Acura's so-called Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system is standard on the MDX. As a full-time all-wheel drive system, it can fine-tune the amount of torque not only between the front and rear but also from side to side. It also works with the stability control system to help provide added security when handling, or in snow or mud.
The MDX is just rugged enough for two-tracks and modest forest trails, but its forte is on-road performance. Its front MacPherson strut suspension and multi-link rear suspension are carlike in concept, but they're mounted on isolated subframes to filter out the most jarring impacts. Crisp rack-and-pinion steering provides good maneuverability, with strong 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes rounding out the package. An Active Damper System is optional on the MDX and brings driver-selectable Comfort and Sport settings.
The MDX's interior is truly worthy of its luxury badge, with upscale trims, nice leather upholstery, LED interior lighting all around and plenty of sound insulation to filter out road noise. There are three rows of seating, for up to seven passengers; front seats are long-distance comfortable, with the second row also adult-sized, though the third rows are good for a couple of kids.
The 2012 MDX is offered in a single model and just two main option packages--Tech and Advance--plus an Entertainment Package that can be added onto either of those. The Technology Package adds a long list of exactly what the name implies--impressive tech features--including a navigation system, voice recognition, real-time traffic with traffic rerouting, hard-drive media storage, a solar-sensing tri-zone climate control system that automatically adjusts to the sun's position, and an awesome Acura/ELS surround sound system with ten speakers and 410 watts, plus DVD-Audio, Bluetooth Audio, a USB port and XM satellite radio, along with 15GB of its own music storage.
With the Advance Package, you get the cream of the MDX's available features, with specially contoured, ventilated front seats in Milano leather, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, auto-leveling HID headlamps, the active damper system, and upgraded 19-inch alloy wheels, plus several additional active-safety features. It also includes a collision mitigating braking system, adaptive cruise control and a blind-spot information system, all of which might help reduce the chances of a collision.
The Entertainment Package that's on offer in addition to either the Tech or Advance Packages might help you keep the kids engaged and fuss free on longer trips; it gets you a 9-inch rear color screen, DVD player, dual wireless headphones, a remote and a 115-volt household-style AC plug.