2002 MDX New Car Test Drive
Introduced last year, the Acura MDX was quickly named 2001 North American Truck of the Year by a group of 50 independent automotive journalists.
It's not hard to see why. The Acura MDX offers an outstanding V6 powertrain, seven-passenger seating, and a four-wheel-drive system that prevents skids almost before they occur. These benefits come wrapped in a neat though not flashy package packed with the calm attention to detail expected of Honda's luxury brand. It's also a package that provides excellent crash protection.
For 2002, the MDX has been further refined for a quieter ride with new side mirrors, a sound-absorbing roof liner, thicker windshield glass, and a layer of Thinsulate insulation in key areas throughout the interior. The 2002 MDX also gets an intermittent rear windshield wiper and the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child-seat securing system for the second row of seats.
MDX powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
MDX ($34,700) comes standard with a long list of luxury and convenience features: leather seating surfaces and leather door inserts; wood-patterned trim; keyless remote entry; power windows, door locks and mirrors; power tilt and sliding moonroof; cruise control; seven-speaker AM/FM/cassette stereo with in-dash CD player; power adjustable front seats; alloy wheels and a multi-function digital trip computer.
An optional Touring package ($2600) adds a killer 200-watt, eight-speaker Acura/Bose music system with in-dash six-disc CD changer; a keyless remote linked to the two-position driver's seat and mirror memory system; eight-way adjustable passenger seat; roof rack; an outside mirror that tilts to track progress while backing up; and special alloy wheels.
The optional Acura Navigation System with DVD ($2000) needs only one disc to cover the entire continental US. My favorite among navigation systems for its intuitive simplicity, the Acura system holds some 3.7 million points of interest ranging from ATM machines to restaurants and hospitals. If you want to pick up some cash, make a stop at the nearest Chinese take-out and then locate an emergency room for your over-indulgence, it is all at your beck. A novel addition to the nav system, uniquely appropriate for a vehicle equipped to seek out the uncharted outbacks, is a feature that leaves electronic bread crumbs on screen. No road visible under the little wedge-shaped marker that represents your vehicle? Not to worry. This nav system leaves a line that you can easily retrace back to where there be no more dragons.