Crossover & Midsize

A 2020 Acura MDX Might Be More Affordable Than You Think

Honda’s luxury division has manufactured a lot of great vehicles. The Acura RDX was recently named the best luxury compact SUV by U.S. News. The ILX sedan features just as much technology and interior comfort as other luxury competitors, minus the high price tag. Another highly affordable model is the Acura MDX SUV.

While its MSRP is pretty standard for a luxury SUV, drivers will save more money on total ownership costs. The MDX is the latest winner of Kelley Blue Book’s Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own award. What does it have to offer and what makes it so affordable?

The latest Acura MDX model

The 2020 Acura MDX can seat up to seven passengers on high-quality leather upholstery. The front seats even come with standard heating. The headroom in the second row is a little tight, and the third row should be reserved for smaller occupants. KBB also liked how easily the second row can be moved to gain access to the third row.

The MDX SUV doesn’t have the most remarkable engine, but it still provides ample power. It’s a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission plus front-wheel drive. 

All-wheel drive is available for an upcharge, but it slightly lowers the MDX’s gas mileage. It can get 23 mpg combined city/highway, which is pretty good for an SUV its size. As for driving performance, many critics describe the MDX as fun to drive and agile even while rounding corners.

The Acura MDX also comes with a long list of standard technology. The base trim comes with smartphone integration, Bluetooth, and plenty of USB ports. The AcuraWatch safety suite comes with features like cruise control, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assistance, and automatic emergency braking.

One unique thing about the MDX is that it comes with two touchscreens on the center stack. Many reviews note that this can be a confusing adjustment and the controls aren’t very intuitive. However, the graphics are crisp and the screen has no problems registering user inputs.

Low maintenance costs

One of the big reasons the Acura MDX won KBB’s award is that it’s surprisingly cheap to maintain. Luxury vehicles are made with more expensive materials, which means they’ll cost more to repair than the average car. Luxury dealers may also charge more than regular dealers just to give the car a tune-up.

According to Edmunds, the average Acura MDX requires around $4,500 worth of maintenance over five years. By comparison, the Infiniti QX80 may cost over $5,000 to maintain over the same period. The Acura MDX’s impressive gas mileage also helps ownership costs low each year.

High resale value

RELATED: Older Acura MDX Models Have a Serious Transmission Problem

New cars depreciate rapidly during their first few years, especially luxury models. iSeeCars states the average depreciation rate for a luxury SUV is 51.6 percent. Some Lincoln SUVs even have rates as high as 66 percent.

The Acura MDX still suffers from rapid depreciation, but it still manages to stay below the average. The 2016 Acura MDX’s cost has only declined by 49 percent since its release.

The Acura MDX is more affordable than the competition

The price of a base Acura MDX is a little over $44,000. If you opt for all the available features, the car will cost closer to $60,000. One of its competitors, the BMW X5, has a minimum price tag of nearly $59,000. 

Once you start adding expensive upgrades, the total price can easily pass $100,000. Many other luxury models, like the Audi A7, cost thousands more than the Acura MDX with worse gas mileage. The 2020 Acura MDX provides a nice balance of technology, performance, and value.