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2005 Acura MDX Review
A safe, reliable crossover SUV in a bland body.
Reviewed by Automotive on
Making its debut in the Acura lineup in 2001, the MDX has enjoyed great popularity since its birth. With its seven-passenger seating, comfortable, car-based construction, and long list of luxury features, the MDX continues to have much to offer family-minded buyers in 2005. On many levels, the MDX is really a dressed-up alternative to the Honda Pilot – even though the MDX was introduced earlier. These two midsize, family-style SUVs share the same chassis and an overall similar design, although the MDX has more to offer in the way of luxury.
Manufactured in Ontario, Canada, the 2005 Acura MDX shares a platform with the older Honda Odyssey minivan; but with its high-end power offerings and luxurious interior, it competes most closely against rivals like the BMW X5 and Lexus RX 330. With standard features, such as XM Satellite Radio, a voice-command navigation system, hands-free car phone, and optional DVD player, it is one excellent family vehicle that everyone will enjoy riding in. With a powerful V-6 engine and firm handling, the driving experience isn’t too shabby either.
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Acura MDX, Acura MDX Touring
The 2005 Acura MDX receives a number of new inclusions for 2005. XM Satellite Radio is introduced as standard on all models, while a Bluetooth hands-free cell phone interface is provided on the Touring. It benefits from a larger fuel tank, as well as an enhanced stability control system. An in-dash six-CD changer is now connected to the optional rear entertainment system. The navigation system receives an enhanced database and also now comes with the OnStar communications system.
With its distinctive sloping rear roof pillars, the 2005 Acura MDX is reminiscent of the RX330 in exterior design. The MDX’s appearance presents a thoughtful combination of muscle and elegance with its chiseled front end and wide stance. This midsize SUV sits on 17-inch alloy wheels and a four-wheel-independent suspension. The list of standard exterior equipment includes automatic headlights, fog lights, a front air dam, and mud guards. Power-adjustable and heated exterior mirrors are standard on all MDX models, as well as privacy glass, interval wipers, and a rear window defogger. A tow hitch receiver and towing prep. package are optional on all trim levels.
The Acura MDX has room for seven passengers in its three rows of seating, with two front bucket seats, a three-place split middle bench, and a two-place split rear seat. Both the center and rear benches can be folded flat into the floor for an optimal cargo space of 81.5 cubic feet. It comes with an impressive list of interior equipment and entertainment features. Standard offerings include a full stereo system with radio, CD player, and subwoofer; air-conditioning, cruise control, tachometer, a leather steering wheel with mounted audio controls, a tire inflation monitor, trip computer, and power adjustable and heated front seats. A CD changer is optional on all MDX models. A rear DVD player is available on the Touring model, along with second-row sound controls.
Performance & Handling
The 2005 Acura MDX gets its power from a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine, rated at 265 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. With maximum torque available over a remarkably broad range of engine speeds, it handles highway maneuvering with the same confidence and finesse as a V-8. This sophisticated aluminum alloy engine also features Honda’s smart VTEC variable valve timing. With its slab-like sides, it is susceptible to drifting at high speeds in a strong crosswind. This mid-size SUV does perform well in generally difficult road conditions, although it’s certainly no off-roader. As a car-based vehicle, it isn’t something consumers will want to take up any rock-strewn mountain path. Still, its everyday performance is quite good. Acceleration is a bit slow right out of the gate, but strong overall. Handling is tight, with good grip around tight corners. Its firm suspension allows for a luxuriously smooth ride on paved roads, though things get choppy pretty quick on rougher surfaces.
The 2005 Acura MDX comes with a full list of standard safety offerings. Basic equipment for all trim levels includes power windows and door locks, child safety door locks, keyless entry, and a vehicle anti-theft system. Front side airbags and side head curtain airbags are standard. The NHTSA has awarded its highest rating of five stars in all its safety tests including driver and passenger frontal crash tests and side crash tests for both the front and rear.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Lots of interior space
- Spirited V-6 engine
- Good safety ratings
- Balanced suspension
You Won't Like
- Minimal towing power
- Limited off-road abilities
- Unimpressive interior design
A safe, reliable crossover SUV in a bland body.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Lexus RX330
- BMW X5
- Nissan Murano
- Infiniti FX
- Toyota Highlander