The updated Acura MDX has finally made its long-awaited debut at the New York Auto Show

Around since the 2001 model year, the Acura MDX is a very hot commodity and has been a huge success, proving to be one of the best-selling three-row luxury crossovers of all time, and has historically sat below the Lexus RX as the best-selling luxury crossover. It’s been through two generational shifts with the third-gen model making its debut for the 2015 model year and was facelifted just a couple of years later, to bring about the new diamond pentagon grille, LED headlamps, LED taillights, and an updated AcuraWatch safety system that includes automatic collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control, all as standard equipment. Its exterior style to cues from the Acura Precision Concept and the Acura NSX, the latter of which also inspired the drivetrain found in the hybrid model.

The MDX has had pretty steady sales since the third-gen model was introduced, with 2014 accounting for 65,603 units sold, 2015 accounting for 58,208 units, and 2016 accounting for 55,495 units. Those are U.S. numbers only, and this is a global model so you can imagine the global sales are significantly higher. As we move into 2018, Acura continues to set the pace as a leader in the segment by bringing about an updated infotainment system, some new exterior colors, and a new pricing point that is a bit higher than it was for 2017, but not by much and well worth it considering what you get from a luxury brand like Acura. Check out our full review below to learn all about the facelifted, third-gen MDX.

Update 9/19/2017: Acura has released pricing for the 2018 model year, and there are a couple of updates to talk about as well. Check out our review below to learn all about it.

  • 2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
  • Year:
    2017- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    290
  • Torque @ RPM:
    267
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    44200
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    9.2/10

Exterior

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 670508

Compared to the outgoing model, the new MDX is more aggressive. Up front, you’ll notice the hood has been redesigned with three new body lines that add a bit of flare. Ahead of the hood, we see the diamond pentagon grille (first seen on the Acura Precision concept) that comes to a sharp point in the middle of the fascia. The air dam has been lengthened compared to the outgoing model. The vents in the corners of the fascia are now more refined, featuring a horizontal louver in the center and LED fog lights on the outer edge. A distinctive front lip extends from the fascia just above the air dam, terminating just before the outer edges of the vents. A trim insert surrounds the top and outer sides of the vents, adding even more flair to the overall look.

To the sides, the new MDX shares the same overall profile as the outgoing model, including the same body line that runs from the front wheel arch and across the doors towards the rear. Chrome door handles have been installed in place of the body-colored units, and the side skirts now have chrome trim inserts.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 680274
2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 680297
All told, the new MDX features bold styling that really makes it standout in the over-flooded SUV market

To the rear, the hatch and taillights have the same overall design. A chrome insert has been added to the handle for the hatch. Down below, the most significant change comes in the form of the body-colored skid garnish on the lower rear fascia. If you recall, the outgoing model had a flat-black garnish on the bottom of the fascia. Now that it’s body colored, it gives the MDX a more upscale appearance. There are now vertical reflectors integrated into the corners of the rear fascia and two slanted rectangular exhaust outlets. All told, the new MDX features bold styling that really makes it standout in the over-flooded SUV market. Based on appearance alone, the 2017 MDX should be a big hit.

New For 2018

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
- image 732413

With the MDX just recently getting an in-depth update for the 2017 model year, I know you weren’t expecting to see anything change at all as far as the exterior is concerned, right? You wouldn’t be that greedy, would you? I didn’t think so, and that’s why you’ll appreciate the fact that Acura has expanded its color palette a bit. It’s not a whole lot to write home about, but if you go for a base model or the Technology trim, you can opt for Basque Red, a very intensive red color that reminds me of the “pull-me-over” reds of the early 1990s. And, if you were planning on going with the upper trim levels, you’ll be able to choose San Marino Red as a color option, a color that’s a little sportier and not so Ferrari-ish. There’s no word on pricing for either color choice, but it’s Acura we’re talking about, so I wouldn’t expect you to have to chalk on too much extra to get your red on.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (in) 111.0
Length (in) 196.2
Width (in) 77.2
Height (in) 67.4
Track (in, front/rear) 66.3/66.3
Angle (Approach/ Departure/ Breakover) 14.9°/ 17.4°/ 15.2°

Interior

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Interior
- image 670506

Despite the teaser image and all the spy shots, we never saw the interior. Now that the model has debuted at the New York Auto Show, we finally get to take a peek inside. At first glance, the interior might look the same as the outgoing model, but after taking a deeper look, there’s quite a bit of refinement here. To start off, the curvature in the passenger’s side dash has been pushed farther inward, and the knee bolsters on both sides of the dash follow suite. As you can see, there are still two display screens – one for the infotainment system and one for navigation. It looks like the instrument cluster has changed a little too, and doesn’t have the display between the speedometer and tachometer. The MDX comes standard with Automatic High Beam Headlights, SiriusXM Radio 2.0 and four 2.5-amp USB charging ports. You’ll also notice that the gear shifter on the center console has been replaced by a refined unit.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Interior
- image 680278
2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
- image 732415
Higher-end models will feature genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood trim, a heated steering wheel, and surround-view camera with six different viewing angles

In the configuration shown in these images, the interior has a three-tone layout, with the dash, center console and upper portion of the door trim panels finished in black. The center of the door trim panels and the upholstery is done up in brown leather. The pillars, visors, and roof liner all feature a light gray appearance. It’s a nice combination of colors, but other colors are also available.

Higher-end models will feature genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood trim, a heated steering wheel, and surround-view camera with six different viewing angles. Optional Technology and Advance packages will offer a bi-directional keyless remote, remote engine start, the option for two different wheel designs, and HD traffic. Higher-level trims can also opt to have second-row captain’s seating with a center console and two extra USB ports. This, of course, removes the three-person bench seat, but as you can see from the images, that second row looks much more comfortable in this configuration. The center console also mimics that of the front console, offering two cup holders, a large central armrest, and a small storage compartment in the middle.

New for 2018

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
- image 732414

Are you a fan of that dual-screen layout? Well, if you decided to jump on the MDX bandwagon for 2017, you might be a little upset because 2018 model years get a new infotainment setup. You still get the dual screens, but that seven-inch resistive display screen has been replaced by a seven-inch capacitive screen that’s even faster than before (by 30 percent.) The system receives updated menus for easier navigation and menu access to go along with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. So, from 2018 on, there’s no need to struggle with phone connectivity as you’ll now be able to integrate your phone right into the system, providing access to apps, music, and message right on the built-in screen.

Interior Dimensions

Headroom (in, first row/second row/third row) 38.1 / 38.3 / 35.6
Legroom (in, first row/second row (Max Slide)/third row (Max Slide)) 41.4 / 36.6 (38.5) / 28.1 (30.9)
Shoulder Room (in, first row/second row/third row) 61.1 / 59.1 / 54.7
Hiproom (in, first row/second row/third row) 57.5 / 57.8 / 40.6
EPA Passenger Volume (cu ft) 132.7
Cargo Volume (cu ft) (Max): Behind Third Row 15.0* (15.8†)
Cargo Volume (cu ft) (Max): Behind Second Row 38.4* (43.4†)
Cargo Volume (cu ft) (Max): Behind First Row 68.4* (90.9†)

Drivetrain

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 670505

Under the hood sits a 3.5-liter, I-VTEC, V-6 that’s good for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to a nine-speed automatic, that’s more efficient than the old six-speed unit and – in conjunction with the idle-stop technology that comes with the Advance package – allows the MDX to attain a fuel economy of 20 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 23 mpg combined. AWD models come in a 19 mpg in the city, 26 mph on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. Not bad for a crossover this size, huh? Performance specs like 0-to-60 mph and top speed still remain a mystery, but you’re not buying an MDX to decimate the competition anyway. No; you’re buying an MDX to cruise in reliable style, so those numbers don’t really matter anyway.

For those of you who like to be green, you’ll find that the MDX Sport Hybrid is certainly the way to go. It features a three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain, just like the Acura NSX and the RLX sedan. On the combustion engine front, the hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 that is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with an integrated electric motor to power the front wheels. A twin motor unit is found on the rear axle. Peak output for the hybrid is 325 horsepower, and it achieves 25 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined, which is a pretty decent improvement over the non-hybrid MDX. It receives the same upgrades as the rest of the lineup for 2018, so make sure you wait until the 2018 models hit showrooms before signing on the dotted line.

Drivetrain Specificaitons

ENGINE MDX
Engine Type Alluminum-alloy V-6
Displacement (liters) 3.5
Horsepower 290 HP @ 6,200 RPM
Torque 267 LB-FT @ 4,700 RPM
Transmission 9-Speed Automatic
EPA Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined) 19/27/22

Safety

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 670509

As I mentioned before, the MDX will be the first in its class to offer a decent list of standard safety and driver assist features. The features come in what Acura calls “AcuraWatch” and will be standard on every trim level of the MDX. AcuraWatch features collision mitigation braking with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and road departure mitigation – essentially every safety and assistance feature available. It’s nice to see another manufacturer is taking Volvo’s stance on standard safety features isn’t it?

Prices

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 680275
2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 680276

2018 Acura MDX Prices

For 2018, the Acura MDX carries over with the same trim levels and pricing list. The base, FWD model will start out at $44,200 and increase to $48,600 with the technology package or $50,600 with the tech and entertainment package. The advance package will set you back by $54,650 while the model with the advance and entertainment package commands $56,650. If you want the SH-AWD system you’ll have to pony up $2,000 extra on top of the FWD price, so the base MDX will come in at $46,200, while pricing will jump up to $50,600 with the technology package, $52,600 with the tech and entertainment packages, $56,650 with the advance package, and at the top of the range, you’ll pay $58,650 for the AWD MDX with advance and entertainment packages. All told, pricing for the 2018 model year has increased by just $240 or $250, depending on the model, so that’s not too bad considering the improved functionality of that infotainment system.

Trim MSRP EPA MPG Rating (city/highway/combined)
MDX (FWD) $44,200 19/27/22
MDX (FWD) with Technology Package $48,600 19/27/22
MDX (FWD) with Technology and Entertainment Packages $50,600 19/27/22
MDX (FWD) with Advance Package $54,650 20/27/23
MDX (FWD) with Advance & Entertainment Packages $56,650 20/27/23
MDX (SH-AWD) $46,200 18/26/21
MDX (SH-AWD) with Technology Package $50,600 18/26/21
MDX (SH-AWD) with Technology & Entertainment Packages $52,600 18/26/21
MDX (SH-AWD) with Advance Package $56,650 19/26/22
MDX (SH-AWD) with Advance & Entertainment Packages $58,650 19/26/22

2017 Acura MDX Prices

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 680294

The 2017 Acura MDX will carry over with the same two trims as previous years – FWD and SW-AWD. The entry-level front-wheel-drive model starts out at $43,950, representing a pricing increase of $925 over last year. With the Technology package, price increases to $48,360 (A premium of $4,410,) while having the Tech package and the Entertainment packages will raise the overall price to $50,360. Going with just the Advance Package will set you back $54,400 and going for the range-topping FWD model with the Advance and Entertainment packages will hit the bank for $56,400. In typical Acura fashion, the SH-AWD model is available in the same number of variations with the same packages at a $2,000 premium over the FWD model – not a bad price to pay for Acura’s all-wheel-drive system. You can step into the entry-level SH-AWD model for $45,950, with pricing increasing all the way up to $58,400 for the SH-AWD with the Advance and Entertainment packages.

MDX (FWD) 9AT 19/27/22 $43,950
MDX (FWD) with Technology Package 9AT 19/27/22 $48,360
MDX (FWD) with Technology and Entertainment Packages 9AT 19/27/22 $50,360
MDX (FWD) with Advance Package (with Idle Stop) 9AT 20/27/23 $54,400
MDX (FWD) with Advance & Entertainment Packages (with Idle Stop) 9AT 20/27/23 $56,400
MDX (SH-AWD) 9AT 18/26/21 $45,950
MDX (SH-AWD) with Technology Package 9AT 18/26/21 $50,360
MDX (SH-AWD) with Technology & Entertainment Packages 9AT 18/26/21 $52,360
MDX (SH-AWD) with Advance Package (with Idle Stop) 9AT 19/26/22 $56,400
MDX (SH-AWD) with Advance & Entertainment Packages (with Idle Stop) 9AT 19/26/22 $58,400

Competition

Audi Q7

2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 585697
2017 - 2018 Audi Q7 High Resolution Exterior
- image 585696

When it comes to the full-size SUV market, Acura has a lot of strong competition. One huge competitor is the Audi Q7, which was redesigned for the 2017 model year. For this update, Audi revamped the passenger cabin, update the powertrain, and even introduced the first Q7 hybrid – not bad for a redesigned model. The Q7 is available in three different trim levels with four different engines, depending on what market you’re in. The lowest offering is a 2.0-liter gasoline unit that delivers 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The other gasoline powerplant is a 3.0-liter TFSI engine that produces 333 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. Two, 3.0-liter TDI diesel engines are available, with one pushing 218 horsepower and 369 pound-feet and the other pushing 272 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Pricing currently starts out at $54,800 and climbs to $64,300 for the range-topping Prestige trim.

Read our full review on the Audi Q7.

BMW X5

2019 BMW X5 Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exterior
- image 724398

German competition is stiff when it comes to the SUV market, and the BMW X5 is there to keep Acura and its new MDX on edge. Offered in three different trim levels, there is the X5 sDrive35i, X5 xDrive35i, and the X5 xDrive35d. The sDrive35i starts out at $54,700 and offers 200 horsepower from a 3.0-liter, turbocharged, six-cylinder engine. The xDrive35i starts out at $57,000 and offers the same amount of horsepower from the same engine. The xDrive35d promises 255 horsepower from its TwinPower, 3.0-liter, six-cylinder. The X5 went through an update just a couple years ago, but we expect 2018 to bring a redesigned model.

Read our full review on the BMW X5

Conclusion

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 670504

The aggressive look that we saw in the teaser that Acura released made me wonder if Acura was pulling our chain a little. I didn’t think the MDX would actually boast that kind of aggressive styling, mainly because previous models were kind of boring on the outside. Now that we’ve seen the new MDX in the metal, I have to say that Acura wasn’t playing around. The company has been busy bringing bold styling to its entire lineup, and I’m highly impressed. Finally a manufacturer is taking the time to bring a completely new look to its lineup instead of making minor changes and calling it new. As flooded as the SUV market is, Acura did right by bringing such an aggressive look to the MDX. At this point, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes need to watch out, because the MDX looks better than offerings from all of them at this point – at least in my opinion. What do you think about the new MDX? Leave a comment below, or hit us up on our Facebook page.

  • Leave it
    • Hybrid comes later in the year
    • Center stack is pretty much the same as previous years

References

Acura Precision Concept

2017 Acura Precision Concept High Resolution Exterior AutoShow Wallpaper quality
- image 661787

Read our full review on the Acura Precision Concept.

Acura MDX - Driven

2017 Acura MDX – Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 698948

Read our full driven review on the Acura MDX.

Acura MDX

2014 - 2016 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 499932

Read our full review on the previous Acura MDX.

Update History

Updated 06/21/2016: Acura has announced pricing for the 2017 Acura MDX. Check the pricing section for all the details.

Updated 03/23/2016: Acura unveiled the new 2017 MDX at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

Updated 03/17/2016: With just a few days before its official unveiling at the 2016 New York Auto Show, the facelift Acura MDX was caught out for a last testing session.

Spy Shots

March 17, 2016 - Facelift Acura MDX caught out testing

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
- image 669845
2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
- image 669850
2017 - 2018 Acura MDX
- image 669846

Press Release

Acura today unveiled the restyled and refreshed 2017 MDX luxury SUV featuring bold new styling, added luxury features and available Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) powertrain technology. The 2017 Acura MDX will be equipped with AcuraWatch™ on all grades, making MDX the first luxury SUV in its class to offer these advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including automatic emergency braking, as standard features. The 2017 MDX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide this summer and will be joined by the MDX Sport Hybrid later in the year.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Exterior
- image 670508

Showcasing the new face of Acura, the restyled 2017 MDX is highlighted by the bold and distinctive diamond pentagon grille, first seen on the Acura Precision Concept that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in January. The new Acura grille is integrated with a more sharply sculpted hood, front fascia and front fenders coupled with new LED fog lights and restyled Jewel Eye™ headlights, which enhance the MDX’s distinctive and sporting demeanor. A new chrome rocker panel design adds an element of contrast to the MDX’s profile, while a revised rear bumper, body colored skid garnish and the addition of twin tailpipes further emphasizes the performance character of the 2017 Acura MDX.

"Upping the performance pedigree of the MDX with bold styling, our exclusive Sport Hybrid powertrain and the standard application of AcuraWatch technologies that many in the industry refer to as semi-autonomous, represents a major injection of Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance DNA," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "These changes will continue to advance MDX’s competitiveness and its legacy as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time."

All 2017 MDX models benefit from increased standard luxury and technology features, including an Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, Auto High Beam headlights, SiriusXM Radio® 2.0 and four 2.5-amp USB charging ports. Technology and Advance packages add Bi-Directional Keyless Remote Engine Start, two new 20-inch wheel and tire options, power folding side mirrors, and HD Traffic. In addition to these features, Advance grades add LED fog lights, genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel and Surround-View Camera System with six selectable viewing angles. Advance models can also be equipped with two second-row captain’s chairs and a center console with two additional USB ports, replacing the three-person second-row seating found on lower grades. An ultra-widescreen Rear Entertainment System is also available on models with the Advance ENT Package.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Interior
- image 670507

MDX Sport Hybrid

The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is the third model to feature Acura’s innovative three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain, joining the Acura NSX supercar and RLX flagship sedan to deliver the ultimate in power and control. The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter SOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT) with an integrated electric motor powering the front wheels, and a Twin Motor Unit with two electric motors providing power to the rear wheels. Additionally, the system delivers electrified torque vectoring for improved straight line performance and cornering precision in combination with all-wheel-drive power application. Peak powertrain output of 325 horsepower is up 35 horsepower over the non-hybrid model. The MDX Sport Hybrid is anticipated to receive EPA fuel economy ratings of 25/26/26 (city/highway/combined), an estimated 7-mpg city fuel economy rating increase over the (non-hybrid) MDX with SH-AWD.

The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid will be available with Technology and Advance packages. Both add a new Active Sport Suspension that delivers improved ride quality, handling performance and is integrated with the Integrated Dynamics System featuring the dynamic modes of Comfort, Normal and Sport, and exclusive to Sport Hybrid models, a new Sport+ mode.

AcuraWatch Standard

All 2017 MDX models receive the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technology as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. Moreover, with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver’s workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane.

2017 - 2018 Acura MDX High Resolution Interior
- image 670506

The Acura MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time and Acura’s best-selling SUV, with sales topping 50,000 units in each of the past three years. The 2017 MDX was designed by the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, Calif., developed and engineered at the R&D center in Raymond, Ohio, and will continue to be produced at the company’s Lincoln, Ala. auto plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. In early 2017, an additional production source for MDX will be added at the East Liberty, Ohio auto plant.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: