’14 Honda Odyssey due at dealers by July 2

2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.

2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.

BY GERRY MILES

When Honda introduced the Odyssey in NY years ago, the press kit featured King Kong climbing a skyscraper as it overtook Gotham. It turned out to be an apt description as perhaps the standard-bearer of minivans is oft considered to be the Honda.

The 2014 edition is slated next month in dealerships with a raft of styling changes, a 6-speed automatic in every trim level to boost fuel efficiency and the world’s first in-car vacuum the HondaVac, allowing everyone to keep the family truck clean.

It will go on sale with a starting MSRP of $28,825, representing only a $150 increase in base price for a thoroughly revised Odyssey equipped with additional standard features for increased convenience.

The rest of the press release with all the minutiae can be found below.

With the addition of a standard 6-speed automatic transmission paired to the 3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), the Odyssey further solidifies its place as the fuel economy leader in the minivan segment with all 2014 models offering EPA fuel economy ratings of 19/28 mpg1city/highway (model-year 2013 EPA ratings were 18/27 mpg on all models except Touring and Touring Elite).Further enhancing occupant safety, the 2014 Odyssey receives the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. The reinforced frontal structure improves frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes. With the revised structure, the 2014 Odyssey is anticipated to earn the highest rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in the stringent new IIHS small overlap frontal collision test. The Odyssey is expected to be the first minivan to earn a TSP+ from IIHS.

For 2014, the Odyssey continues with its successful model grade strategy: five different available trim levels include the well-equipped base LX model, EX, the leather-trimmed EX-L, the feature-packed Touring, and the line-topping Odyssey Touring Elite. A DVD Rear Entertainment System (RES) and Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition3 are available on EX-L models and above.

New exterior colors for 2014 are Modern Steel Metallic and Obsidian Blue Pearl. Interior colors include Beige, Gray and Truffle for the new high-quality fabric that features a refined and dynamic new weave pattern on LX and EX models, while the EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite feature leather upholstery. A full range of genuine Honda accessories is also available.

New Features by Trim Level:

Odyssey LX:

  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • 4-way power front passenger seat
  • Expanded View Driver’s Mirror
  • One-touch turn signals
  • Next-generation Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
  • Bluetooth® streaming audio
  • Pandora® interface
  • Short Message Service (SMS) text function

Odyssey EX adds:

  • LaneWatch™ blind spot display
  • Push button start with keyless access system
  • HondaLink™ featuring Aha™ compatibility
  • Wiper-linked headlights

Odyssey EX-L and EX-L RES add:

  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

Odyssey EX-L Navi and Touring add:

  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera

Odyssey Touring Elite adds:

  • HondaVAC™ integrated vacuum system
  • HD Radio™
  • Neural 5.1 Surround™ audio

Advancing the Odyssey
In redesigning the Odyssey for 2014, Honda’s goal was to reinforce and expand upon the vehicle’s already great features, including the exceptional value for money that already defines the Odyssey for its target buyers: Gen X and Gen Y families. Odyssey aims to surprise and delight by adding upgrades and amenities, making it once again the top pick among individual buyers.

Powertrain
The 2014 Odyssey features a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V-6 engine producing 248 hp at 5,700 rpm and 250 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. Honda’s i-VTEC® enhances power delivery while Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) helps maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

With the 2014 model, Honda has targeted best-in-class fuel economy ratings for all trim levels. As a result, the transmission has been upgraded to a 6-speed automatic across the model range, replacing the 5-speed automatic previously found on the LX, EX and EX-L. EPA fuel economy ratings are now 19/28 mpg1 city/highway for all trim levels, up 1 mpg in both city and highway for the LX, EX and EX-L trims. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions certification4 remains an impressive ULEV-2.

Body
Refined and youthful, sporty and advanced, the Odyssey’s refreshed styling adds new premium elements for 2014. Highlights include new black-trimmed headlights, new available fog lights, a new muscular hood, and black-surround grille for an upscale appearance. New body-color matched side mirrors and additional bright chrome trim add to the premium appearance. New rear styling and LED taillights with clear lenses and eye-catching perimeter “light pipes” add to the polished look.

Weight savings come from the use of aluminum for the hood, front fenders and front suspension lower control arms. The LX model features 17-inch steel wheels with premium covers, while EX and EX-L models utilize 17-inch premium aluminum alloy wheels. Touring and Touring Elite models feature 18-inch premium sport aluminum alloy wheels.

The 2014 Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models have a wiper-linked headlight system that automatically turns on the headlights when the front wipers are activated. In addition, new standard one-touch turn signals improve convenience for the driver when making routine lane changes. With this system, one flick of the turn-signal lever provides three blinks of the turn signals – ideal for changing lanes. Pressing the lever past the “click point” provides continuous blinking.

A new keyless entry system with push button start on EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite allows the driver to approach the vehicle, open the door and start the engine – all without touching a key. The system only requires the driver have possession of the key fob. The system also simplifies opening the sliding side doors and tailgate – locking all doors when leaving the vehicle requires only touching the lock button on any door handle.

Interior
Redesigned instrumentation, new trim and fabric, and upgraded electronic features and functionality make the 2014 Odyssey interior ideal for families. Design changes include upgraded meter illumination and interior lighting, chrome-trimmed instrument dials and door handles, a new available 7-inch touch-screen, and a repositioned DVD player for the available Rear Entertainment System. Updated styling and a change from blue to white halo lighting make the instrumentation easier to read. Similar changes make the climate control easier to operate.

All 2014 Odyssey models and trim levels get an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror. The driver’s side mirror provides a 19-percent increase in visible area, offering an enhanced view of objects that might otherwise be hidden in the vehicle’s blind spot. Included on Odyssey EX, EX-L and Touring models, the Honda LaneWatch™ blind spot display provides an expanded rear view of the passenger side roadway. The system uses a camera mounted on the bottom of the passenger door mirror, which when activated by the right turn signal or the signal-stalk LaneWatch™ button, displays a live, 80-degree view of the passenger-side roadway, compared to 18- to 22-degrees typical of a standard door mirror.

A rearview camera is standard on all Odyssey models. Odyssey LX, EX and EX-L models feature a single-angle “Normal View” display, while EX-L Navi, Touring and Touring Elite models have a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with wide, normal and top-down views – all with improved optical quality. All rearview camera systems feature guidelines.

HondaVAC™
The Odyssey Touring Elite features the first minivan in-vehicle vacuum cleaner system, HondaVac™ which is designed to help families keep the minivan interior neat and clean. Engineered for dry use, the HondaVAC™ operates on the vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system, and its performance easily surpasses that of a handheld rechargeable vacuums.

Integrated in the rear cargo area of the vehicle, the HondaVAC™ includes an extendable hose that can reach every corner of the vehicle. Two separate head attachments expand versatility, while a removable debris canister and replaceable filter bag makes maintaining the vacuum easy. To protect the vehicle battery’s state of charge, the HondaVAC™ runs up to eight minutes with the ignition turned to the Accessory setting – or continuously if the engine is running.

Audio & Entertainment
Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models have new intuitive touch panel controls that reduce button clutter on the center stack. An upper 8-inch display and a lower 7-inch display provide a simpler overall interface improving usability.

When paired to a compatible cellular phone, Aha™ and Pandora® interfaces are available on EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models. XM® Radio is included in EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models, a HDD audio system comes on the EX-L Navi, Touring and Touring Elite models, and a rear DVD player is standard in EX-L RES, Touring and Touring Elite models. The Touring Elite also features HD Radio and new Neural 5.1 Surround™ audio.

Audio system output is 240 watts for Odyssey LX, 270 watts for EX, EX-L and EX-L RES, and 246 watts for EX-L Navi and Touring. The premium audio system in the Odyssey Touring Elite has 650 watts. All audio systems have seven speakers except for the Touring Elite, which features 12 speakers.

Simplified pairing and enhanced functionality with smart phones improve the Odyssey’s telematics for 2014. HandFreeLink® is included on all models, and Bluetooth® audio streaming, SMS and email functions are available with compatible smartphones. Additional features include a phonebook, call history, speed dial and contact picture. Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite include HondaLink™ featuring Aha™ which offers content from hundreds of channels through a tethered compatible smartphone.

The Rear Entertainment System (RES) on the EX-L RES, Touring and Touring Elite models features upgraded control layout and screen quality. This system features improved placement of the DVD player and more intuitive operation for the rear audio controls. Screen resolution is VGA on EX-L RES and Touring models, and the Touring Elite’s upgraded ultra-widescreen offers four times higher resolution.

Safety
With the application of the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, significant structural changes to the unit-body were made, including more extensive use of high-strength steel in the A-, B- and C-pillars, roof rails, floor rails, front body area, and front subframe. As a result, the front door opening is now stronger, with less chance of deformation in a frontal collision.

The previous Odyssey achieved a top Good rating in IIHS Front Crash, Side Crash, Rear Crash and Roof Crush tests. For 2014, the Odyssey is targeted to add a GOOD rating in the IIHS’s rigorous new Small Overlap Barrier Test and be among the first minivans to receive the highest IIHS rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+.

Newly available on the Odyssey, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) help the driver indentify potential collision situations. Using the Odyssey’s front camera module, FCW warns of a possible collision with a vehicle detected in front, while LDW notifies the driver of departures from detected lanes5. The two systems are packaged together on Odyssey EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models, and provide visual and audible warnings.

North American Development and Manufacturing
The Odyssey represents Honda’s robust product development capabilities in North America with its design, engineering and assembly all taking place in the U.S., using domestically and globally sourced parts. Designed in Los Angeles and engineered at Honda R&D America’s in Ohio, the Odyssey is manufactured6 by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Inc. Currently, 95 percent of all Hondas sold in the U.S., are built in North America.

2014 Honda Odyssey Pricing and EPA Data
Model Transmission MSRP2 EPA Rated
City/Hwy/Combined MPG1
Odyssey LX 6-Speed Automatic $28,825 19/28/22
Odyssey EX 6-Speed Automatic $32,125 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L 6-Speed Automatic $35,625 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L w/ RES 6-Speed Automatic $37,225 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L w/ Navi 6-Speed Automatic $37,625 19/28/22
Odyssey Touring 6-Speed Automatic $41,880 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L Touring Elite 6-Speed Automatic $44,450 19/28/22

Connect with Honda:
Media Newsroom (for journalists): http://www.hondanews.com/
For consumers:  http://automobiles.honda.com/odyssey/
YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Honda
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda/
On Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Honda

1 Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

2 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) excluding tax, license, registration, $830 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

3 Certain functions that rely on a satellite signal will not work correctly in Hawaii and Alaska. These functions include but are not limited to automatic clock updates and time zone adjustments.

4 ULEV-2 (Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle) models as certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

5 FCW cannot detect all objects ahead and may not detect a given object; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and other factors. System operation affected by high interior heat. FCW does not include a braking function. Driver remains responsible for safely operating vehicle and avoiding collisions. LDW only alerts drivers when lane drift is detected without a turn signal in use. LDW may not detect all lane markings or lane departures; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and road condition. System operation affected by extreme interior heat. Driver remains responsible for safely operating vehicle and avoiding collisions.

6 The Odyssey is built using domestically and globally sourced parts.

The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd is under license; Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and its subsidiaries; Pandora, the Pandora logo and other Pandora marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pandora Media, Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide.

Acura debuts campaign for new MDX: Made for Mankind

The 2014 Acura MDX Made For Mankind campaign.

The 2014 Acura MDX Made For Mankind campaign.

BY GERRY MILES

Apparently needing to underscore the importance of its vehicle being used for daily use, Acura has rolled out a three-part media campaign called “The Extremely New MDX – Made for Mankind” to highlight the all-new 2014 MDX SUV.

The series will show how the luxo suv connects to the driver, the road and wherever they might be going – ahem, in style – in the national ad rollout

There are three distinct video concepts as part of the campaign.

  1. Human Race” is the anthem spot evoking Acura’s dedication to creating vehicles performing in harmony with the driver.
  2. Re-Invention” depicts how the MDX has been re-thought and improved to the point that the only remaining component of the previous generation model is a small metal bracket.
  3. Choose,” focuses on the MDX’s all-new Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with three driving modes: Sport, Normal and Comfort to suit the tastes of the driver.

“The all-new 2014 MDX is the benchmark for luxury SUVs. We’ve advanced the current MDX’s already great dynamic performance, while improving fuel efficiency and luxury comfort and styling,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations at Acura. “The new MDX campaign captures Acura’s unique perspective on luxury defined by the quality of the driving experience, where the vehicle performs at the will of the driver.”

Acura partnered with its new creative agency-of-record Mullen (Boston and LA) and with MediaVest, the new media agency-of-record for the brand, in the development of the new campaign. This is the first campaign from Mullen and MediaVest since the agencies were hired in March of this year.

“The most emotionally resonant big ideas are born from an absolute truth about a brand, and Acura’s own designers and engineers will tell you, everything they consider and eventually create starts with the human beings behind the wheel,” said Gary Robinson, manager, national advertising and brand at Acura. “Luxury as the result of synergy between man and machine. That harmony was our guide – and all of our work will seek to tell that story in ways that consistently elevate the brand’s prestige.”

The 2014 MDX went on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide on June 20, 2013. Built on a completely new platform, the seven-passenger 2014 Acura MDX offers outstanding ride comfort, a more versatile and luxurious cabin, increased fuel efficiency, advanced connectivity and exceptional dynamic performance. The MDX is also being offered for the first time in a more affordable and even more fuel-efficient two-wheel-drive configuration.

The “Human Race” TV spot can be seen by clicking here.

Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 272 dealers within the United States. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the all-new MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and RLXluxury flagship sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sedan and Sport Wagon, the ILX compact luxury sedan, and the RDX luxury crossover SUV.

How to

  • Connect with Acura:

Honda adds Accord Hybrid to 2014 line this fall

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

  • Class-leading 49 mpg EPA city fuel economy rating1 anticipated
  • Shares sedan’s design highlighted with hybrid styling accents
  • Honda’s first hybrid to be assembled2 in Marysville, Ohio
  • Accord Hybrid to go on-sale nationwide in October 2013
BY GERRY MILES

Honda released the first pictures of its all-new 2014 Accord Hybrid that will join the 2014 model year lineup.

To differentiate it, the hybrid will sport a hybrid bad, blue-accented grille, LED daytime running lights and rear spoiler.

Power will come from the two-motor hybrid power train that’s shared with the Accord Plug-In. The hybrid provides three different driving modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive – catering to the driver’s desire to optimize fuel consumption.

  • EV Drive: uses the lithium-ion battery to run in electric-only mode at lower speeds and in medium to high speed cruising.
  • Engine Drive: sends the engine power directly to the front wheels
  • Hybrid Drive: the 124-kilowatt (kW) electric motor and all-new 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine combine for powerful acceleration while allowing for efficient driving in stop-and-go traffic situations. Accord Hybrid is anticipated to obtain a class-leading mid-size sedan EPA fuel economy1 rating of 49/45/47 mpg (city/highway/combined).
2014 Honda Accord Hybrid interior

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid interior

Inside, the Accord Hybrid’s well-appointed and intuitive layout provides the driver with instant fuel economy and energy flow information for efficient driving performance.

Key among the features, and one that I really liked once I got used to it, was Honda’s  LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, an industry-first that debuted on the Accord last fall. Other options include Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW), an 8-inch color i-MID display, perforated leather-trimmed seating surfaces, cloud-based HondaLink™ featuring Aha™ compatibility, seven-speaker audio system with Bluetooth® streaming audio, Pandora® interface and XM® Radio, and a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines.The 2014 Accord Hybrid features the same next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure as the 2013 Accord, along with Honda’s new SmartVent™ front-side airbags. Like the 2013 Accord, the 2014 Accord Hybrid is expected to earn top safety ratings including an NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score and a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid will be the first Honda hybrid vehicle assembled in Ohio and the second built in the U.S.

How to Connect with Honda:

For consumers: http://automobiles.honda.com/accord-hybrid/
YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Honda
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Honda

1 Preliminary mileage ratings determined by Honda. Final EPA mileage ratings not available at the time of printing. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

2 Honda cars are built using domestic and globally sourced parts.

2014 Acura MDX priced at $42,990 or $990 less than 2013

2014 Acura MDX

2014 Acura MDX

MDX flagship SUV now available with Two-Wheel Drive, direct-injected powertrain, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, versatile interior,  AcuraLink™ Next Generation services
BY GERRY MILES

Acura’s flagship SUV, the all-new third-gen MDX with room for 7, goes on sale with an MSRP of $42,990 or $990 less than the 2013 model it replaces. The delivery charge adds another $895 to the tab before options and other fees.

New for 2014 will be a two-wheel-drive MDX – which begets the smaller price tag of $42,990.

MDX will be sold in one of what Acura calls grades, each available with front-wheel drive or Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

Engine power comes from an all-new direct-injected, 290 hp, 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 rated with 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque (both SAE net).

Another first includes the MDX with standard Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), switching  between 3- and 6-cylinder modes, depending on engine load and driving conditions for better fuel efficiency.

The new mill replaces the a 3.7-liter engine, offering an 8-percent increase in torque at engine speeds below 2,750 rpm for greater overall responsiveness.

It’s quieter, has a tad longer wheelbase, improved ride and drive, and the usual refinements one can expect and appreciate in a top-notch SUV luxuoliner.

The full presser, stats, options and pricing can be found below. Read on.

TORRANCE, California.

The all-new 2014 MDX, the third generation of Acura’s acclaimed 7-passenger luxury performance SUV, goes on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide tomorrow, offering comfort, connectivity and performance every luxury customer wants at a price that no other luxury brand can match. Available for the first time in a new two-wheel drive model, pricing for the 2014 MDX begins with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $42,290*, a substantial $990 reduction in starting price versus the outgoing 2013 model.

The 2014 MDX adds a bevy of new standard features – including Smart Entry with Push Button Start, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, exterior and interior LED lighting, Extended Slide second-row seating with One-Touch Walk-In for third-row access, an 8-inch On-Demand Multi-Information Display touchscreen, Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, a powerful 432-watt Acura sound system, and an acoustic glass front windows and windshield.

The range-topping MDX with Advance Package boasts a wide range of new technologies and features, including Lane Keeping Assist System, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, remote engine start with an extended range of at least 300 feet, a new Ultra-Wide DVD Rear Entertainment System with HDMI connectivity, and front and rear parking sensors.

Optional Acura Genuine Accessories for the 2014 MDX includes standalone features such as a heated steering wheel, LED fog lights and a Trailer Hitch ATF Cooler Kit (allowing for up to 5,000 lbs. of towing).

The all-new 2014 MDX offers even higher levels of luxury comfort and quietness, together with exhilarating dynamic performance, class-leading fuel economy ratings, and advanced safety features, and an even more luxurious, technology-packed and versatile passenger cabin.

Developed on an all-new platform that is optimized in every respect for the needs of today’s luxury SUV buyers, the 2014 Acura MDX is powered by a new 290-horsepower direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 powertrain with fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management technology. The new MDX, similar to its flagship sedan counterpart, the 2014 RLX, harnesses a host of Acura signature technologies including AcuraLink® Next Generation services and Agile Handling Assist to deliver on Acura’s “Synergy between Man and Machine” product direction, and the idea of creating vehicles that truly respond to the will of the driver.

The 2014 MDX is the third generation of Acura’s top-of-the-line SUV to be designed, developed and engineered in North America. Production of the new MDX and its powertrain will take place at the company’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Alabama.1

In designing the new MDX, Acura engineers built on the foundation of its excellent dynamic performance with a focus on three core values: class-leading fuel efficiency, new levels of luxury comfort, and top-level safety performance. At the same time, they sought to further enhance dynamic performance while maintaining the MDX’s core appeal – the family-friendly, 7-passenger cabin in a nimble exterior size and appearance.

ALL-NEW PLATFORM
New from the ground up, the 2014 MDX has a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase, and is lower and narrower for reduced frontal area and enhanced fuel efficiency. With high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium comprising 64-percent of its body structure, the 2014 MDX is 275 pounds lighter than the previous model with the lightest published weight in its segment, which directly contributes to improved acceleration, nimble handling, and class-leading fuel economy ratings. A redesigned MacPherson strut front suspension and new multilink rear suspension, along with new Electric Power Steering (EPS) give the MDX even greater agility and confidence-inspiring dynamic performance. The standard Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) lets drivers select their preferred driving mode (Comfort, Normal or Sport) to suit their mood and the driving conditions. Standard on the MDX, a signature Acura technology called Agile Handling Assist selectively uses the vehicle’s brakes to improve corner traceability and impart confident handling feel.

POWERTRAIN
Power comes from an all-new direct-injected 3.5-liter i-VTEC V-6 rated at 290 peak horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. of peak torque (both SAE net). Closely related to the powerplant in the new 2014 Acura RLX luxury sedan, this 24-valve V-6 engine is Acura’s second Earth Dreams™ Technology engine, which features a next-generation set of advancements that greatly enhance both driving performance and fuel efficiency. For the first time, the MDX has standard Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), which switches seamlessly between 3- and 6-cylinder modes, depending on engine load, effectively varying engine displacement to match driving conditions for improved fuel efficiency.

Compared to the 3.7-liter engine it replaces, the 3.5-liter V-6 in the 2014 MDX offers an 8-percent increase in torque at engine speeds below 2,750 rpm for greater overall responsiveness. Due to improved operating efficiency, horsepower output per liter is up two percent and torque output per liter is up 4.4 percent compared to the previous model’s engine. Together with the 2014 MDX’s substantial reduction in curb weight, overall performance is enhanced, including quicker 0-60 mph times and 8-second quicker lap times on Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschliefe (North Loop), where both the new and outgoing model were extensively tuned and tested.

The efficient new engine is paired with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Sport Shift, and available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). For the first time ever, the MDX is available with front-wheel drive, which saves weight and enhances fuel economy ratings. This new 2-wheel-drive MDX is EPA rated at 20/28/23 mpg2 (city/highway/combined), a 28-percent increase in the EPA combined rating versus the previous SH-AWD model (the only drivetrain configuration previously available). The 2014 MDX with SH-AWD has a remarkable 17-percent increase in its EPA combined fuel economy rating versus the previous model, reaching class-leading ratings of 18/27/21 mpg2 (city/highway/combined).

INTERIOR
Perfect for kids or clients, the MDX interior is a luxurious and accommodating passenger compartment with roomy seating and a second-row seat with reclining seatbacks and a new Extended Slide feature that offers a total of 6-inches of fore-and-aft travel. Additionally, a new kid-friendly One-Touch Walk-In feature greatly improves access to the third row of seating, and a wider, lower step-in enhances convenience and usability. Cabin quietness and overall refinement have been dramatically improved, with hundreds of measures aimed at reducing noise, vibration and harshness, including thicker, 3-layer acoustic glass for the windshield and front side windows, thicker rear door glass, new triple side-sill door seals and Active Noise Control technology.

Repackaging of the rear-seat climate control system allows for a large center console storage space, concealed beneath the sliding, leather-trimmed center armrest. About 2 inches deeper and wider, and almost 5 inches longer, the main compartment offers 2.5 times more volume than the previous model and is large enough to accommodate a moderately sized purse, tablet computers and more. This is a key MDX advantage in the class, where many competing models offer little center-console storage.

AUDIO AND CONNECTIVITY
Acura customers have high expectations for state-of-the-art connectivity and entertainment. Enhanced connectivity in the 2014 MDX is made possible by the next-generation AcuraLink™ system, which offers thousands of media channels via Aha® mobile, all delivered via the owner’s internet-linked smartphone and data plan. There is also a host of new available assistive and convenience features, including collision notification, remote unlocking, stolen-vehicle tracking and surface-street traffic information, all delivered via built-in cellular technology (subscription fees are applicable).

The new MDX will also thrill audiophiles with its available music entertainment features. Four audio systems are available, starting out with the standard 8-speaker, 432-watt (up from 253 watts) Acura Sound System, and topping out with the Advance Package, which features an Acura/ELS® Studio 12-Speaker Audio System with new ceiling-mounted speakers, a 546-watt amplifier and 5.1-channel surround sound.

The available Technology and Entertainment package adds a DVD Rear Entertainment System with a ceiling-mounted 9-inch full VGA screen, while the MDX with Advance Package features a Rear Entertainment System with an all-new ultra-wide 16.2-inch full WVGA screen – the largest and highest resolution screen ever offered in an Acura vehicle. The system also includes a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) port to allow the attachment of high definition players and compatible gaming consoles, along with standard composite video and audio inputs. A 115-volt power outlet is rated for devices up to 150 watts.

Both the AcuraLink™ and Acura/ELS Studio® systems take advantage of a 2014 MDX’s new 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD™) touchscreen with haptic feedback. The addition of the ODMD, along with other interior changes, allowed engineers to reduce the number of hard buttons in the center stack from 41 in the previous generation MDX to just nine in the all-new 2014 model.

The MDX with Technology Package and above grades feature the latest generation Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ (now available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico). The MDX navigation system features an 8-inch high-resolution WVGA backlit color display and now also includes surface street traffic data, allowing the driver to choose faster, less-congested routes. The system offers a new level of convenience with AcuraLink, allowing users to send destination information to the MDX via the AcuraLink Connect phone app (with the available Connect Package).

SAFETY AND DRIVER’S ASSISTIVE 
Utilizing Acura’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, along with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag, the MDX is anticipated to earn the highest possible safety ratings – a 5-Star NCAP Overall Vehicle Score from the federal government and a “TOP SAFETY PICK+” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in the IIHS’ new rigorous small overlap frontal collision test.

Available safety systems include available Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and an available Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS).

The new MDX offers an impressive array of advanced driver-assistive, and information and media technologies. These include the standard next-generation AcuraLink™ connected car system with collision notification (Connect package required), a standard Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and Expanded View Driver’s side mirror, along with available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Information (BSI) system.

MDX MODEL RANGE
There are four MDX grades, each available with front-wheel drive or Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

  • The well-equipped MDX has standard leather trimmed first- and second-row seats with heating on the front row, Smart Entry with Push Button Start (front doors and rear hatch access), a 432-watt audio system with 8-speakers, 18-inch alloy wheels, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, and more.
  • The MDX with Technology Package adds 19-inch alloy wheels, Smart Entry for all four doors, the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, a 501-watt Acura/ELS® Studio audio system with 10-speakers, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Blind Spot Information (BSI) System and more.
  • The MDX with Technology and Rear Entertainment Package adds a 529-watt Acura/ELS® Studio audio system with 11-speakers and HD Radio™, a DVD rear entertainment system with 9-inch display, rear-passenger window sunshades, and other features.
  • The top-of-the-line MDX with Advance Package includes unique 7-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels, a 605-watt Acura/ELS® Studio audio system with 12-speakers, the Acura DVD Ultra-Wide Rear Entertainment System with 16.2-inch display, perforated Milano leather first- and second-row seating and ventilated front seats, front and rear parking sensors and remote engine start, along with Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Collision Mitigation Brake System, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, and additional luxury features.
TRIM MSRP* EPA Ratings2
MDX $42,290 20/28/23
MDX with Technology Package $46,565 20/28/23
MDX with Technology and Entertainment Package $48,565 20/28/23
MDX with Advance Package $54,505 20/28/23
MDX with SH-AWD $44,290 18/27/21
MDX with SH-AWD and Technology Package $48,565 18/27/21
MDX with SH-AWD and Technology and Entertainment Package $50,565 18/27/21
MDX with SH-AWD and Advance Package $56,505 18/27/21

About Acura
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 272 dealers within the United States. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the all-new MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and RLX luxury flagship sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sedan and Sport Wagon, theILX compact luxury sedan, and the RDX luxury crossover SUV.

Connect with Acura: 
Consumer Information: www.acura.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Acura
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Acura_Insider
YouTube: www.youtube.com/acura
Flickr: www.flickr.com/acuranews
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/acura
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+acura

1 The MDX is built using domestically and globally sourced parts.

2 Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, vehicle options and destination charge of $895.00. Dealer prices may vary.

 

Chrysler, NHTSA to work out Jeep recall situation

BY GERRY MILES

After initially rebutting the request for a recall on alleged safety issues from NHTA, and drawing a large spotlight upon itself in the name of consumer safety, Chrysler issued the following statement yesterday on the situation, saying that it was sure a voluntary, visible recall effort would be effective. Below is the full statement from Chrysler.
Chrysler Group LLC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have resolved their differences with respect to NHTSA’s request to recall 1993-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Jeep Liberty vehicles.

As a result of the agreement, Chrysler Group will conduct a voluntary campaign with respect to the vehicles in question that, in addition to a visual inspection of the vehicle will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle to better manage crash forces in low-speed impacts.

Chrysler Group’s analysis of the data confirms that these vehicles are not defective and are among the safest in the peer group. Nonetheless, Chrysler Group recognizes that this matter has raised concerns for its customers and wants to take further steps, in coordination with NHTSA, to provide additional measures to supplement the safety of its vehicles.

Chrysler Group regards safety as a paramount concern and does not compromise on the safety of our customers and their families.

Shooting stars: Benz photos from fans

Benzfoto

Photography competition: co-create the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Classic calendar
BY GERRY MILES

With the proliferation of prosumer cameras, image photography software and many folks owning a superb eye but just lacking the right audience to appreciate it, auto aficianados of Mercedes-Benz now have the chance to show off their car and camera skills.

This year fans can submit their best Benz photo via Facebook for the popular calendar. A jury will select the winning images.
“Shooting Stars 2014 – photography from Fans for Fans”: Mercedes-Benz Classic is looking for twelve exceptional images for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Classic calendar.
There is virtually no restriction on the image other than to feature a Benz.
The chosen photograph of a vintage or young classic (built prior to 1994) can be uploaded between until July 13, 2013 using an app on the Mercedes-Benz Museum’s facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/mercedesbenzmuseum).
In the first qualifying round, the Facebook community will judge the entries. The final selection will be made at the end of July when a jury will choose the 12 final images for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Classic calendar from the 100 most popular entries.
Members of the jury include US photographer Royce Rumsey, an iconic figure in the genre of classic car photography. Teymur Madjderey, a photographer and blogger from Cologne, will also be on the jury.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz Classic calendar will be available from October of this year from the Museum Shop at the Mercedes-Benz Museum or online priced at 29.90 euros:

Mini releases ’14 models, prices

BY GERRY MILES
In Mini’s complete minimalist style – the release just had the cars and prices, short, concise and to the point. Herewith are the 2014 Mini models and prices below:
Complete 2014 MINI Lineup Pricing and Equipment Updates 

Model/Variant                       MY2014                     MY2013

MINI Coupe

Cooper                                   $21,450                      $21,450

Cooper S                                $24,750                      $24,750

John Cooper Works               $31,350                      $31,350

MINI Roadster

Cooper                                    $25,550                      $25,550

Cooper S                                 $28,550                      $28,550

John Cooper Works               $35,700                      $35,700

(MY 2013) MINI Hardtop

Cooper                                    $19,700                      $19,700

Cooper S                                 $23,300                      $23,300

John Cooper Works                $30,100                      $30,100

MINI Clubman

Cooper                                    $21,400                      $21,400

Cooper S                                $25,100                      $25,100

John Cooper Works               $32,300                      $32,300

MINI Convertible

Cooper                                    $25,150                      $25,150

Cooper S                                 $28,150                      $28,150

John Cooper Works               $35,300                      $35,300

MINI Countryman

Cooper                                    $22,100                      $22,000

Cooper S                                 $25,700                      $25,600

Cooper S ALL4                        $27,400                      $27,300

John Cooper Works ALL4      $34,950                      $34,850

MINI Paceman

Cooper                                    $23,300                      $23,200

Cooper S                                 $26,900                      $26,800

Cooper S ALL4                       $28,600                      $28,500

John Cooper Works ALL4      $35,600                      $35,500

(MY2013) MINI John Cooper Works GP        $39,250

MINI Cooper Clubvan             $25,295

*Pricing in this document DOES NOT include the Destination and Handling charge of $795. The current charge is effective for all vehicles delivered on or after May 1, 2013 (regardless of model year).

Lineup Equipment / Technology / Pricing Changes

Production of MY2014 MINI vehicles begins July 1, 2013.

The only models that will have a price increase for the MY2014 are Paceman and Countryman; however, for the $100 increase, all variants of those two models will come equipped standard with heated mirrors and washer jets.

There will only be one premium package moving forward, which will include the dual pane panoramic sunroof, rain sensor / automatic headlight control and automatic climate control. The cost for this option package is $1,250.

A new package, called City Pack, will be offered on all models and will include the alarm system, power fold mirrors, heated mirror and wash jets, auto dimming rear-view mirrors (interior and exterior), rear park distance control and comfort access. The cost for this package will be $1,250.

Specific Option Changes by Model

Countryman and Paceman

The Center Rail in Countryman and Paceman vehicles will be replaced by standard double cup holders in the rear seats.

  • The Countryman’s cup holder will include a 12V charging / power outlet.
  • Paceman’s cup holder will also include a 12V outlet as well as an iPod holder.

Countryman’s rear doors will have a padded arm rest and a bench seat will be standard (a bench seat is the only rear seat configuration available for Countryman).

Paceman will be equipped with Comfort Suspension as standard, and the Sport Suspension will be a no-charge option.

Beginning in MY 2014, MINI will offer both interior and exterior John Cooper Works Packages for Paceman and Countryman models, so Cooper and Cooper S owners can opt for the sportier design cues and color combinations, even if they don’t choose to upgrade the performance.