Interior view of the 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance.
With all the time we families spend in our cars, it makes sense to find one that fits us and throws in lots of luxury, as well. Think about it: you buy 1,200-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets for your bed because you spend so much time sleeping. Why not spend more for upscale luxuries in a vehicle where you spend so much time motoring around, writes our automotive editor Sally Miller Wyatt. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #2017AcuraMDX #Acura #Lifestyle #SUV
The Acura MDX already occupies the top-of-the-line luxury SUV market niche. It received a total makeover back in 2014, but now, three years later, Acura gives it what they call a “major refresh.”
Much of what Acura fans have come to love about the MDX remains in the bones, but there is a lot of new stuff on board for the 2017 models. Remember, though, it’s not a redesign, just a refresh.
The vehicle still has classically smooth lines, opulent leather and wood-accent interiors, and shiny chrome accents. What hasn’t changed is the frame upon which it has been built: Acura’s ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) frame structure boosts its frontal crash test performance into the best categories. On top of this body structure are a host of features that help enhance the ride, while still managing to deliver good fuel economy. And, it also has that most luxurious item of all for busy families, in my opinion: the option of a third row of seats.
The 2017 Acura MDX has a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter direct-injected I-VTEC V-6, teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. You’d swear there’s a V-8 under the hood – with its swift and sure acceleration — but no, it’s really the more fuel-thrifty V-6.
Acura gives drivers a choice of either front-wheel drive or the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. The All-Wheel drive distributes the optimum amount of torque between front and rear axles as well as left and right rear wheels. This package improves traction and cornering ability, which offers plenty of peace of mind while driving on those slushy and muddy roads.
The list of what’s new on the 2017 versions is long. It starts with a restyled interior and exterior front grille, dual exhaust tailpipes, Sirius XM radio, Keyless Access System with Push Button Start, four USB charging ports, 20-inch alloy wheels, and power folding side mirrors. On the top-drawer Advance models, second row captain’s chairs, a heated steering wheel, surround-view camera system and LED fog lights are standard.
Safety features start with the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assisted technology, such as Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and Road Departure Mitigation. This technology uses wave radar and cameras to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings, to help intervene at the right moment to prevent or reduce the severity of a collision. Also included are all the usual side air bags, side curtain air bags with rollover sensors, front active head restraints to minimize whiplash risk, and side impact door beams.
All the attention to safety features and collision mitigation has paid off: these 2017 models have earned a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Inside the passenger cabin, you’ll find plenty of legroom for the front and second row passengers, and adequate foot room for the third row. Our Advance model featured a second row of captain’s seats with a middle console that included an armrest and two cup-holders.
Seats in the first and second row are comfortably firm, covered in leather and either heated or ventilated. Even when the third row of seats is in the “up” position, there is still a good amount of cargo space available. The cargo floor is high, though.
Overall, we found the 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance is truly at the top of the line. It may have been “refreshed” but it continues to be an extremely comfortable, whisper-quiet and accommodating SUV, packed with many award-winning safety and convenience features. And, it’s a great-looking ride, whether you’re cruising at freeway speed or on slushy roads.
The only dare is the price. A fully-loaded MDX, similar to our test vehicle would run over $55,000, a bit too pricey in our opinion.