Acura gives its MDX a boost with new hybrid

New SH-AWD SUV model is most powerful, refined and advanced MDX

Published: March 15, 2017, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:17 PM

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Acura’s first hybrid SUV will be an MDX, and it will be available by the time Spring starts in earnest.

It’s also the most powerful, refined, sophisticated and technologically advanced Acura SUV, using three electric motors (as in the RLX and NSX) to make gains not just in fuel economy, but also in horsepower and torque in relation to a comparable MDX SH-AWD model.

The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid retains the MSX’s 3-row seating (and up to seven seats) but uses the 7-speed dual clutch automatic from the RLX, advanced Electro Servo braking system, active damper suspension (new and exclusive), and a new driving dynamics system, with control the ability to adjust nine different systems including the electric motors, as well as the usual throttle and steering response, transmission shift map and active dampers. The driver can select between Comfort, Normal, Sport and a new Sport Plus modes.

As with other Acuras, it comes with a Technology package (with 7-passenger seating) and an Advance package (for six passengers) in the US (Canada has an Elite package). Both packages come with exclusive interior trim, including stainless steel pedals and wood trim.

The new model features the three electric motors (one in front and two in the rear) to create its version of Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), and boost a 257-hp 3.0-litre V-6 engine to a combined horsepower of 321 and torque to 289 lb-ft (from the MSX’s 3.5 V-6’s 290 and 267, respectively). Fuel economy is improved across the board, with the biggest improvement being 45% in city driving.

The model also comes with the AcuraWatch suite of safety features and driving aids, which includes collision mitigation, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise, and road departure mitigation. A rear multi-angle camera is also standard, and the top grades get blind spot warning, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and auto high-beam adjustment.