In case you're still among the holdouts who does not believe sport utility vehicles can live up to the sport part of their name, Acura would like to remind you of its MDX mid-size crossover, which continues to be good at utility and, thanks for a few updates for 2019, is now even better at the sport thing.
Key among the changes for this year is the addition of an A-Spec sport appearance package that bundles wider wheels and tires with a more aggressive-looking front fascia, body-colour rocker panels, larger exhaust finishers and gloss black exterior trim. A-Spec MDXs also get sport seats in red or black leather with black Alcantara inserts, thicker steering wheel with shift paddles and more gloss black bits.
Other 2019 upgrades include standard 12-way power front seats with lumbar (last year's seats had 10-way adjustment) and a handful of new interior finishes. On the mechanical side of things, the MDX can now be optioned with Acura's adaptive damper suspension system, and the nine-speed automatic transmission now starts in second gear for smoother acceleration in normal driving.
The MDX's standard power source is a 3.5L V6 that makes 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, fed through that revised nine-speed to Acura's SH-AWD system, notable for its ability to apportion torque between the left and right rear wheels to improve handling on clear roads.
A Sport Hybrid trim remains the top-end MDX package, with its 3.0L V6 mated to a trio of electric motors and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Along with promising lower fuel consumption, the Sport Hybrid also boasts more power, with the engine and electric motors capable of 325 hp.
If you want sporty performance from your SUV but can't stomach the prices commanded by German models like the BMW X5 and Audi Q7, we would suggest that Acura continues to offer the best alternative to those vehicles, and at a price that maxes out right around where the X5's MSRP starts.
The MDX lacks the turbocharged punch of BMW's motors, but Acura's V6 is a smooth, powerful machine that sounds good when pressed for performance.
All MDXs come standard with the AcuraWatch suite of active safety features, including radar cruise control with low-speed follow, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, emergency autonomous braking and forward collision warning.
Other standard kit includes a heated steering wheel, one-touch power fold and slide second-row seat, power tailgate, remote starter, and proximity key with push-button start all standard.
Acura equips the MDX as a seven-seater to start, but it can be optioned with a six-seat interior that equips the top-end Elite trim with a pair of second-row captain's chairs with a central storage console. Twelve-way driver and eight-way front passenger seats are standard, and heated second-row seats are available, as are ventilated front seats.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed