2017 Acura MDX First Drive: Is There Anything You’d Like To Know?

More than 15 years after it was introduced, the Acura MDX has become a byword for plush family haulers.

This was obviously helped, however, by plush SUVs becoming the new family haulers. But the MDX certainly gets the packaging right. Still, it’s been updated for 2017 to keep pace with more luxurious rivals, and so Acura can start carving out more of an identity for itself.

We’ve been driving the revised 2017 Acura MDX Advance. A hybrid version comes in spring. Here are some initial thoughts.

Now, smile
Acura listened and de-beaked one of its cars. But in place of the silver-colored shield is an enormous Acura badge, like full-size American truck-sized. It’s… interesting, like an oversized smile.

Nicer pilot’s chair
Materials are certainly improved for 2017 and this top Advance trim gets wood that actually looks like wood. It may just be keeping pace, but it’s a welcome improvement in an interior that still has to deal with Acura’s two-screened controls.

Six isn’t enough
Newly available are second-row captain’s chairs with a center console. If you ever carry five people, this is going to irritate you. And the individual chairs aren’t particularly comfortable.

Soft, but understandable
Somewhere is a Honda V6 that wants to sing out, but the 3.5-liter engine and 9-speed automatic kind of waft around unless you sport-up the drive mode. But don’t do that because the MDX is already one of the most composed big SUVs out there.

Upward and onward
It’s now more than $57,000 in this almost-loaded Advance trim (a rear-entertainment system is still offered), which buys nice stuff like a Volvo XC90. And I’m not totally convinced it’s that much nicer than a $47,000 Honda Pilot. But make no mistake, the MDX still appears to be an SUV you need to put on your list if you like carrying lots of people comfortably.

What are your questions about the 2017 MDX? Sound off in the comments.

Photos: Zac Estrada/Carscoops

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  • Stigasawuswrecks

    Does Acura five all of its designers ugly sticks?

    • CarCzarDesigner

      The front end reminds me a bit of the Star Wars Storm Trooper Helmet. If you think those are really cool, then you should love this.

      • Stigasawuswrecks

        I’m a huge Star Wars fan and 8 still say no.

  • 31/12/2999

    why they used this ugly interior, they have to make something like the nsx interior

  • Six_Tymes

    it looks outdated. in person its ok but looking aged to me

  • SteersUright

    This brand will go the way of Scion if Honda doesn’t wake up and put more distance between it and Hondas. Acura needs a dedicated rear-drive platform and cars that showcase cutting edge efficiency and tech while being great to drive. And as an upmarket luxury brand, they also need to be beautiful. As it stands, they are very good cars, even as tarted up Hondas, if just a bit too dull and boring.

    • Liam Paul

      yeap nothing different here to write about that you can not write about in a Honda. They could do something fast and easy to separate them like GMC does with Chevy, Have a High trim lever that is special only to acura . I think this is really nice looking but I don’t see nothing more special about it vs a Honda .A RWD on their cars only would be nice, it would make them feel more like BMW and the SUV’s all should be AWD

  • Honda NSX-R

    How does the transmission feel?

  • Bo Hanan

    Nope!

  • Blue Velvet

    It better be good, because SUVs are only thing that keeps Acura alive.

  • Bash

    boring

  • Mr_Fanta_Pants

    It’s got a face like a fisted bum

  • xDRAN0x

    Why new Acura cars are boring.

  • kareshi

    It is really loud when idling, is it normal?

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    I think it looks alright, it fits in with the likes from Hyundai/ Genesis & Buick. Not much to admire, but the value you get out of them.

  • ElectroKnight

    I own the 17 MDX Advance. I’ve owned S class, BMW M3, X5, many cars.

    So far at 1000 miles this is by far my favorite. The semi autonomous driving tech is fantastic. Love the very useful Lane keeping assist and the low speed follow cruise control. The engine is smooth, the gearbox is fine ( never seen anything issue with the nine speed), the handling and steering feel is awesome, brakes acceptable. Interior nice, seats not the greatest of all time, but quite acceptable.

    Headlights are amazing in coverage and brightness. Wife and I both love this car. I’d say awesome job Acura.

    Complaints: rear seats not spacious if you’re above 6′. I don’t even use the third row, keep them folded down for more cargo room. Two screen av system OK but UI outdated.

    Overall highly recommended.

  • Chris

    does it still have a whiney electronic steering wheel. I have a 2016 I hate the steering wheel noise. They all do it. verified it with others at dealer. 57k too much for is car. 9 speeds really?
    Does it shift like crap with all those gears. Like the new interior but don’t think it warrants a 10k price increase. The navigation and stereo system sucks it is not user friendly and responds very slowly when touched. I don’t think this car deserves all the praise it receives. Lexus makes a better car but to bad Lexus has no style on exteriors. Lexus customer service far superior.

  • theurbangent lee

    why does the new crv have a better ? and why know apple carplay?