[Expert comparison review] Lexus RX vs Acura MDX (second generation)

05/03/2019
Editor rating :
Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. Design
3. Handling characteristics
4. Performance
5. Price
6. Conclusion

1. Introduction

The Lexus RX and Acura MDX are two very popular SUVs in the Nigerian market. They have distinct design features that make their form factor stand out. Being something close to a crossover SUV, they look as appealing as full size sedan cars and midsize luxury SUVs, thus giving the best of both worlds. Here in this comparison review of Lexus RX vs Acura MDX, 4 aspects will be highlighted from; the design, handling, performance and price.

Both sharing the most recognisable feature of large headroom and legroom, the two also boast large cargo spaces while the second gen Lexus RX with its unibody design help in giving it a car like handling.

Lexus-RX330-SUV-with-tailgate-open

2. Design

With their different design philosophies, the Lexus RX has its form factor borrowed from the Toyota Camry while the Acura MDX has its design gotten from the Honda Pilot.

2.1 Lexus RX (second generation)

The design of the second generation Lexus RX is immediately recognizable on Nigerian roads and lauded as one of the most popular vehicles seen in the dreaded Lagos traffic. It has a more visible flow silhouette from the hood to its tailgate than its predecessor, the first generation. For its interior, the option with the leather upholstery make it live up to a luxurious brand model.

a-Lexus-RX-parked-close-to-a-porch

Sweeping roofline and subtle coupe like design of the Lexus RX

>>> More about Lexus RX: 2010 Lexus RX 350 review: Price in Nigeria, Model, Problems, Interior, Specs & More (Update in 2019)

2.2 Acura MDX (second generation)

With its muscular wheel arches and pointy nose and tail ends, the second generation Acura MDX inherits some of its exterior design cues from the Honda Pilot. Being a luxury SUV, it points out a chrome finish symbol on its grill which has no discontinuity in design. This musculature enhances the sport bias of the SUV.

Acura-MDX-speeding-along-the-road

The Acura MDX showing its muscular design and angular fascia

2.3 Design verdict

Picking the better design here would be based on personal preference. The customer will have to make a choice of either the sweeping car like design of the Lexus or the daring musculature of the Acura.

3. Handling characteristics

The handling of a car is simply how its chassis responds to input from the driver. This includes throttle response, steering especially, suspension quality and braking. These two vehicles respond very differently to handling inputs with the Lexus eyeing at better handling at low speed while the Acura model steers its focus more on the high-speed handling.

3.1 Handling the Lexus RX

As a Lexus, the ride is aimed at a serene focused audience. With the air suspension set-up, the ride is smooth and reminiscent of luxury. The elevated driving position gives a truck feel when driving. With a shorter wheelbase of 106.9 inches, handling at slower speeds is better. The vehicle stability control program gets aggressive sometimes taking away fun driving that can be derived from a little slip.

hands-on-a-steering-wheel-of-Lexus-RX-330

The soft power assisted steering makes handling the Lexus RX 330 a breeze

3.2 Handling the Acura MDX

The Acura MDX has soft ride connotation, it’ll be the preferable ride for your mum to take to the grocery store. Its ride is plosh with comfortable sitting and does not offer the oomph of an Audi Q5 or a Volkwagen Tuareg. Steering inputs are quite precise due to its precision electronic power steering. Though it feels like a pimped up Honda Pilot, its sports magneto-rheological dampers (these dampers contain special hydraulic fluid whose viscosity can be varied using a magnetic field) which enhances customizable driveability. The dampers can automatically adjust to road conditions by getting more or less stiffer, all this can affect the rate of body roll, pitch and lean rate during a turn.

With a longer wheelbase of 108.3 inches handling control is better at higher speeds.

>>> Review of another hot Acura model in Nigeria: Acura ZDX 2010 model review: Price in Nigeria, Model, Interior, Model Pictures, Problems & More (Update in 2019)

Acura-MDX-car-moving-on-snow

The Acura MDX handling is designed with the high-speed handling at its best

3.3 Handling verdict

Both of these cars have luxury at the centre piece of their handling, delivering a smooth ride for consumers. Any sport defined form of driving is inhibited. They both have different approaches to the smooth handling achieved with Lexus’s air suspension and Acura’s magneto-rheological dampers. If you enjoy vehicle stability at very high speeds, then the longer wheelbase of the Acura will appeal to you while low speed maneuvers and smaller turning radii will suit the owners of the shorter wheelbase Lexus RX.

Acura-MDX-with-hood-open

Engine of Acura MDX

4. Performance

The performance of the Lexus RX vs. Acura MDX shall be considered in the following parameters:

  • Torque: how well the car accelerates and how long is its 0-60mph time.
  • Horse power: shows their engine speed
  • Capacity: how much fuel/air mix they can take in at a time to generate more power.
  • Engine configuration: the number of cylinders and the form or arrangement they take.
  • Acceleration (0-60mph time): the time the cars take to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour.
  • Transmission: how well the the power and torque are varied from the engine to ensure proper delivery to the wheels.

Below is a table depicting their performance characteristics:

Lexus RX vs Acura MDX: performance   
 Parameters  Lexus RX  Acura MDX
 Torque  252 lb-ft  270 lb-ft
 Horse power  272 HP  270 lb-ft
 Capacity  3.3-liter  3.7-liter
 Engine cofiguration  V-6 engine  V-6 engine
 0-60mph time  7.8secs  7.1secs
Transmission  5 speed auto  6 speed auto

engine-block-showing-V-configuration-that-the-Acura-MDX-and-the-Lexus-RX-use

The V-configuration arrangement used to align multiple cylinders in a smaller volume comes equipped in both cars

an open transmission block

The transmission of the Acura MDX showing its gears

4.7. Performance verdict

From the table of values above the Acura MDX performs slightly better than the Lexus RX for the second generation with a transmission with more planetary gear set and faster 0-60mph time.

>>> For those who want to dig deeper in car performance terms: Car performance made easy: torque, horse power, capacity & engine configuration

5. Price

The price of the second generation Lexus RX 330 ranges from 2 million to 3.8 million naira while the second generation Acura MDX ranges from 2.5 to 5.1 million naira all at second hand value.

5.1 Prices of foreign used Acura MDX in Nigeria

 Tokunbo Acura MDX second generation prices in Nigeria (2007-2012)
Model Price in Nigerian Nairas 
Foreign used 2007 models
Acura MDX 2007 300-hp 3.7L 4dr All-wheel Drive price  From ₦1.4m
Acura MDX 2007 300-hp 3.7L Technology Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price  From ₦1.5m
Acura MDX 2007 300-hp 3.7L Sport Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price  From ₦1.65m
Foreign used 2008 models
Acura MDX 2008 300-hp 3.7L 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.5m
Acura MDX 2008 300-hp 3.7L Technology Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.6m
Acura MDX 2008 300-hp 3.7L Sport Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.7m
Foreign used 2009 models
Acura MDX 2009 300-hp 3.7L 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.5m
Acura MDX 2009 300-hp 3.7L Technology Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.6m
Acura MDX 2009 300-hp 3.7L Sport Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.7m
Foreign used 2010 models
Acura MDX 2009 300-hp 3.7L 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.5m
Acura MDX 2009 300-hp 3.7L Technology Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.65m
Acura MDX 2009 300-hp 3.7L Advance Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.85m
Foreign used 2012 models
Acura MDX 2012 300-hp 3.7L 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.55m
Acura MDX 2012 300-hp 3.7L Technology Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.7m
Acura MDX 2012 300-hp 3.7L Advance Package 4dr All-wheel Drive price From ₦1.9m

5.2. Foreign used Lexus RX prices in Nigeria

Prices of tokunbo Lexus RX second generation in Nigeria (2003-2008)
Model Price in Nigerian naira
 Tokunbo Lexus RX 330 2003  ₦1.8 million – ₦4 million
 Tokunbo Lexus RX 330 2004  ₦2.1 million – ₦4.5 million 
 Tokunbo Lexus RX 330 2005  ₦2.3 million – ₦5 million
 Tokunbo Lexus RX 330 2006  ₦3 million – ₦4.9 million
 Tokunbo Lexus RX 330 2007  ₦3.3 million  – ₦4.5 million
 Tokunbo Lexus RX 330 2008  ₦ 3.6 million   –  ₦4.8 million

>>>To get more detailed pricing of the Acura MDX and Lexus RX, check out:

6. Conclusion

Making a choice between Lexus RX vs Acura MDX comes down to your preference for their design, their performance characteristics and finally your budget. The Lexus is definitely the cheaper alternative and sports a hybrid version with superb fuel economy but the Acura has better high speed handling and a three row seating. So it depends on your priorities because both SUVs have awesome value for your money.

Odoala Chukwuemeka

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Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. Design
3. Handling characteristics
4. Performance
5. Price
6. Conclusion