The Acura MDX has long been one of our favorite three-row premium SUVs. It offers a composed, comfortable ride, good-quality cabin furnishings and has a strong reliability and quality track record. For a luxury crossover, it’s also pretty smartly priced compared to rivals like the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Lexus RX-L, with generous standard equipment levels.
The MDX’s brand may dnot have the same cachet as some of its rivals, but it’s not just a good value, it’s a good steer, too. There’s plenty of power from the gas-powered 3.5-liter V6, and the available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive isn’t too shabby, either. There’s even a Sport Hybrid model that boosts performance and efficiency using a 3.0-liter V6 and a three-motor hybrid setup matched with a dual-clutch gearbox. Pricing starts at $44,200 for a front-drive base model, with the AWD Sport Hybrid coming in at $52,100, including a robust tech package that normally costs $4,400. (All models are subject to a $995 destination charge).
A sport motorcycle buzzed past me just as I reached my super-secret testing road in the back hills of Oakland, California. "I'll show that guy," I thought as I switched the driving mode of the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid from Normal to Sport Plus and zoomed off after him on the twisty back road.
The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission zipped the 3.0-liter engine up to 6,500 rpms while the three electric motors did their best to push me closer to Mr. Motorcycle. While I didn't quite catch him, I came close enough to see him check his mirrors, thinking, and this of course is pure speculation on my part, "Wait, that's a hybrid?"
The 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is the company's first hybrid SUV. It has the same looks as the, save for some small bits of trim and badging. It's only sold in two trims, the lower-priced Technology Package or upper Advance Package. The three-row SUV has room for seven, although the Advance Package features captain's chairs in the second row, taking the seating down to six.
The Good A strong powertrain combined with the superb Super Handling All-Wheel Drive makes for an SUV with excellent cornering capabilities.
The Bad The MDX has an outdated infotainment system that is difficult to navigate. The driver's aids only work at certain speeds.
The Bottom Line If you're looking for an SUV with room for seven and is a hoot to drive, you can do much, much worse than the MDX Sport Hybrid.
The report says the technology will be a Level 3 system for Japan and let drivers keep their eyes off the road.
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Hear that? That's the engine screaming to 9,000 rpm.
Spoiler alert: It only costs $100 when adding the optional packages.
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