2017 Acura MDX Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, March 24, 2016
- Refreshed, 7-passenger crossover SUV
- Introduces the new face of Acura
- Updated front and rear styling, new wheel designs
- New available brown leather interior color
- New MDX Sport Hybrid version debuts
- Added standard and optional equipment
- Acura Watch safety technologies now standard
- Simplified option packaging
- On sale in summer of 2016
A decade after its debut, Acura’s silver shield grille is retired in favor of a new “diamond pentagon” design, as introduced on the Acura Precision Concept and as worn by the updated 2017 MDX crossover SUV. The lineup also expands to include a new Sport Hybrid model that significantly improves fuel economy while delivering an extra measure of performance.
Acura says the new MDX will go on sale in the summer of 2016, followed later in the year by the MDX Sport Hybrid.
In addition to its new grille, which wears a bolder version of the Acura calipers logo, the MDX receives a new front end with revised LED headlights, new hood with crisper character lines, and sharpened fenders. New aluminum wheel designs debut, and the new MDX comes with chrome rocker panel trim, new rear bumper design with a body-color insert, and dual exhaust outlets.
For the 2017 MDX, Acura increases the amount of standard equipment. New items include an electronic parking brake with automatic hold, automatic high-beam headlights, next-generation satellite radio, and four quick-charge USB ports.
Options for the new MDX are grouped into two primary upgrade packages. The Technology package expands to include remote engine starting, power-folding side mirrors, HD Traffic reports, and a new 20-in. aluminum wheel design. The Advance package is improved with LED fog lights, Olive Ash or Black Limba wood trim, heated steering wheel, and a surround-view camera with 6 viewing angles.
Additionally, the MDX with Advance package can be outfitted with new second-row captain’s chairs separated by a center console containing two additional USB ports. A widescreen rear-seat entertainment system is also available for the MDX, but requires purchase of the Advance package.
Under the Hood
A 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine is standard for the 2017 MDX, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and available with an automatic engine start/stop system that improves fuel economy. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system is an option, and supplies torque-vectoring capability.
New for 2017, the MDX Sport Hybrid employs technology similar to that found in the NSX sports car and RLX luxury sedan. Available only with the optional Technology or Advance packages, the MDX Sport Hybrid combines a 3.0-liter V-6 engine with variable cylinder-management technology, a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox, Lithium-ion battery pack, and three electric motors that effectively supply a torque-vectoring AWD system. Combined, these components generate 325 horsepower—35 more than the MDX’s standard 3.5-liter V-6.
An Active Sport Suspension is also included for the Sport Hybrid model, and features an exclusive Sport+ driving mode for the Integrated Dynamics system.
Acura predicts that the MDX Sport Hybrid will provide 25 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 26 mpg in combined driving. City fuel economy rises by 7 mpg over a standard MDX SH-AWD.
For 2017, Acura improves the MDX’s standard safety equipment list, adding the Acura Watch suite of technologies as standard equipment for all versions. Acura Watch includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and a road-departure mitigation system.
Upgrade to the Technology package for a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert.
In addition to blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, the Technology package adds navigation and an upgraded audio system. Advance package contents include heated and ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, front and rear park-assist sensors, and more.