Mike West Road Test: 2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD

I recently drove the refreshed 2017 MDX and came away mostly impressed.

The 2017 model includes some exterior design tweaks. And Acura now gives you AcuraWatch features at no extra charge.

First the new grill. Instead of the controversial shield look of the past, the new grills is more of a controversial downward pointing diamond shape. I have to admit, I like it better than the old look but the new grill still has an identity crisis. The update LED headlights are pretty awesome and do a great job of illuminating the road ahead.

The interior stays pretty much the same as last years model.That is good and bad.

The quality of materials is top notch. The seats up front a super cushy and firm where they should be. However, Acura is still trying to figure out their infotainment system. If this was the only system I ever used, I guess I wouldn’t know any better. But systems in a Lexus, Infiniti and even Volvo are much easier to live with on a daily basis. Acura still utilizes two screens. The upper one uses a center mounted control knob. Some simple tasks take more than one step, including seat heater controls. A simple control button on the dash would be so much easier. And still no options are offered for Android Auto or CarPlay from Apple.

The driving experience is about a good as it gets thanks to the smooth and powerful 3.5-V6 that makes 290 horsepower. The nine speed transmission does a decent job with smooth up and downshifts. I drove the all-wheel drive MDX and it delivered a pretty decent 26 mpg on the highway and 18 mpg during city driving. Not bad for a vehicle weighing over 4 thousand pounds.

My tester was equipped with just about every available option. Invoice price comes in at a little over $54,000.

This three-row family hauler has always been a great car and one of my favorite SUV’s. A hybrid model is on the way, which will hopefully give me another excuse to spend a week in Acura’s flagship SUV.

 

Mike West CBS

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