Review and Road Test: 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance

By Jonathan Spira on 6 February 2017
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Acura took the wraps off the then new Acura MDX at the annual New York Auto Show back in 2000, explaining that MDX stood for “Multi-Dimensional Luxury.” Fast forward to today, when Acura refreshed the third generation of the MDX, becoming the first production Acura to receive the brand’s new diamond pentagon grille (à la Acura Precision Concept), redesigned LED headlamps with automatic high beams, LED light pipe daytime running lights and turn signals.

The new front end gives the car a sleeker look although the new grille may take getting used to until it makes its way onto other Acuras in future model years.

The Japanese automaker is also adding a hybrid variant to the MDX lineup and that will become available this spring.

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Acura markets its all-wheel drive platform as SH or Super Handling all-wheel drive and for a three-row crossover SUV, it’s an extraordinarily entertaining car to drive. The SH-AWD uses a torque-vectoring rear differential that, when driving hard into a corner, directs more torque to the outside-rear wheel, making understeer a non-issue. Steering is precise and there’s a decent amount of road feel and feedback provided to the driver.

Poised is the word that comes to mind to describe the MDX’ ride: not too soft, not too hard, and very responsive.

Inside, the MDX loses a few points. It’s unquestionably better attired than a Honda but it simply doesn’t feel as plush as the competition, despite decent fit and finish. Up front, we found the seats exceptionally supportive and comfortable and soft padded materials abound in the cabin.

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