3rd Generation Acura MDX Reviews - Page 3 - AcuraZine - Acura Enthusiast Community

3rd Generation Acura MDX Reviews

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-21-2015, 08:05 AM   #81
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Arrow C&d

The 2016 version of Acura’s bestselling model may look the same as last year’s, but there’s a lot going on behind that chiseled visage. For starters, the MDX crossover gets a new ZF 9-speed automatic transmission. Adding 3 more cogs creates a wider ratio spread than in the previous model’s 6-speed, ostensibly helping to keep the MDX’s 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 in the more efficient parts of its power and torque bands. Not that last year’s 290-hp/6-speed combo was a laggard, but Acura, like all automakers, is looking to improve the EPA estimates of its vehicles however it can. And apparently, Honda’s luxury arm is more comfortable offering a 9-speed than a continuously variable automatic.

1st is a superlow creeper gear. The MDX storms out of the hole from rest using a 20.4:1 overall ratio (1st-gear ratio times final-drive ratio, not counting help from the torque converter) and sprints to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, half a second quicker than the 2014 model we tested with the 6-speed automatic. It then continues on to a 95-mph quarter-mile trap speed in 14.6 seconds, 3/10 more rapid than the 2014. You’re into 2nd gear before you can finish saying “Acura.” Wide-open-throttle shifts are torque-clipped and quick. Of course, having more gears doesn’t necessarily mean the transmission quickly finds the right gear—as sometimes when tipping in with part throttle at 20 to 35 mph it will lug in a too-tall gear for a while. But mostly, there’s a whole lot of shiftin’ going on.

Buttons and Bumps

About that shifting: driver inputs are via buttons instead of a lever, as is the case on 9-speed versions of the new TLX sedan. Although off-putting at 1st, like learning to play the clarinet, we eventually got the hang of it. There are some instances, perhaps when trying to do a quick 3-point U-turn in front of an approaching semi, where you might yearn for the Neanderthal familiarity of a PRNDL shift lever. With the push-button setup, you need to take your eyes off the road, look down, find the desired button and push it (or pull a switch back in the case of reverse). Eliminating the console shifter does free up access to the bottom of the center stack, but the button farm takes up about the same amount of real estate on the console as did the old shifter.

Another new-for-2016 feature is “idle stop.” Like other automatic stop-start systems, Acura’s shuts down the engine at stoplights to save fuel. That’s partially responsible for a 1-mpg bump in the EPA city fuel-economy rating. There is also a bump felt as the engine abruptly restarts after an idle stop; it’s not as harsh as we’ve experienced in some BMWs and Porsches, but it’s not the silky awakening of a similarly equipped Mercedes-Benz, either. Overall, we saw an average of 21 mpg with the 2016 MDX while in our lead-footed care, a 2-mpg improvement over the 6-speed MDX we tested in 2014.

Semiautonomously Yours

As with other luxury-brand crossovers, Acura lards the MDX with technology features. For 2016, we see the expansion of AcuraWatch to all versions of the MDX. Our $58,000 test vehicle, equipped with the Advance and Entertainment packages, also featured rear cross-traffic monitoring (a nice feature for all large crossovers and vehicles with wide C- or D-pillars), Road Departure Mitigation, and Collision Mitigation Braking. A monocular camera needs to be able to “see” the road or another car or object for the latter 2 systems to function. Thanks to poor road maintenance, we couldn’t depend on the “active steering force” of the road-departure system. Sometimes it worked and other times we might have gone sailing off into the weeds. However, when we tested the collision-mitigation system on a similar Honda/Acura product at a test track, it never failed to do a full-ABS stop short of the parked “balloon car” stand-in vehicle at 20, 30, and 40 mph with no driver intervention. Very cathartic. Having said that, our test MDX suffered brake fade after just a few ABS stops were executed to record its 185-foot, 70-mph-to-0 stopping distance.

But at its core, the Acura MDX remains 1 of our favorite 7-passenger crossovers. The 2016 transmission and technology updates help keep it competitive in its class and take nothing away from its spirited handling and fun-to-drive character.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2016, 11:39 AM   #82
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2016, 07:23 AM   #83
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Smail Acura

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2016, 07:48 AM   #84
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Thumbs up Kbb

2016 Acura MDX Long-Term Wrap Up

By Frankie Rogers on October 24, 2016 8:00 AMYou know that sad feeling you get when it’s time to head home after a wonderful vacation? Well that’s how we felt when we said good-bye to our long-term 2016 Acura MDX. It didn’t seem that long ago when it was delivered on a warm, sunny day looking shiny and smelling new. As a member of the KBB fleet for the better part of a year the MDX went on multiple road trips and hauled out of town family members to and from touristy destinations throughout Southern California.

Our MDX, optioned with Acura’s SH-AWD (Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive) had a sticker price of $58,000 which included a $920 destination fee. Also included in the price was the Tech Package with lane departure warning, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist, along with the Advance Package which bundles collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, ventilated front seats, and heated 2nd row seats, as well as an Entertainment Package consisting of a 16.2-inch DVD rear entertainment system and 115-volt power outlet.

Comfortable Cruiser

It’s no surprise that the Acura MDX was chosen frequently as a road trip partner. With the driver’s 10-way power seat, spacious leg and hip room, decent cargo space and a serenely quiet cabin, the MDX made long trips tolerable. Equally important was the robust 290-horsepower V6 which as one staffer summed up: “Out on the open road, the 2016 Acura MDX makes an ideal mount for mixing it up with semis and civilian traffic.”

Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2016

If there were 2 features that will be missed with the departure of the Acura MDX, it will be the console with the lower door fitted with non-skid ribs and the selector wheels located on the steering wheel. The non-skid ribs allowed for secure placement of a smart phone, or tablet, which would be kept in place by the stickiness of the ribs thus preventing the device from sliding around. Now if you were into some very spirited driving, then all bets were off on your device staying put.

Also noteworthy were Acura’s selector wheels which actually looked like little tires with tread and all. They were conveniently placed within thumbs reach and made adjusting the volume, changing a radio station or scrolling through vehicle information extremely easy. Simply roll the wheel up or down or toggle left or right. No need to look for a button to push just touch it with your thumb, it was almost sensory.

Class of 2017 - New Cars Ready to Roll

The Acura MDX is a driving partner that will be missed, especially on those long road trips. We found it very capable whether on the daily commute, a drive up the coast or shuttling family members around town.

We even liked it enough to name it the Luxury SUV winner of Kelley Blue Book’s inaugural
Best Buy Awards of 2015, and also named it one of the 10 Best Luxury SUVs. With those accolades it’s easy to understand why the Acura MDX is an admired and serious contender within its field.

See past reports for our long-term 2016 Acura MDX...


Long-Term Update: Comfort

Long-Term Update: Road Trip Lite

Long-Term Update: Utility

Long-Term Update: Powertrain

Long-Term Update: Road Trip II

More 2016 Acura MDX...

See full review and pricing information for the 2016 Acura MDX or build and price your own to unlock its Fair Purchase Price, 5-Year Cost to Own, and more.

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to TSX69 For This Useful Post:
Comfy (10-26-2016), Curious3GTL (10-25-2016)
Old 11-01-2016, 07:43 AM   #85
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb EveryManDriver

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2016, 03:07 PM   #86
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb MotorTrend

2017 Acura MDX 1st Test Review

Still The Best-Selling Luxury 3-Row of All Time. Why?

Edward Loh Words, Motor Trend Staff PhotosDecember 22, 2016
View all 3 Photos

Share this article

The Acura MDX is the best-selling luxury 3-row SUV of all time, and it has undergone a substantial refresh for the 2017 model year. A tweaked beak, optional 2nd-row captain’s chairs, 20-inch wheels, and an upgraded interior with wood trim and leathers headline the most significant changes.

Acura keeps things simple by offering only 2 main flavors of MDX. The volume seller is powered by a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated, direct-injection V-6 that makes 290 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. A ZF-sourced 9-speed transmission is the only transmission available in this MDX. In entry-level models, it routes power to the front wheels. Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, which sends power to all 4 wheels, is also available.

A hybrid MDX is propelled by combinations of 1 traditional internal combustion engine and 3 electric motors in a system called Hybrid Sport Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (HS-SHAWD), but we have yet to test it.
We did have a chance to strap data acquisition to an Acura MDX SH-AWD with the Advance package, as well as 2 rivals in its competitive set, at our 2017 SUV of the Year program. But before we did that, our staff had to weigh in on the new styling.

Read more on the Acura MDX from 2017 SUV of the Year testing

“This is the look Acura’s wanted and needed to have for years now,” senior features editor Jonny Lieberman said when he first laid eyes on the new Acura Precision Concept design language. “Acura needs more like this,” he continued, referencing the MDX’s new nose. The sharp metallic chevron has been replaced with what Acura calls “a diamond precision pentagon grille.” Others were not so sure the new look is an improvement.

“The exterior has lost some of the wackier design elements and is now best described as unremarkable,” international bureau chief Angus MacKenzie said. “The new grille is an improvement but still not elegant, with a mesh design that looks cheap and cheesy.”

At our test track, our 4,222-pound MDX sprinted to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds on its way to a 14.7-second quarter-mile time at 94.6 mph. Braking from 60 mph took 121 feet. The MDX needed 27 seconds flat to complete our figure-8 racetrack-in-a-bottle test, holding an average of 0.65 g of lateral acceleration.

Context for these numbers comes from the MDX’s chief rival, the all-new, thoroughly redesigned Audi Q7. Like the MDX, the Q7 is a luxury 3-row all-wheel-drive SUV with seating for up to 8 passengers. The Q7’s 3.0-liter direct-injection V-6 is half a liter smaller than the MDX’s, but it uses a supercharger to more than make up the displacement difference to the tune of 333 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. The Q7’s 8 -speed transmission has 1 less cog than the MDX but clearly isn’t lacking for it.

Despite being 772 pounds heavier, the Premium Plus Q7 we tested hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. This lead held through the quarter mile, which came in 14.0 seconds at 100.2 mph. That’s speedy. Equally impressive is that despite the portliness, the Q7 equals the MDX in braking (121 feet) and just nips it through our figure eight (26.4 seconds at 0.68 g).

Although it is significantly smaller and only has five seats in two rows, the Lexus RX is frequently cross-shopped against the MDX. Like the MDX, the RX comes in hybrid trim, and with a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6 in the volume seller. Engine output is similar, as well, at 295 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Also similar to the Q7, the Lexus only has 8 forward speeds in its transmissions. Despite smaller physical dimensions and the lack of a 3rd-row seat, the 2016 RX 350 F-Sport we tested is more than 300 pounds heavier than our MDX. The additional weight shows up in acceleration, as the RX 350 F-Sport hit 60 mph in 6.8 seconds on the way to a quarter-mile time of 15.1 seconds at 92.7 mph. A 60–0 mph braking distance of 123 feet is essentially a tie, and the Lexus posts figure-8 numbers just a touch behind the MDX: 27.1 seconds with an average of 0.63 g.

In fuel economy tests, the MDX really shines. Its city/highway/combined EPA rating of 19/26/22 mpg is the same as the smaller Lexus RX 350 F-Sport and betters that of the Audi Q7 (19/25/21 mpg). In the real world, the numbers are even more favorable. On our exclusive Real MPG cycle, the MDX far surpassed its EPA rating in each category, logging 20/32/24 mpg. The other 2 were not able to match the MDX, let alone their own ratings; the best the Lexus RX 350 F-sport and Audi Q7 could manage was 16/27/19 mpg and 17/26/21 mpg, respectively.
We had the luxury of having several editors test-drive the MDX, and the consensus was that the MDX’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system generally lived up to it’s name and made the vehicle “drive smaller than it is.”

“It has a surprisingly nice chassis on winding roads and one of the better FWD-architecture platforms in terms of steering, balance, and grip,” MacKenzie said. “Good power and response from the engine. It has a nicely measured demeanor when driven hard.”

Technical director Frank Markus was more measured in his praise. “Super Handling All-Wheel Drive can certainly be felt pulling the car out of the tightest turns—especially decreasing ones,” he said. “I still think that driving the vehicle with extra throttle to provoke yaw is a strange way of driving, so I am not totally sold on SH-AWD.”

It was even harder to find an editor sold on the performance of the 9-speed transmission; that isn’t surprising given the difficulties we have had with the same ZF unit in our long-term Honda Pilot.

“This powertrain is coarse, and it suffers from so much herky-jerky lash at low speeds that I wouldn’t be surprised to find a trio of broken engine mounts,” senior features editor Jason Cammisa said. “The 9-speed automatic is, as usual, irritatingly slow to respond.”

Drivetrain lash, or the propensity for the transmission to feel like it’s accelerating out of gear before engaging abruptly, also bothered associate editor Scott Evans. Road test editor Chris Walton had similar observations. “The transmission, even in Sport mode, was utterly baffled and held gears too long, upshifted too soon, and downshifted too late,” he said.

To be fair, spirited driving seemed to exacerbate some of the transmission issues; smoothly rolling on and off the throttle would usually but not always deliver the most seamless gear changes.

In terms of ride comfort, the MDX delivered a smooth ride, on-road or off-. “It’s very quiet, and the suspension sops up irregularities,” Detroit editor Alisa Priddle said. “AWD handles the dirt course easily.” Markus also noted the MDX’s implacability at highway speeds. “It has a very quiet cabin and little or no wind noise at 75 mph,” he said. “On the recreation of the California Highway 110, the MDX is much more comfortable than the Q7 was. I sense no gut jiggle.”

The 2017 Acura starts at $44,890 for the entry-level front-wheel-drive MDX. Our $57,340 tester was a MDX with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive and Acura’s Advance package, which adds LED foglights, real interior wood trim, a heated steering wheel, a 360-degree camera system, and the optional captain’s chairs for the 2nd row. The 2017 MDX scored the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s highest rating, Top Safety Pick Plus (TSP+), for the 4th year in a row and is on sale now.

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD (Advance)BASE PRICE $57,340PRICE AS TESTED $57,340VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 6-pass, 4-door SUVENGINE 3.5L/290-hp/267-lb-ft SOHC 24-valve V-6TRANSMISSION 9-speed automaticCURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,222 lb (58/42%)WHEELBASE 111.0 inLENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 196.2 x 77.2 x 67.6 in0-60 MPH 6.2 secQUARTER MILE 14.7 sec @ 94.6 mphBRAKING, 60-0 MPH 121 ftLATERAL ACCELERATION 0.83 g (avg)MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.0 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 19/26/22 mpgENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 177/130 kW-hrs/100 milesCO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.90 lb/mile
Article by Edward Loh
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2016, 05:35 AM   #87
Registered Member
RDX10's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 3,720
Thanked 400 Times in 333 Posts
^I seen this review earlier today on facebook. I had no idea that the MDX is the best selling 3-row luxury crossover, would have totally seen this title going to the q7. Good on them.
RDX10 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2016, 08:17 AM   #88
mrgold35's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: ABQ, NM
Posts: 4,169
Thanked 483 Times in 410 Posts
I can't wait to see the reviews of the sh-sh-awd MDX and how it compares to Q7, F-Pace, Infiniti, and Lexus.
mrgold35 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2016, 08:16 AM   #89
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb Alex on Autos

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2017, 08:19 AM   #90
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Exclamation Yahoo

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD

Car and DriverJan 2, 2017, 12:24 PM
View photos
Just like that 1 friend on Facebook who keeps shuffling through myriad profile pictures, luxury-car companies are always introducing new front grilles. Acura, a brand that struggles with identity issues, is the latest to do so, just as we were starting to get used its previous design, an inelegant shield most commonly referred to as a beak. The 3-row MDX crossover is the 1st recipient of Acura’s new, so-called “diamond pentagon” grille, part of its mid-cycle refresh for 2017.

Will the nose job help give Acura more character? We’re not so sure: The new front end looks cleaner and less bizarre, sure, but it’s also slightly cartoonish and less distinctive than the beak (for whatever that’s worth). Final judgment will have to wait until the diamond pentagon face makes its way onto other Acuras within the next few years.
View photos
Other than the new schnoz, not much else changes for the most popular Acura, and that’s a good thing. The MDX remains one of the most entertaining 3-row luxury crossovers to drive, which might sound like saying that Kim is the most intellectually stimulating of the Kardashians. But Acura’s sophisticated SH-AWD system, which incorporates a torque-vectoring rear differential, imbues the MDX with surprising athleticism. Push it into a corner hard and stand on the throttle, and the differential goes to work apportioning torque to the outside-rear wheel, quelling understeer and motoring you on your way with little drama. The MDX’s accurate steering rack and well-damped suspension also contribute to its dynamic poise. The ride is satisfyingly firm but not harsh, and overall responses are deft.

Bantamweight Competitor

The Acura’s curb weight of 4222 pounds also deserves plenty of credit for its lively performance. It’s several hundred pounds lighter than its closest 3-row competitor, the Infiniti QX60, which goes some way toward explaining how the 290-hp MDX nips the 295-hp Infiniti by more than a second in 0-to-60-mph acceleration. The MDX’s sprint of 6.0 seconds and its 14.7-second quarter-mile time are nearly quick enough to keep up with the field of more powerful and significantly more expensive 3-row luxury SUVs we tested recently, including the Volvo XC90, BMW X5, and Audi Q7. The 9-speed automatic added for 2016 also helps acceleration and fuel economy—the MDX is rated at 26 mpg highway, but we saw 28 mpg during our real-world test run at a steady 75 mph—but brings with it some quirks. It is frequently reluctant to downshift, has a console-mounted push-button shifter that takes some getting used to, and, on Advance models, includes a clunky engine stop/start system that’s not particularly smooth.

Where the Acura can’t measure up to more prestigious crossovers is on the inside. Although touches such as open-pore wood and contrasting piping for the leather seats are welcome, the MDX simply doesn’t feel as special as the plush Audi or the gorgeously trimmed Volvo. Fit and finish is good, but the MDX’s dashboard has a mostly plain design and uses plenty of utilitarian-looking materials. The dual-screen setup for controlling the radio, navigation, and climate settings is dated at best and infuriating at worst. Tasks that should be simple, such as turning on the heated seats or changing radio stations, require using the lower touchscreen, which has a complex menu structure and is slow to respond to inputs. We hope Acura’s new infotainment system will be much better.
View photos
Passengers will be happier in back, where they’ll find a comfortable second-row bench seat (captain’s chairs also are available) with its own easy-to-use, button-operated climate controls. The 3rd row is predictably cramped, but at least the 2nd row slides forward to give kiddos back there a bit more room.

MDX in the Middle

It may be a bit unfair to compare the MDX’s interior with those posh European competitors, since the Acura does cost quite a bit less than the Audi and the Volvo. Our fully loaded MDX SH-AWD Advance model rang up a bill of $59,340, a significant sum to be sure, but considerably less expensive than versions of the Q7 and XC90, which can easily push past $70,000. Choose fewer option packages and the MDX can be had for less than $50,000, at which point the Acura starts to look like even more of a bargain among its peers.

The MDX, like Acura as a whole, continues to occupy a sort of middle ground, a bit below true luxury but certainly above mainstream brands. It also remains competent, practical, and surprisingly lithe for a seven-passenger crossover, all attributes that make it a smart buy for well-heeled families. Although the MDX’s interior is starting to show its age, Acura hasn’t messed with success here, whatever you think of the nose job.
Specifications >

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED: $59,340 (base price: $46,890)

ENGINE TYPE: SOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 212 cu in, 3471 cc
Power: 290 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque: 267 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

Wheelbase: 111.0 in
Length: 196.2 in
Width: 77.2 in Height: 67.4 in
Passenger volume: 133 cu ft
Cargo volume: 15 cu ft
Curb weight: 4222 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 6.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 16.5 sec
Zero to 110 mph: 20.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.4 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.7 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 113 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 188 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.83 g

EPA combined/city/highway driving: 22/19/26 mpg
C/D observed 75-mph highway driving: 28 mpg
C/D observed highway range: 540 mi

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2017, 08:42 AM   #91
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Arrow NY Times w/ Video


The 2017 Acura MDX Is the Whole Package, Minus a Frill or 2

DrivenBy TOM VOELK DEC. 29, 2016

Driven 2017 Acura MDX

The 3-row Acura MDX is the right size for slinging through urban streets in rewarding fashion. Now, how about a little pizazz in the cabin?By TOM VOELK on Publish Date December 29, 2016. Photo by Martin Campbell. Watch in Times Video »
Automotive product planners have a tough job. They wrestle with what to put in or leave out in order to deliver a profitable vehicle that appeals to the masses.

It seems those at Acura have mastered that art with the MDX. The company crows that it’s the best-selling premium 3-row crossover in history. It helps that S.U.V.s have become the dominant segment in the United States. Apparently, our poor roads mean all-wheel drive is becoming a necessity.

To better battle the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60 and Volvo XC90, the Acura folks have freshened the 2017 MDX with the usual new wheels, a different rear fascia and shiny trim along the doorsills.

But the headline in the spotter’s guide is Acura’s new face. The controversial bionic beak is gone, replaced with a less polarizing pentagonal grille flanked by redesigned LED headlamps. Call it simple or call it generic, it will call to those repulsed by the Darth Vader face found on the Lexus RX.
And compared with the RX, the MDX provides an extra row of seating. Good planning there. There’s value, too.

A front-wheel-drive version can be had for $44,890. The high-zoot AWD Advance copy I drove retails for $57,340 lacking only the $2,000 rear-seat entertainment package. (Hey, children have iPads.) Consider that a base, rear-wheel-drive BMW X5 starts at $56,495. For 2017, those in charge at Acura wisely equipped all MDXs with lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, auto braking with pedestrian detection, and road departure mitigation. On top of adding safety, it’s wildly marketable.

The 3.5-liter V6 remains with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A push-button controller for the 9-speed transmission takes time getting used to. Its manual mode is controlled by steering wheel paddles. Drive modes adjust throttle response, steering weight, gearbox mapping and the amount of engine growl allowed into the cabin.

Driving briskly, I saw 19 miles per gallon against the E.P.A.’s rating of 19 city, 26 highway on premium fuel.

A Sport Hybrid version is supposed to arrive midyear. Projected to deliver an additional 7 miles per gallon in city driving, it will also have 35 more horsepower. The classic win-win situation. The hybrid will also come with an adaptive suspension.

The MDX is already satisfyingly quick and doesn’t really need active dampers. Its road manners are excellent, both comfortable and sporty in the same hard turn. Handshakes and backslaps to the engineers who tuned the chassis. Also, the MDX is a reasonable size, adding to its nimbleness, especially in parking lots.

Super Handling All-Wheel Drive — or SH-AWD, as Acura abbreviates it — offers up a palpable edge in brisk maneuvers. Instead of pulsing the inside rear brake pad to sharpen handing, SH-AWD vectors additional torque to the outside rear tire, pushing it around the bend in a more natural fashion.

The MDX’s upgrade does not include much in the cabin, and this is where I find the Acura execs too budget-minded. Cut-and-sewn dashboards, dramatic LED light piping, and panoramic glass roofs have become the norm in premium vehicles. Even though it uses quality materials, the MDX lacks all that spiff.

Its dual-display interface (the lower portion being a haptic touch-screen unit) isn’t nearly as elegant as Volvo’s system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not supported, though Siri Eyes Free is.

On the plus side, supportive heated and vented seats are your friends on long road trips. Rich open-pore wood trim is clearly from real trees. And some might buy the MDX for the terrific ELS sound system alone.

Top Advance models swap the 2nd row’s bench seat for captain’s chairs, dropping the seating capacity to 6. Row 2 pampers with a separate climate zone and heated seating that slides fore and aft.

There’s no shortage of generous storage cubbies, USB jacks and power ports throughout the vehicle, either.

A button push slides the middle row forward so youngsters can scamper back to Row 3. But leave that space to children; adults will be happy there only if it means not having to take an Uber.

Let’s not overuse the phrase “1st-world problems,” but the MDX has no kick-to-open tailgate feature. And like all triple-row S.U.V.s, it has minimal cargo room in maximum passenger configuration. Row 3 is not powered, but drops and raises easily. And once the seats are flattened, the MDX holds an average amount of kit for the class. (This is where I remind you that minivans are far more spacious.)

Playing armchair product planner, I’d throw a modest amount of money at the dashboard and door panels for some stitching and lighting. It would elevate the MDX experience a full level, perhaps even distract buyers from the tiny sunroof and marginal user interface.

But I wouldn’t change the overall goodness of the MDX. No wonder it’s so popular.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2017, 08:46 AM   #92
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb TopSpeed

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2017, 06:17 AM   #93
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb AutoGuide

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2017, 07:30 AM   #94
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb AutoWeek

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD review with specs

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD review: Smooth, powerful and quiet

A concerning glimpse of our autonomous future

January 16, 2017
This thing is stylish -- probably overstyled, if I’m being honest. I do like how it looks though. It’s way better than the previous generation. Look at the front end. The jewel-eye headlights sit at the corners, the Superman-shaped grille has little pieces drawing your eye to the logo. Then we move lower, the fog lights are now jewel eye too, the wind-cheating fins angle air into the intakes and even the lower bar has alternating chrome pieces that reflect the light. It’s busy. It’ll probably be polarizing.

Inside, like the TLX we just had, the MDX has super-soft seats; they’re almost Lexus comfy. I had to take Mrs. Road Test Editor, the new kid and Aunt Miriam to dinner last night, and we all had plenty of space. The radio/infotainment system is a little confusing, but once you get the dual screen usage down, it wasn’t that bad. I’d still like a normal knob for tuning. I hate flipping through the radio by jabbing at a screen.

Power is adequate from the V6, and I didn’t notice the 9-speed until I was braking. It sort of surges then dips, then surges, then dips as you’re braking towards a stop. It’s worse in S mode. It’s hard to modulate without concentrating every time you hit the left pedal.

I don’t know if there’s any car I truly like in the 7-passenger segment. The Durango is OK. I don’t like the Traverse. The GMCAcadia is nice, and that’s probably the one I’d pick. If I didn’t need a 3rd row, which I don’t at the moment, I’d still take the Grand Cherokee ... it just feels right for midsize SUVs.

-- Jake Lingeman, road test editor

I got a glimpse of our autonomous future in the Acura MDX over the weekend. Equipped, as it is, with "collision mitigation," which is an automatic braking system that can completely stop the vehicle when a collision is perceived to be imminent (emphasis added by me), our MDX just about threw me through the windshield for no apparent reason on a sunny Friday afternoon. I had slowed for a right-turning vehicle ahead of me; the car turned and I began to accelerate again when the Acura suddenly applied full lock for no apparent reason. There wasn't a car within 100 yards of the front of me, and thank God there wasn't someone behind me. I could visualize a nasty rear-ender taking place, possibly followed by a shooting if some 2nd-amendment enthusiast behind me thinks I brake-checked him.

Yes, it can be turned off via a button beneath the steering wheel, but it has to be done on every vehicle restart and this combination lifesaving/life-ending feature (roll the dice!) is unfortunately standard across the MDX range.

It's unfortunate, because the rest of the MDX is a nice package -- a bit pricey, but with a smooth, powerful driveline and very quiet interior, along with excellent fuel economy. Still, there's no way I can recommend a vehicle, especially a family utility, that may, without warning, lock the brakes for no apparent reason.-- Andrew Stoy, digital editor

If the recently launched Mazda CX-9 didn’t exist and wasn’t so damned good, this would probably be my favorite 3-row crossover. It’s arguably Acura’s best offering.

The V6’s power is plenty and comes on smoothly (so 1 would expect from Honda) and the 9-speed, new last year, is smooth, too. The drivetrain would be even more fluid, except the stop-start system isn’t the smoothest around. It's a bit abrupt.

Road manners are generally good. It rides firmer than a lot of crossovers out there but nothing over the top -- it hustles on down the road just fine (confession, I had it in comfort mode). It’s quiet going too, and the stereo kicks out the jams nicely.

Thankfully, I didn’t experience the sudden slam on the brakes digital guru Stoy dealt with and, also thankfully, I didn’t read this file before hopping in the MDX. I would have spent my drive time paranoid it was gonna happen to me.

The interior is good quality and intuitive. I’m of two minds on the push-button shift: Part of me thinks it’s a bit gimmicky, but it does indeed free up space and give the cabin a cleaner look and more airy feel. The seats are terrific.

Back to my beloved CX-9. The last 1 I drove was a loaded-to-the-hilt Signature with a $14,425-cheaper sticker than this MDX. The Mazda is the way to go if you want to inject some driving fun (relatively speaking) into daily duties. Especially for the price.

-- Wes Raynal, editor

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-13-2017, 07:23 AM   #95
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb RedLine

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 07:22 AM   #96
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Talking WardsAuto

New MDX Hybrid Acura Prices CUV Below Comps Engines content from WardsAuto
Acura MDX Hybrid Set at Low End of Large-Luxury Scale

Mar 30, 2017 Christie Schweinsberg WardsAuto Comments0The new Acura hybrid CUV will undercut the Lexus RX 450h and Infiniti QX60, as well as plug-in hybrid CUVs from BMW, Mercedes and Volvo.
'18 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid on sale in April in U.S.
SEATTLE – Acura positions its forthcoming MDX Sport Hybrid as the lowest-price entrant in the U.S. large-luxury hybrid CUV segment, confident it can achieve the incremental volume it wants from the CUV.

Acura expects the new hybrid to account for 5% of overall MDX sales. In recent years it has sold 55,000-60,000 units of the CUV annually in the U.S.

The 3-row MDX will start at $51,960 when it reaches U.S. Acura dealers next month, below the $53,035 and $53,500 starting prices of the Lexus RX 450h and Infiniti QX60 hybrid CUVs and well south of the plug-in hybrid trio of the BMW X5 Xdrive 40e, Mercedes GLE 550e and Volvo XC90 T8.

“We think we’ve established a strong winning position (with specifications and by undercutting the competition),” Gary Robinson, manager-Acura product planning, tells attendees here at an ’18 MDX Hybrid media event.

Acura calculates its advantage is $1,075 against the RX and up to $15,840 with the GLE. The 3 European PHEVs start in the $60,000 range, but often transact above $70,000, Robinson says.

MDX Sport Hybrid fuel economy comes in at 26/27 mpg (9.0-8.7 L/100 km) city/highway, falling shy of the 2-row Lexus RX’s 31/28 mpg (7.6-8.4 L/100 km) city/highway rating. However, Acura officials here emphasize the MDX provides more total horsepower with the MDX than the RX, 321 hp vs. 308 hp.

“This is our unique way to express our performance,” Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager-Acuram says of using the NSX supercar’s 3-motor hybrid system under the hood of the MDX.

The 3-motor system has 2 36-hp motors, separated by a 1-way clutch to vector torque side-to-side between rear wheels, and a 47-hp front motor integrated to a 7-speed DCT powering the front wheels. The engine in the MDX hybrid is a 257-hp 3.0L SOHC V-6.

The variant wears many of the same styling cues as Acura’s non-hybrid MDX, which was refreshed last year for ’17 with the brand’s new diamond pentagon grille and higher-quality interior materials such as open-pore wood. The slight styling differences for the hybrid include a lower aero kit, body-color side sills and stainless-steel pedals.

Acura claims the MDX is the No.1 premium 3-row CUV purchased by those under 35 years old and it sees a similarly young buyer for the MDX hybrid, noting those buying large luxury hybrid CUVs tend to be younger than large luxury non-hybrid CUV buyers due to the need for seating for young families. They also have a keen interest in technology and eco-friendly attributes.

The brand sees the typical MDX hybrid buyer as a Millennial or on the younger end of Generation X and making $250,000 or more in annual household income. “It sounds like kind a little bit of a unicorn, but those people are out there and interested in this type of vehicle,” Robinson says.

The MDX Sport Hybrid will be assembled at the MDX’s new home in East Liberty, OH. Some MDX production is continuing Honda’s Lincoln, AL, plant as East Liberty ramps up.

This week, the Japanese automaker announced it was investing $85 million in Lincoln, also home to 3 Honda-brand models (Odyssey minivan, Pilot large CUV, Ridgeline midsize pickup) to increase the plant’s flexibility. Phase 1 of the project calls for an expansion of vehicle-assembly Line 1, slated for completion in 2018.[email protected]

Last edited by TSX69; 03-30-2017 at 07:27 AM.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2017, 07:31 AM   #97
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Red face Tfl

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2017, 07:33 AM   #98
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb Driving Embargo Lifted Next Tuesday

Last edited by TSX69; 03-31-2017 at 07:45 AM.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2017, 09:11 AM   #99
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Smile AutoLine

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 11:57 AM   #100
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb AutoBlog

A smoother operator 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid 1st Drive

A subtle blend of technologies.

  • Engine3.0L V6 + 3 Electric Motors
  • Power321 HP / 289 LB-FT
  • Transmission7-Speed DCT
  • DrivetrainAll-Wheel Drive
  • Curb Weight4,484 lbs
  • Seating2 + 2 + 3 (As Tested)
  • MPG26 City / 27 HWY
  • Base Price$52,935
Alex Kierstein
There's a lot to unpack when trying to understand the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid. Acura is billing it as a three-row crossover infused with NSX technology via a sport-oriented hybrid drivetrain. So it's a hybrid crossover, sure. But it doesn't comport itself like a traditional crossover, nor is it a conventional hybrid. What it is, underneath, is an intentionally subtle blend of impressive technologies doing their best to appear transparent – and it's too subtle, I fear, to be appreciated by those who'd like it the most.

This is a lot of foreshadowing, but if you're not familiar with the MDX Sport Hybrid's powertrain, let's fill you in. The MDX Sport Hybrid uses the same basic system as the
2014 RLX Sport Hybrid, with some newer NSX battery tech sprinkled in, packaged neatly into the refreshed third-generation MDX platform. The system improves handling and efficiency – but more important, it smoothes out the harshness of shifts and engine stop-starts.

We do need to examine the system in some detail to understand how all this affects the MDX as a whole, so let's go toe to tail. Up front is a transversely-mounted 3.0-liter V6 making 257 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque, as well as featuring i-VTEC and cylinder deactivation. It's slightly smaller than the 3.5-liter V6 found in the conventional MDX and many other Honda and Acura products. Attached alongside is a Honda-produced 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that has a 47 hp, 109 lb-ft electric motor-generator stuffed inside. Amidships are the battery pack and the electronics to control it, and stretching aft from there are large cables feeding power to a pair of electric motors that reside in single housing, one for each wheel. Together, they produce electron witchcraft and torque-delivery wizardry – and add 72 hp and 108 lb-ft of torque to the mix. The total system output is 321 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque – a gain of 31 hp and 22 lb-ft over the conventional MDX SH-AWD.

Beyond the raw numbers, there's the remarkable subjective benefit of the Sport Hybrid's drivetrain. 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. While there's some fuel economy benefit (the city rating jumps 45 percent to 26 mpg in EPA testing), the 1.3 kWh pack isn't big enough to provide an EV-only mode, so it's best to think of it as an elaborate assist system for the gas motor that adds more power and smooths out some rough spots. Sure, it provides some green benefits on the side, but that's not the modus operandi of this equipment.

When I use the terms "smooth" and "near-seamless," I'm not exaggerating. To be fair, it performs just as well in the RLX Sport Hybrid, and has for a few years now, so it's a shame that vehicle is so criminally overlooked. This is just the first time the hardware's found its way into the MDX, and, as Acura hopes, more garages than the RLX.

In the interim between the RLX Sport Hybrid and the MDX Sport Hybrid, Acura produced a new sportscar.
You might have heard of it; it wears a classic name but differs drastically in concept from its predecessor. The NSX uses some of this hardware in a slightly different way, but basically the rear twin-motor unit and the battery cells are shared between the NSX and the MDX Sport Hybrid.

The smaller, more energy-dense cells developed for the NSX result in a similar capacity to the RLX at a smaller size. Instead of eating up a lot of trunk real estate, as it does on the RLX Sport Hybrid, the MDX Sport Hybrid's battery unit fits under the front seats and doesn't intrude on the passenger compartment at all. It just takes a peek inside to discover there's no space-robbing hump or cargo area intrusion to give away the hybrid's game.

That's because the third-generation MDX was designed from the outset to swallow this powertrain. While there's some additional weight, about 220 lbs, all the MDX Sport Hybrid needs are some light-weight crossmembers to support the battery pack and tweaked rear subframe to handle the additional weight. That means the vast majority of increased mass is due to the powertrain rather than structural reinforcements. And this is not offset by the use of lots of expensive exotic alloys or composites. It's mostly regular MDX save those crossmembers, said Ken Lantz, an Acura engineer who patiently took every question I had about structural differences. He explained that the company takes a lot of pride in packaging efficiency. That's an engineer's boast if I've ever heard one.

The Sport Hybrid gains body-colored lower side sills and little fender badges, about all there is to distinguish it from a conventional MDX, but behind the A-pillars the body is also mostly pre-facelift MDX. Like its conventional sibling, it's been debeaked: That large chrome strip in the grille has been replaced by the "Diamond Pentagon" grille treatment. The multi-element headlights also grow in size, and gain some company in similar-looking foglights nestled in a more complex lower fascia. Compared to the 2016 models, it's more handsome – but considered as a whole, it's distinctive at the expense of attractive. These hawkish, angular family styling tropes really hold the MDX back, although neither of its main Japanese competitors – the Lexus RX450h or the Infiniti QX60h – are anything to shake a stick at.

Inside, the '17 MDXs gain a comfortable, roomy second row of captains chairs as an option, and unless you desperately need the extra seat I'd suggest equipping them. The third row seat is tight, but not overly so for the class – and it'll be fine for the kids. Most of us reading this review won't have to be back there much, so out of sight, out of mind, right? Opting for the Advance Package nets the captains chairs as well as an attractive open-pore wood trim – the wood type is dependent on which interior color theme you choose. May I recommend the Espresso? It's a lovely brown that warms up the interior a bit.

And the interior needs it. The unfortunate bi-level infotainment system remains, and with it comes weedy response time and a graphic interface that looks more appropriate to an older Playstation console than a near-luxury vehicle. In fact, look around and you see a lot of Honda lightly overlaid with nicer Acura materials, which is not unexpected – but even so, a few more dollars spent to elevate it beyond its Honda Pilot sibling would be appreciated inside. Tidbits like the Sport Hybrid-exclusive aluminum sport pedals, which are exactly the little splash of special that buyers in this segment crave.

The MDX Sport Hybrid's real uniqueness comes into play once in motion. As I described above, that's partially due to how smooth it is in all operating modes. This is also a performance-oriented system, so the MDX Sport Hybrid is quick enough in the real-world measure of passing a weaving, wheezing jalopy on a two-lane road. Plant your foot in the throttle and there's instant pull without much of a wait for a downshift or three. And roadholding on the wet, sinuous roads winding along the foothills of the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle was tenacious.

Dialing up the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS – Acura-speak for drive modes) also ratchets up the drama. Sport increases the damping rate, provides more steering feedback, and increases the amount of torque vectoring. Sport+, which is exclusive to the Sport Hybrid, allows for first-gear starts, changes the shift points, provides a more aggressive throttle map, and allows for maximum battery assist from a standing start.

What no mode enables is a feeling of increased confidence. For one, the uncommunicative steering means that placing the MDX Sport Hybrid accurately in a freeway lane takes some attention. And while the SH-AWD's connection to the road might be excellent, and the way it moves torque across the rear axle to improve handling is technically impressive, the connection to the driver is lacking. Sure, this is a crossover, so expectations are low. But the strange thing about the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD system is that system might keep you from sliding into a wet ditch under the moss-bearded trees, but it won't provide you with reassuring signals that the grip is, indeed, there. It's doing it for you rather than with you – and it's unsettling. The uncanny valley of good handling, you might call it.

So if you consider the MDX Sport Hybrid's grip a safety net, you won't mind. But if you want to derive enjoyment from taking a corner crisply, look elsewhere. And that's even considering the continuously variable dampers, developed by ZF and an upgrade over the passively adaptive dampers in the conventional MDX. Even the MDX Sport Hybrid's lower center of gravity isn't enough to help some bucking and tossing as the big lug transfers weight through an aggressive corner. Your third-row occupants might mutiny if you try it. What did you expect from a vehicle that weighs 4,484 lbs?

Back to reality. 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. The three-motor setup is neat, doesn't require a PhD to understand, and provides some real-world benefit to the driver on a wet onramp or on the pass headed to the ski slopes, if maybe less so on a back-road romp.

The smoothness really comes to the fore when driving the RX450h or QX60h, both of which Acura had on hand and both of which compare poorly to the MDX – especially the Prius-writ-large RX450h, saddled with a CVT and which transmits its green(er) cred through measured lurches, futuristic droning, and a not-insignificant amount of whining. And the QX60h might have one of the best CVTs in the business, but it's a milquetoast loaf next to the MDX Sport Hybrid's superior DCT/motor combo.

There are other areas that the Lexus and Infiniti shine, but the MDX Sport Hybrid's suaveness is paramount in this company. But note what Acura benchmarked the MDX against but didn't bring along: the BMW X5 xDrive 40e, Mercedes-Benz GLE550e, or Volvo XC90 T8 – all plug-in hybrids, all sophisticated to drive, and all offering some EV-only range.

The X5 40e, to single one of those competitors out, embodies a considerably different philosophy regarding driver involvement. You can jockey the drive mode to Sport for max regen and drive it with one pedal, or lock it in EV-mode to glide around (or get a quick jolt of instant torque). Not all the choices are optimal, but the driver's largely in charge. That's a far cry from the MDX Sport Hybrid, which likes to make the final call about which of the vehicle's drivetrain components do what task at any given time.

So the MDX Sport Hybrid stands a bit apart from the crowd. Its innovative and phenomenally capable drivetrain is perfectly engineered to provide an exquisite but subtle experience that takes some concentration to appreciate. If you consider the contemporary zeitgeist, attention spans aren't really our strong suit right now. If you can sit still long enough to savor what the MDX Sport Hybrid has to offer, you'll probably enjoy it immensely.

Related Video:
Featured Gallery2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid: First Drive
  • Image Credit: Acura
Create alerts for any tag below
Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from auto manufacturers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance for the purpose of evaluation and editorial content. Like most of the auto news industry, we also sometimes accept travel, lodging and event access for vehicle drive and news coverage opportunities. Our opinions and criticism remain our own — we do not accept sponsored editorial.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 12:05 PM   #101
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Talking MotorTrend

2017 Acura MDX Hybrid First Drive Review: A Small Piece from the NSX - Motor Trend

2017 Acura MDX Hybrid First Drive Review: A Small Piece from the NSX

Driving kids to soccer practice could get more fun

Miguel Cortina Words, Manufacturer PhotosApril 4, 2017

Share this article

In a time when crossovers and SUVs are selling hot, Acura is launching its first hybrid SUV. By incorporating part of the hybrid technology from the NSX, the luxury brand not only wanted to improve fuel economy but also sought to increase the performance of its best-selling model. The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid arrives with more power than the regular MDX, and with standard all-wheel drive it delivers a confident drive with no compromise.

When the 3rd generation of the MDX was shown at the 2013 New York auto show, the engineers had already designed the chassis to support a hybrid system without sacrificing interior space or cargo volume. But it wasn’t until a year after the three-row luxury SUV received its mid-cycle refresh that Acura showed the hybrid version. The MDX Sport Hybrid’s powertrain is composed of a 3.0-liter V-6 coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with a built-in electric motor. A twin motor unit in the back provides torque to the rear wheels for a more responsive driving experience. There’s also a power control unit and an intelligent power control unit with a 1.3-kW-hr lithium-ion battery pack located beneath the driver’s seat. Both units come straight from the NSX. A regenerative brake system provides energy to the battery in a hardly noticeable way. The result is a total output of 321 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque. That’s 31 hp and 22 lb-ft of torque more than the regular MDX. However, fuel economy is up 45 percent in city driving according to the EPA, delivering 26/27/27 mpg in city/highway/combined. (The regular MDX is rated at 18/26/21.)

Read our First Test on the non-hybrid 2017 Acura MDXRIGHT HERE

By placing the hybrid powertrain in the center of the underbody, Acura lowered the center of gravity by 26mm, giving the MDX Sport Hybrid less body roll. This was noticeable during our drive in the windy roads outside of Seattle, where the three-row SUV handled the curves with confidence. The Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system lived up to its name, and even when experiencing wet roads and big puddles, the MDX hardly lost any traction. Although most of the time we drove in Sport mode, the MDX Sport Hybrid also shined in Normal mode—it demonstrated a quick acceleration, thanks to instant torque delivery from the hybrid powertrain. Comfort and Sport+ modes are also available. When driving in Sport and Sport+, drivers will feel a stiffer steering and suspension. (Sport+ adds more throttle mapping and higher rpms.) Acura said that when driving only in Sport+, fuel economy numbers will decrease. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission performs smoothly, and drivers can manually shift using the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

The 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid is offered with Technology and Advance packages. The 1st offers room for up to 7 passengers and is equipped with wood accents, stainless steel pedals, and exclusive interior trim. However, we spent all of our time driving the model with the Advance package, which has room for six passengers, ditching the middle seat in the second row in favor of a center console and captain’s chairs. This package also adds goodies such as a heated steering wheel, premium Milano leather with contrast stitching, heated and ventilated front seats and 2nd-row heated seats, a surround-view camera system, and LED foglights. There are 7 USB ports throughout the cabin, and even those traveling on the 3rd row can charge their device while using it. That 3rd row is easy to access, but once I sat in it, this 6-foot journalist had trouble with the head- and legroom. If parents are picking up kids from soccer practice, the 3rd row should be fine for that.

Inside, the ride was serene with minimal road noise and comfortable seats. The wood accents provide a nice touch in the cabin, but we weren’t so excited about the all-black interior. Three other interior colors are also available, though (Graystone, Parchment, and Espresso). Like the regular MDX, the Sport Hybrid offers a dual-screen infotainment system, and we can see how the hybrid powertrain works in real time, thanks to a graphic you can display on the top screen.
All 2017 MDX hybrids are equipped with AcuraWatch, a suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies that includes a collision mitigation breaking system, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow and road departure mitigation, auto high-beams, and blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert. Like for the non-hybrid MDX, Acura expects the Sport Hybrid to get Top Safety Pick+ in IIHS tests and a 5-star overall rating from NHTSA.

Once the MDX Sport Hybrid rolls into showrooms later this month, it will compete against a range of models including the
Lexus RX 450h and the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid. If we bring the luxury plug-in hybrid SUVs to the field, you could consider the BMW X5 xDrive40e, Mercedes-Benz GLE550e, and Volvo XC90 T8 to be competitors, too. Acura’s pricing strategy involves undercutting the all-wheel-drive version of the QX60 hybrid and all-wheel-drive-only RX 450h by about $1,000.

Acura sold more than 55,000 MDXs in the U.S. last year. 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.

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 12:23 PM   #102
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Cool Automobile

First Drive: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Automobile Magazine

1st Drive: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

A touch of NSX for the leather-clad family hauler

By: Ed Tahaney April 4, 2017
SEATTLE, Washington — The wet, winding roads of the Pacific Northwest are no match for the all-new 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. Apparently for the folks at Honda’s upscale brand, neither are mouthful names.

The hybrid MDX offers more power and better handling thanks to its Sport Hybrid SH-AWD powertrain technology, which helps inspire more confidence behind the wheel — especially in the rain, which Seattle is famous for getting plenty of. The AWD helped us stay us glued to the asphalt as we splashed through a partially flooded country road with barely a wiggle.

It’s the top 3-row SUV among under 35-years olds says Acura. Its updated tech was previously introduced in the RLX sedan and NSX supercar, both of which we also get a chance to sample.Comparisons to the NSX are sprinkled throughout the morning presentation and while Acura’s SUV and supercar are miles apart in many departments, they share quite a bit of hybrid chicanery.Both feature three high-powered electric motors — the MDX hybrid has one up front and a twin motor in the rear, while the NSX has them in reverse order (front versus rear V-6 engine too) — that provide electric torque vectoring capability and substantially improve fuel economy. And like the NSX, the MDX hybrid offers plenty of torque on demand.

The hybrid MDX’s front-mounted V-6 engine is 3.0-liter unit that offers 257 hp and 218 lb-ft of torque. Its mated to a smooth 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which includes the front motor.

That motor provides 47 hp while the rear Twin Motor Unit (TMU) adds makes 72 hp for a combined system output of a healthy 321 hp and 289 lb-ft of torque. The compact, high-output motors provide instant, precise torque sent exactly to the wheels that need it as you tap your foot on the SUV’s stainless steel sport pedal.

Thanks to that setup, the MDX hybrid can hit 60 mph in an estimated 6.1 seconds. Not bad considering the SUV weighs in at healthy 4,471 pounds, which you don’t necessarily feel thanks to the extra power and torque.

Tackling the hilly streets of Seattle, where we kept the SUV mostly in its comfort and normal modes (there are four driving mode in all; the other two sport, and sport+) was a breeze. Power delivery is immediate and the steering felt relaxed, tighting up a bit when switching to sport mode for the associated more responsive ride. The rainy weather kept us from pushing MDX, but we didn’t lose any traction during the day’s mostly sedate ride.

Compared to the conventional MDX, which is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, the hybrid version offers an extra 31 hp and 22 lb ft of torque for a mere $1,500.

The hybrid version seems like an easy choice for small families that will be mostly shuttling the kids, dog, and groceries around town. It’s not a bad deal, unless you want to use the SUV for towing, as Acura does not recommend using the hybrid for pulling work; in that case, you’re better off buying the gas-version, which can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Acura says the third-generation MDX was designed with the hybrid variant in mind. It offers the same interior cabin and ground clearance as its non-hybrid counterpart. The hybrid system’s Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) resides underneath the driver’s seat, Power Control Unit (PCU) under the 2nd row seats, and the TMU is located below the third set of seats. Aside from the badging, you can’t tell it apart from its sibling.

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. This is especially noticeable as we drove the SUV outside of the city along Washington’s picturesque farm roads surrounded by the snow-capped Tiger Mountains.

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 along Washington’s Snoqualmie River. Depending on the turn, it can feel like a gentle push and pull from front to the back wheels or wheel
nearest to the inside of the turn.

Styling follows the most recent design direction that was inspired by the sporty Precision concept we saw last fall at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show. It sports the new diamond pentagon grille that we’re expecting to see on the refreshed 2018 TLX sedan.

Up front, there’s plenty of legroom for the driver and front passenger to stretch out in. The elegant dash is angled toward the driver and easy to read. The second row is nearly as good for space, and the third row is cozy enough for 2 6-foot tall passengers to reside.

The MDX SH SH-AWD’s super quiet cabin can seat 6 or 7 passengers, depending on the trim level chosen. We tested the advance version with second row captain’s chairs that seats 6 versus the base model that can seat 7. The latter offers more space between second row passengers and offers better rear window visibility for the driver.

Inside, there’s plenty of dark, wood trim, cup holders, and USB chargers for the whole family. We counted two power ports, an auxiliary charger, and a USB port up front, plus two more for the second row, and another two for the third row.

Sadly, the small sunroof seems more like an afterthought, but we appreciate that it at least opens for some fresh air. Acura claims that the hybrid averages about 26/27 mpg city/highway. We averaged around 25 mpg during spirited testing of its four driving modes.

A base MDX Sport Hybrid with the technology package starts at $52,935 and the advance version we drove starts at $58,975. It’s priced slightly below its main competitors — the Infiniti QX60 hybrid, Lexus RX450h, and BMW X5 xDrive 40e. Having the opportunity to test the QX-60 hybrid and Lexus RX450h the same day, the MDX SH seemed to offer a peppier ride and more torque feel during our initial driving impressions.

The tech package seats 7 and includes the active damper system, AcuraWatch safety technology, navigation system, blind spot with cross traffic mitigation, leather seats, 20-inch wheels, remote start, and power folding windows.

Acura’s advance package gets all of the above while seating only six passengers because of the second row, heated captain chairs with a center console. It also gets fancier leather options, open-pore wood accents, front seats with heat and ventilation, surround view camera, sunshades, LED fog lights, and welcome lights. The heated seats and steering wheel are a must for colder climates and recommended highly — especially if you live in the Seattle area.

Acura’s MDX SH SH-AWD SUV is available in seven flavors with four interior options. We tested a Crystal Black Pearl model with an Ebony interior. While we love to own a NSX as our daily driver, the MDX hybrid is much more practical alternative for families.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Specifications

ON SALENowPRICE$52,935/$58,975 (base/as-tested)ENGINE3.0L SOHC 24-valve V-6 engine/257 hp @ 6,300 rpm, 218 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm; front electric motor/47 hp, 109 lb-ft; twin rear electric motor/72 hp, 108 lb-ft; combined/321 hp, 289 lb-ftTRANSMISSION7-speed dual-clutch automaticLAYOUT4-door, 6-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUVEPA MILEAGE26/27 mpg (city/highway)L X W X H196.2 x 77.8 x 67.6 inWHEELBASE111.0 inWEIGHT4,471 lbs0-60 MPH6.1 sec (est)TOP SPEEDN/A

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 12:34 PM   #103
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Smile SlashGear

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid First Drive: 1st of the hybrid SUV breed, best of the hybrid SUV breed
Benjamin Hunting - Apr 4, 2017
Acura has been on the electrification bandwagon since the slow-selling, current-generation RLX sedan was introduced in 2013, but with this latest effort – the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid – people are actually going to take notice. Sure, the battery-assisted NSX supercar has gotten more than its fair share of attention, but the loyal folks who drive the premium brand’s sales are far more interested in SUVs and MPGs than they are in lap times and turbochargers.

The 7-passenger MDX has long been a volume leader for Acura, which made it the next natural recipient for the performance-oriented hybrid powertrain that the brand is excited to present as its new identity. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as Acura is facing the most concentrated competitive onslaught it has ever witnessed, with not even its mighty MDX / RDX one-two punch immune to the slings and arrows of an SUV-crazed product push.
The good news for Acura is that the MDX is already standing on solid ground thanks to a recent refresh of the gas-only model. Still, it’s important to consider the standard version of the sport-utility vehicle as a mere starting point for the Sport Hybrid, which is quicker, more nimble, and somehow less thirsty than its platform-mate.

At the crux of it all is the Sport Hybrid system itself, which marries a 3.0-liter V6 engine with a single electric motor integrated into the vehicle’s 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission as well as and a pair of independent electric motors attached to the rear axle. Altogether the setup is good for 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, easily besting the larger engine in the gasoline MDX by 31 ponies. Intriguingly, the ability of the vehicle’s all-wheel drive system (SH-AWD in Acura parlance) to selectively call into action the electric motors riding out back offers the SUV a quicker take on torque vectoring. The versatile design not allows for electric-only pull-away from a stop, but also selective braking (or ‘negative torque’) application to the inside wheel while cornering, sending the electricity generated in the process directly to its opposite number, overspeeding the motor, and pirouetting the vehicle that much more effectively.

Sound complicated? It is, and the number of different operating modes made possible by the Sport Hybrid system can sometimes feel overwhelming. There’s limited EV-only operation for hypermilers, a Sport+ setting that keeps the gas engine operating at all times in order to accentuate acceleration (which is surprisingly rapid), and several other discrete states intended to tackle specific driving conditions.
For the most part, the Acura MDX does all of the thinking for you and presents the results as transparently as possible. It’s quite difficult to detect the transition from electric-only to gas-assisted driving, and even on the twisting Washington state roads where I had the opportunity to test out the Sport Hybrid, I couldn’t sense the torque vectoring’s invisible ballet routine, nor the ministrations of its adaptive shock absorbers (also unique to the model). What I could do was observe the results: the MDX Sport Hybrid handles curves in the road with a confidence and poise rarely found for a vehicle its size, gracefully leaping over the low bar presented by other 2 and 3-row hybrids.

Does that mean I felt compelled to drive the Acura in anger and wrest every scrap of grippy performance out of the experience? Not at all. The MDX Sport Hybrid is still intended to serve best as a plush people mover, and everything else – including the 40 percent or so improvement in combined fuel economy that its 27-mpg rating represents – is merely a bonus for those willing to kick in the $1,500 premium above a comparably-equipped MDX SH-AWD Advance package.
Sandwiching the 1.3-kWh battery pack between the floor and the SUV’s belly pan means no sacrifices when it comes to moving cargo, human or otherwise. There’s ample second row room, especially with the handsome (and optional) captain’s chairs installed in place of the standard bench, and the third row is adequate for both children and adults who still occasionally shop in the children’s section at H&M. The MDX Sport Hybrid also happnes to be pleasingly quiet at speed, and can be had with an impressive array of active safety technologies.

The decision to start the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid at $58,000 keeps it accessible to current MDX owners interested in upgrading on the power and efficiency front. In effect, there’s little reason to not snag the battery-assist if you’re already shopping for a well-equipped gas model, and it’s easy to imagine that parent company Honda is keeping the Sport Hybrid’s sticker so low in a bid to boost the profile its gung-ho embrace of EV technology. It’s hard to ague with the end result: a competitive, and versatile 7-passenger option for curious premium customers and Acura faithful alike.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 12:42 PM   #104
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Talking Truth

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid First Drive Review ? Power to the Little People

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

3.0-liter V6, SOHC (257 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm; 218 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm)

3 electric motors (119 hp; 217 lb-ft)

Combined output: 321 horsepower

Seven-speed dual-clutch transmission; all-wheel drive

26 city / 27 highway / 27 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

26.0 mpg (Observed)

Base Price: $52,935

As Tested: $58,975

Prices include $975 destination charge.

You might look at the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid and think, “Hmm … maybe it’s just me, but that looks a lot like the normal 2017 MDX.”

But don’t be fooled. This seven-passenger midsize SUV is just an incognito NSX; a tiger in Montessori parking lot camouflage. Hey, sometimes you have to ferry around the kids — and, holy God, have you ever tried hauling groceries in a two-seater? Those multiple trips eat into “you time.”

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but that’s what Acura wants you to think. Honda’s luxury division is in the midst of overhauling its image, and it’s doing so by injecting a little NSX into its products — both spiritually and mechanically. While that supercar, reborn as a hybrid last year following a decade’s absence, might seem totally removed from Acura’s popular — and tastefully refreshed — MDX, some familiar DNA appears beneath the new Sport Hybrid’s sheetmetal. (It also appears in the RLX sedan, if you weren’t aware.)

Oh, you’ll get better fuel economy with the MDX Sport Hybrid, but don’t talk to your friends about that. You bought it for the power. Capisce? When it shows up on dealer lots later this month, Acura expects the MDX Sport Hybrid to woo a small but not insignificant number of buyers with the promise of guilt-free performance. Rather than following the tried-and-true route — shoehorn in a larger engine, or maybe strap on a turbocharger — Acura went a different direction. Why not use technology you already have on the shelf?

More specifically, why not use glitzy hybrid technology borrowed from a highly marketable mid-engine supercar?

That’s more or less what Acura has done here, only with the drivetrain configuration reversed. Instead of a gasoline engine and electric motor powering the rear wheels, with dual electric motors providing power to the front, it’s the opposite. The setup quickly sends torque to all four wheels, while boosting the power quotient well above a stock MDX. Combined fuel economy grows 28 percent over the gasoline-only all-wheel-drive model. Again, the all-but-invisible RLX Sport Hybrid boasts the same setup, albeit with a larger gas engine.

The question you might be thinking is, “Why bother?” All this hardware adds cost, and the MDX remains an
exceptionally stable sales performer. Hybrids aren’t the easiest sell, either. Meaningful styling updates, on the other hand — like swapping out the much-loathed “shield” grille for a newly corporate “diamond pentagon” mouth for 2017 — seem like an easy way to save a seven-passenger SUV from wallflower status. For the most part, yes. But the Sport Hybrid’s role is twofold. Foisting go-faster electrical bits aboard existing models might help Acura craft (or rekindle) a high-tech, high-performance image, but it also gives it an entry in a fledgling segment. One simply can’t leave the higher-end hybrid SUV field to Lexus, Infiniti, Volvo and zee Germans.

“In the premium segment, especially family SUVs, this is an emerging segment,” explained Gary Robinson, Acura’s product planning chief. “In one year, the size of the market has effectively doubled.”

Robinson’s referring to the likes of Lexus’ RX450h, Infiniti’s QX60, BMW’s X5 Xdrive 40e, Mercedes-Benz’s GLE 550e, and Volvo’s top-rung XC90 T8.

The automaker’s marketing eggheads are pretty sure they know exactly who’ll shell out for a MDX Sport Hybrid — affluent, young folks (in the premium SUV sense of the term) with 1 or 2 precocious offspring; the type who demand the kind of prestige that’s only delivered by technology, with those extra miles per gallon serving a lifestyle image first, and bank accounts a distant second. The added grunt serves any driver’s ego, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

“It’s not so much about puppies coming out of the third row seats,” said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager, about the ads lined up to tout the Sport Hybrid’s performance prowess. Even premium buyers aren’t immune to nickel and diming. Putting on its Hyundai hat, Acura figured a lowest-in-segment price might sweeten the pot — hopefully making the Sport Hybrid “the vehicle people think of,” said Robinson.

At $51,960 (plus a $975 destination charge), the
vehicle’s base MSRP sits just $1,500 higher than the AWD gas model. The gap’s the same when both vehicles are outfitted with the ultra-lux Advance Package, and hybrid fuel economy gains could potentially erase that premium after a few years of ownership.

More importantly, this ute rings in at more than one-thousand clams below its Japanese competition, and 5 figures below its European rivals. Young Brayden and Brittany’s college fund applauds.

So, after flying us out to Seattle, Acura allowed us to stretch the MDX Sport Hybrid’s legs in the highly variable topography of the Pacific Northwest. First, we played spot the difference, drinks in hand, at a rave-like dining venue (you’re so trendy, Seattle). Minus the new grille, the meaner, creased face, the elegantly integrated tailpipes and interior wood — “crafted” wood, we were informed — there’s little to give away the hybrid system’s presence save for slightly more aggressive side sills, sport pedals, and small “Hybrid” badges borrowed from the RLX.

I suggested to Ikeda and Robinson that if the performance angle of the new powertrain is what Acura wants to flaunt, perhaps the model’s full name should appear on the fender — instead of the eco-weenie label of “Hybrid.” (I’m sure industry types just love this kind of advice.)

There may have been murmurings of what seemed like agreement from both men — for whatever reason, the badge was kept off the NSX after the RLX Sport Hybrid bowed — before a helpful PR manager quickly intervened to avoid any juicy quotes.

“We want the whole brand to be about performance,” said Acura’s PR head Matt Sloustcher. “The hybrid just brings things to a new level.”


The drive up to a Snoqualmie Ridge country club provided ample opportunities to test the vehicle’s electrically bestowed torque vectoring, or so it should have, had slow-moving farm vehicles and torrential rain not turned the twisty roads into opportunities lost. Oh well, Washington State remains a charming place.

That’s not to say the triple-motor hybrid system didn’t do its job. It did, but it did so with a seamlessness that made it go unnoticed to the driver, which is what all engineers hope for. Crawling away from a stop up an Everest-like incline in downtown Seattle, the twin motor unit driving the rear wheels brought us up the grade under oh-so-gentle throttle pressure; its combined 72 horsepower and 108 lb-ft of torque providing a gentle push. You could expect greater distance on flat ground, with the twin motors (connected via a one-way clutch) drawing as much range as throttle input will allow from the 1.3 kWh battery pack — “Intelligent Power Unit” in Acura parlance — located under the front seats.

While cruising down the I-90 back to the city, we noticed the tach needle suddenly fall to zero at speeds below 55 mph, with no impact on forward momentum. It’s small interventions like these where the Sport Hybrid makes its economy gains. Rated at 26 miles per gallon city, 27 highway and 27 combined, the hybrid MDX tops its gas-guzzling sibling by 8 mpg in the city, 1 mpg in the city, and 5 mpg combined. We hit 26 mpg for the trip.

If you’re curious to see where all that juice is flowing in real-time, simply bring up the power delivery schematic on the SUV’s upper media screen.

Strap on a lead boot (like when passing slow-moving farm vehicles), and everything joins the party. The 47 hp electric motor built into the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission — which works as the starter — comes online, along with a 3.0-liter V6 that’s smaller and lighter than the stock MDX’s 3.5-liter unit. Gas-only power equals 257 hp and 218 lb-ft.

In an all-motor dance, the Sport Hybrid taps a combined 321 hp and 289 lb-ft. Compare that to the stock rig’s 290 hp and 267 lb-ft, saddled with all the power delivery delays inherent with gasoline engines and automatic transmissions (in this case, a nine-speed).

There is one significant drawback to this vehicle, though it’s easily solved by purchasing a stock all-wheel-drive MDX. The Sport Hybrid won’t tow. Sorry, ecologically sensitive, power-hungry boaters. (Acura claims less than 8 percent of buyers in this segment ever bother to hitch up, so it’s not likely to break many deals.)

Throughout the drive, power and responsiveness felt natural and substantial, and the cross members straddling the vehicle’s battery and power control unit (PCU) lend extra stiffness to an already well-composed structure. It’s just a pleasant-riding vehicle. Road craters and fissures, while harder to find in this temperate region, didn’t overtax the Sport Hybrid’s active damping system, which Acura claims boosts ride comfort to the tune of 25 percent. Having an extra 220 lbs of gear below the floorboards also lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity, improving balance and handling.

Make no mistake — you’re not likely to see a 39-year-old family man drifting this rig through the Bed Bath and Beyond parking lot anytime soon. Still, there are 4 soft-through-sporty driving modes to choose from, including Sport+, should that father of two (or one) feel like stiffer steering, more damping and maximum power delivery. In Sport+, the engine stays on continuously to feed the battery. As Ikeda told me, sometimes your wife is driving, and sometimes you’re driving.

Age and responsibility has a way of taming the urge to cut loose, but that button remains just aft of the push-button shifter should those rebellious feelings arise. Meanwhile, you’re just riding in a top-rated premium midsize SUV with plenty of comfort, extra power, and greater fuel economy. Even if that fender badge doesn’t scream it, you’ve reached a good spot in your life.

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 12:47 PM   #105
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb AutoGuide

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 01:08 PM   #106
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Cool AutoGuide

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Review - AutoGuide.com News

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Review

The NSX of SUVs... No, Really!


Get AutoGuide.com in your Inbox

Like AutoGuide.com on Facebook

View LargeBy Craig Cole Apr 04, 2017 Photos by Ben Sanders (and video) and Acura
According to the fine folks at Acura, its MDX family hauler is the best-selling 3-row luxury SUV of all time.

Supporting this claim, drivers have snapped up some 50,000 examples annually for 5 consecutive years. This is obviously a hugely important product for the Japanese brand.

To keep the MDX fresh, the company’s design and engineering teams refreshed it for 2017, adding more features and technology while increasing luxury. But the biggest change they made is the addition of a gasoline-electric model, which offers greater performance and significantly enhanced efficiency.

Don’t believe me? Well, here’s proof: The new MDX
Sport Hybrid"><font color=Sport Hybrid" /> Sport Hybrid">Sport Hybrid
variant is rated at 26 miles per gallon in urban driving and 27 on the highway (9.1 L/100 km city, 9.0 highway); that’s practically compact-car efficiency from just a few years ago, all with an http://rover.ebay.com/rover/13/0/19/DealFrame/DealFrame.cmp?bm=367&BEFID=96424&acode=306&code=306&aon=&crawler_id=208580983&dealId=auzJiVPoPedGhywkU-MJcw%3D%3D&searchID=&url=https%3A%2F%2Fautoplicity.com%2F9228202-wrench-rabbit-wr101-081-wr-engine-bottom-end-kit%3Futm_source%3DShoppingCom%26utm_medium%3DCSE%26utm_campaign%3DShoppingComNOFITMENT&DealName=Wrench%20Rabbit%20Complete%20Engine%20Rebuild%20Kit%20In%20A%20Box%20Wr101-081&MerchantID=507376&HasLink=yes&category=0&AR=-1&NG=1&GR=1&ND=1&PN=1&RR=-1&ST=&MN=msnFeed&FPT=SDCF&NDS=1&NMS=1&NDP=1&MRS=&PD=0&brnId=2455&lnkId=8070676&Issdt=170402051327&IsFtr=0&IsSmart=0&dlprc=388.91&SKU=9228202 that whips up 321 horsepower.

3 Motors, 2 Clutches, 1 Surprising Parts Car

How did they deliver these impressive figures in an SUV that weighs some two and a quarter tons? http://rover.ebay.com/rover/13/0/19/DealFrame/DealFrame.cmp?bm=367&BEFID=96477&acode=344&code=344&aon=&crawler_id=507376&dealId=fPFXmaU8CLU2U9-1gWSRQA%3D%3D&searchID=&url=https%3A%2F%2Fautoplicity.com%2F3280694-tyc-blower-motor%3Futm_source%3DShoppingCom%26utm_medium%3DCSE%26utm_campaign%3DShoppingComNOFITMENT&DealName=Tyc%20700077%20Acura%20Integra%20Replacement%20Blower%20Assembly&MerchantID=507376&HasLink=yes&category=0&AR=-1&NG=1&GR=1&ND=1&PN=1&RR=-1&ST=&MN=msnFeed&FPT=SDCF&NDS=1&NMS=1&NDP=1&MRS=&PD=0&brnId=2455&lnkId=8070676&Issdt=170402051327&IsFtr=0&IsSmart=0&dlprc=60.59&SKU=3280694 engineers drew on their considerable experience building hybrids, borrowing a bunch of components and technology from the http://www.autoguide.com/new-cars/2017/acura/nsx/__base__/coupe/index.html

That’s right, this utility vehicle shares several significant parts with the brand’s revered supercar. For instance, these 2 models use the exact same motors, battery cells, and power-control unit.

The heart of the MDX’s hybrid drivetrain is a 3.0-liter gasoline V6 that delivers 257 horsepower and 218 lb-ft of torque on its own. Bolstering those figures is a trio of electric motors. One is buried inside the transmission while the other 2 are found at the rear axle where they provide torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. The rear wheels are only driven by these motors; no mechanical prop-shaft sprouts from the transmission. Storing and releasing electrons as needed is a small 1.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
With 6 cylinders burning and 3 motors turning, total system output peaks at 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, 31 more horses than in a non-hybrid MDX, with, as mentioned, up to 45 percent better city fuel economy.

Welcome Enhancements

The MDX range has been refreshed for 2017, with the most obvious visual change being the addition of Acura’s “Diamond Pentagon Grille.” Helping integrate this new styling motif is a reworked hood and new front fenders. Rounding things out, the sills have been tweaked, as has the rear fascia, which now gains dual-exhaust outlets.

Sport Hybrids feature standard 20-inch wheels, but other additions for the new model year include things like LED headlamps with automatic high beams, an electronic parking brake, and convenient capless fuel filler. Seven exterior colors are available, while the interior can be had in four different hues.
Pausing for a little inward reflection, the Sport Hybrid’s cabin is appropriately premium with bountiful soft plastics and beautiful open-pore wood trim in models equipped with the top-level Advance Package. It’s just a shame the vehicle’s 2-screen infotainment system is so clunky and confusing. This is one aspect that definitely needs work.

Increasing versatility, the MDX’s cushy (and optional) 2nd-row bucket seats fold and slide at the push of a button, making access to the way-back as easy as possible. Unfortunately, its rear-most accommodations are best reserved for small children, though that’s no surprise.

But what is rather shocking is this vehicle’s versatility. Since all its hybrid bits are basically mounted underneath the floor, there’s no loss in cargo space, which maxes out at more than 68 cubic feet when all the seats are folded flat.

The Drive

Punch it, and the Sport Hybrid is unexpectedly quick for an SUV, with the engine pulling vigorously, especially as it approaches redline. This trait seems especially noticeable in the Sport+ setting, one of four different drive modes provided by the vehicle’s Integrated Dynamics System, which allows you to tailor the suspension, steering, and powertrain-performance feel to your preference.

This electrified MDX features an Acura-designed seven-speed automatic transmission. Surprisingly, it seems to be very well behaved. Initially, I was worried it might shudder or jerk like other dual-clutch models on the market but that was not the case. In fact, my only complaint with this gearbox centers on its odd electronic shifter. I don’t know how many times I put it in reverse when I wanted to go forward.
Aside from this small user-interface complaint, the powertrain is pretty seamless. While driving, the engine will shut off at times, allowing the Sport Hybrid to sail along on battery power for short periods. When internal combustion resumes once more, there’s scarcely any indication that hydrocarbons are being oxidized; the only real tell is that the tachometer needle starts moving.

Enhancing safety and convenience, the AcuraWatch suite of advanced driver-assistance technology is standard in every new MDX. This includes features like adaptive cruise control, road-departure mitigation, and forward collision warning. But perhaps the best thing is lane-keep assist, which is damn good. If there are decent lines on the road, you can take your hands off the steering wheel for an uncomfortably long time, though this is by no means recommended. During testing, I kept my paws hovering just an inch or two away from the wheel’s rim so I could resume control in a split second if necessary, though I never needed to. I eventually got tired of holding my arms out in front of me and resumed steering normally.
The Sport Hybrid’s ride is quiet and composed, even on coarse, rain-battered roads, which can cause quite a commotion in less-insulated vehicles. Curiously, I didn’t notice much of a difference between Comfort, the softest setting offered by the Integrated Dynamics System and Sport+, the most aggressive. The vehicle’s ride seems to be universally smooth, though my opinion might be different had I had tested it on more bomb-cratered surfaces, such as the ones found in my home state of Michigan.

This electrified model is positioned as the most luxurious and performance-oriented offering in the MDX range. Compared to a standard all-wheel-drive version with the uplevel Advance Package, Sport Hybrid models seem to perform comparably despite being some 227 pounds porkier (they tip the scale at a claimed 4,484 pounds). Of course, this is at least partially offset by an additional 31 peak horsepower (combustion-powered variants have 290 ponies on tap). The tit-for-tat continues, as hybridized versions feature a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic, but the combustion variant has 2 more gears in its ratio stack. Which one has the edge? Truth be told, their acceleration is probably strikingly similar. With a full battery, the Sport Hybrid ought to hit 60 miles an hour in the neighborhood of six seconds.When it comes to cornering, the MDX exhibits remarkable body control, staying flat through tight turns at speeds that are enough to make its tires squeal. In theory, the Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system should help it change direction with greater enthusiasm; in practice, it seems rather pointless as nobody should be pushing an SUV hard enough on the street to worry about getting the body to rotate.

Complaints about the way this vehicle drives are minor. I find the steering to be a touch too light and I’d like more aggressive regenerative braking from the powertrain. When I take my foot off the accelerator this vehicle keeps on rolling; I would prefer it to start slowing down, putting energy back into the battery pack.

Unlike other hybrids, the brake pedal feels pretty natural underfoot, though, again, more regen would be appreciated. At initial application not much seems to happen, the vehicle doesn’t slow down very much, a heftier stab of the decelerator is required to really slow things down, which is probably dissipating all your forward momentum as heat. I’d rather have it go into the battery, though with a capacity less than 1.5 kWh it’s probably full after just a handful of brake applications so it really doesn’t matter.

The Verdict: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Review

Aside from being an all-around solid product – offering a comfortable and luxurious cabin, engaging dynamics and stellar fuel efficiency – competitive pricing won’t hurt the Sport Hybrid’s showroom performance, either. In fact, the addition of this electrified model will probably only increase the MDX’s longstanding sales lead over rival models. It starts at right around $53,000 in the U.S. including delivery fees, just $1,500 more than an all-wheel-drive gasoline-powered model. If you’re interested in driving one of these electrified Acuras home, examples should be arriving at dealerships as you read this.Discuss this story on our Acura MDX Forum
  • Remarkable Efficiency
  • Reasonable Pricing
  • Rapid acceleration
  • Refined drivetrain
  • Clunky infotainment system
  • Weak regenerative braking
  • Steering is too light
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2017, 02:52 PM   #107
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Arrow C&d

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD First Drive Review Car and Driver
First Drive Review
2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Acura's biggest hit gains a hybrid halo.

  • https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-acura-mdx-sport-hybrid-sh-awd-first-drive-review-1%3Fbuild-2017033121
The promise of hybrid technology is that it can make vehicles better—more efficient, superior in performance, and more satisfying to drive. But that hybrid halo often is held on by bobby pins and duct tape. In many luxury hybrids, off-the-rack gasoline-electric technology can make for an underwhelming, slow-witted driving experience, even if they sometimes are objectively quicker than their less expensive nonhybrid counterparts.

The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is a rare exception, as it lives up to its potential, at least upon our first exposure. Part of the reason likely is the years of intense development behind its key hybrid components. Core items from the NSX supercar (and the forgotten—and forgettable—RLX Sport Hybrid sedan) have been transplanted into what is the brand’s best-selling vehicle. The technology that makes the NSX so ferocious in the corners and so drama-free in general adds confidence, a sharper driving experience, and more miles per gallon to this high-riding, 7-passenger family wagon.Better Reaction Times All Around

The nonhybrid MDX SH-AWD is a tough act to follow; it’s among the best-handling 3-row crossovers, with quick, well-weighted steering and well-controlled body motions. Both MDX models feature an all-wheel-drive system—optional in the regular 1, standard in the hybrid—that sends more torque to the outside rear wheel during hard cornering, but the Sport Hybrid goes a step further with the ability to apply resistance (and recover energy) at one rear wheel while it’s delivering forward momentum to the other. It thus achieves a sophisticated and more nuanced form of torque vectoring. The hybrid system also does away with a mechanical connection between the engine and the rear axle. Instead, a Twin Motor Unit (TMU) packages 2 36-hp motors together at the rear. They fill gaps in the engine’s torque curve to sharpen accelerator response in the hybrid compared with the conventional model, and Acura engineers boast that the system takes just 90 milliseconds to fully adjust the torque distribution among the wheels versus about 0.2 second in the regular MDX. In front, a third, 47-hp electric motor spins with the input shaft of the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and has 3 roles: delivering supplemental torque, helping smooth out shifts, and acting as a generator.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.The gasoline engine steps aside as the headliner of the show, even though it remains the essential piece. In place of the direct-injected 3.5-liter V-6 in other MDX models, the hybrid has a 3.0-liter V-6 with port injection, the smaller displacement enabling it to skirt a China-market tax on larger engines. The entire system makes 321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft, or 31 hp and 22 lb-ft more than the nonhybrid models.Moving along with city traffic, it’s clear that Acura’s hybrid know-how extends to more than carving up mountain-road esses. The hybrid system brings the V-6 seamlessly into the mix with a wet multiplate clutch, finessing the low-speed drivability issues that can plague such a setup. Accelerate gently and the MDX hybrid launches silently, as a rear-wheel-drive electric vehicle. The V-6 comes on shortly thereafter, although it often switches off when coasting (at speeds up to 56 mph). We also saw it cycle off in steady 40-mph cruising.

The fine MDX driving experience hasn’t been adulterated in any other way. It includes well-blended brakes and precise, nicely weighted steering. There’s a fair amount of body lean, as expected in an SUV like this, but the adaptive dampers do a great job filtering out road harshness. Push hard into tight corners and you might find yourself dialing in too much steering input, as the outside rear motor nudges the vehicle’s rotation, preempting understeer. A quick loop in a Lexus RX450h—the top seller among the MDX hybrid’s U.S.-market rivals—showed a sharp contrast with the way Acura’s hybrid system doesn’t change accelerator response as the power sources swap in and out, thus reinforcing the idea that the system works as one cohesive unit.Aiming to Blend In

Compared with the NSX or even the RLX, there was a greater effort to make the hybrid technologies invisible in the MDX, according to product planning manager Gary Robinson. The priorities here were simply strong acceleration and balanced performance, and outside of knowing when the engine switches off and on, it’s hard to discern what the hybrid system is doing and where torque is being delivered.There nevertheless are 4 driving modes in the Sport Hybrid, up from three in other versions of the MDX. They vary throttle response, steering effort, and damper behavior. The one that’s hybrid-exclusive and takes advantage of this model’s added performance is Sport+, which keeps the engine running all the time, freeing up the front motor to maximize acceleration and to assist with shift quickness.

Acura says the hybrid kit adds 227 pounds to the curb weight of the MDX versus the standard AWD model—which is already roughly 200 pounds heavier than an equivalent front-drive version. But because much of the hybrid hardware is mounted low in the chassis, the Sport Hybrid has a center of mass that’s about an inch lower. The fitment of all this extra hardware has no effect on packaging. Ground clearance is the same as that of the standard MDX. Seating is still comfortable for 5 in the 1st 2 rows (or four, if you get the Advance model and its 2nd-row captain’s chairs) and good enough for kids in the third row; the seats fold neat and flat; and cargo space is uncompromised.

If the motor systems around the axles are the muscle of the hybrid system, the Intelligent Power Unit (IPU) and Power Control Unit (PCU) are its brain and nerve center. Both have benefited from NSX development, and they’re mounted on additional structures (with crossmembers to help protect them) that span the width of the MDX’s underbody—essentially where the driveshaft otherwise would go. The PCU is liquid cooled, while the IPU, where the 72-cell, 1.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack lives, is located under the center console and cooled with air from the cabin.Why Not Go Hybrid?

There are 2 ways to get the Sport Hybrid. The Technology package versions include 20-inch wheels, remote start, blind-spot monitoring, and navigation. The Advance package adds features such as heated and ventilated front seats, upgraded Milano leather with contrast piping, open-pore wood trim, heated second-row captain’s chairs with a center console, sunshades for the 2nd row, and LED fog lamps. All MDXs now come with crash-mitigation braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and other active-safety features.

Given the hybrid’s boost of 8 mpg in the city and 1 mpg on the highway versus the standard all-wheel-drive MDX at an extra cost of just $1500, it’s hard to conceive of a reason not to get the Sport Hybrid over the standard MDX—even for those who tend to do more highway driving.

There are a couple of drawbacks, however. For all the NSX-derived wizardry, the system in the MDX Sport Hybrid isn’t really meant for high-speed driving. At 84 mph, just short of the rear motors’ 11,000-rpm redline, a one-way clutch decouples them from drive duty. Beyond that speed, the nonhybrid models, with their larger 3.5-liter V-6 and less weight, likely would start pulling away from the hybrid. The more significant issue is towing. Whereas the standard all-wheel-drive MDX is rated to tow up to 5000 pounds, pulling a trailer is not recommended at all for the hybrid, according to powertrain development leader Ken Lantz, who claims that the majority of MDX owners don’t tow anyway.Other than badging, there’s not much to visibly distinguish the hybrid from other versions. All MDXs received a light refresh for 2017, one that’s most noteworthy in front, where Acura shed the last remnants of the former model’s awkward metallic beak, subbing in a more conventionally styled grille. The hood gets some corresponding new character lines, there are new wheels, and the return of dual exhausts sum the exterior changes for the 2017 MDX lineup. Inside Acura has introduced 2nd-row captain’s chairs and revamped some of the trim and surfaces. The company expects the MDX hybrid’s target buyer to be both significantly younger and more affluent than those who go for the nonhybrid models. Considering that, the hybrid’s interior feels conservative—if a bit drab—for the mission. And years after its introduction, Acura’s dual-screen infotainment system still confounds and infuriates.

Acura expects to sell only 5 to 10 percent of all MDXs in hybrid form, but perhaps that will prove to be an underestimate. For all the complexity, the hybrid gear makes the MDX better to drive and less thirsty. Here, the halo seems real.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2017, 07:47 AM   #108
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Talking AutoWeek

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid road test with horsepower, specs, price and photos

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid 1st drive: Big is relative

Acura's three-row SUV gets by on style and tech, not size

April 4, 2017


  • Facebook
  • Tweet
  • Pinterest
  • Email
It doesn’t matter if a car is big. It matters if it feels big, if it looks big, if it drives big. The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is big. It has a third row that’s not just for legless subway riders, a 2nd row that fits above-average humans and the same cargo space, despite the extra hybrid tech, as the non-hybrid version. But it doesn’t feel big, look big or drive big. That’s what a few electric motors will do for an SUV.

The new MDX Sport Hybrid, on sale in late April/early May, adds 31 hp over its gas-powered twin for 321 hp total, while also getting 45% better city mileage at 26 mpg. The reason? It has the powertrain from the
Acura NSX. Well, not the NSX's exact powertrain. For starters, it’s laid out in reverse, but it's a powertrain strikingly similar to the company’s latest hybrid supercar.

The Sport Hybrid, Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive MDX (we’re going with “SH-SH-AWD” again) gets a 3.0-liter V6 up front and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with an integrated electric motor in the middle. That’s followed by the Intelligent Power Unit (the battery pack providing power to the front and rear motors) then the Power Control Unit (dictating the system's power management) and finally to the twin, 36-hp, 54 lb-ft electric motors directly connected to the rear axle for torque vectoring duties. The
NSX has the same twin motor setup, but at the front axle. “In the NSX, the system is supposed to be noticeable,” says Gary Robinson, Acura’s product planning manager. “In the MDX, it works behind the scenes.”

The 7-seater got a mid-cycle refresh this year with new sheetmetal from the A-pillar forward. That’s great considering we’d all like to forget the pointy beak/shield days of the past. Acura just got over its
Bangle moment. The new front end is stylish -- some might say busy, with jewel-eye-style headlights and fog lights, a huge Acura logo and a grille that brings your eyes right to it. We’d say the last model was restrained in front. This one is anything but.

The Sport Hybrid joins the
Lexus RX450h, Infiniti QX60 hybrid and the BMW X5 xDrive 40e in the all-wheel-drive, hybrid luxury SUV segment. The RX, Infiniti and Acura start in the low $50K range, with the X5 40e in the low $60,000 range; the Mercedes GLE hybrid and Volvo XC90 hybrid are in the upper 60s.

Keeping passengers comfortable is a set of new continuously controlled dampers getting their information from a control unit in the back, allowing it to adjust in milliseconds. The setup has a wider range of control than the previous versions, leading to more comfort, says Acura. Those dampers also change with the drive modes (comfort, normal, sport and sport plus), along with throttle response, shift strategy, hybrid boost, steering and engine sound.


Between the comfort setting and the coddling seats, the MDX Sport Hybrid transports its occupants on a cloud of leather and technology. Even in its softest setting, though, it doesn’t feel big or unwieldy at the steering wheel. Looking into that third row, it doesn’t seem that far back. I adjusted the driver’s seat for myself, hopped in the second row and did the same, then crawled into the 3rd row (the 2nd row folds down with a button push, but it doesn’t get completely out of the way). At 5-foot-10, I fit with my feet flat on the floor, though my knees were up a bit, and I can honestly say I could have ridden there for an hour without complaint. Well, I would have complained, but my heart wouldn’t have been in it. 1 weird thing: There’s a bump in the ceiling above the left 3rd-row passenger (a seatbelt anchor)and it takes up an inch or 2 of headroom. If you’re riding solo back there, stay on the right.

Even though I love the front seats, the rest of the dash and instrument panel don’t feel super luxurious. It has an upper and lower screen, but the lower one just features more buttons, ones harder to hit at speed. I do enjoy having the navigation on the upper monitor constantly, but I think a smoother, single screen setup would look more coherent. There’s a knob for volume, but radio tuning is done by jabbing at the lower screen -- not easy to hit while keeping your eyes on the road. There isn’t a head-up display, either, which is peculiar for the class of vehicle. Other than the central area, the dash has a clean look with porous, matte woodgrain accents. It has the company’s push-button transmission, freeing some space, but it's semi-annoying to learn and use.

Acura had the Lexus and Infiniti competitors to drive, and going back to back to back, the MDX was the most enjoyable to pilot by a long shot. Of course, both of those competitors use whiny CVTs while the MDX has a DCT -- much better for spirited driving.
In sport or sport plus mode, the MDX is genuinely fun to drive for a 7-passenger SUV. Like I said, the electric torque off the line makes it feel a size smaller than it really is. In those modes, the steering firms up (in normal and comfort modes, it’s a little lazy) and the chassis tightens down. In sport, the seven-speed does a great job picking gears and downshifting -- important, considering the speed of the shifts isn’t neck snapping, and I’m pretty sure the steering-wheel paddles are just for show. However, it suffers none of the slow-speed jerkiness that quicker dual-clutch transmissions do.

Washington State's soaked back roads were no match for the MDX. It felt planted in turns, especially when on the throttle. The twin-motor torque-vectoring system sends power to the outside rear wheel around sweepers, setting the SUV up for quick directional changes without much body roll. Standing water puddles didn’t do much to upset the balance, either.

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. It’s rewarding to watch that battery meter move back toward the “full” reading.

We tried the lane keeping and automatic cruise control on both the highway and country roads. The cruise worked well, and the distance it leaves between cars is shorter than you’d expect. That means fewer people can cut you off and slow you down even more.

The lane keeping still needs a little work. It was good for keeping the MDX in between the lines on the highway, but it only read the lane markings about half the time on the back roads. You really can’t take your attention away from the wheel or traffic, ever. Until these systems can do that, count us out. The MDX hybrid isn’t recommended for towing, so keep that in mind as well.

Car Reviews

2017 Acura NSX first drive: The rebirth of slick

There aren’t many cars more anticipated than the new Acura NSX. Saying the old car had just a cult following would be doing a disservice to its rabid and massive fan base. Fanboys—still ...


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.
Jake Lingeman - Jake Lingeman is Road Test Editor at Autoweek, reviewing cars, reporting on car news, car tech and the world at large.
See more by this author»On Sale: Late April/early May
Drivetrain: 3.0-liter V6, twin electric motors, seven-speed dual-clutch, AWD
Output: 321 hp, 289 lb-ft
Curb Weight: 4,471 lbs
Fuel Economy: 26/27/27(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)Pros: Nimble in wet weather
Cons: No head-up display, lane keeping still needs work

Read more: http://autoweek.com/article/car-reviews/2017-acura-mdx-sport-hybrid-first-drive-big-relative#ixzz4dNH54KbP
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 08:23 AM   #109
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Exclamation Jalopnik

The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Really Does Feel Related To The NSX

The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Really Does Feel Related To The NSX

When Acura stuffed the NSX’s hybrid system into its three-row MDX people mover, they did what few rarely achieve: they made a big luxury crossover fun to drive. Not only is the MDX Sport Hybrid one of the most fun factory sleepers you can buy, it’s cheaper than most of its cushy hybrid crossover rivals, too.Acura is trying incredibly hard to reposition itself as a youthful, “sporty” brand again, leading with a pack of hybrid cars geared more towards performance than out-smugging your aging hippie neighbors.The 321 HP MDX Sport Hybrid is a far cry from the Integras that dominated my high school parking lot, but it’s entertaining enough when you mash the go-pedal that I’m actually letting myself get excited about where Acura seems to be going now.

(Full disclosure: Acura flew me out to Seattle, put me in a hotel downtown, kept me fed and happy for a couple days, sent us down some good, twisty roads with the MDX Sport Hybrid and even let me drive the NSX for a short loop. They would not, sadly, let me run away with the NSX to Pacific Raceways or The Ridge. Yeah, I asked.)

What Is It?

You’ll notice right away that Acura is finally phasing out the creepy beak-nose we’ve been looking at for almost a decade, and replacing the faces of its cars with this handsome diamond grille. As a result, the 2017 MDX looks much nicer than its predecessor even though the silhouette is essentially unchanged.

The MDX Sport Hybrid takes the regular 3-row crossover of the MDX and adds the hybrid system Acura developed for the NSX supercar between its axles. Acura repackaged the NSX’s hybrid system to work with a front-engine CUV, and optimized the gear ratios for more banal, everyday driving. It goes like stink. Bless you, big batteries, for giving us on-demand torque that produces many smiles and giggles.

The MDX Sport Hybrid also has what Acura calls “Super Handling All-Wheel Drive,” which utilizes torque vectoring to allow a big, unwieldy beast of a crossover handle and feel more like a regular car. Practically speaking, the vehicle distributes power specifically to the wheels with maximum traction. That translates to quicker cornering with greater stability.

The 7 -speed dual-clutch transmission is also one of the smoothest I’ve ever driven, tuned for maximum comfort.That softness continues inside the MDX as the interior features miles of nice leather. You can even spec the second row as two single seats with their own center console.

The MDX is also aggressively priced. The base model comes in at $51,960 before destination fees. That’s $1,075 cheaper than the bizarrely styled Lexus RS450h, $1,540 under the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid and a full $10,140 under the BMW X5 Xdrive 40e.

Sport+ Mode Was Made For Us

Acura’s big crossover comes with four driving modes that allow it to act like four completely different cars. As you move through the modes from least to most aggressive, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s active damper system stiffens up, the powertrain becomes more responsive, the V6 engine becomes louder, and the controls have more feedback.

The MDX Sport Hybrid’s power delivery is fairly linear, with lots of off-the-line grunt. You can nail the throttle on the highway and pass a big truck even in the MDX Sport Hybrid’s most chill “Comfort” mode. You don’t feel the hybrid system or its trick torque vectoring system kick in, it just goes.

Conveniently you can program the keys to start the car in any mode other than Sport+ by default. If you want to sip fuel in traffic most of the time, set the key to Comfort. If you’re me, you probably want it to open up in Sport.

The Numbers Only Tell Part Of The Story

Acura’s claimed specs for the the MDX Sport Hybrid’s 3.0-liter i-VTEC V6 engine and NSX-derived hybrid system—321 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque—make it one of the fastest crossovers on the road. Its seven-speed dual-clutch transmission also has a built-in motor that produces up to 47 HP and 109 lb-ft of torque by itself, which acts as a generator for the MDX’s hybrid system. Regenerative braking seamlessly transfers more energy back into the MDX’s batteries when you scrub speed.

But when that all manages to move a 4,484-pound (as tested, with the “Advance” options package) behemoth like it’s a regular car and still get a combined 27 miles per gallon in fuel consumption, it’s an impressive feat.

Standout goodness

The MDX feels safe, and not just because of the five-star crash ratings on the window sticker. Well, only four in rollovers, but the vehicle’s stable enough to keep that from the front of your mind anyway. The hybrid system is positioned low under the floorboard to keep the MDX Sport Hybrid’s center of gravity relatively low. Twenty-six millimeters lower than the regular MDX, even, according to Acura’s engineers. Neat.Standard driver assistance equipment includes a preemptive collision avoidance system that detects and brakes for obstacles ahead, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and road departure assists. Stability control helps keep the giant box upright and out of trouble.

Little blind spot warnings on the rear-view mirrors help you know when to change lanes on the road. The MDX’s four “Surround View” cameras and front and rear parking assists also help you detect any little ones you might be about to drive over.


If you do manage to wipe out or hit “drive” instead of “reverse” from a shopping center parking space, the high-voltage components are placed away from harm between the two axles for maximum protection, mostly between high-rigidity cross members. The battery is designed to disconnect from the motors in a crash.

Weak spots

The MDX Sport Hybrid comes with not one, but two screens in its center console. I don’t know what kind of bad trip gave Acura’s design team double-vision before they put this system together, but holy moly, it’s an over-complicated system that takes up valuable dashboard real estate that would be much better served by traditional knobs and buttons.While you can customize what shows on what screen, it gets weird if you select the same thing for both. Putting the stereo controls on the top screen dims the bottom screen if it’s also set to the stereo page. There’s a big knob to control the upper screen, but it’s directly below the bottom screen for maximum confusion.
The bottom screen is a touchscreen, which works well, but replaces too many physical buttons. Front seat heating and cooling were there, requiring you to look over into a menu if your bum starts to feel like it’s getting crispy from too much heat. Even more annoyingly hidden is the fan speed, which you can’t grab quickly without messing with the screen.

It is nice to set the navigation system in its own screen up top, but that’s the only kind word I have for this setup.

I’m also on the fence about the decision to put all the usual shifter functions—park, drive, reverse, and the lot—as buttons. Sure, it saves space and will keep you from accidentally whacking a PRNDL knob en route to your 69-ounce Blerch Gulp. But it requires you to look down to switch into drive from reverse, and just like the vital functions that are hidden on the MDX’s touchscreen, which annoy me greatly.

Once you are in motion, the MDX Sport Hybrid’s DCT is mostly smooth but you will feel a slight vibration at crawling slow speeds in heavy traffic. It’s the only flaw I found in the system though, with shifts being so low-drama at higher speeds that part of me would love to see a Nürburgring Nordschleife time on this thing.
Those of us who look at large vehicles because our “kids” are race cars or boats, not little humans, will have an additional disappointment with the MDX Sport Hybrid- Acura doesn’t recommend towing with it.

You’d have to get the regular, non-hybrid, less powerful MDX to tow anything of size, and even then, that standard all-wheel-drive MDX is only rated for a maximum of 5,000 pounds. That’s pushing it for a car trailer or boats bigger than a Jet Ski.

What To Watch For

The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid hits dealers next month, and I’d love to see how easy it is to live with for a longer trip where you’d need to use all that space. I’d really love to take this thing camping—tent, food, gear, changes of clothes, and all—to see if it’s still comfortable and quick laden down with stuff, or not. Or better yet, moving heavy car parts around.Empty with 1 other person as we got to experience on our test drive, it’s fine. But how much can you really haul inside before you start to feel its weight? Does it even matter with those glorious electric motors helping deliver more power, or is there a point where 321 hp isn’t enough?

Early Verdict

If all you desire in life is to be whisked away from point A to point B in a supremely smooth and cavernous ride, the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid might be your jam. Despite the annoying interior controls, it’s a surprising hoot to drive and a solid contender for King Big Crossover For Parents Who Haven’t Given Up On Life.

All of the MDX Sport Hybrid’s torque-vectoring voodoo, low-positioned hybrid system and driver assists make it feel smaller than it is. It’s easy to drive even in heavy traffic, and downright hilarious on the open road. It’s a surprisingly quick and fun huge people-mover, and definitely worth a look despite its interior quirks.

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 09:12 AM   #110
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb Cnet


3 electric motors, one engine give this SUV sport handling

When I drove Acura's MDX SUV in 2010, its adaptive suspension and active torque vectoring made for amazing handling. But subsequent versions dropped those components, making the MDX just another SUV. Now, Acura brings back that performance with the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid.

Yes, it's a hybrid, and yes, it deserves the "Sport" moniker.At an Acura-sponsored event in Seattle, I took the wheel of the MDX Sport Hybrid and was suitably impressed with the smooth, level acceleration and turnability. Pinning the throttle, this 3-row SUV didn't pitch upwards, as its all-wheel-drive system balanced torque between the front and rear wheels. And slamming through a few turns, the adaptive suspension minimized roll while its twin electric motors put extra power to the outside rear wheel, creating precise torque vectoring.

The MDX Sport Hybrid follows last year's launch of the standard MDX, which sports a new grille signalling a new performance era for Acura cars. As an Acura spokesman told me, the new MDX is "all new from the A-pillars forward". That means dashboard, seats and main body remain unchanged from the third generation, launched in 2013.

However, the MDX Sport Hybrid shows off more significant changes under the skin. Up front, a 3.0-liter V6 engine drives the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that also integrates an electric motor. Twin electric motors drive the rear wheels up to 84 mph, above which it's all front-wheel-drive. Acura developed that hybrid system for its RLX Sport Hybrid, modified it for the new NSX, and now brings it to the MDX.

Given the combination of engine and electric motors, the MDX Sport Hybrid boasts an interesting mix of power. To simplify things, Acura gives a combined output of 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque for the SUV. Combined city/highway fuel economy of 27 mpg falls behind the Lexus RX 450h's 30 mpg, but the MDX Sport Hybrid seems more focused on performance.

Maneuvering through a parking garage at the start of my drive, the MDX Sport Hybrid drove quietly under electric propulsion, but with just a little more throttle, the engine smoothly kicked in. The powertrain delivered an incredibly refined driving experience through downtown Seattle and onto the freeway.

I cycled through the four driving modes, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. Everything, from steering to suspension, felt a little loose in Comfort mode, while Normal and Sport didn't differ too much. In Sport Plus, under full throttle, the MDX Sport Hybrid accelerated with convincing power, but it didn't slam me in the back. More impressive was how level this SUV felt under maximum acceleration due to the torque balance controlled by engine and rear electric motors.

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. The refinement of the drivetrain, despite its complexity, makes the task of driving 2nd-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.

Although I was very happy to see Acura bring back this level of performance to the MDX Sport Hybrid, I wasn't as pleased with the unchanged dashboard electronics interface. As with the previous model year MDX, Acura uses 2 screens, an LCD at the top and a touchscreen below. The top LCD shows navigation, phone and stereo information, with a dial and set of buttons to control it. The touchscreen shows audio and phone information, but not navigation.

The 2 big problems come from the fact that the top LCD and the touchscreen use different graphic interfaces, so learning how to use one doesn't really apply to the other. And 2nd, the dial and buttons controlling the top LCD sit below the touchscreen, further creating confusion.

As to the navigation system, audio and phone controls, those remain pretty much unchanged from 5 years ago. In software terms, that's prehistoric. Forget about Apple CarPlay or Android Auto support.Acura sells the MDX Sport Hybrid in 2 trims, MDX with Technology Package and MDX with Advance Package. Both come standard with the AcuraWatch set of active safety technologies, including a forward-collision-warning system, automated braking to prevent collisions, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control, which automatically matches speeds with slower traffic ahead. Both also have a rear view camera, although the Advance package adds surround view and a head-up display. What might be the deciding factor between the 2 trims, however, will likely be the seating. The Advance Package replaces the middle row bench with 2 captain's chairs, going from a 7-seater to 6.

The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid hits dealers this month, priced at $51,960 for the lower trim Technology Package and $58,000 for the Advance Package. And given that Acura mono-specs its trims, that's about all you're going to pay.

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2017, 11:22 AM   #111
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Red face VroomGirls

2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Review Best Car Site for Women VroomGirls

2018 Acura
MDX Sport Hybrid

MSRP:$52,675MPG:26 city / 27 hwyEngine:3.0L, V6, 321 HP
You need a roomy SUV but you don’t want to drive a hulking, poor performing, gas guzzling beast. Consider the new Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

By Tara Weingarten

Ten Things to Know About the 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
Fantastic handling for a 3-row, 7-seat SUV. Reduced body lean driving through twisty canyon roads. Drives like a much smaller vehicle.
Roomy and attractive interior is super comfy. Love the satin wood trim and contemporary styling. Contacting color piping on the (optional) soft leather seats is pretty and premium looking.
Though the EPA fuel economy is set at 27 mpg (combined city/hwy) for the 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, our full day of driving gave us just a bit over 21 mpg, according to the Acura’s onboard computer.
Storage behind the 3rd row seat is ample enough for a large grocery run or even a modified warehouse shopping run. 2nd and 3rd-row seats lie flat to give an enormous rear cargo bed.
The new Acura MDX Sport Hybrid costs $1,500 more than the gasoline version of the MDX. That may sound like a lot, but consider you’ll get about 5 mpg more in the hybrid; that’s an average savings of about $400 annually in fuel costs. So after 3-and-a-half years of driving, you’ll recoup the added cost of the hybrid and begin to pocket the savings.
A new 7-speed dual clutch makes for very smooth gear shits. You’ll barely notice as the vehicle moves through its gears, which contributes to the MDX Sport Hybrid’s excellent handling prowess and refined ride.
If you don’t need seating for seven but prefer to give enhanced comfort to five of you instead, consider going for the top-of-the-line Advance Package. Here you’ll get 2 heated Captain’s chairs and center console in the 2nd row, in place of a 3-person bench.This package also includes super-soft Milano leather with contrasting color piping. Very chic! A lovely satin wood trim, large 20″ wheel, a surround-view camera, and several other premium features, are also part of the Advance Package. The package adds about $6,000 to the cost of the MDX Sport Hybrid’s base price.
AcuraWatch comes standard. It includes for free a variety of advanced active safety technology usually offered as expensive options.
Drive in EV Mode (using only the car’s electric power) at parking lot speed, saving gas when cruising at low RPMs.Four driving modes are accessed through a toggle switch. Choose Comfort, Normal, Sport or Sport Plus depending on your mood and road conditions. Each of these modes activates changes in the MDX’s chassis, throttle response, steering tautness and exhaust sound.
The 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid doesn’t just look sportier than the gas version MDX – though I do love its fun Sport-inspired aluminum pedals – it is indeed sportier, with 31 more horsepower and added technology that allows for quicker safe driving.

Final Thoughts

I was stunned how well this large SUV carved through twisty canyons with minimal body lean or sway. Loved the pep, the comfort and yes, sporty ride.
Great ride quality and handling Comfortable seating in 3 rows Overly complicated and confusing navigation display
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2017, 01:46 PM   #112
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Smile MotorAuthority

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD 1st drive review

The Acura MDX is the most popular 3-row luxury crossover vehicle, says Honda's premium division, with 850,000 sold since 2001.

The vast majority of those were sold in North America, since the Acura brand is almost entirely focused on the U.S.

The MDX was also Acura's highest-selling vehicle last year, just ahead of its smaller RDX crossover, and outsold all of its sedans by a long way.

CHECK OUT: 2017 Acura MDX - full review

Until now, the luxury hybrid SUV hasn't had a hybrid model to compete with the dominant Lexus RX hybrid, plus a handful of competitors from BMW, Infiniti, and Mercedes-Benz.

That's changed for 2017, and now we've had a chance to spend a day and more than 100 miles in what's formally called the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD.

That last bit, by the way, stands for "Super Handling–All-Wheel Drive," in case you were wondering. Ahem.

While hybrid SUVs are largely sold on the promise of better fuel economy, Acura's working to recast itself as the "precision-crafted performance" brand.

Hence the "sport" part of Sport Hybrid, allied to its "super handling" all-wheel drive system: the company is casting the hybrid system as a way to boost performance and sharpen handling.

The 3-motor system's credentials for doing that couldn't get much better: it's effectively a version of the powertrain in the Acura NSX supercar, with a detuned V-6 engine, and flipped back to front.

In the NSX, the engine and one hybrid motor power the rear wheels, with a pair of motors adding torque selectively to the front wheels. In the MDX Hybrid, the engine and motor drive the front wheels, and the pair of electric motors provide the all-wheel drive for the rear wheels.

The hybrid MDX crossover is actually the 3rd vehicle with the system: as well as the NSX, the RLX large sedan has offered the Sport Hybrid system as well. But that big sedan is virtually invisible in the market, with miniscule sales numbers, so the MDX will be the 1st high-volume use for this expensive and sophisticated 3-motor hybrid powertrain.

Handling crisper

Does it improve performance and handling over the conventional MDX SH-AWD? We didn't have a standard MDX to drive when we tested the hybrid, so we couldn't do a back-to-back comparison.

What we can say is that the MDX Sport Hybrid has relatively taut handling for a large, heavy SUV, and it turns in very nicely on sharp and decreasing-radius turns.

That's a result of the ability to vary the electric torque delivered to each rear wheel, slowing the rotation of inside wheel on corners. We felt the car tighten its line in turns a couple of times, though intermittent drizzle during much of our day outside Seattle limited the amount of really aggressive driving we did.

Certainly there's little question that the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid handles better than at least two of its competitors: the Lexus RX 450h and the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid. The RX is only a five-seater, but it invented and still rides atop the luxury crossover market, inspiring Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz to field competitors.

But the RLX Sport Hybrid sedan we drove the same day felt much crisper yet, pointing out the inherent challenges in trying to make a large, tall, 3-row crossover into any kind of out-and-out performance vehicle.

Handling aside, we didn't have enough time to test whether the hybrid MDX delivers better fuel economy in real-world use than the standard model.

Certainly the EPA ratings for it are significantly higher. It's rated at 26 mpg city, 27 highway, for a combined 27-mpg figure against the 19/26/22 ratings for the non-hybrid version, even when fitted with a Start-Stop system.

Living with the MDX

Most 3-row crossovers, luxury or not, are bought by families who use them to haul people and gear—despite the number we see daily on the roads with only a driver inside.

The MDX has retained its popularity because Acura understands what those buyers want, just like the more mass-market (and very good) Honda Pilot to which it's related.

The current MDX was launched in 2014, and received some updates this year, most notably a new front end from the doors forward.

It now has a trapezoidal grille replacing Acura's polarizing "beak" front end, which is being phased out altogether. It took us a while to notice that the grille pattern is actually a sort of sunburst emanating out from the Acura calipers logo in the center—a nice and subtle touch that distinguishes it from more conventional mesh or horizontal-bar grilles.

Other design tweaks included twin exhausts, 20-inch alloy wheels, 2nd-row captain's chairs with a console between them, and exposed-grain wood trim inside.

Miscellaneous notes

We look forward to spending more time on the road with an MDX Sport Hybrid. From our day of driving, here are a few random first impressions:
  1. Engine starting and stopping was well concealed by sound-deadening and vibration damping material, and was mostly imperceptible
  2. Under gentle driving, the battery would accelerate the hybrid MDX to roughly 20 mph without turning on the engine—though few drivers are likely to use the car that way
  3. On 1 long downhill, the MDX Sport Hybrid regeneration plus a touch of brake were enough to cause the battery gauge to rise slowly but steadily to "Full"
  4. Unlike most hybrids, Acura provides no power gauge in the instrument cluster, though a power-flow diagram is available on the center display
  5. The battery-charge gauge is a mirror image of the fuel gauge, with only a small battery diagram to indicate what it's showing
  6. The all-black interior, despite its optional wood trim, contrasting stitching, and silver accents, felt dark and oppressive; we much prefer the grey or cream versions
  7. We're not fans of Acura's touchscreen display and controller knob system: it took four separate taps to turn on the heated seats—each time we switched on the ignition


Beside the new front-end design, the big news for the MDX this year was the addition of the hybrid version, giving the MDX an entry among a competitive set that uses a remarkable variety of technologies under the "hybrid" label.

The Lexus RX 450h uses Toyota's twin-motor full-hybrid system, though it's always had a reputation for not delivering on its fuel-economy ratings for many buyers. The rare, low-volume Infiniti QX60 has a weak, single-motor mild-hybrid system that was widely panned in its Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid sibling, yanked off the market after a year.

Neither of those vehicles is remotely sporty, though the Infiniti in particularly proved significantly quieter on our test loops than the hybrid Acura MDX.


Beside the new front-end design, the big news for the MDX this year was the addition of the hybrid version, giving the MDX an entry among a competitive set that uses a remarkable variety of technologies under the "hybrid" label.

The Lexus RX 450h uses Toyota's twin-motor full-hybrid system, though it's always had a reputation for not delivering on its fuel-economy ratings for many buyers. The rare, low-volume Infiniti QX60 has a weak, single-motor mild-hybrid system that was widely panned in its Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid sibling, yanked off the market after a year.

Neither of those vehicles is remotely sporty, though the Infiniti in particularly proved significantly quieter on our test loops than the hybrid Acura MDX.

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2017, 06:49 AM   #113
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb Mota

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2017, 07:31 AM   #114
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Thumbs up Tfl

In profile, the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid might appear to be simply a refresh of the third generation Acura MDX, which received a complete redesign for 2014, but everything forward of the ?A? pillar is all-new.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Advance Test Drive: A Performance Oriented SUV [Review]

by Arv Voss - April 11, 2017 3

Seattle, WA
– What do you do if you’re the manufacturer of 2 of the top 3 SUVs and one of them is the best selling SUV of all time? The first is the Acura RDX and the second is the Acura MDX, which is the titleholder. If you’re as passionate about your product as Jon Ikeda, the Vice President and General Manager of Acura, you come up with a special vehicle – hence the development of the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, the focus of which is to build the brand to an even higher standard – his philosophy is “If there’s a Bar – Raise it”. And raise it he has, at the helm of Honda’s luxury division with “Precision Crafted Performance”

Hybrid SUVs are currently part of an emerging segment in the auto industry and Acura’s entry into that segment is the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, which actually shares its hybrid technology, featuring similar mechanical components with 2 other hybrid vehicles: the Acura TLX Sport Hybrid Sedan; the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SUV: and on the top rung of the ladder, the Acura NSX hybrid supercar. All 3 also share efficient and refined electrification and torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, as well as Acura’s new design direction, leading off with Acura’s new signature Diamond Pentagon Grille.

The MDX Sport Hybrid is only $1,500. more than the non-hybrid version and it delivers 31 more horsepower and 22 pound feet more torque. The Sport Hybrid’s EPA mileage estimates are better yielding $350-$450 per year in estimated fuel savings. The non-hybrid is powered by a 290 horsepower 3.5-liter iVTEC V6, while the MDX Sport Hybrid draws it motive force from a 3.0-liter SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC V6 engine with port fuel injection and Drive-by-wire throttle system that delivers 257 horses at 6,300 rpm and 218 pound feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. The engine couples with: a Front Direct Drive Motor rated at 47 horsepower @ 3,000 rpm with a 109 lb.-ft of torque @ 500-2,000 rpm; and a Rear Twin Motor Unit:
Horsepower (kW) (36 + 36) @ 4,000 rpm / Torque: (54 + 54) @ 0-2,000 rpm powered by Lithium Ion batteries. Combined System Horsepower is 321and Combined System Torque measures 289 lb.-ft.

Energy is geared to the driving wheels via a Motor integrated 7-speed DCT automatic transmission with sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters.

Key dynamic change points of the MDX Sport Hybrid are: “Always-On E-torque vectoring; an Active Damper System; and an electric Servo brake. Other change points over the non-hybrid are: body colored side sills and aluminum sport pedals.

There are 2 trim levels for the MDX Sport Hybrid: the Technology Package priced at $51,960. and the Advanced Package, which starts at $58,000. Destination and Handling charge is $975.

The new MDX look is attributed to the inspiration of the Acura Precision Concept Show vehicle and the third generation was designed was actually designed with a Sport Hybrid in mind, with the performance-driven platform developed in the U.S. The system layout features the 3.0-liter V6 engine up front coupled to the 7-speed DCT transmission with built-in motor, followed by the Intelligent Power Unit and Power Control Unit, and wrapping up with the Twin Motor Unit in the rear. Cabin space and versatility are not compromised with the Sport Hybrid MDX providing the same dimensions as the non-hybrid version.

In profile, the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid might appear to be simply a refresh of the 3rd generation Acura MDX, which received a complete redesign for 2014, but everything forward of the “A” pillar is all-new. The aerodynamic form is accentuated by the rising sculpted hood, sharply raked windscreen and gracefully arched roofline that falls away to the sloping rear end with its integrated roof spoiler. Both the front and rear overhangs are short. The exposed dual exhaust and 20-inch alloy wheels and tires that fit nicely into the wheel well arches and the bright dual exhaust tips add to the bold athletic persona of the MDX Sport Hybrid.

During the national press launch program, my driving partner and I drove an Advance trim version of the MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD with a Modern Steel Metallic exterior finish and an interior done in Ebony with light contrasting piping and open pore wood trim accents. The sticker began at $58,000, which came to a final $58,975 after adding the Destination and Handling charge.

SUMMARY: The interior of the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is a truly nice place to be on a cold, rainy day. It is well finished and user friendly, not to mention stylishly executed. Elegance and luxury are both present featuring Milano leather with piping and contrast stitching, heated and vented front seats, surround view camera, heated 2nd row Captain’s chairs with center console, 2nd row sunshades, heated steering wheel and LED foglights and Welcome lights.

The Integrated Dynamics System provides four driving modes to best suit the driver’s requirements and conditions. Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+ that fine tune throttle response, 7 DCT/ EV Assist, SH (TMU), steering, damper and ASC in varying degrees depending upon the mode chosen.

The MDX Sport Hybrid’s safety credentials include: Acura Watch Technologies withLane Keeping Assist, Collision Mitigastion Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow and Road Departure Mitigation; Advanced Compatability Engineering™ (ACE™) Body Structure; Pedestrian Injury Miitigation Design; VSA with Traction Control; Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering; Brake Assist; Advanced 4-Channel ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution; Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags; Driver and Front Passenger SmartVent® Side Airbags; Driver Knee Airbag; and Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor; Adjustable Head Restraints; Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH); Tire Pressure Monitoring System; Surround-View Camera System; Parking Sensors (available); Blind Spot Information; and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.

The adaptable ride quality delivers a variety of damping settings to accommodate occupante preferences, but all are comfortable, while providing a flat stable attitude. The SH-AWD and its torque vectoring makes cornering a breeze – even in the wet., along with the positibve on-center feel served up by the EPAS.

Comfort and convenience are paramount as is connectivity and infotainment features along with AcuraLink and Bluetooth.

All in all, Acura has ensured its future success again with a stellar SUV that also delivers on the performance field. Consider it poised to capture the number 1 sale position from Lexus.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Advance
Base Price: $58,000.
Price as Tested: $58,975. Engine Type and Size: 3.0-liter SOHC, 24-valve i-VTEC V6 with port fuel injection and Drive-by-wire throttle system.Horsepower (bhp): 257 @ 6,300 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 218 @ 5,000 rpmFront Direct Drive Motor:
Horsepower (kW) 47 hp @3,000 rpm
Torque: 109 [email protected] 500-2,000 rpmRear Twin Motor Unit:
Horsepower (kW) (36 + 36) @ 4,000 rpm
Torque: (54 + 54) @ 0-2,000 rpm
Lithium Ion batteries
Combined System Horsepower: 321
Combined System Torque: 289 Transmission: Motor integrated 7-speed DCT automatic with sequential SportShift Paddle Shifters.

Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / SH- AWDSuspension: Front – MacPherson strut with Active Damper System and 25 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link with Active Damper System and 26.5 mm stabilizer bar. Brakes: Power-assisted 4-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD and BA.

Tires: Continental Cross Contact 245/50 R20 -102H Hi-Performance All Season mounted on 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels (10-spoke)Wheelbase: 111.0 inches
Length Overall: 196.2 inches
Width: 77.7 inches
Height: 67.4 inches
Curb Weight: 4,484 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38.4 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 19.4 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 26 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.• Styling – 5 Stars
• Performance – 5 Stars
• Ride & Handling – 5 Stars
• Utility – 5 Stars
• Comfort & Convenience – 5 Stars
• Economy – 4.5 Stars
• Value and Competition – 4.5-Stars
Summary – 5 Stars

The 2017 Acura MDX Hybrid is a most impressive luxury SUV with all the advantages that a hybrid has to offer along with exemplary performance and conveniences.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2017, 07:54 AM   #115
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb Edmunds


2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid 1st Drive

A More Efficient and Better-to-Drive Three-Row Crossover

Published: 04/17/2017 - by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor
Email Print
  • 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Picture

    2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid. April 17, 2017 Acura
« prev
next »1 of 6
View Full Screen
Hybrid technology typically works best in the fuel-efficient domain of small hatchbacks, but it's making an important appearance in the new 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid. By borrowing technology from the Acura's RLX Hybrid and NSX sports car, Acura promises that the MDX Sport Hybrid will have superior performance and efficiency compared to a regular MDX. And to a large extent, it delivers.For performance, the all-wheel-drive MDX Sport Hybrid gets its power from a 3.0-liter V6 paired with a lithium-ion battery pack and 3 electric motors. There's a twin electric-motor setup in the rear and a single motor up front. Put all that together and the MDX Sport Hybrid produces a maximum of 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. That's a decent gain compared to the standard MDX, which provides 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque.

But there's extra heft associated with the batteries and electric motors. The MDX Sport Hybrid weighs over 200 pounds more than the standard MDX. According to Acura, the Hybrid is no quicker accelerating from zero to 60 mph. And you can forget about towing. The standard MDX is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds, but for the Sport Hybrid, towing is simply not recommended.

Hmm. So, it's not any quicker and you can't tow with it. Kind of lame, right? But there are other, less obvious performance benefits. The Hybrid is definitely more enjoyable to drive. The extra torque provided by the MDX's electric motors makes for a smoother driving experience both in the city and on the highway. At multiple points during our test drive of the MDX Sport Hybrid, the 3.0-liter V6 cut out, the MDX switched over to the battery power, and the transition between electric and internal combustion power was seamless. The 7-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission in the MDX Sport Hybrid is also significantly more refined than the 9-speed automatic you'll find in the standard MDX. It provides smoother shifts when you hit the gas pedal to execute a passing maneuver.

We also like the way the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid handles and drives. It has adaptive suspension dampers and four selectable driving modes: Comfort, Normal, Sport or Sport+. These modes adjust steering effort, suspension stiffness and throttle response, and Acura has even gone to the trouble of pairing the preferred driving modes to specific keys. This means that different drivers in the same family can select their default mode for whenever they're behind the wheel and the drive modes (other than Sport+) will remain selected even after the vehicle is turned off. All of this probably sounds pretty standard if you're in the market for a sports car, but for hybrid, 3-row crossover shoppers, this certainly isn't the norm. The Sport Hybrid is surprisingly capable, and you'll feel confident driving it around corners.

When it comes to fuel economy, the MDX Sport Hybrid now sits right near the top of its class. Granted, there aren't a lot of luxury, three-row, hybrid crossovers available (especially ones with "Sport" in the name), but what the MDX can do is still impressive. The standard MDX is rated at an EPA-estimated 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway). (In our long-term test of a 2014 MDX, we found those numbers to be more than achievable.) This MDX Sport Hybrid is rated at 27 mpg combined (26 city/27 highway), which puts it up there with the all-wheel-drive Infiniti QX60 Hybrid (26 mpg combined) but still less than the 2-row Lexus RX 450h (30 mpg combined).

On the inside, the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid has lovely wood grain on the dash and soft but supportive leather seating surfaces. It's muffled and quiet over broken road surfaces, and it comes with a lot of safety equipment such as forward collision warning and mitigation and lane departure intervention. What's more, the Hybrid doesn't lose any space in the back, still providing 68.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats.

The controls are still all regular MDX, however, including the dual-screen infotainment system. This system can be distracting to use, with a steep learning curve for the basic functions that control audio and navigation. It also looks out of place in a seemingly premium vehicle.

Overall, though, we like the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid. Just the name itself may seem a bit strange, even a bit oxymoronic to some, but it is significantly more efficient than a standard MDX and surprisingly good to drive, succeeding on both fronts and ultimately improving on an already 1st-rate family vehicle.
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2017, 10:52 PM   #116
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Lightbulb Comparo

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2017, 07:30 AM   #117
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Arrow Wards

Acura MDX Hybrid Sporty Character, Mixed Fuel Economy Test Drives content from WardsAuto

Acura MDX More Sport Than Hybrid, But Compelling

Test Drive
Apr 25, 2017 Christie Schweinsberg WardsAuto Comments0

What is in this article?:

Garnering 8 mpg more in city driving than its non-hybrid brother, and priced thousands below other green competitors that don’t handle as well, Acura’s new hybrid CUV should do well for the brand.MDX hybrid on sale now at U.S. Acura dealers.
SEATTLE – With automakers needing to improve fuel economy and cut emissions due to pending CAFE regulations…probably…maybe…more light trucks are getting the hybrid treatment.

The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, on sale this month in the U.S., is the latest in a small-but-growing string of luxury hybrid CUVs. Included in the group is the Lexus RX 450h, Infiniti QX60 and plug-in hybrid versions of BMW’s X5, Mercedes’ GLE and Volvo’s XC90 in the U.S. market. None are super sellers (the RX, with 8,561 deliveries, did best in 2016), but they all improve mileage over their non-hybrid counterparts, especially city fuel economy that can be dreadful in big CUVs.

Like the GLE and XC90, Acura’s effort leans more sport than hybrid, given the MDX’s brawny 321 total system horsepower but relatively weak 27 mpg (8.7 L/100) combined fuel-efficiency rating. For comparison, the RX 450h hits 308 total system hp but returns 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km) combined. The GLE and XC90 have at least 400 hp total, but fuel economy in the mid and low 20-mpg (11.8-L/100 km) range.

In back-to-back drives with the RX here, the MDX is the more athletic and less obvious hybrid.Thanks to Acura’s torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, made possible via its twin-motor unit in the rear, the MDX corners fast and flat, while the RX tips and tilts under hard acceleration in turns.

The transitions from gas to electric and back also are more obvious in the RX, as are transitions from mechanical to regenerative braking.

The MDX Sport Hybrid shares its platform with the non-hybrid MDX, which was redesigned in 2013 for ’14. Both bodies boast 59% high-strength-steel content, up from 25% in the 2nd-gen MDX, and include a hot-stamped 1-piece door ring for improved structural rigidity in the event of a collision.

To bolster the MDX hybrid’s floor and protect the hybrid componentry, including the 1.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, Acura engineers added 3 cross members in the center of the chassis. The beefed-up structure also serves to boost ride comfort and lessen noise, vibration and harshness, Acura says.

All MDX exterior dimensions remain the same for the hybrid, as do all interior dimensions including cargo space. Because Acura planned the hybrid variant from the start of the current-gen MDX’s development, all hybrid components, including the Li-ion pack, fit neatly under the vehicle’s floor.

The CUV uses Acura’s 3-motor hybrid system first launched in the RLX Hybrid sedan and now in the NSX supercar. The three motors, a larger one in front integrated into a 7-speed DCT and two smaller motors in the rear, pair up to a 257-hp 3.0L SOHC port-injected V-6. The front motor provides supplemental power and torque to the engine as well as converts engine power into electricity for the battery, while the rear motors provide AWD capability, able to shift up to 100% of torque between back wheels. They also provide regenerative braking power to the battery.

Because of reserve power available in the batteries, torque vectoring between rear wheels is available anytime in the MDX hybrid, even when a driver is off the throttle. Reaction time of 90 milliseconds is more than twice as fast as with a purely mechanical torque-vectoring system, Acura says.

The CUV’s propulsion system operates covertly. Watching the behind-the-sheet-metal machinations via a power-flow graphic on the center-stack screen is in our experience here the only way to know what’s going on. The DCT is especially clandestine in its operation, a nice change from the shift-busy 9-speed automatic Acura uses in some models.

The MDX hybrid’s power-control unit marks the first time Honda has installed a (waterproof, breathable) PCU on the outside of the vehicle. The packaging of the PCU, the Li-ion battery pack (dubbed the “intelligent power unit”) and twin-motor unit is 39% more efficient than in the RLX hybrid, Acura says.

Yaw and dampening are improved with the placement of those components middle-low in the vehicle, and drop the MDX’s center of gravity by 1 in. (26 mm).

Like many new luxury models, the MDX hybrid has a variety of driver-selectable modes that adjust steering, dampers, the degree of active sound canceling and throttle response, as well as the amount of electric assist. Of the 4 modes, comfort, normal, sport and sport+, the latter is the only 1 that allows the engine to run constantly for a vigorous, go-go character. It also is the only mode truly obvious from behind the wheel with clearly more aggressive throttle tip-in and firmer steering.

The MDX hybrid uses active dampers with more rebound performance and more compression than those in the non-hybrid MDX for better handling and ride comfort. The same algorithm from the NSX is used in the MDX to control dampers, Acura says.

For fuel-economy purposes, we spend most of our time in comfort mode. However, it is during our afternoon leg, when we use sport and sport+ modes more often while zipping back into town on an open freeway, that we return a day’s-best 28.3 mpg (8.3 L/100 km). The morning leg, with stop-and-go freeway traffic and 2-lane country roads, gets us just 23.6 mpg (10.0 L/100 km).

The MDX Sport Hybrid’s interior design and materials compare nicely to the RX and QX in that it has plentiful soft-touch materials, contrast stitching and wood trim. The MDX stands out with its matte-finish open-pore wood vs. the heavily glossed trim in the Lexus and Infiniti CUVs. Both trim types are attractive, but the open-pore wood reads more modern.

The MDX’s seats are comfortable and supportive in the 1st and 2nd rows. Its 3rd row remains a space best-suited to very flexible adults and/or small children. Climbing in and out is a chore, and legroom and headroom are tight.
The updates bestowed upon the non-hybrid MDX last year flow into the hybrid model, including second-row captain’s chairs in the upper grade with a generously sized center console in between. That feature plus a front console with a large storage box gives the CUV ample space for stuff.

The worst part of the MDX is its HMI. The CUV’s 2 small center-stack screens still are a head-scratching puzzle as we try to figure out what info is supposed to appear where. They also present dated graphics and have little flexibility in information presentation.

In this tech-obsessed age, interior screen size seems to be the new version of horsepower wars. The European luxury brands and Lexus trounce Acura and Infiniti on this mark. The RX’s optional 12.3-in. (31-cm)-wide display screen tested here has crisp and clear graphics and fonts.

Acura last year presented an interior concept with much-improved displays, but their integration in production models still is a few years out.

While the MDX’s navigation maps are dated, the turn-by-turn arrows look modern and come in handy when driving in an unfamiliar city.

Voice recognition, part of the upper grade’s advance package, takes a full 30 seconds to tune to a different SiriusXM channel. Ugh.

As with most Honda-built vehicles, there are few fit-and-finish foibles. Door-pocket flashing and exposed grab-bar pins are the most obvious flaws.

For those who care about such things, cupholders are of excellent quality, with sturdy plastic retractable nubs, and the circular-knit headliner is wrapped, not cut, at the windshield.

While its combined fuel economy isn’t as high as you may expect for a hybrid, it’s pricing is lower, making the MDX Sport Hybrid an intriguing business case for Acura.

The CUV starts at $51,960 for its base grade, which includes Acura’s technology package (navigation, premium audio, blindspot detection) as standard equipment. An AWD non-hybrid MDX with the tech package is $46,050; an RX 450h will set you back at least $53,000, and the European plug-in models at least $62,000.

Given the Euro group’s pricing, the MDX Sport Hybrid with Acura’s advance package (perforated Milano leather with contrast stitching, 2nd-row captain’s chairs) still is a good deal. Between the 2 grades, Acura easily should be able to meet its goal of selling 5% of all MDXs with a hybrid powertrain.
Vehicle type5-door, 7-passenger all-wheel-drive CUVElectric motor/Engine47-hp direct-drive front motor, two 36-hp rear motors/3.0L SOHC, all-aluminum V-6Power (SAE net) 257 hp @ 6,300 rpm (321 combined net hp)Torque109 lb.-ft. (148 Nm) @ 500-2,000 rpm (front motor), 54 lb.-ft. (73 Nm) @ 0-2,000 rpm (both twin rear motors)/218 lb.-ft. (296 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm (289 lb.-ft. [392 Nm] combined system torque)Transmission7-speed dual clutchWheelbase111.0 ins. (2,819 mm)Overall length196.2 ins. (4,983 mm)Overall width77.7 ins. (1,974 mm)Overall height67.4 ins. (1,712 mm)Curb weight4,484 lbs. (2,034 kg)Price as tested$58,000, not incl. $920 destination and handlingFuel economy26/27 mpg (9.0-8.7 L/100 km) city/highwayCompetitionLexus RX 450h, Infiniti QX60 Hybrid, BMW X5 Xdrive 40e (PHEV), Mercedes GLE 550e (PHEV), Volvo XC090 T8 (PHEV)ProsConsGood city mpg vs. non-hybrid MDXCombined figure below 30 mpgPrice vs. competitionLack of cachet vs. Euro competitonInterior materials, fit-and-finish strongHMI not so much
TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2017, 07:33 AM   #118
Registered Member
Thread Starter
TSX69's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NC
Posts: 4,083
Thanked 1,048 Times in 505 Posts
Arrow C&d

2017 Acura MDX In-Depth Model Review Car and Driver
2017 Acura MDX

New wrapper, same great taste.

  • https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-acura-mdx-in-depth-model-review%3Fbuild-2017051220
Overall Rating:

We lauded Acura’s 3-row crossover as master of the genre when this generation 1st set tire to pavement in 2014. Its attractive and distinctive design, available torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system, sporty handling, and practicality remain its strongest characteristics. A new set of standard safety technologies and a facelift this year have added to its charm, and an NSX-derived hybrid model is now available. The MDX is still one of our favorite vehicles in this segment, but it’s no longer the best, having been outpaced by a couple of newer competitors that do their jobs better.What’s New for 2017?

Don’t be fooled by the nose job; the Acura MDX is not all new for 2017. The signature Acura grille—oft derided for its beaklike appearance—is history, though. It has been replaced by a pentagonal diamond-pattern air intake, the 1st application of a new design direction for the Japanese luxury brand. Minor front sheetmetal revisions and new exhaust outlets round out the MDX’s makeover. The biggest development, however, is the introduction of a hybrid model, which uses a modified version of the Acura NSX’s powertrain to increase both power and efficiency. Acura’s suite of active-safety equipment trickles down to become standard on base models this year.Trims and Options We’d Choose

Quicker, more powerful, and more efficient than the base model, the MDX Sport Hybrid is our choice. For $52,935, the MDX hybrid comes standard with the Technology package. Standard fittings include:• All-wheel drive with torque vectoring
• Navigation with real-time traffic information
• Heated leather front seats
• Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
For buyers who aren’t interested in hybrid technology, a gasoline-powered MDX with its available Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system, also known as SH-AWD, is also a satisfying choice. That package starts at $47,025.
Engine and Transmission Rating:

The nine-speed automatic is good but not perfect, but the MDX is quick, and Acura’s all-wheel-drive system makes it 1 of the best-handling vehicles in the class. Also of note is a new supercar-derived hybrid powertrain, which suggests that a willingness to experiment lives on at Acura.The 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 that powers the MDX is typical of the powerplants in 3-row crossovers, and it’s a strong workhorse for the MDX. A nine-speed automatic transmission replaced the previous six-speed for the 2016 model year and helps the MDX to be quicker than before with little to no loss of fuel efficiency. The nine-speed is mostly smooth and sure-footed, but it can be slow to downshift when you want acceleration.Front-wheel drive is standard, but we’ve only tested MDXs equipped with Acura’s highly competent all-wheel-drive system. With all 4 wheels clawing the pavement, the MDX can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, an athleticresult for any vehicle and particularly impressive for one that can seat 7.Test Results: Acceleration

The MDX Sport Hybrid is powered by a version of the 3-motor hybrid system that graces Acura’s halo car, the NSX supercar. Because 2 of those 3 motors power the rear wheels, the hybrid MDX has all-wheel drive. This powertrain creates a total of 321 horsepower using its 3 motors and a 3.0-liter V-6 engine. We observed that the hybrid MDX could go up to 35 mph or so on electric power alone, but we were most pleased by its ability to shoot from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds in our testing, quicker than any other model tested here except for the Audi Q7.Tow Ratings Compared

Fuel Economy

2017 Acura MDX Fuel Economy Review

  • https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-acura-mdx-in-depth-model-review%3Fbuild-2017051220
Fuel Economy Rating:

The MDX’s EPA fuel-economy ratings are very similar to those of the competition, but it outperformed expectations—and its rivals—in our real-world highway fuel-economy test. The hybrid version offers a massive improvement in city fuel economy.Rated by the EPA at 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway when equipped with all-wheel drive and an optional stop/start system, the nonhybrid Acura MDX isn’t exactly an Energy Star. The competition is similarly mediocre on this front; the simple fact is that large vehicles need more fuel to get around. Front-wheel-drive MDXs perform slightly better across the board, and the hybrid model earns an EPA rating of 26 mpg in the city—a 37 percent improvement versus the standard MDX—and 27 mpg on the highway.Fuel Economy Ratings Compared

We’ve devised our own fuel-economy test in an attempt to replicate how most people drive on the highway. Our procedure entails a 200-mile out-and-back loop on Michigan’s I-94 highway. We maintain a GPS-verified 75 mph and use the cruise control as much as possible to mimic the way many drivers behave during long trips.The all-wheel-drive regular MDX is the most efficient of the group tested here. The hybrid MDX, 244 pounds heavier and unable to make the most of its electric motors at highway speeds, returned a somewhat underwhelming 25 mpg in that test.Test Results: Highway Fuel Economy

Test Results: Highway Range

Performance and Driving Impressions Rating:

The MDX is a pleasure to drive. Acura’s all-wheel-drive system helps it to be more agile and engaging on the road than we expect a 3-row crossover to be, and the MDX accelerates eagerly as well.Acceleration

The MDX is undeniably quick, making the run from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds flat in our testing. The MDX’s 9-speed snaps off quick, well-timed upshifts when pushed hard but doesn’t perform quite as well when accelerating from speed—accelerating onto the highway from an on-ramp, for instance—and sometimes pauses before downshifting in response to pedal inputs.Test Results: Acceleration

The hybrid MDX was even quicker in our 0-to-60-mph test, at 5.7 seconds, and the inclusion of paddle shifters to guide the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission proves that the MDX Sport Hybrid intends to earn its middle name. The transitions between the gasoline engine and the electric motors are seamless; most drivers won’t notice a thing when the engine comes to life after a stoplight.Ride, Handling, and Steering

Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) constantly evaluates the driver’s steering, throttle and brake inputs, vehicle behavior, and traction and then directs torque where it’s needed most. When cruising, most of the power is sent to the front wheels. But when changing direction aggressively, an all-wheel-drive MDX can direct up to 70 percent of the available torque to the outside rear wheel to aid cornering.The hybrid’s all-wheel-drive system relies on two electric motors powering the rear wheels. When accelerating, each motor powers a single wheel. During enthusiastic cornering maneuvers, the motor paired with the outside wheel can speed up slightly while the other motor slows its wheel, helping to turn the vehicle. This is a hybridized version of the torque-vectoring feature that helps make the nonhybrid MDX SH-AWD model’s handling so responsive and the car so enjoyable to drive. The hybrid also outperformed its standard sibling (and every other competitor tested here) by returning 0.87 g of grip on the skidpad, a test of a vehicle’s ability to hold the road when cornering.Test Results: Maximum Cornering Capability


The MDX gives up some of its edge on the competition when it comes to braking. The hybrid stopped in 188 feet, exactly the same distance as the standard MDX, and we noted some decreased braking power after successive hard stops. That’s not an abysmal result, but it’s 22 feet longer than the stop we recorded in an Audi Q7, which could make a big difference in an emergency.Test Results: Maximum Braking Capability

Interior Rating:

The MDX has an impressive standard-equipment list, but Acura’s interior materials don’t feel as upscale or as carefully designed as in the Audi Q7 or the Volvo XC90. The new push-button electronic shifter on the center console is less user-friendly than the mechanical lever it replaces.Interior Space Comparisons

Headroom in the MDX is on the low side for the class, perhaps because of the standard front sunroof. Various competitors in this class offer more legroom in each row than the MDX. Second-row passengers will appreciate that the bench seat can slide back and recline slightly, but that’s cold comfort for passengers in the cramped third row.Front-Seat Passenger Space

Second-Row Passenger Space

Third-Row Passenger Space

Interior Features

The MDX has a comprehensive list of standard equipment. If the basics aren’t enough, optional-equipment packages can turn it into a multiple-screen entertainment arena that Charlie Chaplin could never have imagined.FeatureStandard/OptionalTilting steering columnStandardTelescoping steering columnStandardPower-adjustable steering columnStandardHeated steering wheelOptionalPower-adjustable pedalsNot AvailableMemory driver’s seatStandardMassaging driver’s seatNot AvailableMassaging front-passenger seatNot AvailablePower driver’s seatStandardPower front-passenger seatStandardHeated front seatsStandardHeated rear seatsOptionalCooled front seatsOptionalCooled rear seatsNot AvailableHead-up displayNot AvailableRear-seat entertainment systemOptionalSeat Adjustments

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWDFore/
ReclineShoulder articulationLumbar supportHeightThigh supportSide bolsterHeadrest tiltDriver’s seatXXXXFront-passen-
ger seat
XXXXClimate Control

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWDManual climate controlAutomatic climate controlDedicated vent(s)First RowNoTwo-zoneYesSecond RowNoOne-zoneYesThird RowNoNoNoCupholder Location

Vehicle Tested: 2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD
Seating Height

To accurately measure seating height—the distance from the road to the driver’s hip—we use an H-Point Machine (HPM), a precisely engineered device marketed by SAE International. This versatile tool, in conjunction with a laser device, reveals the width and location of roof-pillar visibility obstructions (blind spots). Our HPM and laser measurement tools determine the length of road obscured by the hood as well as the road obscured by the trunk or hatch (as seen through the rearview mirror).
Test Results: Seating Height

Blind Spots and Visibility

As in most 3-row crossovers, the biggest impediments to outward visibility are the wide, sloping rearmost pillars. Drivers will have to be vigilant when changing lanes on crowded roads. Roof pillars protect occupants in a rollover crash, but they also create blind spots. We determine visibility by measuring the location and width of each pillar using an H-Point Machine and a laser beam (surrogates for a driver and eyeball, respectively). Front and rear visibility are calculated by subtracting the viewable area blocked by the pillars from a perfect 180-degree score.
Infotainment Rating:

Unfortunately, Acura’s infotainment system is straight from Honda’s parts bin, and the two-screen display is as ineffectual here as it is in any Honda Pilot or Accord. A plethora of power points and the available wide-screen entertainment system make up for some of the pain of paying extra foran ill-disguised, down-market system.Infotainment Features

A departure from otherwise unusually comprehensive standard equipment offerings, the MDX is missing many infotainment features that we have come to take for granted in luxury cars. The MDX we tested was fitted with the $2000 Entertainment package, which includes five USB ports, a 110-volt power outlet, 12-volt and auxiliary inputs, and ports to connect media players to the wide-screen rear-seat video display. Bonus: the screen can display 2 different videos simultaneously.
Vehicle Tested: 2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD
Infotainment Performance

In addition to its frustrating interface, Acura Link returned a “Fair” performance rating in our test of the touchscreen’s response to inputs. The middling performance was matched by most competitors we tested, but the Audi Q7 once again bested the MDX.Test Results: Infotainment Response Time

By filming the infotainment screen while switching between various menus and then analyzing the high-speed video frame by frame, we are able to accurately measure the system’s response time. We rate infotainment response, or latency, on the following scale:
Cargo Space and Storage Rating:

There’s less space in the MDX’s cargo hold than in those of its two most compelling rivals, the Volvo XC90 and the Audi Q7, but the MDX aced our practical storage tests despite its on-paper deficit. Hybrid-curious buyers will be glad to know that, thanks to clever mechanical packaging, the MDX hybrid has the same cargo capacity as a nonhybrid MDX.As does every 3-row crossover we’ve tested, the MDX lacks usable storage space behind the 3rd row. A high load floor and a short rear overhangleave space for only 3 carry-on-size pieces of luggage when all 7 seats are in use. The MDX we tested came with a fold-flat 2nd-row bench.
Test Results: Carry-On Luggage Test Results

Cargo Configurations

Cargo Volume Comparisons

With 15 cubic feet of storage space behind the third row, the MDX is right in line with its similarly cramped competitors. With both rear rows of seats flat, things improve greatly.Interior Cubby Storage

A large front center console gives the MDX an edge in interior storage. Choosing captain’s chairs for the 2nd row—new for 2017 as part of the $6040 Advance package—adds a 2nd-row center console that deletes a seat but improves storage for back-seat passengers.
Why do we use ping-pong balls?

To determine the interior space available to stash travel essentials, we’ve devised a range of measuring protocols. We use 6 beverage containers ranging in size and shape to gauge cupholder accommodation. We stack, stuff, and arrange 9-by-14-by-22-inch cardboard boxes to quantify the number of airline-carry-on-size suitcases that will fit in a trunk or folded seat’s cargo space. To measure irregularly shaped gloveboxes, door pockets, and console bins, we fill each container with 1.5-inch-diameter ping-pong balls. It’s tempting to convert the number of spheres to a volume (cubic inches), but we resist that calculation because—as with the box of tissues, 12-ounce can of soda, or gallon of milk you might stash in these compartments—there are voids between the balls. Random packing (our procedure) nullifies approximately one-third of the available space. The negative space between the balls could theoretically be reduced to 25 percent of an irregular shape with precise stacking, but while we might be pedantic, we’re not crazy.

Test Results: Maximum Cubby Storage

Exterior Rating:

The MDX’s beaklike grille was the subject of much ridicule, and it seems that the criticism has motivated Acura to make a change. The new model’s prominent LED headlights and tastefully creased sheetmetal are more traditional styling cues and serve the MDX well.Exterior Dimensions

Exterior Measurement Comparisons

Exterior Features

The new diamond grille is the centerpiece of the MDX’s 2017 refresh. Some find it bold and reminiscent of the successful Mercedes-Benz front end, which is also called a diamond grille. Others call it overdone and pine for the old beak. Either way, the MDX will stand out in a crowd.
Active Key-Fob Commands

Lock / unlockTrunkRemote startPanic alarmHold to open windowsHold to close windowsRemote parking2017 Acura MDX SH-AWDXXXPassive Key-Fob Commands

Driver door lock / unlockPassenger door lock / unlockTrunkPush to startProximity approach lighting2017 Acura MDX SH-AWDXXXXSafety and Driver Assistance Rating:

With excellent scores from both crash-test-rating agencies and a suite of standard safety features that often cost thousands of dollars in extras, the MDX is a standout even in this safety-conscious class.Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the nonprofit, independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluate vehicles for crashworthiness in the United States. NHTSA assigns cars an overall rating out of five stars. IIHS uses a different set of tests, grades cars on a scale of Good to Poor, and awards the vehicles that perform best across its tests with Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ honors, the latter of which requires that the subject’s automated forward-collision-braking system performs well.The MDX earned a 5-star rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ score from IIHS, outdoing even safety king Volvo: Its XC90 was a Top Safety Pick but didn’t earn the +.National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Test Results

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Test Results

2017 Acura MDX SH-AWDSmall OverlapModerate OverlapSide ImpactRoof StrengthHead Restraints and SeatsTop Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+?GoodGoodGoodGoodGoodTop Safety Pick+Airbags, Child Seats, and Spare Tire Location

When equipped with a 2nd-row bench seat as our test car was, the MDX has 3 LATCH anchors in the second row, where most vehicles have only 2. The middle set borrows an anchor from the outboard driver’s-side seat, so all 3 positions could not be in use at once, but the MDX allows parents more options than they would have in many other vehicles.Front-wheel-drive MDXs do not come equipped with a spare tire, receiving instead a tire-repair kit. All-wheel-drive models have a spare tire stored under the cargo floor.
Vehicle Tested: 2017 Acura MDX
Active Safety Features

The MDX comes standard with a nearly complete array of active-safety technologies, including lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is available as part of the Technology package. Front and rear parking sensors are part of the optional Advance package.Backup Camera

Gridlines integrated in backup camera view?Do gridlines move with steering wheel?Does volume of audio system reduce when reverse is selected?2017 Acura MDX SH-AWDYesYesNoWarranty Rating:

Acura’s new-car warranty is largely standard fare for luxury brands, but it’s missing the complimentary scheduled maintenance that Lexus, Volvo, and others offer as part of a purchase.Warranty Comparison

VehicleLimited WarrantyPowertrain WarrantyHybrid Component WarrantyCorrosion ProtectionRoadside AssistanceComplimentary Scheduled Maintenance2017 Acura MDX4 years / 50,000 miles6 years / 70,000 milesN/A5 years (unlimited miles)4 years / 50,000 milesNone2017 Infiniti QX604 years / 60,000 miles6 years / 70,000 miles8 years / 100,000 miles7 years (unlimited miles)4 years (unlimited miles)None2017 Lexus GX4604 years / 50,000 miles6 years / 70,000 milesN/A6 years (unlimited miles)4 years (unlimited miles)1 year / 10,000 miles2017 Volvo XC904 years / 50,000 miles4 years / 50,000 miles8 years / 100,000 miles12 years (unlimited miles)4 years (unlimited miles)3 years / 36,000 miles2017 Audi Q74 years / 50,000 miles4 years / 50,000 milesN/A12 years (unlimited miles)4 years (unlimited miles)1 year / 5000 miles

TSX69 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to TSX69 For This Useful Post:
getakey (05-19-2017)
Old 05-19-2017, 07:01 PM   #119
Registered Member
getakey's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,709
Thanked 377 Times in 281 Posts
Great review
getakey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2017, 07:24 PM   #120
Registered Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 224
Thanked 39 Times in 23 Posts
alpha0 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to alpha0 For This Useful Post:
HotRodW (05-26-2017), Tony Pac (05-28-2017), TSX69 (05-27-2017)

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Maybe a new owner soon 2016 AWD Tech package Lease Evil Teo 3G MDX Discussion (2014+) 12 03-19-2016 04:44 AM
New MDX buyer Mr.Tea 1G & 2G MDX Discussion (2001-2013) 26 10-09-2015 05:27 PM
2011 MDX Tech USB reader issues... SilverJ 1G & 2G MDX Discussion (2001-2013) 13 09-21-2015 03:40 PM
Edmunds latest long-term review hits the nail on the head! ostrich Fifth Generation TLX (2015+) 7 09-11-2015 05:28 PM
2014-2016 19" MDX Wheels Compatibility? holografique Third Generation RLX (2013+) 4 09-06-2015 09:20 AM

2014, 3rd, acura, comfortable, eucalyptus, generation, guard, images, mdx, passenger, pinch, ratings, redesign, review, row, seat, window

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:09 AM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: