As SUVs remain at the forefront of many manufacturer debuts this year, perhaps none have more riding on its coattails than Acura. The 2017 MDX, the best-selling three-row SUV of all-time and the Honda luxury label’s best-selling SUV, takes a calculatedly stylish approach for its mid-cycle refresh as it becomes the first vehicle from Acura to adopt strong styling cues from the red-hot Precision Concept.
An eye-catching new diamond pentagon grille straight from the Precision Concept replaces the previous “silver beak” and underscores a more aggressive front fascia for the MDX, integrated with a more pronounced and sculpted hood and front fenders in which new LED fog lights and restyled “Jewel Eye” headlights are integrated.
A new chrome rocker panel adds a decidedly sportier feel to the Alabama-built SUV while in back a revised bumper, body colored skid garnish, and the addition of two twin tailpipes further emphasizes performance. Its distinctive new look aside, the big news is the debut of an MDX Sport Hybrid — the third model to feature Acura’s three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain, joining the NSX supercar and RLX flagship sedan.
Powered by a 3.0-liter DOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management and mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, an integrated electric motor powers the front wheels while a Twin Motor Unit with two electric motors provides power to the rear wheels. That equates to 325 horsepower and EPA fuel economy ratings of 25/26/26 (city/highway/combined).
Additionally, the system delivers electrified torque vectoring for improved straight line performance and cornering precision in combination with all-wheel-drive power. With Technology and Advance packages comes a new active sport suspension that improves ride quality, handling performance and introduces Integrated Dynamics System modes: Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+.
All 2017 MDX models now feature an electric parking brake with automatic brake hold, auto high beam headlights and SiriusXM Radio. Technology and Advance packages add bi-directional keyless remote engine start, two new 20-inch wheel and tire options, power folding side mirrors, and HD Traffic. In addition to these features, Advance grades add LED fog lights, genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel and surround-view camera system with six selectable viewing angles. An ultra-widescreen Rear Entertainment System is also available on models with the Advance ENT Package.
Also standard across all models is the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technology as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Road Departure Mitigation. A wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology detects other vehicles as well as lane markings to help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision.
The 2017 MDX is slated to arrive this summer; the MDX Sport Hybrid joins later in the year.
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