This isn't a whole new generation of MDX -- it's just a mid-lifecycle refresh.

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The rear end features significantly fewer updates than the front does.

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The most notable change is the removal of Acura's much-maligned "beak" grille.

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The side profile remains relatively the same.

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Out back, there are new integrated tailpipes and some slight aesthetic adjustments.

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But there's another big update -- one you can't actually see.

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The MDX now features a sport-oriented hybrid setup.

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The hybrid drivetrain mates a 3.0-liter V-6 and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to electric motors.

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Not only does this make it a hybrid, it also grants the car all-wheel drive.

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The hybrid's net output is 325 horsepower, up from the non-hybrid's 290.

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Sadly, the complicated hybrid system does add some weight to the equation.

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Thankfully, fuel economy is still higher than the gas-powered MDX, despite the additional heft.

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Acura believes its hybrid will improve fuel economy by 7 mpg over the gas model, to 25 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

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Gratuitous tailpipe shot!

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If you're a fan of safety systems, you're going to love the MDX.

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Instead of charging you some insane amount of money for safety systems, every MDX comes standard with Acura's entire suite.

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The now-standard AcuraWatch includes forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control.

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That's a whole lot of safety, and it's all baked into the window's sticker price!

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The door handles are as shiny as ever.

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Do you know what MDX stands for? Because we don't.

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Hell, Acura probably doesn't know what MDX stands for.

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Need to shift? All you need to do is press a button.

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Speaking of buttons, the steering wheel is lousy with 'em.

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Acura's two-tier infotainment system, half of which is touch-capable, isn't going anywhere.

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Interior material quality looks nice, and it feels quite nice, as well.

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That's some very fancy wood grain, right there.

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Here's proof that its rear doors are functional.

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And here's proof that its rear seats exist and look quite comfortable!

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There's plenty of trunk space for whatever you need to shove back there.

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Golf clubs, suitcases, corpses -- they'll all fit, maybe not at the same time, though.

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And, like every other Acura, there's plenty of chrome scattered about.

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Tailpipes, tailgate...anything with tail in the name has some chrome.

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Except the taillights, because chrome taillights would be a bit much.

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There's a new wheel design available, as well, because that's probably one of the easiest things to change.

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All in all, the MDX is a fair bit more attractive than it was before.

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You won't be missed, beak.

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What you see here is the future of Acura's design language.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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