North Georgia Ford Compares 2017 Ford Expedition EL VS 2017 Acura MDX Near Chatsworth, GA

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2017 Ford Expedition EL

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2017 Acura MDX

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Ford Expedition are height-adjustable, and the middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Acura MDX doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

Both the Expedition and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The Ford Expedition weighs 1270 to 1788 pounds more than the Acura MDX. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Expedition is safer than the Acura MDX:







5 Stars

5 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

243 lbs.

244 lbs.

Neck Compression

22 lbs.

34 lbs.




5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

89 lbs.

113 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

280/459 lbs.

467/511 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Expedition is safer than the Acura MDX:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Abdominal Force

64 G’s

113 G’s

Hip Force

127 lbs.

244 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

19 G’s

52 G’s

Hip Force

219 lbs.

757 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Expedition’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MDX’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are over 14 times as many Ford dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Expedition’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Expedition’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The MDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the MDX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Expedition’s reliability will be 26% better than the MDX.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Expedition third among large suvs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The MDX isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Expedition’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 75 more horsepower (365 vs. 290) and 153 lbs.-ft. more torque (420 vs. 267) than the MDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Expedition uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MDX requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Expedition has 8.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the MDX (28 vs. 19.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Expedition’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MDX:




Front Rotors

13.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

The Expedition’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MDX are solid, not vented.

The Expedition stops much shorter than the MDX:





70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Expedition has larger standard tires than the MDX (275/65R18 vs. 245/60R18). The Expedition Limited/King Ranch/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MDX (285/45R22 vs. 245/60R18).

The Expedition Limited/King Ranch/Platinum’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MDX’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Expedition Limited/King Ranch/Platinum offers optional 22-inch wheels. The MDX’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

The Ford Expedition’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Acura MDX only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Expedition has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the MDX, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Expedition offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The MDX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Expedition offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The MDX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Expedition’s wheelbase is 8 inches longer than on the MDX (119 inches vs. 111 inches).

The Expedition’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the MDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Expedition more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the Expedition has a greater minimum ground clearance than the MDX (8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Expedition to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Expedition Platinum 4x4 is quieter than the MDX SH-AWD (71 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Expedition offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the MDX can only carry 7.

The Expedition has 27.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MDX (160.3 vs. 132.7).

The Expedition has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more front hip room, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, 2.1 inches more rear hip room, 4.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.7 inches more third row headroom, 9.6 inches more third row legroom and 9.6 inches more third row hip room than the MDX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Expedition’s cargo area provides more volume than the MDX.




Behind Third Seat

18.6 cubic feet

15.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55 cubic feet

43.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

108.3 cubic feet

90.9 cubic feet

The Expedition has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The MDX doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Expedition’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The MDX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

The Expedition’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The MDX’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Expedition’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The MDX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Expedition and the MDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Expedition is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The MDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Expedition’s exterior PIN entry system. The MDX doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost AcuraLink can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Expedition has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Expedition owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Expedition will cost $440 to $2080 less than the MDX over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Expedition is less expensive to operate than the MDX because it costs $144 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Expedition than the MDX, including $195 less for a water pump, $29 less for an alternator, $244 less for a starter, $12 less for fuel injection and $1216 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Ford Expedition, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Ford Expedition/Expedition XL outsold the Acura MDX by 2110 units during the 2016 model year.

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