Americans may be in love with SUVs, but they were never thrilled with Acura’s ‘beak’ grille, so the Japanese carmaker finally did something about it on the 2017 MDX facelift.
First seen on the Precision Concept, which debuted at the NAIAS in January, the diamond pentagon grille is part of the firm’s new styling and it is integrated in the sculpted hood.
Its front fascia benefits from restyled Jewel Eye headlights and new LED fog lamps. On its side profile, Acura added a new chrome rocker panel, which acts as an element of contrast, while at the rear one can notice the revised bumper, body colored skid garnish and twin tailpipes.
Acura claims that all MDX model come with electric parking brake with automatic hold function, SiriusXM Radio 2.0, four 2.5-amp USB charging ports and automatic high beam headlights, while advanced grades add LED fog lights, heated steering wheel, genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood interior trim and Surround-View Camera system with six selectable viewing angles. The 3-person second-row seating can be replaced by two second-row captain’s chairs and a center console with two additional USB ports, on more expensive versions.
Available at an extra cost, the Technology and Advance packages add keyless remote engine start, HD Traffic, power folding side mirrors, two new 20-inch wheel and tire options and new Active sport Suspension, which improves ride quality and handling performance, integrated in the Dynamics System with three dynamic modes: Comfort, Normal and Sport. On the Sport Hybrid, there is a new Sport+ mode. An optional ultra-widescreen rear entertainment system is available with the Advance ENT Package.
Joining the NSX supercar and RLX flagship sedan, the 2017 MDX sport Hybrid is the third model to feature the company’s three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain. This uses a 3.0-liter DOHC V6, with Variable Cylinder Management, mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox with an integrated electric motor, powering the front axle, while the Twin Motor Unit, with two electric motors, is sending power to the rear wheels.
For improved straight line performance and cornering precision, the system delivers electrified torque vectoring, in combination with the AWD. Total system output is 325 HP (330 PS), 35 HP (36 PS) over the non-hybrid, and EPA fuel economy ratings are 25/26/26 in city/highway/combined (9.4/9.05/9.05 l/100 km).
All variants of the 2017 Acura MDX are equipped with the AcuraWatch suite of safety technologies, as standard, which include just about everything from Lane Departure Warning to Adaptive cruise Control. The system can maintain a set speed and following interval, during freeway cruising, initiating throttle inputs and braking and adding steering input to help the driver maintain position in the current lane.
Acura has designed the SUV at the Design Studio in Torrance, California, and it was developed and engineered in Raymond, Ohio. It will be produced at the same facility as its predecessor, in Lincoln, Alabama, using domestic and globally sourced parts. In early 2017, the MDX will also be assembled at the East Liberty, Ohio plant.
On display at the 2016 New York Auto Show, the refreshed SUV will go on sale soon, although an exact launch date or pricing list have yet to be announced.