The first generation Acura MDX, when launched in 2001 featured seven-seater cabin and all-wheel drive configuration. In 2014, the C-SUV received a major makeover and new V6 engine. In its latest guise, the 2017 Acura MDX is still a strong seller for Acura and enjoys a favorable reputation that it has built up over the years.
On the latest model, the MDX now enjoys a modest amount of enhancements but a few letdowns here and there hamper its overall ability. After being the undisputed king of the segment since its launch, the 2017 variant faces stiff competition from the segment challenging it for its title.
6.9/10 Fuel Economy
The 2017 Acura MDX, despite being crowded by all the well established German heavyweights like the Audi Q7 and BMW X6 manages to create a space for itself in the segment primarily due to a niggle free ownership, a fiery character, and strong resale value.
2017 Acura MDX Features
The 2017 MDX is powered a 3.5L V6 engine as standard throughout the trim line. All the trims are available in both FWD and AWD configuration. There are a total of three trims offered on the Acura MDX. The entry-level trim is called Base and it can be bought for an MSRP of $44,050. A host of safety features from the upper models is now standard on the Base trim. Other features include 18-inch wheels, auto LED headlights and a 7-inch touchscreen amongst others.
Then, there is the mid-table, a Technology package that comes with a price tag of $48,460. It enhances the base model by adding features such as 20-inch wheels, automatic wipers and remote engine starts amongst other features.
Then there is the range-topping trim called the Advance package which is priced at $54,500. A lot of creature comforts and riding aids such as auto engine start-stop, sport seats, and rear parking sensors make their way to the top trim.
Package includes 18-inch wheels
automatic LED headlights with auto high beams
heated side mirrors, an electronic parking brake, a power liftgate
Sunroof and keyless entry and ignition
Eight-way power-adjustable front seats (with power lumbar adjustment for the driver)
Driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery
Tri-zone automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror
Technology highlights include dual dashboard displays (a lower
7-inch touchscreen and an upper 8-inch regular screen)
Bluetooth, five USB ports, Siri Eyes Free, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, Pandora and Aha compatibility and satellite radio
Adds niceties such as 20-inch wheels, automatic wipers
Remote engine start
power-folding side mirrors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
Color driver information display
10-speaker premium audio system with HD radio
Turns on the charm with front and rear parking sensors
LED foglights, automatic engine stop-start
Surround-view camera system
Heated steering wheel
Sport seats with premium leather and trim
Power lumbar adjustment for the front passenger
Front-seat ventilation, natural wood trim heated second-row captain's chairs
Second-row sunshades and two additional USB ports for the third row
The Technology package trim seems to hit the sweet spot amongst all other trims for us. It is not overly expensive and adds much more niceties over the base model. Several safety aids such as cross traffic alert that become a much-welcomed aid on big SUVs also make their way on the mid leveled trim.
2017 Acura MDX Engine
“The 2017 Acura MDX derives ample power from its V6 engine. Fuel economy is great for the class, even in models with all-wheel drive. The suspension delivers both a cushioned ride and stable handling around corners. You'll be able to drive the MDX around small areas without breaking a sweat despite its large size.” – cars.usnews
Engine and Transmission
The Acura MDX is powered by 3.5L V6 engine, good for 290 hp and is paired to a 9 speed automatic. The powertrain, on the whole, is what makes the car stand its ground amongst the flood of a competitor. The engine is fun to rev up to the red line which surprising from a car that looks like a family minivan.
BMW X6 sDrive35i
3.0L DOHC 24 Valve Inline 6 Turbocharged
3.0L V6 cylinder
In comparison with rivals, the MDX is of the least powered vehicle in the segment. The Audi Q7 with its 333 hp engine is the most powerful car amongst its rivals with the BMW X6 taking the second spot with 300 hp.
The acceleration which the car displays when the pedal is further pushed down to the end is commendable. Although crossovers rarely display sportiness in their character the MDX is a breath of fresh air with its spirited off the line performance. The SUV completes a 0-60 mph spring in under 6.2 seconds.
BMW X6 sDrive35i
Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)
Amongst the rivals, the most powerful Audi Q7 naturally takes the top spot by completing the sprint in 5.7 seconds while the second spot is taken by the BMW X6 which takes 6 seconds to complete the sprint.
Ride and Handling
The ride and handling are the perhaps the best parts of the Acura MDX SUV. The drive is amazingly sporty for a vehicle its size. The clever torque vectoring system, especially in the AWD trims, does an amazing job by diverting up to 70 percent of the power to rear wheels. The direction shifts are snappy and the overall feel to the steering feels delightfully natural and will go on to please the enthusiast in everyone
Brakes on the Acura MDX feature a 12.6-inch rotor on the front and a 13.0-inch rotor on the rear. The brake response is immediate courtesy of the accurate and precise brake pedals. The car never feels out of control even during emergency braking.
BMW X6 sDrive35i
Brake Front (in.)
Brake Rear (in.)
Curb Weight (lbs.)
60-0 MPH (ft.)
The Acura MDX is a hefty vehicle but still manages to stop in from 60 mph in about 123 feet. But, it’s the Audi which takes the top spot again with a stopping distance of 117 feet.
2017 Acura MDX Fuel Economy
Buyers in today's market are more concerned about the fuel economy than ever owing to the rising fuel costs. The Acura MDX is not a particularly frugal SUV but it manages a fair fuel economy of 22 MPG combined.
In comparison with rivals, the MDX manages to be at par with all the vehicles in the segment.
2017 Acura MDX Interior
“The MDX is spacious and versatile for the midsize luxury segment, and though its third row is tight, it's more usable than most. Still, mainstream models such as the mechanically related Honda Pilot are even more practical.” – Edmunds
Seating and Comfort
The Acura MDX SUV offers comfy seating for up to 7 occupants. With a legroom of 41.4 inches in the front, there is enough space to stretch out your legs if the need arises. On the top end variants, the leather draped seats along with ventilation and heating add a whole new dimension to comfort levels on the vehicle. The story continues in the rear end as well with an airy and clutter-free approach.
BMW X6 sDrive35i
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)
Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)
In comparison, the Infiniti QX60 leads the charge in terms of space with a legroom of 42.3 inches. The 2nd spot is taken up the Audi Q7 at 41.7 inches and the gatekeeper of the segment is the BMW X6 with a legroom of 40.4 inches.
The Acura MDX sports a dual screen setup with one of them mounted to the dashtop and another one inside the center console. There is a huge room for improvement in this department as the entire MMI is infuriatingly downmarket. The response times are something that you’ll just have to live by while the rivals like the Audi Q7 offering a lot more advanced interface.
Some major interior features of the Acura MDX are
Multifunctional steering wheel
Up to 5 USB ports
2017 Acura MDX Exterior
“The 2017 MDX is the first production model to sport Acura's new face, a diamond pentagon grille that replaces the former model's snout. It looks stronger and more cohesive. This 3-row luxury SUV's hood, front fenders and "Jewel Eye" headlights have been refreshed, as has the rear bumper. The sporty, dual exhaust outlets now feature a bright exterior finish.” – Kelley Blue Book
Dimensions and Weight
The Acura MDX is a full-size 3-row family SUV with the curb weight tipping the scales at 4001 lbs. It is also one of the lengthier vehicles in the segment with a length of 196.2 inches. To accommodate the three rows, it sports a modest wheelbase of 111.0 inches.
BMW X6 sDrive35i
Curb weight (lbs.)
Ground clearance (in)
Track width (in) F/R
20 inch or 18-inch alloy wheels
2017 Acura MDX Safety
The Acura MDX suite of safety features are enough to put even the pricier vehicles to shame. There is a comprehensive list of both active and passive safety features to keep the occupants safe. Moreover, the car has been allotted 5-star safety rating in almost all the segments when tested by major crash-testing agencies. Safety and reliability is never going to be a concern for the Acura MDX
Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS)
Front Side Airbags Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
Driver's Knee Airbag Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control and Motion Adaptive Steering 4-Wheel
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
Brake Assist LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with Location and Pressure Indicators
Overall rollover rating
Side barrier rating passenger rear seat
2017 Acura MDX Competition
Infiniti QX60 Vs Acura MDX
The Infiniti QX60 is another fine offering from the Japanese giants. The QX60 is a fine looking car from the outside with sharp body styling and a well-balanced front and rear fascia. The list of safety features might not be as long as the MDX but it still is enough to rank it in the higher spots in the segment.
However, the Infiniti QX60 is not half as fun to drive as the Acura MDX. The steering response is nowhere near what the MDX has to offer and even the chassis sway too much when cornering aggressively.
Acura MDX Vs BMW X6
The BMW X6 sports a look like no other SUV. It is a blend of a sleek looking sedan with a sloping roofline and an SUV. The car is fun to zip around on the tarmac and response fairly well to driver inputs. The interior quality and layout are textbook BMW with expensive looking and soft-touch materials generously spread throughout the cabin.
But, if you’re looking for a family vehicle, the BMW X6 is no match for the Acura MDX. The utility has certainly taken a back seat on the BMW and even the legroom in the rear is not satisfactory for a vehicle its cost.
Acura MDX Vs Audi Q7
The Audi Q7 has been the poster boy for luxury SUVs for a long time and for good reason. The interior quality is probably the best in the segment and the layout is an ergonomic delight as well. Other than that, there is enough tech ladden on the car for it to qualify as a spaceship.
The Audi Q7 is a great vehicle that does the job of an SUV well and can even take a fair bit of off-roading with its 4 wheel drive powertrain. All in all, the Audi seems to be the better vehicle amongst the two.
2017 Acura MDX Final Verdict
The Acura MDX is a vehicle that offers a great alternative to all the German SUVs with enough pedigree to dethrone them. The vehicle is charming from both the inside and the outside. Seating for 7 people makes it a great family vehicle and even the utility part is definitely there. All in all, if you’re looking for a mid-size, family SUV, the Acura MDX makes for a compelling choice.
Rev loving engine
Comfortable and balanced ride
Laggy and confusing infotainment
Outperformed by rivals in a few sectors
Costly optional packages
The 2017 MDX receives a significant face-lift
A new hood
Fresh front and rear fascias
Restyled front fenders and new headlights
212 cu. in.
290 hp @ 6200 rpm
267 lb.-ft. @ 4700 rpm
independent front strut suspension
independent rear multi-link suspension
brake rotors (f/r)
13 in. ventilated front disc/12.6 in. solid disc brakes
132.7 cu ft.
14.9 cu ft.
zero to 60 mph
zero to 100 mph
rolling start (5-60 mph)
braking (70-0 mph)
4 years/50000 miles
6 years/70000 miles
White Diamond Pearl
Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.