2008 Acura MDX Performance
This performance review was written when the 2008 Acura MDX was new.
The 2008 Acura MDX drives more like a sports sedan than an SUV, earning it a performance ranking near the top of its class.
- "The MDX is more agile than the current X5 3.0i on a racetrack -- granted, not the usual habitat for an SUV, but still impressive -- it bests both the V-6 Porsche Cayenne and the outgoing X5 in ride and utility, and it has far better body control than the Volvo XC90." -- Automobile Magazine
- "When pushed hard, the MDX's 300 horsepower, sophisticated all-wheel-drive system and optional active damping system combine to deliver an SUV that's fun to drive even at or near its limits. We were also impressed by the MDX's off-road ability, which we were able to sample on a short but extreme course." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "I drove the new MDX on a track as well as the road, and it's truly outstanding, able to handle sharp cornering effortlessly, especially when equipped with the optional Sport Package. Overall, the MDX is quite quick, and its sporty exhaust note is just loud enough under heavy acceleration." -- Cars.com
- "True, you could spend more for a competitor's V8 model and get a smidge of extra performance and prestige. But for meeting the oxymoronic 'performance luxury SUV' goal while keeping a realistic budget, the Acura MDX is about as good as it gets." -- Edmunds
- "The MDX's performance and handling really are competitive with German vehicles such as the $45,900 BMW X5." -- BusinessWeek
Acceleration and Power
The 2008 Acura MDX comes with only one engine choice, a 300-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. Increased horsepower gives the engine more oomph than the previous generation, and most find it more than adequate at the very least. According to the EPA, the MDX should net 15 miles per gallon in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.
- "Mated to a five-speed sequential gearbox, the engine pulls strongly, and, being a Honda powerplant, it's ultrasmooth." -- AutoWeek
- "Point the MDX down a curving road and it is ready to romp. Acceleration is carefully fierce, showing a 0-60 mph capability in the high six/low seven second range, despite the curb weight of 4,550 pounds." -- The Examiner
- "The 3.7-liter V6 isn't quite as smooth as we've come to expect from Acura's past V6s, but it's hard to argue about its power. Downshifting readily when the throttle is prodded, the MDX's manually shiftable five-speed automatic transmission provides transparent and smooth shifts." -- Edmunds
- "Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent marks in all three categories. All who drove it commented on the smoothness of ride and acceleration." -- Washington Post
- "The MDX never seems to strain at the end of the engine's resources. Rather, it always seems to stay at the sweet point of the power range." -- BusinessWeek
Handling and Braking
The 2008 Acura MDX is widely praised for its sporty yet comfortable handling. For an even sportier -- albeit stiffer -- ride, buyers can opt for the Sports Package, which adds Active Damper Suspension that allows drivers to choose between snappy handling and smooth sailing (or Sports mode and Comfort mode).
- "Where the competition often plows its way around corners, the MDX tracks around on its intended path with better grip and little body roll." -- AutoWeek
- "On-road handling ability is also high on the MDX's resume." -- Edmunds
- "There's a 'comfort' button you can push to soften up the suspension, but the ride is still stiff by American standards. And it's worth noting the default suspension setting is the sporty one, not the comfort mode." -- BusinessWeek
- "Comfort is soft, and allows a fair amount of body motion. Sport is firm, but not at all uncomfortable, and works wonders in keeping the MDX flat even when attempting to get in touch with its inner sports car." -- The Auto Channel
- "On the road, this is a composed machine, confident in its stride, very good for wind noise, decidedly sporty for road-impact noise. Steering is moderately heavy, deliberate." -- Car and Driver
- "I drove the new MDX on a track here at home, and it's truly outstanding, able to handle sharp cornering effortlessly, especially when equipped with the optional Sport Package." -- Cars.com
- "The big Acura is difficult to maneuver in tight spaces and is not nearly as light on its feet as some competitors." -- Detroit News