Acura MDX vs Competition

The Acura MDX is well-established in the world of three-row luxury SUVs. There are several good reasons for this, including Acura’s excellent reputation for reliability and safety. In order to better illustrate what other advantages the Acura MDX has over its competitors, Joe Rizza Acura has put together the following comparison, which shows how the competition stacks up against the MDX.

Acura MDX VS Toyota Highlander

Acura MDX
Toyota Highlander
2024 Acura MDX Base FWD VS 2024 Toyota Highlander Platinum FWD
$50,150 ✓ MSRP* (excluding destination charges) $49,725
V6 ✓ Engine Type Inline-4
290 ✓ Horsepower 265
10 ✓ Transmission Speeds 8
Double Wishbone ✓ Front Suspension Type Strut
95 ✓ Max Cargo Space (cubic feet) 84.3
61.9 inches ✓ Front Seat Shoulder Room 59 inches
Power, 12-way adjustable for both front seats ✓ Front Seats Power, 10-way adjustable for driver, 8-way for passenger
Standard ✓ Active Noise Canceling Not Available
4 Years / 50,000 Miles✓ Powertrain Warranty Coverage 3 Years / 36,000 Miles
4 Years / 50,000 Miles ✓ Roadside Assistance Coverage 2 Years / Unlimited Mileage

While it isn’t what you would call a luxury SUV in its base trim, Toyota makes a couple of luxury trims of the Highlander, and at the top of the range, the Platinum trim has a price that is almost identical to the MDX, which is why we’ve chosen it for the first matchup. Despite the luxury price tag, the Highlander suffers from several drawbacks rooted in its more mainstream origins. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces a decent amount of horsepower, but the V6 found in the MDX produces more and gives you smoother acceleration. The MDX also mates this V6 with a more sophisticated 10-speed transmission, and comes standard with a double-wishbone front suspension in the MDX, giving you better control while cornering compared to the space-saving strut suspension found in the Highlander.

Both of these are three-row SUVs, but there is still quite a bit that sets the interiors apart. For starters, there is more space in the MDX, both for cargo and for people. There are other touches that make the MDX interior a nicer place to be, such as power-adjustable seats with more adjustments for both the driver and passenger. You’ll also enjoy the peacefulness that results from a cabin with active noise canceling in the MDX. Providing long-lasting confidence and peace of mind, the Acura MDX includes more robust powertrain warranty coverage along with a longer term of roadside assistance coverage.


Acura MDX
2024 Acura MDX Base FWD VS 2024 INFINITI QX60 Pure FWD
$50,150 MSRP* (excluding destination charges) $49,650
10 ✓ Transmission Speeds 9
19 inches ✓ Wheel Size 18 inches
3.0-liter V6 turbo - 355 horsepower ✓ Optional Engine Not Available
Standard ✓ Lane Departure Assist Requires higher trim
Standard ✓ Adaptive Suspension Not Available
Wireless ✓ Apple CarPlay / Android AutoAndroid Auto Wired only
25 speakers ✓ Premium Stereo 17 speakers
Standard ✓ Active Noise Canceling Not Available
2 years / 24,000 miles ✓ Included Maintenance None

At first glance, you might think the Acura MDX and INFINITI QX60 are too similar to tell apart. Both feature a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces nearly identical power numbers, and pricing is within just $500 of each other. But take a look at the details and things start to get less similar. The MDX comes with a more sophisticated 10-speed transmission, which makes it easier to maintain a comfortable engine speed no matter the circumstances. The MDX makes a greater visual impact as well, thanks to standard 19-inch wheels. Even with the optional wheels, the biggest INFINITI offers with the QX60 are 20 inches, compared to the 21-inch wheels you can have on your MDX. And wheels aren’t the only place where the MDX outclasses the INFINITI. There is also the option for a more powerful turbocharged engine, which bumps performance up significantly.

For added comfort, a standard adaptive suspension is included on the MDX - something the QX60 doesn’t offer at all. Both vehicles come with 9-speaker stereo systems as standard, but Acura offers three additional stereo options, with the 9-speaker system being standard only on the base trim. INFINITI offers only one other option, and you have to move up a couple of trims before you can get it, and even if you do, it doesn’t quite measure up to the 25-speaker system available in the MDX, and regardless of what system you choose, we know you’ll enjoy the sound more in the MDX thanks to the active noise canceling which comes standard on the Acura. Finally, you get 2 years of free routine maintenance on the Acura, which is plainly superior to the “none” you get from INFINITI.

Acura MDX VS Audi Q7

Acura MDX Type S
Audi Q7
2024 Acura MDX Type S VS 2024 Audi Q7 55 Premium TFSI quattro
$68,450 MSRP* (excluding destination charges) $65,300
355 ✓ Horsepower 335
10 ✓ Transmission Speeds 8
21 inches ✓ Wheel Size 19 inches
95 cubic feet ✓ Max Cargo Space 69.6 cubic feet
12.3 inches ✓ Infotainment Touchscreen Size 10.1 inches
Wireless ✓ Apple CarPlay / Android Auto Wired only
16 ✓ Number of Speakers 10
Standard ✓ Wireless Smartphone Charging Optional
2 years / 24,000 miles ✓ Included Maintenance None

Last up against the MDX is Audi’s three-row offering, the Q7. This final match-up is useful for a performance comparison, since there is a higher-performance engine available for the Q7, and so we’ll compare that variant with the MDX Type S, the high-performance variant of the MDX. Both of these higher performance models have a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine and all-wheel drive. Acura puts a bigger emphasis on the performance side, so it makes sense that the MDX produces more horsepower. This also explains why the Type S comes with 21-inch wheels, while the Audi is still sitting on the base 19-inch set. Taking a look inside, the MDX offers a lot more cargo space. In fact, you don’t even have to fold the seats down to have more cargo space than a Q7.

The infotainment screen is bigger as well, making it easier to see what you’re doing. While using that infotainment screen, you have the option of wired or wireless operation for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, whereas the Audi only offers these features when connected via a cable. As we saw with the wheels, moving up to the more powerful engine doesn’t mean you get an upgraded stereo in the Audi, but the MDX Type S comes with a 16-speaker ELS STUDIO 3D® Premium Audio System. Lastly, Acura’s included routine maintenance shines in comparison to Audi, where the AudiCare Maintenance program is only available at an additional cost.

Acura MDX Interior

Winner - Acura MDX

As you can probably tell by how close all of the pricing is, this is an incredibly competitive segment. Yet the MDX still manages to stand out from the competition. Other brands can’t match the performance, luxury, and versatility of the Acura MDX. But it’s something that’s best appreciated from behind the wheel, stop by Joe Rizza Acura for a test drive and see for yourself.

*Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or destination and handling charge. Destination & Handling charge for cars is $1,195 and SUVs is $1,350. Premium Paint colors are $600 and not included. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.