Buyers seeking a blend of luxury and utility have plenty to choose from in the premium SUV/CUV segment including an increasing number of models that offer a third row as standard equipment. Albeit that the third row may rarely be used and the space is normally tight, it is one of those things that you never know you need it until you don’t have it — like a full-sized spare tire.
2014 Acura MDX
Overview Premium SUV with impressive handling
Pros Handling, ride quality, quiet cabin and cylinder management
Cons Tight third row, upgrade packages can get pricey
Value for money Excellent with the Navigation package
What would I change? Redesign center stack, add a seven or eight-speed transmission
When Acura MDX was first launched in 2000 (as a 2001) it was considered to be state of the art for an SUV.
The 2014 version, manufactured in Alabama, has continued the tradition with more technology than the first space shuttle. In addition to the plethora of technology changes include a longer platform, weight reduction, LED headlights and a smaller V6 engine with direct-injection and multi-cylinder management. All of this translates to better fuel economy and performance, plus improved ride quality.
Handling remains among the best in the segment giving the MDX a higher than average fun-to-drive quotient. The suspension is key however technology in the form of an Integrated Dynamic System control increases the fun factor when the Sport Mode is engaged. This setting tightens the steering feel, advances the throttle response and even increases the noise level of the engine. The standard all-wheel drive also plays a role in sharpening the handling by splitting the torque front to back and side to side and of course help you drive through snow clog roadways.
These aforementioned features also work in harmony with several active safety devices such as stability control to keeping the shiny side upright if you push too hard when cornering or crash avoidance situations. Ride quality is better than previous models even when equipped with the lower profile 19-inch tires that are standard on the Navigation model.
The smaller V6 engine with direction injection and multi-cylinder management can operate on just 3-cylinders when cruising, contributing to impressive fuel economy ratings that I was able to improve upon during real world highway driving. And premium fuel is no longer required, although recommended. The six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, performed flawlessly, although it would interesting to see what a seven or eight-speed transmission could do to further improve fuel economy. Acceleration runs are slightly quicker to 100kmh averaging 7.8 seconds. Stopping from the same speed required only 39 metres. Maximum towing capacity has been retained at 2,268 kg.
Interior appointments are first class with leather seating, 10-way adjustable driver’s seat and eight-way passenger’s seat and both are heated and cooled with the Navigation package. Even the steering wheel is heated. I found the front seats to be very comfortable and offered good lateral support during cornering. Second row seating offers plenty of legroom and there is a single button to gain access to the third row. It may be easy to enter but the third row but space is very limited a not comfortable for adults
The gauges and controls are driver friendly especially the dedicated screen for Navigation that is place high on the dash and a separate screen that enables audio and climate adjustments without interrupting the navigation. A multi-angle rear view camera makes reversing safer, especially in parking lots. Finally noise reduction technology has contributed to make the MDX the quietest SUV I have driven.
Crash tests by NHSTA resulted in a 5-Star overall rating and IIHS testing resulted in 5 Good ratings and a 2014 Top Safety Pick. It is worth noting that the US now requires the results of the NHSTA crash tests to be included on the window sticker for new cars. The optional Navigation package includes value added safety features such as blind spot warning, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning. The latter is useful during highway cruising should someone slow unexpectedly or when driving in foggy conditions. Warranty coverage is five years/100,000 km on major components.
Engine 3.5-litre V6 direct injection with variable-cylinder management
Power 290 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 267 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission Six-speed automatic with sport mode and paddles
Brakes Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Tires P245/55 R19
Price: base/as tested $49,990/$54,690
Destination charge $1,600
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100km) 11.2 city, 7.7 highway
Standard features All-wheel drive, headlight washers, heated windshield, power moonroof, leather seating and push button start
Notable options Surround sound, hard disk drive, raining sensing wipers, navigation system with voice recognition and forward collision warning.
2014 Buick Enclave
Overview Large, comfortable highway cruiser
Pros Quiet cabin, smooth ride, good outward sightlines, center air bag
Cons Super-sized minivan styling, dated dash, marginal handling/braking, thirsty
Value for money Good for the Premium model
What would I change? Update exterior and interior styling, improve handling/braking and fuel economy
Buick sold more than one million vehicles in 2013, only the second time in its 110-year history. Although 800,000 of that total number were sold in China, the North American market remains strong for Buick who have introduced a number of smaller, sportier Buicks intended to attract younger buyers.
But its best selling model in America has been the Enclave, that experienced a 6 per cent increase in sales in 2013. This full-sized SUV with Greyhound bus-like dimensions with three rows of seating and plenty luxury features although the Enclave is starting to look a tad dated, especially the interior. Needless to say the aforementioned characteristics, along with library quiet cabin and a silky ride, are what help attract buyers to the Enclave.
The plush ride that makes long sojourns relaxing results in handling characteristics that are soft, that become more noticeable at higher speed or when pushed hard into corners. The big SUV can get loose in a hurry, although the electronic nannies are quick to react. Performance from the V6 produced 0 to 100 kmh in the nine-second pedestrian neighbourhood; more than adequate for freeway entrances. Braking from 100 km/h required a rather lengthy 42 metres of real estate. Towing capacity is 2,268 kg. The entry level model has an attractive MSRP however it comes with front-wheel drive and cloth seats. Add the Premium package, plus all-wheel drive, moon roof and a few luxury touches and the price quickly accelerates to equal or pass the competition.
The interior offers luxury and comfort, sort of like entering the lobby of a grand old hotel. The front seats are comfortable although lack side bolstering and the second row seats are available as captain chairs. Entry to the third row is user friendly and there is a surprising amount of legroom once seated. The gauges are easy read and controls are intuitive to use. The multi-purpose screen (climate, audio and navigation) is a tad low, whereas the small analog clock is placed high in the center – a preferred slight-line for a navigation screen. Overall the appearance seems little dated – perhaps it is just too much wood.
GM has changed the warranty coverage on the powertrain by extending the timeframe from five years to six years, however reducing the total kilometres from 160,000 km to 110,000 km. Crash test results included 5 Star overall from NHSTA and 4 Good ratings from IIHS. On board safety includes a so-called centre air bag that is mounted in-board on the driver’s seat to prevent the front seat occupants “bumping” together in the event of a violent crash. A long list of active safety equipment comes with the Premium group including lane departure and blind spot warning, forward collision warning and rear cross traffic alert — worth the extra cost. However all-wheel drive, sun roof and eight-passenger seating are additional options.
Engine 3.6L V6 direct injection
Power 288 hp @ 6,300 rpm, 270 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3,400 rpm
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km) 13 city, 8.6 highway
Brakes Four-wheel disc with ABS
Tires P255/60 R19
Price: Base/As Tested $41,795/$55,730
Destination charge $1,600
Standard Features Leather interior, heated and cooled front seats,
Notable options All-wheel drive, colour touch navigation system, power tilt-sliding sunroof
Comparison: The Buick Enclave is a comfortable and competent SUV with more interior room and is better at accommodating six or more people than the Acura MDX. The Enclave’s ride quality is smooth but not quite as the smooth as the MDX. The same can be said about cabin noise level — the Enclave is quiet, however, the MDX is quieter.
The biggest differences are in the performance of the vehicles. When it comes to handling, braking, and acceleration the MDX is clearly superior. In the end, the MDX simply ticks more boxes than the Enclave including better fuel economy and lower sticker price.
Source : https://driving.ca/acura/reviews/comparison/comparo-2014-acura-mdx-vs-2014-buick-enclaveThank you for visit my website