2017 Acura MDX Review
Edmunds expert review
The Acura MDX has long been a popular choice for midsize SUV shoppers due to its reputation for reliability and favorable resale value, but it's more than just a practical alternative. Thanks to an advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system (SH-AWD), the MDX is one of the sportier three-row SUVs on the market for drivers so inclined. Its buttery-smooth V6 engine is another strong point, offering acceleration comparable to some European rivals yet returning respectable fuel economy, too. There were some drivability issues with the nine-speed automatic transmission upon its introduction last year, but a software update this year aims to provide a solution.
The 2017 MDX receives a significant face-lift, including a new hood, fresh front and rear fascias, restyled front fenders and different headlights. This year's MDX is also the first Acura to sport the brand's diamond pentagon grille, which will come as particularly welcome news if you weren't a fan of the previous shield-like grille.
Another notable addition is the Sport Hybrid model. With a gas-electric powertrain similar to the one in Acura's flagship sedan, the RLX Sport Hybrid, the MDX Sport Hybrid makes more power and returns better fuel economy than the standard model. And with its adaptive suspension and driver-selectable dynamic modes (two sport and two comfort modes), the Sport Hybrid is more agile than it appears. It comes at a significant price premium, however.
Overall, the 2017 Acura MDX still can't quite match the upscale feel of European rivals such as the Audi Q7 or Volvo XC90, but the gap is smaller than ever. Throw in the MDX's practical advantages and the Sport Hybrid's excellent three-row crossover fuel efficiency, and you've got a top contender in this class.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Acura MDX is a three-row luxury crossover SUV that seats up to seven. It’s offered in three trim levels — Standard, Technology and Advance — that are positioned as packages. There's also an Entertainment package that's offered on both Technology and Advanced models. The Standard MDX comes pretty nicely equipped, but the Advance can't be ignored with its many attractive features. All of the above models employ a 3.5-liter V6 engine (290 horsepower, 267 pound-feet) paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission and can be had with front or all-wheel drive. The Sport Hybrid uses a smaller 3.0-liter V6 combined with three electric motors (combined 321 hp, 289 lb-ft) and a seven-speed automatic transmission to deliver an estimated 27 mpg combined.
Note that the AcuraWatch safety suite, which used to be a package, is now included in all models, so all MDX drivers will reap the benefits of features such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane and road departure warning and mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.
Highlights of the well-equipped Standard package include 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights with auto high beams, heated side mirrors, an electronic parking brake, a power liftgate, a sunroof and keyless entry and ignition. Inside, you'll find heated, eight-way power-adjustable front seats (with power lumbar adjustment for the driver), driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Technology highlights include dual dashboard displays (a lower 7-inch touchscreen and an upper 8-inch regular screen), Bluetooth, five USB ports, Siri Eyes Free, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, Pandora and Aha compatibility and satellite radio.
The Technology package adds niceties such as 20-inch wheels, automatic wipers, remote engine start, power-folding side mirrors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a navigation system, a color driver information display and a 10-speaker premium audio system with HD radio.
The Advance package turns on the charm with front and rear parking sensors, LED foglights, automatic engine stop-start, a surround-view camera system, a heated steering wheel, sport seats with premium leather and trim, power lumbar adjustment for the front passenger, front-seat ventilation, natural wood trim, heated second-row captain's chairs, second-row sunshades and two additional USB ports for the third row.
The Entertainment package can be specified with either the Technology or Advance package and adds a DVD-based rear entertainment system. If you add it to the Technology package, it comes with a 9-inch screen and 11 audio speakers; if you add it to the Advance package, it comes with a 16.2-inch screen (with an HDMI input) and 12 audio speakers, plus it replaces the captain's chairs with seven-passenger seating.
Lastly, the all-wheel-drive MDX Sport Hybrid boasts a 31-horsepower advantage over the non-hybrid MDX, with a total of 321 hp delivered via a unique powertrain consisting of a smaller 3.0-liter V6 engine, three electric motors and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Sport Hybrid is available with the Technology or Advance package only, however.
Noise & vibration4.5
Ease of use2.0
Getting in/getting out3.5
Audio & navigation4.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.