Acura Refreshes MDX, Adds Hybrid Powertrain

The MDX hybrid model should get 35 more horsepower and 7 mpg better city fuel economy than non-hybrid AWD grades.

March 23, 2016

2 Min Read
3917 MDX on sale this summer at Acura dealers
'17 MDX on sale this summer at Acura dealers.

NEW YORK – Acura unveils a refreshed MDX, updated with the automaker’s new design language, standard advanced-safety technology and an optional hybrid powertrain, at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.

“Showcasing the new face of Acura, the restyled ’17 MDX is highlighted by the bold and distinctive new diamond pentagon grille,” the brand says in a pre-show statement. The grille was introduced on the Precision concept car shown at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where Acura officials said they were eager to get the brand’s new look into production.

Other styling updates for the large CUV, which was fully redesigned in 2013, include the addition of a chrome rocker panel, LED fog lights and twin tailpipes. The front fenders and rear bumper have been restyled.

The new MDX Sport Hybrid grade, standard with Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive technology, shares its 3-motor setup with the RLX and NSX cars. As in the RLX sedan, one electric motor provides power to the front wheels while two electric motors power the rear wheels.

The MDX hybrid’s engine is Acura’s 3.0L V-6 with cylinder-deactivation technology. The engine is mated to 7-speed DCT that integrates the front motor.

A total horsepower rating of 325 is expected for the MDX Sport Hybrid, up from 290 hp in non-hybrid variants and the same output the ’16 achieves with its 3.5L direct-injected V-6.

Acura pegs Sport Hybrid fuel economy at an estimated 25/26/26 mpg (9.4-9.0 L/100 km) city/highway/combined. The city figure rises 7 mpg (3.0 km/L) from non-hybrid AWD models, Acura says.

For ’17, Acura infuses the MDX with convenience and safety technology. Standard convenience features include an electric parking brake, automatic high-beam headlights, 4.0- and 2.5-amp USB charging ports. Bi-directional keyless remote engine start and an ultra-widescreen rear-seat entertainment system are available in Technology and Advance option packages, respectively.

Acura makes standard several advanced safety technologies that had been optional, including collision-mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and lane-keeping assist.

Available interior options include two wood trims, olive ash burl or black limba, as well as captain’s chairs in lieu of a second-row bench seat.

The Technology and Advance option packages also add a new active sport suspension with comfort, normal and sport modes. Sport+ mode is available on hybrid models with the packages.

The MDX is one of Acura’s best-selling models, although sales last year fell 11.3% to 58,208, the first decline for the model since 2011, WardsAuto data shows.

Acura blamed last year’s falloff on the popularity of the Honda Pilot, which was redesigned for ’16 and also is built at Honda’s Lincoln, AL, plant.

Honda is adding a second production site for the MDX early next year at its East Liberty, OH, plant.

The refreshed MDX is due at Acura dealers this summer, followed later this year by the Sport Hybrid grade.

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