The latest best-selling Acura’s 2016 version may look similar to the previous one, but in actual, you find a lot changed behind the chiseled exterior. To begin with the MDX crossover is now equipped with a ZF 9-speed automatic. Now the ratio is widespread with the expansion of three more gears compared to the earlier six-speed, which turn keep the 3.5 Liter V-6 engine’s 290 horsepower and torque efficiently supplied.
The previous combination of six-speed and 290 horses certainly did not lag behind, but Acura is aiming at improving the EPA estimates for its vehicles in whatever way it can. Understandably the luxury arm of Acura is more comfortable providing with a nine-speed auto transmission that the CVT. Engaging the lowest gear catapults the MDX with an overall ratio of 20.4:1 and it achieves the 0-60mph dash in 5.9 seconds which is half a second faster than the 2014 version we tested and with a six-speed automatic box. The vehicles then go on to achieve the quarter mile in 14.6 seconds speeding at 94-mph which also quicker by three-tenths.
Gear shifting is quick and is torque clipped and before you finish spelling “Acura” it goes into the second cog. However, fast shifting does not find the right gear necessarily, and it goes into a higher gear when you are into the 20 to 35mph speed range. Lots of shifting happens as a whole.
No levers here, instead we use buttons for driver inputs, and the case is same with the TLX sedans with a nine-speed transmission. It takes some time to learn but eventually you will catch it, but doing a swift three-point U-turn would instigate the craving for a shift lever from the Neanderthal familiarity. The buttoned setup also makes you remove your eyes from the road and search the buttons by bending. Moreover, the button clatter occupies the same space as the lever centered shifter on the console.