The 2014 Acura MDX came to Tischer Acura a while back. But ever since making its debut in the automotive industry, the Acura MDX has received numerous accolades such as earning 5-star ratings on all New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) front-crash and side -impact tests conducted by the NHTSA and being voted as AutoGuide’s Utility Vehicle of the Year! While the MDX is a standout vehicle, it’s just one SUV in a sea of competition. So how are car buyers supposed to feel confident that the MDX is the right vehicle for them? After all, it’s not like you can be in two or three places at once and test drive all the competitors’ cars. So we’ve taken the guesswork out of the cross-comparisons for you! Today we’ll compare the 2014 Acura MDX against some stiff competition—the 2014 BMW X5 XDrive 35i and the 2014 Audi Q7 3.0T Premium Quattro Tiptronic. While all three vehicles are stellar in their own right, you will quickly see why we feel the Acura MDX holds many advantages over the BMW X5 or Audi Q7.
Comparing the Numbers—Cost, Value, Fuel Economy
One of the first things car shoppers are concerned about is price. Keep in mind that the Acura brand is parent company Honda’s luxury vehicle line; so of course, the MDX doesn’t tout an average-car price tag. Still, when compared with the X5 and Q7, it beats the competition for base MSRP. The X5 even has a higher destination charge.
Residual value is another number to keep in mind. How much value does each model retain over time? After all, if you’re going to invest in a luxury car, you want to get your money’s worth when you are ready to get another vehicle. After 36 months, the Acura MDX retained 60% of its value – beating both models! In addition, after 60 months the MDX retained more residual value than the X5.
While an SUV has many attractive qualities for modern drivers, fuel economy can be a challenge. Happily, when compared to the X5 and the Q7 the MDX offers better fuel economy for city, highway, and combined mpg.
It is important to note that all three models offer the same warranties when it comes to basic time and mileage. However, the Acura MDX offers a better powertrain warranty for both months and mileage.
So we’d say when it comes to crunching the numbers, the 2014 Acura MDX has these two competitors beat.
Comparing the Amenities—Exterior and Interior Features
Let’s remember we’re comparing luxury SUVs, so it should be expected that these base models will have more-than-satisfactory comfort and convenience features. First, let’s look at a list of features that all of these models offer.
- Automatic climate control
- Power windows and locks
- Universal garage door opener
- Cruise control
- Power liftgate
- Remote keyless access
- Multi-function remote that activates anti-theft, door locks, panic alarm, perimeter lighting and liftgate
- 2nd row split-bench seats
- Automatic headlights
- Perimeter, exterior, cargo area, and map lighting
- Seat back storage
Now that you know what these vehicles have in common, the next question is: what are the standout features that separate the models that you, the driver, would really appreciate? Here are some key points you might like to consider:
- While all three models offer automatic climate control, only the Acura MDX also has standard rear-seat heating and air conditioning controls.
- The Acura MDX and BMW X5 both have the same memory adjustments (2-memory adjustments for the driver’s side include automatic/delayed locking, automatic headlights, exterior mirrors, steering wheel and seat), but the Audi Q7 only offers optional automatic/delayed locking and automatic headlights memory settings.
- The MDX and X5 both have a standard moonroof, whereas the Q7 moonroof is an option.
- The 2014 Acura MDX and BMW X5 offer standard keyless ignition; this feature is optional for the Audi Q7.
- The MDX has more standard steering wheel-mounted controls.
- RearView camera is standard for the MDX and optional for the X5 and Q7.
- Even though all three models offer 2nd row split-bench seats, the MDX also has standard 3rd row split-bench seats. This is an optional feature for the X5 and an unavailable feature for the Q7.
- While all three models have a multi-function remote, the MDX and X5 have additional remote features—control for power windows and the sunroof.
- As far as storage details go, the Acura MDX includes cargo area tiedown (not available for the X5, standard for the Q7) and front armrest storage (not available for the trims of the other two models).
- The Acura MDX and Audi Q7 are both 7-seaters, while the BMW X5 seats five passengers.
- When it comes to cabin size, the MDX has better shoulder room for the front, rear, and 3rd row seating areas and better front legroom.
- All three models have front power outlets—three for the MDX, four for the X5, and five for the Q7.
Which vehicle do you think is the winner for the features assessment? It really depends on what features are most important to you. That being said, the 2014 Acura MDX at a bare minimum (by these lists) seems to be on par with the 2014 BMW X5, but for a better price tag. That’s definitely worth keeping in mind.
Every car manufacturer wants to produce vehicles that ensure the safety of their drivers. Otherwise, let’s just say, these car manufacturers are going to be in big trouble. So how safe are the MDX, X5, and Q7?
Since we’re talking about bigger vehicles, sight lines are definitely a concern. As we pointed out, the 2014 Acura MDX is the only model of the three that offers a standard rearview monitor. Both the MDX and X5 offer hill start assist—a feature that prevents a car from slipping forward or backward when on an incline. HSA is not available for the Q7. Other safety features that are common denominators for these vehicles are anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, brake assistance, the same type and placement of airbags throughout the interiors, and child seat anchors. Additionally, all offer a tire pressure monitoring system and vehicle and radio theft-deterrent systems.
At the time of researching these comparisons, the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 had not yet undergone many of the safety crash tests performed by the NHTSA. The 2014 Acura MDX has a slight advantage here as it has undergone rigorous testing already. The MDX has earned 5 stars (top marks!) for front-driver, front-passenger, front-side, and rear-side crash tests. It also earned 4 stars in the rollover crash test.
By virtue of default, it would seem the 2014 Acura MDX is the victor in the safety area. Fortunately, the NHTSA test results confirm the 2014 Acura MDX truly is a safe vehicle by industry standards.
We’ve given you a lot to think about with the model comparisons we’ve made today. We stand behind the information we’ve shared with you and the research Acura has assembled to help us help you in alleviating the overwhelming experience that car shopping can be. If the details of the 2014 Acura MDX that we’ve shared today resonate with you, we invite you to come down for a test drive and see the MDX in action. Simply click on the button below—we hope to see you at the dealership!