2014 Acura MDX in maroon live from the New York Auto Show

Acura (and parent company Honda, for that matter) doesn’t always leave a lot to be left to the imagination when they unveil prototypes at auto shows. Case in point: Take a gander at the Acura MDX Prototype that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show this past January, and then look at the production-spec 2014 MDX pictured above. See what we mean?

Design-wise, there frankly isn’t a whole lot to get excited about with this MDX. Sure, a lot of the chiseled, sharp lines from the previous-generation model have been smoothed out in favor of something that will likely have more mass-market appeal, but to our eyes, the MDX has simply lost a lot of its visual flair in the process. To quote Autoblog senior editor Seyth Miersma, this new one just looks like the old one after melting by 10 percent. The end result is something that more closely resembles the company’s smaller RDX crossover than anything else, with other subtle design elements mimicking what we’ve seen on the ILX and RLX sedans. It’s all fine, but again, not exciting. The good news, however, is that thanks to the use of new lightweight materials, the 2014 MDX is 275 pounds lighter than the outgoing model.

Updates to what’s underneath the MDX’s new skin are hardly surprising, but still welcome. Power comes from a direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 making 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with both front-wheel drive and Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive on offer. Acura estimates that front-drive models will achieve 20/28/23 miles per gallon (city/highway/combined), and says that adding the SH-AWD drops those numbers to 18/27/21. Acura will offer a new Integrated Dynamic System that allows the driver to choose between normal, sport and comfort settings, and the new MDX will ride on a choice of either 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the MDX is loaded with comfort and technological features, including AcuraLink, a premium ELS audio system, and the dual-screen display that’s similar to what we experienced in the company’s new RLX flagship earlier this year. Up top is an eight-inch display that houses things like navigation data, while the seven-inch display below with haptic feedback works as a sort of command center for the whole infotainment system. Other new goodies for the 2014 MDX include Acura’s Jewel Eye adaptive front lighting, a host of standard safety equipment and premium features like a rear entertainment system with a 16.2-inch screen complete with HDMI compatibility.

Have a look at Acura’s press release below for the full list of changes for the 2014 model. We’ll have live images straight from the New York Auto Show floor in a jiffy, too, so stay tuned.

Related Gallery2014 Acura MDX: New York 2013

By Steven J. Ewing