2007 Acura MDX First Drive

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited March 2014 in Acura
Are you considering a new MDX? Check out our First Drive and post your comments here.

First Drive: 2007 Acura MDX


  • rsrtampaa3rsrtampaa3 Member Posts: 2
    Overall, I thinks it's a nice looking vehicle and will most certainly be of good quality and reliability. It doesn't however have the grace and chicness of the new Q7 even though Acura blatantly copied the Audi rear end.
  • cmk248cmk248 Member Posts: 5
    I think the new MDX is just in time, I think with all the standard features that it is a much better buy than anything in its class in terms of standard features and of course price. Looks like I will buy one.
  • bmwconvertbmwconvert Member Posts: 75
    Overall, the 2007 MDX looks good and the performance and more luxurious features are welcome. My main gripe is the reduced size of the rear panel window. Now just a triangle shape, I suspect it will make the 3rd row passengers (i.e. my kids) claustrophobic. Will have to see it at the showroom. Very happy with our 2002 MDX, and will likely replace it with this model.
  • argeliusargelius Member Posts: 64
    "The Technology package features Acura/ELS Surround Sound. That means six channels of information contained on a DVD-audio disc can be played through its 10-speaker, 410-watt system. Until you've experienced one of these systems, you can't begin to understand how amazing it sounds."

    I used to have a TL. While the DVD-Audio discs do sound great, unless something has changed, it seems like a dead technology, with very few discs available (despite continued hype about how "that's going to change...""
  • trjnfliptrjnflip Member Posts: 1
    it's for design. if you had a bigger rear panel the overall vehicle would look larger. but with more metal and less green house it makes the vehicle look smaller and more athletic.
  • accordfreakaccordfreak Member Posts: 39
    I've always liked what Honda does. This looks like a very promising update, long over due IMHO. I can't wait to see it in person and test drive. Now that we're finally ready to purchase a 3 row seat vehicle, I want to compare how comfortable that is compared to others (yes, I know its mainly for kids and that is who'll use them in my case). Since we keep our cars on average for 8 yrs this is an investment. I just wish they had a different grill. I hate the GMC drilled aluminum look :cry: .
  • scottm123scottm123 Member Posts: 1,501
    Hopefully for your needs, the back seat has gotten bigger.
    My '06's third row is barely large enough for 2 leprechauns.
    (And then there's no room for their pots of gold in the remaining cargo area.) ;)
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Member Posts: 4,277
    As a curent 03' Touring owner with 87k flawless miles, I was eager to see what Honda would do the next time around. it appears that they have a improved in the areas most needed (Interior, tighter handling, very competitive power) while not abandonin the core characteristics that made the MDX a hit in the first place.

    The styling is evolutionary in a good way. Much more sporty but still as elegant as the first gen. I could do without the gaudy grill but the styling is typical Honda "unoffensive".

    It'll sell well just like the first one did. Excellent effort.
  • whodat50whodat50 Member Posts: 2
    we recently lost our 06 inifiniti fx35 in an auto accident...just a month after buying it. :sick: so now we're out shopping AGAIN for a suv. we didn't go back to infiniti b/c, to be honest, we weren't thrilled with it...no 3rd row, price, and the ride was terrible. what a surprise. :surprise: this time around, we put a deposit down & we're waiting (between the 17th & 31st) for our new MDX with tech & entertainment pkg. we'll end up paying MSRP for it, but even at MSRP it's still got the lowest price in it's class, best options/technology, and the styling has really improved. it's a nice car...not as nice looking as the q7, but at $10K less than a similiarly equipped q7, the acura looks just fine. can't wait. :)
  • jeffxpjeffxp Member Posts: 33
  • genemachine2genemachine2 Member Posts: 6
    I did my own "first drive" when the '07 MDX arrived at my local Acura dealer today. I was very impressed! It's quick, agile, well-mannered, responsive, and well-appointed. Feels real solid and strong. The front panel is quite busy with controls and buttons, but I'm sure one could get used to that. Can't think of anything negative to say about it. Looks like they've really done their homework with this one! It's a BMW X5-killer:)
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    It sounds as though Acura's engineers corrected the first-gen MDX's major flaw, if it now drives more like a BMW and less like a Honda Odyssey.
  • susanw6susanw6 Member Posts: 32
    I am interested in a midsize SUV with 3rd row and have been considering the new MDX and the Lexus GX470. I was leaning toward the MDX because of the better gas mileage, but when reading further, it seems that the MDX requires Premium gas, where the GX takes regular unleaded. If this is true, it completely negates the 2-3 mpg more that the Acura gets over the Lexus. Any comments? Is the premium requirement true? :cry:
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Any comments?

    Yes, you are being penny wise and pound stupid.

    Both of these are very nice vehicles. But they are quite different as we found shopping a year ago. The 3rd row of the GX is a huge pain in the butt. For anyone that intends to alternate between using the third row seat and using two rows with significant cargo capacity, you better be prepared to detach and lug those fold up seats in and out of the GX. On the other hand, the V8 in the GX would be a better choice for hauling 5 or fewer people and a 5,000 lb. boat or trailer. You better think harder about how you are going to use the vehicle, because from a functionality perspective, they are very different. My wife would have taken the Volvo XC90 V8 over the GX when it comes to third row use/flexibility - and it's a pain compared to the MDX.

    Lamenting :cry: that the MDX uses premium gas and the GX uses regular when both vehicles cost upwards of $45,000 is more than a little silly. In the real world, our MDX gets 23-24+ mpg on the highway and our neighbor's GX gets 18-20 going downhill downwind. That's a 20%+ difference, way the heck more than the difference in gas prices. But even that's a silly comparison. You can get a perfectly nice Honda Pilot (uses regular) and save $15k+/- over the GX in price. That's enough gas to take you halfway to the moon.

    Seriously, get the vehicle that suits your needs and preferences and forget about which pump you will need to pull up to. Or if you really are pained by an extra 15-20 cents a gallon, buy the Pilot, spend $5,000 on an upgraded wood, leather and stereo job, and then send me half of your remaining savings as a consulting fee. I need it for premium gas for my 911, damn Porsche. ;)
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    Getting back to the First Drive...

    I just reread the Edmunds review and came across something odd. At the end of the article, the author lists "drawbacks". (Every article should include something critical, however insignificant.) The first sentence lists two.

    "If there are drawbacks to the 2007 Acura MDX they are its grille and price."

    I can certainly understand the grille being an issue. It's got a love/hate thing going on.

    However, when the issue with pricing is revealed, this is what the author has to say...

    "Considering base MSRPs of a comparably equipped BMW X5 3.0i, the Porsche Cayenne and the Volvo XC90 V8, we think the MDX is priced just right."

    So, lemme get this straight. Being priced "just right" is a drawback? If that's true, my price-o-meter needs a serious recalibration. I've been going about this all wrong.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    The story also complains that "Honda and Acura are notorious for implying that there are no options on any of their vehicles" so maybe that's a way of saying the base is priced right but few will settle for the base trim and when you add the Nav or entertainment system the price balloons?

    I visited family last week. My sister learned for the first time that Acura was a Honda product. :blush:
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    Get Walton in here. He's got sum 'splainin to do. :shades:
  • susanw6susanw6 Member Posts: 32
    Habitat1, you need to relax. We're all veeeery impressed that you have a Porsche!
    I don't pay consulting fees to people who spew their unsolicited opinions, namely recommending a Honda Pilot over a Lexus, when I never asked for the advice. And no,it is not silly to take into account the cost to fuel a car these days when gas costs are higher than they have ever been. It is just smart shopping to consider all things when making a $50k purchase, so there are no surprises.

    Perhaps "Porsche owners" don't need to be smart shoppers.
    As far as the cost for gas, in my city Premium costs an average of $.30 more per gallon, not 15-20, as you indicate. At about $6.00 more per fillup, and the fact that I travel 50 miles per day it is something to consider.
    I am not towing anything, nor loading lots of cargo. The third row is simply a convenience for neighborhood children, carpooling, etc.
    So you see, Porsche-man, both cars suit my needs and preferences. Why don't you tone down the name-calling a bit!
  • susanw6susanw6 Member Posts: 32
    See my reply a few messages below......
  • my3rdrxmy3rdrx Member Posts: 167
    Don't feel bad ~ my office manager, who has had both a Honda Accord and Odyssey for years, didn't know Acura was a Honda product either!
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    First, premium fuel is required for the 2007 MDX.

    Moving on... You have every right to be concerned with whatever aspects of the car are most important to you. Some people cannot buy a car they consider ugly and will sacrifice safety for style. Some will sacrifice style to get the most practical car. Others will sacrifice practicality to get the best mileage.

    To each his own.

    Having said that, if your expected usage does not include towing nor hauling lots of stuff, why an SUV? (I assume you're not off-roading, either.) :confuse:

    I mean, a Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, or Town & Country will haul those nighborhood buddies far more effectively, safely, and get 5-10 mpg better mileage on regular dino juice. Each of the three vans I listed can also come pretty well loaded.

    My assumption, and I could easily be wrong, is that you prefer to avoid the mommy-mobile stigma of a van. That's fine. Image is a valid concern.

    And you've also got a valid concern regarding operating costs. At your prices, the additional cost for premium would be $312 per year.

    Obviously, on-road performance is not an issue or you wouldn't be considering that particular Lexus.

    At this point, Habitat's suggestion of the Pilot makes a whole lot of sense. Put aside his frank manner for a moment and you'll see that you could save both the $312 AND roughly 10-12 THOUSAND dollars by going with the Pilot.

    If costs and image are really that important to you, then this is a good option. Or, you've got to clue us in on what your other priorities are.
  • low_ball_88low_ball_88 Member Posts: 171
    Varmint and Habitat1 are right on the money.

    Susan, Why are we even talking about regular and premium gas when you want to buy a $50K vehicle. If you are so worry about spending $$ on gas, take the bus. I am sorry but when you are buying a vehicle in this price range, you should be looking for several things such as styling, features, performance, utility, convenience, etc. AND DEFINITELY NOT GAS MILEAGE OR REGULAR VS. PREMIUM.

    Check out the Pilot and you will realize that you are getting a great car for the money and....Oh, it runs on regular gas. Wow that is the deal of the century.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I have to side with Susan. I won't buy an inkjet printer because I know the consumable costs are more that I want to pay. So I paid more for a used laser printer a while back and have enough toner to last a decade. $300 savings on gas almost pays for a year of car insurance here.

    My3rdrx, my sister did own a Civic years (decades?) ago but your office manager really has no excuse at all with both in the garage. :shades: I guess that means that the Acura, Lexus and Infiniti "rebranding" worked though!
  • susanw6susanw6 Member Posts: 32
    Dear Habitat1, Varmint and lo ball 88,

    Are you all Honda salesmen? Major stockholders in Honda? Your assumption on the van thing is correct. My hubby and I don't want the soccer-mom type vehicle. He is a tall guy and needs lots of leg room. Thats why the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 didn't work. We're also the rare couple that actually keeps both cars in the garage, so we don't want a giant SUV.

    We currently have a Lexus ES 300 and have enjoyed the luxury and terrific customer service. Since we want an SUV with the 3rd row, the Lexus GX seems like a good choice.
    All the hype surrounding the new MDX has piqued our interest. I like its car-like drive, but I like the look of the Lexus better. Although the Pilot may meet the need for 7 passengers, we prefer something more luxurious. Both the Lexus GX and MDX vehicles meet our needs for passengers, luxury and comfort.

    When considering which vehicle to choose, isnt it standard practice to "compare"?! Doesn't Edmunds compare like vehicles side-by-side? Thats what its all about. I didn't mean to stir such contoversy, just clarify the gas requirement, as a feature of comparison. Over the course of a 4 year lease, as I am considering, the gas difference could be $1200. (more if gas prices rise).All other things being equal, I'll choose the car that costs less to operate. If I loved the MDX so much more than the Lexus, it may not matter, but (now don't hate me for saying this), I don't.
    Thanks for all the advice!
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    just clarify the gas requirement, as a feature of comparison. Over the course of a 4 year lease, as I am considering, the gas difference could be $1200. (more if gas prices rise).All other things being equal, I'll choose the car that costs less to operate.

    I'm curious about your calculator. Based on EPA estimate, MDX is rated at 19 mpg, and GX470 is rated at 17 mpg. Over 48K miles, MDX is expected to consume 2526 gallons of gas, and GX470 is expected to consume 2824 gallons.

    At $2.20/gallon for 87-grade and $2.40/gallon for 91 (or 93) grade, we're looking at MDX saving you a whopping $200.

    How did you manage to get $1200? BTW, if gas prices were to rise by 50%, GX470 will burn $500 more of your dollars.

    BTW, doesn't GX470 also use premium grade? Per EPA website, it does. That makes your case, even worse.
  • low_ball_88low_ball_88 Member Posts: 171
    There is no sense in talking about gas anymore. Susan will find out that all (I believe) luxury brands will require premium gas. Good luck Susan in finding a luxury car that recommends running on regular.

    As for printers, Steve, inkjet are basically disposible equipment. The price is so low on the injet printers, why buy replacement cartridge, just chuck it and get a new one. Laser printers are a different story.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I try to drive them forever (printers and cars). :shades:

    You may be interested in the Regular vs Premium gas - what's the consensus? and What about fuel types & gas mileage? discussions. Lots of cars recommend premium these days but not that many seem to require it. Maybe someone will have the energy to go survey a few luxo-SUV specs and let us know. :blush:
  • gene00gene00 Member Posts: 115
    First, premium fuel is required for the 2007 MDX.

    Premium fuel is not required for any newish vehicle with electronic ignition. The computer will automatically retard or advance the timing to adjust for the speed that the gas ignites. Regular gas could slightly degrade your performance (not a consideration for anyone except drag racers), and could reduce your gas mileage (would have to test to know for sure). You won't hurt the engine by running regular in an MDX unless it knocks (which is very doubtful). The most economical choice is to always run regular in your car and if you think it's too slow, or is getting much worse mileage than expected, try a couple of tanks of premium to compare.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    Trying to figure that out isn't even worth it. At 12K/year, $2.40/gallon ($2.20/gallon for regular), the difference would be $10/month. Hardly anything considering we're talking about $45K vehicles.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Habitat1, you need to relax.

    I'm very relaxed. ;)

    We're all veeeery impressed that you have a Porsche!

    Thanks, but I guess YOU wouldn't be impressed that I owned a "lowly" Honda S2000 before that. I still have no hesitation highly recommending the $32k S2000 over the $48k Porsche Boxster to anyone, especially someone that's worried about operating expenses.

    "it is not silly to take into account the cost to fuel a car these days when gas costs are higher than they have ever been. It is just smart shopping to consider all things when making a $50k purchase, so there are no surprises. ".

    Let me clarify, IMO, it IS silly to be lamenting the fact that the MDX uses premium gas that, in my area, costs about 8-10% more than regular, when the MDX gets 15-20% better fuel economy than the GX. You don't need a HP-12C calculator to figure out that the annual fuel cost for an MDX will be LESS than a GX premium vs. regular gas prices notwithstanding.

    "I am not towing anything, nor loading lots of cargo. The third row is simply a convenience for neighborhood children, carpooling, etc."

    Fair enough, but I don't know of anybody who owns a GX that uses the third row seats regularly and/or would call them "convenient". Of all of the people we know that own GX's (5-6), none have more than 2 kids and none do much serious carpooling with it. Frankly, most are owned by lawyers and business people that had the ability to write off the purchase of a 6,001+ lb GVW vehicle (the previous MDX was just short of that IRS threshold).

    "So you see, Porsche-man, both cars suit my needs and preferences. Why don't you tone down the name-calling a bit!"

    I checked and re-checked my last post, and did not find any name calling, Lexus-lady. ;) So go ahead and call me P-man if you want, but just consider that, before you pay $50k for a gussied up Toyota 4-Runner, I'm not the one that can't bring myself down to owning or recommending a Honda product. :)
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    I re-checked and did not find any name calling in my previous post

    I think she is referring to your statement: "you are being penny wise and pound stupid." It doesn't take much of a leap to see it as namecalling so let's try to be a little more careful with our pronouncements.

    tidester, host
  • susanw6susanw6 Member Posts: 32
    O.K., Habitat. Lets be friends. ;)
    Also, Varmint, Steve and Lo ball and everyone else...

    I appreciate all your advice. I am convinced that the difference in fuel costs, if any, is negligible. I still believe though, that it is valid to check and compare all features before committing to a vehicle.

    We can agree to disagree.
  • hpowdershpowders Member Posts: 4,330
    I read something and commented on it but see the poster deleted content I was commenting on, but I wasn't able to delete my post in time.
    It would be nice if we had a little more time to delete.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
  • hpowdershpowders Member Posts: 4,330
    No. It was definitely here. Thought I read something about someone having both a TL and 911. Maybe I just misread one of the posts.

    Thank you.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    The reason I asked is that it appears no posts have been deleted here.

    tidester, host
  • hpowdershpowders Member Posts: 4,330
    Yes. The point was I couldn't delete the post, so I re-wrote the post complaining that I couldn't delete it.

    Just curious to see if anyone who posred here recently has both a TL and 911 and eliminated the TL from the post.

    If not, no more rumcake for me! ;)
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    In past years, Acura's literature has used the term "recommended" when referring to the fuel type for the MDX. With the 2007, they now state "required".

    It is very possible that you could run regular in the engine, however you'd be doing it against the specific requirements of the manufacturer. This probably wouldn't void the warranty or anything, but I don't know that I would recommend it.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Do you happen to know if there's a "premium required" label on the fuel door? There was/is one on the FJ Cruiser but folks have said that the FJ owner's manual says that regular gas is permitted. (steve_, "Inside Line-Long Term Test: 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser" #4, 8 Jul 2006 11:33 am)
  • my3rdrxmy3rdrx Member Posts: 167
    YES ~ there is a label insdie the fuel door of the 07 MDX that says, "Premium Fuel Required"!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Thanks - unless the owner's manual actually says something different, and it won't per Varmint's info, the MDX won't be on my list (nor will it be on the list of those other three people in the US who don't want to feed their car the high test stuff, LOL).
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Friends it is, susanw6, and I do wish you the best in whatever you decide to get. They are both very nice SUV's, as is the XC90 V8 we also considered.

    hpowders - I'm guilty as charged relative to vehicle ownership, but don't recall what post you might be referring to. Pass the rumcake.
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Boy, steve, I don't want to backtrack into a debate about the virtues of regular vs. premium gas. But, in general, I am very skeptical of engines these days that don't require premium.

    The way I look at it, if an engine design doesn't have the ability to take advantage (i.e. maximaize performance) of high octane fuel through high compression, variable valve, multi valve and other design advancements, it shouldn't be in a premium car. I was critical in the past of Toyota/Lexus milking the hell out of their 10+ year old 4.5 liter V8 that probably could have run on old paint. It had a whopping 230 horsepower and when you mashed the gas, sounded and accelerated like anything but what you would expect in a Lexus. They've tweaked it some for the 470 series of SUV's, but it's still, IMO, a generation or two behind the engineering in most other "premium" engines.

    I'm O.K. with my 5 hp Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine running on regular. But if I'm spending $40-50k+ for a "premium" car, I expect it to have premium engineering. You don't go to a custom tailer to have a nice polyester suit made so that it doesn't need to be dry cleaned as much, do you?
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I see your point; makes you wonder what's going to happen when ADM/Cargill manages to put 10% ethanol in all our gas eh?
  • hpowdershpowders Member Posts: 4,330
    I probably read it from your profile.
    Speaking as a real man, no rum cake could actually, really do that to me... Could it?

    I really have to get out more! :surprise:
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Does 10% ethanol diminish octane? I'm woefully behind understanding the advanced agricultural engineering / technology.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I can't keep up either - ethanol has a higher octane rating than gas but it tends to decrease fuel economy since it has fewer BTUs than gas.

    I really should read the The Inconvenient Truth About Ethanol and Is Ethanol good for the environment? discussions. :shades:
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    I'm sure addition of ethanol will impact premium just as much as it would regular grade. Besides, at higher gas prices, the "premium" for premium grade tends to be lower. Usually, premium would be about 20 cents/gallon more than regular grade regardless of regular selling per gallon at $1.50 or $3.00.
  • tyyeh0tyyeh0 Member Posts: 43
    There are not a whole lot of test drive info in this thread...

    anyways, just drove the MDX and overall we liked it. The handling and braking are much improved from the last generations design (although it was a very short test drive with little room to get up to speed). The suspension is
    firm but not harsh.

    I like the styling when comparing side-by-side with the last generation. There were a few RDX's there, and I have to agree with some people that front of the vehicle is not very stylish.

    A few questions for the forum members:

    1) Is there an aux input for mp3 players?
    2) anyone drive one with the sport package? it was not available at the dealer we went to. comments?
    3) how is the visibility? I drove the vehicle, but I have not owned a SUV before. It's hard to compare the visibility of this car to the smaller cars I am used to.
    4) Anyone seen the blue exterior or brown interior? comments?
    5) Do people think the steering wheel has a rather long radius?

    To me, the last generation's MDX was a solid performer in the safety category with ample room for hauling stuff. But
    the handling and braking performance were poor. They've focused on these 2 major issues, and I think they have a very solid car for this segment.

This discussion has been closed.