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2010 Acura MDX (photos)

The update to Acura's MDX SUV includes minor exterior updates and a serious cabin overhaul. The inside gets the look of luxury, along with some cool new tech features.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET
Acura's SUV has always had more in common with cars than with trucks. From its inception it had an independent suspension and a V-6 engine, with an upscale interior more appropriate for the city than the farm.
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For 2010, the MDX gets some styling changes, notably a flattened nose and more vents in the fascia.
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The MDX relies on a 3.7-liter V-6, good for 300 horsepower. It is not the most advanced engine in the industry and could be made more efficient through direct injection.
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The MDX is laid out as a seven-passenger vehicle, with a third row that can accommodate two adults, although access requires a little climbing.
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Acura fits its high-trim MDX with a magnetic suspension system. The driver can toggle the car between sport and comfort modes.
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The MDX gets Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system, which shifts torque between front and rear wheels as needed. It also shifts torque across the rear wheels, giving it sports-car handling.
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With wood-grain trim pieces and nicely inset buttons, the cabin of the MDX has undergone an important refresh.
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Where Acura used to have two separate buttons for two different voice command systems, the company has finally consolidated them with one button on the MDX's steering wheel.
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Another positive update for the MDX is the inclusion of a six-speed automatic transmission, where previously the company topped out at five speeds.
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The navigation system maps don't look particularly good, but they do show traffic information and can dynamically route around problems.
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During route guidance, the system will read out the names of streets, which is helpful for complex maneuvers or when you can't look down at the map.
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The navigation system includes a Zagat guide, making it possible to not only find restaurants, but to get some idea what they are like.
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One of our favorite features of the navigation system is the database of scenic drives. Listed by state, it points out some excellent road-trip destinations around the country.
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The cabin tech includes weather information, as a forecast for specific areas and as a severe weather alert map.
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The Bluetooth phone system imports contact lists, making entries available on the LCD.
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This interface for the onboard music library lets you pick music by album, artist, genre, and other categories.
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Strangely, the iPod library menu uses a different format than the hard-drive library menu.
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A new feature, Song by Voice, lets you say the name of an artist, album, or track on a connected iPod to begin playback.
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Fully loaded, the MDX includes rear-seat DVD entertainment, with the screen that automatically folds down from the ceiling.
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The rear-view camera includes distance lines, and three different wide angles, but there are no trajectory lines.

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