The Acura MDX offers comfort for seven and impressive standard features at an obtainable price, but with just a single V6 engine, Honda's premium brand never had an answer to the more higher-performance, V8-powered competitors from Germany. With the new Sport Hybrid, the MDX gets a significant boost in both power and efficiency, making this Acura a genuine competitor to Germany's finest CUVs.
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2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Overview
What's New for 2018
The Sport Hybrid debuts at the top of the MDX line, which gets more standard equipment this year and revised styling at the front and rear.
Choosing Your Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
Like the regular MDX, the Sport Hybrid offers three rows of seating and 91 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats folded. That's as good as it gets for a midsize crossover — only the biggest of the breed can carry more. The standard power-sliding second row allows passengers to enter the back without contortions.
Power comes from a 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine and three electric motors, producing a combined 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft torque. All-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission complete the mechanical setup. The Sport Hybrid is EPA-rated at 27 miles per gallon in combined city highway driving. For comparison, the gas-only MDX gets by on 290 hp, and is rated at 21 mpg combined when equipped with all-wheel drive. And oh yeah, if those numbers aren't enough to lord over the other parents on the school run, just point out that you can trace the MDX Sport Hybrid's development back to Acura's righteous NSX supercar.
The MDX Sport Hybrid starts at $52,935 (including $975 destination charge) with features like leather upholstery, heated power front seats, navigation, remote start, a sunroof, power-folding side mirrors, and a 10-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio. Safety technology is present in a big way, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane and road departure mitigation, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Sport Hybrid rolls on 20-inch wheels. The optional Entertainment Package adds a DVD-based rear video system with a nine-inch screen and 11 speakers for $2,000.
For the ultimate in luxury and convenience, the Advance Package ($6,040) tacks on surround-view cameras, LED fog lights, parking sensors, and unique wheels. The interior benefits from upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front sport seats, heated second-row captain's chairs, wood trim, a heated steering wheel, and rear sunshades. When combined with this package, the Entertainment Package comes with a larger screen (16.2 inches) and 12 speakers. The captain's chairs are replaced with a three-person bench.
There are no individual options for the MDX Sport Hybrid beyond the usual selection of dealer-installed accessories.
When looking at starting prices, the Sport Hybrid seems expensive compared to the regular MDX. However, the hybridized MDX carries more standard equipment, including all-wheel drive, navigation, and blind spot monitoring. With all else equal, the Sport Hybrid costs only about $1,500 more. Did we mention it's related to the NSX?