The 2021 Acura MDX is a handsome, confident SUV which is driven by those that seek the absolute best. Its cabin space, hybrid efficiency and standardized safety tech truly make it a joy to drive. But how does it stack up against the 2021 Volvo XC40, a luxury crossover which has received praise for its power trains, fully electric variant, style and performance?

Design & Style

Unlike many SUVs, the Volvo XC40 has a minimal footprint which makes it perfect for urban areas. It has a number of distinct style cues, such as an elevated interior dash which is divided by nine inch touchscreens. The classy yet conservative upholstery is covered in black and beige, and feels great on the skin. Those that want something a bit flashier can choose Red Oxide leather. The Acura MDX has a large proportion with an exterior and interior that is pleasing to the eyes. The diamond grille in front perfectly complements the headlights which extend around the fenders. The cabin is crisp and clean, with wooden accents and touchscreens that are simple to access and use.

Technology & Safety

Both the NHTSA and IIHS like the Acura MDX, so much so that they gave it a five star rating. It has passed all of its crash tests with flying colors, and automatic emergency brakes come standard on every variant. It also provides excellent protection against rollover, and perks within the cabin include keyless ignition, powered moonroof, 4 USB ports, eight inch displays, and sound system with eight speakers and 3 zone climate control. The Volvo XC40 is packed with state of the art tech that is designed to prevent collisions, and protect its passengers in the event one occurs. It does this with blind area monitoring, emergency automatic brakes, reinforced shell and lots of airbags. Cabin luxuries include a Harman Kardon sound system, driftwood inlays, panoramic moonroof, parking sensors and navigational assistance.

Performance

The Volvo brand has become synonymous with performance, and the XC40 is no exception. The T5 and T4 variants come equipped with a turbo 4, 2 liter engine that enables it to generate 248 horsepower, which provides excellent thrust and works in conjunction with an eight speed automatic transmission. The Acura MDX is equipped with a V6, 3 liter engine that can generate 290 horsepower, which allows it to tow as much as 3,500 pounds.

The Bottom Line

Both SUVs are formidable and well designed, but the Acura's extra horsepower comes at the expense of a cramped third row and cargo area, and its optional packages and trim are overpriced, so the Volvo XC40 wins.

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