New for 2017 is the option to buy a 2017 Acura MDX with a hybrid engine and while the 2017 Acura MDX Sports Hybrid may be late to the party, it certainly makes a huge splash!
The 2017 Acura MDX Sports Hybrid places an emphasis on the word sport and is pretty much better in every way when compared to its non-hybrid version. The MDX Sports Hybrid is faster, more powerful with more precise cornering and handling and better fuel economy.
The hybrid setup is slightly different than the traditional switching between the gas and electric motors at certain speeds. Instead, 3 electric motors are placed in key locations of the MDX Sports Hybrid and pair with a new 3.0L six cylinder engine. All motors are used to provide power, but the two motors in the rear are also used in the super handling all wheel drive (SH-AWD) system and the last electric motor up front helps to smooth out shifts and acts as a generator. The 2017 MDX Sports Hybrid also uses a new seven speed automatic transmission with a dual clutch, making for quicker and smoother shifting, compared to the nine speed automatic transmission used on non-hybrid models.
Because of this unique hybrid setup, you don’t get the jarring jolts when switching to the gas engine and touchy braking for recharging the battery that traditional hybrids suffer from. Instead the electric motors and gas engine work as one cohesive unit delivering a refined and efficient driving experience. All together, the MDX Sports hybrid has 31hp more than other models yielding a total of 321hp, along with better fuel economy rated at 9.1 L/100km in the city and 9.0 L/100km on the highway.
The 2017 MDX Sports Hybrid truly is a marvel of engineering and efficiency when it comes to its SH-AWD system. Handling-wise, both systems achieve the same result during turns by diverting power to the outer rear wheel and reducing power to the inner rear wheel. However, the hybrid version of the SH-AWD goes one step further by recovering power and charging the battery from the slowing of the inner rear wheel, taking the whole SH-AWD system to a more sophisticated level. Because the rear wheel power toggle during turns is powered by the two rear electric motors, the response time is almost twice as fast when compared to the non-hybrid SH-AWD system that diverts power mechanically.
Overall, the 2017 MDX Sports Hybrid is a fast, smooth and precise driving experience. If it weren’t for the subtle sound of the gas engine, you wouldn’t be able to tell which engine(s) are at work. Also, unique to the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, is the Sport+ driving mode which keeps the gas engine on at all times, allowing the electric motors to maximize accelerations and shift speeds.
The MDX Sports Hybrid has taken components and technology from other Acura models that have perfected it, then applied them to the new MDX Sports Hybrid to create an instant winner when it hits the market! Starting at $69,990, it is the top end of the MDX range, but it also comes fully equipped in top of the line fashion. For more information on the MDX line up, read our full review of the restyled 2017 Acura MDX (non sports hybrid).