I took my NSX in for an inspection the other day, and the dealer gave me a loaner for the day.
Since I was meeting someone for lunch I opted for the MDX so there would be plenty of room. After spending a day with the vehicle I decided to publish my comments.
- The MDX I had was fitted with the base audio system. It was absolute crap. I thought we were past the old days where basic systems actually sounded bad, but I guess not. The only good news was that the car had satellite radio, but it didn’t sound that great because the system sucked.
- The brakes were very “grabby”. I’ve noticed this in a number of Honda vehicles, but hadn’t seen it in an Acura before. When you go to stop, the brakes are initially far too sensitive and feel like they are biting too much. This makes for a crappy ride for your passengers.
- The cornering was very sloppy. Now, I’ve got a Nissan Titan and even it corners better than the MDX. That thing was leaning all over the place in curves and around corners, as if it was on springs with very loose shocks. True, it soaked up large bumps in the road… but so does a 1977 Cadillac and I hope we never go back to the handling of those days.
- The acceleration of the vehicle was adequate. It’s not a rocket, but I didn’t feel anyone would have trouble merging with traffic. If anything, it might accelerate a little too good given that the cornering and braking wouldn’t keep up.
- The inside of the MDX is clearly what sells the car. It has a nicely fitted interior and the seats are fairly comfortable. There is easy seating for 5, and with the third row of seats in place you can fit a couple of the munchkins in the back. The split 60/40 folding rear seat is functional.
- The dash is a little bit “plasticy”, but pretty nice with a couple of glaring exceptions. Again, these are in the version without the GPS in dash. The air condition controls are the worst I’ve ever seen in any car in my life! That’s right, I’d prefer the controls from a 1974 Ford LTD. The MDX has a microscopic 1″ wide display with a couple of cheesy buttons on either side. It simply sucks. Secondly, they put this HUGE digital display in there which is complete junk to fill the space where the nice GPS system would otherwise go. If you are going to buy one of these junk-wagons, at least get the GPS!
- Gas mileage averaged 16.7 mpg.
- There was lots of little cubby storage space all over the place.
- Oh, and the stock tires suck.
So, the bottom line is that the 2006 Acura MDX is not a vehicle I would put in my stable. Having said that Acura has just released the new ’07 model which, at least cosmetically, appears to be radically overhauled.
I look forward to finding out if they’ve actually corrected all of the sloppy handling. If so, it would make a huge difference in my opinion.