Safest SUV: Acura MDX

Most will agree that an SUV’s safety equipment and performance are huge factors in determining if it’s the right fit for them; this is why identifying the safest model is paramount.

In this regard, suvs.com examined each SUV by its safety equipment and crash test ratings conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. After examining these critical components, we have determined the Acura MDX is the safest SUV available.

Acura Introduces AcuraWatch

Acura has been on the cutting edge with safety innovations. A great representation of this is the AcuraWatch feature, which is new for its 2017 MDX SUV. This feature consists of a bevy of unique safety tools to help you every time you are behind the wheel. Here’s a closer look at each of the equipment offered in this comprehensive package.

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Collision Mitigation Braking System

Acura understands you might not always be quick to react when surprises happen such as a vehicle in front of you stopping suddenly. To compensate for surprises, Acura installed a radar transmitter in the MDX grille trim. This transmitter captures the closing speed and distances of obstacles directly ahead of your SUV. If it senses there’s a likelihood of frontal impact, the system can apply as much as 80 percent braking power to help you avoid the collision, or if a crash occurs, to reduce the impact involved.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow

This system allows you to use cruise control with confidence. How it works is when you cruise, it engages the ACC where you can select distance preferences relative to the vehicle in front of you (ranges indicated are short, medium or long intervals). Once you set the speed and distance, the system will modulate throttle and apply braking—when necessary—to ensure the desired distance is kept at all times. In the event you stop for stop lights or traffic, the system will resume the preset distance and speed once the SUV moves from an idled position.

Road Departure Mitigation

To ensure you keep the MDX on the road, Acura installed the Road Departure Mitigation feature. This feature works by scanning your surroundings to detect objects on the side of the road. When it detects one, it will emit a MID warning message to alert you. This system also possesses the capability to apply active steering function and braking to help you stay on the road. Whether it’s navigating a hairpin turn, tackling snowy conditions, or weaving to avoid a road obstacle this system supplies the handling you can count on when you need it the most.

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Lane Keeping Assist System

Another way Acura works to keep you in your lane is by equipping the MDX with the Lane Keeping Assist System. Using a camera mounted to the rearview mirror, it scans road divisions. In the event it detects the SUV departing from the lane without a turn signal on, it will tug the steering wheel to keep it in the same lane. It’s important to note that this will not take over the steering feature, you will still be in control, it’s just a way of helping you maintain lane discipline.

These technologies are only the tip of the safety features Acura delivers in the MDX. Here is a closer look at the other safety equipment Acura uses in this SUV.

ACE Body Structure

The MDX features the Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure. This structure works to provide added protection to you and the SUV’s occupants in the unfortunate event of a collision. Acura achieved this by designing connected structural elements within the MDX, which will distribute crash energy evenly. An excellent example of this is the outer braces. These braces, upon collision, can transfer the load impact to the center of the frame. From there, the energy distributes evenly throughout the SUV’s cabin.

The results speak for themselves. The Acura MDX earned five-star ratings on every impact test conducted by the NHTSA, including front crash, side crash, and side pole crash. That is confidence inspiring for anyone considering this SUV.

Surround View Camera System

Driving an SUV can present challenges for you, namely being able to capture a wide range of vision around you. This is where the surround view camera system aids you. This feature uses four cameras located at various points around the SUV to capture a full view of your surroundings, making it easier to identify blind spots, obstacles when making lane changes and giving you better vision as you park.

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Rear Cross Traffic Monitor

Acura installed sensors on the rear corners of the MDX to monitor road conditions. This is beneficial in that it can detect incoming vehicles from a variety of vantage points. When using the Multi-View Rear Camera feature, you can choose between normal and wide modes to capture better range of vision when making lane changes or backing out of a parking space. The system will also sound a chime if it detects an incoming vehicle as you conduct turning maneuvers.

Front and Rear Parking Sensors

Parking an SUV can be challenging, which is why Acura installed front and rear parking sensors on the MDX. These sensors detect when the SUV approaches a surface or object with a beep. The beep will grow in volume the closer you approach an obstacle.

Safety Performance History

A good indication of an SUV’s safety reliability concerns its ratings over the years. Luckily, if you are considering the Acura MDX, this will be a confidence booster for you. Since 2014, the Acura MDX has scored five-star ratings in overall, front and side crash tests with the NHTSA. This shows the high level of reliable performance you want in an SUV.

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Our Take

As you can see, Acura accounted for many different driving challenges by equipping the MDX with proactive safety tools. Along with innovative offerings, the MDX delivers incredible crash safety ratings, resulting in an SUV that continues to set the standard for outstanding safety performance.

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