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2022 Acura MDX Review


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 a 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 February of 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

  • V6 engine
  • Strong new chassis
  • History of reliability
  • Upcoming 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
  • No plug-in hybrid model

How Much?

The 2022 Acura MDX starts at $46,900 and stretches up to $60,650. (base price of lowest to highest trim minus destination charges.)

Fuel Economy

The 2022 Acura MDX with standard front-wheel drive returns 19 mpg city and 26 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel-drive models deliver slightly worse fuel economy with 19 mpg city and 25 mpg on the highway.

The standard 3.5-liter V6 makes 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. When it arrives in the summer of 2021, the 2022 Acura MDX Type S will use a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that makes an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.

Standard Features & Options

The 2022 MDX comes with a long list of standard features which most notably includes the company’s AcuraWatch suite of safety tech like lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assistant, forward-collision warning, collision-mitigation braking, and more.

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. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come standard, along with Amazon Alexa Built-in.

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 power front seats, 20-inch wheels, a head-up display, a 16-speaker audio system, Milano leather upholstery, and 27-color-theme ambient lighting.

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

The MDX’s 3.5-liter V6 feels more relaxed than the turbo 4-cylinder engines found in many of this Acura’s competitors, thanks in part to its silky 10-speed automatic transmission that always seems to find the right ratio. Paddles behind the steering wheel allow for manual upshifts or downshifts, the latter handy to help slow the MDX on downhill stretches.

As in the TLX, Acura has switched the MDX to an electric brake booster (in place of a typical vacuum unit). While we had no major issues with MDX brake performance, we wish Acura had tuned the pedal a bit firmer and a touch less grabby.

On the other hand, Acura nailed the ride. The new MDX is totally comfortable, yet the new suspension — with double A-arms in front and a multilink rear — provides excellent chassis control in turns. Of note, the Comfort mode offered by the MDX’s Integrated Dynamics System doesn’t actually soften the suspension. Instead, the system, controlled by a knob at the bottom of the center sack, adjusts other parameters such as throttle response, transmission response, steering effort, and interior sound levels.

The electric-assist steering, with a ratio that gets faster the more you turn the wheel, has good feel and response, the latter aided by Bridgestone Alenza tires (size 255/55R-19 or 255/20R-20) with sidewalls some 10 percent stiffer than the usual all-season tire you’d find on a typical midsize 3-row crossover SUV. While we don’t think ride quality suffers as a result of these tires, they can thump like a drum on certain bumpy freeways.

Other observations: The MDX’s head-up display, standard with the Advance trim, is large and clear, with sufficient adjustability for drivers of different heights. Also, the True Touchpad Interface on the center console isn’t especially easy to use while driving. That stated, the new MDX’s standard wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto operates seamlessly and can’t get much easier. And it’s always fun to ask the onboard Amazon Alexa an occasional question.

Last, the MDX seats (heated and cooled in the Advance model, with nine massage settings) are a good blend of comfort and support, and the 16-speaker ELS 3D Studio stereo sounds fantastic, with better fidelity than you likely have at home.

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?

The all-new 2022 Acura MDX starts at $46,900.

When does the 2022 Acura MDX go on sale?

The 2022 MDX goes on sale February 2, 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 has taken an already highly recommendable 3-row luxury SUV and made it even better. The new version has a roomier interior, better technology, and more features. It also has a starting price below that of the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, and new Genesis GV80. See the Acura MDX models for sale near you.

Matt Degen
Matt Degen is an author specializing in interesting news and features about cars. Matt is a longtime lover of both cars and news, as well as the latest technology. He was the past automotive editor of The Orange County Register newspaper and a former board member of the Motor Press Guild, the nation’s largest automotive media association. He holds degrees in Communications and Culinary Arts.... Read More about Matt Degen

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