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, a midyear addition with a gas-electric powertrain similar to the one in Acura's flagship sedan, the RLX Sport Hybrid.
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 you've got a top contender in this class.
- Generous array of features and active driver aids for the money
- Optional SH-AWD system enhances handling and all-season surefootedness
- Smooth and confident acceleration from the V6 engine
- Quiet, comfortable and spacious cabin
- Touchscreen isn't user-friendly and graphics are subpar
- Cabin looks and feels less luxurious than some rivals
- Clunky auto stop-start function
- Adaptive cruise control can be slow to respond and abrupt when it does