Acura MDX Vs. Lexus RX L

By Justin Cupler | March 15th, 2019

Three-row crossovers are available in various flavors, and Japan has two of the more luxurious crossovers in the 2019 Acura MDX and the 2019 Lexus RX L. While these crossovers both have loads of luxury, they cater to different audiences.  Which is better for our Rochester crossover shoppers? Find out here.

Exterior

The Acura MDX had its last redesign in 2014, making it relatively old for this segment, but it is still stylish and luxurious looking with its sharp lines.

The Lexus RX went through its last redesign in 2016, which brought in a more pronounced spindle grill, sharper lines, stunningly sharp headlights, and a “floating” roof design. This look is insanely sporty and draws plenty of stares, but not every buyer will prefer this in-your-face look over the more toned-down MDX.

Adding to the aggressiveness of the RX L is the available F SPORT package on the RX 450hL. This package add a sharp set of 20-inch wheels, rocker panel extensions, an exclusive grille, and more.

As for sizing, the 2019 Acura MDX is 196.2 inches long, 77.7 inches wide, and 67.4 inches high. It rides on a 111-inch wheelbase and offers up to 7.3 inches of ground clearance. The Lexus RX rides on a 109.8-inch wheelbase and has 8.2 inches of ground clearance, and its body measures 196.9 inches long, 74.6 inches wide, and 67.3 inches high.

Advantage: 2019 Acura MDX

  • Pure luxury crossover
  • Sharp body lines
  • Higher luxury ceiling

Advantage: 2019 Lexus RX L

  • In-your-face looks
  • Even sharper with F SPORT package

Interior

The 2019 MDX features a swoopy dash design that almost envelopes the driver and passenger. The MDX sets itself further apart from the RX L with its dual-screen infotainment screen and extra roominess.

The RX L’s interior doesn’t quite match its exterior, as the cabin is more toned-down and refined with its focus on horizontal lines that visually widen it. Some buyers may also prefer the RX L’s top-dash screen to the MDX’s dual-screen system, but no one will ever call the Lexus Remote Touch Interface joystick a superior interface.

In its front seats, the 2019 Acura MDX offers 38.1 inches of headroom, 41.4 inches of legroom, 61.1 inches of shoulder room, and 57.5 inches of hip room. The RX L offers an extra 1.7 inches of headroom and matches the MDX’s legroom, but it comes up short by 2.8 inches in shoulder room and 1.7 inches in hip room.

In its second row, the 2019 MDX offers 38.3 inches of headroom, up to 38.5 inches of legroom with the seat slid all the way back, 59.1 inches of shoulder room, and 57.8 inches of hip room. The Lexus RX L’s second row has an extra 0.2 inches of headroom, but it comes up 7.6 inches short in legroom, 1.3 inches in shoulder room, and 2 inches in hip room.  

In the third row, the 2019 Acura MDX has 35.6 inches of headroom, up to 30.9 inches of legroom with the second row slid all the way forward, 54.7 inches of shoulder room, and 40.6 inches of hip room. The 2019 RX L’s third row beats the MDX by 3.2 inches in hip room, but it comes up short by 0.8 inches in headroom, 7.4 inches in legroom, and 9 inches in shoulder room.

Three-row crossovers aren’t just about hauling people; they need to haul cargo too. The 2019 MDX delivers a respectable 15 cubic feet behind third row, 38.4 cubic feet behind second row, and 68.4 cubic feet with all rear rows folded. RX 350L has 7.5 cubic feet behind third row, 23 cubic feet behind second row, and 58.5 cubic feet with all rear rows folded.

Advantage: 2019 Acura MDX

  • Swoopier cabin
  • Roomier seats
  • Significant cargo-hauling advantage

Advantage: 2019 Lexus RX L

  • More traditional-looking dash
  • Less eye movement between screens

Performance

Under its hood, the 2019 MDX features a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This power routes through a standard nine-speed automatic transmission and out to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available as an option.

Buyers who opt for the MDX Sport Hybrid get a 3.0-liter V-6 engine with hybrid system that produces 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. This engine mates with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

The Lexus RX 350L also comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 290 horsepower, but its torque is a little lower at 263 pound-feet. The power routes through a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and out to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available as an option.

The RX 450hL hybrid comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and an electric motor that combine for 305 horsepower. The power routes through a continuously variable transmission and out to all four wheels.

Fuel economy ratings for the standard 2019 MDX are up to 20 mpg city, 27 highway, and 23 combined. The LX 350L checks in with the same ratings.

The MDX Sport Hybrid’s fuel economy checks in at up to 26 mpg city, 27 highway, and 27 combined**. The 2019 Lexus RX 450hL’s fuel economy rings in at up to 31 mpg city, 28 highway, and 30 combined**.

Towing capacity in the 2019 MDX is 3,500 pounds with front-wheel drive and 5,000 pounds with all-wheel drive. Acura does not recommend towing with the 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid.

The RX 350L can tow up to 3,500 pounds with front- and all-wheel drive.

Advantage: 2019 Acura MDX

  • Potent Sport Hybrid model
  • Better fuel economy with hybrid powertrain
  • More advanced standard transmission
  • 1,500-pound towing advantage

Advantage: 2019 Lexus RX 350L

  • Sporty handling F SPORT model
  • Thriftier hybrid model

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Acura MDX doesn’t have trim levels in the traditional sort. Instead, it has a standard model and three packages that act as trim levels: Technology Package, A-Spec Package, and Advance Package. Their starting prices range from $44,300 to $56,050.

The 2019 Lexus RX L has doesn’t have true trim levels. Instead it has a base RX 350L and a hybrid RX 450hL. The latter model also has an available F SPORT model that works almost like a trim level. Starting prices for these RX L models range from $47,770 to $51,355

2019 Acura MDX Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Standard: $44,300*

  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Idle stop
  • Comfort, Normal, and Sport driving modes
  • Agile Handling Assist
  • Electric power steering
  • Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
  • 18-inch pewter gray metallic five-spoke wheels
  • Power moonroof
  • Power liftgate
  • Jewel Eye LED headlights
  • Auto-on/off headlights
  • LED taillights
  • LED rear license plate light
  • Mirror-integrated LED turn signals
  • Power, heated mirrors with reverse-gear tilt-down
  • Dual exhaust
  • Acoustic windshield and front glass
  • Leather sport seats
  • 12-way power driver’s seat
  • 12-way power passenger’s seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Four-way manual second-row bench seats
  • Easy-access third-row seats
  • 60/40 split-folding second-row seats
  • 50/50 split-folding third-row seats
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless access system
  • Smart entry
  • Keyless ignition
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Multi-information display
  • Active sound control
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Three 12-volt power outlets
  • Acura Premium Audio
  • Eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM/HD Radio audio system
  • Pandora compatibility
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • SMS text-messaging
  • On Demand Multi-Use Display 2.0
  • 8-inch color display
  • Color multi-information display
  • AcuraLink
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Compass
  • Multi-View rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • One front USB audio integration and two USB charging ports
  • Two rear USB charging ports
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road-departure mitigation
  • Forward-collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Hill-start assist

 

W/ Technology Package: $49,300*

  • All standard features, plus
  • 20-inch shark gray twisted machine-finished 10-spoke wheels
  • Smart-entry rear doors
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • LED puddle lights
  • Power-folding mirrors
  • Perforated premium-leather interior with contrast stitching
  • GPS-linked climate control
  • Voice recognition
  • Natural wood trim
  • ELS Studio Premium Audio System
  • 10-speaker audio system
  • Song by voice
  • Navigation with 3D view
  • AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic
  • Traffic Rerouting
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic monitoring
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Remote engine start

 

W/ A-Spec Package: $54,800*

  • All Technology Package features, plus
  • All-wheel drive
  • 20-inch shark gray split-five-spoke wheels
  • Dark chrome and lighting details
  • LED fog lights
  • A-Spec exclusive dual-exhaust outlets
  • A-Spec front and rear bumpers
  • Gloss-black and dark-chrome trim
  • A-Spec seats
  • Perforated Milano premium leather- and Alcantara-trimmed seats
  • Contrast stitching and piping
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • A-Spec steering wheel
  • Metallic pattern and metal trim
  • A-Spec-exclusive red-on-silver gauge cluster
  • A-Spec garnish on steering wheel and door sill
  • Ebony headliner
  • Stainless-steel sport pedals

 

W/ Advance Package: $56,050*

  • All Technology Package features, plus
  • Active dampers
  • 20-inch shark gray machine-finish five-spoke wheels
  • LED fog lights
  • Auto-dimming side-view mirrors
  • Body-color lower trim
  • Roof rails
  • Perforated Milano premium-leather-trimmed interior with
  • Contrast stitching and piping
  • Heated outboard rear seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Second-row captain’s chairs (six-person seating)
  • 40/40 split-folding second-row seats
  • Second-row sunshades
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Two third-row USB charging ports
  • Head-up display
  • 360-degree camera

2019 Lexus RX Key Features and Pricing by Trim

RX 350L: $47,770

  • 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Drive Mode Select
  • Front-wheel drive
  • 18-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels
  • Bi-LED headlights
  • LED fog lights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • 40/20/40 split-folding, reclining second-row seats
  • Power-folding and -reclining 50/50 split third-row seats
  • Second-row captain’s chairs
  • Two rear USB ports
  • Three-zone climate control
  • Aluminum roof rails
  • Scout® GPS Link
  • Smartphone connectivity
  • Siri® Eyes Free
  • Lexus Enform App Suite
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect
  • Power liftgate
  • Roof rails
  • Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Lexus Multimedia System
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • HD Radio
  • Power front seats
  • Memory for driver’s seat and mirrors
  • Black power-folding mirrors
  • Leather first- and second-row seating
  • Leatherette third-row seating
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Full-speed adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rearview camera

 

RX 450hL: $50,720

  • All RX 350L features, plus
  • 3.5-liter hybrid powertrain
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • All-wheel drive

 

RX 450hL F Sport: $51,355

  • All RX 450hL features, plus
  • 20-inch split-10-spoke alloy wheels with Dark Graphite finish
  • Leather interior
  • Espresso Walnut, Matte Bamboo or Matte Linear Dark Mocha wood interior trim
  • Rear armrest storage compartment
  • Power tilt-and-slide moonroof
  • F SPORT exterior badging
  • F SPORT mesh grille
  • F SPORT front spoiler
  • F SPORT rear valance
  • Performance-inspired instrumentation
  • Heated and ventilated F SPORT front seats with enhanced bolsters
  • Perforated leather-trimmed F SPORT steering wheel and shift knob
  • Paddle shifters
  • Scored Aluminum interior trim
  • Aluminum pedals and door-sill scuff plates
  • Black headliner
  • LED ambient interior illumination
  • Cold-air intake with sound generator
  • Sport-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension with Sport S+ mode
  • Sport-tuned electronic power steering

 

Who Should Buy the 2019 Acura MDX?

The 2019 Acura MDX is just as luxurious as the Lexus RX L, but with its more reserved styling, it will cater to a wider group of buyers. Plus, its lower base price leaves more room in the budget or room to add some options.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Lexus RX?

The 2019 Lexus RX L with its aggressive styling is well-suited for the younger crowd that prefers a little added style. Also, unlike the A-Spec MDX, the RX F SPORT has sporty tuning to go with its sharp looks.

Ready to handle your daily commute to Rochester in your new 2019 Acura MDX? Head down to Acura of Rochester serving Pittsford and Fairport today to test drive the 2019 MDX and check out its upscale features for yourself. If you can’t make it to our Pittsford area dealership today, you can check out our online inventory and find a 2019 MDX model you like, then schedule a test drive for later.

 

*Prices shown are Acura suggested retail prices only and do not include taxes, license or destination and handling charge. Destination & Handling charge is $965 for sedans and $995 for SUVs. Acura vehicle accessory costs, labor and installation vary. Dealers set their own prices. Please consult your selected dealer.

 

**Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid only) and other factors.