2022 Acura MDX First meet and test drive

Acura's revamped 3-row SUV delivers a sophisticated interior experience, but that may not be enough in such a demanding segment.

We are doing the first test drive of the 2022 Acura MDX. A very stylish and comfortable SUV, the 2022 Acura MDX strikes fear into its rivals. Honda’s luxury subsidiary does not slow down and continues to renew its product range for the better, in 2019, the RDX showed a remarkable evolution, which immediately made it the best product that Acura had launched in a long time.

Then came the TLX, a sports sedan that offers an attractive and interesting proposition, somehow recovering the spirit of that extraordinary TL from when the band arrived in our market, all except for the aspect of the good value for money that the Acuras they had at the time.

Today is the turn of the brand’s 3-row SUV, I mean the MDX, which for the 2022 model year is completely renewed, notably improving in practically everything.

New Platform, Same Engine

Under the hood we have an old acquaintance, the aspirated V6 we have known for a long time, however, the platform is new, lighter, and stiffer than before.

The proportions are very different, the chest is long and in general, it now looks a lot more athletic. The design is noticeable as a natural evolution, it maintains the grille in the shape of an inverted pentagon with the design of diamonds that have the large central emblem as their vanishing point.

2022 Acura MDX

The lines are similar, but straighter and sharper, while the headlights (both headlights and skulls) are slimmer and more stylized.

  • Engine – 3.5-liter V6
  • Power – 280 hp
  • Torque – 267 lb.-ft.
  • Transmission – 10-speed Automatic
  • Traction – SH-AWD

Although the engine does not change, the MDX abandons the previous 9-gearbox in favor of a 10-gearbox, which is smoother and faster.

Acura MDX 2022 Modern interior

2022 Acura MDX Interior

If from the outside the MDX 2022 looks good, inside things get much better, the atmosphere inside is impeccable, on a par with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Just that same feeling of very pleasant surprise that the Lincoln Aviator left me in that regard.

You can see the attention to detail, such as the open-pore wood inserts with metal trim finishes, the excellent quality and feel of the climate control buttons, or the driving mode control. Or the excellent leather with which the steering wheel seats and some parts of the dashboard and console are lined.

In general, in terms of materials, I only have one complaint, the abuse in the piano black finish, since the surfaces with this insert on the center console and dash are too large. Otherwise, the MDX feels luxurious, modern, and very sophisticated. As for the equipment, absolutely nothing is missing.

  • 3-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
  • Panoramic ceiling
  • Wireless charger
  • Smart key access and start
  • 16-speaker ELS audio system
  • Head-Up Display
  • 12.3 ”center screen
  • Digital instrument cluster
2022 Acura MDX

As for connectivity, the main protagonist is a huge 12.3-inch central screen that is manipulated using the touchpad located in the center console. Like RDX and TLX, screen and pad are divided in two, in a format by the eye of a good cube, 70% for the left part and 30% for the right. From there, all navigation, telephone, audio, vehicle status, etc. functions are controlled.

A nice detail is when navigating through the different menus of the infotainment system, a bell rings when going from one item to another, it sounds quite Christmas-ish, to tell the truth.

The reality is that it may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but in practice, it is not. The interface is intuitive and easy to operate. There is compatibility with Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

2022 Acura MDX

Interior Space

In the second row of seats, there is good space, I could even ensure that three adults of my size can go with relative comfort, of course, two will travel excellent, the back of the center seat can be folded and becomes a comfortable armrest with double cup holders and space to place an object.

If you want to carry adults in the third row, it will be necessary to travel the second row as much as possible and even then, the space in the back will be limited, suitable for short trips, but not much more.

The trunk for its part, even with the third row enabled, is quite wide, with 461.6 liters, you can carry some luggage for a weekend, although by folding down the seats, the resulting space is enormous.

Driving

We barely had the opportunity to drive the MDX 2022 for a few kilometers and on unfit roads to demand a little more from it and thus be able to get to know its dynamic capabilities well.

However, if there was a chance to get some impressions. The first thing that catches your eye is the suspension setting, which is much softer considering the sporty appearance of the MDX, it is totally comfort-oriented, which seems understandable considering that it is aimed at family use, but even so, I would have liked a bit more firm.

Steering is fast, precise, and communicates well, while the brakes while appearing to be effective enough, have a spongy feel on the pedal, which doesn’t convey as much confidence as they should. Perhaps it is a matter of habit.

2022 Acura MDX

Although, as I had already mentioned, the box works very well and in general maintains the engine in an adequate regime to offer response capacity, without raising the revolutions much, I have the feeling that the MDX 2022 does not accelerate with the forcefulness which it should, considering the segment it is pointing to.

In other words, the 3.5-liter V6 falls short of power. And here I am going to clarify the point well, the performance is enough to move with ease, but if we put it in the context of its competition, the Audi Q7 with the supercharged V6 feels dramatically more powerful and the price difference is less than 4 % speaking of the input version. And of course, the difference in equipment would have to be considered.

The Acura MDX offers performance in acceleration and responses, more in line with the 3-row SUVs of the volume brands than that of the premium ones and that could alienate certain types of customers who demand more performance.

2022 Acura MDX: Conclusion

The Acura MDX 2022 is a significantly superior truck to its predecessor, that feeling that it once conveyed, of being a more expensive Pilot is eliminated and now, in terms of design, interior, and technology, it is at the level of the German rivals.

The weak point of this new exponent of the brand is definitely in its engine, and that is that the six-cylinder complies, but it is not up to the performance of a Q7, X5, GLE, or Aviator, which are the models with which the MDX aspires to compete. We will have to wait for the arrival of the Type S version that will bring with it a 3.0 turbo V6 with 355 hp, although the price will surely be significantly higher.

Let’s not forget that the 2022 Acura MDX with the 3.5L V6 arrives in the Us at a price of $47,200.

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