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Can this new MDX serve as the new flagship for the Acura brand?
Since the demise of the Legend sedan, Acura has been hurtin' for a flagship vehicle. The 3.5RL was pretty much invisible by the time the MDX was launched in 2001. Even with the 2004 redesign of the RL, it hasn't captured many buyers attention. The moniker "RL" is damaged goods and the car, while pretty good, isn't good enough in the face of several others re-introduced at the same time.
In the past, it has been the contention of many MDX enthusiasts (myself included) that the MDX served as the brand's flagship from 2001 through 2004. While not the most luxurious vehicle in the line, it was the most luxurious vehicle that anybody knew about. In its early days, it chased the M-Class right out of the segment and gave the RX300 a run for its money.
After a six-year run, the current MDX is, of course, looking pretty silly as a flagship. The interior is dated, the driving dynamics (while good for an early CUV) are no longer up to snuff, and its lacks many important features. Others have rightly suggested that the 2006 MDX makes a sad statement as a flagship for the brand.
Enter the much-improved 2007 model.
This begs the question, "what makes a flagship the flagship?" And opinions will differ on that. But I'll ask anyway... Can this new MDX serve as the new flagship for the Acura brand?