With a 2014 redesign under its belt, it's no surprise that the Acura MDX is unchanged for 2015. What has changed is the child-safety seats we use for our Car Seat Checks. We were able to fit three car seats across the MDX's second-row bench, but there wasn't enough room between the booster seat and rear-facing infant seat for easy buckling access. Because the second row's middle bottom seat cushion is shorter than the outboard seats, about 30 percent of the infant seat base was hanging off the front of the seat. It's recommended that at least 80 percent of a child-safety seat is touching the car's seat. Parents should keep an eye on proper fit when installing car seats in this middle seating position.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two; three could fit if using narrow car seats
How many car seats fit in the third row? Two
What We Like
- The MDX has three sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row. The outboard seats have easy-to-access anchors in the slits in the leather seats, and the middle seat's set is exposed. In the third row, there are two tether anchors midway down the seatbacks that are easy to use.
- The rear-facing convertible seat installed easily into the MDX and fit well. We didn't have to move the front passenger seat forward to fit it in the second row.
- Third-row access is made easy with a single button on the second-row seatback that folds and slides the seat forward. The opening to the third row is big enough for an adult to navigate.
What We Don't
- In the second row, the tether anchors are found on the seat bases, below the seatback. This location could be harder for parents to find and use. In the third row, there aren't any lower Latch anchors, which is disappointing in a family car.
- To fit the rear-facing infant seat behind the front passenger seat, we had to move the front seat forward some. Our 5-foot-8-inch tester had just enough legroom and knee room to be comfortable, but taller folks will likely have trouble.
- The forward-facing convertible fit well in both the second and third rows, but we gave it a grade of B in both seating positions because of the hard-to-find tether anchor in the second row and the lack of lower Latch anchors in the third row. In the third row, we installed the forward convertible with a seat belt. Parents should note that the third-row legroom is tight when the sliding second row is pushed as far back as possible. With the third row occupied, second-row passengers will need to share their legroom by sliding their seat forward.
- Our high-back booster seat fit well in both rows, but both rows have floppy seat belt buckles, which can be difficult for younger kids to use independently.
- The step-in to the MDX is high, and smaller kids may need a boost from parents to get into the SUV. Also, when child-safety seats are installed in the outboard seats, third-row access will become an issue.
A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn't impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.
B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.
C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.
D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.
Cars.com photos by Evan Sears