2007 Acura MDX - Body & Chassis

OVERVIEW

The first generation MDX® provided a strong blend of adaptable space, functionality, and "anytime, anywhere" mobility, together with a high level of safety and environmental responsibility. This made it perfect for families. Now the new 2007 model retains all of these traditional MDX virtues, while providing an even more exciting visual presence, and far more accomplished handling and ride comfort.

Customers in the luxury SUV arena demand distinctive style. The 2007 MDX provides it with standard 18-inch tires and wheels, standard High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and a signature Acura grille. Driving excitement is equally embraced with a chassis tuned and proven at the Nurburgring circuit and autobahns in Germany.

The exterior has bold, clean and advanced styling details with European cache, and was styled to connect with enthusiast drivers from the moment they first see it. Sitting in the vehicle - and then experiencing it - makes the desire even more intense. Besides featuring a 300 horsepower V-6, the MDX includes Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™), an available Active Damper System, and lightweight aluminum components used in the suspension and body. Convenience features like a power tailgate, available with the Entertainment Package, further improve functionality and luxury.

EXTERIOR DESIGN GOALS

One of the primary goals in designing the MDX was to keep its traditional strengths but advance its performance and image. The clear direction for the MDX was to create a bold and innovative look that clearly conveyed the "Driver's SUV" nature of the completely reengineered vehicle. Though the grille retains Acura's trademark pentagon shape, it is 30% larger than that of the previous MDX. It is free of molding breaks for a cleaner look, and features dark silver satin plating.

STYLING DEVELOPMENT

The original MDX provided a fine blend of utility, luxury and style. Now the 2007 Acura MDX adds powerful dynamic styling that's a continuation of the themes that have been embodied in recent Acura products. Thanks to its mission to provide high-end dynamic capabilities as well as well-heeled luxury and contemporary design, Acura designers playfully dubbed it the "Driver Dad's SUV" - imagining it as a powerfully elegant SUV befitting a secret agent.

They found inspiration in a high-powered megayacht, which features an exceptionally bold, lean and contemporary design. The challenge was to apply the useful elements of the yacht design to an SUV, and designers found their answer in the adoption of large areas of clean surfaces and the addition of decisive line breaks and dynamic surface curvature. Large 18-inch wheels and tires not only benefit handling, but also create a muscular look.

In front, the 2007 MDX has a distinctive, advanced Acura look. The platform is long, low and wide to enhance cornering and high-speed stability. Compared to its predecessor, the new MDX is over two inches longer overall, with a 2-inch longer wheelbase. The low-slung body also lowers step-in height, making ingress and egress easier.


2006 MDX 2007 MDX Difference
Overall length, in. 188.6 190.7 + 2.1
Overall width, in. 76.2 78.5 + 2.3
Overall height, in. 68.5 68.1 - 0.6
Wheelbase, in. 106.3 108.3 + 2.0
Track, F/R, in. 66.3/66.5 67.7/67.5 + 1.4/1.0

COMPETITIVE COMPARISON

The MDX is both longer and wider overall, and has a significantly wider track than its primary market competitors. As a result it offers dramatic appearance, packaging and utility advantages.


2007 Acura MDX 2006 BMW X5 3.0i 2007 Lexus RX 350 2006 Porsche Cayenne 2006 Volvo XC90 2.5T
Overall length, in. 190.7 183.7 186.2 188.2 188.9
Overall width, in. 78.5 73.7 72.6 75.9 74.7
Overall height, in. 68.2 67.5 66.1 66.9 70.2
Wheelbase, in. 108.3 111.0 106.9 112.4 112.6
Track, F/R, in. 67.7/67.5 62.0/62.0 62.0/61.2 65.2/65.8 64.3/63.9

BODY STRUCTURE

The 2007 MDX is the first SUV developed at Honda Research of the Americas (HRA) to embody the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which distributes collision forces through the structure during a frontal collision while helping to retain the integrity of the passenger compartment. The MDX has a large amount of high-strength steel to help reduce vehicle weight while increasing strength. Alternative materials including aluminum and magnesium are also used throughout the vehicle, further reducing vehicle mass, which helps lower emissions and increase performance.

Attaining a high level of dynamic body rigidity is essential for precise handling, ride quality and quietness inside the cabin. Advances in unit body design allow the 2007 MDX to achieve nearly 20% greater dynamic rigidity than the first-generation MDX. By researching the body's dynamic response to chassis loads resulting from everyday driving events, MDX engineers considered the unit body's "dynamic stiffness" as an entire system, not just as a single component. Thus body rigidity is not an end to itself - rather it is an enabler for enhanced vehicle dynamics, riding comfort, and driving quietness.

Instrumented testing revealed that the "tailgate ring" - the open area surrounding the tailgate - is particularly important for handling, stability and ride. In the 2007 MDX this area has been markedly stiffened, providing the rear suspension with a more solid mounting and netting an improvement in handling precision. In addition, the MDX's floor frames are wider than before for improved packaging and rigidity.

HIGH-STRENGTH STEEL

The 2007 MDX uses dramatically more high-strength steel than the MDX it replaces. Now 56.3% of the steel used is high-strength steel vs. 13% for the previous-generation MDX. The high-strength steel contributes to rigidity, excellent crashworthiness and light weight. High-strength steel is specified in different grades for use in different parts of the vehicle. Some unit body areas using this material include the roof arches, floor cross members, tailgate opening and front rails and body sides.

LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM

In addition, some 4.1% of the 2007 MDX body components are aluminum. This material is ideal for certain components such as the hood and instrument panel support, where light weight is required but the strength of steel is not imperative.

The hood on the first-generation MDX was steel, and the weight savings of using aluminum instead of steel for the 2007 MDX hood is 15.5 pounds. Aside from using a unique metal conditioner and phosphate dip prior to painting, there are no unique production challenges for using an aluminum hood - and no ownership compromises either. To improve environmental efficiency, a factory separation line isolates different scrap materials, including aluminum, for recycling.

The aluminum instrument panel support saves an additional 10.5 pounds compared to a traditional steel unit. This support, which connects the A pillars to the front floor crossmember, is a structural element consisting of cast parts, extrusions and sheet aluminum.

AERODYNAMICS

Prototypes of the 2007 Acura MDX spent a total of seven weeks in the wind tunnel to test and develop its aerodynamic properties. The attention to detail in aerodynamic efficiency included the development of body side sills that help keep air from moving underneath the car and causing turbulence. Lift balance and the coefficient of lift were also addressed to keep the MDX stable at high speeds. In this area, internal testing revealed that the MDX meets and exceeds the performance of the BMW X5.

WIND NOISE

Careful attention was paid to reducing wind noise inside the MDX cabin. An acoustic wind tunnel was used to identify and correct noise issues, resulting in the MDX's best-in-class wind noise performance (at the driver's ear point) according to Acura's internal measurements.

An added benefit of this wind tunnel was the ability to rotate the MDX sideways into the airflow. This allowed engineers to approximate even the most severe gusting side winds and solve unexpected and unwanted wind noise that could accompany such severe conditions.

The MDX's sunroof is larger than the one in the previous generation and is also the widest of any direct competitor. A finely tuned deflector ensures that the sunroof does not add objectionable wind noise when in the open position, even at highway speeds. Attention to detail in the sealing of the doors and tailgate also heightened the performance of the MDX's overall wind noise level.

INSULATION

Engineers attacked noise from virtually every source inside and outside the MDX. Their primary goal was to reduce noise at its source. One creative noise-reduction technique is the use of composite seals in the exterior door panels. These composite seals actually serve two purposes - to reduce the transmission of noise through the doors, and to shield the interior components from dirt and water while driving through rain or puddles. The new door insulators provide a substantial reduction in objectionable sound - up to five decibels on some roads.

DOORS

The MDX's door handles are sized for comfort as well as ease of use, regardless of whether the user is bare handed or wearing winter gloves. There are three door checker positions - the detent mechanism that holds the door partially open - instead of the usual two, providing a convenient "in between" position in tight parking situations. The door openings are finished with an attractive composite garnish that hides the doorsill when the door is open.

GLASS

Normally only sports cars use windshields with highly compound curves. Deeply contoured glass is more complex and costly to make and is usually reserved for low-production vehicles. Designers specified deeply curved acoustic glass for the MDX for its styling appeal as well as to improve aerodynamic efficiency and quietness. The rear glass is likewise a deep wraparound design - the deepest in the Acura product range.

The MDX has an auto up/down feature for the driver and front passenger's 3.5mm thick side windows. The 2007 MDX offers 273 degrees of visibility compared to 266 degrees of visibility for the BMW X5, which is a significant accomplishment considering the increased size of the new head rests mandated by the government's FMVSS 202 safety regulations.

All glass from the B-pillar back has a gray tint to reduce eyestrain and heat buildup inside the cabin. In addition, the outside rearview mirrors use a special blue glass, sourced from Germany, that provides bright imaging along with excellent glare resistance.

HID HEADLIGHTS

All 2007 Acura MDX models include high-intensity discharge (HID) low beams with halogen high beams. The advantages of HID headlamps include greater lighting power, daylight type lighting and reduced power consumption. They provide 690 lumens of lighting power, up from the 350 lumens of the 2006 Acura MDX halogen low beams. In addition, the cutlines of the new HID headlights are extremely precise, providing maximum nighttime visibility without distracting other drivers.

The 2007 MDX features Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which turn on with the ignition. The MDX with the optional Sport Package features an auto-leveling feature, which similar to the Acura RL, keeps the headlights level regardless of how the vehicle is loaded with passengers or cargo.

To ensure a high degree of theft prevention the HID headlights are attached to the unit body with multi-strand steel cables. Halogen fog lamps are also included as standard equipment on all MDX trim levels.

LED TAILLAMPS

Two Light-Emitting Diode (LED) arrays, comprised of 12 LEDs apiece, are used for the tail lamps of the 2007 MDX. Likewise, the Center High Mount Stop Lamp features a single array of 16 LEDs. Advantages of the LED taillights include an elegant contemporary appearance, quicker turn-on time compared to a conventional incandescent bulbs, and significantly greater service life. LEDs are also brighter, smaller, lighter and produce less heat than incandescent lights. The LED high mount stop light was selected for its appearance and ability to produce the required lighting brightness with slender physical dimensions. LEDs are also used in the MDX's outside mirror housing-mounted turn signals, improving visibility during lane changes or turns.

POWER TAILGATE

Acura's first power tailgate system is available on the 2007 MDX with Entertainment Package. It can be operated either from the remote key fob, from a button on the driver's door panel, or from a button located inside the tailgate. The location of the motor in the D pillar instead of in the roof allows excellent headroom for the third-row seats. The tailgate can also be operated manually.

RESIN FUEL FILLER DOOR

The MDX fuel filler door is operated remotely from inside the vehicle via a switch on the driver's door panel. The fuel-filler door is made of a composite resin material that is lightweight, dent resistant and corrosion proof. For a better appearance the inside of the door is a flangeless resin design.

BUMPERS

The front and rear bumpers are constructed of a structural beam covered with a plastic fascia and are rated to withstand impacts of up to five mph without sustaining significant damage. An attachment point for a tow hook is located under a small cover on each bumper fascia. Removing the cover allows access to a threaded boss that accepts a steel eyebolt located in a holder in the jack storage area.

EXTERIOR PAINT

Inspired by the smooth finishes on fine pianos, Acura set about achieving a mirror-smooth paint finish with a wet, glossy look. To advance the surface smoothness, "orange peel" - the finely undulating surface found on some paints resulting from the evaporation of the paint solvents - had to be all but eliminated. Nine environmentally safer waterborne exterior colors are available, and each uses a durable clear-coat finish that resists scratching and airborne pollutants.


Interior Color
Exterior Color Paint Type Ebony Taupe Parchment Bordeaux
Taffeta White Solid


X
X
Aspen Winter Metallic Metallic


X
X
Billet Silver Metallic Metallic
X
X



Nimbus Gray Metallic Metallic
X
X



Formal Black Pearl
X
X
X
X
X
Steel Blue Metallic Metallic
X
X



Aberdeen Green Metallic Metallic
X


X

Dark Cherry Pearl Pearl
X


X

Desert Rock Metallic Metallic


X

MANUFACTURING

Assembled at Honda of Canada Manufacturing, every 2007 MDX that comes down the line goes through a special inspection area. Here inspectors focus on finding and solving any concerns. The inspection process is dynamic, with changeable parameters based on where any concerns lie.

Along with the RDX, this represents the first time Acura vehicles are separated from Hondas during the assembly process. It represents Acura's commitment to being at the leading edge of quality, and is befitting of the most exclusive Acura SUV ever created.

CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT

From its inception, the second-generation MDX targeted the dynamics and driving feel of its strongest European competitors. The essential elements of this engineering goal included steering, suspension, braking and overall dynamic performance, as well as noise, vibration and harshness control.

At the beginning of the MDX development period, engineers tested European luxury SUVs on European roads, including the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz ML350, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC90. These experiences provided real-world understanding of how these luxury SUVs functioned in everyday driving on their "home turf." Although later development testing was conducted in the U.S., the DNA of the MDX was largely formed in Europe.

One of the essential tools that Acura used was the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany. This 13-mile course contains over 170 corners and is considered the toughest natural road course in the world. Engineers used the Nurburgring as a "weakness finder" because it clearly exposes problems with a vehicle's dynamics, making them easier to identify and fix.

In order to build in a combination of increased handling agility, increased stability and comfort, the vehicle's wheelbase, tread width, and suspension technology were all changed from the first-generation MDX. Engineers changed the lift and squat characteristics of the suspension to provide a flatter takeoff. Thanks to its extended wheelbase together with SH-AWD™ (see Powertrain section), the MDX offers both exceptional high-speed stability and responsive handling.

FRONT SUSPENSION

The entire front chassis was tuned to provide the best balance of handling precision, road isolation, and impact aftershake damping. MacPherson struts with inversely wound coil-over springs and forged-aluminum lower control arms reduce unsprung weight, while the front subframe "floats" on rubber mounts to provide road and engine isolation. The front suspension also uses newly developed hydro-compliance bushings to provide superior ride isolation as well as chassis vibration control. Suspension and engine mounts are specifically tuned to provide minimum vibration transfer to the occupants, and the front struts employ internal rebound springs to improve ride and handling. Anti-dive properties were likewise revised to improve impact harshness and ride comfort.

REAR SUSPENSION

The MDX's rear suspension is a multi-link system mounted on a separate steel subframe. Squeeze-cast aluminum uprights (or "knuckles") reduce unsprung weight for improved response, while revised trailing-arm mounting points (compared to the previous MDX) reduce body squat during acceleration. Coil springs, dampers and an anti-roll bar are tuned for the optimum combination of ride and handling. Rear subframe mounts and lateral control link bushing rates were significantly revised to create a discrete level of lateral force steer at the rear axle. Since the SH-AWD™ system constantly varies drive torque at the rear axle, the longitudinal and lateral force steer properties were carefully developed for optimum response, stability and consistency.

ACTIVE DAMPER SYSTEM

Included with the optional Sport Package, the Active Damper System gives the 2007 MDX an elevated level of handling precision designed to satisfy the most discriminating drivers, while maintaining a smooth and controlled ride. Acura considered all of the available technologies before choosing electronically controlled "semi active," fast-acting Magneto-Rheological fluid dampers as the ideal technology to maximize ride comfort and handling in one integrated system.

The overall goal of the Active Damper System is to achieve outstanding levels of handling response while maintaining refined levels of ride comfort. This allows the driver intuitive vehicle control in a relaxed environment - free from neck straining head toss and other sudden vehicle motions. This is made possible by the quick response of the dampers and by the computer algorithms that keep the dampers a step ahead of the actual body movements.

Advantages of the Active Damper System include:

  • Flat cornering feel - minimal roll or pitch even during spirited driving
  • Responsive, precise and secure steering feel
  • Elimination of unwanted under-damped body heave, roll and pitch motions
  • Improved tire adhesion, vehicle stability and road isolation

REAL-TIME DAMPER CONTROL

The secret to the MDX's Active Damper System is its fast-acting "semi active" shock absorbers. These dampers are built and tuned specifically for the MDX and offer the ability to individually adjust from minimum to maximum damping force in as little as five milliseconds (0.005 sec.). Their ability to do this hinges on the principle of electromagnetic induction. Each damper carries a field coil that generates an electromagnetic field when current is passed through it. Special proprietary damper fluid contains microscopic (on the order of 10 microns in diameter) ferric spheres that align when surrounded by the electromagnetic field, dramatically and instantly changing the effective fluid viscosity. Not only is the overall range of damping force available significantly more than that of a conventional damper, but there are literally hundreds of steps within that range.

The current that passes through the field coils is controlled by an electronic control unit (ECU) that uses special algorithms to determine the best setting for the road conditions. This combined with nearly instantaneous reaction time of the dampers allows damping control to occur before the vehicle's tires or body are allowed to have any extraneous motion.

Active Dampers can run with low damping when the road is smooth and level and the vehicle is being driven at a constant speed. This further reduces the amount of vibration and harshness that passes from the suspension to the body, quieting and improving the vehicle's ride quality.

Using the dampers' 5-millisecond response time, the Active Damper System reacts to sudden changes in driver or road inputs. The high damping force achieved in this short time allows the dampers to aid the springs and stabilizer bars in roll and pitch control, greatly improving the handling of the MDX.

The result of the improved transient handling, road isolation, and body control is that the MDX with the Active Damping System noticeably reduces the driver's workload when compared to other performance-oriented SUVs. The system is able to achieve the benefits of a sporty suspension without the traditional ride comfort tradeoffs. The overall benefit is more enjoyment, better control and less fatigue over the long haul.

Sport or Comfort Mode

The Active Damper System provides two driver-selectable settings - Sport and Comfort. Sport mode prioritizes handling response, vehicle body control and tire adhesion to allow for spirited driving with high levels of precision and composure. Comfort mode allows for a more relaxed driving experience by prioritizing road isolation and reduced passenger fatigue caused by road inputs. Either Sport or Comfort mode can be used in any type of operating conditions as preferred by the driver.

The Active Damper System does not require any special maintenance and has no scheduled replacement interval. The Active Damper system maintains the same quality, durability and performance as all other Acura components.

POWER RACK & PINION STEERING

Of all the luxury SUVs that Acura targeted in developing the 2007 MDX, the BMW X5 3.0i offered the best steering quality. Acura set out to match and exceed the BMW's combination of linearity, precise feel and security at high speed with torque-sensing, variable power-assist rack-and-pinion steering.

Acura engineers spent considerable energy studying steering center feel in an effort to elevate the quality of steering feedback the driver receives. Beyond offering the correct effort level, the MDX provides subtle transient steering feedback that is an integral part of its subjective handling quality. Notable geometry changes include increasing the rake and trail over the previous MDX to provide a stronger steering feel.

WHEELS AND TIRES

The 2007 Acura MDX has standard 18x8J 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and P255/55R18 104H M+S all-season tires. The tires were specially developed for the MDX by Bridgestone and Michelin and offer a significant traction improvement in dry and wet conditions, while maintaining the previous MDX's level of snow/ice traction. Every MDX trim level except base features P255/55R18 104H M+S all-season tires, and P275/45R19 summer tires are also available with the Acura accessory 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Acura designers purposefully moved the wheels and tires to the high end of the competitive set. In 2007, the MDX has bigger tires than all of its 4WD base competitors, and is the only vehicle in the group with standard 18-inch tires.

4-WHEEL DISC BRAKES

The 4-wheel disc brakes on the 2007 MDX are the largest brake system ever featured on a production Acura vehicle. The brake system is engineered to provide best-in-class braking capability in dry conditions, as well as while driving in rain, snow or icy conditions.

Engineers benchmarked the existing MDX as well as the top competitors including BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne for braking performance and pedal feel. Compared to the existing MDX, the 2007 model has shorter pedal travel and firmer pedal feel, in keeping with the direct feel that enthusiast drivers want. The ventilated front rotors are 13 inches in diameter with a thickness of 1.1 inches, while the rear rotors are solid 13.2-inch diameter units with a thickness of 0.433 inches. Calipers are dual-piston cast iron units in front and single-piston cast iron units in back.

The 2007 MDX brake design is validated by a severe fade test utilized by the German enthusiast magazine Auto Motor und Sport, and by rigorous testing on the German Nurburgring circuit.

VEHICLE STABILITY ASSIST™ (VSA®) WITH TRACTION CONTROL

Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) is included as standard equipment. By continually monitoring the vehicle's operating parameters (such as road speed, throttle position, steering wheel position, accelerating, braking and cornering loads), VSA® anticipates if the vehicle is approaching oversteer or understeer. To help correct either of these situations, VSA® first acts to transfer torque bias to the axle with the most traction. This preventative measure significantly reduces the number of brake and throttle interventions. The response is so quick that the instability may be corrected even before the driver knows it's occurring. Traction Control is integrated into the VSA®, and helps the MDX accelerate smoothly on slippery surfaces. As stated in the SH-AWD™ section, the VSA® can request the SH-AWD™ to adjust its torque level - thus allowing Direct Yaw Control of the MDX to maximize stability under all driving conditions.

TIRE PRESSURE MONITORING SYSTEM (TPMS)

An onboard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warns the driver if the air pressure decreases significantly in any tire. The system helps reduce the chance of damaging a tire or losing control of the vehicle due to low air pressure. This is important because a slow leak, such as one that might be caused by a nail or road debris, might not be easily detectable but could cause significant air loss, loss of grip and potentially a blowout.

TPMS uses a sensor mounted on each wheel that continually monitors tire pressure and sends a coded signal to the TPMS electronic control unit (ECU). The process begins with a signal initiator located inboard of each tire on the chassis. The initiator sends a unique signal for each TPMS sensor. Then the TPMS sensor sends tire pressure data to the TPMS ECU, which compares the values for each tire's pressure against an acceptable range of pressures.

When a tire's pressure drops significantly below the proper level, a "check tire pressure" alert will appear on the Multi-Information Display (MID) alert screen. The system can display the air pressure in all four tires simultaneously via the MID, making it simple to locate a low-pressure tire.

At the driver's preference, the Multi-Information Display can continually show the air pressure in all four tires. Regardless of whether the driver chooses to monitor the pressures, a warning will still occur if a tire drops below specification.

OFF-ROAD CAPABILITY

Acura product planners took thorough measures to ensure that off-road enthusiasts would be satisfied with the 2007 MDX. The new vehicle meets design criteria developed for the original MDX, which was based on research at different off-road areas across the country. This research was the foundation for specific minimum performance criteria for the new MDX, including travel through standing water nearly 19 inches deep, steep approach and departure angles (28o front and 23o rear, respectively), rocks, off road and paved grades up to 60%. Components located underneath the vehicle are tucked away to avoid damage in off-highway driving, and the evaporative canister is protected by a high-strength steel guard.

The high-torque engine, SH-AWD™ system with hill logic and computer-controlled traction capabilities help the MDX meet typical off-road challenges without the need for low-range gears. The MDX outperforms its predecessor without the need for a driver-selected 4WD "lock" mode. Generous front approach, break-over and rear departure angles enable the MDX to meet the rough terrain needs of its target buyers.

SNOW AND ICE CAPABILITY

The same technologies that make the MDX capable off-road also enhance its performance in snow and ice. The SH-AWD™ system with grade logic and computer-controlled traction capabilities work together with the standard M+S tires to maximize grip and driver control in winter driving conditions.

NOISE, VIBRATION & HARSHNESS (NVH)

The 2007 MDX uses an array of technologies to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in the passenger cabin. Acura began by attacking vibration in the body during the engineering phase instead of simply adding materials to the body to damp it out later. Two examples of this process are new rear suspension mounting points, which are now attached to the unit body for greater rigidity and reduced vibration, and the stiffening of the front and rear subframes, which allowed the mounting bushings to be made softer.

Engineers paid strict attention to addressing two specific issues - concrete road noise and drumming - neither of which are acceptable to luxury customers. By nature SUVs are susceptible to drumming noises in the cabin interior because of their large open area. Where necessary, meltsheets are still used in critical areas on the front bulkhead and floor, and lighter insulators are used on the bodysides, doors and roof. A new hybrid carpet and padding system further reduces noise intrusion by balancing the transmission loss and absorption properties of the carpet.

To verify that the results were on target, engineers dynamically shook the body and measured vibration by scanning the MDX floor with lasers to see where the "hot spots" were. This provided exact information on where to focus efforts. As a result, the new MDX is 20% stiffer and measurably quieter than the previous version, registering just 64 dBA at 60 mph.

TOWING

With a towing capacity of 5000 pounds the 2007 MDX can tow boat and/or camper trailers with equal confidence. Standard towing equipment includes a high-capacity radiator with twin 160-watt fans, an automatic transmission fluid cooler, a heavy-duty power-steering cooler and pre-wiring for an electric brake controller. A Towing Package is available as dealer-installed accessory, and includes a hitch, receiver, ball and wiring harness.

These essential towing capabilities are improved for the 2007 Acura MDX:

  • Acceleration
  • Pulling power on steep boat ramps
  • Cooling performance
  • Durability
  • Handling
  • Braking

One of Acura's durability tests was towing a 5000-pound trailer around Death Valley National Park during summer, including climbs up steep Townes Pass and Daylight Pass with temperatures between 113o and 120o F. Testers also targeted the toughest boat ramp they could find - at Shasta Lake in Northern California. The ramp is extremely steep, and its length varies depending on the lake level. They also proved the MDX trailer-pulling skills elsewhere in California as well as in Kentucky and West Virginia.

TRAILER STABILITY ASSIST

Every 2007 MDX comes with standard Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) that includes special Trailer Stability Assist algorithms. Trailer Stability Assist interprets oscillation, or wag, in the vehicle/trailer combination while driving. This may occur if the trailer is not loaded correctly, or under certain speed and road conditions. Using a combination of torque reduction and individual brakes, Trailer Stability Assist activates to stabilize the vehicle after sensing oscillations of the vehicle and trailer system.

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