MSRP
$52,800
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2019 Acura MDX Hybrid Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.5

The 2019 Acura MDX Hybrid performs well by both hybrid SUV and luxury midsize SUV standards. The MDX Hybrid gets some of the best fuel economy ratings in the class, and it feels powerful and agile out on the road, without sacrificing ride quality.

  • "The extra power can be felt both off the line and when performing rapid passing maneuvers. The Sport Hybrid's Active Damping suspension is also more responsive, something we noticed as we breezed through sharp curves at a significantly higher speed than the posted limit, while feeling that we could actually go even faster." -- Autotrader
  • "Yes, it's a hybrid, and yes, it deserves the 'Sport' moniker. … While I could play with drive modes, and manually change gears using the paddle shifters, the MDX Sport Hybrid also let me relax. Focusing on the point A to B type of driving that most people do, this SUV delivered an easy, put-it-in-drive-and-go experience." -- CNET (2017)
  • "Let's get something out of the way: The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is not your stereotypical hybrid buyer's hybrid. The Sport Hybrid is the faster, funner (sic) MDX." -- Left Lane News (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid features a 3.0-liter V6 engine and three electric motors that produce a total of 321 horsepower. The engine is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This SUV has enough power for most driving situations. It accelerates quickly, and the transmission delivers smooth shifts.

The MDX Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Few nonhybrid rivals can approach this kind of fuel efficiency, though the Lexus RX Hybrid does get even better ratings.

  • "Engine start-stop events are quiet and smooth, nearly imperceptible when under way – in stark contrast to the too-perceptible shudder of competing engines kicking on. The electric motors (mainly the one residing in the transmission) add in power to make up for the lull during a shift, making shifts up or down seamless, as well as providing regenerative capacity. And from a dead stop the MDX will use the rear motors to move off, which overcomes a major limitation in most DCTs: low-speed lurchiness." -- Autoblog (2017)
  • "… the electric torque off the line makes it feel a size smaller than it really is. … In sport, the seven-speed does a great job picking gears and downshifting – important, considering the speed of the shifts isn't neck snapping. … However, it suffers none of the slow-speed jerkiness that quicker dual-clutch transmissions do. … The V6 in the MDX is quiet and unobtrusive when stopping and starting for fuel saving. In the more efficient driving modes, it cuts out as soon as you let off the throttle. It does feel good when the engine turns off as you're exiting the expressway and stays off until you coast to a stop a mile or so down the road." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "As for the transmission, it's a partner in this system's quick reaction times. By losing the ZF nine-speed automatic, which can bumble over its bounty of ratio choices (and sometimes fumbles the shifts themselves with a shudder), the seven-speed and hybrid motor system are all business, ripping through the gears with quickness and grace. You hear them work more than feel them, and, because of the hybrid system, the rush of passing power starts even before the transmission has downshifted." -- Car and Driver (2017)

Handling and Braking

The MDX Sport Hybrid comes standard with Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) and a sport suspension with an active damper system that adjusts to match road conditions. You can also choose between four driving modes (Normal, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+) that alter the SUV's dynamics.

This Acura is surprisingly sporty, yet it's easy to drive because it feels like a smaller vehicle. It doesn't lean much around turns, and it rides smoothly over most road surfaces.

  • "So with all of this sporty goodness, you're probably wondering if the hybrid version sacrifices ride comfort in the name of performance. With so many other luxury brands, we've seen it happen, but thankfully that's not the case with the MDX Sport Hybrid. … The MDX Sport Hybrid's ride is smooth and controlled, unflappable in the face of massive potholes and jagged pavement." -- Autotrader
  • "The refinement of the drivetrain, despite its complexity, makes the task of driving second-nature. However, faced with a twisty road, I couldn't help but dive into the corners at speed. Given the size of the MDX Sport Hybrid, it took some real daredevil effort to feel the electric torque vectoring rotate the car. Instead, that technology revealed itself in making this SUV feel like a much smaller car in the turns, nimble and quick rather than heavy and lumbering." -- CNET (2017)
  • "The extra weight is distributed evenly along the bottom of the SUV, providing the side benefit of a lower center of gravity and reducing body roll. This gives the hybrid a more car-like driving experience. … Handling is further improved by the MDX hybrid's active front and rear dampers, and torque vectoring capability. The SH-AWD system sends torque left and right to create a yaw moment that allows power to shift to any wheel. It's hardly noticeable as you drive around town, but out on the highway it helps reduces understeer and is especially noticeable in the twisty turns of the slick roads we encountered." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
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2019 Acura MDX Hybrid

MSRP: $52,800 - $59,550

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