Avg. Price Paid:$29,344 - $37,219
Original MSRP: $43,030 - $54,555
MPG: 16 City / 21 Hwy
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2012 Acura MDX Review

Review Last Updated: 10/9/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

Reviewers say the 2012 Acura MDX provides a great combination of good value, sporty performance and interior comfort.

In many cases, trading in your sporty little car for a big, comfortable, family SUV signals a serious downgrade in performance, but auto reviewers say that’s not an issue with the Acura MDX. There’s no question that the Acura MDX is one of the best-handling SUVs in its price range. Not only is it fun to drive, but it’s a good value, too. The MDX is also one of the least-expensive SUVs in its class, and most of the rivals that undercut its price don’t offer the same package of performance, quality and features.

However, the MDX’s sporty driving dynamics mean its ride may be uncomfortable to those who would rather be pampered with a smooth ride. Test drivers love its powerful engine and standard all-wheel drive, but they also result in mediocre fuel economy compared with two-wheel drive competitors. Additionally, families that need a third row fit for adults won’t find it in an Acura, since the MDX’s third row is a tight squeeze, even for kids. However, the MDX does win significant family-friendly points for its four sets of LATCH connectors for car seats.  Three of those LATCH connectors are in the second row, making it easy for families to keep everyone close together. Families should also like available features like a rear-seat entertainment system and the MDX's strong crash test scores and reliability ratings.

Shoppers who want an SUV that combines comfort, performance and value will find that the 2012 Acura MDX is a great pick. In fact, the 2012 MDX does such a good job splitting the difference between luxury, sport and price that we named it our 2012 Best Luxury Midsize SUV for Families. More-expensive SUVs might have better performance or a larger third row, but reviewers say that the MDX is a great luxury SUV with impressive value for its price.

Other Luxury SUVs to Consider

The Lexus RX doesn’t have the sporty, tight handling that the Acura MDX offers, but that may be a good thing for some shoppers. Test drivers say the RX has an excellently smooth ride that coddles occupants even over the roughest roads. Plus, its starting price is a lot less than the MDX’s, and it offers far better fuel economy in both two- and all-wheel drive models.

The Infiniti FX takes the idea of sports-car performance to an even higher level than the MDX. Reviewers note that its sporty ride can be too harsh for some, but if you prioritize a fun-to-drive experience, the FX is one of your best choices. Though it seats only five, the FX’s interior is contemporary and high-tech, and its fuel economy in all-wheel drive trims matches that of the MDX.

Details: Acura MDX

The 2012 Acura MDX comes in only one trim level, though a variety of packages are available to upgrade the interior and performance. The MDX saw a fairly comprehensive refresh in 2010, so for the 2012 model year, it doesn’t get any significant changes or updates.

See the full list of 2012 Acura MDX specifications.

  • "This premium SUV has contemporary styling and thoughtful features. MDX has a highly desirable blend of upscale appointments, performance, and convenience. Among its highlights are a strong and surefooted powertrain, good 1st- and 2nd-row seat comfort, and urbane cabin appointments.” -- Consumer Guide
  • “It proffers creamy ride quality (even in sport mode, which is the default setting), generally good steering feel, comfortable seats, respectable roominess in its second and third rows, subdued road and wind noise in most conditions, and ease of operation.” -- Car and Driver
  • "When it comes to being both sensible and desirable, the Acura MDX is second-to-none.” -- Edmunds
  • “By combining manageable dimensions with 7-passenger capacity, a comfortable highway ride with responsive in-town handling and car-like construction with respectable off-pavement capability, the MDX has been one of our favorite SUVs since its introduction for the 2001 model year.” -- Kelley Blue Book

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