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Acura’s 2017 MDX gets a sharper design and a powerful hybrid drivetrain

Honda-owned Acura has traveled to the New York Auto Show to introduce the redesigned 2017 MDX.

The updated MDX receives a much sharper-looking design than the current model. The bulk of the updates are found up front, where the crossover gets a taller front end that does away with Acura’s shield-shaped grille and instead adopts a hexagonal unit that’s loosely inspired by the one found on the chiseled Precision concept that bowed in Detroit earlier this year. The back end carries over with only minor modifications such as new-look tail lamps and a re-styled bumper.

Mechanically, the big news is that the MDX gains a hybrid drivetrain that consists of a 3.0-liter V6 engine, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with a built-in electric motor, and a pair of electric motors out back that spin the rear wheels. Called Sport Hybrid, the gasoline-electric MDX is rated at 325 horsepower, 35 more than its non-hybrid counterpart, and it’s expected to return a respectable 26 mpg in a mixed cycle. The hybrid model lives up to its name with a sport-tuned suspension, and four driver-selectable profiles called Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport+, respectively.

Non-hybrid versions carry on with a direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 267 pound-feet of torque at 4,700 rpm. It spins the front wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission, though it can be paired with Acura’s Super Handling All Wheel Drive System (SH-AWD) at an extra cost.

Acura’s AcuraWatch suite of electronic driving aids now come standards on all variants of the MDX regardless of trim level. It includes a collision mitigation braking system, a lane departure warning system, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control, among other features. Acura has also expanded the list of standard features with an electric parking brake, SiriusXM satellite radio, automatic high beams, and four USB charging ports.

The 2017 Acura MDX will go on sale this summer, and the Sport Hybrid model will launch a little later this year.

Updated 03/34/2016 by Ronan Glon: Added official information, pictures.

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