Redesigned Acura MDX adds luxury touches for upmarket aspirations

“The MDX has been so good for so long, and the good thing is that it’s still an MDX,” Connelly said last week before the official showroom launch Tuesday, Feb. 2. “A lot of companies will do a complete transformation to a vehicle that makes you think, ‘What’s that?’ ”

The MDX now is Acura’s flagship vehicle following the discontinuation of the RLX sedan. A Type S performance edition of the MDX — another first for an Acura crossover — should take it further into German-luxury territory this summer.

The redesigned crossover, along with the new-generation TLX sedan that went on sale late last year, signals a change for Acura. But analysts say there’s tough competition ahead. Fresh three-row crossovers from the Korean brands, including luxury upstart Genesis, will be tough rivals for Acura, as will vehicles from Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and others.

“The Acura MDX has always been a safe choice for consumers in that segment, but so much about luxury is ‘brand’ rather than ‘vehicle,’ ” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.

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