What’s Good, Bad and Weird About the 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid? [Video]

Can a bit of DNA from the NSX really kick Acura’s most powerful crossover up a notch?

The Acura MDX is the brand’s most expensive and largest crossover. With a 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6, the standard 290 horsepower MDX is no slouch. Particularly when it’s equipped with Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, the MDX handles well in most situations. However, there’s now a hybrid version, which Acura debuted in 2017. Dubbed the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, electric motors now join a smaller V6 engine to create the most powerful crossover in the brand’s current lineup. While the normal MDX makes 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, the MDX Sport Hybrid makes more power and torque.

2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
Unlike the standard MDX, the Sport Hybrid uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine and three electric motors. [Photo: Acura]
Unlike the standard model, the 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid uses a 3.0-liter, port-injected V6 engine which makes 257 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque on its own. With the aid of three electric motors, however, this MDX comes out ahead. The front direct drive motor makes 47 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 109 lb-ft of torque from 500 – 2,000 rpm. In the back, the other two electric motors each make 36 horsepower and 54 lb-ft of torque. Running together, the engine and electric motors produce a combined output of 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque. All that runs through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, rather than the nine-speed automatic in the standard MDX. Also unlike the standard MDX, you can only get the hybrid as an all-wheel drive model. The MDX Sport Hybrid shares its all-wheel drive system and three-motor layout with the NSX supercar.

2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
[Photo: Acura]

Tech and pricing

So we know the powertrain is good, but what about the rest of the car? The car comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, connected to Acura’s dual-screen infotainment system. The bottom part of the unit features a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen to navigate through the user interface. AcuraWatch, a suite of advanced driver-assist features like collision warning, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, also comes standard.

The 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid starts off at $53,095 including destination charges. Adding the Advance Package, with second-row captain’s chairs, a 360-degree camera system, ventilated front seats, sunshades and front and rear parking sensors, among other creature comforts, kicks the price up to $59,145. Both models return 27 Combined mpg.

What else is good, bad and weird about the 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid? Check out Sarah’s video above to find out! Subscribe to TFLcar and TFLnow on YouTube for more Acura news, views and real-world reviews coming soon.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD w/ Advance Package

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $53,095 (incl. destination charges)
Price as Tested: $59,145
Engine: 3.0-liter naturally-aspirated, port-injected V6 w/ 3 electric motors
Drivetrain (Layout): Front engine, all-wheel drive
Horsepower: Combined system output: 321 hp
Torque: Combined system output: 289 lb-ft
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Suspension: Front: MacPherson strutRear: Multi-link
Brakes: Front: 12.6-inch ventilated discsRear: 13.0-inch solid discs
Tires: Continental CrossContact LX Sport P245/50 R20 all-season
Fuel capacity: 19.4 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 26 City/27 Highway/27 Combined MPG


Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length:  196.2 inches
Width: 77.7 inches
Height:  67.4 inches
Turning Circle: 38.4 feet
Curb Weight: 4,484 pounds
Interior Volume: 132.7 cubic feet
Cargo Volume: Behind first row: 68.4 cubic feet