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Honda MDX V6 2005 review

Restyled: front and back with new equipment on the new MDX

At the wheel of the big, big, big seven-seater Honda MDX sports utility behemoth, I feel like lighting up a big, fat cigar as I gun the big V6 engine and guzzle more of the planet's precious natural resources.

I am surrounded by plush black leather, forests of walnut trim and an old-style cockpit.

It doesn't need to be this way. Honda makes modern and attractive cabins. Just look at the impressive Accord Euro.

But perhaps the MDX is directed to an older, more successful professional buyer who would be inclined to buy the comparable BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen or Volvo, more than a tricked-up Ford Territory.

And the Honda fits neatly in the middle, price-wise, performance-wise and handling-wise.

And now Honda has "up-specced" the MDX to give it an edge in this competitive category.

Most important for the long trips with kids is the addition of a rear ceiling-mounted DVD player with two wireless headphones.

For safety's sake, there are now SRS curtain airbags for all three rows. A lot of so-called family cars forget about passengers.

If it does go all pear-shaped, you can rest assured that this vehicle has a host of secondary safety devices which have earned it a full five stars in the latest US NCAP frontal crash tests.

Standard safety features also include Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags, front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), and roll-over sensors designed to trigger the side curtain airbags in a roll over.

Other new features are automatic headlights, security alarm, rain sensor wipers that actually work and ambient interior light.

Under the bonnet there is an extra 4kW that no one will really notice.

Outside, there are flash new bumpers and twin exhausts with square finishers and a chrome grille.

And you can have it in three new colours: Desert Rock Metallic, Billet Silver Metallic and Steel Blue Metallic. There is also a new ivory interior available with Nighthawk Black and Desert Rock paint.

Best news is the price has been kept to $69,990.

That places it well under the 3-litre BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz ML350 and on par with the less powerful VW Touareg 3.2-litre and 2.5-litre Volvo XC90.

Around town the MDX feels as nimble as the X5.

Despite its size, the refined high-revving 3.5-litre Honda power plant hurtles the almost two-tonne mass into holes in the traffic with relative ease.

Some of the pot-holed roads around town can make the sophisticated suspension a little nervous, despite the expensive set-up of independent strut front and multilink rear.

Yet this doesn't translate to the country road where the bumps are harder. In fact, it tears along slippery slopes and gravel roads quite well.

It now comes with a full-size alloy spare wheel, so you don't need to cross your fingers on trips outside the metropolis.

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Range and Specs

(base) 3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $3,990 – 6,999 2005 Honda MDX 2005 (base) Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 7 car listings in the last 6 months

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