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The Acura MDX is a stalwart in the automaker’s lineup, and the stylish midsize SUV has retained its place by remaining one of the most popular Acura models and luxury SUVs on the market. So, how does it compare to a relative newcomer to the field, the also eye-catching Genesis GV80?

The 2024 Acura MDX and Genesis GV80 offer a choice of powertrains

Prospective MDX and GV80 buyers are given a choice of powertrains for each model.

The 2024 Acura MDX is powered by either a 3.5-liter V6 delivering 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque or a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 cranking out 355 hp and 354 lb-ft in two Type S trims available at the top of the range. Both engines pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The base and Technology trims come standard with front-wheel drive with AWD available. The rest of the lineup sends its power to all four wheels as standard.

The 2024 Genesis GV80 is exclusively all-wheel drive. It’s powered by either a standard 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivering 300 hp and 311 lb-ft of torque or a 3.5-liter V6 upping the ante to 375 horses and 391 lb-ft of twist. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

According to Car and Driver, either Genesis configuration is faster off the line. The GV80 fitted with the turbo-four engine will scoot from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds, 0.4 seconds quicker than the MDX’s standard engine, while the turbocharged V6 GV80 requires just 5.3 seconds, 0.2 ticks faster than the MDX Type S.

The MDX can haul seven passengers as standard

No matter the Acura MDX’s trim, it sports three rows with seating for up to seven passengers. The Genesis GV80 is a five-seater as standard, with an optional third row.

The GV80 is slightly more spacious for passengers across all three rows, but the MDX is nearly as accommodating in most categories. The GV80’s most notable advantages are 1.7 inches more front headroom and 1.2 inches more third-row legroom. Otherwise, the differences are minuscule, or in the case of second-row legroom, both models offer the same figure, 41.6 inches.

Despite their close passenger accommodations, the cargo-hauling capacities of the two models have notable differences.

 The GV80 offers 11.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the optional third row, 34.9 cubic feet behind the second row, and up to 84 cubes behind the front seats. The Acura offers nearly 5 more cubic feet behind the third row and just over 4 more behind the second row. However, the GV80 provides significantly more cargo room (an additional 12.6 cubic feet) with the middle and rear seats tucked away.

The MDX and GV80 return similar fuel economy figures

The Genesis GV80 is rated by the EPA for 20 city, 24 highway, and 22 combined mpg with the 2.5-liter engine and 18 city, 23 highway, and 20 combined mpg in models with the 3.5-liter V6.

The Acura MDX with front-wheel drive and the standard V6 engine is rated for 22 combined mpg (19 city, 26 highway). MDX models with all-wheel drive are slated to return 21 combined mpg (19 city, 25 highway). Additionally, the Type S model with its standard all-wheel drive has the lowest fuel economy estimated rating at 17 city, 21 highway, and 19 combined mpg.

As such, there’s no clear winner in the fuel economy comparison.

Standout features of the Genesis GV80 and Acura MDX

The MDX and GV80 are chock-full of luxury features throughout their ranges, but each has its own unique amenities available in select trims.

The 2024 Genesis GV80 is highlighted by Genesis’ Digital Key (effectively a smartphone-enabled key), 3D displays for the digital gauge cluster, a 21-inch Lexicon sound system, a microfiber suede headliner, a self-parking system and a blind-spot view monitor, which uses a camera to display a video feed of the GV80’s blind spot on the digital gauge cluster.

The 2024 Acura MDX sports, depending on trim, an intercom system, a 25-speaker ELS sound system, Brembo brakes, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and reclining/sliding middle seats with a removable center seat.

Pricing for the 2024 Acura MDX and Genesis GV80

The MDX and GV80 are close competitors in several key categories, but the Acura has a clear pricing advantage.

The 2024 Acura MDX starts at $49,850, while the base 2024 Genesis GV80 commands $57,450. Of course, the MDX’s starting price is for a front-wheel drive model, and the GV80 is exclusively all-wheel drive. However, a base MDX with all-wheel drive still costs $5,400 less than the most affordable GV80. It can be argued the GV80 is better equipped for its notably higher price, but those who value the bottom line more will undoubtedly be drawn to the Acura.

Overall pros and cons of the MDX and GV80

The 2024 model years of the Acura MDX and Genesis GV80 are both solid options in the midsize luxury SUV class, and each provides plenty of luxe features, agreeable driving dynamics, are attractive inside and out, and cost less dough than their rivals from Germany.

Overall, the MDX’s strong suits over the GV80 are its low base price, eight-passenger and clever seating arrangement, better cargo capacity behind the second and third rows, and the sporty character and looks of the Type S.

The GV80 costs more, but it has a more upmarket feel, standard AWD, more power and outright speed with either engine choice over the MDX, a better warranty, and it can tow up to 6,000 pounds, a half-ton more than the Acura’s max.

As both are solid options, this is a fight that is not decided so much on paper as on the personal needs of individual buyers.

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