Update: ‘Sales’ section updated.
The CR-V Hybrid has been on sale in the U.S. for almost four years (March 2020). In late 2022, it underwent a full redesign, complete with a powertrain upgrade. However, contrary to some expectations, a platform twin/cousin in the form of an Acura RDX Hybrid is not planned.
Why the Acura RDX Hybrid is not in the pipeline
Dave Gardner, the former executive vice president of Business & Sales of American Honda, has confirmed the company is not planning further Acura hybrid models. The premium brand will “bypass hybrids altogether and move directly to zero-emission vehicles,” Gardner told CNET in an interview in August 2022.
By “bypass” he meant no further launches, as there have been Acura hybrids in the recent past, such as the ILX Hybrid, NSX, and MDX Sport Hybrid, all of which have been discontinued. Most recently the NSX retired, with production having concluded in November 2022. The Acura ZDX, Acura’s first pure-electric car, debuts next year at U.S. dealers. With it comes an exciting new era in the brand’s operations stateside.
The 2023 Acura RDX employs a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 272 hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard, and an all-wheel drive system is available as an option. The FWD configurations deliver a combined fuel economy of 24 MPG (EPA-est.) and the AWD configurations, a slightly lower 23 MPG (EPA-est.). The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid’s electrified engine can return 40 MPG, or 37 MPG if you check the AWD option.
All-electric model for the Acura RDX’s segment
In the second half of the decade, the Acura RDX should gain a pure-electric powertrain or perhaps the nameplate could give way to an electric compact SUV. The model for the segment will likely ride on the bespoke EV platform that will be part of the Honda e:Architecture, which will debut in a Honda model in the U.S. in 2026. Batteries may be sourced from the Honda-LG Energy Solution JV plant in Fayette County, Ohio, which the two companies announced in October 2022. The American battery factory will have an annual production capacity of about 40 GWh. Mass production, starting with pouch-type lithium-ion cells, is to begin by 2025.
102,306 Acura vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2022, a 35% decline over 2021, in a year when supply chain issues affected vehicle production worldwide. Its most popular model was the MDX crossover (46,425 units), followed by the more compact RDX crossover (24,749 units).
In 2023, between January and September, Acura sales in the U.S. were up 48.1% from the first nine months of 2022 – 110,535 units (January-September 2022: 74,652 units). The RDX recorded 27,202 units in YTD sales at the end of September 2023, marking a 37.8% YoY growth (January-September 2022: 19,736 units).
Customers looking for an electrified alternative to the 2024 Acura RDX may consider the 2024 Lexus NX Hybrid, which costs USD 44,205 (incl. DPH fee) onwards and delivers up to 39 MPG (combined, EPA-est.).
Featured Image Source: Honda