• 2017 Acura MDX vs. 2007 Acura MDX A Decade of Decadence [Video]

    We had a golden opportunity to compare the 2017 Acura MDX to its senior brother, a 2007 Acura MDX. While these vehicles are separated by 10 years of updates and innovations, they had a lot in common. Size, design, layout and some of the driving dynamics were remarkably similar. Still, the decade of advances were apparent in (mostly) positive ways.

    In an effort to be transparent, you should know that I owned a first generation Acura MDX and I was very fond of it. I would like to think that being a former owner would push me to truly scrutinize the newer MDXs during our comparisons. It wasn’t that necessary. The 2003 Acura MDX I owned was primitive compared to the 2007 and on a different planet than the 2017 model.

    The 2017 Acura MDX comes with light exterior updates (new nose) to the exterior, optional second-row captain chairs and a push-button ZF 9-speed automatic transmission. Its 3.5-liter direct-injected V6 makes 290 horsepower (at 6,200 rpm) and 267 lb-ft of torque (at 4,700 rpm). The Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system not only gives the 2017 Acura MDX a useful AWD system for low traction situations, it aids in cornering on dry pavement.

    Our 2007 Acura MDX had nearly 150,000 miles on the odometer; however, you would be hard pressed to feel the mileage as it drove beautifully. The 2007 Acura MDX 3.7-liter V6 makes 300 hp (at 6000 rpm) and 275 lb-ft of torque (at 5000 rpm). It comes with a five-speed automatic transmission and a much earlier version of SH-AWD.

    The 2017 Acura makes less horsepower and less torque than the 2007 Acura MDX, and the 2017 Acura MDX is rated to tow 3,500 lbs while the 2007 Acura MDX can tow up to 5,000 lbs. Still, the 2017 Acura MDX is more efficient getting 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. It’s lighter than the old model and it has slightly more cargo space.

    When all was said and done, we were very impressed with what Acura accomplished 10 years ago and what they accomplished today. Our only (noteable) gripe of the 2017 Acura MDX was with its unnecessary push-button transmission. Otherwise, the new 2017 Acura MDX is (still) a stellar people mover.

    Check out the video and see for yourself!

    A special thank you to the Blue Star Auto Group in Longmont for the loan of the 2007 Acura MDX.

    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

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    9 thoughts on “2017 Acura MDX vs. 2007 Acura MDX A Decade of Decadence [Video]

    1. Oh I didn’t know you owned a 2003 MDX! I knew you were very fond of them, but I didn’t know you had one! We love ours, it’s such a resilient SUV!

    2. Interesting comparison! I just traded a first gen ’04 with 140K miles for a CPO 2016 with 40K miles. I loved my ’04. If not for the ravages of 12 Pennsylvania winters on the undercarriage I would still have the car.

      The second gen is awesome as well, but the poor mileage as well as a requirement for premium fuel helped keep me away. (Also, the price for these is still pretty high!) For 3rd gen, premium is “recommended”, but I and most of the owners I know run regular unleaded. Regular gas plus 27 on the highway save a lot on fuel costs Also, the 3rd gen is much quieter than the 2nd gen. on the road.

      The 3rd gen towing number isn’t completely straight forward, but it is rated for 5,000 lbs if the additional transmission fluid cooler is added. If no cooler is added the tow rating is your stated 3,500 lbs.
      Initially I didn’t like the push button, but after only a week I’ve learned I don’t really care how I put the car in gear.

      The infotainmet on the 3rd gen is pretty bad, but so is the”button for everything” strategy that was used on the 2nd gen dash. Interestingly, the 17 Pilot GPS is light years ahead of what is in the MDX.

      The 3rd gen is definitey “softer” than the first two MDX iterations. Steering feels disconnected from the road. When hauling a family, though, softer is often better than sporty.
      In the end, the MDX is an awesome car, no matter what generation. Great video!

    3. So how do you remake the wheel and fail at it less hp less tq ,3500 new 5500 old in towing Acura has been screwing up since 2008 with their style and substance they need to get it together quickly but that’s Honda as a whole you discontinued the s2000 which all around was a better everything then the Miata you discontinue the integra/rsx which was a great seller what Honda / Acura is doin is kinda of unthinkable

      1. Honda have been struggling for years. After the GFC they were hit with a tsunami. If they had a bigger development budget we would have seen greater advances from them before now. New Civic is a sign that they could be making a comeback to be the brand they were in the 1990’s but we will have to wait and see.

    4. Would love to see the current SH-AWD system in the MDX compared to the RDX AWD in the snow. I don’t need the extra row or space of the MDX but am curious if there really is that big of a difference in terms of snow performance when comparing the RDX AWD and the MDX with SH-AWD. Maybe some drag races in snow or snowy hill climbs? While there is a big difference in price between the two I find I am still cross shopping them as they are both from one of the more reliable brands making midsize SUV/crossovers. The RDX is right-sized but offers poor towing capacity (would like to be able to pull a couple snowmobiles on a trailer) and apparently an inferior AWD system. The Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and RX 350 are other considerations but aside from the RX and RDX all offer an un-needed third row. Loosening my expectations for reliability there is also the new Audi Q5 and the yet to be released all new Volvo XC60. Would also like to see an all new Toyota 4 Runner with a little less overall height and a little more second row leg room…

      1. The Q5 is Audi’s best selling vehicle and consumer reports has had them in their top 3-5 most reliable brands for the past few years since 2012…just food for thought.

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