this car seat check was written in june 2017 about the 2017 acura mdx sport hybrid; little of substance has changed with this year's model. to see what's new for 2018, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.
the last time we tested the three-row acura mdx was for the 2016 model year, before the automaker made second-row captain's chairs available in place of a bench seat. this time around, we tested the 2017 mdx sport hybrid with the new captain's chairs — and both the suv and your car-seat-age kids are a little better off for it.
how many car seats fit in the second row? two
how many car seats fit in the third row? two
related: more car seat checks
- latch, grade a: two sets sit behind slits in the upholstery; access and connection are easy. there's also a pair of clearly marked top tether anchors at the base of the seatbacks.
- infant seat, grade a: the seat fit well and installed with ease, leaving ample legroom for the front passenger.
- rear-facing convertible, grade a: this was also a simple installation, and there was plenty of room for the front passenger.
- forward-facing convertible, grade a: after removing the head restraint, this seat installed easily and fit well.
- third-row forward-facing convertible, grade a: since there are no lower anchors in the third row, we used a seat belt for the installation. the seat installed easily and fit well, and the two top tether anchors halfway down the seatback were easy to use.
- booster, grade b: we also removed the head restraint for a good fit, but removed a point for the floppy seat belt buckles — these make it tough for kids to strap themselves in independently.
- third-row access, grade b: the step-in height may be tall for smaller kids, but the seats move out of the way easily and the opening is big. there's also a pass-through to the third row.
- third-row booster, grade b: the seat fit fine despite the fixed head restraints, but the buckles are on floppy bases.
solid indicates an a grade for optimum ease of use and fit. so-so indicates b or c grades for one to two ease-of-use or fit issues. skip it indicates d or f grades.
a: plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn't impact driver or front-passenger legroom. easy to find and connect to latch and tether anchors. no fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. easy access to the third row.
b: one room, fit or connection issue. some problems accessing third row when available.
c: marginal room plus one fit or connection issue. difficult to access third row when available.
d: insufficient room, plus multiple fit or connection issues.
f: does not fit or is unsafe.
about 's car seat checks
editors jennifer geiger, jennifer newman and matt schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
for the car seat check, we use a graco snugride classic connect 30 infant-safety seat, a britax marathon convertible seat and graco turbobooster seat. the front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. the three child seats are installed in the second row. the booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
we also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row's middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. if there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. learn more about how we conduct our car seat checks.
parents should also remember that they can use the latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.
's editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. in line with 's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. the editorial department is independent of 's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.