The new 2017 Acura MDX is a continuation of Acura’s commitment to the mid-size luxury segment. As Honda’s luxury division, Acura has been over the years struggling to find a brand identity in the US marker. There is a time in the early 2000 when the company had a very strong sedan lineup and its bestselling vehicle was the Acura TL.
The 2nd generation MDX line up took over as the best selling model and today it remains one of the most important cars for Acura. It consistently sells 50-70k units annually and Honda also claims it is the best selling 3-row luxury cross over in America.
For the 2017 model, the company has given the MDX a thorough refresh. The biggest change is the new grille at the front. The company has made a lot of changes over the years. The diamond pentagon grille is very polarizing and works on the new MDX.
There are new refreshed LED headlights with automatic high beams. You also get LED fog lights on the advanced model.
On the side you get 20 inch wheels which will come in the higher trims. The overall size in terms of dimension haven’t changed much. You still get 111 inch base and the car is about 196 inches long.
At the back, the look is pretty much the same. You still have LED tail lights. Acura has brought back exposed exhaust tips although they are not the same as the previous generation.
In addition to the new front end styling, Acura did make substantial changes to the interior and the overall functions.
The remote start is standard in the up trim models. Looking at the interior at glance will tell you that not a lot has changed. The seats are updated with a new contrast stitching with accent piping. They are comfortable and supportive seats that befits the 2017 Acura MDX as a luxury vehicle.
You still get them same 2 tier infotainment display with a 7 inch touch head unit screen which is controlled by the Acura signature knob. The map graphics are incredibly dated which is the same you would get in a vehicle in early 2000.
The system is a little bit slow and you might experience some problems when inputting a destination. There is no android auto or apple car play which is disappointing given the fact that almost all competitors offer it.
Putting the vehicle into reverse, you get a 360 degrees camera system. This feature is available in advance models only. It has front and rear trajectory and also parking sensors.
Looking at the center stack, Acura cleaned up the buttons by giving you the feedback touch screen. The heated seat controls are buried in the screen which can be annoying as such a feature can easily be accessible.
Soft touch material has been used on the dash and the doors with silver painting accenting. One thing the 2017 Acura MDX is missing is no stitched dash which is available in other competitors.
There is a new heated steering function with electric power assist. The display is basic and there are competitors who have a full LCD display. Every MDX will come a standard size sunroof with no panoramic.
The second row is as comfortable as the front seats. Only the advanced models will come with captain chairs. This is a new feature for the 2017 model at is also available in the pilot elite. The seats are comfortable and wide and are suited for adults. This reduces the sit and the new MDX can only accommodate 6.
There is decent leg room and foot space. You also get dual map pockets, rear vents with heated seats. To get to the third row, all you have to do is to press a button and the 2nd row seats will push forward automatically.
The third row is mostly reserved for kids. The MDX is a big vehicle but you would to tell adults to go to the 3rd row because there is very little in terms of leg room.
A power tail gate is included in the tech packaged and the higher trims. The cargo space is limited with the third row and you only get 15 cubic feet of space and if you fall the 34d row down you get 43 cubic feet of space and 90 when the third row is folded.
There are very few changes under the hood of the new 2017 Acura MDX. You still have the direct injected 3.5-liter engine. It does have cylinder management with the idle start and stop function. You get 290 HP and s57 lb-tq. Acura will be offering another a hybrid version with 3-liter V6 engine. Fuel economy is decent and is rated about 19 MPG in the city and 26 in the highway.
It can be difficult to assess the driving dynamic in the new DMX because you still have the same engine and transmission. The MDX will impress you when you first drive it. The super handling all wheel system works extremely effectively. It will torque vector to the outside, inside rear wheel depending which direction the vehicle is facing.
The torque primarily stays in front drive. It can direct up to 70% to the rear when such conditions are needed. The 2017 Acura excels so well in being a family vehicle. The rid is nice and comfortable and you feel the sporty element which inspires confidence.
The car will get to 60 in about 6.5 seconds which is decent for an SUV its size. The steering has good feedback with light effort and the vehicle changes direction quickly. The steering gets incredibly light when the car is comfort settings.
The car is very quiet which is one thing Acura has been stressing with the current generation MDX. The glasses are thicker in the MDX models and there is very little wind and road noise.
In terms of safety, you get the Acura watch which is the company’s full suite of driver assistant technology. You get collusion mitigation breaking, forward collusion alert, adaptive cruise with lane speed follow and active lane keeping assist.
The 2017 Acura MDX starts at just over $44000 for a base front wheel drive. The car is a strong value and is about $10000 less expensive that most of its competitors. The advance model is $10000 more and it comes with additional features like heated cool seats, upgraded audio system, 20 inch wheels and the full suite of driver assistance tech.