2018 Acura MDX Hybrid
Is the Acura MDX Hybrid a Good SUV?
Yes, the Acura MDX Hybrid is a good SUV. It has an energetic powertrain that delivers the great mpg ratings you want from a hybrid, and it also handles well. Inside, you’ll find comfortable seats and an abundance of tech features. However, many competitors have more upscale interiors. The MDX Hybrid’s cargo space is subpar for the luxury midsize SUV class as well.
Should I Buy the Acura MDX Hybrid?
Though it’s a good vehicle, the MDX Sport Hybrid isn’t the best buying choice. It lags behind competitors in some key areas, and its primary draw – good fuel economy – isn’t so far ahead of rivals that it should outweigh other considerations. If you are looking exclusively at hybrids, the Lexus RX Hybrid should be on your list. Like the MDX Hybrid, it brings a lot to the table. The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid is another option; it’s a little more upscale than the Acura.
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We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank. The 2018 Acura MDX Hybrid is part of a generation that began with the vehicle’s debut for the 2017 model year. There are only a couple changes for 2018. As a result, this review uses research and data from 2017 and 2018.
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How Much Does the Acura MDX Hybrid Cost?
The MDX Hybrid has a base price of around $52,000. That’s midpack among luxury midsize SUVs, which is impressive since hybrids are typically some of the most expensive vehicles in every class. A fully loaded MDX Hybrid costs around $58,000, which is still less than you’ll pay for many fully loaded competitors.
Acura MDX Hybrid Versus the Competition
Which Is Better: Acura MDX Hybrid or Lexus RX Hybrid?
Overall, the Lexus RX Hybrid matches up well with the Acura Sport Hybrid. The biggest difference is space – the RX Hybrid only has five seats, so it won’t make the cut if you want a 3-row SUV for your family to stretch out in. The MDX Hybrid isn’t that much bigger than the RX Hybrid on the outside, but it has more overall interior space. While the Lexus has about 4 more cubic feet of cargo space than the Acura with all seats in use, the Acura beats the Lexus’ overall cargo space with both its second and third rows folded.
The RX Hybrid earns praise for its interior, with an attractive design, elegant materials, and a sharp attention to detail. It costs a little more than the MDX Hybrid, but that price delivers solid luxury. There are also some available features in the RX Hybrid that you can’t get in the MDX Hybrid, like a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system and a brilliant 12.3-inch infotainment display. Like the MDX Hybrid, the RX Hybrid’s infotainment system can be difficult to use, especially if you upgrade to the optional Remote Touch controller. The Acura boasts slightly better performance than the Lexus, mostly due to its surprising agility. If you want luxury and comfort and can sacrifice some space and performance, go with the RX Hybrid. Otherwise, if your needs are a little more utilitarian, the MDX Hybrid is a better bet.
Which Is Better: Acura MDX Hybrid or Infiniti QX60 Hybrid?
Even though the MDX Hybrid is a better overall vehicle, the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid is a more luxurious SUV. Both hybrids have similar base prices, but the Infiniti’s cabin design is more elegant than the Acura Sport Hybrid’s, with accents like maple wood and other high-quality materials. The QX60’s infotainment features are also easy to learn, unlike the obtrusive system found in the MDX. The MDX Hybrid, however, is much more fun to drive. The Infiniti focuses on comfort, while the Acura handles like a small vehicle and is easier to throw into turns.
Both of these SUVs have seven seats, but the QX60’s third row is a little better suited for adult passengers. You’ll also get more cargo space with the QX60 – room for another grocery bag when the seats are up, and about 8 more cubic feet when the seats are folded. Buy the QX60 if you value quality and space above all else.
MDX Hybrid Interior
How Many People Does the MDX Hybrid Seat?
The MDX Hybrid seats seven people. The first two rows of seats are spacious and comfortable, though second-row headroom is tight for taller passengers. As with many 3-row SUVs, the third-row seats are too cramped for adults on anything but short drives.
MDX Hybrid and Car Seats
The MDX Hybrid has three full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The tether anchors are somewhat hard to find. On the plus side, it doesn’t take much force to attach car-seat straps, and the lower anchors are easily identifiable – though they can be tough to maneuver around.
MDX Hybrid Interior Quality
This Acura features plenty of high-end materials throughout the cabin, but it lacks the panache of other luxury midsize SUVs. The overall aesthetic feels more like a Honda than a true luxury vehicle.
MDX Hybrid Cargo Space
The MDX Hybrid has just under 15 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, which is enough room for a large dog. It has a maximum cargo capacity of just over 68 cubic feet, which is enough for large items like bicycles and camping gear. Despite the usable space, many class rivals have more cargo room.
MDX Hybrid Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation
Standard features in the MDX Hybrid include tri-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, a 10-speaker ELS audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, four USB ports, navigation, a dual-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Siri Eyes Free. Available features include an 11-speaker ELS audio system and two third-row USB ports.
The touch-screen is more responsive than in previous models and features an easy-to-master interface. New for 2018, the MDX Hybrid comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it easy to sync your smartphone with the vehicle. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.
MDX Hybrid Performance
MDX Hybrid Engine: No Complaints Here
The MDX Hybrid features a V6 engine and three electric motors that combine to put out 321 horsepower. That’s more than enough juice to push this SUV off the line quickly, and it’s ample power for all other driving situations as well. A smooth-shifting automatic transmission comes standard.
MDX Hybrid Gas Mileage: Not Class-Leading, but Close
The MDX Sport Hybrid gets 26 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Those are excellent ratings for a luxury midsize SUV, though they do trail some hybrid rivals’ ratings. For example, the Lexus RX Hybrid earns 31 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
MDX Hybrid Ride and Handling: Smooth Sailing
The MDX Hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive, which provides reliable road grip. It also has a sport suspension and four selectable driving modes. The MDX Hybrid is fairly agile and doesn’t lean much around corners. Ride quality is good over most road surfaces.
MDX Hybrid Reliability
Is the Acura MDX Hybrid Reliable?
The 2018 MDX Hybrid is part of a generation that typically earns a predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power. That’s a below-average rating for any vehicle (three is average across the industry), and many class rivals have higher reliability scores.
Acura MDX Hybrid Warranty
The Acura MDX is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. These warranty terms are a little better than competitors’, as many luxury vehicles only provide a four-year/50,000-mile warranty.
MDX Hybrid Safety
MDX Hybrid Crash Test Results
The 2018 MDX earns a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
MDX Hybrid Safety Features
Standard active safety features in the MDX Hybrid include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Available features include front and rear parking sensors and a surround-view camera system.
Which Acura MDX Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?
Like the nonhybrid MDX (which is covered in a separate review), the Acura MDX Hybrid comes in one trim with a choice of option packages. All models feature the same 321-horsepower powertrain, a seven-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.
Choosing the right MDX Hybrid for you comes down to how much you value things like heated second-row seats, premium leather upholstery, and a couple of extra driver assistance features. The Advance package comes with a big price jump (more than $6,000), and it’s not a great value. Most buyers will be better off with just the Technology package.
Acura MDX Sport Hybrid With Technology Package
The MDX Sport Hybrid with Technology package (which is the full name of the Sport Hybrid’s base trim) starts around $52,000. Standard features include power-adjustable front seats, heated front seats, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker ELS audio system, satellite radio, navigation, voice command activation, a dual-screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Siri Eyes Free, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.
Acura MDX Sport Hybrid With Advance Package
The MDX Sport Hybrid with Advance package has a starting price of around $58,000. Standard features include the Technology package’s features as well as premium Milano leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, second-row captain’s chairs, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, a surround-view camera system, and front and rear parking sensors.
The Final Call
The 2018 Acura MDX Hybrid is a good vehicle, and there are a lot of reasons to like it. Yet, there aren’t many reasons to prioritize this SUV over the competition. While the MDX Hybrid has few weaknesses in a vacuum, some of its attributes look subpar when measured against the rest of the class. That’s why it finishes in the bottom half of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.