New for 2017

The 2017 MDX boasts new styling, an upgraded interior, a newly available hybrid powertrain, and numerous other changes and tweaks.

Acura’s midsize SUV goes high-tech

The Acura MDX was one of the first luxury crossovers, but being first doesn’t guarantee long-term success. So for the 2017 model year, Acura thoroughly updated the MDX with new styling; a more luxurious interior; and added technologies, including an available hybrid powertrain. That should keep the MDX on consumers’ shopping lists for some time to come.

Performance

The 2017 MDX makes use of technology first deployed in Acura’s NSX supercar and RLX flagship sedan. It gets a Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD®) system for the first time ever, offering agility, traction, and increased efficiency. A non-hybrid V6 powertrain is also available with SH-AWD or front-wheel drive.

The Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system uses electric power to increase performance as well as efficiency. The configuration is similar to that used in the NSX and RLX with a gasoline engine teamed with multiple electric motors. In the MDX, a 3.0-liter V6 and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission work with one electric motor to power the front wheels, while another pair of electric motors powers the rear wheels.

Peak output is estimated at 325 horsepower (35 more than non-hybrid models) with an EPA-rated fuel economy of 26 mpg combined (25 mpg city, 26 mpg highway).* The system also uses the electric motors for torque vectoring, allowing the computers to shift torque to each side to improve handling. A new Active Sport Suspension is available, along with an Integrated Dynamics System that includes programmable driving modes.

In addition to the hybrid model, Acura offers the 2017 MDX with a standalone 3.5-liter V6 and nine-speed automatic transmission. This engine produces 290 hp and 267 pound-feet of torque and is available with front-wheel drive or a non-hybrid version of the SH-AWD® system that retains the torque-vectoring capability. Cylinder deactivation and an engine start-stop system help wring extra efficiency out of the V6.

Base front-wheel drive models get an EPA-rated 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway), while models with cylinder deactivation get 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway).* With all-wheel drive, the MDX gets 21 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway), and 22 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway).*

Features

The 2017 Acura MDX is a five-door luxury SUV available with seating for six or seven. Pricing for the revised MDX starts at $43,950.**

The MDX boasts an extensive list of standard features, including an electric parking brake, auto-dimming side-view mirrors, compass, Bluetooth®, Siri® Eyes Free voice control for iPhone users, Aha™ and Pandora® compatibility, SiriusXM® satellite radio, tri-zone automatic climate control, power heated front seats, leather interior, one-touch-access third row, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, Active Sound Control, power moonroof, power tailgate, and LED headlights.

In addition to the standard equipment, there are multiple option packages that help make the MDX even more luxurious. The Technology Package adds navigation, real-time traffic information, remote engine start, GPS-linked climate control, Acura/ELS Studio® 10-speaker premium audio system, LED puddle lights, power-folding side-view mirrors, and 20-inch wheels.

The Advance Package includes convenience features like auto-dimming side mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, second-row captain’s chairs in place of the bench seat in other models, and roof rails. A rear-seat entertainment package with DVD player, rear monitor, and an upgraded audio system is also available.

Design

The restyled 2017 Acura MDX debuts the new face of Acura, including a diamond pentagon grille and updated version of Acura’s “Jewel Eye” LED headlights inspired by the Acura Precision concept that debuted at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. This represents Acura’s latest attempt to create a unique design language that is also pleasing to the eye, and that will remain so for years to come.

The new front end is more of a departure from the traditional SUV box shape. The fascia is blended with an aggressively sculpted hood and front fenders. A new chrome rocker panel design adds some visual flair to the sides, while the rear end gets dressed up with a new bumper and twin exhaust outlets.

Acura also gave the interior a more premium feel with features like an electronic parking brake and shifter and the choice of Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood trim. The MDX also features optional second-row captain’s chairs, eliminating the middle seat that is usually a penalty box for passengers anyway.

The MDX also offers plenty of space for passengers and cargo. It offers 132.7 cubic feet of total passenger volume, 15.0 cubic feet of cargo space with all three rows of seats in place, and 68.4 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.

Safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Acura MDX includes anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control and Motion Adaptive Steering, forward collision warning, collision-mitigating automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and a multi-view rearview camera with dynamic grid lines. Optional features include a surround-view camera system, rear cross-traffic monitor, blind spot information system, and Head-Up Warning.

Verdict

With a fresh infusion of tech and style, the 2017 Acura MDX remains a competitive luxury SUV.

Be sure to contact us online or visit Bob Howard Acura at 13101 N Kelley Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73131 to schedule a test drive.

*Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid only) and other factors.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge (NSX: $1,800, all others: $940) and options. Dealer prices may vary.

Image: Acura