and the next-generation front passenger airbag technology.
The fourth-generation MDX will join its predecessors as designed, developed and produced in North America. The all-new MDX will be built at the company’s East Liberty, Ohio, auto plant, while its 3.5-liter V6 and Type S-exclusive 3.0-liter Turbo V6 engines are built in the Anna, Ohio, engine plant. Acura’s 10-speed automatic transmission is built exclusively at the company’s Tallapoosa, Georgia transmission plant.
Honda Precision Parts of Georgia LLC, in Tallapoosa, started transmission production in 2006 with 179 associates. Today, it has an annual capacity to build 375,000 transmissions with more than 500 associates.