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2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid: Mini Star Fleet Shuttle

MDX Acura Sport Hybrid system
ZTSG 30/10/2021 Suv 286
As you read this article, the 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is sitting in the showroom. Although the word "sports" is annoying, 31 ponies have been added to the horsepower column, and the city's fuel ec...

As you read this article, the 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is sitting in the showroom. Although the word "sports" is annoying, 31 ponies have been added to the horsepower column, and the city's fuel economy rating has improved by nearly 37%, which is worth considering. Of course, it is equipped with enough technology and safety features to feel like a shuttle of the Starfleet, but unfortunately, its price can match it.

Well, okay, it starts at $53,795, which isn’t that bad, so it’s only an unfortunate price if you have a tendency to covet sports cars in that price range (like me).

Performance Layout

How It Works

Safety & Security

Extra Stuff

Pricing

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Gallery

Performance Layout

The new MDX’s hybrid drivetrain is a variation of the hybrid drive system found in the latest NSX, which is a good idea. The foundation is a 3.0-liter, i-VTEC V6 engine coupled to a three-motor Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive system. Super Handling-All Wheel Drive is Acura’s (nee Honda’s) trademark for their four-wheel-drive layout, and although it’s gruesomely cloying, we’re going to have to get used to it.

Photo: Honda North America.

How It Works

The MDX’s electric SH-AWD system operates independently of the gasoline engine. There are two rear-mounted electric motors that direct torque to the rear wheels. When you’re cornering, the system delivers positive torque to the outside rear wheel to aid with turn-in and grip. Acura’s system simultaneously applies regenerative braking to the inside rear wheel to further enhance this.

The entire system output of the drivetrain adds up to 321 peak horsepower and 289 lb-ft. of torque, impressive, and, even more impressively, it adds up to a combined fuel economy rating of 27 mpg. I say that’s impressive because this SUV has to be on the porky side (Acura gives no weight figures).

The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is standard and is closely related to the NSX’s nine-speed DCT. The MDX’s 7DCT can operate automatically or manually via steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Photo: Honda North America.

Safety & Security

Naturally, since this is every inch the modern Japanese SUV, the 2019 MDX includes the AcuraWatch suite of advanced safety technologies: Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning.

There’s also Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, Blind Spot Information, and a Rear Cross Traffic Monitor.

And if all that is still not enough to keep you out of trouble, Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure should keep you safer than houses in the event of a big thump.

Photo: Honda North America.

Extra Stuff

Besides all the safety and hybrid frosting on this Acura’s cake, there are some nips and tucks, bits and bobs to make the new MDX Sport Hybrid stand out from its past brethren. There’s high-contrast seat and door panel stitching, which seems to be a growing fashion trend these days. There is a new interior wood treatment, and both the driver and front passenger seats get four-way power lumbar control.

New exterior colors are also available.

Pricing

Like I said, the 2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid starts at $53,795. That’s for the “base” model, dubbed the Technology Package. The top of the line MDX Sport Hybrid is called the Advance Package, and that one starts at $60,545. No, neither of those prices is exactly bargain basement, but you do get a lot of stuff – tech, drivetrain, and safety – for your cash.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of

Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. His forthcoming new book, The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me, will be available soon.

Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

2019 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid Gallery

Photo and photo source: Honda North America.