Among the most recommended luxury SUVs, the 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid stands out as a reliable 3-row crossover SUV filled with luxury features and high resale value. It also shines in terms of safety, value and owner satisfaction. Although not as fancy as the Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5 or Audi Q7, the MDX roughly $45,000 initial price cuts this competitor by a significant margin. Of course, those rivals offer high-octane engines to keep up their performance, but you’ll be satisfied with the MDX Hybrid that boosts output and conserves fuel at the same time.
The 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is well-equipped, but it’s not without its faults. First and most importantly is its infotainment system. Functions are split between an upper display screen and a lower touchscreen display. Both are unintuitive, and it’s difficult to remember which screen the function you want to access is located. Furthermore, the interior materials don’t quite reach the quality of what appears in the more expensive rivals.
TRIM LEVEL & PRICING
The 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is a three-row luxury SUV that seats up to seven. Its nicely equipped, and come with features you’ll likely want in this class of vehicle.
Standard equipment for the base trim include 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, automatic wipers, power-folding side mirrors, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, upgraded interior trim, power-adjustable front seats with heating, driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a navigation system, a color driver information display, a dual-screen infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen and a 10-speaker premium audio system with HD radio, five USB ports, satellite radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Safety features include front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane and road departure warning and mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.
The optional Advance package adds adaptive suspension dampers, wider wheels and tires, roof rails, auto-dimming mirrors, a 360-degree parking camera, a heated steering wheel, premium leather, front-seat ventilation, heated second-row captain’s chairs, second-row sunshades, and two additional USB ports for the third row.
- MDX Sport Hybrid (SH-AWD) with Technology Package: $53,895
- MDX Sport Hybrid (SH-AWD) with Advance Package: $60,645
Three-row seating for seven in the 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is fantastic, with ample room for taller adults in the front two rows and acceptable room for the average-sized adult in the third row. Access is easy and practical as it sharing the same underpinnings as the Honda Pilot. But the similarities are too many, and the MDX fails to set itself apart with materials that feel far too similar to the Honda. You’re not living in squalor, but you’re sure not enjoying five-star accommodation in the MDX’s cabin, made worse by an infuriating infotainment system and some substandard build quality with creaking trim panels and more hard plastic than should be found at this price tag.
The seats are look properly aggressive and offer plenty of support. Aside from the busted driver’s seat, the rear-seat legroom is generous and legroom can be expanded via a sliding bench. Entering the third row is a breeze thanks to a spring-loaded entry trigger by a single button. Once in the back, the third row offers a healthy 30.9-inches of legroom, which is great for small children and acceptable for adults.
Acura offers five interior colors including Ebony (black), Parchment (beige), Espresso (brown), Graystone (grey), and a combination of red and black. Opting for the A-Spec package limits the options to Ebony or Red and we’d opt for the red. The two-tone interior might be too much for some owners but we think it jazzes up the interior nicely.
Most of the materials feel soft and the leather/suede combination on the seat looks great. However, parts of the interior do not feel any nicer they do in an equivalent Honda vehicle and we noticed squeaky trim panels on all four doors. The interior certainly doesn’t feel up to par with its $56,000 price tag.
Like the Pilot, the 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid enjoys an abundance of storage space. Behind the third row of seats, there’s a maximum cargo volume of 15.8 cubic feet, which should cater to a week’s worth of grocery shopping. But the practicality expands with the third-row seats stowed out the way, unveiling 43.4 cubic feet which in turn swells to a maximum of 90.9 cubic feet with all but the front seats out of play, and with shorter occupants taking residence in the front pair of perches. These figures ensure the MDX Sport Hybrid sees off most three-row rivals who simply can’t measure up, and the second- and third-row seats fold flat with immense ease. There’s an additional storage bin beneath the main cargo hold, too, adding extra practicality.
The practicality continues throughout the cabin, with small item storage found in abundance. Large cupholders, cavernous door pockets, and a deep center console bin with flip compartment configurations are versatile and practical, catering to everything from purses and wallets to smartphones, and even tablets.
The 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid is engineered for customers who focus on fuel economy. Featuring Acura’s three-motor Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, the MDX Sport Hybrid is the brand’s most efficient production vehicle. An engine idle start/stop feature is also standard. Work has been done to make the restarts quicker, but it’s defeatable if you want to switch off the feature.
The 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid 3.0-liter, i-VTEC V6 engine and three-motor Sport Hybrid Super Handling-All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system delivers decisive power and control as well as instant torque. While turning out 321 total system horsepower and 289 lb.-ft. of combined system torque, all MDX Sport Hybrids earn an impressive EPA combined fuel economy rating of 27 mpg. A 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (7DCT) – a feature closely related to the NSX supercar’s 9-speed DCT – is offered as standard equipment. The MDX Sport Hybrid’s electric SH-AWD system operates independently of the gasoline engine, with the two rear-mounted electric motors dynamically apportioning torque directly to the left and right rear wheels.
3.0-liter V6 + electric motors
321 combined horsepower
289 lb-ft combined torque
Zero to 60 mph: 5.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 15.5 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 3.6 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 4.0 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.5 sec @ 97 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 133 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 188 ft
Towing capacity: 5000 lbs.
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/27 mpg