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Honda: New 2014 Acura MDX is an ‘executive family jet’ for $43,185

The 2014 MDX may look like a garden variety SUV, but Acura views it as an “executive family jet” with the heart of a racecar and the pedigree of a luxury flagship. All of that will be available for a starting price of $43,185 (including an $895 destination charge) when the MDX goes on sale this summer.

The 2014 MDX was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show, with styling that looks familiar, albeit with a few updates to bring the SUV in line with other recent Acuras like the RLX sedan. If Acura’s current styling theme is your thing, you’ll like this one.

Underneath the new sheetmetal is a 3.5-liter direct-injected V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. The engine is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission and either (new for 2014) front-wheel drive, or Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

That may sound pedestrian, but Acura says the V6 is based on the one it uses in the LMP2-class racecars it campaigns in the American Le Mans Series. Chassis tuning was done at the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Despite flinging its SUV around the same track where other car companies take their supercars, Acura was also able to improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The new SH-AWD model gets EPA ratings of 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined, compared to 16/21/18 mpg for the 2013 model.

The new front-wheel drive MDX is rated at 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.

Of course, most people don’t buy SUVs (or private jets) for their speed and handling. Luckily, the 2014 MDX has plenty of tech toys to keep everyone happy.

Standard tech features include Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Pandora, SMS texting, and Aha media integration. The latter is a part of the updated AcuraLink infotainment system.

Infotainment functions are controlled through the On Demand Multi-Use Display (ODMD), a seven-inch touchscreen with haptic feedback.

Upgrading to the Technology Package ($4,275) nets navigation with voice recognition and a larger, eight-inch display. It also adds a 10-speaker ELS audio system; the standard system has eight speakers.

Also on the options menu is a rear seat entertainment system with a nine-inch screen and wireless headphones. It’s bundled with an 11-speaker sound system in the Technology and Entertainment Package ($6275).

An “Ultra-Wide” system with a 16.2-inch screen is available with the Advance and Entertainment Package ($12,215), along with a 12-speaker sound system.

The 2014 Acura MDX goes on sale in July. The advertised $43,185 base price buys a front-wheel drive model; SH-AWD models start at $45,185. 

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