Acura provides a glimpse of the all-new 2014 MDX
The 2014 Acura MDX has an opportunity. That is what problems used to be called, now we look on the bright side. The opportunity that Acura has is that its closest rivals are outselling it. In the 5 passenger luxury sport utility market in which it has one foot, the Lexus RX350 and RX hybrid are killing it in sales. Lexus will sell nearly twice as many RX350s this year than Acura will sell MDX units. The MDX is also competing with 7 passenger luxury vehicles and Infiniti has just launched its all new JX35. The JX35 is selling very well and is on pace now to equal the sales volume of the current MDX after only a short time in the marketplace. Cadillac’s SRX outsells the MDX by a bit, and people are moving to the Audi Q5 and Q7 from other sport utes they used to buy in pretty good numbers.
There is nothing wrong with the current Acura MDX. Reviews are good, quality is good, or maybe great, the vehicle is very competitive. However, Acura is clearly losing market share, even though its sales for the current MDX are up. Everyone’s sales are up. Acura needs to really hit the ball out of the park with the new 2014 MDX. The question is will Honda be blinded by the media hype over hybrids (which account for about 1% of vehicle sales) and create an MDX that focuses too much on super-efficiency, or will the folks at Acura shoot for the heart of the MDX buying marketplace and create a luxury sport utility vehicle that owners are thrilled to drive?
The efficiency of the new MDX will likely jump up a bit. Honda recently jumped in to the last decade and started to equip its engines with direct fuel injection. The four cylinder Accord has it now, why not the new Acura MDX? Acura is still hyping “VTEC.” Word to Honda/Acura, my Civic SI had a VTEC engine before there was an internet. The new RDX in the Acura showroom also has a powerful six cylinder engine and Lexus sells about 8 times more 5 passenger sport ‘utes than it does 7 passenger ‘utes. Does Acura want to see buyers driving off the lot in in vehicles costing $15K less than the MDX? If not, the new 2014 MDX better be not just bigger than its new RDX, but better in almost every measurable way. Good luck with that.
In almost every story written at Torque News the writer has a simple and succinct solution to the automaker's car problems. With the new MDX the truth is there is no silver bullet. Acura is really going to have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to increase market share significantly. The new prototype will be unveiled in mid-January. Sales may come as soon as late 2013.