Driving Acura's Refreshed and Quieter Three-Row Crossover
We Like: The smooth ride and its responsiveness when driven hard.
We Don’t Like: Fussy transmission selector and dual-stack display.
For the mid-cycle refresh of its flagship three-row SUV, Acura clipped the chrome beak, added captain’s chairs and more premium leather and wood to the cabin, and enhanced a host of safety and technology upgrades.
Nearly every judge called out the MDX’s quiet, well-damped ride, particularly on the bumpy replica of L.A.’s 110 freeway.
We also appreciated how Acura’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive system responded well when driven firmly, but Jason Cammisa questioned the need for torque-vectoring AWD in a soccer-mom hauler. “Sure, it’s great when you’re pushing the limit,” he said, “but is it really necessary?”
At lower speeds, some judges were put off by the “herky-jerky” response of the nine-speed transmission. Others had issues with the inconsistent “ping-ponging” performance of the MDX’s lane keep assist system, the cornerstone of the updated AcuraWatch safety and driver-assistance suite. And the array of buttons for cruise control, lane keeping, and infotainment controls are “indecipherable,” Mark Rechtin noted.
Jonny Lieberman rated the new-look MDX highly against the design criteria, but others saw the subtle styling tweaks as a missed opportunity. Alisa Priddle found the interior upgrades to be more premium than outright luxurious. All were impressed by a plethora of power points, ranging from 1.0- and 2.5-amp USB to 100- and 180-watt 12-volt outlets.
Acura’s substantial refresh of the MDX makes it a solid player in its category, but not against our six criteria. As such, it’s not the standout SUV for 2017.
|2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD (Advance)|
|DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD|
|ENGINE TYPE||60-deg V-6, alum block/heads|
|VALVETRAIN||SOHC, 4 valves/cyl|
|DISPLACEMENT||213.2 cu in/3,493 cc|
|POWER (SAE NET)||290 hp @ 6,200 rpm|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||267 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||14.6 lb/hp|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|BRAKES, F; R||12.6-in vented disc; 13.0-in disc, drum, ABS|
|WHEELS, F;R||8.0 x 20-in cast aluminum|
|TIRES, F;R||245/50R20 102H (M+S) Continental CrossContact LX Sport|
|TRACK, F/R||66.3/66.3 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||196.2 x 77.2 x 67.6 in|
|GROUND CLEARANCE||7.3 in|
|APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE||14.9/17.4 deg|
|TURNING CIRCLE||38.7 ft|
|CURB WEIGHT||4,222 lb|
|WEIGHT DIST, F/R||58/42%|
|TOWING CAPACITY||3,500 lb|
|HEADROOM, F/M/R||38.1/38.3/35.6 in|
|LEGROOM, F/M/R||41.4/36.6/28.1 in|
|SHOULDER ROOM, F/M/R||61.6/59.1/54.7 in|
|CARGO VOL BEHIND 3rd/2nd/1st||15.8/43.4/90.9 cu ft|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|PASSING, 45-65 MPH||3.2|
|QUARTER MILE||14.7 sec @ 94.6 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||121 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.83 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.0 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)|
|TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH||1,800 rpm|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$57,340|
|AIRBAGS||Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, driver knee|
|BASIC WARRANTY||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|POWERTRAIN WARRANTY||6 yrs/70,000 miles|
|ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE||4 yrs/50,000 miles|
|FUEL CAPACITY||19.5 gal|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||19.6/32.4/23.8 mpg|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON||19/26/22 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||177/130 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.90 lb/mile|
|RECOMMENDED FUEL||Unleaded premium|