2019 Acura MDX A-Spec SH-AWD Test Drive

?2019 Acura MDX A-Spec SH-AWD?
Upgraded Luxury and Performance added plus First A-Spec Model

The latest iteration Acura MDX rolls out with enhanced luxury appointments, an upgraded interior treatment along with additional exterior color choices. The 2019 model lineup includes for the first time, the popular A-Spec sport appearance package.


The best-selling three-row luxury SUV ever, also offers an available Active Damper System and expanded wheel and tire options.
The 2019 MDX featuring standard AcuraWatch? technology and available Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive? starts with a base sticker of $44,300 (excluding $995 destination and handling) while the new MDX A-Spec begins at $54,800 with standard SH-AWD?. The 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid, on sale this fall, will join the 2019 MDX lineup.
The MDX underwent a major design refresh in 2017, with key technological updates added in 2018. The 2019 Acura MDX comes with new interior enhancements designed to heighten the luxury content level. 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 feature standard 4-way power lumbar adjustments, while the Technology and Entertainment packages get an updated second-row seat configuration, making for easy passage to the third row. The MDX with Advance Package adds trim-exclusive matching wood center console trim.


The 2019 MDX serves up an all-new A-Spec sport appearance package, which comes with standard Acura’s torque-vectoring Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive?. The A-Spec features a more athletic stance heightened by its 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 add significantly to the exterior sporting nature of the MDX A-Spec.
The Interior enhancements include 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.


The A-Spec?s power is supplied by a 3.5-liter , SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC V6 engine with Direct Injection and a Drive-by-wire-Throttle. The naturally aspirated V6 pumps out 290 horses at 6,200 rpm while also developing 267 pound feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. Energy is geared to the SH-AWD system?s four wheels through a 9-speed sequential SportShift automatic transmission with Paddle Shifters, which has been improved to provide a smoother, more fluid feedback feel in normal driving by prioritizing second-gear starts.


Standard safety fare in addition to the braking features included: Driver?s and Front Passenger?s Airbags and Side airbags, Side Curtain airbags with rollover sensor; Driver Knee airgbag; VSA, ABS, EBD, BA, Agile Handling Assist, TPMS and Latch system for child seats. The Tech Package comes with A-Spec models and provides the Nav system along with a host of other Driver assistive safety features such as: Collision Mitigation Braking System? with Forward Collision Warning; Lane Keeping Assist; Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning.
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.
My 2019 Acura MDX test vehicle was in A-Spec trim wearing an exterior finish coat of Performance Red Pearl complemented by a Black interior with Ivory contrasting piping. The base Monroney read $ 54,800., while the addition of the exterior color upgrade along with the Destination and Handling charge bumped the final tally to $56,195.


The 2019 A-Spec version of the Acura MDX shares mechanical componentry and technology with the rest of its MDX stablemates, with the exception of the new MDX Sport Hybrid. The major difference is the enhanced and sporty cosmetic treatment. The A-Spec MDX displays a bold and athletic persona that is superior to other MDXs.
Acceleration is brisk and instantaneous, and the progression through the 9 gears is smooth and virtually seamless. The steering is spot and responsive and the handling characteristics are thereby sporty. The ride quality is firm without being harsh, and is comfortable and stable.


It?s possible to spend less for an Acura MDX, and it?s also possible to spend significantly more, depending entirely upon one?s taste and feature requirements.
Whatever personal choice is made results in the acquisition of a highly desirable and luxurious SUV.


Base Price: $54,800.
Price as Tested: $56,195.

Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter, SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC V6 with Direct Injection and Drive-by-wire-Throttle.

Horsepower (bhp): 290 @ 6,200 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 267 @ 4,700 rpm Transmission: 9-speed automatic with sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters.

Drive Train Transversely mounted front engine / SH-AWD

Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut, 25.0 mm stabilizer bar and Amplitude Reactive Dampers.
Rear ? Multi-Link, 26.5 mm stabilizer bar and Amplitude Reactive Dampers.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front), ABS, EBD, BA and TPMS.

Tires: Continental CrossContact LX Sport 265/45 R20 104H mounted on 5-?V?-spoke Anthracite finished alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length Overall: 196.2 inches
Width: 77.7 inches
Height: 67.4 inches
Curb Weight: 4,275 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 19.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg-city / 25-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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