Five weeks after the new 2014 Acura MDX was unveiled at the 2013 New York auto show, Acura announced it built the first salable 2014 MDX yesterday at its plant in Alabama.
The 2014 MDX rolled off the line at Honda Manufacturing Alabama in Lincoln, Alabama. The plant currently makes the Odyssey minivan, Pilot SUV, and Ridgeline pickup truck. It’s only right, then, that the plant expands to another V-6-powered large FWD/AWD vehicle, the MDX. The MDX is also the first Acura to be built at this particular plant. However, it isn’t the first Acura to be made in the U.S.: the ILX is currently rolling off production lines at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana; the RDX and TL are both made in Ohio.
The MDX now heads to the dealers armed with a bit more fuel economy and a bit more space than before. As we saw from the production-spec New York Auto Show car, the 2014 MDX will use Honda/Acura’s all-new Earth Dreams 3.5-liter direct injection V-6 engine (which is also built in Alabama and makes 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque) and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Unlike the RDX, the MDX will continue to offer the company’s SH-AWD torque-vectoring all-wheel drive setup; for the first time, buyers can also spec their SUVs with front-wheel drive to save fuel. The FWD model is rated at 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway, while the SH-AWD model is rated at 18 mpg city / 27 mpg highway. Part of the improved economy also comes from the body structure: while the car is 2.75 inches longer in the wheelbase than before, it’s also 275 pounds lighter than before.
The MDX will go on sale “in the coming weeks” at a price to be determined/announced.