When the Acura MDX made its debut in 2001, it was the first luxury crossover with three rows of seating. While the competition has intensified over the years, the MDX has remained a leader in its class through its three generations (2001-2006, 2007-2013, and 2014 to the present). The 2018 Acura MDX boasts a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. For those seeking a more eco-friendly option, there is also a Sport Hybrid model available. The MDX comes with either front-wheel drive or Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), and prices start at $44,200.
Here we present 10 alternatives to the Acura MDX to consider:
2018 Audi Q7
The Q7 has been Audi’s flagship crossover since it arrived in the United States in 2007. The 2018 Audi Q7 comes with gasoline-only engine options, including a 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine (252 hp/273 lb-ft of torque) or a 3.0-liter TFSI turbocharged six-cylinder engine (333 hp/325 lb-ft of torque). Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system is standard across the board. The Q7 offers three trim levels: Premium, Premium Plus, and Prestige, with prices ranging from $49,900 to $65,400. The Q7’s standout feature is its interior design, which exudes a sense of coherence and classiness.
2018 BMW X5
The 2018 BMW X5 is perhaps the most performance-oriented crossover in competition with the MDX. It even offers a souped-up M model for those who crave power. The X5 lineup includes a variety of engine options, such as a 3.0-liter gasoline inline six-cylinder engine (300 hp/300 lb-ft of torque), a 4.4-liter V8 engine (445 hp/480 lb-ft of torque), and a 3.0-liter diesel inline six-cylinder engine (255 hp/413 lb-ft of torque). Additionally, there is a plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain available. Prices for the X5 range from $57,200 to $74,050.
2018 GMC Acadia Denali
The 2018 GMC Acadia Denali is the luxury trim line of the GMC Acadia series. After a 2017 makeover, the Acadia became more compact and lightweight, without sacrificing its seating capacity. Starting at $45,100, the Acadia Denali offers various luxury, convenience, and infotainment features as standard. It is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine (310 hp/271 lb-ft of torque) and is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations.
2018 Honda Pilot
For those looking for a more budget-friendly option that still compares favorably to the MDX, the 2018 Honda Pilot is worth considering. The Pilot shares a common platform and engineering features with the MDX, as both are from the same parent company, Honda. With a starting price of $30,900 for the base LX model, the Pilot offers cloth seats and a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine (280 hp/262 lb-ft of torque) paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. To get the full range of luxury and technology features similar to the MDX, upgrading to the Pilot Elite trim (starting at $47,400) is necessary.
2018 Infiniti QX60
One distinct difference between the MDX and the 2018 Infiniti QX60 is the transmission technology used in each vehicle. While the MDX employs a conventional automatic transmission, the QX60 utilizes a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The QX60’s CVT enables smooth acceleration, good fuel economy, and linear throttle response. Powered by a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 engine (295 hp/270 lb-ft of torque), the QX60 offers both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options. Prices start at $43,300.
2018 Land Rover Discovery
The 2018 Land Rover Discovery is a three-row luxury crossover that combines off-road capability with on-road luxury. With base prices starting at $52,090, the Discovery is available with either a 3.0-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine (340 hp/332 lb-ft of torque) or a 3.0-liter diesel engine (254 hp/443 lb-ft of torque), both paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. The Discovery’s Terrain Response system and optional Terrain Response 2 with All-Terrain Progress Control make it a formidable competitor to the MDX.
2018 Lexus RXL
The 2018 Lexus RXL is a longer version of the popular RX crossover, offering a third row of seats. While the RXL has less legroom in the third row compared to the MDX, it retains the familiar luxury and style that has made the RX a success. The RXL is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and also offers a hybrid powertrain option. Prices for the RX 350L range from $47,670 to $50,620.
2018 Lincoln MKT
Often overlooked, the 2018 Lincoln MKT is a stealthy alternative to the MDX and other three-row luxury crossovers. The MKT offers spacious and luxurious accommodations for up to seven passengers, along with a sophisticated and elegant profile that sets it apart from its competitors. With a starting price of $43,530, the MKT comes with a choice of a 3.7-liter V6 engine or a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class
The 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE Class is a powerful competitor to the MDX, emphasizing both technology and performance. With regular GLE models starting at $52,200 to $66,700, and AMG models ranging from $67,750 to $109,700, the GLE offers a range of engine options, including a 302-hp 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine and a 436-hp hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain. The AMG models boast up to 577 hp from a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8, making them capable of impressive acceleration.
2018 Volvo XC90
As the first vehicle built on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture platform, the 2018 Volvo XC90 has received high praise from critics. The XC90 offers a stylish and organic interpretation of Scandinavian luxury, setting it apart from the Japanese aesthetic of the MDX. Prices for the XC90 range from $46,900 to $64,950, and it is available with two gas-only engines, a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain, and a plug-in hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain. All gas engines are four-cylinder and are paired with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
For more information on the Acura MDX and other luxury crossovers, visit Ratingperson.