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2004 Acura MDX

$1,841 — $9,213 USED
Sport Utility
7 Seats
20 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 1 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Handling
  • Stability
  • Reliability
  • Resale value
  • Seat comfort and space

The Bad

  • Ride on rough surfaces
  • Fuel economy
  • Price

What to Know

about the 2004 Acura MDX
  • Seven-passenger capacity
  • 265-hp V-6
  • Car-based construction
  • Standard AWD
  • Available rearview camera

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Acura introduced its MDX as a 2001 model, and the midsize sport utility vehicle from Honda’s luxury division began to tally impressive sales totals. Shoppers even faced waiting lists for the car-based seven-passenger MDX, which is loaded with luxury features. Built on the platform used for the Honda Odyssey minivan, the MDX borrows some components such as the V-6 engine from that model. Manufactured in Ontario, Canada, the MDX competes against such rivals as the BMW X5, Lexus RX 330 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

Early in the 2003 model year, the MDX earned a 20-horsepower boost, which increased its power to 260 hp. Acura’s Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability system and a drive-by-wire throttle were added. The optional navigation system gained voice recognition, and a rearview camera for parking assistance became available.

The MDX’s engine output has risen to 265 hp for 2004. Other enhancements include a redesigned front fascia, protector-type headlights, an integrated chin spoiler, dual exhaust, a rear wing spoiler and acoustic windshield glass.

Exterior
Styled in California, the MDX features sloping rear roof pillars like those on the RX 330 and other newcomers. According to Acura, its SUV “strikes a balance between muscularity and elegance,” starting with a sharply chiseled front fascia and a wide stance. Bold creases highlight the hood and bodysides. The grille is similar to the one used on Acura’s sedans. Alloy wh...
Vehicle Overview
Acura introduced its MDX as a 2001 model, and the midsize sport utility vehicle from Honda’s luxury division began to tally impressive sales totals. Shoppers even faced waiting lists for the car-based seven-passenger MDX, which is loaded with luxury features. Built on the platform used for the Honda Odyssey minivan, the MDX borrows some components such as the V-6 engine from that model. Manufactured in Ontario, Canada, the MDX competes against such rivals as the BMW X5, Lexus RX 330 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

Early in the 2003 model year, the MDX earned a 20-horsepower boost, which increased its power to 260 hp. Acura’s Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability system and a drive-by-wire throttle were added. The optional navigation system gained voice recognition, and a rearview camera for parking assistance became available.

The MDX’s engine output has risen to 265 hp for 2004. Other enhancements include a redesigned front fascia, protector-type headlights, an integrated chin spoiler, dual exhaust, a rear wing spoiler and acoustic windshield glass.

Exterior
Styled in California, the MDX features sloping rear roof pillars like those on the RX 330 and other newcomers. According to Acura, its SUV “strikes a balance between muscularity and elegance,” starting with a sharply chiseled front fascia and a wide stance. Bold creases highlight the hood and bodysides. The grille is similar to the one used on Acura’s sedans. Alloy wheels hold 17-inch tires, and the SUV is equipped with a four-wheel-independent suspension. Riding a 106.3-inch wheelbase, the MDX measures 188.5 inches long overall and 68.7 inches tall.

Interior
Seven people occupy three rows of seats in the MDX, which contains two front buckets, a three-place split middle bench and a two-place split rear seat. The center and rear seats fold flat into the floor to create additional cargo space. Cargo volume measures 81.5 cubic feet when the second- and third-row seats are folded flat. Standard features include leather upholstery, remote keyless entry, a power moonroof and a seven-speaker Acura cassette/CD stereo system.

Under the Hood
A 265-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine teams with a five-speed-automatic transmission. A VTM-4 variable-torque management all-wheel-drive system powers the front wheels on smooth, dry roads. On slippery surfaces, it automatically transfers power to the rear wheels as needed to maintain traction. The driver can lock the VTM-4 system with a dashboard button so it will deliver maximum traction.

Safety
Dual-stage front airbags and side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard. All-disc antilock brakes are installed.

Driving Impressions
Acceleration in the MDX is energetic, if a tad sluggish at first. It handles with a somewhat tight feel and comes across more like a performance model than a gentle highway cruiser — especially in versions equipped with the Touring Package. Its steering is extra sharp, which makes it easy to keep the vehicle on course. The MDX grips tenaciously in curves.

Because the suspension is quite firm, the ride is close to luxurious on smooth pavement but less genteel when the surface becomes even moderately rough. The seats are exceptionally supportive, and occupants have plenty of space. Except for a hearty roar during acceleration, the MDX operates quietly.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 9/26/03

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
30 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.7)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Very reliable and comfortable car.

by Usedlove313 from NEw York, ny on August 27, 2018

Plenty of seat on the inside without the vehicle being as big as a regular sized SUV. Gas milage isn?t GREAT but it is by far not the worst I?ve encountered for a vehicle of this size and age. Read full review

(5.0)

Most reliable car I've have with no problems!

by Patty12 from NY on August 26, 2018

This car is very comfortable and spacious. When having a big family with lots of kids, you need a car like this one! Highly recommended! Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Acura MDX currently has 6 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Acura MDX has not been tested.

Latest 2004 MDX Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The MDX received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker