2018 Acura MDX vs 2018 Toyota Highlander Comparison

Specs at a Glance

2018 Acura MDX

2018 Acura MDX

Base Horsepower

  290 hp

Base Engine Torque

  267 ft-lbs


2018 Toyota Highlander

2018 Toyota Highlander

Base Horsepower

  185 hp

Base Engine Torque

  184 ft-lbs

2018 Acura MDX vs 2018 Toyota Highlander

Serving Fort Worth, Dallas, and Arlington, TX

Midsize crossovers – once the middle ground for customers who crave the practicality of SUVs meshed with sedan-like driving dynamics – are becoming more sophisticated than ever before. A prime example is the Acura MDX, which received a major overhaul in its 2017 model year and carries its enhancements over to 2018 as it continues its third generation of production. The last time one of the MDX’s contemporaries, the Toyota Highlander, received any major updates was in 2016; for 2018, Toyota’s midsize SUV is virtually unchanged. And that puts the Highlander at a huge disadvantage, especially when compared with rivals like as the Acura MDX.

Infotainment Features

Both the 2018 Acura MDX and the 2018 Toyota Highlander, at the base level, are handsomely equipped with infotainment features. They include an AM/FM radio tuner, a single-disc CD player with MP3 and WMA playback ability, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack for connecting mobile devices, Bluetooth® wireless technology for hands-free phone calling and audio streaming, and a complimentary SiriusXM® satellite radio subscription. However, while the MDX starts off with eight speakers, the Highlander starts off with six. And while the Acura SUV has Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ for using your smartphone to execute infotainment functions, neither are present on the Highlander – not even as an option. This omission from the Toyota SUV is glaring, since more vehicles than ever before are including Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™ as standard features.

Screen Display

While most crossovers offer one screen, the 2018 Acura MDX has two. There’s a low-positioned 7-inch touchscreen, which Acura calls the On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD™). With ODMD™, you can adjust vehicle settings like audio and climate. The second screen is the upper 8-inch display, which functions more as a multi-information device. The dual-screen infotainment set-up is something that is missing on the 2018 Toyota Highlander, which sticks with a 6.1- or 8-inch touchscreen.

Safety and Technology

For the 2017 model year, Acura made its AcuraWatch™ suite of driver-assistance technologies standard on all MDX trims. And it’s still around for 2018. With AcuraWatch™, you get lane keep assist (to maintain position within your lane), collision mitigation braking (to reduce the likelihood or severity of front crash impact), road departure mitigation (to keep you on the pavement), forward collision warning (to detect an imminent crash), adaptive cruise control (to automatically adjust the vehicle speed for safety), and autonomous emergency braking (to automatically stop the SUV when a possible collision is sensed). The only advanced safety features from that list that the 2018 Toyota Highlander has are forward collision warning (i.e., Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection) and lane keep assist.

Can’t wait to check out the 2018 Acura MDX for yourself? Come see us at our dealership in Fort Worth, Texas. One of our sales representatives will be more than happy and willing to help you with what you want on your new MDX and the right financing path for you to take.