The new generation of Acura’s mid-size luxury SUV is here. Compared to the previous model, we can see that it brings significant improvements. It is more luxurious, more refined and more capable. However, what’s missing is a hybrid powertrain. The previous generation was available in such a setup, equipped with a V6-based hybrid powertrain, with respectable power. However, the demand wasn’t particularly great, so that version was discontinued after the 2020 model year. Many expected to see a new hybrid after the redesign but that didn’t happen. The initial 2022 model came with just a couple of gasoline versions but if we can trust rumors, the electrified version will still come, most likely with the 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid.
If you look at the previous MDX Hybrid, it featured a pretty capable powertrain. However, it wasn’t particularly efficient, at least not when compared to other hybrid SUVs. That’s why we have big expectations from the new version. It should offer a higher level of efficiency and also even improve performance. So, we would say that the new 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid would rather come with the PHEV setup, instead of the classic hybrid design. At this point, the officials are still quiet. So, take everything you’re about to read in the following paragraphs with a big reserve.
2023 Acura MDX Hybrid Powertrain
Of course, the most interesting thing about the 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid would be its powertrain. The previous MDX Hybrid was based on a 3.0-liter V6 engine, which was combined with an electric motor, in a classic hybrid setup. The whole system was good for about 321 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. The engine was coupled with a dual-clutch automatic transmission and such a setup provide pretty impressive performance. However, the average fuel economy was around 26 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. That’s good when compared to gasoline SUVs but not impressive at all when compared to hybrid SUVs like Lexus RX 450h.
So, Honda engineers will have a hard job to design a system with the same or even higher level of performance, but with notably better efficiency. That’s why many believe that the new 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid wouldn’t come with a classic hybrid setup, but rather with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. We would expect to see a smaller gasoline engine under the hood, probably a turbo-four, along with more powerful electric motors and a relatively large battery pack that would provide a decent level of autonomy as well.
At this point, the officials are still quiet, so stay reserved about these powertrain predictions.
2023 Acura MDX Hybrid Design
Other than the powertrain, we don’t believe that the 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid would come with a much different compared to the standard gasoline version. The overall layout would certainly remain the same. This means that the new hybrid would also bring all the improvements we saw after the recent redesign.
To remind you, the recent redesign has brought a lot of new things. Of course, one of the first things that come to mind is the platform, which brings a completely new chassis and suspension design. The new model brings an upgraded suspension setup, which provides more engaging handling, without compromising the overall level of comfort. Furthermore, the new generation is bigger than before, as it features 2.8 inches more in the wheelbase. That makes a positive effect in many ways, not just in terms of interior space, but in terms of ride quality and visual appeal.
Speaking of the visual appeal, we do not doubt that the 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid would follow the same design language as the standard version. The two models would look pretty much the same, featuring the same front and rear ends, same silhouette and overall shape. Practically, the only differences we would expect to see are minor details, such as different wheels, a slightly revised grille and a few more things that accentuate the model’s electrified nature.
The same thing goes for interior design. We expect to see the same dashboard design, which looks way better compared to the previous generation. The dashboard looks modern and comes with loads of tech features. At the same time, Acura kept a lot of physical controls, which we really like. Furthermore, the materials are much finer than before, while the overall build quality is at a higher level as well. Another aspect where we can see notable improvement is sound insulation. There is notably less noise that gets in the cabin, especially at higher speeds.
The battery may compromise a little bit of passenger and cargo space but the overall seating configuration should remain the same. The 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid will also come with three rows of seats. The first two rows are pretty spacious and comfortable, while the third one is typically tight for the class. The front seats are massive and supportive, while the driving position is typical for Honda cars – excellent. Also, the visibility is good in all directions.
The cargo area might be slightly smaller compared to the standard model. For reference, the gasoline model is good for about 16.3 cubic feet of room behind the third-row seats, 39.1 cubic feet with the third-row seats folded down, and 71.4 cubic feet of the total cargo volume. That’s pretty good for a mid-size luxury SUV.
We believe that the 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid would rather come as a powertrain option than a separate trim level. Therefore, the amount of standard equipment should be pretty similar to the model that uses a 3.5-liter V6. In other words, the list of standard equipment should include tri-zone climate control, a moonroof, a 12.3-inch display, a touchpad controller, a nine-speaker stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, USB ports, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, Amazon Alexa, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Among upgrades, we expect to see things like navigation, additional USB ports, and a 12-, 16-, or 25-speaker ELS audio system.
The same thing goes for safety. We expect that the list of standard equipment will include goodies like a rearview camera, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, road departure mitigation, blind spot monitoring, traffic jam assist, rear cross traffic alert, and traffic sign recognition. Among upgrades, we expect to see a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, and a surround-view parking camera system.
2023 Acura MDX Hybrid Release Date and Competition
We presume that the 2023 Acura MDX Hybrid would come sometime in the second half of the year, though it’s still hard to make predictions when the officials are still quiet. Key competitors should be models like Lexus RX 450h, Volvo XC90 T8 etc.