The Acura MDX has been one of the top-rated, three-row crossover SUVs since it was new in 2001. It was just redesigned in the 2014 model year—but Acura is at it again for 2016, with more changes to keep the MDX on par with crossovers like the Buick Enclave and all-new Volvo XC90 going into 2016.

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Acura hasn't made any changes to the 2016 MDX's sheet metal. Instead, the most significant update is the new nine-speed automatic transmission, which gets a push-button gear selector and paddle shifters for manual control. The new transmission is lighter than the outgoing six-speed, and Acura promises quicker shifts.

It isn't promising better fuel economy, though. Despite the extra gears, which usually lowers fuel consumption, the 2016 MDX’s EPA-estimated gas mileage comes in at 1 mpg lower in the city and on the highway compared to the 2015 version. Front-wheel-drive models are rated at 19/27 mpg. Add the updated all-wheel-drive system into the mix and those numbers drop to 18/26 mpg. Opt for the available engine start-stop system and you’ll up the city rating by 1 mpg across the board.

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The last major update comes in the form of a safety feature: AcuraWatch. This package consists of a number of electronic driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, and a forward-collision warning system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection.

The 2016 Acura MDX is on sale now starting from $43,785.


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