Early in the hybrid era, automakers seemed torn between melding the capabilities of internal-combustion engines and electric motors, working in carefully orchestrated tandem, to attain stratospheric fuel-economy numbers, and the newfangled system's potential to deliver enhanced performance. Honda and its premium brand, Acura, have proved themselves comfortable with either proposition.
Recently, we drove a 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid — a large sedan — that won our hearts with its 50-plus mpg readings. It wasn’t the most stimulating car we’ve ever driven, though. Later came the 2017 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid, whose mediocre fuel-economy readings were mitigated somewhat by its quick acceleration and crisp handling — qualities one rarely looks for, let alone finds, in a seven-passenger midsize crossover.