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The luxury-focussed version of Honda’s large Pilot SUV, the Acura MDX, is coming in for a mid-life makeover that could possibly preview the next step in the brand’s styling language.

Launched in 2014, the current third-generation MDX may be the last new model to wear the brand’s much-maligned ‘beak’ grille, with these new photos hinting at a new design at the front end.


A black mesh grille can be seen through a netted panel in the otherwise heavy camouflage, a design that could take its inspiration from the Precision concept revealed at this year’s Detroit auto show in January.

Little else appears to have changed with this updated model, with the profile and rear-end styling remaining largely unchanged.


Above: the MDX in its current form, launched in 2014

Acura has long been kept from Australian shores, focussed as it is on the North American market. That strategy has robbed Honda Australia of a large SUV in the current generation, with both the MDX and its Honda-badged Pilot sibling developed for left-hand-drive production only.

The company’s local company has made clear its desire for a large SUV, however, with Honda Australia director Stephen Collins telling CarAdvice this week that “trying to keep customers in your brand and having products that they can grow in to, or downsize to, is important”.


Above: the Honda Pilot, which shares its platform with the MDX

“I think, in an ideal world, we’d love a large SUV,” Collins said, but it appears likely that a seven-seat version of the next-generation CR-V will be a more likely contender for the brand’s Australian line-up.

“If we were to be able to provide that sort of option, then I think that would sort of help us in that journey of customers upsizing and also downsizing,” he said.

“I think we’re pretty covered on the downsizing front, it’s more the upsizing part.”

Read our full interview with Stephen Collins here.

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