The first generation Acura MDX, when launched in 2001 featured a seven-seater cabin and all-wheel drive configuration. In 2014, the Acura's compact 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.
In its latest iteration, the 2017 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 in its segment from its rivals challenging it for the title.
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 comes at a price of $44,050. A host of safety features which were not present on the base model earlier now come as standard on the Base trim. Then, there is the Technology package that comes with a price tag of $48,460. Finally, comes 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 features over the base model. Several advanced safety features like remote engine start, navigation system and many more like these also make their way in this 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 a 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 among its rivals. Surprisingly, for a car like this, the engine feels refined and polished and is fun to rev up to the red line.
BMW X6 sDrive35i
3.0L DOHC 24 Valve Inline 6 Turbocharged
3.0L V6 cylinder
In comparison to its rivals, the MDX is the least powered vehicle in the segment with a power output of 290 hp. 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.
As soon as the throttle gets smashed against the floor, the MDX offers an acceleration which displays how capable and energetic the motor is. 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 hits 60 mph mark in 6.2 seconds but still stands at third place.
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 hit the 60 mph mark.
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 of 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 2017 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.
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 to offer a decent fuel economy of 22 MPG combined.
In comparison to its rivals, the 2017 MDX offers a similar level of fuel efficiency and thus stands shoulder to shoulder with them in the competition.
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 legroom of 41.4 inches in the front, there is enough space to stretch and relax. On the top end variants, the leather draped seats along with ventilation and heating add a whole new dimension to the comfort levels in the vehicle. The same can be said for the rear seats as well as they offer a roomy and comfortable atmosphere and thus makes the occupants feel at home.
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 offers a lot more advanced and user-friendly 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 longest 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. Just like its grand and luxurious interiors, the exteriors of the 2017 MDX looks well sculpted and elegant and offers the car a masculine look.
BMW X6 sDrive35i
Curb weight (lbs.)
Ground clearance (in)
Track width (in) F/R
The 2017 Acura MDX comes with a host of exterior features -
20 inch or 18-inch alloy wheels
2017 Acura MDX Safety
The Acura MDX suite of safety features is 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 are never going to be a concern for the 2017 Acura MDX.
Following are some of the safety features that come with the new MDX SUV -
Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags (SRS)
Front Side Airbags Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
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 & Pressure Indicators
Overall rollover rating
Side barrier rating passenger rear seat
2017 Acura MDX Competition
Infiniti QX60 Vs Acura MDX
The QX60 is a fine offering from the Japanese automotive giant. 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 even half as fun to drive as the Acura MDX. The steering response is nowhere near what the MDX has to offer and even has some body roll while cutting corners 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 responds fairly well to driver inputs. The interior quality and the layout feels great with rich 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 with the BMW and even the legroom in the rear is not satisfactory for a vehicle of 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 present on the inside of this car. 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
With the introduction of the new MDX, Acura offers a vehicle that gives the masses a great alternative to the German competitors and comes 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 multipurpose family SUV, then the 2017 Acura MDX stands as a great car to go with.