Posts Tagged ‘MDX’

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2003 Honda MDX

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, April 9th, 2015

After being so impressed by the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander on display at the 2015 New York Auto Show, we got to thinking about other popular SUVs on the market today. That led us to the Acura MDX, sold in many international markets as the Honda MDX – it’s a car that has historically been a top contender in the three-row crossover segment. The car we’re looking at today is a 2003 Honda MDX up for auction in Japan.

2003 Honda MDX

While today’s Japanese car auction find may not be the most up-to-date version of the MDX, it’s still a great car with lots to offer at a great price. And honestly, it’s not even that outdated… The MDX only this past year entered its third generation, so this car would’ve been produced towards the end of the car’s first generation.

But, we’ll let the exterior design mostly speak for itself.

What has always separated the Honda MDX from other larger SUVs is the unique combination of three-row seating, decent on-road performance and surprisingly conservative fuel economy (EPA estimate 23 mpg highway / 17 mpg city). Honda actually boosted the 3.5L powertrain’s output for the 2003 model year to 265 hp up from the 240 hp offered the year before.

2003 Honda MDX rear

What allows the MDX to offer such stable and engaging driving dynamics is Honda’s automatic four-wheel drive system, codenamed VTM-4, which is also used in the Honda Pilot and Ridgeline. This AWD system allows the MDX to drive in regular FWD for normal cruising; a big part of the great gas mileage. However, the system still offers access to the rear wheels when needed. For example, you can access “lock mode” which is the equivalent of a temporarily locked rear differential – it activates the rear wheels at low speeds for maximum traction, designed to get the MDX up steep hills or out of a ditch.

2003 Honda MDX interior

The Honda MDX has always had an indulgent cabin. Even before automakers cared about interiors, the Honda MDX had an extremely quiet and spacious interior. Driver and front passenger both get plenty of legroom, as you can see in the picture above, and while some people will miss the third seat from the back row, the two passengers that CAN fit in the back will enjoy the extra elbow-room.

You can see on the auction sheet below that this MDX also offers a number of amenities inside the cabin… Automatic air conditioning, power steering and Windows, a sunroof and an LCD infotainment system are all included. For more information, you can get a full translation of the auction sheet below:

2003 Honda MDX auction sheet

“Interior C, first registered June 2003, Exclusive model, 4WD, FAT, climate contro, sunroof, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, leather, original navigation system, airbag, leather seats, seat heatear, roof rail, 7-seater, spare key, remote control, headphones, electrical retraction mechanism on mirrors not working, load area scratches, dashboard scratches, seats sagging and have grime, rust underneath, scratches and dents, marks as per map”


Wrapping Up the 2013 New York Motor Show with Honda and Nissan

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

The 2013 New York Motor Show is so last week. Even though it was a massive automotive event and dozens of new cars were unveiled, time is passing and us auto-junkies are moving right along. But, here at Integrity Exports, we still have a few more Japanese cars we’d like to talk about. So, today we’re going to cover two cars each from Honda and Nissan.

2014 Honda Odyssey

First up, the new 2014 Honda Odyssey. I have to be honest, I wasn’t expecting very much. After all, what could be cool about a new minivan?

How about this: the first ever in-car vacuum?

That’s right, apparently the top-tier trim package – the 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite – will feature an in-car vacuum that reaches every nook and cranny of the minivan’s interior. The vacuum, which is officially dubbed HondaVAC, can run for 8 minutes while the engine is off and indefinitely while it’s on. There are also several included attachments to handle different types of debris.

Pretty cool!

Unfortunately, we were so engrossed in the vacuum that we didn’t pay any attention to the rest of the car. And neither should you; let’s just all stay excited about the vacuum.

2014 Acura MDX

Maybe this says something about my stance towards Honda, but once again I wasn’t expecting much from the all-new MDX. But, I was actually impressed with what we saw in New York. Acura’s new seven-seater was totally re-built from the ground up with a completely new architecture that offers all-around improved driving dynamics. That means better aerodynamics, better fuel efficiency, better handling, and of course a very clean and spacious interior in traditional Honda style (they’re taking cues from the Fit’s success here).

As far as mechanics, the 2014 Acura MDX features a new i-VTEC 3.5L V6 engine with direct injection and Variable Cylinder Management. All told, the meaty new engine delivers 290hp, and you’ll get it paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission that can be configured for either Super Handling AWD or the more common 2-wheel drive.

Did we mention that Acura tested the MDX on Nürburgring? Got to give you props there, Acura.

All in all, a great new Japanese SUV from Honda’s luxury arm.

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

Unlike with the Acura MDX, we weren’t expecting a full re-design for the Nissan Pathfinder. Instead, we were looking forward to a hybrid version of the redesigned-for-2013 Pathfinder. And, that’s exactly what we got. No more, no less.

The new Pathfinder Hybrid is apparently configured with a lithium-ion battery powering a 15-kW motor. The electric motor is then paired with a supercharged 4-cylinder 2.5L engine capable of 250hp. The hybrid configuration is unofficially priced at $3,000 above the normal Pathfinder.

Infiniti QX60

Once again, the Infiniti crossover formerly known as JX35 was already revamped for 2013, so we weren’t expecting anything earth-shattering. But even still, we were bored with the QX60, which debuted at New York with the exact same hybrid powertrain found in the new Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid.

As we initially expected, people weren’t overly impressed by the QX60. Most auto-news sources spent more time dissing Infiniti’s confusing naming conventions than actually discussing the new QX60. It was just too similar to the Pathfinder. Other than a nicer interior and some extra safety features, the QX60 failed to stand out from its mechanical twin. In fact, if you asked me I’d say the QX60 actually has a worse exterior design than the Pathfinder, even if it gets the nod from the interior.

Infiniti’s boring QX60 aside, the New York Motor Show was definitely a success, and I’ve enjoyed covering it for you. We’ll be moving on to other things later this week, so stay tuned for more auto-news here at Integrity Exports!


Japanese Cars in the 2013 New York Motor Show Previewed

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

We’re less than 48 hours away from the 2013 New York Motor Show, so it’s time to take stock of our previews. Below you will get an overview of all the Japanese cars you can expect to see unveiled over the next few days in New York. I’m sure you’ll find a few on this list to keep an eye on.

New York International Auto Show 2013

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in:

Acura MDX

We’ve already talked about the Acura MDX, so I’m not going to say too much about it here. Basically, the MDX will get a facelift and some minor updates, including a V6 engine and some slight interior tweaks.

Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid

The 2013 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid has already been on sale in a select few states, including New York. The 2014 version we’ll see at the motor show will have an improved fuel economy that’s been rated by the EPA at 115 MPGe. Impressive.

Honda Fit EV

The Honda Fit, or Jazz depending on your market, will get a new electric motor allowing for an 82 mile drive range. This will be Honda’s answer to the Nissan Leaf.

Honda Odyssey

Again, this isn’t a major update, but more like a refresh. You’ll see a few new safety features and possibly a new, more powerful powertrain with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Moving along…

Infiniti QX60 Hybrid

Set to replace the FX50, the QX60 3-row SUV will feature a brand new 2.5L 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain. We don’t know much more than that.

Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

Okay, I know that I’m breaking from alphabetic order here, but since the Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid and the Infiniti QX60 will share the same new powertrain, I thought it appropriate. It will be interesting to see how Nissan/Infiniti differentiates between these two very similar vehicles. I’m guessing they’re going to get a lot of flack from critics for showing these two SUVs together.

Mitsubishi Mirage

This new hyper efficient, light-weight supermini will emit less than 100g/km of CO2. That’s right around the Toyota Prius, by point of comparison. Affordably priced, the Mirage will replace the Colt in Mitsubishi’s line up.

Subaru XV Hybrid

This is the car we know the least about… Subaru hasn’t told us anything at all about their first hybrid vehicle. All we have is one photo. If I had to pick one, this is probably the car that I’m most excited to learn more about, if only because it’s the biggest mystery.

Toyota Highlander

Not much to say here as, again, we’ve already talked about the new Highlander. From what we’ve seen in spy shots, the new Highlander should be reminiscent of the RAV4 we saw earlier this year. Toyota might tweak the powertrain for improved efficiency, but don’t count on it.

As you can see, there are quite a few Japanese cars to keep an eye on at the 2013 New York Motor Show. That being said, I can’t say that I’m incredibly excited about any of them… Hopefully I’ll be surprised though. Either way, stay tuned later this week for coverage!

Sources: The Truth About Cars, Autocar


Honda / Acura Bringing 4 New(ish) Cars to the 2013 New York Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 22nd, 2013

As we talked about yesterday, the 2013 New York International Auto Show is right around the corner with doors opening next Thursday, March 28. With it, you can expect to see a whole host of new Japanese cars from just about all of your favorite brands. Today, we’re going to talk about Honda and the plethora of new or updated vehicles they will be showcasing in New York.

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in:

2014 Honda Odyssey

While we won’t see a new generation of the Honda Odyssey at New York, we will see several “innovative new features” for the 2014 model year. In an effort to maintain the popular minivan’s competitive place in the segment, Honda will integrate several new safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Departure Warning. Additionally, they may offer a new powertrain with a 3.5L V6 engine capable of 278bhp.

Not too shabby.

Honda Accord Plug-in

Most of us have forgotten that Honda originally teased a PHEV-version of their Accord a full two years ago. Now that the 2013 Honda Accord Plug-in has been on sale for a couple months in select locations, Honda is excited to show us what the 2014MY holds in store. With an electric-only fuel economy of up to 138 MPGe (UK), the new Accord PHEV will apparently be the first car ever to meet the EPA’s newly revised standards.

Honda Fit EV

We probably don’t need to say too much about this one. The Honda Fit (or the Honda Jazz, as it is also known) is already a great car. In an effort to compete with new EVs coming from Nissan, Ford, Chevy and Toyota (among others), the Fit EV will boast a driving range of 82 miles.

Next Generation Acura MDX

Last, but certainly not least, Honda will be showing off their next-gen Acura MDX luxury SUV. We’ve already seen the concept and it looked fantastic, so we’re excited to see what the production-ready version will look like.

As far as stats, Honda’s luxury marquee has already told us a surprising amount. Basically, we’ve been promised a more spacious interior, more safety features and a new powertrain with a 3.5L i-VTEC V6 engine capable of both all-wheel and front-wheel drive. Not to mention the facelift, of course.

As you can see, Honda alone has several cars to get us excited about for the 2013 New York International Auto Show. We still have about a week left for previews, though, so I’m sure there are more exciting vehicles yet to come. Either way, stay tuned here for the latest news and updates!

Sources: Autocar, Autocar, Worldcarfans.com


Japanese Cars From Day 2 of the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Today is the second day of the Detroit Auto Show, and it has been a particularly eventful one for Japanese car enthusiasts all over the world. Today we finally saw brand-new concept cars from both Acura and Nissan, and we even whet our racing appetite with an awesome-looking racecar from Mazda. Read more below:

Acura / Honda NSX

The last time we saw the Acura (Honda) NSX was at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, so the Honda-based Japanese manufacturer has had a whole year to test and tweak their NSX concept. Even though the car won’t actually see production for at least two more years, Acura’s American-based development team is carefully absorbing customer feedback. Even though many will complain about the overly-extended amount of time Acura is putting into this high-performance vehicle, you can’t fault them for seeking perfection.

Acura (Honda) NSX Concept

Today is the first time that we’ve seen the interior of the to-be-released Acura NSX concept. The vehicle unveiled at the auto show featured a seductive maroon-red interior with prominent carbon-fiber struts running along the center console. Jon Ikeda (head of Acura design) said this about the interior: “The key is that the interior design complements the vehicle, creating that link between man and machine.”

Acura MDX

Also from Acura, we got to see a preview for the third-generation of the Acura MDX luxury SUV crossover. Even though Acura claims that the vehicle is 99% ready for production, we still didn’t get to see anything from the interior. However, we did get a clear picture of the new crossover’s exterior design. The next generation MDX features the new “Jewel Eye” LED headlights, a slightly longer chassis, more linearly defined body design, and a lower roofline. Jon Ikeda confidently explained that the new technologies, designs and features of the MDX “will further improve the already great functionality in the cabin and cargo area while really ramping up luxury, comfort and quiet.”

Acura also informed us that for the first time ever, the 2014 MDX will have a front-wheel drive option available. Also, apparently starting with the new model to be released at the end of 2013, production of the MDX will be relocated into the US, presumably as the US is likely to be its major market and by producing the cars locally, Acura will avoid problems with the strong Yen.

Nissan Resonance

Last week Nissan released teasers for a new Resonance SUV concept, and today we finally confirmed what the previews foretold. It turns out that speculations about the next Murano were mostly right – Nissan says that the Resonance represents approximately 70% of what we can expect from the new Murano in 2014. However, the Resonance also has features that Nissan says we will definitely see in the next Qashqai, so the concept is almost a dual preview.

Speaking on behalf of Nissan, corporate vice president Andy Palmer says “we want to maintain our global leadership in crossover sales, and this concept showcases our plans to redefine the sector [yet] again.” After seeing the stunning “floating roof” on the Resonance concept – an uninterrupted pane of glass extending the windshield into the roof – ‘redefining the sector’ seems like an understatement.

Lexus IS

Going into the first week of the Detroit Auto Show, we knew that we should be excited about the new Lexus IS, and finally seeing the luxury sedan today thoroughly confirmed that outlook. It was clear from the teasers that Lexus has published over the past few weeks that their new entry-level sedan was intended to lure in both the daredevil and the executive alike. Seeing how great the car looks in a non-artistic rendering, it’s obvious that the Lexus IS will be alluring not just to daredevils and executives, but anyone in the market for a high-value luxury sedan.

Lexus unleashed their executives to talk up the IS even more, and so today we learned about several new performance tweaks in the more powerful versions of the IS and IS F-Sport. For example, the Fuji Speedway/Nurburgring tuned version of the IS350 is promised to generate 300hp+.

Lexus also unveiled a Lexus IS 300h hybrid that will only be sold in Japanese and European markets.

Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Racecar

Last, but not least, Mazda got our mouth watering with their new Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Racecar that will be proving its worth at the 2013 Rolex 24 at Daytona less than two weeks from now. According to a press release, the Mazda6 will be racing in the new Grand-Am GX class, and will be driven by Speedsource’s race team, Speedsource being Mazda Motorsports’ engineering partner of choice.

Mazda6 Skyactiv D Diesel Racing Car -- Detroit 2013

All in all, day 2 of the Detroit motor show was a good showing for Japanese car manufacturers and enthusiasts. Check back tomorrow for more Japanese car related news and updates on the first big automotive event of the year!


5 Japanese Cars To Watch For At The 2013 Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 12th, 2013

With approximately 50 new vehicle makes and models to be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show next week, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed when it comes to digesting coverage. After all, most of us have jobs and can’t spend every hour from January 14th to January 27th fawning over the automotive industry’s best.

What’s a guy (or gal) to do?

Fortunately, below you will find five of the most highly anticipated Japanese vehicles to set your sights on for the next couple of weeks. These are the ones you’ll want to watch out for:

#1. Toyota Furia Concept

We’ve already written about the Toyota Furia concept, and with good reason… This new design stands out as the single most highly anticipated Japanese vehicle to make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Toyota has been reeling us in – hook, line and sinker – with several different teasers over the past couple weeks, including a fiery promo video that left us with a burning desire to know more.

Speculation has it that the new Furia is going to be a concept for the next generation Corolla (which is due for a reboot), but I’m personally hoping that it is something more exciting.

#2. Lexus IS Sedan

Speaking of Toyota… So far, everything we’ve been exposed to regarding Lexus’ new flagship luxury sedan, the Lexus IS, has felt like a rejuvenating breath of fresh air. It’s nice to see that Lexus is clearly catering to both the luxury aficionado and the high-performance daredevil. Lexus has a new and improved perspective on luxury performance thanks to their two-year stint with the Lexus LFA, and we’re all excited to see what that looks (and feels) like in this new sedan.

#3. Nissan Leaf

Let’s face it, not all of us are going to be edge-of-the-seat-excited about the Nissan Leaf. Not that the vehicle isn’t well-designed or appealing, but it doesn’t have the same spiciness of the Lexus IS or the anticipation behind the Toyota Furia.

However, the success or failure of this vehicle could have a very big impact on the future of the automotive industry. We are on the brink of electric vehicles finally becoming a viable market, but if Nissan’s now-lower-priced Leaf can’t do it, then we may still have several years before EVs are truly worth automakers’ time. Maybe that’s being a little dramatic, but there’s no denying that just about every other brand considering expanding their EV market will be keeping tabs on the public’s reception to the Nissan Leaf.

#4. Acura MDX Prototype

Here we go, back to luxury and performance… The way cars were meant to be enjoyed!

Frankly, Acura has done a pretty good job of keeping the details behind the new MDX prototype under wraps. We really don’t know very much about it. However, there are spy-shots available of the MDX being tested specifically against the BMW X5, so we know who Acura is trying to target with this new luxury crossover. Us Japanese car enthusiasts have high hopes that this new prototype will become a solid contender in the segment.

#5. Infiniti Q50

Originally set to make its premier at the Geneva Motor Show in March, the Q50 is instead going to be duking it out with the new Lexus IS for the spotlight at the Detroit Auto Show next week. This is another vehicle that we don’t know a ton about, but it will be interesting to see how well Infiniti’s new luxury sedan will compete with the likes of both the BMW 3-Series AND the Lexus IS. My bet goes to Lexus, but you Nissan fans out there may lean the other way.

If nothing else, the Infiniti Q50 is the first vehicle to take on the “Q” moniker instead of Infiniti’s old “G” naming structure. Why? Who knows… Better parts, new vision, improved technology… But whatever the reason, it’s got to be worth something, right?

Stay tuned next week as the Detroit Auto Show’s doors open to the press on January 14. There should be plenty of auto-eye-candy available for you if you’re interested (who isn’t?), so come back here in a just a few days!


Acura MDX Concept Car to be Unveiled at Detroit Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, December 15th, 2012

For those of you who stay tuned in to the future of Acura via their designated Future Vehicles page, you may have noticed a new addition to the 2014 RLX and NSX concept cars listed at the bottom of the page – The 2014 MDX Concept. On Wednesday Acura released a mysterious red-tainted sketch of what the next-gen MDX is going to look like. Even though the sketch is reminiscent of a certain recently-remade 1982 sci-fi film (Tron), it still gives us helpful information on what we can expect from the new MDX luxury SUV.

2014 Acura MDX teaser

Let’s start with what we do know…

We know that the 2014 Acura MDX will be unveiled next month at the North American International Auto Show, otherwise known as the Detroit Auto Show. Acura has a tendency to preview concept cars close in design and function to the final production model, so it’s reasonable to assume that this sketch is very close to what you will find at your local dealership next fall. This artistic sketch lines up very closely with the spy photos of test mules “in the wild” taken in August of 2012.

We also know Acura has already said that the next-gen MDX is going to feature a design language known as “Aero Sculpture”, which seems a fitting description of the aesthetic seen in the concept sketch. Acura says that Aero Sculpture is a “design language affecting both form and function,” and that “the 2014 MDX Prototype will feature alluring proportions with smooth, arching body lines matched to an efficient architecture.” Sounds good, but also seems to have a bit of a “me-too” aspect given the almost identical things we have heard from Mazda about their Kodo design language.

What we don’t know about the new MDX is specifications… For that we are left to speculation.

Rumor has it that the new luxury SUV will run on the same engine as the 2014 RLX sedan (debuted at the LA Auto Show last month) – a 310hp 3.5L V6 with direct injection. But, there’s a good chance that it will feature a brand-new nine-speed automatic transmission capable of handling both two- and four-wheel-drive. If the spy-shots from five months ago are accurate, we can expect the new MDX to be slightly longer and with a softer beak grille than the “keen edge” design seen from the current-gen MDX.

The new MDX also appears to feature the same Jewel-Eye LED headlights as the future 2014 RLX, as well as similarly styled high arches over the wheels. Perhaps the MDX will also feature the same noise reducing tire and windshield design as the RLX – That would be excellent. Either way, the overall design does a good job of implying the excellent driving dynamics we know Acura is capable of producing.

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you spend some time just taking in the concept sketch of the 2014 MDX Prototype. Despite its mysterious nature, there is actually quite a bit to be learned about the new Acura, especially if you keep the current MDX in mind as a reference point. Best of all, this is just one of the many goodies we can look forward to next month at the highly anticipated Detroit Auto Show, so stay tuned!