In a move that could alienate Acura’s traditional demographic of well-heeled ornithologists, Acura has refreshed their corporate face by removing the steel beaks and replacing them with the diamond-shaped grille from the Acura Precision concept. The MDX is the first in production with the new look, and it’s also getting a hybrid variant.

This is just a mid-cycle refresh for the generally unremarkable MDX, but as far as mid-cycle refreshes go, it’s a pretty big one. In addition to the new mug, the MDX is getting a Sport Hybrid version, which Acura says will add both 35 HP and 7 MPG, so that’s afwul nice.

They’re also making their AcuraWatch™ standard on all 2017 MDX models, and it seems that’s not an Acura-branded version of some Android-powered smartwatch like I guessed. It’s their suite of driver-assist/lazy driver tools that includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), and an advanced DGAF system for when you just stop watching the road at all.

The hybrid system is interesting, as it’s the same three-motor Sport Hybrid (SH-AWD) system found in the NSX. Here, in the MDX, we’ve got Honda’s 3-liter V6 mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, one with an electric motor integrated to power the front wheels. The remaining two motors are in a unit at the rear, powering one rear wheel each. The whole setup provides 325 HP and gives gas mileage of 25/26/26 (city/ highway/ combined). Not bad!

Advertisement

Advertisement

Other than that, it’s still basically the same old MDX you’ll walk by without noticing in Target parking lots nationwide.