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2013 Acura MDX

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2013 Acura MDX Review

Reviewed by Automotive on

With the MDX, Acura has produced the winning formula for a reasonably priced luxury three-row sport utility vehicle. The 2013 Acura MDX is unchanged from 2012, and for good reason. While luxury and performance capabilities are almost as good as its European equivalents, Acura’s asking price for a fully-loaded model is less than the base models of many of its counterparts. The MDX is no slouch when it comes to capability and comfort, and it provides a quality vehicle for daily driving that can also handle large cargo loads and long road trips.

New For 2013

The 2013 Acura MDX sees no updates or changes for the new model year.


It is clear from the outset that the 2013 Acura MDX is related to the Honda Pilot. The exterior is quite similar to the less-expensive Pilot, but Acura designers have given the MDX a few more curves to present a sleeker and sportier vehicle. Unfortunately, the standard corporate grille design is used here, and the giant shield overpowers the front-end and draws the eyes away from the subtle design work across the rest of the exterior. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, as are automatic xenon headlamps, a sunroof, and a very handy power tailgate. The Advanced package adds 19-inch wheels and auto-leveling headlamps to the exterior.

Interior & Cargo

The inside of the 2013 Acura MDX is fairly spacious, with plenty of room for the average-sized adult to sit comfortably in either of the first two rows. The third row is only suitable for smaller adults and children. Even so, there is plenty of head and leg room all around, and the seats themselves are comfortable with decent support. There’s also a good amount of room for cargo, with 15 cubic feet behind the third row. With the second and third rows folded down, this vehicle features over 80 cubic feet of space.

The 2013 Acura MDX has plenty of amenities for the driver and passenger, with even the basic trim level featuring a substantial amount of features, even before the addition of the packages and their options. These standard features included heated leather eight-way power front seats, power doors, power locks, power windows, and a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. The climate control is automatic and has three zones that can be controlled independently, and the rearview mirror dims automatically and has an integrated rearview camera. For entertainment, an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio comes standard with Bluetooth phone connectivity. The optional packages also provide great features. The Technology package adds a navigation system with an eight-inch display and voice controls, a multiview parking camera, upgraded leather upholstery, and an upgraded audio system. The most notable part of the Technology package is the automated climate control that is solar-sensing and linked to the GPS. The Advance package adds ventilated front seats and a sport steering wheel, while the Entertainment Package can be added to either the Technology or the Advance package and provides a rear-seat entertainment system and heated second-row seats. The biggest problem with all this technology is that the center console of the MDX becomes awfully cluttered and intimidating.


The 2013 Acura MDX comes equipped with plenty of safety features and active-safety options, and has performed quite well in crash tests. The standard active-safety features include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, and a rearview camera. With the Advance option package, the MDX also gets adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot warning system, and a multiple-view rearview camera. Most advantageous with the Advance package is the collision warning and braking system that senses a collision and immediately responds to help the driver react appropriately to the imminent collision. The MDX gets the standard front, side, and curtain airbags, along with active headrests that provide additional support in the case of an accident.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2013 Acura MDX its highest rating of ""Good"" in all categories, as well as the Top Safety Pick status. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the MDX a rating of four out of five stars overall for crash safety, four stars for frontal crash protection, and five stars for side-impact protection.

Driving Experience

The 2013 Acura MDX provides incredibly capable performance. Underneath the hood is a V-6 engine that puts out 300 horsepower (hp) and 270 lb-ft. of torque, attached to a six-speed automatic transmission with auto-manual capabilities and all-wheel drive. The engine is perky, with very good acceleration for a large vehicle. Due to the low torque, the towing capacity is not all that great, able to handle up to only 5,000 pounds. The MDX can cruise well at highway speeds, even with a full passenger cabin and a heavy cargo load.

The handling and suspension are where the MDX shines, thanks to the Super Handling all-wheel-drive system. The system automatically pushes power to the wheels, and the wheels then maximize power efficiency to improve handling. Combined with a suspension system that handles rough roads with no problem, the ride is great and the body control is good. These components can be made even better with the adaptive suspension dampers, which are part of the Advance package. The only performance issue with the MDX might be the steering, which is a bit on the light side.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Acura MDX

  • BMW X5
  • Lexus RX350
  • Buick Enclave

See the New 2015 MDX.

Front & Driver Side View