Nuts & Bolts: 2008 Acura MDX Sport

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Complaints: By unanimous agreement, the grille on the Acura MDX Sport is ugly and needs to be redone. Also, it requires more expensive premium unleaded gasoline.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent marks in all three categories. All who drove it commented on the smoothness of ride and acceleration.

Key comment: All who drove it said they would consider buying the MDX because it is made by Honda, which they believe builds trustworthy vehicles.

Head-turning quotient: Thumbs up for interior design and layout.

Body style/layout: The Acura MDX is a front-engine, all-wheel-drive, midsize luxury crossover utility vehicle available in five iterations -- base, base with technology package, base with sport package, base with technology and entertainment package, base with sport and entertainment package.

Engine/transmission: The Acura MDX Sport comes with a 3.7-liter, 24-valve, single overhead-cam engine that develops 300 horsepower at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 275 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. It is mated to a five-speed transmission that can be shifted automatically or manually.

Capacities: There is seating for seven. Maximum cargo capacity is 84 cubic feet. The MDX can be equipped to tow up to 5,000 pounds. The fuel tank holds 21 gallons of required premium unleaded gasoline.

Mileage: Under revised Environmental Administration mileage testing protocols, which have resulted in lower posted mileage ratings for vehicles made after Sept. 1, the 2008 MDX gets 15 miles per gallon in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.

Safety: Four-wheel antilock brakes, side and head airbags, and electronic traction and stability control are standard equipment.

Price: Base price on the 2008 Acura MDX Sport with rear-seat entertainment is $47,995. Estimated dealer's invoice price on that model is $45,000. Price as tested, including a $715 transportation charge, is $48,710.Estimated dealer's price as tested is $46,000. Prices sourced from Acura, and, an affiliate of The Washington Post.

Purse-strings note: Keep in mind that the MDX is based on a platform shared with the less-expensive Honda Pilot. For those who insist on luxury, compare with the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Porsche Cayenne.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company