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2008 Acura MDX Elite Review

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As soon as they hit the market, some vehicles capture our imagination with their boldly innovative or plainly singular design. The 2008 Acura MDX is certainly bold... and singular. Upon its introduction, this CUV surprised many fans and medias. The armor-looking grille, in particular, generated a lot of buzz and controversy.

The brand's new design language consists of sharp lines cutting across each other to create a distinctive package.

The brand's new design language essentially consists of sharp lines cutting across each other to create a distinctive package. Such styling, incidentally introduced with the MDX last year, is unmistakably Acura. In fact, all new and upcoming models will feature this unorthodox design.

In order to appreciate the vehicle, it's better to look at it up close than from afar. There are plenty of interesting details; however, artistic direction is sorely lacking. What's more, the relatively short wheelbase results in a stocky, somewhat unflattering silhouette.

Fortunately, the interior is much better. Largely inspired from the RL sedan's, the dashboard of the new MDX is strikingly gorgeous. The materials are refined and beautifully matched together, including dark wood appliqués and aluminium accents. Fit and finish is really good.

The navigation display is high and therefore easier (and safer) to read while driving. On the other hand, the big rotary knob is a bit low, making the operation slightly less intuitive. The plethora of controls, buttons and switches requires a fair amount of time to get used to, which also affects ergonomics.

The 2008 Acura MDX is comprehensively equipped. For instance, the Premium Sound system includes a 6-disc in-dash CD changer, MP3/WMA compatibility and 8 speakers with 8-inch subwoofers. XM satellite radio is also in the mix, not to mention the Bluetooth wireless interface--now mandatory in some provinces for those who want to talk on the phone while driving.

Every occupant enjoys plenty of room and benefits from very comfortable seats, making long trips even more pleasant.