Update: ‘MY2022 update boosts Acura MDX sales’ section updated.
The fourth-gen 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.
On the discontinuation of the Acura MDX Hybrid
While more SUVs are gaining electrified powertrains during generational changes, the Acura MDX lost the only electrified powertrain it came with. Citing Acura’s global development chief from a media roundtable, a report from Autoblog.com suggested 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. 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 has recovered in the U.S market. Honda sold 60,057 units in the U.S. in 2021, 25.6% more than in 2020 (47,816 units). The MDX surpassed the RDX to become the best-selling Acura model in the country last year. It attributed for 38% of the Acuras sold in 2021 (157,408 units).
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 an MDX Hybrid.
Featured image: Acura