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I'm thinking of getting the 17 Hybrid and cant believe it has zero towing capabilities.
The most I would want to do is tow a motorcycle a hundred miles...1200lbs for the trailer and bike combined..
Has anyone towed anything...what would be the issue towing something so light?
 

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It's probably not a matter of 'if' it could tow but rather if towing anything could impact the warranty.

The following is from the owner's manual -

Towing a Trailer
Your vehicle is not designed to tow a trailer. Attempting to do so can void your
warranties.
Given that, if you want to tow just skip the hybrid and get the regular MDX. It's best to not second guess what's clearly stated in the manual.
 

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Honda knows best if they say it's not recommended it is best not to second guess the people who make your car.
 

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It's because you have small motors in the rear instead of a mechanical differential that gets power from a single motor with a larger torque capacity.

The closest configuration to this is a Tesla and even they advise owners not to tow or they may void warranty.

Just think about it though. When you derive torque from small motors on each corner, you still need to consider the load on each individual motor, especially when you turn and each motor is working different torque loads during torque steering.

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Yet strangely, hybrid SUVs from Toyota/Lexus are capable of towing 3500 pounds. Without voiding warranty.
Acura probably could have chosen to offer a "tow mode" to accommodate light towing, they just didn't.
 

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That's because toyota doesn't use electric motors at the rear axle. Different type of hybrid. Everyone always assumes all hybrids work the same way. The MDX hybrid is really more like an EV in the rear.

Toyota's hybrid is a gas motor (and for the capacity you mention, i assume you're talking about the highlander and rx450h, which use their normal v6 ice as the basis) with a generator for assist that act as one powerplant so the towing capacity comes primarily from the gas motor and is further assisted by the hybrid tech.

Acura's hybrid is more like a [smaller] gas motor, with two electric motors in the rear that work in sync with the front motor for extra push and corner power. When you put extra load on the rear, i don't think the Acura system can sufficiently handle it all.

I think in time, they will be able to put on larger motors (and bigger battery) that will give it some capability. Personally, i think acura should have kept the normal v6 and the motors would have added extra oomph but i guess they couldn't reach the mpg targets to compete with Lexus.

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Dunno about "everyone", but I try not to assume anything when I don't have to.

From Edmunds on Highlander Hybrid: "Power is provided by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which along with three electric motors and a battery pack, produces a combined 280 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard"

But I haven't looked at it in detail. Incremental cost over non-hybrid never seemed rational to me. But AFAIK the Acura sport hybrid system is unique in its two-motor push-me-pull-you vectoring capabilities at the rear, and that surely produces some unique constraints. I just wonder if they could have provided a way to make it more "conventional" if you want to tow something.
 

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Maybe Acura can provide a tow switch that disables the two rear motors to make it just a fwd MDX? The 3.0L V-6 should be able to handle 1500-2500lbs for limited towing. I just need to add a bike rack or a swing out cargo carrier. Don't want to void my warranty adding a hitch for two 30lbs bikes.
 

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Did you look at the '17 sold in any other market but the USA?

Our 1st gen CR-V is rated at something like 1000 lbs except everywhere else (UK for example) it is rated for double that.

Likely the Honda legal department was involved in setting that limit, not the engineers. OR - the marketing department was involved - b/c they'd like you to buy a Pilot or Ridgeline to tow with.

Meanwhile I've used the CR-V to pull tow dollies and whole other cars. Not really the old CR-Vs forte due to tiny brakes but I went slow and only a short distance. It is well suited for a 1500 lbs utility trailer though.

Your hybrid can probably tow a fair amount but Acura/Honda doesn't want to pay for the repairs if you break something expensive in the hybrid driveline. Also, the hitch will be very noticeable if you ever use the dealer for service. Poof went the warranty!
 

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I just need to add a bike rack or a swing out cargo carrier. Don't want to void my warranty adding a hitch for two 30lbs bikes.
I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the hybrid for that. The language in the manual I quoted above stated the word 'trailer' specifically. It doesn't say you can't have a hitch or bike rack, etc. A trailer would add not only weight but potentially impact the torque at the rear corners as 'neoshi' indicated above but a hitch mounted bike rack wouldn't do that - it just adds some weight to the rear end - not much different than having suitcases or people in the way back.
 

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I don't see any reason why you couldn't use the hybrid for that. The language in the manual I quoted above stated the word 'trailer' specifically. It doesn't say you can't have a hitch or bike rack, etc. A trailer would add not only weight but potentially impact the torque at the rear corners as 'neoshi' indicated above but a hitch mounted bike rack wouldn't do that - it just adds some weight to the rear end - not much different than having suitcases or people in the way back.
Could make for some interesting conversations with dealer service. Kinda like explaining to your wife why you started carrying a condom in your wallet. "Just for vacations, honey. I wouldn't use it for anything else." >:)
 

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Dunno about "everyone", but I try not to assume anything when I don't have to.

From Edmunds on Highlander Hybrid: "Power is provided by a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which along with three electric motors and a battery pack, produces a combined 280 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard"

But I haven't looked at it in detail. Incremental cost over non-hybrid never seemed rational to me. But AFAIK the Acura sport hybrid system is unique in its two-motor push-me-pull-you vectoring capabilities at the rear, and that surely produces some unique constraints. I just wonder if they could have provided a way to make it more "conventional" if you want to tow something.
Ahh yeah yanno what you're right. I kept thinking about the older hybrid drive setup where it's the one ICE and one electric motor (the old Prius based setup that went into the HS and older RX) that basically adds to the base engine's capability, but they changed that a while back. I remember looking into the reason why towing was a nono on the MDX Hybrid when they announced it and many of the EVs have a similar rear motor setup that also prohibit towing. Similarly in hybrids, it is mostly prohibited, but many owners still do it regardless and find little issue with it (other than the legalities of putting a hitch on a vehicle not rated for towing).

Realistically all current Toyota hybrids utilize the ICE + twin electric motors in dual and isolation modes just the same way the MDX Hybrid is doing it, except Toyota now does it with the two motor (one front and one rear) setup that outputs nearly 180 kW and I think the MDX Hybrid has that dual rear only motors that output a total of 95 kW (?), so one could reasonably believe there is SOME limited towing capability. But is the split of the 95 kW between two motors implying that each motor is really only capable of handling about 45 kW? Compare to Toyota that outputs 123 kW in the front and another 50 kW in the rear on the Highlander. Add to that the Toyotas add these electric motors onto the same ICE engines as the gas only models, while the MDX only utilizes rear motors and a SMALLER ICE. Maybe that's the kicker? BUT, then one would assume that the RAV4 Hybrid, with its even smaller displacement ICE would be unable, but it has 1750 lb capability (good to note that it also has one front motor and one rear motor just like the Highlander Hybrid, but I think these motors are like 105 kW & 50 kW).

So it looks like the difference is primarily that the Toyota setup has front AND rear motors, the Acura setup technically is also twin motors, but only in the rear and a smaller output overall (less than that of the Rav4 Hybrid overall). Then add the fact that Acura downsized the ICE and the torque output is peak at 5k, we seemingly get a vehicle that has only just enough power to pull people and cargo, albeit much quicker off the line than the Toyotas can (they're both PMAC type motors from what I've read). So I duno, there may be a whole certification issue here in addition to lower output electric motors and a lower output ICE.
 

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Lack of towing = deal breaker for me. Looking to replace my 2010 Advance and am now seriously considering an Audi Q7, which has about the same HP and torque but offers a 7,700 lb. towing capacity.
 

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Lack of towing = deal breaker for me. Looking to replace my 2010 Advance and am now seriously considering an Audi Q7, which has about the same HP and torque but offers a 7,700 lb. towing capacity.
I'm leaning towards the F-Pace for the same reasons. The sh-sh-awd MDX has everything I would want in a sporty SUV except for the no towing part. I still have time to give the F-Pace a look down the road for haggle prices to go down, bugs to get worked out, and availability to be less than 6 months for some special orders.
 
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