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2023 Acura MDX vs. Honda Pilot

Comparison between 2023 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot

1. Introduction

The 2023 Acura MDX and the Honda Pilot are two vehicles that were released by sister companies. Acura is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Honda. The MDX has been designed and engineered to compete in the mid-luxury SUV class, whilst the Honda Pilot is marketed in the mainstream SUV class. Both vehicles share a large number of components, designs, and features due to the fact that the MDX was originally developed from the Honda Pilot. A comparison of these two vehicles will reveal that the MDX is an extension of the Pilot with its price and positioning within Honda's American lineup being a determining factor for the level of components they both share. Acura has designed the 2023 MDX to compete in the three-row luxury crossover segment. Targeting similar luxury SUVs, the MDX looks to take sales away from the Audi Q7, Infiniti GX60, and the Volvo XC90. The MDX has always shared some resemblance to another vehicle such as the Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5, but Acura's intention to place the MDX into the luxury category was made noticeable during the 2nd generation release of the MDX where it looked towards the Lexus RX330. In order to compete in the luxury vehicle market, Acura has to invest in producing a high-quality vehicle and has moved the MDX production to its Ohio manufacturing plant in 2013. On the other hand, the Honda Pilot has been marketed as a family-friendly, 8-passenger alternative to a minivan, with more composure and a greater performance envelope. It has been designed to build on the success of the CR-V and the Element with its aim towards the American market. The Pilot is the largest and widest SUV produced by Honda and features the most components of any Honda vehicle. The Pilot's size and position make it the ideal class of vehicle to fill an American family's needs for a versatile vehicle between a sport utility and a minivan. Due to the fact that the MDX was developed as a luxury alternative to the Honda Pilot, there are many similarities between the two vehicles.

1.1 Overview of the 2023 Acura MDX

The 2023 Acura MDX has room to improve for customers, providing them comfort with better suspension and newer features that run more smoothly compared to its predecessors. This car indeed gives a unique sense of comfort to passengers. The roomier third row (now with "jumper" style seating for easier access) makes getting into the back row less of an ordeal and means adults won't feel like a substitute or punishment being back there. Looks are somewhat subjective but the new sheet metal will likely appeal to more people than the previous version did. Step inside and the cabin is high quality and very premium; in many ways it looks and feels like a more expensive SUV. It is an undeniably upscale environment. Material quality is high throughout and the center stack of controls is canted toward the driver and made from real metal, providing easy access and a more substantial feel. The suspension is the first ever double wishbone setup to be used on an MDX. On the new MDX, with rigid mounting and a longer lower arm, Acura says the two lower mounting points provide three-dimensional deflection which helps front wheel control. This enhances comfort because the back and forth of the tire is less erratic and moves in a more and set and predictable manner. Improvements to the amplitude reactive dampers were aimed at improving neutral force, in particular at low-frequency inputs such as highway cruising. Force characteristics are variable which means that the dampers have a wide range of adjustability for different driving styles/conditions. This is supposed to all lead to a comfortable ride with better handling and increased driver satisfaction. Step comfort is improved too, with changes made to stroke and spring for a smoother experience. This is all great news for the driver and gives the MDX more sporting characteristics, without compromising comfort for all passengers. A new feature that is debuting on the 2023 MDX is the integration of acoustic glass that is used in the front windows and the windshield. This presumably is to reduce cabin noise but there have been no specific details on how it differs in terms of noise reduction compared to regular glass. Acura says that this is to be rolled out for all future models, so expect the noiseless feature to be available on all vehicles in the coming years.

1.2 Overview of the Honda Pilot

Honda mainly focused on enhancing the Honda Pilot 2023 with a lot of technology and features. Honda claims it to be an all-new Pilot rather than a mid-cycle refreshment. "We have listened to our customers and we understand that they want more at present," said the Pilot16 chief engineer, Marc Ernst. This statement clearly justifies how Honda focused on giving a better experience to Honda Pilot users. Every trim of the Honda Pilot is equipped with a different set of features and technology. Some notable ones are: an all-new 8-inch infotainment display with Android and Apple CarPlay, the next generation Honda Link, new Cabin Talk and Cabin Control, an updated rear entertainment system, and wireless charging, etc. The step-up trim and one of the main additional features are paddle shifters and Idle Stop for better fuel efficiency. Elite and Black Edition trims have a few more advanced features and technologies. Some of the notable ones are ventilated front seats and a wireless phone charger, etc. All these updated features in technology give Honda Pilot users a better experience and meet their expectations. In terms of safety features, Honda has equipped the all-new Pilot with Honda Sensing on all trims as standard. This is something that gives confidence to buyers who want to buy the Honda Pilot 2023. The updated rear entertainment system also has a very important feature: Rear Seat Reminder. This feature can even remind the driver to check the rear seat when they switch off the ignition. By the 2022 model, federal regulators will make rear seat reminders mandatory in vehicles. So, this feature in the Pilot will be standard in advance for safety.

2. Exterior Design

The 2023 Acura MDX was styled to look aggressive yet still elegant. The Acura MDX was redesigned and reengineered from the ground up and now sits on an all-new Acura-designed and built platform. This new platform is longer and wider, but not taller, resulting in a more sleek and aerodynamic look that is more reminiscent of a wagon than an SUV. The Acura MDX is longer, wider, and lower than the previous generation and has a longer wheelbase than the Honda Pilot. This platform size and setup allow for a lower, longer, and wider build that aids in giving the Acura MDX that aggressive and low stance look. The Jewel Eye LED headlights now sit on top of the front fenders instead of being built into the grille like previous generations. This repositioning of the headlights helps the front end look wider and gives the MDX a more noticeable on-road presence. The Chicane flip running lights were designed to resemble motorsport and were a feature that was first seen on the Acura NSX and has since been implemented on most models in the Acura lineup.

2.1 Styling of the 2023 Acura MDX

When discussing the exterior design of the Acura MDX, as is common with Acura vehicles, it should be remarked that the vehicle certainly looks good. There are a few issues with the vehicle's aesthetics, but depending on your preferences, one might consider the vehicle to be one of the better looking SUVs on the market at the moment. As far as unique features go, the vehicle comes with the new "Jewel Eye" LED headlights that are also present on the new RLX and the upcoming new NSX. While we assume these headlights to be an improvement in lighting over the previous models, their shape and design is rather bulky and takes away from the vehicle's more aggressive and sporty styling. Presumably, these lights are a feature added for MDX drivers who do not wish to drive something less than premium and can be expected to trickle down to future cheaper Honda Pilot models. The shape of the vehicle is another positive feature, with smooth surfaces and clean lines that do a good job of disguising the vehicle's larger size. A downside would be that of the rear, where the vehicle's rear lights extend far up onto the rear door, and this combined with the front lights gives a very spaceship-like appearance to the vehicle, though that may be some sort of appeal to the Star Wars fanatics. Though the MDX has the same 111-inch wheelbase as the Pilot, it is 2 inches longer and 1 inch wider, and this gives the vehicle a more stable and planted stance on the road that is a large improvement over the Pilot. At this point, it is worth making a comparison to the vehicle's predecessor, the 2nd generation MDX. This vehicle was considered by many to be the best-looking generation of the MDX. When compared to the new model, the 2nd generation has smoother lines and a less cluttered appearance and generally appears more svelte and less bulky than the newer model. In terms of frontal appearance, it is a tough decision between the two, but the lack of bulky lights gives the older model less of a 'trying too hard' appearance. If having seen the 2023 MDX, one can also infer that the new model is somewhat of a mixture between the older MDX and the RDX, and people having seen the 3rd generation RDX are likely to agree that the 2nd generation RDX is far superior both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

2.2 Styling of the Honda Pilot

The 2023 Honda Pilot’s look is a study in contrasts. The negative first: that grille. With the fractal arrangement of the grille elements, it clangs for visual attention with the snouty designs that automakers like Land Rover and Chinese luxury GAC are adopting. The Pilot’s grille is actually something of a smashed-up halfback to pre-SUV sedans like the BMW X6 and Saab 9-4x. It isn’t pretty, and the massive expanse of so-so brightwork around it only highlights its size more. Compare it with the Pilot’s very nicely detailed taillamps, and it’s obvious there’s a lot to process here—almost too much. And that contrast soaks into the rest of the design. With loops of smooth, organic lines down the sides, and a roofline that breaks for some SUV identity at the back pillar, the Pilot’s just a little outdoorsy from some angles. But those two totally different ideas about what a big, efficient family vehicle should look like—too busy and too softly styled—come together at its tail to create one more complex visual. The wedge and the 'dual exhaust' exit hint at something truck-like, and not in a bad way, while the complex shapes around the rear bumper are that halfhearted way of adding design substance to sheetmetal that’s more about function.

2.3 Comparison of exterior features

The Acura MDX has a more appealing shape and structure in contrast to the Honda Pilot. This movement away from the boxy design of the Pilot has helped to increase the aesthetics of the MDX, making it more appealing to those who appreciate style. The Acura has an all-new Diamond Pentagon grille, creating a more aggressive look when compared to the plaque-like front end of the Pilot. High-performance, all-LED JewelEye headlights are standard on all Acura models, which illuminate with a natural white light, are brighter than xenon and use less energy. Contrast this with LED headlights which are only available on the Elite Pilot models and you can see that the MDX has the more illuminating headlight. The A-Spec MDX models come equipped with an exclusive 20-inch Shark Grey aluminum alloy wheel, adding a stylish and aggressive stance to an already aggressive SUV. The Black Copper Pearl color is also exclusive to the A-Spec models and is meant to invoke the image of a high-performance race machine, making them stand out from every other SUV in their class and in the Honda lineup. Finally, the rear of the MDX has a Dual Exhaust with Bright Finisher which works to create a lower, wider and more athletic stance in comparison with the Pilot, which has a hidden exhaust and works to tie the entire sporty image of the MDX together.

3. Interior Comfort and Technology

The Honda Pilot comes equipped with an 8-inch display audio touch-screen and an alternative 8-inch rear-seat entertainment screen for its Elite model. This is an upgrade from the 5-inch color LCD screen and 160-watt audio system that is found in the other models of the Honda Pilot. A multi-functional center console, ambient lighting, and integrated sunshades for the 2nd row add a level of convenience for passengers who are looking to relax. While the Honda Pilot does not lack in interior comfort and technology, it is clear that the 2023 Acura MDX holds a significant advantage with its luxurious interior.

Both the 2023 Acura MDX and the Honda Pilot come stocked with technologically advanced options to provide drivers and passengers with viable levels of comfort and luxury. While both vehicles offer upholstery choices for both the first and second rows of seating, the Acura MDX offers perforated Milano Premium Leather seating, adding a touch of style. The MDX also offers ventilated seats, which the Honda Pilot does not feature. The Acura MDX goes a step further by offering a wood trim option for drivers that are looking to add a little bit more luxury as well as a head-up warning system which will prevent dings and scratches on the vehicle. The 10.2-inch full-color display matches the one found in the Honda Pilot's Elite model, but the Acura MDX adds a frameless rearview mirror and a 12-speaker premium sound system offering another level of luxury. Add these features together and the 2023 Acura MDX is sure to impress with its luxurious interior.

3.1 Luxurious interior of the 2023 Acura MDX

The materials used in the cabin have a more upmarket feel, especially on the Advance grade tested, which has open-pore wood finishes, contrast stitching, metal trim, and Milano leather covering just about every surface. The atmosphere isn't as sleek as a Volvo XC90 or as ostentatious as a Mercedes GLE, but it has its own subtle luxury charm. The fully customizable dash is a true centerpiece, but even the lower-spec MDXs get a new hybrid digital-analog instrument cluster. The new seats with high-density pads and available massage function are said to have been designed with the NSX supercar in mind and should be an improvement over the long-distance support of the old MDX's thrones. The middle-row captain's chairs are supremely comfortable, and the third row is far easier to get into than last time around. Overall space is slightly down but still among the best in our class. Step inside, and it's clear to see that Acura has taken the MDX upmarket, and it finally feels like a car that can square up to the premium German competition.

From an interior point of view, the new MDX has taken a huge leap forward compared to its predecessor, which was often criticized for its sub-premium experience. The cockpit has a new, more driver-focused layout with the center console higher than before, giving the front occupants a more cosseted feel. And yes, there is a new drive mode selector in the middle too. It arrives in the UK in the first half of next year and will fill the shoes of the fifth best-selling premium SUV in Europe and biggest Acura model there. It seems to be the biggest departure from the outgoing model in terms of interior design and quality too, with the new dashboard taking on a more enveloping symmetrical look.

3.2 Comfort and technology in the Honda Pilot

Being originally developed by Acura as a more luxurious alternative to the Honda MDX, the MDX had become a rebranded version of the Honda MDX (Infiniti/Honda), and it is also a version of the Isuzu Axiom that was sold in Japan. Highs: Space, easy-folding rear seats, quiet and composed ride, lower pricing. The Honda Pilot comes with a 5-speed automatic transmission, high-tech VTM-4 (4WD and front-wheel-drive) system which adds capabilities of auto, lock, and VTM-4 modes to better tackle harsh conditions, and use of an integrated closed-box frame for better rigidity and safety of impacts. Honda advertises the 3rd row seats as 3-across seating, and is actually able to accommodate adults with the ability to slide the 2nd row seats forward or back. This was considered very useful, as it facilitates rear entry, and increases 3rd row space when needed, improving 3rd row comfort and entry/exit. The easy-to-use folding mechanism for the 2nd and 3rd row seats which is as intuitive as possible. Thirdly, the MDX is now in the second generation, and it is designed and developed in the United States. With better comfort and a more spacious and easier to access 3rd row than its predecessors; 2014-2017 2nd generation and 2007-2013 1st generation, it was meant to be a cost-effective alternative to the top-end Acura crossovers/SUVs with a new 2WD base model and lower starting pricing in the mid-high $40,000 range. A lower starting price, ease of entry and exit to the 3rd row and expected reliability and lower cost of maintenance compared to the previous generation MDX make the Pilot a very attractive alternative to the MDX. A quick summary of this is that the Pilot has evolved into what the MDX wanted to be: a cost-effective 3-row family mover with an emphasis on making the best use of its interior space for better 3rd row comfort and entry/exit, and a better mix of practical usage of technology and features for better maintenance and everyday usage.

3.3 Comparison of interior features

The interior of the MDX is a delightful blend of high-tech luxury and thoughtful design features. While there are many areas in which to compare the interiors of the RDX and MDX, the most notable difference lies in the two models' center consoles. Honda fans will find the MDX console quite familiar, as it is very similar to the Pilot's console. The MDX version has upgraded materials and a more refined look, however, and is anchored to the rear by an elegantly designed shifter. The center console and dashboard in the MDX create two focal areas that combine cutting-edge technology with elegant design for an overall appearance that is both sophisticated and inviting. The higher placement screen and slight tilt toward the driver bring the technological aspect of the MDX front and center. The RDX console is narrower and more utilitarian, but the upgraded center stack adds aesthetic appeal. The RDX console and shift lever design accommodate similar high-tech features to the MDX, leaving little to offer in terms of functionality, but the MDX execution provides a more sophisticated, user-friendly interface with a bit more flash. Both models feature an electronic gear selector, with the RDX model's push-button shifter freeing up a bit more console space and allowing for two large cup holders. The MDX and RDX front seats make use of a more extensive set of adjustments and features than Pilot and CR-V. This includes 10-way adjustable power seats with power lumbar support, 2-driver memory, and power adjustable headrests. Acura's driver seats now have an automatic power feature that slides the seat back and tilts the seat cushion upward for easier exit and entry. The higher-end Advance and A-Spec MDX models come with a 16-way adjustable driver seat with power adjustable thigh extension and adjustable side bolster support. Step into the second row and the MDX and Pilot seat features are more comparable. Both models have a rear bench seat with a 60/40 split for adjusting legroom and seatback angles. However, the MDX center seat has a unique low-slung design in light of the second row's captain's chairs. This was done to add comfort and usability to the generally despised center seat, though the change may be frowned upon by anyone who was hoping for a truly flat second row to aid in a pseudo third-row cargo area. The MDX's most notable enhancement to the second row will be the heated captain's chairs available in the Advance Package. This will bring a previously unheard-of amount of luxury to the MDX's second row, though with the sacrifice of one seat and a de facto disqualification for big families. The third-row seats in the MDX and Pilot are still the best option for those occasionally needing seating for seven or eight. The MDX continues to feature one-motion third-row seat access, but the Pilot remains easier with second-row seats that slide and tilt forward at the press of a button. Other comfort-oriented features for the second and third row in both models include tri-zone climate control, rear window sunshades, and manually adjusted rear door window sunshades on certain trim levels.

3.4 Infotainment and connectivity options

2023 Acura MDX The Acura MDX comes with a 12.3-inch HD dual-content center display. This allows for the driver and passenger to view different setups on the same screen. The touch screen is also compatible with smartphones and tablets, keeping a familiar user setup for personal use. It also supports Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto so that you can connect to your phone without using any wires. The 2023 MDX is also the first Acura model to come with Amazon Alexa built-in. This allows for the car to be in sync with any Alexa-enabled device. Alexa can help with navigation, media, and contact lists. Alexa can also be programmed to turn on fans, lights, and other home features, allowing for this feature to be very useful. RDX comes with a 10-speaker audio system, AM/FM and Sirius XM radio, USB ports, and Bluetooth streaming audio. It also comes with steering wheel-mounted controls and a voice recognition system so that the driver can keep their hands free. The audio system has a speed-sensitive volume compensation that increases the volume as the car goes faster to offset road noise. High trim models come with a 12-speaker system or an ELS 3D audio system. Honda Pilot The lower trim models of the Pilot come with a 5-inch color LCD screen. The higher-end trim models or the Elite, which is the highest trim level, come with an 8-inch touch screen. All models of the Pilot come with a 215-watt audio system and 7 speakers, including a subwoofer. The sound system also comes with AM/FM radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, and compatibility with Pandora. Although there are no specifics about a speed-sensitive volume compensation, the Pilot does come with active noise-canceling technology to reduce noise when the car is moving. In regards to phone connectivity, the Pilot comes with a USB audio interface and 2.5-amp fast charging ports. The higher trim models come with CabinControl, which is an app that allows the passengers to have control of the climate and entertainment features right from their phones.

4. Performance and Handling

Smooth as silk on the highway, adept in the switchbacks, and always rewarding, the MDX operates beyond its humble station as a family hauler. Throttle response and shift quality is so good, you may think there’s a V-8 under the hood. Acura’s done a terrific job isolating the cabin from the powertrain, too. It’s muted well enough that you might be surprised to find the MDX uses a version of the 3.5-liter V-6 also found in the Pilot. Rated at 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque in this application, it’s down a bit from the V-6 in today’s MDX, but so far in our testing, we haven’t felt a significant power deficit. The engine features variable cylinder management, which allows it to run on three or four cylinders to save fuel in light-load driving situations. EPA fuel economy ratings aren’t final yet, but Acura is expecting gains of approximately 7 percent, which would put the MDX at 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The standard transmission is a reworked six-speed automatic with a new push-button gear selector. It’s a low-stress way to play up the performance feel, but it’s a couple of ratios away from being able to compete with the best in fuel economy in this class. And for this class and price point, a front drive model that saves some cash and gas would be the way to go for most consumers. But regardless of model or weather, the MDX can be fitted with Acura’s excellent Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). Now in its fourth generation, the system is 16 lbs lighter than the outgoing version, yet it can transfer up to 70 percent of torque to the rear wheels and 100 percent of that torque to either the right or left rear wheel, for better traction and handling. To elevate the fuel economy up another notch, there are plans for a new Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, to be introduced next year for the 2017 model year. The system installs a 3.0-liter V-6 engine and three-motor hybrid system—borrowed from the RLX Sport Hybrid—that collectively provides instant torque, with the hybrid components adding up to 35 hp and 72 lb-ft of the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Due to the MDX’s larger size and weight, Acura is targeting total system output north of 325 hp and in terms of fuel efficiency, we should expect improvements of approximately 7-8 mpg in overall fuel economy. As an added bonus, the system can power the rear wheels individually, for on-demand all-wheel drive and torque-vectoring capabilities. Sounds like a winner.

4.1 Powertrain options in the 2023 Acura MDX

The 2023 Acura MDX comes with one powertrain option, a 3.5-liter V6 engine. Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, this naturally aspirated engine replaces the outgoing 3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission. Its power has been increased slightly to 290 horsepower while torque is rated at 267 lb-ft. This is an increase of 14 lb-ft of torque over the previous model, with a broader band of torque across the engine's rpm range. Marketed as a performance-oriented alternative to the Honda Pilot, the Acura's V6 engine is shared with both the RDX and TLX, and includes specific tuning for packaging in the MDX's larger engine bay. This powertrain is available on both front-wheel drive and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) platforms, with the latter receiving a new sand and mud mode for more adventurous driving. This represents a change from previous MDX generations, which offered a hybrid powertrain as an alternative to the V6 engine. While Acura has confirmed that a Type S variant of the MDX will be coming, potentially with a more powerful engine, there is no word on whether a version with reduced fuel consumption or environmentally-friendly credentials will be offered. Overall, the V6 is a tried and true engine configuration in the Acura lineup, which should bring strong but predictable results in terms of acceleration, fuel economy, and long-term reliability. It is expected to provide acceleration figures from 0-60 mph in the low 6-second range. Figures for exact fuel economy and towing capacity have yet to be released.

4.2 Performance capabilities of the Honda Pilot

With up to 25 city/27 highway mpg, aerodynamic design, and exceptional advanced performance, the 3rd-row 2023 Acura MDX is built for premium power and efficiency on every drive. Step up to the Type S, and elevate your expectations of what a luxury SUV can be. Starting with the exclusive 355-HP V-6 powerplant, Precision Crafted Performance takes on an invigorating new definition. Exclusive to the Type S, the first-ever MDX with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) puts 354-HP and 354 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels through a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. Then it further heightens agility with true torque vectoring for sharper turn-in, more neutral handling, and greater precision during acceleration and braking. When equipped with a standard 290-HP V-6, the 2023 Honda Pilot is a solid performer among today's midsize 3-row SUVs. This engine teams with a 9-speed automatic transmission in most versions, or a 6-speed automatic in the lower trim levels. Front-wheel drive is standard, with i-VTM4 AWD available across the lineup. All AWD models feature Honda's Intelligent Traction Management (TM) with Intelligent Variable Torque Management AWD (i-VTM4) featuring Normal, Snow, Mud, and Sand modes on the push-button gear selector. The i-VTM4 AWD system provides dynamic torque vectoring and can send up to 70 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels, and 100 percent of that torque to either the left or right rear wheel, creating improved all-weather traction and enhanced dynamic handling. Each Pilot is also equipped with an Intelligent Traction Management system, featuring Snow, Mud, and Sand modes, helping optimize power delivery for varying surface conditions. These all add up to making the Pilot one of the more capable crossovers for tackling adverse weather or off-road conditions in its class.

4.3 Comparison of driving dynamics

In terms of driving dynamics, the MDX with base front-wheel drive feels more balanced and controlled than the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive model. Although, I'm not sure how that will compare to the base Honda Pilot. The MDX's electric power steering system is well sorted in terms of weighting and accuracy, but the feel is more artificial than that of the Pilot. The MDX has a more sophisticated suspension and is much sportier than the Pilot, which delivers a smooth, comfortable ride. The MDX has a wide track and low center of gravity and, as such, feels very stable and has good grip in the corners. The SH-AWD system delivers sportier handling with up to 70% of torque going to the rear axle and 100% of that torque distributed to the outside or inside wheel when cornering. This gives it much-improved cornering capability and reduces understeer, the characteristic of most front-wheel drive family SUVs. The Pilot with an intelligent variable torque management 4WD system will not handle as well as the MDX and probably not as good as its previous generation. It is heavier than its predecessor and moving away from its usual boxy shape, it has lost its strength and toughness but will still be a capable off-roader. The Pilot has a unibody chassis with a MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension, which is a similar system to the current MDX. This allows for a more comfortable and smooth ride, which is needed to compete with modern-day mid-sized SUVs. Overall, the Pilot is still a capable and versatile SUV but has lost its ruggedness and will most likely not be able to match the same driving dynamics as the MDX, which is a clear segment leader in this area.