2010 Acura MDX - Body

OVERVIEW

The 2010 MDX fuses the model's traditional virtues of adaptable space, functionality, safety and environmental responsibility with a more exciting visual presence along with more accomplished handling and ride comfort.

Customers in the luxury SUV arena demand distinctive style. The 2010 MDX ups the game with standard 18-inch aluminum wheels and tires, standard Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights and very distinctive front end styling. Driving excitement is equally embraced with a chassis tuned at the Nürburgring circuit and on the autobahns of Germany.

The exterior has bold, clean and advanced styling details with European caché, and it 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 along with lightweight aluminum components used in the suspension and body. An additional list of design elements earmarks the MDX as top shelf. These include standard High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights, plentiful use of high-strength steel, aluminum and magnesium in the vehicle, and convenience features like a standard power rear tailgate. An available Technology Package and Advance Package further enhance functionality and luxury.

EXTERIOR DESIGN GOALS

One of the primary goals in designing the second generation MDX was to keep its previous 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 vehicle. The new front grille is free of molding breaks for a cleaner look and features dark silver satin plating.

STYLING DEVELOPMENT

The original MDX provided an excellent blend of utility, luxury and style. The 2010 Acura MDX has powerful, dynamic styling that is a continuation of the themes that have been embodied in recent Acura products. Designers found inspiration in a high-powered mega yacht, 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 diameter aluminum wheels with performance tires not only benefit handling, but also create a muscular look. In front, the 2010 MDX has a distinctive, advanced Acura look. The platform is long, low and wide to enhance cornering and high-speed stability.

COMPETITIVE COMPARISON

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

  2010
Acura
MDX
2009
BMW
X5 3.0si
2010
Lexus
RX 350
2009
Audi
Q7
2010
Volvo
XC90 3.2
Overall length, in. 191.6 191.1 187.8 188.9 189.3
Overall width, in. 78.5 76.1 74.2 75.9 74.7
Overall height, in. 66.2 69.9 66. 66.9 70.2
Wheelbase, in. 108.3 115.5 107.9 112.4 112.6
Track, F/R, in. 67.7/67.5 64.7/65.0 64.2./63.8 65.2/65.8 64.3/63.9

BODY STRUCTURE

The 2010 MDX utilizes the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which helps distribute collision forces through the entire structure during a frontal collision while helping to retain the integrity of the passenger compartment. The MDX uses a large amount of high-strength steel to help reduce vehicle weight while simultaneously increasing strength. Alternative materials including aluminum and magnesium alloys are also used throughout the vehicle, further reducing vehicle mass, which helps improve fuel economy and increase performance.

Attaining a high level of dynamic body rigidity is essential for precise handling, ride quality and quietness inside the cabin. 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, but 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 second generation 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 use of 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, front rails and body sides.

LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM

About 4.1-percent of the 2010 MDX body components are constructed of aluminum. This material is ideal for certain components such as the hood and instrument panel support, where light weight is preferred and 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 2010 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 during the manufacturing process.

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

AERODYNAMICS

Acura MDX prototypes spent a total of seven weeks in the wind tunnel to test and develop its aerodynamic properties. The attention to detail in aerodynamic efficiency resulted in the development of body side sills that help keep air from moving underneath the vehicle which can cause turbulence. Coefficient of lift and lift balance were also addressed to help keep the MDX stable at high speeds. In this area, internal testing revealed that the MDX exceeds the aerodynamic 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 and an added benefit of wind tunnel testing 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 moonroof is larger than used in the first generation MDX and is also the widest of any direct competitor. A finely tuned deflector ensures that the moonroof 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 heighten 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 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, thus providing a convenient "in between" position useful during tight parking situations. The door openings are finished with an attractive composite garnish that hides the doorsill when the door is open, and for 2010 door striker covers are now used to improve looks.

GLASS

Normally only sports cars use windshields with highly compound curves. Deeply contoured glass is more complex and costly to make, thus it is usually reserved for low-production vehicles. Designers specified deeply curved glass for the MDX for its styling appeal as well as to improve aerodynamic efficiency and quietness. The 2010 MDX uses an acoustic glass front windshield that incorporates a unique PVB film to help quell wind and windshield wiper noise from entering the cabin. The rear glass is also 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 2010 MDX offers 273-degrees of outward visibility compared to 266-degrees of visibility for the BMW X5, which is a significant accomplishment considering the increased size of the MDX's head rests mandated by FMVSS 202a (effective September 2009).

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

XENON HID HEADLIGHTS

All 2010 Acura MDX models include as standard Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) low beam front headlights with halogen high beams. The advantages of HID headlamps include greater lighting power, daylight-color light balance and reduced power consumption. In addition, the cut lines of the new HID headlights are extremely precise, providing maximum nighttime visibility without distracting other drivers.

The 2010 MDX features Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which automatically turn on with the activation of the ignition. An MDX fit with the optional Advance Package features an auto-leveling feature that keeps the headlights level regardless of how the vehicle is loaded with passengers and/or cargo.

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 taillamps of the 2010 MDX. Similarly, the Center High Mount Stop Lamp (CHMSL) features a single array of 16 LEDs. Advantages of the LED taillights include an elegant contemporary appearance, quicker turn-on time (compared to conventional incandescent bulbs) and significantly greater service life. LED lights are also brighter, smaller, lighter and produce less heat than incandescent lights. The LED CHMSL was selected for its appearance and ability to produce the required lighting brightness while retaining 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

For 2010, Acura's power tailgate system is now standard on all MDX models. The power tailgate can be operated via the remote key fob, from a button located on the driver's door panel, or from a button located inside the tailgate. The location of the motor in the MDX's D-pillar (instead of in the roof) allows excellent headroom for the third-row seats. The tailgate can also be operated manually.

REARVIEW CAMERA

Every Acura MDX uses a camera to display a rear view image. The standard MDX displays the rear view image on a 3.5-inch video screen which is integrated into the auto-dimming rearview mirror, while the MDX with the Technology Package or Advance Package displays an image on the in-dash navigation screen. Furthermore, Technology and Advance Package models offer three different rear view angles -normal rear view, wide angle rear view and a tow-friendly top view. The camera lens is located on the tailgate next to the license plate.

BLIND SPOT INFORMATION SYSTEM

Sensors for the Acura's all-new blind spot information system are located behind the left and right rear bumper fascia. The sensors can detect other vehicles when they are in the blind spot of the MDX driver. The feature uses indicators to alert the driver when another vehicle is detected in close proximity to the MDX.

RESIN FUEL FILLER DOOR

The MDX fuel filler door is operated remotely from inside the vehicle via a switch located 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 features a flangeless resin design.

BUMPERS

The front and rear bumpers are constructed of a structural beam covered with a plastic fascia 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 the jack storage area. New for 2010, the rear bumper fascia now cohesively wraps around and joins with the rear wheel arch trim for a more integrated look. In the front, the new bumper fascia incorporates unique lower side scoops for improved radiator cooling along with stylish looks.

EXTERIOR PAINT

Inspired by the smooth finishes on fine pianos, Acura set out to achieve 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. Eight environmentally responsible 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 Black Taupe Parchment Umber
Aspen White Pearl Pearl   •* •* •*
Bali Blue Pearl Pearl   •*    
Crystal Black Pearl Pearl •* •*
Dark Cherry Pearl Pearl   •*  
Grigio Metallic Metallic •*  
Ionized Bronze Metallic     •* •*
Palladium Metallic Metallic    
Polished Metal Metallic Metallic    

*Please note: not every interior / exterior color combination is available for every trim. Please consult Acura.com to Build and Price your MDX.

Along with the ZDX and 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 it is befitting of the most exclusive Acura SUV ever created.

2010 MDX EXTERIOR ACCESSORIES

A line of Acura Genuine Accessories was developed simultaneously with the MDX to provide personalization for the Acura owner. Like all Acura Genuine Accessories, the MDX accessories are covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty if installed at the time of vehicle purchase.

2010 Acura MDX exterior accessory features include:

  • Back-up sensors
  • Body side molding
  • Door edge protection film
  • Door edge guards
  • Engine block heater
  • Fender trim
  • Full nose mask
  • Hood air deflector
  • Front lower trim
  • Rear lower trim
  • Moonroof visor
  • Rear bumper appliqué
  • Roof rails (black or silver)
  • Cross bars (black or silver)
  • Exterior bike attachment
  • Kayak attachment
  • Luggage basket
  • 76" roof box (16 cu-ft)
  • 55"roof box "(13 cu-ft)
  • Ski attachment
  • Snowboard attachment
  • Surfboard attachment
  • Bike attachment (hitch mount)
  • Advance running boards
  • Chrome side steps
  • Sport running boards
  • Trailer hitch and hitch ball
  • 19-inch diameter EPZ-AR5 chrome-look aluminum wheels
  • 19-inch diameter EPZ-AR5 Sparkle Silver aluminum wheels
  • Wheel locks
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