2009 Acura MDX - Introduction


Benchmarked against some of the best performance SUVs in the world and tuned on the Nürburgring racetrack in Germany, the MDX clearly establishes itself as a driver's SUV. Outfitted with Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system and an available Sport Package with Active Damper System, the MDX yields a combination of handling and comfort that is truly on the cutting edge.

The 2009 MDX is equally daring in its styling and thorough in its safety and environmental responsibilities. The MDX has an expansive array of safety features included as standard equipment. The MDX's 300-hp VTEC® V-6 makes as much power as some competitive V-8s, yet delivers ultra-low emissions and excellent fuel economy. Inside the 7-passenger interior, the MDX offers thoughtful luxury and an unmatched range of advanced technologies, including the Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and AcuraLink® Satellite Communication System with real-time traffic and a spectacular 10-speaker Acura/ELS Surround® Premium Sound System.

Altogether, the 2009 MDX embodies Acura's commitment to performance, luxury, quality and style, along with an emphasis on safety and environmental care. The 2009 MDX is the seventh Acura project to be designed and engineered in the United States (including the 1997 CL, 1999 TL, 2001 CL, 2001 MDX, 2004 TL and 2009 TL) along with several award-winning Honda products.


  • 3.7-liter, SOHC, V-6 engine
  • 300 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
  • 275 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
  • VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) valvetrain
  • 2-piece, dual-stage magnesium intake manifold
  • Sequential SportShift 5-speed automatic transmission
  • Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)
  • EPA estimated mileage of 15/20 mpg* (city/highway)
  • EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV emissions standards

*Based on 2009 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.


  • Unit body structure with extensive use of high-strength steel
  • Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) low-beam front headlights
  • MacPherson strut fully independent front suspension
  • Multi-link independent rear suspension
  • Torque-sensing, variable power-assist rack-and-pinion steering
  • 18x8-inch aluminum wheels
  • P255/55R18 104H M+S all-season tires
  • 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
  • Vehicle Stability Assist™(VSA®) with traction control and Trailer Stability Assist
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • 5,000-pound tow rating
  • LED tail lamps and Center High Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL)
  • Heated outside mirrors with Reverse gear tilt-down and integrated LED directional turn signals


  • 7 passenger seating
  • Driver-oriented cockpit
  • Driver's 10-way power seat (8-way power seat with 2-way power lumbar support)
  • Electronic tilt and telescoping steering column
  • Two-driver custom memory system
  • Front passenger 8-way power seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Tri-Zone automatic climate control system with air filtration and humidity control
  • 253-watt Acura Premium Sound System with AM/FM tuner, in-dash 6-disc CD/MP3/WMA changer, XM® satellite radio, AUX jack connectivity along with 8 speakers, including 8-inch subwoofer
  • HomeLink® remote control
  • Multi-Information Display (MID) allows access to multiple electronic functions
  • Maintenance Minder™
  • Adaptive and flexible cargo space with multiple configurations
  • Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface
  • Auto dimming rearview mirror


  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure
  • Side impact door beams
  • Impact-absorbing crumple zones (front/rear)
  • Driver and front passenger dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)
  • Driver and front passenger knee bolsters
  • Driver and front passenger side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)
  • Side curtain airbags for all three rows with rollover sensor
  • Active front head restraints
  • 3-point adjustable-height front seat belts with automatic tensioning system and load limiters
  • 3-point seat belts at all seating positions
  • Automatic Locking Retractor/Emergency Locking Retractors (driver has ELR only)
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child-seat mounting system for the second-row seats

Technology Package

  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ and rearview camera
  • AcuraLink® satellite communication system with real-time traffic
  • 410-watt, 10-speaker Acura/ELS Surround® Premium Sound System with 6-disc CD/DVD-Audio and DTS® changer, AM/FM tuner, XM® Satellite Radio and AUX jack connectivity
  • GPS-linked, solar-sensing, tri-zone, automatic climate control system with air filtration and humidity control
  • Power operated rear tailgate

Sport Package (in addition to the Technology Package features)

  • Active Damper System
  • Perforated, premium full-grain leather seating surfaces with high-damping front-seat cushion foam
  • Exclusive alloy wheel design
  • Auto-leveling headlights
  • Textured metallic accents on radio, cupholder and shifter bezel

Entertainment Package (available with Technology or Sport Package)

  • DVD Rear Entertainment System with wireless headphones and remote control
  • 115-volt power outlet in center console
  • Heated second-row outboard seats


MDX has been very important to Acura, accounting for about 30-percent of the division's sales since the vehicle's introduction as a 2001 model. Equally important, the original MDX attracted buyers from competitive luxury makes including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus, starting new relationships for Acura. The 2009 MDX competes in the Mid Premium CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) segment.


Focus groups with luxury customers were conducted in Seattle, Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles. These cities were carefully chosen to explore how customers use their SUVs in cold climates, in areas that are traditional domestic-vehicle strongholds and in areas known for their trend-setting character.

Early in the study process Acura also benchmarked performance SUVs such as the BMW X5 - and polled their owners - to ensure that the second generation MDX would exceed its performance. Satisfying these highly discriminating customers means that the MDX would be well positioned to attract a wider group of potential buyers.

With the MDX, added performance and handling capabilities boost its appeal for performance enthusiasts, while the luxurious and functional interior continues to satisfy the needs of traditional luxury customers.


Developing 300 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque, the MDX's 3.7-liter V-6 output is competitive with many V-8 engines - without the fuel-economy penalty most V-8's suffer. To widen the powerband and improve fuel economy, the 3.7-liter engine has VTEC® (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) valvetrain, a dual-stage intake manifold and an electronic Drive-by-Wire™ throttle system. EPA estimated mileage of 15/20 mpg* (city/highway) and a large 21-gallon fuel capacity mean the MDX has a long cruising range. The MDX is designed to meet the latest emissions requirements including strict EPA TIER 2 - BIN 5 and CARB LEV II ULEV standards.

A 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift is designed to satisfy the most performance-oriented drivers. Tuned on the famed Nürburgring circuit in Germany, the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system provides handling precision that sets a new benchmark for SUVs.

SH-AWD® actively varies the torque distribution between front and rear axles - then between the left and right rear wheels - to provide maximum grip under all driving circumstances. Such torque vectoring operates seamlessly and allows the SH-AWD® to overdrive the outside rear wheel up to 1.7-percent faster than the front wheels to create a "yaw moment" allowing the MDX to better rotate around a corner while minimizing understeer.

*Based on 2009 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.


The 2009 MDX sets new standards for SUV styling, engineering, handling and safety standpoints. Its dramatic styling utilizes large surface areas, sweeping curves and decisive angles. Longer, wider and lower (and with a longer wheelbase) than the original MDX, the dimensions create a more athletic appearance.

In an effort to keep mass out of the vehicle, the MDX features widespread use of light weight materials such as high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium. In addition, the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure is intended to bring new levels of front crash safety to the MDX.

Befitting its position as Acura's flagship SUV, the MDX is equipped with Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) low-beam front headlights, a dramatic array of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) in the rear tail lamps and center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL), and exterior mirror-mounted turn signals. The Acura signature front grille reflects a fresh look for the MDX. Careful aerodynamic tailoring reduces drag noise and high speed dynamic stability.

The 2009 MDX features a track-tuned chassis to complement its 300-horsepower VTEC® V-6 engine and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®). Engineers targeted the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne when developing the MDX chassis, and then tested and refined it at Germany's famed Nürburgring circuit. The Active Damper System, available in the Sport Package, has proprietary fully active dampers that adjust (in less than five milliseconds) to road conditions on a real-time basis. The MDX is also at home off-road where its excellent engine torque, responsive suspension, and generous ground clearance enable it to cross-step through rough terrain.

For family recreation, the MDX tows as well as it goes. With a 5,000-pound tow rating, standard trailer pre-wiring, high-capacity radiator with twin cooling fans, transmission fluid cooler and Trailer Stability Assist, the MDX needs only a dealer-installed hitch and wiring to tow a substantial trailer.


The MDX features a luxurious yet functional interior. The cockpit environment is focused on the driver, and features a host of technologies to make driving simultaneously rewarding and relaxing. The interior styling and functionality perfectly coexist with a driver's cockpit that features a 10-way power seat including power-adjustable lumbar support for the driver, electronic tilt and telescoping steering column, a 2-position custom memory system, and a Multi-Information Display (MID) that allows access to multiple electronic functions.

The interior design is as dynamic and contemporary as the exterior, with a "4+3 seating" concept that luxuriously hosts four passengers in the first and second row seats, while also offering comfortable accommodations for three additional passengers (one in the second row and two in the third row). The front passenger enjoys an 8-way power seat, while everyone on board will appreciate the MDX's Tri-Zone automatic climate control system. All occupants will enjoy the 253-watt, 8-speaker Acura Premium Sound System with in-dash 6-disc CD/MP3/WMA changer, AM/FM tuner, and XM® Satellite Radio. An auxiliary jack for personal audio devices is also included. Standard convenience features include HomeLink®, Maintenance Minder™ and adaptive and flexible cargo space with six configurations.


The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure along with several passive-safety technologies help bring the 2009 MDX to the next level of safety. ACE™ more evenly distributes collision forces and helps maintain the integrity of the passenger cabin in the event of a severe frontal collision. The MDX is also less intrusive to smaller vehicles in a head-on collision thanks to a special frame member located below the front bumper that is designed to engage the front bumper of smaller vehicles.

The MDX is equipped with an active front head restraint system for front seat head restraints along with knee bolsters for the driver and front passenger. The driver and front passenger are also protected by dual-stage, dual-threshold airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) and side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS). Side curtain airbags help reduce the likelihood of injury to the occupants in all three rows of outboard seats A rollover sensor adds a further level of protection.

The 2009 Acura MDX furthers Acura's commitment to "Safety Through Innovation" with pedestrian injury mitigation features such as a deformable aluminum hood and hood hinges along with breakaway windshield-wiper pivots.


Honda of Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario, is the assembly plant for the MDX. A special dynamic quality-control process is employed to ensure the highest possible level of attention to detail for every MDX produced. After assembly is completed, each MDX enters a special Acura Quality line. The ability to immediately respond to the smallest quality issue allows the MDX to excel in quality - and in customer satisfaction.

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