5 Things You Need to Know About the Updated 2019 Acura MDX

2019 Acura MDX; Manufacturer images

The MDX, Acura's flagship three-row SUV, gets some mild upgrades for the 2019 model year. The most significant changes focus on increased comfort while giving the MDX an aspirationally performance-oriented appearance. We'll go into these in greater depth later, but for now, here are five things you need to know about the 2019 Acura MDX:

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1. Safety Tech Remains Standard

The most significant news is actually a lack of change from the outgoing model. The AcuraWatch safety tech suite remains standard across all trim levels and includes forward collision warning with autonomous braking, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and road departure mitigation.

2. New A-Spec Trim Is Available

The MDX will now be available with an A-Spec appearance package that should increase the sporty look of the MDX from "none" to "maybe a little." Wider tires — OK, these might improve actual performance — wrap around unique 20-inch wheels and join a special front fascia, larger exhaust "finishers" (aka the openings in the rear bumper that aren't the actual exhaust tips) and dark trim along the headlights, windows, grille and rear spoiler. The A-Spec package is only available with all-wheel drive.

3. Adaptive Suspension for All

Previously only available on the MDX Sport Hybrid, all models of the MDX can now be optioned to include Acura's Active Damper System, which can harden or soften the ride quality as selected by the driver.

4. Transmission Tweaks

Acura claims to have refined the operation of the nine-speed automatic transmission for smoother starts from a complete stop. (Unfortunately, there's nothing in Acura's press materials about ditching that funky push-button-and-switch gear selector.)

5. Price Goes Up

Surprise! These enhancements don't come for free. Including a $995 destination fee, the MDX starts at $45,295, an increase of $100 over the outgoing model. Fully loaded all-wheel-drive models start at $61,045, $1,400 more than a 2018 model. Pricing for the MDX Sport Hybrid hasn't been released yet.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth breakdown of the changes and updates to the MDX.

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