Acura MDX shines in tests’ of 3-row SUVs : Consumer Reports

2014 Acura MDX

2014 Acura MDX

YONKERS, NY— The redesigned 2014 Acura MDX earned a “Very Good” test rating by Consumer Reports. The mid-sized luxury SUV continues the model’s long-standing tradition of scoring among CR’s top-rated SUVs.

Consumer Reports found the MDX pleasant and well-rounded. The hushed cabin and supple ride are a step up from the previous version, although handling is less agile. The new 3.5-liter V6 engine is quick, responsive, and refined. The MDX delivers impressive fuel economy of 20 mpg overall, which is the same as the diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec and only one mpg fewer than the Lexus RX 350—the most efficient non-hybrid gasoline-powered model in this class.

The MDX has a roomy, comfortable, and functional cabin. Access to the third-row seat simply requires pressing a single button, a clever, user-friendly design that should be a benchmark for competitive models. However, Consumer Reports’ engineers complained that the multi-screen dashboard design is unintuitive and can be distracting. Reliability is likely to be above average. The MDX is Recommended by Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports tests also included the diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec. The  GL earned an “Excellent” overall score and stands out as an exceptionally well-crafted package. It offers a plush, quiet, and roomy interior; very comfortable seats; and a long list of convenience and safety features. The GL also provides enough room for seven people to sit comfortably, surprisingly good fuel economy, and plenty of towing capacity. The GL lost points for poor performance in one of CR’s emergency handling tests.

New Kia Cadenza Makes Impressive Debut

 Also tested, Kia’s Cadenza made an impressive debut in the large sedan category. It scored an 86 and earned a spot near the top of Consumer Reports large sedan ratings. It edged out the Toyota Avalon, which was once a benchmark in the large sedan category.

“The Cadenza banishes any lingering thoughts that Kia is just a manufacturer of cheap, unrefined cars. Pulling off that high score requires a long list of positives and very few faults.” said Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports.

Thanks to its better ride and handling, the Cadenza also outscores the Hyundai Azera, which shares its platform and powertrain. The cabin is quiet, well-finished, and spacious. Controls are super-simple, rare in a loaded luxury sedan. The refined 3.3-liter V6, which is mated to a smooth six-speed automatic transmission, delivers ample power and a respectable 22 mpg overall.  Ride comfort is very good, but the Cadenza lacks the placid isolation of the best-riding cars, such as the Buick Lacrosse and Chevrolet Impala.

Complete tests results for the Acura MDX, Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluestem, Kia Cadenza, as well as results for the Mitsubishi Outlander and Chevrolet Cruze Diesel appear on www.ConsumerReports.org today, and in the October issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands September 5.

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