Suddenly, It’s Abundantly Clear – The Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is the MDX to Have
At American Honda’s upmarket division, the Acura MDX is the lifeblood; the premium crossover that keeps Acura’sÂ trains running on time.
In 8Â of the last 10Â years â€” including each of the last 7 â€”Â the Acura MDX has been Acura’s best-selling model. Fully one-third of Acura’s U.S. volume over the last decade has been generated by the MDX.
Honda knows best of all just how important the MDX has been to Acura’s fortunes, having watched as the brand’s passenger car volume was essentially chopped in half over the last decade. Honda is removing the interference caused by the Pilot, Odyssey, and Ridgeline at the MDX’s Alabama plant by moving production of the big Acura to Ohio.
And more importantly for consumers, the first hybridized MDX â€” the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid â€” is launching now with a pricing scheme that evidently makes the hybrid the best MDX of all.
But it’s in the city, where the EPA says the 26-mpg MDX Sport Hybrid AWD will travel seven or eight miles farther than the MDX AWD on a gallon of premium gasoline, whereÂ there’s real potential for financial benefit. At $2.80/gallon, 10,000 miles of urban driving will save $437 in the MDX Sport Hybrid. In approximately 34,000 city miles, the cost of upgrading to the Sport Hybrid will be negated.
Thank goodness, the hybrid MDX does not use the disappointing ZF nine-speed. Instead, the 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid employs a cooperative seven-speed dual-clutch from the chronically forgottenÂ RLX Sport Hybrid.
Granted, the hybrid gear tacks on 209 additional pounds MDX. But the MDX Sport Hybrid’s weight-to-power ratio is still superior. Plus all that power will be sent to all four wheels via itsÂ seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Acura’s hybrid system is unconventional. One of the three electric motors is linked to the seven-speed; the other two are essentially responsible for creating a torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system by powering the rear wheels.
The degree to which that $1,500 gap can be overcome will depend on the environments in which you drive; the time required to nullify the premium depends on where you drive and how much you drive.
But remember, paying $1,500 extra for the MDX isn’t purelyÂ about the distance travelled between fill-ups. A tolerable transmission, more power, and potentially superior handling are all winning attributes, not to mention the possibility of better resale values accompanying a hybrid badge if fuel prices spike.
Setting aside the MDX comparison, the MDX Sport Hybrid plays a value card in comparison to chief rivals, as well. The Lexus RX450h, currently America’s top-selling premium hybrid utility, is priced from $54,030. The Infiniti QX60 Hybrid is priced at $54,495 in AWD guise. Plug-ins atÂ Mercedes-Benz and BMW, the GLE550e and X5 40e, are $67,225 and $63,095 vehicles, respectively.
With Acura’s Advanced package, the MDX Sport Hybrid can be optioned up to $58,975.
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March 17, 2017 at 02:21AM