Completely redesigned in 2014, the Acura MDX gets a major refresh for 2017 with some welcome exterior changes that include a new diamond pentagon grille, new headlights, a new hood and new front fenders.

The 2017 MDX is a mid-size luxury SUV with cutting-edge safety and driver-assistance technology. And, the 2017 MDX gets five-star safety ratings from the government and is a Top Safety Pick-Plus from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

There’s a lot to like about this stylish ride from Acura. Powered by a 290-horsepower V6 engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, the MDX is a great choice in its segment. Seating is available for up to seven in its three rows, but the third row is more suited for children.

Trim levels include Standard, Technology and Advance packages. There is also an Entertainment Package which adds a cool 16.2-inch wide-screen DVD player for passengers in the back. My test car for the week was the Advance with the Entertainment package.

Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. But I really like the new front end of the MDX. The headlight package, which included five jeweled lenses on each side, is fantastic.

The cabin is awash in technology, from driver assistance features to safety features that protect occupants or even prevent crashes in the first place. The only knock I have is the technology can be so sophisticated it takes a while to figure out. The interface between driver and vehicle can get cumbersome with all the choices.

The MDX interior is filled with high-end appointments, including standard leather and available Olive Ash Burl or Black Limba wood trim. Three-row seating accommodates six passengers with second-row captain’s chairs and a center console. Seating is for seven with the second-row bench.

The seats are comfortable, too, and the cabin’s fit and finish is excellent with the right amount of soft-touch materials in the right places. The interior is roomy and comfortable, and passengers in row 2 are not an afterthought. They get heated seats, two USB ports, two audio jacks, an HDMI port and air conditioning controls. The wide-screen entertainment center is terrific, especially for kids on those upcoming spring and summer trips to the beach.

On the road, the MDX does a nice job of smoothing out the bumps and stays flat in hard corners. With its V6, the MDX is confident and capable with power to spare. I found steering precise and on-center. The lane keeping assist system in the MDX bumps the steering wheel back to the center when it senses the car wandering from its lane.

The system is part of AcuraWatch, a suite of advanced safety features that also includes collision mitigation, an adaptive cruise control system and road departure mitigation. New for 2017, the MDX also gets new automatic high beam headlights, a new electronic parking brake and a surround view camera that is completely trustworthy in tight parking situations.

The base front-wheel drive MDX can be yours for as little as $44,050. The most expensive MDX – which comes with AWD, Advance and Entertainment packages – starts at $58,500.

Finally, the 2017 Acura MDX is about as safe as a vehicle can get, winning the IIHS rating of “Top Safety Pick-Plus.” The MDX scored the best grade of “good” in every category and scored “superior” in crash avoidance and mitigation. The MDX also gets a perfect five stars in front crash tests, side crash tests and overall in the government’s safety testing program.

2017 Acura MDX

Advance with Entertainment


3.5-liter V6


290/267 lb.-ft.


9-speed automatic


$56,400 plus freight

EPA mileage estimates:

20 mpg city/27 mpg highway/23 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

526 miles