It should come as no great surprise that any vehicle with all-wheel drive and winter tires is in high demand come winter, and as a result our 2014 Acura MDX kept busy through most of December.

First up, staff photographer Patrick M. Hoey took the 2014 Acura MDX on a 2000-mile jaunt to Nashville, Tennessee, and Spartanburg, South Carolina, for feature stories you'll see in an upcoming issue of Automobile Magazine. On the way south, Hoey dealt with snow flurries and freezing rain, making him happy that the Acura was equipped with Bridgestone Blizzak tires.

"The MDX was performed very capably when I met a terrible snowstorm in Ohio," he said. "Plus, the cabin has plenty of power outlets for charging my cameras, radios, and MacBook on a long trip."

Next up, executive editor Todd Lassa grabbed the MDX's keys to help make his hour-long commute a little easier. He was seduced not only by the crossover's performance in cold weather but also by the vehicle's cohesive package.

"The ride and handling, the power, and the general comfort make this Acura's best model," Lassa reported. "I think the MDX remains best in its segment because Acura has updated all of its original qualities without messing up the basic formula."

On the other hand, Lassa criticized the dual-screen infotainment system, which has a small display up top and a secondary touchscreen interface lower on the center stack. "Putting virtually every main control on the screens is too distracting," he said. "Real, tactile buttons and knobs simply work better."

"Even after a night of driving, I didn't have a clue how to operate the system," agreed road test editor Chris Nelson.

Hoey, too, was unable to master the controls: "Even after living with it for nearly 2000 miles, I never felt confident enough to use the infotainment system without looking away from the road."

Editor-in-chief Jean Jennings was next to spend time in the 2014 Acura MDX, although she left it parked at the airport for a few days while sunning herself in Hawaii. On returning, Jennings found Michigan had been hit by a blast of arctic air, prompting her to applaud the MDX's toasty heated seats and powerful heater.

With that, our 2014 Acura MDX ushered in the New Year with more than 4000 miles already logged on its odometer. Judging by its first month in the fleet, we don't expect the MDX's wheels to stay still for very long during the coming year.

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