Whether you are thinking about towing a boat trailer or motorhome, your Acura MDX is pretty capable of these tasks. In this article, not like many others on the internet, you won’t just find a towing number and good to tow. But all the data essential to know and understand before towing.

This article is for those who really want to dig deeper into the towing capacity of Acura MDX. Whether you are driving a 2001 model or 2020 model we have all covered here.

MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury crossover SUV of all time that was launched in 2001. MDX has a total of three generations and a Sports Hybrid model with different options in engine and transmission.

All the data you are going to see in this article is taken from 2020-2001 Acura MDX owner’s manuals, downloaded from the official website. Not just this, we have checked all the data twice to ensure that our readers won’t get any information wrong. We take towing seriously.

Short in Time? Here is the Overview.

Acura MDX Towing Capacity: Acura MDX has a towing capacity ranging from 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) to 1700 lbs (770 kg).

In the Sport Hybrid variant of MDX, this is what you find in the towing a trailer section in the owner’s manual: “Your vehicle is not designed to tow a trailer. Attempting to do so can void your warranties.”

What Affects MDX Towing Capacity: Engine options, wheel drive system, and ATF cooler, all impacts MDX’s towing capacity.

Even, the types of trailers impact towing capacity. Along with this, the number of occupants and their cargo also play a crucial role in deciding how much you can pull with your MDX. Towing is not recommended with 7 or more occupants.

Some Important Points:

  • Towing not recommended in MDX’s first 600 miles (1,000 km)
  • GCWR decreases by 2% for every 1,000 feet (305 meters) of elevation.
  • Trailer brakes are recommended for a trailer that weighs 1,000 lbs (450 kg) or more.
  • In 4WD models, an additional ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) cooler is required if towing weight exceeds 3,500 lbs (1,587.5 kg)
  • Use high octane, 91 octanes or higher, if towing weight exceeds 3,500 lbs (1,587.5 kg)
  • Do not exceed 55 mph (88 km/h) if towing a fixed-sided trailer (e.g., camper)

There is more essential information on things to keep in consideration while towing that you should read in your MDX’s owner’s manual. We HIGHLY recommend this. To download the owner’s manual here is the link to Acura’s official website.

We have discussed all the following towing-related data of all models in this file, uploaded on Google Drive.

  • GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)
  • GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
  • GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)
  • Vehicle Load Limit
  • Tongue Load

Boat trailers: 5 – 15% of the total trailer weight
Other trailers: 10 – 15% of total trailer weight

Always remember, the total weight of the vehicle, all occupants, accessories, cargo, and trailer tongue load must not exceed the GVWR or the GAWR. Both are on a label on the driver’s doorjamb.

As discussed earlier, trailer brakes are required for trailers that weigh 1,000 lbs (450 kg) or more. Use surge brakes for the boat trailer since the brakes will get wet. If you choose electric brakes, be sure they are electronically actuated. The 4-pin gray connector installed in your vehicle has all of the circuits required to install most electric trailer brake controllers. It’s highly recommended to have a mechanic done it for you.

Note: Models are grouped based on generations and similar towing capacity.

2020-2014 MDX Towing Capacity – Third Generation

On June 20th, 2013 Acura started selling the 2014 model which marked the start of MDX third generation. In this generation, Acura equipped MDX with a 3.5 L J35Y5 V6 engine and 3.0 L J30Y1 V6 for the Hybrid variant. Along with this, Acura introduced the MDX variant with a 2WD system option.

Acura MDX, in the third generation, has a towing capacity ranging from 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) to 2,500 lbs (1,134 kg). Now, the ATF Cooler and Wheel Drive system has a huge impact on the towing capacity of MDX.

2020 MDX Towing Table

Image credit: 2020 Acura MDX Owner’s Manual

MDX Tongue-Load Table

2020 MDX Tongue Load Table

Image credit: 2020 Acura MDX Owner’s Manual

Another important thing, models from 2016 to 2020 have different “Maximum Vehicle Load Limit’ based on;

Models with bench seat = 1,173 lbs (532 kg)
Models with captain seat = 1,005 lbs (456 kg)

2013-2007 MDX Towing Capacity – Second Generation

On 17 October 2016, Acura introduced the 2007 MDX which marked the start of the second generation of MDX. The MDX from this generation was equipped with a 3.7L V6 VTEC engine having 300hp. In the later models, Acura introduced 6-speed automatic transmission which was 5-speed in earlier models.

Acura MDX, in the second generation, has a towing capacity ranging from 5,000 lbs (2,268 kg) to 4,000 lbs (1,814 kg).

2013 MDX Towing Table

Image credit: 2013 Acura MDX Owner’s Manual

Read More: Acura RDX Towing Capacity (All Model Years)

2006-2001 MDX Towing Capacity – First Generation

Acura introduced MDX in 2001 with a 3.5L V6 engine having 240hp (2001-2002) and 265 hp (2003-2006). Acura has never made MDX with a manual transmission, it only comes with automatic transmission.

MDX, in the first generation, has two towing capacities: 1) the boat trailer and 2) other types of trailers. You can tow 4500 lbs (2045 kg) to 1700 lbs (770 kg) if you are towing a boat trailer. Meanwhile, towing capacity decrease, 3500 lbs (1590 kg) to 1000 lbs (455 kg), if towing trailer other than a boat’s.

2001 MDX Towing Table

Image credit: 2001 Acura MDX Owner’s Manual