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Acura MDX

The MDX is one of Acura’s top sellers in the U.S., and its 3.7-liter VTEC V-6 is the proverbial iron hand in a velvet glove, balancing an urgent 300 hp with ineffable composure all the way to its 6,500-rpm redline. For 2010, the SUV receives a minor face-lift from the brand’s dedicated design team in Southern California, which claims to have taken its inspiration from yacht styling. But thanks to Acura’s impressive Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), there is nothing nautical about the way the MDX interacts with the road. It is stable, agile, and comfortable with room for seven. Those interested in protecting their family can drive confidently, because Acura prides itself on a five-star crash safety rating, and the MDX’s new real-time weather system alerts passengers of any impending storms. Acura advance, indeed.

Pros: Room for seven and a fresh design for under $50,000.
Cons: Same 300 hp engine from last year's model.

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