It's no secret that cold weather is hard on cars, and our Four Seasons 2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD was one of the victims as a continued cold snap resulted in a $1300 repair that might otherwise have been avoided.

Last month, an airborne rock poked a small chip in the MDX's windshield, and before we could think about filling it in, three large cracks emerged from the chip. We took the MDX to a local repair shop, A2 Auto Glass, where an employee told us they had seen an uptick in the number of cracked windshields this winter. When the outside of the glass faces 10-degree winter temps and the inside is breathed on by a 70-degree blast from the heater, even the slightest imperfection can result in a cracked windshield.

Because several sophisticated technologies are integrated into the windshield of our 2014 Acura MDX SH-AWD -- lane-departure warning, automatic wipers, self-dimming mirror -- the replacement glass wasn't cheap. Including labor,thebill came to $1298.24.

With winter comes snow and ice, and to help us clear the 2014 Acura MDX of those elements, we furnished the big crossover with a novel new device called the Blizzerator. According to its manufacturer, the Blizzerator was conceived when a Washington, D.C., resident saw his five-foot one-inch wife struggling to remove snow from her car. The tough, heavy Blizzerator has an extendable handle for better reach and also comes with a 12-inch brush and an aggressive ice scraper. It is the beefiest snow-removal tool most of us have used and proved exceptionally useful when we were walloped with the snowiest January in history.

"The Blizzerator was helpful when I had to chisel out the MDX on a Saturday afternoon," said associate editor Greg Migliore. "I like as big a scraper as I can find when driving in winter, and this one fits the bill."

"It looks dorky but it's quite effective," agreed copy editor Rusty Blackwell.

Otherwise, winter has been relatively uneventful for the 2014 Acura MDX. Graphic designer John Kalmar folded down the rear seats to help his sister move apartments and called the MDX "an ideal moving companion." On the other hand, he was frustrated that it was so hard to adjust the climate controls or use the heated seats through the touchscreen.

Associate web editor Eric Weiner was similarly annoyed on a frosty morning: "I want to sit down with a Honda engineer and explain Michigan winter to him. When it's cold, people want warm butts as soon as possible. They also generally wear gloves in the cold, which don't work on the touchscreen controls. Give us a real button for the heated seats!"

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