Hello, Handsome: The 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance
The 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance.
All it needed was a shave.

For years, the Acura MDX has been wearing an awkward chrome mustache across the top of its grille...the last vestige of an ill-conceived beak that it sprouted for the 2010 model year.  Well, that's gone for 2017...the grille (actually a new stretched pentagon design) now nicely opened up, with a rather large....okay, gargantuan...Acura emblem in the middle.  The headlights, hood and fenders have gotten tweaks to accomodate the grille change. And it's all a major improvement.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance
2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance.
The rear bumper of the MDX has been freshened as well...giving it a cleaner, more contemporary look.

The mechanicals remain the same...a 3.5-liter V6 making 290 horsepower mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and Acura's SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) system.  It also has idle stop...shutting off the engine under certain conditions at stop signs, traffic lights and while in stop-and-go traffic (or in drive-throughs).  The EPA fuel economy estimate is 19 city/26 highway.

The big news for 2017 is actually the MDX we haven't driven yet, the Sport Hybrid model.  But the '17 MDX AWD Advance does have a few welcome tech additions to the 2016 model we reviewed a bit over a year ago...lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, road-departure mitigation and automatic emergency braking.

Interior of 2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance
2017 Acura MDX AWD Advance interior.
You can get an MDX for about $43,000 in base form, but ours was the all-wheel drive Advance model, with a base price of $56,400.  It has a massive list of standard features.  And thanks to Acura's one-price philosophy for its trim levels, there's no guesswork about what options will do to the tab.  Add in $940 for destination and handling and it rings in at $57,340.

The MDX has long been one of my favorite large crossovers.  It simply does everything right.  If I have one misgiving, it is that, for 57 large and change, the interior seems a bit...plain and plastic.  For 10 grand less, Kia's creating a brighter, more inviting, more special-feeling space in its Sorento SXL. Hopefully, having cleaned up the MDX's exterior, the interior is next on Acura's to-do list.