SEATTLE — Perhaps the old saying of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”; could easily apply to the latest MDX from Acura. The 2019 MDX Sport Hybrid is carrying the same design language we’ve seen in the MDX for the past couple of years. For years now, it has been the best-selling 3rd row SUV on the market, with over 1 million units sold. The reason? Simple. Honda reliability, good resale value, form and function.
Even though the back-end is starting to look a bit dated, the MDX is still a handsome vehicle. From its snazzy looking headlights to the wide stance it has, it’s easy to understand why so many people love the MDX.
Powering the 2019 model is a 3.0-liter V6 that’s good for a total of 321 horsepower when combined with the electric drive system. 289 lb-ft of torque is more than adequate and the MDX never felt as if it was lacking in having enough power for passing slower vehicles. Interesting foot not is that it enjoys the same twin-motor electric drive unit on the rear wheels of the MDX, is the same system used to power Acura’s NSX supercar. It’s mated to a seven speed dual-clutch transmission. This Hybrid system allows the MDX to achieve an EPA rating of 26 miles per gallon around town and 27mpg on the highway. One important note here is; Acura doesn’t recommend towing at all, because of the Hybrid system.
Nothing much has changed on the inside of the MDX over past model years, either – and that’s okay. The dual-screen infotainment system is still one of my favorites. Sure, it can take a bit to get used to going between screens, however, once you get it down-pat, it actually makes things quite easy to use. Apple Carplay and Android Auto are standard and the audio quality is very good. AM/FM/Satellite Radio, CD, MP3 and Bluetooth audio are here as well. The only thing we’d love to see Acura adjust in terms of audio playback, would be to add a more powerful bass response, like its competitors have.
All the usual suspects for driver aids are present as well. Including lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot indicators and parking assists. Its super-handling all-wheel-drive system is one of the best on the market – adapting to conditions on the fly – it makes sure that you’ll always have power going to the wheels with traction.
We love the quad captain chairs – each are extremely comfortable and can be adjusted in a variety of positions, however, the driver’s seat is the most adjustable. And while it doesn’t have tons of leg room, even the third row seats are comfy, all things considered.
Love those corners:
On the road, the MDX Hybrid Sport handles more like a sports sedan in many aspects. The torque comes into play rather quickly, thanks to the EV assist motors and it feels very nimble. Putting it into sport mode, tightens things up with the steering, suspension and allows for more aggressive shift-points. Brake fade is nearly non-existent and the vehicle has no issues coming to a hard stop.
You’ll experience minimal body roll and Acura has done a rather uncanny job of engineering the
MDX to never really feel out of control. It instills a great deal of driver confidence, no matter what the elements may throw your way.
While you may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, in the case of the MDX, it doesn’t need to know any new tricks to be a success. For the money, it’s one of the better values on the market and brings along Acura’s strong reputation of reliability with it.