MDX Hybrid Sport

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2019 Acura MDX Hybrid Sport Overview

To many, a hybrid sacrifices fun in the name of efficiency. But not all hybrids are designed for extracting the most miles out of a single drop of fuel. There is a growing group of hybrids that use their gas-electric drivetrains to improve performance along with fuel economy. A shining example of this is the 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid.

The Sport Hybrid is a more fuel-efficient version of the midsize three-row Acura MDX. Acura first introduced the Sport Hybrid in 2017. For 2019, Acura offers more available exterior colors and a new interior wood treatment.

While the passenger room in the first two rows will be plentiful, the third row is best suited for children—adults will feel cramped. All rear rows fold to reveal up to 68.4 cubic feet of cargo space. With the third row folded, the MDX Sport Hybrid has 38.4 cubic feet of space. With all seats up, it has 14.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats.

The cabin of the MDX Sport Hybrid is attractive and functional, offering plenty of cubbies and compartments. It also features Acura’s unique shifter design. The MDX’s infotainment system will have a learning curve for many drivers. Luckily, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make up for the infotainment system’s clumsy layout.

Opting for the Sport Hybrid over the gas-powered MDX requires selecting the Technology Package. This package gets you 20-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, remote start, and power-folding side mirrors with LED puddle lights. Inside, it gets perforated leather seats, GPS-linked climate control, natural wood cabin accents, and rear-door smart key entry. It also comes with the Acura Navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, and Acura’s ELS premium stereo system.

Buyers can also choose the Advance Package, which upgrades the upholstery from the standard leather to perforated Milano leather with contrast stitching. Other upgrades include the addition of a heated steering wheel and heated and ventilated front seats. This package also changes the second row to a pair of heated captain’s chairs, bringing seating capacity down to six.

The Sport Hybrid powertrain starts with a 3.0-liter V6, working with three electric motors; one mated with the 9-speed automatic transmission and one at each rear wheel. The result is a hybrid version of Acura’s Super-Handling all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. This system can put more power to the outside rear wheel of the MDX while in a turn. Known as torque vectoring, this feature allows the MDX to handle more like a performance sedan.

The combined system output of the hybrid drive is 321 horsepower and 289 pound feet of torque. Compare that to the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6, which puts out 290 horsepower and 267 pound feet of torque.

The MDX Sport Hybrid features an Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), which can adjust things like the throttle response, shift mapping, and steering feel. The Sport Hybrid’s mode selection includes Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport+. The IDS also controls the Active Damper System, which is standard on the Sport Hybrid.

Fuel economy for the 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is 26 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined.

Standard safety features include a reversing camera, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and a full array of front- and side-impact airbags. As the MDX Sport Hybrid comes with the Technology Package, it features blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. An available Advance Package adds a head-up warning display (HUD) and a 360-degree surround view monitor.

The 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid proves that hybrids don’t have to be boring. With 31 more horsepower and nearly 37 percent better city fuel economy than the MDX, the MDX Sport Hybrid is turning assumptions about hybrids on their head.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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