From Acura press: For 2004, Acura updated the exterior styling to give the MDX a muscular, performance-oriented look representative of its impressive powertrain. To that end, the front fascia has been redesigned with a sharper, more tapered look and an integrated chin spoiler was applied to reinforce the new styling and direct air to the sides of the vehicle.
The rear fascia has also been redesigned and includes a new more sophisticated taillight assembly, and dual exhaust tips. Satin chrome finish adds stylish highlights to the front and rear trim.
Inside, the 2004 MDX receives an assortment of new features designed to make it even more comfortable and refined including brushed metal-look instrument panel trim, ambient foot lights and welcome illumination. On MDX models equipped with the available Touring Package, the eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat now features power-adjustable lumbar support that flexes to match the natural curve of the driver's spine. The Touring Package also receives a more powerful (225-watt vs. 200-watt) Acura/Bose Music System with retuned speakers for superior sound reproduction.
An advanced powertrain is essential to meet the MDX's goals of providing V-8-like performance, class-leading low emissions, and excellent fuel economy. To that end, the MDX is powered by an advanced 3.5-liter, VTEC V-6 engine. The latest version of the MDX has been fitted with a new dual exhaust system that increases horsepower and torque again for 2004.
The MDX powerplant now produces 265 horsepower, up from 260 in 2003, at 5800 rpm, and increases torque output to 253 lb-ft of torque between 3500 and 5000 rpm. Acura's renowned Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC™) valvetrain, first used in the NSX supercar, adjusts the timing, duration, and lift of the intake valves according to engine speed. In conjunction with a two-stage intake manifold, VTEC yields muscular response at low- and medium-rpm, high peak-rpm performance, very low emissions, and superior fuel efficiency.
The more powerful engine is coupled to an innovative drive-by-wire throttle system, which eliminates the need for a mechanical connection between the cockpit and engine, reduces overall weight by incorporating the cruise control function and helps to reduce shift shock by communicating with the transmission during up and down shifts.
The MDX's compact 5-speed, automatic transmission utilizes a super-flat torque converter and a 4-shaft layout that relocates the third gear clutch to reduce overall length by 60 mm over the original transmission while increasing torque capacity. Furthermore, an innovative shaft center layout of the idle row gear reduces the amount of gear inclination during driving, thereby reducing gear noise. This transmission boasts several features engineered specifically for use in a mid-sized luxury SUV, including: wide gear ratios to optimize both start-up acceleration and highway cruising comfort, a lock-up torque converter for maximum efficiency and a rigid alloy case design for light weight.