Crossover & Midsize

Does Acura Make the Best Luxury SUV for a Large Family?

If you have more than five family members, squeezing everyone into a sedan or compact SUV isn’t going to work. Most car shoppers with big families opt for three-row SUVs with at least seven seats. Many shoppers also appreciate a lot of standard safety features, especially those driving with young kids on board. If your budget permits, many luxury SUVs fit this bill perfectly. The Acura MDX ranks highly on the U.S. News list of the Best 7-Passenger Luxury Vehicles. If you’re in the market for a new family car, here are some reasons why the 2020 Acura MDX may be worth a look.

Smooth and efficient operation

Under its hood, the Acura MDX has a 3.5-liter V6 capable of 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a nine-speed transmission and comes with standard front-wheel drive, though all-wheel drive is optional. Acceleration is excellent for a car the size of the Acura MDX.

Critics also praised the overall driving experience inside this SUV. The Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system is fun and engaging, which isn’t common for a family hauler. The MDX also rides smoothly, so drivers won’t have to worry about little ones being jostled around in the back.

Bussing around multiple family members to various functions can use a lot of gas. Fortunately, the Acura MDX’s fuel economy is one of its biggest strengths. Models with front-wheel drive get the best numbers – an estimated 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on highway drives.

Plentiful interior space

The inside of the MDX is definitely built for accommodating a lot of passengers. The cabin and second row can comfortably fit adults, but the third row is best left to children or pets. Standard Smart Slide Walk-in, which folds and slides the second row with just one button press, is a nice touch.

In terms of overall cabin quality, some felt that the MDX is a little lacking compared to its rivals. Still, it has standard leather upholstery, and the seats themselves are quite supportive. For children’s safety seats, each second-row seat has LATCH connectors, and there are tethers in place for third-row passengers. 

In the cargo area, there are 38.4 cubic feet of space with the second row folded. Once the third row is down, you get an additional 30 cubic feet of trunk space. There’s also a hidden compartment under the cargo floor for storing smaller items.

Entertaining features and advanced safety functions

RELATED: The 2020 Cadillac XT6 Doesn’t Even Compare to the Acura MDX

The Acura MDX has plenty of technology to keep everyone occupied during long drives. Smartphone integration, an eight-speaker stereo, automatic climate control, a moonroof, and six USB ports are included. You can also add on a rear-seat infotainment system to distract any backseat drivers from boredom.

Passengers in the cabin can enjoy a dual-screen infotainment system, but only the bottom screen has touch capability. Additionally, many critics like Edmunds found the system frustrating to navigate. Edmunds noted that the menus were confusing even after many uses.

The MDX is also well-equipped with useful safety features. Adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning with braking, lane-keeping assistance are all standard, plus a back-up camera. Even more features are available, such as parking sensors, a surround-view camera system, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic alert.

More affordable than other luxury SUVs

The MDX offers luxury SUV buyers a great bargain. The base model only costs around $44,400. With all the extra features added, you can expect to pay around $60,000.

In contrast, the most basic trim of a Mercedes-Benz GLE costs almost $57,000. Fully loaded, it can cost up to $78,000. Considering all its great features, the Acura MDX really is an excellent pick for families.