Honda gave its upscale brand Acura quite the makeover, and not just on the exterior. The 2022 Acura MDX inherits a similar powertrain from the previous year’s model, but the body architecture, cabin and safety and infotainment tech are all-new in the latest MDX – and it’s not just improved, but looks the part.
The SUV comes in several versions, including base, Technology, A-Spec and the Advance, our tester. Its aesthetic manages to be refined but not too glossy. The grille appears like a wide smile, and with the supersized Acura “A,” smack dab in the center, it’s intended to impress on first glance.
Acura has stylized this version of MDX to recall its smaller RDX SUV and the TLX sedan, and the swooping lines and shape will harken to Audi and other European SUVs. The new MDX is accented nicely with its thin LED headlights up front that contrast with a larger front end. The MDX features adds three inches to its wheelbase and sits like it’s ready for any terrain. The slim LED tail lights complete a stunning visual from front to back.
The MDX is just as neatly arranged inside, with toggles and push buttons set horizontally and purposefully, brought together by the 12.3-inch digital display as the centerpiece.
The steering wheel and the dashboard give the MDX a modern vibe that its predecessors lacked, and just about the only area of concern inside is the touchpad. It’s not a complete nuisance, though. We must give you the heads up that operating Acura’s True Touchpad interface may take a bit of time to get used to, and perhaps watching YouTube videos to get familiar is advisable.
Under the hood of the 2022 Acura MDX is a robust 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 engine. It features variable cylinder management and is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a Super Handling-All Wheel Drive system, the torque-vectoring feature that comes standard on A-Spec and Advance is optional on all other trims.
We were happy with how smoothly the MDX shifted across gears and performed more than adequate on city and highway drives. The MDX is balanced, able to send up to 70 percent of the engine’s power back to the rear axle, allocating up to 100 percent to either rear wheels.
As result, this clutch-based system renders understeering impossible through corner acceleration, while during braking or coasting, MDX’s 58/42 weight distribution offers a comfy ride. Weighing in at north of 4,500 pounds, the MDX handles admirably, and its well-tuned V-6 offers a sweet sounding gnarl as it starts up.
The price (as tested) for the 2022 Acura MDX SH-AWD Advance is $62,175.
As mentioned earlier, the Acura MDX enters a segment with a group of solid premium crossover offerings, all hoping to give the German SUVs a serious challenge.
The segment includes the Volvo XC90, which packs on tech features galore and comes with a plug-in hybrid variant. The Buick Enclave is not your grandfather’s Buick, offering premium and spacious interior and all the latest safety tech. The Lexus RX has a sporty exterior that impresses instantly. And last but not least, Hyundai Palisade has a nice exterior and generous room in the third row, while Lincoln Aviator offers a savvy interior, plus a hybrid model.
Photo Credit: Acura