Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 Acura MDX VS 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 Acura MDX

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2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

Safety Comparison

The MDX’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Tahoe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The MDX offers an optional Surround View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Tahoe only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the MDX uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Tahoe uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the MDX and the Tahoe 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

244 lbs.

372 lbs.

Neck Compression

34 lbs.

198 lbs.




5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

177 lbs.

199 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 Acura MDX is safer than the Chevrolet Tahoe:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

18 inches

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

50 G’s

Hip Force

481 lbs.

893 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MDX its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tahoe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The MDX comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Tahoe’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Tahoe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Tahoe ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The MDX’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Tahoe’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the MDX have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Tahoe.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the MDX’s reliability 32 points higher than the Tahoe.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Acura vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Acura 3 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Acura MDX 3.5 V6 is faster than the Chevrolet Tahoe:




Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.4 sec

19.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.2 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the MDX Sport Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Tahoe 4WD (26 city/27 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the MDX gets better fuel mileage than the Tahoe:








20 city/27 hwy

16 city/23 hwy




19 city/27 hwy





19 city/26 hwy

16 city/22 hwy




18 city/26 hwy



Regenerative brakes improve the MDX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Tahoe doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the MDX offers an optional system to automatically turn off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Tahoe doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The MDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Tahoe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The MDX stops shorter than the Tahoe:





60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The MDX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tahoe LS/LT’s standard 65 series tires.

The MDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Tahoe doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Acura MDX has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Tahoe has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The MDX has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the MDX flat and controlled during cornering. The Tahoe’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The MDX SH-AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Tahoe Premier 4x4 pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The MDX SH-AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Tahoe Premier 4x4 (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Tahoe’s (38.4 feet vs. 39 feet). The MDX’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Tahoe’s (38.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Acura MDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1150 to 1350 pounds less than the Chevrolet Tahoe.

The MDX is 7.8 inches shorter than the Tahoe, making the MDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The MDX is 7 inches shorter in height than the Tahoe, making the MDX much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Unibody construction makes the MDX’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The Tahoe doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Tahoe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the MDX SH-AWD is quieter than the Tahoe Premier 4x4 (36 vs. 39 dB).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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




Behind Third Seat

15.8 cubic feet

15.3 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the MDX easier. The MDX’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 31.5 inches, while the Tahoe’s liftover is 35.9 inches.

The MDX’s cargo area is larger than the Tahoe’s in almost every dimension:




Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






Ergonomics Comparison

The MDX’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Tahoe’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the MDX the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Tahoe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The MDX has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Tahoe doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MDX is less expensive to operate than the Tahoe because it costs $342 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MDX than the Tahoe, including $54 less for a water pump, $468 less for an alternator, $121 less for front brake pads, $109 less for fuel injection, $478 less for a fuel pump and $467 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Acura MDX will be $1361 to $2492 less than for the Chevrolet Tahoe.

Recommendations Comparison

The Acura MDX has won recognition from these important consumer publications:




Consumer Reports® Recommends



Car Book “Best Bet”



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