A couple of years ago we reviewed the 3rd generation 2015 Acura MDX Elite, a car that has been quite popular for Acura. For the 2017 model year, the MDX gets a mid-cycle refresh with a bold front fascia and a few other minor tweaks to the exterior and the interior.
In Canada, the base 2017 Acura MDX has a starting price of $53,690, MDX Navi starts at $57,190, Tech starts at $60,190, and the top of the line MDX Elite starts at $65,790. These prices do not include Freight and PDI charges. Prices have gone up a bit but the MDX now comes with more standard features.
The third generation MDX is powered by the same 3.5 liter V6 found on the 2015 MDX, it comes with direct injection, and produces 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 267 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. However, for 2017, the V6 is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Power is sent to all four wheels via Acura’s Super Handling AWD system.
The 3.5 liter V6 engine is very smooth and works great with the 9-speed automatic transmission and the SH-AWD system. The 290 horsepower is more than enough to get this big SUV moving in a hurry and highway passing is very easy. The new 9-speed transmission also comes with IDS, which adjust throttle response and steering feel and has three settings: Comfort, Normal, and Sport.
The 2017 Acura MDX is rated at 12.6/9.0/11.0 L/100 km City/Highway/Combined cycles, for all trims except the Elite Package, which is rated at 12.2/9.0/10.7. I’m not exactly sure how the Elite package gets better fuel consumption numbers, since they use the same size wheels and tires (not including the base). If you compare the fuel consumption between the old 6-speed auto and the new 9-speed auto, there isn’t that much difference, with the 6-speed automatic transmission rated at 12.7/8.5/10.8 in city/highway/combined. However, there has been a change in the way fuel consumption numbers are calculated now in Canada, making the new numbers look less efficient, the new testing is more in line with real world driving.
For our week-long review, the computer showed an average of 14.7 L/100 km, in 85% city driving. This number is also higher because of the cold blast of winter we got, we spent more time than usual in warming up the car and with liberal use of heated seats and heated steering wheel and using the defrost feature to get rid of ice build up on the glass.
The 2017 MDX Elite has a very smooth drive and the engine is as good as ever, the new 9-speed transmission is also very smooth and seems to always be in the right gear. Passing on the highway is a breeze and the MDX gets up to speed very quickly. Because of the quiet interior and smooth driving dynamics, you do need to check your speed, as you’re always going faster than you think.
The other major difference between the “old” and the new MDX is the styling, the overall vehicle is still the same, with a major change in the grill at the front. The front bumper features a very big pentagonal diamond grill, which was first seen on the Acura Precision Concept sedan, with a massive “A” for Acura in the middle. The hood and front fenders are massaged to give them a more streamlined look and the jewel-eye headlights are also redesigned. The sides get chrome rocker panel trim and at the back the exhaust tips are visible once again.
The interior on the 2017 Acura MDX is a very luxurious place to spend your time in, there isn’t much change visually but the vehicle is now equipped more standard equipment. The MDX now comes with electric parking brake and brake hold, automatic high beams, and surround view camera with six viewing angles. Also keeping up with technology trends, the MDX now offers 4 USB chargers, making it easy to charge your and three of your passengers’ phones on the go.
The top of the line Elite trim also gets real Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood trim. The Elite trim can also be equipped with 2nd row captain’s chairs.
The interior is very quite and comfortable, there is lots of rooms for all of the occupants. However, the third-row of seats is best left for kids or emergencies, as I found it quite awkward to squeeze into the third row and when I finally got in, the leg room is very low and it just feels very cramped.
Safety & Technology
The MDX is Acura’s flagship SUV, so it comes loaded with all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a luxury vehicle in this price range. Below is a rather large list of safety and technology features you can get on your 2017 Acura MDX.
- Driver’s Side Knee Airbag
- Dual-stage, Dual-Threshold Front Airbags
- Smart Vent Front Side Airbags
- Three-row Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
- Collision Mitigation Braking System
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Road Departure Mitigation (steering and braking)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Trailer Stability Assist
- Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control
- Forward Collision Warning
- Lane Departure Warning
- Lane Keep Assist System
- Multi-Angle Rear view Camera with Guidelines
- Auto-Dimming Side Mirrors
- Auto-leveling Front Headlamps
- Automatic high beams
- Headlight Washer System
- Heated Windshield
- Power Folding Mirrors
- Rain-sensing Windshield Wipers
- Wiper-linked Headlight System
- Acoustic Glass
- Active Noise Control
- Active Sound Control
- Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition 8″ display
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow
- Auto-dimming Rear view Mirror
- Automatic climate control system
- Blind Spot Information System
- Electronic tilt and telescoping steering column
- Smart Entry Keyless Access System
- Push Button Start Ignition
- Remote Engine Starter
- Perimeter approach puddle lights
- Tri-Zone front/rear Automatic Climate Control System
- Acura DVD Ultra-wide Rear Entertainment System with 16.2-inch Display and HDMI connector
- Bluetooth Audio
- E-Mail/ SMS Text Capability
- SIRI Eyes Free
- 10-way power adjustment driver and passenger seat with 2-way power lumbar support and 2-position driver memory seat
- Heated & Ventilated front seats
- Heated steering wheel
The 2017 Acura MDX is just as good as it was when we reviewed it two years ago, in fact, it has gotten better with more standard features. It’s luxurious, quiet, and comfortable and has a very good AWD system that should keep you planted to the road and facing the right direction in Canadian winters. Visit acura.ca for more information.