Acura mdx sport hybrid 2020 technology package specs, trims & colors

The practical stuff

Acura puts most other luxury brands to shame when it comes to standard driver-assist tech. The AcuraWatch suite of driver aids includes: forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control. Only the Lexus RX offers a comparable array of features as standard equipment. Most other luxury brands make you pay extra for adaptive cruise control, for example.

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Acura offers a four-year, 50,000-mile, basic warranty and six-year, 70,000-mile, powertrain warranty. Like parent Honda, Acura has a good overall reputation for reliability. But reliability ratings for the current-generation MDX are mixed. The MDX got a fairly high rating from J.D. Power, but a below average rating from Consumer Reports. Reliability was previously Acura’s trump card against European and American luxury brands, so that’s a major blow for the MDX.

The MDX received the top “good” score in all Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, and the top score for its front crash prevention system. However, the Acura’s headlights and child seat anchors were only received an “average” rating. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the MDX a five-star overall rating.

Engines, Transmission, and Performance

The 290-hp V-6 that powers the MDX is typical of the powerplants in three-row crossovers, and it’s a strong workhorse in this situation. The nine-speed transmission is mostly smooth and sure-footed, but it can be slow to downshift when you want acceleration. The hybrid MDX is surprisingly quick, and the transitions between the gasoline engine and the electric motors are seamless. While the gasoline version can tow up to 5000 pounds, Acura does not recommend towing with the hybrid version, which diminishes some of our praise. The MDX is also a pleasure to drive. The Acura’s optional all-wheel-drive system (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive a.k.a. SH-AWD) helps it to be more agile and engaging on the road than we expect a three-row crossover to be. Both versions give up some of their 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.


Pricing and Which One to Buy

  • MDX: $45,395
  • MDX Sport Hybrid: $53,895

The Acura MDX starts at $45,395; the Sport Hybrid costs another $8500. We prefer the latter because of its excellent fuel economy in the city and enhanced driving character. It has standard all-wheel drive ($2000 on nonhybrid models) and includes the desirable Technology package, which otherwise costs $5000. This dresses up the cabin with leather seats and wood trim, brings better infotainment features such as navigation and a more powerful audio system, and adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. Those who want to maximize the MDX’s technology and luxury features can choose the $6750 Advance package (adaptive suspension, second-row captain’s chairs, heated and ventilated front seats, and more). Still, we’d save the money to maintain this three-row Acura’s value.

А где же клюв?

В отличие от всех подкапотных нововведений, самое главная черта 2017 MDX стразу бросается в глаза. MDX — первый серийный автомобиль Acura, на котором не будет фирменной металлической радиаторной решетки в форме щита — она напоминала птичий клюв и была скорее брутальной, нежели красивой. Новый пятиугольный дизайн решетки обладает прямыми линиями и берет свое начало от концепт-кара Precision, который дебютировал на январском автосалоне в Детройте. Кроме того, дизайнеры Acura изменили форму светодиодных фар, капота и крыльев, чтобы новая решетка смотрелась более органично.

Что касается других изменений: наклонные панели автомобиля сверкают хромом, появился новый бампер и встроенная система двойного выхлопа. В общем и целом, MDX выглядит чище, ниже и шире. Возвращаясь к упомянутым выше системам безопасности, заметим, что теперь каждый покупатель MDX получит автоматизированную систему экстренного торможения, системы предупреждения о выходе с полосы и возможном лобовом столкновении, ассистент движения по полосе, круиз-контроль и систему противодействия выезду с дороги.

Добавив новые системы, отказавшись от «клюва» и предложив гибридную модель, Acura эффективно усовершенствовала свой трехрядный семейный кроссовер, что должно поспособствовать его популярности. Стандартная модель выйдет этим летом, а Sport Hybrid придется подождать еще несколько месяцев.

Еще отличия?

Передний электромотор Sport Hybrid объединен с семиступенчатой коробкой-автоматом с двойным сцеплением, в то время как на стандартный MDX устанавливается обычная девятиступенчатая автоматическая трансмиссия. Крутящий момент направляется на задние колеса парными электромоторами; полноприводная негибридная модель делает это с помощью заднего дифференциала. По сравнению с седаном RLX, совокупная мощность MDX Sport Hybrid меньше на 52 л.с.; автомобиль не может двигаться на одной лишь электротяге от задних моторов.

Впрочем, по общему впечатлению спортивный MDX оставляет далеко позади и Lexus RX450h, и QX60.Кроме всего прочего, система Sport Hybrid позволяет ощутимо экономить топливо. Официальные рейтинги EPA еще не объявлены, однако инженеры Acura обещают 9,4 л/100 км в городе и девять литров на трассе. Расход топлива в городском цикле на 3,6 литра меньше, чем у полноприводного 2016 MDX и на 3 литра меньше, чем у полноприводной модели 2016-го года с опцией «стоп-старт». (Расход на трассе такой же.) Мы полагаем, что рейтинги EPA для негибридной модели 2017 MDX не изменятся по сравнению с 2016 и составят 12,4/8,7 литра в циклах город/трасса для переднего привода и 13/9 для AWD.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The MDX has EPA fuel-economy ratings that are very similar to those of the competition, but it outperformed expectations—and its rivals—in our real-world highway fuel-economy test. The all-wheel-drive nonhybrid MDX earned 28 mpg, making it the most efficient of the group we tested. The hybrid MDX, 244 pounds heavier and unable to make the most of its battery power at highway speeds, returned a somewhat underwhelming 25 mpg in that test. However, the hybrid version offers a significant improvement in city fuel economy, rated 26 mpg by the EPA versus the all-wheel-drive nonhybrid’s rating of 19 mpg.

Our Take

It’s easy to see why so many shoppers end up with an Acura MDX in their driveways. The MDX is comfortable and quiet, and the hybrid powertrain offers both power and good gas mileage. Acura also nailed the things buyers will really notice in daily use, giving the MDX intuitive infotainment controls and an interior that easily switches from passengers to cargo. If this was the latest Honda Pilot, that would be enough. But Acura is a luxury brand, and that means it needs to deliver more.

Acura nailed the things buyers will really notice in daily use.

The competition is doing just that. The Lincoln Aviator and Volvo XC90 not only trump the MDX Sport Hybrid with available plug-in hybrid powertrains but, inside and out, they look and feel both upscale and distinctive. If you want a dose of sportiness in your three-row crossover, the Audi Q7 is much more engaging to drive than the Acura. All of these vehicles give you a reason to spend that extra money on a luxury model, instead of something from a more mainstream brand. Acura doesn’t.

Trying to please everyone

Acura has struggled to come up with distinctive styling that doesn’t repel customers. The automaker has taken some styling risks over the years, only to receive pushback from customers and critics. That’s led to some overcorrection in the form of boring and anonymous designs. The 2020 MDX represents what Acura views as a happy medium.

Acura could have done more to make the MDX stand out, even if it meant annoying a few customers.

From the front, the MDX is immediately recognizable as an Acura. It wears the same pentagonal grille and bug-like LED headlights as the TLX sedan, as well as the smaller RDX crossover. This is Acura’s signature look, and it was applied to the MDX as part of a refresh for the 2017 model year. That gives the MDX a handsome face, but it looks like Acura’s designers put down their pencils there. The rest of the MDX looks flabby and anonymous. Acura could have done more to make the MDX stand out, even if it meant annoying a few customers.

A stylish exterior is one perk of buying a luxury crossover instead of a more mainstream model, but passenger and cargo space are what it’s really about. The MDX is decent in both areas, but not class leading. The Lincoln Aviator has the most spacious front row in this segment, while the Infiniti QX60 offers the most legroom for second- and third-row passengers to stretch out. The Acura’s third row felt a bit more cramped than some competitors’, and we think it’s best reserved for children.

Practical but unremarkable

The MDX’s interior is practical, but it’s fairly unremarkable in terms of design and tech. Naturally for a luxury car, you get leather upholstery and a smattering of wood trim, but the latter seems like an afterthought. A bit too much plastic is mixed in with the fancier materials as well. The monochromatic color scheme and bland overall design would be fine on a top-spec version of a mainstream car, but it doesn’t say “luxury.”

Acura also took a conservative approach with the infotainment system, but at least it’s easy to use. You won’t find anything to rival the Lincoln Aviator’s elaborate digital instrument cluster or the Volvo XC90’s portrait touchscreen here, but you at least get standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The MDX doesn’t have the touchpad-based controller from the smaller Acura RDX either, but we didn’t miss it. A big, centrally-located knob is used to navigate screen menus, and we found that to be a better solution. Acura also included an all important volume knob. The click wheels on the steering wheel that let you scroll through menus are a quality touch as well.


The 2020 Acura MDX doesn’t draw much attention on the street, but this three-row crossover is surprisingly fleet-footed. With seating for up to seven and the ability to tow up to 5000 pounds, the 2020 MDX is more than capable of ferrying families on whatever adventure they choose. While the third row is small for adults and the dual-touchscreen infotainment system can be frustrating to use, the Acura SUV has comfortable seats and desirable luxury features. It also comes with either a dutiful V-6 engine or an optional high-tech hybrid powertrain in the Sport Hybrid model. Both versions supplement the MDX’s fun-to-drive character, but the Sport Hybrid is particularly refined and speedy. Although it’s not as stylish or as sophisticated as the best crossovers and SUVs in its class, the Acura MDX is a unique and engaging alternative.

Luxury, not sport

The full name of this vehicle is 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, but that’s misleading. The MDX is a genuine hybrid, but nothing about it is sporty. That doesn’t mean the MDX is bad to drive, it’s just a case of false advertising.

Acura isn’t the first automaker to exaggerate the sportiness of a vehicle, but we really did have high hopes for the MDX Sport Hybrid. After all, what other family haulers can you name that have raced at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb? Acura also knows plenty about making sporty hybrids from developing the NSX supercar. The specs looked fairly promising, too.

The MDX is quicker than its size might suggest.

The Sport Hybrid uses a 3.0-liter V6 coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with three electric motors configured in a hybrid-specific version of Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. One motor powers the front wheels, while the other two power the rear wheels. It’s a sporty-sounding setup. The dual-clutch transmission can shift quicker than a conventional torque converter automatic, and the two rear motors are set up for torque vectoring, sending precise amounts of torque to each wheel individually to improve handling. Total system output is a respectable 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque.

You definitely feel that power from the driver’s seat. The MDX is quicker than its size might suggest, and those electric motors provide plenty of low-end grunt when pulling away from a stop. Overtaking on highways is a no-drama affair, too. But the MDX delivers its power with the refined surge of a traditional luxury car, not the ferocious onslaught of a true performance vehicle.

Stephen Edelstein/Digital Trends

Nothing else about the driving experience comes close to feeling sporty. The steering is lazy and, even with the trick hybrid all-wheel drive system, the MDX never felt eager to go around corners. Sport and Sport Plus modes held the V6 engine at higher rpm, but didn’t change the way the car felt.

The MDX excels in more important areas, though. Most buyers probably aren’t looking to nail every apex with their three-row crossovers, but they do appreciate quiet and ride comfort. The MDX delivers on both counts. Refinement is right up there with the best vehicles in the segment. We didn’t have the chance to road trip this car, but over a solid day of highway driving, the MDX never stopped feeling as comfortable as a good sofa.

Больше мощности

Установленный на Sport Hybrid привод Super-Handling AWD такой же, как и на суперкаре NSX, хотя и развернут на 180 градусов: иначе он бы не подошел к MDX с передним расположением двигателя. Спереди автомобиль укомплектован двигателем V-6 engine с дополнительным электромотором; еще два электродвигателя располагаются сзади. Эта компоновка повторяет схему седана Acura RLX Sport Hybrid: бензиновый V-6 и встроенный электромотор сообщают тягу передним колесам, а парные электродивигатели — задним.

Вместо 3,5-литрового двигателя стандартной модификации MDX, мотор Sport Hybrid имеет объем 3 литра и включает в себя систему деактивации цилиндров для экономии топлива.Работая одновременно, три электромотора и уменьшенный шестицилиндровый ДВС способны выдать 325 лошадиных сил — на 35 л.с. больше, чем 3,5-литровый V-6 стандартного MDX, причем, сам по себе двигатель внутреннего сгорания имеет мощность 257 л.с.

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