Skip to main content

Refreshed 2017 MDX brings real wood and fine leather to Acura’s SUV lineup

“Refreshed” is a word used in the auto industry to generally describe a model-year roll out that’s anything short of a reinvention. 2017 Acura MDX puts a new spin on refreshed.

Arguably one of the most refined if not the pinnacle in midsize premium SUVs, for 2017, Acura ups the stakes in a segment that is largely responsible for keeping the brand in contention. Looking to Acura’s September 2016 sales report, MDX was the bright spot for the maker, as the U.S. auto market cooled down just a bit from a record 2-year sales run.

Looking to the numbers, Acura MDX remains the #1 selling SUV of any size in the North American market, with the 2-row premium RDX crossover, close on its bumper.

Looking to MDX, we find more SUV for the money

Frankly, I was just a bit less than impressed the first time I viewed the much refreshed 2017 Acura MDX in person. Outside of an exceptional grill upgrade, and 20 inch rims, I wasn’t catching much change here. Granted, I was attending Monterey Auto Week, and what would be remembered as a life changing event for me and those fortunate enough to attend it.

Acura afforded attendees the opportunity to experience 2017 Acura MDX Advance from behind the wheel. Me, I was distracted by the manufactured in Ohio NSX hybrid supercar seen blowing around the expanses of “The Quail.” On that fine summer day, Acura MDX was overshadowed by Acura’s halo car. My Bad! As the kids like to say. I missed an opportunity to reacquaint myself with my personal favorite 3-row. But then, I opened the passenger side door.

Acura Sensing ™ standard, real wood, upgraded seating and more

There it was accenting the plush confines of what had always been a treat to drive and ride in -- real wood trim, fine glove soft perforated heated and cooled seating, a second row “Captain’s Chair” option, a well balanced split screen center stack, in what remains the most ergonomically correct cabin in the midsize SUV segment. Sure, I knew MDX had been upgraded.

It’s a bit difficult to put into words what a custom stitched seat with accent piping does for the interior of MDX. “Transformed” comes to mind, along with rich, opulent, yet not gaudy. “Plush” in a Bentley, Rolls Royce sort of way -- not what one would expect to find in an SUV interior.

What the real wood trim accents do for MDX is remove the guessing game too often associated with wood grain patterned plastic. The “fake” is gone. It’s been lost on the road to premium-driven-performance.

I sat there for just a moment with the door closed. The rush and commotion of the world’s most premier car event melted in the darkened-den-quiet interior of MDX, I was sitting in car-guy heaven. And frankly, with a beginning MSRP of $43,950, I'm just a tad blown away by how much SUV you get for the dollar.