Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in April 2015 about the 2016 Acura MDX. For 2017, Acura added available second-row captain’s chairs, but the model we tested had a second-row bench seat, so model-year 2016’s Car Seat Check scores carry over to model-year 2017. To see what’s new for 2017, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.
CARS.COM — For 2016, Acura has tweaked the MDX, giving it a new transmission, a revised all-wheel-drive system and some newly available safety features. While this three-row crossover can haul seven passengers, that number will go down if there are child-safety seats involved. We were only able to fit two car seats in its second row bench seat.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, but three might fit with narrower car seats.
How many car seats fit in the third row? Two
What We Like
- The second row has three sets of lower Latch anchors for added flexibility when installing child-safety seats. The anchors sit in slits in the leather seats and are easy to use. The third row doesn’t have any lower Latch anchors, though parents can use seat belts to install child-safety seats back there. It has two top tether anchors midway down the seatbacks.
- The rear- and forward-facing convertible installed easily into the MDX’s second row thanks in part to the sliding second row with reclining seatbacks. In the forward position, the convertible also fit well in the third row.
- The high-back booster seat fit well in both the second and third rows.
What We Don’t
- The second row’s tether anchors sit at the base of the seatbacks, which could be difficult for newer parents to find and use.
- We had to move the front passenger seat forward a bit to fit the rear-facing infant seat. The seat installed easily in the MDX.
- Both the second and third rows have floppy seat belt buckles, which can make buckling up independently difficult for little ones.
- Third-row access in the MDX can be tough, especially for kids, because the step-in is high. While the MDX has a button that easily slides the second row forward for third-row access, the opening is on the small side.
- When the second row’s middle seat is in use, the seat belt, which descends from the crossover’s ceiling, blocks rear visibility.
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 shorter 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.