Restyled 2017 Acura MDX comes with safety and driver-focused tech

Article by Christian A., on March 29, 2016

Acura revealed its latest version of the 2017 Acura MDX, one with a new style and luxury features added. This refreshed and restyled luxury SUV is equipped with the Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive and it is expected that all grades will have the AcuraWatch.

With the inclusion of the automatic emergency braking, this makes the 2017 Acura MDX the first luxury SUV of its segment to have these driver-assistive and safety technologies.

This luxury SUV is expected to begin sales at official Acura dealerships across the U.S. in the summer of 2016. The MDX Sport Hybrid will then go on sale sometime late 2016.

According to American Honda Motor Co., Inc., executive vice president John Mendel, the application of a bold style increases the performance pedigree of the 2017 MDX.

Mendel continued that by putting in its exclusive Sport Hybrid powertrain and the use of the AcuraWatch technologies that auto industry players say is semi-autonomous, this symbolizes an important addition to the company’s Precision Crafted Performance DNA.

These various changes will not only move forward the competitiveness of the 2017 MDX but also advance its legacy as the best-selling luxury three-row SUV of all time, he added. The addition of both standard technological and luxurious features increases the benefits received by all of the 2017 MDX models.

These features include the Auto High Beam headlights and the Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold. It also has the SiriusXM Radio 2.0 with four available 2.5-amp USB charging ports.

Those who avail of the Technology and Advance packages will also get the HD Traffic, power folding side mirrors, Bi-Directional Keyless Remote Engine Start, and two 20-inch wheels and tires.

The Advance package will also have the LED fog lights on the exterior while the interior has the Black Limba or the Olive Ash Burl wood trim. The package also offers a heated steering wheel and a Surround-View Camera System that allows the driver to choose from six possible viewing angles.

The features do not stop there as the Advance models will also have the center console two extra USB ports and two second-row captain's chairs. This is better compared to the three-person second-row seating displayed on lower grades.

Models that carry the Advance ENT Package also come with the Rear Entertainment System that has an ultra-widescreen.

Like the 2017 MDX, the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid will also offer the Technology and Advance packages. Both these packages will have the Active Sport Suspension that offers enhanced ride quality and handling performance.

It has also been incorporated with the Integrated Dynamics System that has three dynamic modes which are Normal, Comfort, and Sport. For the Sport Hybrid model, it will also offer the Sport+ mode. As mentioned previously, all of the 2017 Acura MDX will have as standard equipment the AcuraWatch suite of driver-assistive and advanced safety technology.

These include the Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System with an automatic emergency braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and the Road Departure Mitigation.

The AcuraWatch not only helps prevent possible collisions but in the event that one does occur, it also aids in mitigating its severity. What the system does is make use of a monocular camera sensing technology and millimeter wave radar in order to detect lane markings, and more importantly, other vehicles.

Since it comes with the Lane Keeping Assist and the Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, it can considerably lower the workload of the driver when cruising on the freeway since it helps maintain a certain speed and a set following interval.

It does this by starting the input of the throttle and braking and then adds the steering input to ensure that the driver can maintain the position in the detected lane. The Acura MDX is not only the best-selling SUV from Acura but it is also the best-selling luxury three-row SUV of all time.

Each year for the last three years, sales for the Acura have reached 50,000 units. The design of the 2017 Acura MDX was done by Acura Design Studio based in Torrance, California, while development and engineering was at its Research & Development facility in Raymond, Ohio.

Manufacturing the 2017 MDX was done at its auto plant at Lincoln, Alabama, using parts sourced domestically and globally. During the early part of 2017, the company’s East Liberty, Ohio facility will start production of the MDX as well.

Exterior Design

The highlight of the new design is that it has a unique and bold diamond pentagon grille. This same grille was first displayed on the Acura Precision Concept which was unveiled by the company during the North American International Auto Show held last January.

In addition, the grille has a sharply sculpted front fenders, front fascia, and hood, incorporated in it. The front part also has new LED fog lights and even the redesigned Jewel Eye headlights. With all these combined, this gives the 2017 MDX a distinct and sporty characteristic.

Contrasting its profile is the chrome rocker panel. Meanwhile at the rear portion, the rear bumper was redesigned as well as the body colored skid garnish. By adding in the twin tailpipes, the 2017 MDX hints at its remarkable performance.


For the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid, it will be the third model after the Acura NSX supercar and the RLX flagship sedan to have the company’s state-of-the-art Sport Hybrid SH-AWD three-motor powertrain, which provides ultimate control and power.

It is powered with the DOHC 3.0-liter V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management paired to a dual clutch 7-speed transmission. Powering its front wheels is an integrated electric motor while the rear wheels get power from the Twin Motor Unit with its two electric motors.

The entire system, when combined with the all-wheel-drive power application, allows for cornering precision and delivers electrified torque vectoring for enhanced straight line performance. Maximum output of the powertrain is 325 horsepower, higher by 35 horsepower compared to the non-hybrid model.

The company expects that the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid will have an EPA fuel economy rating of 25 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. Compared to the non-hybrid MDX with SH-AWD, this marks a fuel economy increase of 7 mpg for city.

Press Release

Refreshed 2017 Acura MDX Makes World Debut in New York with Bold New Styling, Upgraded Features and Sport Hybrid Powertrain

Acura today unveiled the restyled and refreshed 2017 MDX luxury SUV featuring bold new styling, added luxury features and available Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) powertrain technology. The 2017 Acura MDX will be equipped with AcuraWatch™ on all grades, making MDX the first luxury SUV in its class to offer these advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including automatic emergency braking, as standard features. The 2017 MDX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide this summer and will be joined by the MDX Sport Hybrid later in the year.

Showcasing the new face of Acura, the restyled 2017 MDX is highlighted by the bold and distinctive diamond pentagon grille, first seen on the Acura Precision Concept that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in January. The new Acura grille is integrated with a more sharply sculpted hood, front fascia and front fenders coupled with new LED fog lights and restyled Jewel Eye™ headlights, which enhance the MDX's distinctive and sporting demeanor. A new chrome rocker panel design adds an element of contrast to the MDX's profile, while a revised rear bumper, body colored skid garnish and the addition of twin tailpipes further emphasizes the performance character of the 2017 Acura MDX.

"Upping the performance pedigree of the MDX with bold styling, our exclusive Sport Hybrid powertrain and the standard application of AcuraWatch technologies that many in the industry refer to as semi-autonomous, represents a major injection of Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "These changes will continue to advance MDX's competitiveness and its legacy as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time."

All 2017 MDX models benefit from increased standard luxury and technology features, including an Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold, Auto High Beam headlights, SiriusXM Radio® 2.0 and four 2.5-amp USB charging ports. Technology and Advance packages add Bi-Directional Keyless Remote Engine Start, two new 20-inch wheel and tire options, power folding side mirrors, and HD Traffic. In addition to these features, Advance grades add LED fog lights, genuine Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood interior trim, a heated steering wheel and Surround-View Camera System with six selectable viewing angles. Advance models can also be equipped with two second-row captain's chairs and a center console with two additional USB ports, replacing the three-person second-row seating found on lower grades. An ultra-widescreen Rear Entertainment System is also available on models with the Advance ENT Package.

MDX Sport Hybrid

The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is the third model to feature Acura's innovative three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain, joining the Acura NSX supercar and RLX flagship sedan to deliver the ultimate in power and control. The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is powered by a 3.0-liter SOHC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (7DCT) with an integrated electric motor powering the front wheels, and a Twin Motor Unit with two electric motors providing power to the rear wheels. Additionally, the system delivers electrified torque vectoring for improved straight line performance and cornering precision in combination with all-wheel-drive power application. Peak powertrain output of 325 horsepower is up 35 horsepower over the non-hybrid model. The MDX Sport Hybrid is anticipated to receive EPA fuel economy ratings of 25/26/26 (city/highway/combined), an estimated 7-mpg city fuel economy rating increase over the (non-hybrid) MDX with SH-AWD.

The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid will be available with Technology and Advance packages. Both add a new Active Sport Suspension that delivers improved ride quality, handling performance and is integrated with the Integrated Dynamics System featuring the dynamic modes of Comfort, Normal and Sport, and exclusive to Sport Hybrid models, a new Sport+ mode.

AcuraWatch Standard

All 2017 MDX models receive the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technology as standard equipment, including Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. Moreover, with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver's workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane.

The Acura MDX is the best-selling three-row luxury SUV of all time and Acura's best-selling SUV, with sales topping 50,000 units in each of the past three years. The 2017 MDX was designed by the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, Calif., developed and engineered at the R&D center in Raymond, Ohio, and will continue to be produced at the company's Lincoln, Ala. auto plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. In early 2017, an additional production source for MDX will be added at the East Liberty, Ohio auto plant.

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