Acura has officially launched its latest MDX crossover, wearing refreshed styling that includes the diamond pentagon grille first seen on the Precision Concept shown in January at the Detroit auto show.
More a refresh than a total redesign, the latest version of Acura's mid-size crossover sports a new hood, front fenders and a fascia centred around that new grille and revised LED "jewel eye" headlights. Out back is a new rocker panel trim piece, new bumper cover and dual exhausts with bright finishers.
MDX's powertrain remains the same, pairing a 3.5L V6 (290 hp/267 lb-ft of torque) with a nine-speed automatic transmission and Acura's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.
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More interesting than that is Acura's promise of a Sport Hybrid variant that will come later this year, using the same three-motor hybrid powertrain found in the brand's RLX sedan and that forms the technological basis for what makes the new NSX sports car go. The gas-electric combo makes 377 hp in the RLX, and we expect the MDX will boast at least 350.
New standard features include an electric parking brake, automatic high beam headlights, capless fuel filling and four USB charging ports. The uplevel Elite model adds LED fog lights, a choice of genuine olive ash or black limba wood interior trim and a surround-view camera with six selectable viewing angles.
Later this year, a six-seat configuration will, says Acura, make MDX the only luxury SUV in its class to offer second-row captain's chairs, along with a centre console with two more USB ports for third-row passengers.
Acura also makes a big deal about the new MDX being available with 20-inch wheels, seemingly forgetting that 20s were standard on all but the base version of the 2016 model.
As before, standard safety kit includes the AcuraWatch suite of forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist and road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow.