Acura MDX

The Acura MDX has long been one of our favorite three-row premium SUVs. It offers a composed, comfortable ride, good-quality cabin furnishings and has a strong reliability and quality track record. For a luxury crossover, it’s also pretty smartly priced compared to rivals like the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Lexus RX-L, with generous standard equipment levels.

The MDX’s brand may dnot have the same cachet as some of its rivals, but it’s not just a good value, it’s a good steer, too. There’s plenty of power from the gas-powered 3.5-liter V6, and the available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive isn’t too shabby, either. There’s even a Sport Hybrid model that boosts performance and efficiency using a 3.0-liter V6 and a three-motor hybrid setup matched with a dual-clutch gearbox. Pricing starts at $44,200 for a front-drive base model, with the AWD Sport Hybrid coming in at $52,100, including a robust tech package that normally costs $4,400. (All models are subject to a $995 destination charge).

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Editors' First Take

The NSX might be the head-turner in Acura's vehicle lineup, but the RDX and MDX crossovers are its true dynamic duo, accounting for more than 70% of the brand's sales. That means it's an important event whenever one of these sales stars gets a makeover. Following the RDX's freshening a few years ago, it's now the MDX's turn, and with upticks in styling, comfort, technology and performance, there's a lot to like about this updated SUV.

Sharper inside and out

Compared to the previous MDX, the new fourth-generation model is a bit more aggressive-looking on the outside. Like the new TLX sedan, the MDX wears styling cues from Acura's Precision Concept, and has a wider stance, more upright nose, slim headlights, longer hood, sharper body creases and broader shoulders. The A-Spec model pictured here features a little more attitude with gloss black accents, dark light housings and gray wheels. All told, it looks pretty darn good for a three-row SUV.

Great as the exterior is, it's inside the MDX where the biggest changes are found. The dash layout is lower and sleeker than before, providing excellent visibility out the front. The SUV's controls are intuitive with a gaggle of clearly marked buttons occupying the center stack. Yes, some people will possibly find this too busy, but I prefer a bunch of buttons over having too many controls integrated into a touchscreen.

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