If you’re looking for a good luxury SUV that also prioritizes fuel-efficiency, fortunately you have plenty of options. Luxury hybrids SUVs are becoming increasingly popular because they are eco-friendly, accommodating, and chic. Among the most appealing luxury SUVs with the hybrid treatment are the 2020 Lexus RX Hybrid and the 2020 Acura MDX Hybrid because they are upscale, but still on the more affordable end of their class. Let’s see how the two compare.
Performance and capability
Technically the Acura MDX hybrid is called the MDX Sport Hybrid and the Lexus RX Hybrid is titled as the RX 450h. When it comes to performance, the MDX Hybrid rides smoothly but it’s not as sporty as the name suggests. The MDX Sport gets its power from a 3-liter V6 engine and three electric motors. Together the two sources generate a 321-horsepower. The MDX Sport comes standard with a seven-speed automatic, and accelerating to higher speeds is no problem.
Compared to the RX 450h, the MDX Sport is more agile and slightly more powerful. The RX 450h offers a 3.5-liter V6 as well as three electric motors that work together to make a 308 hp. The power isn’t mind-blowing on the RX 450h, but it’s adequate, especially for its size. But, the RX 450h gets a higher fuel efficiency rating with a combined 30 mpg while the MDX Sport gets an overall 27 mpg.
On the inside
The interior of the RX 450h looks exactly how a luxury car should－sleek and inviting. It can seat up to six and comes standard with faux leather and other modern finishings. You can make the cabin more lavish with genuine leather, heated seats, as well as with front sports seats.
In the recent past, many customers complained about how finicky the RX lineup’s infotainment display can be. Now, the RX 450h offers an easier to use 8-inch touchscreen along with other standard features including a nine-speaker stereo, wifi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connectivity. You can also upgrade to a 12.3-inch touchscreen and add on other items like a DVD player or navigation system.
The MDX Sport also comes with a host of desirable standard features such as a dual-screen infotainment system, a 10-speaker stereo, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It might take you a little more time to get used to how this system works and that’s OK.
While the infotainment offerings in the MDX Sport are pleasing, the interior itself doesn’t look or feel as luxurious as it should but we’re expecting another redesign. The current model is still pretty comfortable though and can seat up to seven.
Both the MDX Sport and the RX 450h earned high safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To help prevent crashes, the RX 450h comes with standard advanced driver-assist features including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and pedestrian detection. Similarly, the MDX Sport comes with lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The final verdict
The MDX Sport starts at $53,000 and the RX 450h starts at $46,800. Both models perform well in the luxury hybrid SUV class, but the RX 450h is more well-rounded and has a considerably higher predicted reliability rating than the MDX Sport.