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On the Acura MDX Brochure page 11 under the picture it says:

Off-road use not recommended with MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD. MDX SH-AWD with Advance Package shown in White Diamond Pearl.

Anyone know why Off-Road use is not recommended?

I have had one on order for a couple months and I dig with archaeologist all over the fields, woods, and swamps of Florida. I drive slow and am very carful not get scratches and dents, but do intend on continuing do this with my Hybrid.
 

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I assume it's for the same reason that towing is not recommended.

In towing and off-road applications the rear electric motors are likely to be under higher load and may overheat. The system will then disable them -- effectively leaving you with a FWD MDX, except with a smaller, less powerful ICE engine lugging around a bunch of extra weight (batteries plus electric motors).

I bet it's mostly a "CYA" thing for Acura.
 

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I think the term "off-roading" is quite broad because for some a gravel driveway is off-roading and for others it's prerunning King of the Hammers. Few crossover SUV's are proper off road vehicles and none of the Honda/Acura vehicles are, but I can't imagine taking a logging road from time to time in the Hybrid is going to be an issue.
 

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I think the term "off-roading" is quite broad because for some a gravel driveway is off-roading and for others it's prerunning King of the Hammers. Few crossover SUV's are proper off road vehicles and none of the Honda/Acura vehicles are, but I can't imagine taking a logging road from time to time in the Hybrid is going to be an issue.
If you take logging roads or dirt roads,there may be tell tail signs that you can’t hide. Dirt in places you can’t wash off. Or scratches underneath. Also the car has a GPS. It knows where you’ve been. Any type of drivetrain problem and they could void your warranty. Good luck with that one.
Check pg 238 of the manual. Apparently some off roading is allowed.
 

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I think the term "off-roading" is quite broad because for some a gravel driveway is off-roading and for others it's prerunning King of the Hammers. Few crossover SUV's are proper off road vehicles and none of the Honda/Acura vehicles are, but I can't imagine taking a logging road from time to time in the Hybrid is going to be an issue.
You're right. I tend to equate the term 'off-roading' with '4-wheeling', which I've done fairly extensively in a Jeep and there's no way the MDX could handle that. The MDX doesn't have a 2 speed transfer case, doesn't have the ground clearance, doesn't have the approach/departure angles needed, doesn't have skidplates, doesn't have the type of AWD that can be sustained in slippage situations - i.e. parts of it will overheat and possibly fail. There's no way it could do elephant hill in Canyonlands, Utah, many of the trails in Borrego, some of the trails around Ouray, Colorado, etc. Those are the trails I equate 'off-roading' to.

Since the AWD on the hybrid MDX is achieved through the use of the electric motors I assume what they really mean is that they don't want them to operate in sustained slippage mode that one can experience in deep sand, mud, and what I call off-roading, since this could (would at at some point) cause them to heat up a lot and potentially fail. This system seems more like an 'on-road' type of AWD to me - something more suited to the slippage conditions of raid/snow/ice and providing the advantage of torque vector handling.

I don't count a gravel or typical more heavily traveled dirt road as 'off-road' since most non-AWD vehicles with not great ground clearance can usually handle them just fine - i.e. there won't be a lot of slippage to compensate for.
 

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Depends on what you call off-road.
If flat level dirt roads are all you want to traverse then no problem!
BUT

If you want to go uphill at very low seeds? I dont see the electric motors holding to that abuse.
 

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In addition to the potential issue with electric AWD motors overheating, there is another issue: the large high voltage battery pack under the middle of the vehicle, and associated high-voltage cables. An ill-placed rock hit could be troublesome.

Are there similar cautions/restrictions for other hybrid crossovers or SUVs?
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think the SH-AWD even was really designed for rock running or bogs. I've been on some back roads where suddenly you have water sloshing over the hood and are praying none gets in the intake. I just don'r see my MDX SH-AWD doing what I would call off road. Going down a dry dirt trail in summer might seem simple but I've seen places where a road plow makes a rut that takes control of the car when your wheels fall into it.
 

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I've had my 3rd-gen Pilot on some pretty entertaining forest service roads, but it does have some scars on the underside of the bumpers to prove it. Same AWD and same ground clearance as MDX, and only slightly less overhang. As for mud bogs or boulder-strewn slopes? Not prudent, IMO.

But if you find water unexpectedly sloshing over your hood, you probably need to slow down and look at the road/trail a bit more often. And maybe get a better map... :grin:
 

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I've had my 3rd-gen Pilot on some pretty entertaining forest service roads, but it does have some scars on the underside of the bumpers to prove it. Same AWD and same ground clearance as MDX, and only slightly less overhang. As for mud bogs or boulder-strewn slopes? Not prudent, IMO.

But if you find water unexpectedly sloshing over your hood, you probably need to slow down and look at the road/trail a bit more often. And maybe get a better map... :grin:
I don’t think anything on the 3rd gen Pilot. Pertains to the MDX hybrid.
 

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Follow thread and pertinence may become clear. Our 2014 MDX Tech SH-AWD tends to be reserved for milder adventures than the 2016 Pilot Touring AWD, but that has more to do with the rather possessive/protective principal driver of the MDX than its intrinsic capabilities, IMO. BTW, burden of proof is upon Honda/Acura if they believe a failure is the result of abuse.

I just compared the Owner's Manuals for 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid and 2017 MDX, and I found exactly one difference in the 2-page section on "off highway" operation ( bold added for emphasis ):

"Spinning the tires can also damage the SPORT HYBRID Super Handling-All Wheel DriveTM system."

"Spinning the tires can also damage the SH-AWD® system."

So unlike the stern warning on not towing with the Sport Hybrid, maybe "soft-roading" ist nicht verboten?
 

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Follow thread and pertinence may become clear. Our 2014 MDX Tech SH-AWD tends to be reserved for milder adventures than the 2016 Pilot Touring AWD, but that has more to do with the rather possessive/protective principal driver of the MDX than its intrinsic capabilities, IMO. BTW, burden of proof is upon Honda/Acura if they believe a failure is the result of abuse.

I just compared the Owner's Manuals for 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid and 2017 MDX, and I found exactly one difference in the 2-page section on "off highway" operation ( bold added for emphasis ):

"Spinning the tires can also damage the SPORT HYBRID Super Handling-All Wheel DriveTM system."

"Spinning the tires can also damage the SH-AWD® system."

So unlike the stern warning on not towing with the Sport Hybrid, maybe "soft-roading" ist nicht verboten?
Perhaps I misunderstood, but you stated same AWD. They do not have the same AWD. Plus you specifically mentioned your Pilot.
 

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Sorry. I meant SH-AWD is essentially the same as AWD on Pilot. Mostly, I just think soft-road capabilities are very similar between those vehicles with the "conventional" AWD drivetrains. I’m not sure what additional constraints the sport hybrid system introduces, if any, and there seems to be conflicting data. This is likely to become a common issue going forward, as more SUV drivetrains become electrified, so my interest is more than academic.
 

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I finally got around to looking up the OPs reference in the MDX brochure. The legalese is at the bottom of a picture of an MDX shredding sand dunes. Point taken. Don't race the Baja 500 in a sport hybrid MDX. This is similar to other disclaimers like "We pay professional morons to do this stuff. Don't try this at home..." :grin:

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Motor vehicle Automotive design
 

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Perhaps not relevant info but my Touareg Hybid towed and offloaded without any limitations, just like any other Touareg in the lineup, except it was much faster. Not sure why Acura made theirs such a snowflake.
 

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Perhaps not relevant info but my Touareg Hybid towed and offloaded without any limitations, just like any other Touareg in the lineup, except it was much faster.
Yes it’s a good thing VW never lies about the capabilities of their vehicles. Lol

snowflake.
Ugh that’s how you end up on ignore lists.
 
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