2018 Acura MDX Hybrid

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MSRP: $52,100 - 58,150

2018 Acura MDX Hybrid Review

The 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is a solid, midpack luxury SUV, but it fails to stand out in its class. It delivers great performance and outstanding fuel efficiency, but it's not as roomy or upscale as many rivals.




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 7.4
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy
  • Quick acceleration
  • Nimble handling
  • Lots of standard features
  • Lower mpg ratings than rival hybrids
  • Interior is less upscale than competitors
  • Below-average cargo space
  • Subpar predicted reliability rating

Is the Acura MDX Hybrid a Good SUV?

Yes, the Acura MDX Hybrid is a good SUV. Its powertrain is energetic enough for most driving situations, and it provides the great fuel economy you expect from a hybrid. Thanks to standard all-wheel drive, the SUV handles well, too. Its seats are comfortable and there's a long list of tech features, including new-for-2018 Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Still, many luxury midsize SUV competitors have nicer interiors, more cargo space, and higher predicted reliability ratings.

Should I Buy the Acura MDX Hybrid?

The MDX Sport Hybrid is a pretty good vehicle, but that doesn't mean it's the best purchase. If you're looking for a true luxury experience, you'll find it elsewhere. Also, the MDX Hybrid’s primary draw of good fuel economy isn’t so far ahead of what rivals offer.

The Lexus RX Hybrid should be on your list if you're shopping for an alternative-fuel SUV in this class. Like the MDX Hybrid, it offers a lot of value and great mileage estimates. You'd also be wise to cross-shop the regular Acura MDX and see if your potential savings at the pump are worth the additional cost of the hybrid.

Compare the MDX Hybrid, RX Hybrid, and MDX »

Should I Buy a New or Used Acura MDX Hybrid?

For 2018, Acura updated the MDX's infotainment system with a more responsive touch screen, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay joined the standard features list. However, a used MDX Hybrid is worth considering if you're looking to save money and don't care about these changes. Acura introduced the MDX Hybrid for the 2017 model year, so that's the only used model you'll find.

To do more research on a used MDX Hybrid, check out our review of the 2017 Acura MDX Hybrid. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page for savings and incentives on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017 and 2018 MDX Hybrid »

We Did the Research for You: 21 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank. This 2018 Acura MDX Hybrid review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2017 and 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs for more than a decade, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Acura MDX Hybrid Cost?

The MDX Hybrid has a base price of around $52,000. That’s midpack among luxury midsize SUVs, which is impressive since hybrids are typically some of the most expensive vehicles in every class. A fully loaded MDX Hybrid costs around $58,000, which is still less than you’ll pay for many fully loaded competitors.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Acura dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Acura deals page.

Acura MDX Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Acura MDX Hybrid or Lexus RX Hybrid?

The Lexus RX Hybrid features a handsome interior with quality materials, and its base price is several thousand dollars lower than the MDX Hybrid’s. The Lexus is also available as a 3-row SUV, called the RX L Hybrid. Still, the MDX Hybrid has more room for passengers and cargo. The RX Hybrid is available with a rear-seat entertainment system and a brilliant 12.3-inch infotainment display, which you can't get in the MDX Hybrid. The Acura boasts sharper handling than the Lexus, but both SUVs offer standard all-wheel drive and potent acceleration. The RX Hybrid is the better buy here, and it has a much lower starting price and a higher predicted reliability rating.

Which Is Better: Acura MDX Hybrid or Acura MDX?

Compared to its hybrid counterpart, the gas-only Acura MDX has a lower horsepower rating and a smoother-shifting transmission. Though you can outfit a regular MDX with all-wheel drive, the hybrid comes standard with it. Naturally, the MDX Hybrid boasts better fuel economy ratings: 26 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The gas-only MDX gets 18-20 mpg in the city and 26-27 mpg on the highway, depending on the drivetrain. Though you’ll save money at the pump, it would take you just a little over four years to make up the price difference between the MDX Hybrid and a similarly equipped gas-only MDX. If you were planning to buy a souped-up gas-only MDX, you might as well spend a little more and get the hybrid instead.

Compare the MDX Hybrid, RX Hybrid, and MDX »

MDX Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the MDX Hybrid Seat?

The MDX Hybrid seats seven people. The first two rows of seats are spacious and comfortable, though second-row headroom is tight for taller passengers. As with many 3-row SUVs, the third-row seats are too cramped for adults on anything but short drives.

MDX Hybrid and Car Seats

The MDX Hybrid has three full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The tether anchors are somewhat hard to find. On the plus side, it doesn’t take much force to attach car-seat straps, and the lower anchors are easily identifiable – though they can be tough to maneuver around.

MDX Hybrid Interior Quality

This Acura features plenty of high-end materials throughout the cabin, but it lacks the panache of other luxury midsize SUVs. The overall aesthetic feels more like a Honda than a true luxury vehicle.

MDX Hybrid Cargo Space

The MDX Hybrid has just under 15 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, which is enough room for a large dog. It has a maximum cargo capacity of just over 68 cubic feet, which is enough for large items like bicycles and camping gear. Despite the usable space, many class rivals have more cargo room.

MDX Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the MDX Hybrid include tri-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, a 10-speaker ELS audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, four USB ports, navigation, a dual-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Siri Eyes Free. Available features include an 11-speaker ELS audio system and two third-row USB ports.

The touch-screen is more responsive than in previous models and features an easy-to-master interface. New for 2018, the MDX Hybrid comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it easy to sync your smartphone with the vehicle. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

MDX Hybrid Performance

MDX Hybrid Engine: No Complaints Here

The MDX Hybrid features a V6 engine and three electric motors that combine to put out 321 horsepower. That’s more than enough juice to push this SUV off the line quickly, and it’s ample power for all other driving situations as well. A smooth-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission comes standard.

MDX Hybrid Gas Mileage: Not Class-Leading, but Close

The MDX Sport Hybrid gets 26 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Those are excellent ratings for a luxury midsize SUV, though they do trail some hybrid rivals’ ratings. For example, the Lexus RX Hybrid earns 31 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

MDX Hybrid Ride and Handling: Smooth Sailing

The MDX Hybrid comes standard with Super-Handling all-wheel drive, which provides reliable road grip. It also has a sport suspension and four selectable driving modes. The MDX Hybrid is fairly agile and doesn’t lean much around corners. Ride quality is good over most road surfaces.

Read more about performance »

MDX Hybrid Reliability

Is the Acura MDX Hybrid Reliable?

The 2018 MDX Hybrid has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Acura MDX Hybrid Warranty

The Acura MDX is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. These warranty terms are a little better than competitors’, as many luxury vehicles only provide a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.

Read more about reliability »

MDX Hybrid Safety

MDX Hybrid Crash Test Results

The 2018 Acura MDX earns a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Acura MDX receives the top score of Good in all five crash tests, as well as a 2018 Top Safety Pick designation.

MDX Hybrid Safety Features

Standard active safety features in the MDX Hybrid include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Available features include front and rear parking sensors and a surround-view camera system.

Read more about safety »

Which Acura MDX Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

Like the nonhybrid standard MDX (which is covered in a separate review), the Acura MDX Hybrid comes in one trim with a choice of option packages. All models feature the same 321-horsepower three-motor powertrain, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.

Choosing the right MDX Hybrid for you comes down to how much you value things like heated second-row seats, premium leather upholstery, and a couple of extra driver assistance features. The Advance package comes with a big price jump (more than $6,000), and it’s not a great value. Most buyers will be better off with just the Technology package.

Acura MDX Sport Hybrid With Technology Package

The MDX Sport Hybrid with Technology package (which is the full name of the Sport Hybrid’s base trim) starts around $52,000. Standard features include power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker ELS audio system, satellite radio, navigation, voice command activation, a dual-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Siri Eyes Free, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Acura MDX Sport Hybrid With Advance Package

The MDX Sport Hybrid with Advance package has a starting price of around $58,000. Standard features include the Technology package’s features as well as premium Milano leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a surround-view camera system, and front and rear parking sensors.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Acura dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Acura deals page.

See 2018 Acura MDX Hybrid specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Acura MDX Hybrid is a good vehicle, and there are many reasons to like it. Yet, there aren’t many reasons to go for this SUV over the competition. In fact, some of its attributes are subpar when measured against the rest of the class. That’s why it finishes in the middle of our luxury midsize SUV rankings.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The MDX and RDX have always leaned toward the enthusiast, and adding a hybrid element to the powertrain does nothing to quash the notion. Like the new Porsche Panamera, the question almost becomes, 'Why NOT get the hybrid?' We suppose there's the towing issue, but other than that, you get more efficiency AND more power. No one can be against that. If you think it looks too big, take it for a drive – it doesn't feel that way behind the wheel. And that's what's really important." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "With the addition of the new 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, the luxury brand is stepping up its game and trying to attract a younger generation looking for a capable and confident vehicle. The MDX hybrid's quick torque delivery, good handling, and decent packaging set it apart without compromising any space." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "Acura is going to market the MDX Sport Hybrid to tech-savvy young families, and with a solid dose of NSX in the messaging. I don't think these consumers really and truly want a three-row NSX, and that's not what they're going to get. Instead, they'll get an especially smooth and powerful MDX with the kind of tech under the skin you'd like to brag to your neighbor about." -- Autoblog (2017)
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