The New York Auto Show is rolling out new vehicles at a furious pace, and one that snuck up on me was the revamped 2017 Acura MDX. For the new year, the largest of the Acura crossovers gains an updated look that lacks one of the biggest flaws of Acura’s design history and gains a thrifty, more potent hybrid version.
Ding-dong, the beak is dead!! Well, sort of. The MDX’s front refresh includes the new diamond pentagon grille that has the same shape as the old beak but lacks the massive chunk of shiny plastic that made it such an eyesore. In addition to this big-time change, the front end also has redone LED fog lights, new Jewel Eye headlights, and a refreshed apron. Around back, the changes continue with a new bumper, a body-colored skid plate, and new dual exhaust.
Inside, the MDX remains visually unchanged from the 2016 model but it does gain some new technology. These new bits include an electric parking brake with automatic brake hold, SiriusXM 2.0, and four 2.5-amp USB ports. Also new is the now-standard AcuraWatch safety suite, which includes tons of high-end nannies like lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise, and more.
The other big piece of news for the 2017 MDX is the powertrain. The base engine and transmission remain unchanged as the same 3.5-liter V-6 mates with the identical nine-speed auto. What has changed it a new Sport Hybrid model that pairs a 3.0-liter V-6 with three electric motors for a grand total of 325 horsepower—35 ponies more than the base model—and fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined.
The 2017 MDX will hit dealerships in the summer of 2016. Stay tuned for pricing.