2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD: A Luxury SUV That Just Isn't That Luxurious

Jan 20, 2017 10:30 AM EST | JP Olvido

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The 2017 MDX SH-AWD is the first crossover that sports the new "diamond pentagon" grille design from Acura, the luxury vehicle arm of Honda. Besides that, nothing much has been updated with the 2017 model really.

 The 2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD. The new MDX looks cleaner and less bizarre. However, the new "diamond pentagon" does make it look slightly cartoonish. Only a handful of updates can be noticed actually.

The new MDX continues to surprise drivers with an unexpected athleticism. This is all thanks to Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. The sophisticated drive AWD system involves a torque-vectoring rear differential that enables the Acura's energetic drive performance along with its accurate steering rack and suspension set-up.

The 2017 MDX runs on a SOHC 24-valve V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-foot of torque. The MDX weighs a lot lesser than its direct competitors, an attribute that allows it to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 6.0 seconds. It carries over the nine-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode from the 2016 model. The EPA has rated the new MDX at 26 miles per gallon on the highway but has been known to go up to 28 miles per gallon.

The 2017 MDX, unfortunately, doesn't match up to its competitors when it comes to the interior. Even with its open-pore wood and leather seats, it falls short of what one would expect from a luxury SUV. Its dashboard is simplistic in design and sports a dual-touchscreen for its infotainment system which is not that responsive. Simple tasks involving temperature control and manning the radio which is done on the lower touchscreen is tedious.

The new MDX's seats are comfortable with each one having it own climate controls. The second-row passenger seats offer a lot of legroom and headroom. The third-row seats, on the other hand, are cramped. The second-row seats, however, make up for this by sliding further in and allowing more room.

All in all, the 2017 Acura MDX isn't as luxurious as its competitors. Honda, whose own brand vehicles are doing much better may need to work closely with its luxury vehicle arm. The base model of the 2017 Acura retails at US$46,890.

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