The all-new fourth generation 2022 Acura MDX continues as the brand’s flagship.
After a gap year, the MDX is now based on a new platform that wears new front and rear suspensions under a slightly larger body. The completely redesigned three-row 2022 MDX takes styling cues from the recently renewed TLX sedan and RDX crossover.
Bigger outside and in; Luxury of Acura brand evident
The bigger exterior corresponds to more room inside for people and cargo.
The standard equipment list has grown as well. The interior design and finish are worthy of a luxury brand. Much more so than the outgoing 2020 model. There are four trim levels – base ($56,405), Tech ($60,405), A-Spec ($63,405), and Platinum Elite ($67,405).
The first and second rows are spacious and the seats supportive. The third row is best left to small or young occupants.
Award-winning advanced passenger airbag from Acura
Hopefully the front seat passenger will never have to benefit from the innovative, and award-winning multi-chamber airbag hidden in the instrument panel in front of them. Designed to mitigate head trauma from angled front collisions it was introduced on the 2021 Acura TLX.
There has been increasing recognition of severe brain trauma associated with angled frontal collisions.
This new airbag consists of four components – three inflated compartments (one centered and two outward facing) and a ‘sail panel’. The panel is the initial point of contact, catching the head and ensuring it decelerates with less force before contacting the centre chamber, while the side chambers cradle and prevent rotation or sliding off the bag.
A joint development between Honda R&D Americas and safety systems supplier Autoliv, the new bag is widely recognized as a major leap forward in airbag design.
Acura infotainment system not intuitive but at least there are knobs
On the other side of the dash lies a 31-cm digital configurable instrument panel. In between is a second 31-cm display controlled by a next-generation of Acura’s True Touchpad infotainment interface, with swipe zones and hand-writing recognition.
Unfortunately, the system is far from intuitive. The ultra-sensitive console-mounted touchpad controls require too much time with your eyes off the road, especially if that road is less than billiard-table smooth. Thankfully, there are physical power, volume and seek controls.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, rear seat reminder, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a wireless smartphone charging pad and ELS Studio stereo system are all standard.
2022 Acura MDX powertrain
The transmission is controlled by push-buttons on the centre console.
The drivetrain remains essentially unchanged, with a 10-speed automatic replacing the nine-speed used previously. The silky-smooth and powerful 3.5-litre V6 is carried over.
Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system is standard on all trim levels. It has been tweaked for this fourth-generation application, able to deliver 40% more torque to the rear wheels and respond 30% more quickly to the need for that transfer.
The torque vectoring system allows prioritization of right or left rear wheels. This comes into play when cornering or dealing with on ramps. The result is a light and eager-to-respond vehicle that belies its size and heft. That agility is coupled with a very pleasant and smooth ride. Both wind and road noise are well isolated.
Then 2022 Acura MDX benefits from some serious upgrades, improved standard equipment list and innovative safety technology.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Acura MDX TECH
As tested: $60,905 plus freight
Collision Mitigation Braking System with Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning system, Lane Departure Warning system with steering wheel haptic feedback, Low-speed braking control, Road Departure Mitigation system, Blind Spot Information system, Lane Keeping Assist System, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor system, Traffic Jam Assist
31-cm HD colour screen with touchpad interface, 12-speaker ELS Studio Premium Audio System with AM/FM/Satellite radio, Windows Media Audio compatibility, Alexa built-in, wireless phone interface, wireless smart phone charging, AcuraLink subscription Services, 1st and 2nd row USB charge ports, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Wireless Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto,
Bluetooth® Streaming Audio, HD Radio ready
Power heated, folding mirrors with reverse tilt and integrated signal indicators, rear camera washer, navigation with voice recognition, adaptive cruise control, front and rear park sensors, memory system for front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, 12-way power adjustable driver’s and front passenger’s seat including 4-way power lumbar support, heated front and second row seats, heated steering wheel, perforated leather seating surfaces
Liquid carbon metallic paint, $500
3.3-litre V6, 290 horsepower, 267 lb.-ft. of torque, premium fuel, 10-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 12.6/9.4
Length, 5,039 mm; width, 2,000 mm; wheelbase, 2,890 mm; weight, 2,077 kg
Audi Q7, BMW X5, Cadillac XT6, Lexus RX 350L, Lincoln Aviator, Mercedes GLE, Volvo XC90