The downside of SUV ownership, is often less than exceptional in-town fuel efficiency. Electrification as employed in Acura’s flagship sport hybrid sedan RLX, and NSX supercar, will soon be an option for Acura’s latest edition of the best selling premium 3-row SUV in North America. Soon to arrive at an Acura dealership near you is the maker’s first hybrid SUV. With it will come greater torque, increased horsepower, and due to hybrid electrification, class leading in-town fuel efficiency. I recently spent a week in the seat of 2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD Advance.
With MDX Sport Hybrid you get more
More combined torque and horsepower, extended electric-only range, and greater fuel efficiency -- all for a very reasonable premium of $1500, over the MSRP of a comparably equipped MDX SH-AWD. That’s a true bargain in the hybrid world. Read my latest take on Acura NSX.
Price and specifications
*2017 MDX Sport Hybrid Pricing and EPA Fuel Economy Ratings
MDX Sport Hybrid with Technology Package
MDX Sport Hybrid with Advance Package
Three-motor Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® powertrain
3.0-liter, SOHC i-VTEC V-6 engine
7-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT)
4-mode Integrated Dynamics System with SPORT+ mode
Electric Servo Brake System
Exclusive interior trim
Body-color lower side sills and front/rear skid garnishes
SH-AWD® badge on rear and Hybrid badges on front fenders
The MDX Sport Hybrid powertrain boasts a total system output of 321 horsepower and 289 lb.-ft. of torque, up 31 horsepower over the non-hybrid MDX, making it the most powerful Acura production SUV ever built. EPA fuel economy ratings of 26/27/27 mpg2 (city/highway/combined) are up 8/1/6 mpg over the non-hybrid variant.
A 3.0 liter, 24-valve, SOHC V-6 power plant with i-VTEC® valvetrain and selectable idle-stop capability provides primary motive force, with a peak output of 257 horsepower (SAE net) at 6,300 rpm and 218 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net) at 5,000 rpm. Three electric motors – a front motor built into the 7DCT, and a rear Twin Motor Unit (TMU) – provide instant torque for a more responsive and vivid driving experience.
An advanced 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT) is standard, a feature in common with the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® sedan and in 9-speed form in the NSX. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, the DCT offers ultra-quick gear changes and operates without a torque converter, improving efficiency. The 7DCT can operate in fully automatic mode, or it can be shifted manually via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Final thoughts: While not the most powerful SUV offering in North America, MDX, when equipped with smart handling all-wheel-drive, and Acurawatch ™, Advance connectivity and active safety features, is a safe, and truly pleasurable drive and ride experience for up to 7. Through electrification, and an injection of Precision Performance inspired design cues, Acura MDX sport hybrid will take the best selling 3-row premium SUV in North America to new heights in customer appreciation and measurable street and light off-road drive and ride performance.
* American Honda, Acura Division 2017