The 2017 Acura MDX debuting in New York boasts refresh that the automaker expects will help ensure the upscale people mover maintains its position as the best-selling 3-row crossover SUV of all time. In addition to bolder exterior styling and an expanded roster of comfort/convenience touches, the MDX gains the AcuraWatch suite of advanced driver-assist/safety features and a new Sport Hybrid model delivering more power and better fuel economy. 

Highlighting the MDX’s visual makeover is a new front end that features a diamond pentagonal grille culled from the Acura Precision Concept. Flanked by restyled Jewel Eye headlamps and integrated fog lights, this edgier face is complemented by more sharply sculpted hood and fenders set off with redone chrome side sills. At the rear, the new MDX gets a redrawn bumper with a body-color skid garnish and new dual exhaust outlets.

New features

All versions of the 2017 Acura MDX also gain a new Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, Auto High Beam headlights, SiriusXM Radio 2.0 and quartet of new 2.5A USB charging ports. The available Advance and Technology Packages both add Bi-Directional Keyless Remote Engine Start, two new 20-inch wheel/tire options, power-folding side mirrors and real-time HD Traffic with the Advance Package also gaining LED fog lights, Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel and Surround-View Camera System with six selectable viewing angles. Those seeking more can add the Advance kit with an ultra-wide Rear Seat Entertainment System or opt for second-row Captain’s Chairs and a center console in place of the standard 3-across bench seat.

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On the active/passive safety front, the entire 2017 MDX lineup also sees the formerly optional AcuraWatch package now fitted as standard equipment. This comprehensive group of semi-autonomous technologies includes 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.

New MDX Sport Hybrid  

Whether front-drive or equipped with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, the standard powertrain in the 2017 MDX remains Acura’s well-proven 290-horsepower/3.5-liter SOHC i-VTEC V6 backed by a 9-speed automatic transmission. However, the new range-topper will be an MDX Sport Hybrid that gets its own version of the 3-motor SH-AWD setup also used in the RLX Sedan and the new NSX. For MDX duty, the package consists of a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 -- also with Variable Cylinder Management -- backed by a 7-speed automatic with an integrated motor that drives the front wheels and interfaces with an electric motor at each rear wheel to provide motive force as well as stability enhancing torque vectoring.

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Although tech details are still somewhat limited, Acura says the Sport Hybrid setup in the MDX makes a combined 325 horses and is expected to earn 25/26/26 mpg city/highway/combined EPA stats compared to the 18/26/22 numbers of the 2017 MDX with SH-AWD. Available with the Advance and Technology Packages, the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid also will come with a new Active Sport Suspension that Acura promises will deliver superior ride and handling. This newcomer bolsters the conventional MDX’s driver-selectable Integrated Dynamics System with a “Sport+” mode that complements the existing Comfort/Normal/Sport settings.

The 2017 Acura MDX arrives in showrooms this summer with the new MDX Sport Hybrid rolling onto the scene later in the year. Pricing for both will be announced closer to their on-sale dates.

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