Acura MDX Hybrid not planned for the new generation, says report [Update]

The fourth-gen Acura MDX isn’t available with a hybrid powertrain, and it may not receive the option later in the lifecycle. In other words, the Acura MDX Hybrid may not return to the U.S. market.

While more SUVs are gaining electrified powertrains during generational changes, the Acura MDX has lost the only electrified powertrain it came with. Citing Acura’s global development chief from a media roundtable, a report from Autoblog.com suggests that the upcoming Type S variant offers sufficient performance in the fourth-gen MDX. So, there’s no need to bring back the Sport Hybrid (SH-AWD) powertrain that was available in the third-gen model.

One could argue that customers demand hybrid variants in cars like the Acura MDX for the benefit of fuel efficiency, not performance. Sure, the 2022 Acura MDX Type S can deliver 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, which is noticeably higher than the 2020 MDX Hybrid’s 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. However, it seems unrealistic that the new variant would match the 27 mpg combined fuel economy rating of the discontinued MDX Hybrid.

Some customers find the standard variant’s efficiency inadequate, wishing there was a hybrid option. For reference, the standard variant returns 22 mpg combined in FWD and 21 mpg in AWD. As a driving.ca reader review (by Rosa Reyes) concludes, MDX customers still call for a hybrid option due to rising fuel costs and environmental issues.

MY2022 update boosts Acura MDX sales

Thanks to the full redesign for MY2022, the sales of the Acura MDX is recovering in the U.S. Between January and August 2021, Honda sold 45,713 units in the U.S. Compared to the January-August 2020 period (27,633 units), that’s a growth of 65.4%. The MDX has surpassed the RDX to become the best-selling Acura model in the country.

All-electric Acura SUV arrives in 2024

A large pure electric Acura SUV is to launch in 2024 featuring GM’s platform and Ultium battery, which could belong to the size class of the MDX. However, the e-SUV may not suit a large section of MDX shoppers who want a frugal premium midsize SUV, as the EV is not expected to come in cheap.

We’ll keep an eye on Acura’s electrification plans and update the page if the company changes its mind on electrifying the MDX.

Featured image: Acura