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Road Test: 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Acura’s Most Highly effective and Environment friendly SUV

Acura proudly, and rightfully so, will inform anybody listening that the MDX, over its lifetime, is the #1 promoting three-row luxurious car of all time. It might be parsing classes a bit, however there isn’t a doubt automotive consumers on the lookout for a premium SUV that may maintain as much as seven individuals have taken to the MDX. Now in its third era, what might make the MDX much more interesting? How about providing a hybrid model that basically is sporty.

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Coming at you with a brand new grill

When looking for a three-row SUV, the top-of-the-list prerequisites are often not the power capable of whip round corners and have zippy acceleration—or have fuel-saving hybrid know-how. These could also be desired, however play a secondary position to with the ability to haul additional individuals and their gear. So, for consumers on the lookout for a premium household midsize crossover, the 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid provides them an choice to be only a bit totally different from the gang. And perhaps have some enjoyable on the similar time.

MDX Sport Hybrid Drivetrain: Most Highly effective, Most Environment friendly

The 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is powered by a non-turbo V6  and twin, rear electrical motors, plus an electrical motor within the seven-speed DCT (twin clutch) transmission. What this mix delivers is 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque, together with Zero-60 occasions underneath six seconds.

The Built-in Dynamics System consists of 4 driving modes: Consolation, Regular, Sport and Sport+. Managed by a button on the middle console, choosing one of many modes immediately leads to particular driving dynamics that have an effect on the throttle response, steering, suspension dampers and the exhaust word. The most important swing is from Consolation to Sport+, the place the texture is noticeable throughout acceleration and journey dynamics. Consolation was the place to be when on the open street cruising the freeway, whereas Sport and Sport+ have been the place you wanted to be on the twisties. Choose Sport+ when coming off the road and also you get the complete benefit of the battery help for a fast launch.

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Dealing with units the MDX Sport Hybrid aside from its compeittors

The EPA gasoline financial system numbers are 26 metropolis/27 freeway/27 mixed. Nevertheless, Clear Fleet Report is all the time up for a problem and knew we might surpass the EPA numbers by driving clean and calm. We additionally knew that gasoline financial system can be elevated by ensuring the 1 kW lithium-ion battery was recharged by means of the regenerative braking.

In 335 miles of driving all through Southern California we averaged 29.6 mpg. Up to now, so good. However in two, 100-mile freeway runs with the adaptive cruise management set at 65 mph, we averaged a powerful 31.5 mpg. So, in case you drive implementing the sage recommendation from my highschool driver’s schooling teacher to “accelerate like there is a raw egg between your foot and the pedal,” you may fairly get 550 miles down the street earlier than needing to refill the 19.four gallon gasoline tank with 91 octane.

Gasoline financial system numbers reported by Clear Fleet Report are non-scientific and symbolize the reviewer’s driving expertise. In the event you reside in chilly climate, excessive within the mountains, spend time within the metropolis or caught in rush hour visitors, then your numbers might differ.

SH-AWD = Tremendous Dealing with All Wheel Drive

The “SH” stands for Tremendous Dealing with, an enormous promise from a four,400 lb. SUV.

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Gasoline financial system comes from Honda’s distinctive hybrid system

Engineered with an digital clever energy unit and an influence management unit, wonderful dealing with traits are delivered by means of the electrified torque vectoring that immediately applies traction to the wheel most in want of grip. Torque vectoring is handiest throughout accelerating and turning, the place the engine torque is cut up right-to-left and front-to-rear.

Whether or not it’s on high-speed freeway onramps or mountain corners, the driving force doesn’t sense these torque transitions, besides within the constructive and predictable dealing with being delivered. Understeer was non-existent, so it was attainable to get again on the fuel shortly when hitting the mountain curves arduous. The Brits name this “point and squirt cornering,” the place you’re taking purpose, then utilizing constructive braking and a sluggish entry with fast steering, you’ll be able to speed up out of the nook onerous and by no means lose grip or confidence. This describes the MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD with torque vectoring completely.

The mechanical a part of the dealing with consists of entrance MacPherson struts, rear multi-link, stabilizer bars and an lively damper suspension system. The 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels have been shod with 245/50 R20 high-performance all-season tires. The grip was positive and assured, with the MDX Sport Hybrid feeling planted at highways speeds or aggressive cornering. One can solely think about the grip and dealing with if the all-season tires have been changed with summer time tires.

Stopping comes from an electro-server system that seamlessly integrates the regenerative braking with the four-wheel, ABS disc brakes and digital brake drive distribution and brake help. The stops have been straight and constant, however the brakes, when first starting-out within the morning, have been a bit sensitive and grabby. After a couple of miles, the system labored nice with clean and constant stops.

Driving Expertise: Exterior

Considerably redesigned for the 2017 mannequin yr, the 2018 MDX Sport Hybrid is a carryover, that includes its much-improved Diamond Pentagon Grill. This replaces the clunky, quite blunt nostril on the earlier fashions and will get Acura one step nearer to the posh class for the MDX.

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

We expect it’s obtained the seems to be to again up its efficiency

That new grill, centered with a really giant emblem, has jewel-eye LED headlights on the outer corners, wrapping-around the graceful fenders. LED fog lights sit on the decrease, outer edges of the entrance fascia. The edges are clean with an architectural sculpturing on the doorways. The roofline, with chrome rails, is near-flat and had a panoramic energy moonroof. It ends with a shark fin antenna and a spoiler over the rear hatch window. The few chrome bits and items are discovered on the entrance grille, accenting the aspect home windows and rocker panels, on the rear decrease fascia, the dual exhaust ideas and an eyebrow strip under the rear window wiper on the facility tailgate. Remember to search for the blue, delicate “SH” on the rear hatch emblem badge, which signifies this MDX is inspired.

From the sideview our MDX Sport Hybrid, painted in Trendy Metal Metallic and with the Shark Grey machine-finished 20-inch wheels, had a low-slung look. Perhaps a lighter physique shade and brighter wheels will give a unique look. Don’t know, however we do know we appreciated the stance and look of our check car even when sitting nonetheless.

Driving Expertise: Inside

Clear Fleet Report was driving the MDX Sport Hybrid with the optionally available Tech and Advance Packages. The inside, with wooden trim, had black, heated, ventilate and perforated, Milano Premium leather-trimmed sport seats with white prime stitching. The driving force seat had 10-way energy and the passenger eight-way energy. Each seats had much-appreciated lumbar changes.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Lacking a knob or two, however nonetheless extremely useful

As a part of the Advance Package deal, our MDX had second row heated Captain chairs, that have been separated by a middle console with cup holders and a deep storage space. Entry to the third row 50/50 cut up seats was via Acura’s one contact Sensible Slide Stroll-in system. With the second row seat slid to its most ahead place, it was tight stepping into the third row seat. As soon as within the rear row, even at 5-foot-9, it was tight. More than likely the small of stature shall be driving within the outback, in all probability for brief distances. With the rear two rows within the upright place, the headrests tended to impede the rearward imaginative and prescient. The straightforward answer was to decrease the third-row seats and take away the second-row headrests. Viola—on the spot nice visibility!

The cockpit design is driver-friendly with the gauges in easy-to-read black with white numbers. The standard sort of drugs shifter was changed with push buttons, which truly labored fairly properly. All controls are straightforward attain, together with these for the tri-zone automated local weather system. The heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel accommodates audio phone and voice controls. The slide-top middle console has a decrease space that’s big and may swallow-up smaller gadgets you need to retailer out of sight.

As a part of the Tech Package deal, the MDX Sport Hybrid infotainment system (info and leisure) was outfitted with the 10-speaker ELS Studio Premium audio system that included FM/CD/HDAM with MP3 playback functionality. SiriusXM service is included for 90 days. There’s an auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod connectivity, music streaming by way of Bluetooth wi-fi know-how and hands-free telephone functionality. The system additionally has the cool Music By Voice function and Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Siri Eyes Free.

2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

The letters stand for one thing actual!

The infotainment system is unfold between two screens, which is usually a bit complicated. The highest, eight.Zero-inch, the bigger of the 2, handles the navigation and car system graphics. Navigation with a 3D view is discovered within the higher display and is a part of the AcuraLink Actual-Time system that provided road and freeway circumstances, turn-by-turn and visitors rerouting.

The decrease contact display at 7.Zero-inches is for the radio. It’s too small for our liking and it solely had a quantity knob. All of it appeared a bit outdated in comparison with different techniques we’ve skilled; including the channel knob would make the system a lot simpler to make use of.


Comfort options on our MDX Sport Hybrid included idle cease/begin, an influence carry gate with a rear wiper and cargo-area cargo tie-down hooks. The entrance energy home windows had auto up and down and have been accompanied by rear door sunshades, energy door locks, USB ports, 12V energy retailers, together with a 2.5 amp within the storage space, rain sensing wipers, folding heated energy aspect mirrors with LED puddle lamps, a number of cup holders and an auto-dimming Homelink rearview mirror.

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

With seats down, the MDX can swallow a variety of stuff

Turning into extra widespread and appreciated, was the useful Encompass View Digital camera that provides a downward 360º take a look at something that could be within the MDX Sport Hybrid’s surrounding space. You’ll come to depend on this nifty function.


The MDX Sport Hybrid is properly outfitted with lively and passive security options together with seven air luggage, a tire strain monitoring system, collapsible steering column, anti-theft alarm, hill begin help, engine immobilizer and rear view digital camera. As soon as on the street, security techniques embrace lane departure warning, blind spot and rear cross visitors monitor, ahead collision and mitigation warning, and street departure mitigation and lane retaining help.

The 2018 MDX has earned a US Authorities Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) 5-Star General Car Rating, the place 5 Stars is their highest security score. The Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS) awarded the MDX its prime security decide, for general crash safety.

Pricing and Warranties

Clear Fleet Report’s check 2018 MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD Advance didn’t have any choices, so the MSRP was $58,150. Pricing excludes the $995 vacation spot and dealing with and charge.

The 2018 MDX Sport Hybrid comes with these warranties:

  • New Car                  4 years/50,000 miles
  • Powertrain                     Six years/70,000 miles
  • Hybrid Elements    Eight years/100,000 miles
  • Roadside Help    4 years/50,000 miles
  • Corrosion Perforation 5 years/Limitless miles

Observations: 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD

The 2018 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD is a beautiful SUV with a properly outfitted inside. It’s among the many most gasoline environment friendly in its class and has the complete array of superior driver security know-how. Configured as both a six- or seven-passenger, the MDX can serve your loved ones properly.

2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid

Three rows; small fries in again

The redesign that passed off in 2017 carries-over to 2018, making the MDX extra modern and serving to it compete properly in its class. The inside is snug, particularly for lengthy journeys and outings, and has an elective second row leisure system to maintain the again seaters completely satisfied and quiet. The MDX Sport Hybrid is a viable choice in comparison with a bigger, non-hybrid SUV, because it gives extra efficiency and much better gasoline financial system.

If your loved ones has grown to the purpose the place it wants the area and also you don’t need to compromise efficiency, then by all means go to your Acura dealership and take the MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD for a prolonged check drive. Ensure to ask for an Acura manufacturing unit educated specialist that may clarify the hybrid know-how intimately. That is the one strategy to really get a really feel if going a bit of bit inexperienced is best for you.

No matter you find yourself shopping for, Pleased Driving!

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Clear Fleet Report is loaned free check automobiles from automakers to guage, sometimes for every week at a time. Our street exams are based mostly on this one-week drive of a brand new car. Due to this we don’t tackle points reminiscent of long-term reliability or complete value of possession. As well as, we are sometimes invited to producer occasions highlighting new automobiles or know-how. As a part of these occasions we could also be provided free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our greatest to current our unvarnished evaluations of automobiles and information irrespective of those inducements.

Our focus is on automobiles that provide the most effective gasoline financial system of their class, which leads us to emphasise electrical automobiles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We additionally function these environment friendly gas-powered automobiles which might be among the many prime mpg automobiles of their class. As well as, we goal to supply critiques and information on superior know-how and the choice gasoline car market. We welcome any suggestions from car house owners and are devoted to offering a discussion board for various viewpoints. Please tell us your views at [email protected]