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    William Maley

    2019 Acura MDX Gets Modest Changes

      and a modest price jump to boot


    After a major refresh for the 2017 model year, Acura is giving the MDX a number of modest changes for the 2019 model year.

    The big changes of note deal with the MDX's mechanicals. Acura has reprogrammed the nine-speed automatic transmission that is said to provide smoother starts and will prioritize second-gear when leaving a stop. The previously optional stop-start system becomes standard on all MDX models. Acura's Active Damper System (ADS) that was only available on the Sport Hybrid model is added the MDX with the Advanced package.

    Next up is an A-Spec appearance trim that brings a revised front fascia, black trim, 20-inch wheels, seats upholstered in Alcantara and leather, thicker steering wheel, and other minor changes. 

    The remainder of the updates are as followed,

    • Four new colors: Majestic Black Pearl, Performance Red, Canyon Bronze Metallic, and Apex Blue Pearl (exclusive to A-Spec)
    • New trim options including Desert Olive Ash wood
    • 4-Way Power Lumbar adjustments for front seats

    The MDX is powered by either a 3.5L V6 (290 horsepower) or a V6 hybrid powertrain (321 horsepower).

    Pricing for 2019 MDX ranges from $45,295 for the base FWD model to $61,045 for the SH-AWD model with Advance & Entertainment packages. Pricing includes a $995.00 destination charge. No word on how much the Sport Hybrid will set you back.

    Source: Acura


    2019 Acura MDX Arrives with Luxury and Performance Upgrades Plus First A-Spec Variant

    Jul 17, 2018 - TORRANCE, Calif.

    • Best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all-time boosts luxury appeal with upgraded interior and expanded color palette
    • A-Spec sport appearance package available for the first time on MDX
    • Available Active Damper System and wider wheel & tire option improve dynamic experience
    • 9-speed automatic transmission enhanced for smoother, more fluid acceleration feel

    The 2019 Acura MDX arrives in dealerships today boasting upgraded interior fitment, new available premium exterior colors, drivability and dynamics enhancements, and an A-Spec sport appearance package. The 2019 MDX with standard AcuraWatch® technology and available Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) carries a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP1) of $44,300 (excluding $995 destination and handling) while the new MDX A-Spec starts at $54,800 with standard SH-AWD®. The 2019 MDX lineup will be further strengthened by the arrival of the 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid, going on-sale next month.

    With nearly a million units sold since its inception, the MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time2. It is the only three-row luxury SUV in segment with six straight years of more than 50,000 sales3, and is the #1 retail-selling three-row model in segment year-to-date4.

    Interior and Exterior – More Luxury, More Choices

    Building on a major design refresh in 2017 and key technology updates in 2018, the 2019 Acura MDX comes with new interior enhancements designed to up the luxury quotient. New features include available authentic Desert Olive Ash wood trim, high-contrast seat and door panel stitching, and contrasting front seat side garnishes. Driver and front passenger seats now feature standard 4-way power lumbar adjustments, while the Technology and Entertainment packages receive an updated second-row seat configuration, allowing easy passage to the third row. The MDX with Advance Package adds trim-exclusive matching wood center console trim.

    The 2019 MDX expands its color palette to a total of nine options, including a rich new Gunmetal Metallic and four new available premium colors—Majestic Black Pearl, Performance Red Pearl, Canyon Bronze Metallic and the A-Spec-exclusive Apex Blue Pearl.

    Newly-designed 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels grace the Advance Package with a machine finish and Shark Grey accents, gaining a half-inch in width (up from 8.0 inches) and shod with wider 265/45-series tires (up from 245/50). MDXs with the Advance Package also gain body-color lower garnishes.

    A-Spec Variant Joins MDX

    For the 2019 model, MDX adds an all-new A-Spec sport appearance variant. Available exclusively with Acura's torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), A-Spec features a more athletic stance highlighted by exclusive half-inch wider 20-inch Shark Grey aluminum alloy wheels wrapped in low profile 265/45-series tires. An aggressive new front fascia, body-color lower sills, larger-diameter exhaust finishers, as well as gloss-black and dark chrome trim for the headlights, grille, window surround and rear tailgate spoiler further distinguish the MDX A-Spec.

    Interior enhancements feature sport seats trimmed in rich red or black leather with black Alcantara™ inserts, high-contrast stitching, unique A-Spec gauges, sport pedals, Alcantara door inserts, gloss-black trim, a thicker-rimmed A-Spec-badged steering wheel with paddle shifters, and an exclusive A-Spec door step garnish.

    Performance, Ride and Handling Refined

    The 2019 MDX can now be optioned with Acura's Active Damper System (ADS), previously available only on the MDX Sport Hybrid, offering both ride comfort and handling advantages while further expanding the dynamic "range" of the driver-selectable Integrated Dynamics System.

    The responsive 3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC® 24-valve V6 engine continues to power MDX with 290 peak horsepower (SAE net) and 267 lb.-ft. peak torque (SAE net), in either standard front-wheel drive configuration, or the available SH-AWD® system. SH-AWD® delivers up to 70 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels and the ability to distribute up to 100 percent of that torque between the left and right rear wheels to optimize available traction and sharpen steering and handling response.

    The 2019 model year also brings significant drivability enhancements to MDX. Its 9-speed automatic transmission gains a smoother, more fluid acceleration feel in normal driving by prioritizing second-gear starts. When demand is higher in conditions such as full-throttle acceleration, certain uphill and towing situations, and when S-mode is selected, first gear starts are then prioritized for maximum available acceleration and pulling power.

    Further drivability refinements are realized via an upgraded Idle Stop feature that is now standard across the MDX lineup for 2019. System enhancements shorten engine re-start response and operational smoothness via a new brake pressure trigger and software upgrades, resulting in a more natural, seamless feel.

    The 2019 MDX with front-wheel drive has an EPA fuel economy rating of 20/27/23 mpg (city/highway/combined)5, A-Spec is rated at 19/25/21, and all other models with SH-AWD® have an EPA rating of 19/26/22 mpg (city/highway/combined)2.

    Standard Safety and Driver-Assistive Technology  

    All 2019 MDX trims will come standard with the AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

    In addition to AcuraWatch technology, all MDX's boast a comprehensive array of active and passive safety features, including Acura's Advance Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, advanced front, side, and side-curtain airbags, front pre-tensioning seatbelts, 4-channel anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control, and Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

    2019 MDX Pricing and EPA Fuel Economy Ratings


    Trim

    MSRP6

    MSRP6 
    Including $995 Destination Charge

    EPA MPG Rating
    (city/highway/combined)5

    MDX (FWD)

    $44,300

    $45,295

    20/27/23

    MDX (FWD) with Technology Package

    $49,300

    $50,295

    20/27/23

    MDX (FWD) with Technology & Entertainment Packages

    $51,300

    $52,295

    20/27/23

    MDX (FWD) with Advance Package

    $56,050

    $57,045

    20/27/23

    MDX (FWD) with Advance & Entertainment Packages

    $58,050

    $59,045

    20/27/23

    MDX (SH-AWD)

    $46,300

    $47,295

    19/26/22

    MDX (SH-AWD) with Technology Package

    $51,300

    $52,295

    19/26/22

    MDX (SH-AWD) with Technology & Entertainment Packages

    $53,300

    $54,295

    19/26/22

    MDX A-Spec (SH-AWD)

    $54,800

    $55,795

    19/25/21

    MDX (SH-AWD) with Advance Package

    $58,050

    $59,045

    19/26/22

    MDX (SH-AWD) with Advance & Entertainment Packages

    $60,050

    $61,045

    19/26/22

    MDX Sport Hybrid

    TBA

    1. MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) excluding tax, license, registration, $995 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary. 
    2. Based on Autodata total sales of all luxury three-row SUVs 1980 to 2018CYTD June.
    3. Based on Autodata total sales for all three-row models in the Mid Premium CUV segment.
    4. Based on Urban Science retail sales for all three-row models in the Premium Upper Mid-size CUV segment 2018CYTD May.
    5. Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors. 
    6. MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) excluding tax, license, registration, $995 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.



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    Searched, but I wonder what the canyon bronze metallic looks like. I like the Mocha interior, warm and comfy. Rest is just meh.

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      For the past decade, Acura has felt lost at sea. Not sure of what it wanted to be as a brand. This was shown by mixed messaging in their lineup as they weren’t sure to focus on luxury, technology, or sport. This muddled mess of identities would cause a fair amount of issues. But in the past couple of years, Acura started to get its act together thanks in part to new leadership. The first fruits of their efforts came last year in the form of the third-generation RDX. 
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      Disclaimer: Acura Provided the RDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
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      Model: RDX
      Trim: A-Spec
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve VTEC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: 10-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 272 @ 6,500
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      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,015 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: East Liberty, Ohio
      Base Price: $45,800
      As Tested Price: $47,195 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
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      View full article
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      For the past decade, Acura has felt lost at sea. Not sure of what it wanted to be as a brand. This was shown by mixed messaging in their lineup as they weren’t sure to focus on luxury, technology, or sport. This muddled mess of identities would cause a fair amount of issues. But in the past couple of years, Acura started to get its act together thanks in part to new leadership. The first fruits of their efforts came last year in the form of the third-generation RDX. 
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      You Want Presence? You Got It!
      The RDX is the first production model to feature Acura’s newest design language and its no shrinking violet. The front end draws your attention with a large trapezoidal grille paired with a massive Acura emblem. Sitting on either side is Acura’s Jewel-Eye LED headlights that add a distinctive touch. My A-Spec tester takes it further with distinctive front and rear bumpers, 20-inch alloy wheels finished in black, and a special Apex Blue Pearl color that is only available on this trim. This crossover garnered a lot of looks during the week I had, something I hadn’t experience in quite some time.
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      The RDX’s interior captures the feeling of being in a sports car with a symmetrical dashboard design that cocoons the front passengers. A rotary drive-mode selector found in the center stack echos the design found in the NSX supercar. While it does emphasize the sporty nature of the vehicle, the position of the knob does make the climate controls a bit hard to reach. A-Spec models have some special touches such as red contrast stitching, a suede panel on the passenger side of the dashboard, and new trim for the instrument cluster that help it stand out. Material and build quality are quite close to some competitors from Germany.
      A set of sport seats with increased bolstering and power adjustments come standard on the A-Spec. I found them to be quite comfortable for any trip length and were able to hold me if I decided to be a bit enthusiastic. Back seat passengers will be plenty comfortable with an abundance of head and legroom. I would have like to see the back seat be able to slide forward and back to offer more comfort. Cargo space is towards the top of the class with 29.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 58.9 when folded. There’s also a little storage nook under the cargo floor to stash valuables.
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      Acura’s touchpad controller is slightly different from Lexus’ setup as it is mapped to the screen. So if you want to access the navigation, you tap that part of the pad that corresponds to the screen. This removes the dragging of the finger across the touchpad to get it to the selection you want. This seems quite logical on paper, but I found to be somewhat frustrating. It took me a few days to mind-meld with the system as I was still used to dragging my finger across the touchpad to select various functions. This made simple tasks such as changing presets or moving around in Apple CarPlay very tough.
      There is also a smaller touchpad that controls a small section of the screen. This allows you to scroll through three menus - audio, navigation, and clock. This would prove to be the most frustrating aspect of this system as it didn’t always recognize whenever I scroll down on the touchpad to move to another screen.
      Thankfully, Acura has left a number of physical controls for the audio and climate systems. I’m glad that some luxury automakers aren’t falling into the trap.
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      The turbo-four is quite a potent engine with little turbo lag when leaving a stop and a seemingly endless amount of power for any situation. The ten-speed automatic is very smooth and quick when upshifting. But it does stumble somewhat when you need a quick shot of speed. 
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      Capable Driver
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      Welcome Back Acura
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      It does give me hope that Acura is figuring out who it wants to be and excited to see what comes down the road such as the new TLX.
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      Driveline: 10-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 272 @ 6,500
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      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,015 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: East Liberty, Ohio
      Base Price: $45,800
      As Tested Price: $47,195 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
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      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
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      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
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      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
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      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00
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