2019 Acura MDX vs. 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Cullinan doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the MDX and the Cullinan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MDX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Cullinan has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Acura’s powertrain warranty covers the MDX 2 years longer than Rolls-Royce covers the Cullinan. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Cullinan ends after only 4 years.

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

There are almost 8 times as many Acura dealers as there are Rolls-Royce dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the MDX’s warranty.

Reliability

The engines in the MDX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Cullinan has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

MDX

FWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

A-Spec 3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/25 hwy

Hybrid 3.0 SOHC V6

26 city/27 hwy

Cullinan

AWD

6.7 Turbo V12

12 city/20 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The Cullinan doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the MDX’s engine automatically turns off 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 Cullinan 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 Cullinan doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

For more complete vehicle control the MDX offers an optional manually controlled automatic, with the available convenience of an automatic transmission and the complete gear control of a manual transmission without the inconvenience of a clutch. A manually controlled automatic allows the driver to eliminate unwanted shifts and maximize engine braking by down shifting while cornering. The Cullinan doesn’t offer a transmission that allows complete gear control.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura MDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Cullinan.

The MDX offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Cullinan doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

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 Cullinan doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s turning circle is 5 feet tighter than the Cullinan’s (38.4 feet vs. 43.4 feet). The MDX’s turning circle is 4.7 feet tighter than the Cullinan’s (38.7 feet vs. 43.4 feet).

Chassis

The Acura MDX may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1600 to 2050 pounds less than the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

The MDX is 1 foot, 2.1 inches shorter than the Cullinan, making the MDX easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the MDX has standard flush composite headlights. The Cullinan has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

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

Passenger Space

The MDX has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Cullinan can only carry up to 5.

The MDX has 20.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cullinan (132.7 vs. 112).

Cargo Capacity

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

MDX

Cullinan

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

68.2 cubic feet

The MDX’s available rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Cullinan w/Executive Rear Seats doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

The MDX’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Cullinan’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics

The MDX offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cullinan doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the MDX has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Cullinan doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

The MDX is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Cullinan doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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