Skip to main content

Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Brings Affordable Performance to 3 Row SUV Segment

We spend a week behind the wheel of 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid A-Spec and walk away by the “Sport” side of Acura’s best selling 3-row SUV.

In speaking with Acura engineering and design we learn of the challenge Honda’s luxury vehicle arm took on when taking the best selling 3-row SUV in North America to the next level in comfort, performance and safety.

Last month Torque News expanded on the rebirth of Acura RDX, now turbocharged, Precision Performance injected as to design, and available for the first time in Acura A-Spec sport trim packaging. A sort of off the chart oversize blackout wheels and sport rated tires meet NSX race inspired seats and grill treatment.

Although looking a bit sinister at the curb, the wider lower RDX takes the rather boxy 2-row SUV segment into the realm of true-race performance inspired road creed. And, as with all Acura itterents, what you see is what you get when transferring torque to the road, exceptional train track like road handling and suspension dampening.

In dances ACURA MDX Sport Hybrid with 321 Stated horsepower

What’s truly remarkable here is the exceptional torque generated from just off idle up through the midrange by coupling a newly designed normally aspirated 3.0 L V6 with Acura’s time proven 2 motor passive hybrid system. The mechanical specifications carry over for 2019, check them out here. The end result is seamless instant on torque. With the NSX inspired rotary dial drive mode select in“sport mode,” press the drive by wire accelerator and hold on, MDX forward trajectory will send you to the Chiropractor for an adjustment.

You won’t find a PHEV variant here. No worries, in real-world driving I discovered 26.9 MPG around town, nimble handling, and ease of parking reminiscent of Acura TLX. Yet, looking around Acura MDX’s well appointed cabin, comfort and creature comfort ease of personal electronic connectivity abounds. Acura MDX rides firm but not jaring, with overall handling and driving characteristics perfect for the long haul, or in city maneuverability.

Featuring arguably the most comfortable driver’s seat in the sub $60,000 midsize SUV segment, Acura MDX Sport Hybrid A-Spec gives Lexus and Volvo a run for the money, while looking fantastic in well lit accent night lighting, real wood and leather trims, and arguably the best ride in its class. Acura MDX is an exceptional daily driver with 3-row seating capacity.

With a beginning MSRP of $44,200 * MDX FWD ( front wheel drive,) to the top of segment Acura MDX SH-AWD Advance, MSRP $58,650, I recommend an MDX test drive to anyone considering the purchase of a premium 3-row SUV.


Ed B (not verified)    May 30, 2019 - 12:44PM

Good article, my issue is why continue to require high octane fuel in a hybrid engine? Isn't the point to save fuel and reduce your costs overall? Most of the competition outside the luxury badges require 87 octane with their hybrids and based on the MDX gas mileage figures, a basic V6 with the Atchison cycle would return similar mileage returns on the highway. Lastly, I won't consider the MDX until they get a new infotainment system - it's too dated for this price point...