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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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    • By William Maley
      Expectation can be a very dangerous thing. You come into something thinking it will blow your mind and more often than not, it comes up short. That’s how I felt during the first few days into a loan of a 2019 Buick Regal GS. What was being presented didn’t match up with my experience. But over the week I had the vehicle, it began to grow on. That isn’t to say some issues need to be addressed.
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      Alternatives to the 2019 Buick Regal GS:
      Kia Stinger: The big elephant in the room when talking about the Regal GS. For a similar amount of cash, you can step into the base GT model with its 365 horsepower twin-turbo V6 and rear-wheel drive setup (AWD adds $2,200). I came away very impressed with the styling, performance on tap from the V6, and handling prowess. Downsides include the interior design being a bit too minimalist and the ride being a bit rough. Volkswagen Arteon: The other dark horse to the Regal GS. There is no doubt that the Arteon is quite handsome with flowing lines and sleek fastback shape. Having sat in one at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, I found it to be very roomy and upscale in terms of the interior materials. I hope to get some time behind the wheel in the near future to see how it measures up in handling. Disclaimer: Buick Provided the Regal GS, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Buick
      Model: Regal
      Trim: GS
      Engine: 3.6L V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,800 
      Torque @ RPM: 282 @ 5,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: 3,796 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Rüsselsheim Germany
      Base Price: $39,070
      As Tested Price: $43,115 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
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      Sights and Sounds Package: $945.00
      Appearance Package: $485.00

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    • By William Maley
      Expectation can be a very dangerous thing. You come into something thinking it will blow your mind and more often than not, it comes up short. That’s how I felt during the first few days into a loan of a 2019 Buick Regal GS. What was being presented didn’t match up with my experience. But over the week I had the vehicle, it began to grow on. That isn’t to say some issues need to be addressed.
      At first glance, you might think Buick decided to stick with a sedan shape. But the sloping rear hatch gives away its true identity as a Sportback. This helps give the impression that the Regal is sporty, helped further by short overhangs. By adding small touches such as large front air intakes, GS-specific 19-inch wheels. Brembo front brake calipers finished in Red, and a small lip spoiler, the GS transforms the Regal into looking like a red-blooded sports sedan. 
      The interior sadly doesn’t match up with what is being presented on the outside. While there was some effort to make the GS stand out with faux carbon-fiber trim, special sport seats, and GS badging, it doesn’t quite match with what is being presented outside. Not helping are some cheap plastics littered throughout the Regal GS’ interior. If this was a standard Regal, I may have given it a slight pass. But considering this GS carries a price of almost $43k, it becomes a big issue. The interior does redeem it somewhat with a logical and simple layout. No one had any complaints about whether the controls were confusing or hard to reach.
      Let’s talk about the front seats, The Regal GS comes fitted with racing-style front seat with aggressive side bolstering and faux holes towards the top where the belts for a harness would go into. This design seems more at home in a hardcore Corvette than a Buick. Before you start thinking that the seat design only allows a small group of people to fit, Buick has fitted adjustable bolstering to allow a wide set of body types to sit comfortably. With this and other power adjustments, I was able to find a position that suited me. Over a long drive, the seats were able to provide the right amount of support and comfort.
      The back seats don’t get the same “race car” treatment as the front, but they do offer ample head and legroom for most passengers. Cargo space is quite impressive with 31.5 cubic feet with the seats up and 60.7 when folded. The Kia Stinger I drove back in January pales in comparison with 23.3 and 40.9 cubic feet.
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      The nine-speed automatic transmission goes about its business with unobtrusive shifts when going about your daily errands, but offers up snappy shifts when you decide to get aggressive. A glaring omission on this sports sedan is the lack of paddle shifters. 
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      On paper, the Regal GS’ handling credentials seem top-notch with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system and a GKN all-wheel drive system featuring a twin-clutch torque-vectoring rear differential. The latter allows a varying amount of power sent to each rear wheel to improve cornering. In the real world, the GS is more Grand Tourer than Gran Sport. While the sedan shows little body roll, its reflexes are slightly muted due to a nearly 3,800 pound curb weight. The steering provides a decent amount of weight when turning, but don’t expect a lot of road feel. What about that AWD system? For the most part, you really won’t notice working unless you decide to push the limits or practice your winter driving skills in a snowy and empty parking lot. 
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      The 2019 Buick Regal GS is a case of expectations being put too high. Despite what the exterior and sports seats of the interior may hint at, this isn’t a sports sedan like a Kia Stinger GT or something from a German luxury brand. But my feelings began to change when I thought of the GS as being more of a grand tourer. It has the ingredients such as a refined powertrain, a suspension that can be altered to provide either a comfortable or sporty ride; and minimizing the amount of outside noise.
      There lies the overall problem with Regal GS as Buick doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a sport sedan or a luxury sedan with grand tourer tendencies? This confusion will likely cause many people to look at something else which is a big shame.
      How I Would Configure a 2019 Buick Regal GS.
      My particular configuration would be similar to the vehicle tested here with the Driver Confidence Package #2, Sights and Sounds, and Appearance packages. The only change would be adding the White Frost Tricoat color, which adds an additional $1,095 to the price. All together, it comes out to $44,210.
      Alternatives to the 2019 Buick Regal GS:
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      Year: 2019
      Make: Buick
      Model: Regal
      Trim: GS
      Engine: 3.6L V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,800 
      Torque @ RPM: 282 @ 5,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/27/22
      Curb Weight: 3,796 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Rüsselsheim Germany
      Base Price: $39,070
      As Tested Price: $43,115 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Confidence Package #2: $1,690.00
      Sights and Sounds Package: $945.00
      Appearance Package: $485.00
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    • By Drew Dowdell
      Acura will be debuting a Type-S concept at Monterey Car Week, one of the top gatherings for automotive enthusiasts.  The concept previews the return of the Type-S in the Acura lineup.
      Type S has been the top of the performance line for Acura. The prior Type-S cars were the 2001 - 2003 3.2CL Type S, 2002 - 2003  3.2TL Type S, 2002 - 2006 RSX Type-S, 2007 - 2008 TL Type-S.  Type-S will join Acura's A-Spec trim in the lineup. 
       
    • By Drew Dowdell
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      Ford Motor Company - Not Reported
      General Motors Co. - Not Reported
      Tesla - Not Reported
      FCA US LLC - Not Reported
      Monthly:
      Audi of America -  Up 0.8% for the month, Down 5% for the year
      BMW of North America -  Down 1.7% for the month, Down 1.2% for the year
      Genesis Motor America - Not Reported
      Honda Motor Co. -  Up 1.9% for the month, Down 0.9% for the year
      Hyundai Motor America -  Up 12.13% for the month, Up 3.10% for the year
      Infiniti USA - Down 11.2% for the month, Down 12.5% for the year
      Jaguar Land Rover North America - Up 5% for the month, Up 5% for the year
      Kia Motors America - Up 0.6% for the month, Up 3.3% for the year
      Mazda North American Operations - Down 3.5%  for the month, Down 13.9% for the year
      Mercedes-Benz USA - 19.5% for the month, Down 4.0% for the year
      Mitsubishi Motors North America -  Down 13.4% for the month, Up 3.2% for the year
      Nissan Group - Down 9.1% for the month, Down 8.3% for the year
      Porsche Cars North America Inc. -  Up 23.3% for the month, Up 5.3% for the year
      Subaru of America, Inc. - Up 7.9% for the month, Up 5.6% for the year
      Toyota Motor North America - Up 0.2% for the month, Down 2.6% for the year
      Volkswagen of America -  Up 2.2% for the month, Up 6.1% for the year
      Volvo Cars of North America, LLC - Up 2.0% for the month, Up 4.7% for the year

      Brands (Quarterly):
      Alfa Romeo - Not Reported
      Buick -  Not Reported
      Cadillac -  Not Reported
      Chevrolet - Not Reported
      Chrysler - Not Reported
      Dodge - Not Reported
      Ford - Not Reported
      Fiat - Not Reported
      GMC - Not Reported
      Jeep - Not Reported
      Lincoln - Not Reported
      Ram Trucks - Not Reported
      Tesla - Not Reported

      Brands (Monthly):
      Acura - Down 3.7% - 12,759 MTD / 86,526 YTD
      Audi - Down 0.3% - 19,409 MTD / 101,440 YTD
      BMW - Up 4.7% - 24,842 MTD / 199,865 YTD
      Genesis - Not reported
      Honda - Up 2.5% - 128,537 MTD / 831,765 YTD
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      Land Rover -  Up 4% - 6,456 MTD
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      Mazda - Down 3.5% - 23,292 MTD / 161,847 YTD
      Mercedes-Benz - Up 22.9% - 24,612 MTD / 172,008 YTD
      Mercedes-Benz Vans - Down 1.5% 2,878 MTD / 18,903 YTD
      MINI - Down 34.2% - 2,827 MTD / 20,410 YTD
      Mitsubishi - Down 13.4% - 8,613 MTD / 79,710 YTD
      Nissan - Down 8.9% - 90,220 MTD / 744,198 YTD
      Porsche - Up 23.3% - 4,956 MTD / 35,213 YTD
      Smart - Down 45.6% - 56 MTD / 552 YTD
      Subaru - Up 7.9% - 64,106 MTD / 403,631 YTD
      Toyota - Up 0.4% - 184,179 MTD / 1,200,552 YTD
      Volkswagen - Up 2.2% - 31,188 MTD / 215,796 YTD
      Volvo - Up 2.0% - 8,795 MTD / 58,915 YTD

      View full article
  • Posts

    • DRIVEN: 2020 Subaru Ascent Premium (AWD 2.4 turbo) HIGHS: -Finally, what the market was looking for, a worthwhile Subaru entry into the 3 row crossover segment.  And packaging, size wise, styling, just about perfect for Subaru -2.4 engine can snarl, nice go juice, and the CVT is actually fairly responsive.  Moves out well, or at least feels like it does.  Makes the Ascent feel sporty actually. -As mentioned above, packaging is just about perfect for Subaru.  It might be considered a tweener, but it does not feel hulking or girthy...and it still will be garagable for many of those folks that would shop import brands.  Cabin width not as wide as a Traverse, noticeably so...but conversely feels like a nice size upgrade from an Outback.  Maybe if you try to have three in the second row its a concern but otherwise should be ok.  Plenty of comfort remains and the third row is decent sized for leg room.  This may be the sweet spot size of a 3 row for many customers. -Cloth seats were attractive and did feel nice at the bottom. -Simple clean dash layout, noticeably signature Subaru.  Some interesting trim.   -Open and airy feel inside the cabin, and likewise visibility out.  In particular in front it doesn't feel significantly larger in front then a Forester or Outback. -Carlike ride and handling.  At least in line with the sort of current expectations of a Subaru / Toyota / Honda type of customer.  And reasonably quiet inside. -Nothing particularly egregious, and entirely in line with Subaru and Japanese car in general brand character.  If you are a Subaru fan, this is your manna, this should EXCITE you. LOWS: ...all that said (above) -A few times I caught the CVT with its pants down and it went into slow response / rubber bandy mode. -Dash, to me, did feel plain and basic (and that also is entirely in character for a Subaru).  I will go on record saying that a Traverse is nicer inside and much more interesting.  -Steering felt light and numb enough that I can't say it was anything besides decent.  All while being a huge upgrade in steering compared to other Subarus I have driven the last few years.  It is very much improved compared to those.  And the suspension was composed enough in the Ascent that it didn't bounce and bob and weave like I had when i drove a Forester before. -I didn't dissect the cargo area greatly but I do think maybe it is down a little bit in terms of usable dimensions compared to say, a Traverse or Atlas....probably as useful or more useful than an Acadia. -At the end of the day, apart from the kind of lively powertrain, the whole rest of the vehicle is MILQUETOAST.  Which, if you are a Subaru fan, should EXCITE you.  I mean, I think a Santa Fe may be more appealing emotionally.  I was expecting something to feed the soul here, there is nothing.  How they made it still feel lifeless while still miraculously making this vastly improved over other Subarus, must have required special skill. SUMMARY: At the end of the day, a perfectly innocuous but highly useful device that absolutely fulfills the Subaru brand character while at the same time borders on being something equal to the NPC version of an automobile.  And some will absolutely love that.  While superbly capable, I think I VASTLY prefer my GM's or even the VW Atlas.  Seek those out instead if you want ANY personality in your 3 row family hauler.        
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