Acura doesn’t sell a lot of vehicles, especially compared to Honda, BMW, and the like, but their customer satisfaction rating is significantly higher than most other brands. The reason is simple. Those who understand what the brand is about already like it before they even purchase an Acura. The fact that the cars live up to drivers’ expectations is one of the biggest draws to Acura vehicles.
The Acura MDX has been one of their best-selling models for nearly a decade, but the model itself has been in production for far longer than that. In 2014 Acura sold 65,000, a record for the MDX, but sales went down from there with just 50,000 of the 2016 Acura MDX being sold.
To boost sales, something had to be done, and rather than just market it as an “updated” model, Acura decided to go all-out and completely revise the 2017 Acura MDX. This large three-seater SUV receives multiple updates for 2017, but the real question is: has Acura done enough to bring the MDX up to date? In a nutshell, yes, so read on to find out why.
The exterior has been completely redesigned for the 2017 MDX. The questionable and rather unsightly shield which sat on top of the grille for the last 10 years or so is finally gone and replaced by a five-sided chrome grille complete with glossy piano black inserts. The enormous Acura emblem sits right in the middle, and looks great in person, despite appearing quite large in pictures. The LED headlights have been slightly tweaked, while the fog lights also receive LED upgrades, leading to easier views when night time driving. The lower fascia is new as well. At the back, the chrome trim has been integrated into the bottom edges of the rear bumper and rocker panels, along with a slight taillight update. The overall impression is of a much improved and more refined exterior bringing a more upscale appearance than ever before.
As far as designs go, the 2017 version of the MDX is a great one. It follows Acura’s current design language, without conforming to current trends too much. It’s one of the better looking luxury SUVs on the market right now, so if you’re after an elegant and understated, yet sporty appearance, the 2017 Acura MDX is the perfect choice.
The interior of the 2017 Acura MDX isn’t as heavily revised as the exterior, but it does benefit from some changes. For starters, there’s a push-button shifter now instead of the conventional gear lever Acura used in the previous MDX. The lower center console seems to have a slight accent which wasn’t there before, and that’s about it as far as interior upgrades go. The MDX was never lacking in this department however, so we’re more than happy that it kept the same level of luxury and comfort.
Speaking of luxury, let’s start with the amount of systems and technologies on board the 2017 MDX. The model we tested came fully-loaded, with the Entertainment, Technology and Advance packages .Each package brings a lot of features to the MDX. Could you live without them? Yes, absolutely, it’s not the end of the world, but they do take the MDX to that next level of luxury. If you’re looking for more of a family hauler than an adult oriented vehicle you might opt for the second row bench seating over the captains chairs.
Getting back to the comfort for a moment, the 2017 Acura MDX offers class-leading passenger room, both in the headroom and legroom department. Entering the third row is incredibly easy thanks to an electronic release on the second row. Fold the two rear rows away, and you have 90 cubic feet of cargo storage space – true interior versatility to transport many combinations of cargo and passengers.
ENGINE & DRIVE
Under the hood you’ll find the well known 3.5L six cylinder engine, lifted straight from the Honda lineup. For the 2017 MDX, the engine is tweaked to output 290hp at 6,200 rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission and an SH-AWD system. The Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD for short) system creates superior handling and doesn’t just prevent wheel slip, but also uses clever torque vectoring to guide the vehicle into corners using power to speed up the outside wheel.
The overall driving feel is refined and solid, resulting in a smooth, quiet and comfortable ride both in the city and on the highway. The 2017 Acura MDX posts an 11.0 L/100km fuel economy which is in line with our real world test drive yielding 12.9 L/100km over 200km of mostly city driving.
The beautifully redesigned 2017 Acura MDX will win over new consumers and please existing Acura owners as well. Perfect exterior proportions with a pleasing and refined design will draw you in, while the luxurious, versatile and functional interior will keep you comfortable and in the end the smooth, driver oriented performance will fully win you over. The 2017 MDX starts at $53,690 and tops out at $65,790 for the Elite model, so take a test drive now to see what all the praise is about!