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.
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.
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
|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|
|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|