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2022 Acura MDX: First Look

The Acura MDX 3-row crossover is all-new for 2022. This premium SUV from Acura (Honda’s luxury brand) enters its fourth generation with sleeker and more muscular design, new technology, enhanced safety features, and additional amenities. There’s also a focus on performance. This new-gen MDX emphasizes that point with its first Type S model. The Acura MDX Type S will swap the standard 3.5-liter V6 with a new twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 and Acura’s excellent Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

With the former RLX sedan gone, the 2022 MDX now has the distinction of being Acura’s flagship vehicle. Already a top seller, the Acura MDX 7-passenger SUV appears ready to defend its title against rivals like the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Volvo XC90, and Lincoln Aviator.

What’s New?

The Acura MDX is all-new for 2022. This marks the model’s fourth generation and it is set to go on sale in early 2021. Following the standard model will come the 2022 Acura MDX Type S, a performance version that is slated to arrive in the summer of 2021. Note that there is no 2021 Acura MDX. Can’t wait for the all-new version? See the 2020 Acura MDX models for sale near you.

What We Like

  • Choice of V6 engines
  • History of reliability
  • Type S performance model
  • Full suite of safety features
  • ELS high-end audio system

What We Don’t

  • Touchpad control isn’t for everyone
  • No word yet if hybrid MDX will return

How Much?

Est. over $45,000 to $60,000. (base price of lowest to highest trim minus destination charges.)

Fuel Economy

As the 2022 Acura MDX isn’t even for sale yet and we’ve only seen it in “prototype” form, there are no official EPA fuel economy ratings for it.

That said, the current model that also uses a 3.5-liter V6 with a 9-speed automatic transmission is rated at 20 miles per gallon city, 27 miles per gallon highway and 23 mpg combined in front-wheel-drive form. All-wheel-drive 2020 MDX models earn 19 mpg/city/26/mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.

Note that the new 2022 MDX will use a 10-speed transmission, so that could help it beat these numbers. Acura has also yet to announce the power ratings of the standard 3.5-liter V6. But for at least an idea, the current model makes 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque.

When it arrives later, the 2022 Acura MDX Type S will use a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.

Standard Features & Options

Much is still unknown about exact features and trim-by-trim details of the forthcoming 2022 MDX, but we do know it will again offer Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, which is also currently available in lieu of front-wheel drive.

Acura is upping the ante in the tech department with the introduction of dual 12.3-in digital screens. One relays information in the configurable instrument cluster, while the other is in the center of the cabin and manages infotainment, navigation, audio and more. That main screen is controlled by Acura’s True Touchpad, an innovative system in which the placement of your finger correlates to an exact spot on the screen.

Speaking of infotainment, the Acura MDX will feature its best audio to date: a 1,000-watt/25-speaker ELS system. We’ve been wowed by the new ELS systems in the recently updated RDX crossover and TLX sedan.

Other features and amenities of the Acura MDX include 16-way front seats with nine different massage settings, 21-in wheels, Milano leather upholstery and the AcuraWatch safety suite.

Safety

All current Acura MDX models include the AcuraWatch system, and the one in the 2022 MDX is further improved.

AcuraWatch bundles features like a forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. The 2022 MDX will be enhanced with traffic-jam assist and low-speed braking control.

Crash-test ratings are still to come, but the 2020 MDX already boasts a 5-star rating from NHTSA and the top rating of “good” in all crashworthiness categories from the independent IIHS.

Behind the Wheel

We are eager to get behind the wheel of the 2022 Acura MDX and will share our experiences as soon as that happens. From what we know, this new version of Acura’s 3-row SUV should be even more athletic thanks to its first use of a double-wishbone front suspension, more performance-oriented chassis, and Brembo four-piston brakes.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Audi Q7 – Audi’s 3-row crossover presents a good blend of comfort, performance, and German brand appeal.

2021 BMW X5 – The BMW’s optional third row is tight and its roughly $60,000 starting price isn’t cheap, but it handles great and offers some sweet technology. It is available in rear- or all-wheel drive and several powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLE – The latest GLE also stands out with impressive technology, slick design, and a choice of powertrains, including those from Mercedes’ AMG performance division

2021 Volvo XC90 – Yes, it’s got the latest safety features, but Volvo’s XC90 also brings captivating style inside and out, and thoughtful interior functionality.

Used Mercedes-Benz GLS – Though an all-new version arrived for 2020, GLS models that are a few years old still bring great driving manners, refinement, and safety features.

Questions You May Ask

How much does the 2022 Acura MDX cost?

We expect the all-new 2022 Acura MDX to start in the mid- to high-$40,000 range.

When does the 2022 Acura MDX go on sale?

The 2022 MDX is slated to arrive at dealerships in early 2021.

What is the 2022 Acura MDX Type S?

The Type S MDX is Acura’s first performance-oriented SUV. It will come with a twin-turbo V6 and standard all-wheel drive. It is slated to go on sale in the summer of 2021.

When will the Acura MDX be redesigned?

The 2022 Acura MDX is the latest redesign. This all-new Acura MDX represents the fourth generation for Acura’s flagship SUV.

Autotrader’s Advice

With the 2022 MDX, Acura looks to take an already highly recommendable 3-row luxury SUV and make it even better. The new version has a roomier interior, better technology, and more features. While pricing is yet to be announced, Acura has traditionally positioned its vehicles below – sometimes well below – the price of German rivals. Our preview of the MDX in prototype form looks promising, and we look forward to getting behind the wheel of the real thing. See the 2020 Acura MDX models for sale near you.

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