Acura MDX vs Toyota Highlander

Acura MDX vs Toyota Highlander

Acura MDX vs Toyota Highlander: which should you choose? Both the Acura SUV and its Toyota rival offer loads of advantages and numerous features that buyers look for and love.

Your Acura Desjardins dealership in Montreal tells you more about the 2023 Toyota Highlander and the 2023 Acura MDX in this comparison!

Acura MDX vs Toyota Highlander: Price and Trims

Named Best 2023 Luxury Midsize SUV by the Car Guide, the Acura MDX comes in 6 trims, offered at the following base prices:

  • MDX: $ 61,895
  • Tech: $ 65,895
  • A- Spec: $ 68,895
  • Platinum Elite: $ 72,895
  • Type S: $ 82,995
  • Type S Ultra: $ 86,995

As for the 2023 Toyota Highlander, it comes in 4 fuel trims and 3 hybrid trims:

  • LE: $ 48,160
  • XLE: $ 51,301
  • XSE: $ 53,601
  • Limited: $ 56,841

Yes, we can definitely notice a significant difference in terms of price, for both of these SUVs; however, as you will see below, it is completely justified!

Shop for the all-new 2023 Acura MDX

Acura MDX vs Toyota Highlander: Exterior Features

The Acura MDX stands out with its elegant and stunning design with athletic lines. Depending on the selected trim, the MDX can be equipped with 19-, 20- or 21- inch wheels, dual rectangular exhaust tips or 4 round ones, LED headlights and taillights, along with a panoramic sunroof, among other things.

When it comes to the Toyota Highlander, it boasts an elegant and dynamic silhouette and can be equipped with 18- or 20- inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and a sunroof, on some of the trims.

MDX vs Highlander: Interior Features

The MDX interior is truly refined and offers loads of high-quality materials like leather, brushed metal and genuine wood, all found within a spacious interior that can welcome up to 7- passengers comfortably thanks to the 3- rows of seats.

As for the Toyota SUV, there are also 3- rows of seats; depending on the selected trim, up to 8- passengers can be seated on board. Modern and streamlined, the Highlander interior offers –depending on selected trim- fabric cloth, SofTex or leather upholstery, LED ambient lighting and several different fit and finishes, providing the vehicle with a sober and elegant style.


Here is a sneak peek of what you will find as standard offered equipment aboard the Acura MDX:

  • Climate control over 3- zones
  • 12- way power driver and passenger seats (16- for the Platinum Elite)
  • Heated front seats and steering wheel

As for the Highlander it comes with the following standard offered equipment:

  • Heated front seats
  • 8- way power driver’s seat
  • Climate control over 3- zones
  • And more.


When comparing the Acura MDX and Toyota Highlander’s interior and exterior dimensions, it is easy to see that the MDX is slightly bigger and wider; furthermore, it offers a more generous amount of cargo space once 2nd and 3rd rows of seats are down, which translates into 300 liters more.

Acura MDX Toyota Highlander
Length 5039 mm 4951 mm
Width 2000 mm 1931 mm
Height 1724 mm 1730 mm
Wheelbase 2890 mm 2850 mm
Cargo Space 461-2690 liters 453-2387 liters
Interior view of the Acura MDX 2023 and its dashboard

MDX vs Highlander: Powertrains and towing capacity

Under the hood, the Acura MDX offers the choice between 2 powerful powertrains: a 3.5 L V6 with 290 horsepower, or a 355 horsepower 3.0 V6 turbo. No matter the chosen powertrain, it is coupled with a 10- speed automatic transmission, along with a SH-AWD system.

When it comes to the Toyota Highlander, it is equipped with a 264 horsepower 2.4 L 4- cylinder turbo, which is coupled with all-wheel drive along with an 8- speed automatic transmission. Moreover, the Highlander also offers hybrid trims which are equipped with the Toyota synergetic hybrid system that offers a total of 243 net horsepower.

While the hybrid trim of the Highlander comes with a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds (1,588 kg), the towing capacity for the fuel trims climbs to 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg), which is the same maximum towing capacity as all of the Acura MDX trims.

3/4 front view of the Acura MDX 2023 at full power on a sandy road

Acura MDX vs Toyota Highlander: Safety technologies

The on-board technologies and evolved safety features are abundant aboard the Acura MDX and, depending on selected trim, can include the following:

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Wireless cellphone charging
  • Navigation with voice recognition
  • A 12.3- inch touch screen
  • Braking with impact reduction and pedestrian detection
  • Front collision alert
  • Road departure warning and mitigation
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Blind spot and rear cross traffic surveillance
  • Road sign recognition system
  • Head-up display
  • Traffic jam assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Peripheral vision
  • Rear seat alert
  • And so much more.

Although most of the features found aboard the MDX are also present on the Highlander, it is important to note significant differences like the absence of the road sign recognition system, head-up display and traffic jam assist, among other things.

All in all, the Acura MDX is definitely a smart choice for buyers who are looking for a luxury midsize SUV that offers solid performance levels and exceptional refinement.

To find out more about this comparison between the Acura MDX vs Toyota Highlander, or to learn more about our current special offers, come and visit us at Desjardins Acura, your dealership in Montreal!

Acura MDX 2023 vs Lexus RX 2023

Price Range$ 61,895 - $ 86,995$ 48,160 - $ 56,841
Amount of Trims64 (+ 3 hybrid trims)
Powertrain3.5 L V6 w/ 290 HP3.0 L V6 turbo w/ 355 HP2.4 L 4- cyl. turbo w/ 264 HPHybrid system w/ 243 HP
Towing Capacity3,000 – 5,000 lbs (1,360—2,268 kg)3,500-5,000 lbs (1,588—2,268 kg)
Cargo Space461-2,690 liters453-2,387 liters
Rear view of the Acura MDX 2023 on the road