Some mid-cycle refreshes are milder than others. Acura's 2017 MDX refresh, on the other hand, is anything but mild. It's packing new standard equipment, a whole new face and a whole new powertrain option.
You might recognize the MDX's new face from the Acura Precision Concept shown off earlier this year in Detroit. The old beak-style grille's been replaced with a "diamond pentagon" grille, as Acura puts it. In fact, the whole front end is sharper and more aggressive than it was before. The rear end's been revised, including the tailpipes, but the changes out back are a little more subtle.
The MDX becomes the third Acura model to pick up the brand's three-motor, sport-oriented hybrid system. Net power output is 325 horsepower, compared to the standard MDX's 290. The hybrid drivetrain, which mates to a 3.0-liter V-6 and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, also includes all-wheel drive. And despite all the extra heft, Acura believes it will improve fuel economy by 7 mpg over the gas model, to 25 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.
As safety systems become more important to buyers, Acura's decided to give away the house. Going forward, all MDX models will come standard with AcuraWatch, which includes forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
The gas-powered MDX hits dealerships this summer, and its hybrid variant isn't too far behind, coming "later in the year," according to Acura. The company declined to mention pricing.