Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Acura MDX Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Acura MDX Overview

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Still a Favorite with the Car Buying Public

Few vehicles enjoy the kind of success the Acura MDX has experienced. Nearly two years after its introduction, sales for the luxury SUV are still strong. Given this fact, Acura has made very few changes to the 2002 model. The LATCH system (lower anchors and tethers for children) is now standard as is a two-position memory outside driver's mirror and memory driver's seat. The MDX has also earned a "best pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its performance in their frontal off-set crash test.

The MDX's success can be traced directly to its roots. Acura engineers based their SUV on Honda's Odyssey minivan, a platform capable of delivering many of the features today's SUV buyer demands. It has a third-row seat that easily folds into the floor, creating a large, flat cargo area. That same flat floor extends to second row seats, providing middle passengers with a level place to rest their feet. The MDX's contoured front seats are some of the most comfortable in this segment, although the manual lumbar support could use a power upgrade. The interior plastics and woodtone trim are not as upscale as those found in the Lexus or Mercedes, but the quality is first rate, with everything fitting tightly together. The navigation system is extremely accurate and helpful.

On the road, the MDX offers a controlled, stable ride. Only once did it falter, after an encounter with a large dip in the road. Off-road, the MDX tends to bounce a bit, but never feels unsure or off track. The engine is smooth and very powerful and the five-speed electronic transmission delivers crisp, precise shifts. The real pleasure in driving the MDX is its car-like ability to negotiate turns and twists. After weeks of testing truck-based SUVs, it was a joy to be in the MDX, both around town and on the highway.

As good as all of this looks on paper, the MDX is not hands-down the best luxury SUV on the market. Beyond its stellar reputation for reliability, the MDX is best summed-up as a good vehicle with a very steep price tag. A fully-loaded MDX Touring is priced just a hair under $40,000. For that tidy sum of cash you get leather seats, an on-board navigation display, a Bose sound system, power seats with memory, a power sunroof and automatic climate control. What may strike you as odd are the items missing. At this price, all windows—not just the driver's—should have the one-touch up/down feature; likewise for the sunroof, whose controls are awkwardly placed so that only the driver can operate them. The steering wheel mounted controls are not lit for night driving and the Bose sound system sounds rather like the standard stereo. Also, be sure to take notice of the complex heat/ventilation controls, which are split between a dash-mounted console and the navigational touch-screen display.

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