MDX adds content, drops price

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Acura’s all-new 2014 MDX has followed a growing list of nameplates offering significantly new technology and upscale design for a markedly lower price than the outgoing model.

The third generation of Acura’s seven-seater SUV has a suggested MSRP of $49,990. That’s a $3,260 reduction in starting price versus the 2013 version.

According to Honda Canada, the “significant starting price drop” was a development goal established for the current generation. Laura Heasman, public relations coordinator, said the idea was to provide value for consumers and to be competitive in the market.

The drop in price is not, the automaker confirmed, a reflection of the move in production from Honda Canada Manufacturing (HCM) in Alliston, Ont., to a facility in Lincoln, Alabama.

Honda Manufacturing of Alabama (HMA) started mass production of the MDX in May and is the exclusive global production source for the nameplate.

The automaker explained the move to Alabama as part of its “global production strategy,” noting HMA is focused on producing truck products such as MDX, Pilot, Odyssey, Ridgeline. HCM, Heasman pointed out, is currently focusing on Canada's volume selling vehicles such as Civic and CR-V.

Honda now operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, engines, transmissions and various branded utility and power products.

Seven Honda auto plants in North American have the capacity to produce 1.63 million automobiles each year, the automaker said.

In 2012, 90 per cent of the Honda and Acura automobiles sold in the U.S. were produced in North America.

Honda said it expects that number to jump to 1.92 million in 2014 when the sales percentage of locally produced automobiles is expected to rise to more than 95 per cent.

The new MDX is powered by a new 290-horsepower direct-injected i-VTEC V-6 powertrain with fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management technology. Compared to the 3.7-litre engine it replaces, the 3.5-litre V-6 in the 2014 MDX offers an eight per cent increase in torque at engine speeds below 2,750 rpm.

Similar to its flagship sedan counterpart RLX, MDX harnesses a host of Acura signature technologies including AcuraLink and Agile Handling Assist.

Available safety systems include available Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning, and an available Collision Mitigation Braking System.

MDX comes in four trims each standard with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive. It officially hit dealerships in mid-July.