The 2022 Acura MDX wears its new flagship mantle with confidence, from its styling to its eager road manners. The MDX is a three-row crossover SUV. Sold under Honda’s luxury imprint, the new MDX rivals the Infiniti QX60, Buick Enclave, Hyundai Palisade, and Volvo XC90. Redesigned for 2022, the seven-seater offers some of the automaker’s most advanced technology and most luxurious features, and comes with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive. Sold in base, Technology, A-Spec, Advance, and Type S models, the 2022 MDX has a new body structure, a new cabin, and updated safety and infotainment technology.
The MDX’s fresh shape elevates its former good looks into something higher-wattage on the glam scale. It’s a sinuous shape, with a broad grille that leads into swole fenders and a leaner look that belies its chunkier curb weight. The cabin’s swept up by a ribbon of wood or metallic trim that dodges below a big central display, surrounded by synthetic leather on base cars and real hides on all other models.
Acura’s 290-hp V-6 couples to a 10-speed automatic in the new MDX, and steps off from stoplights and through interstate passes with authority. The power’s similar to the 2020 model, but ride and handling have made a quantum leap: A stiffer body lets even the MDX A-Spec ride on 20-inch wheels and still quell big bumps with deft control. New for 2022 is a performance-oriented Type S variant that features an even more powerful 335-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 with standard all-wheel drive, as well as an adaptive air suspension, larger brakes, and interior upgrades.
Ride and handling set the MDX apart from sloppier rivals. With its double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, complete with hydraulic front bushings, the MDX has a guitar-string-taut ride, with springs and dampers that resist small bumps and relax to absorb the bigger ones. It’ll heel over deep into steep corners on its standard 19-inch all-season tires (20s on the A-Spec), and its steering cuts a precise line without much feedback, but the MDX controls its body with just the right amount of give.
Interior space expands in the first two rows. In front, driver and passenger have at least 12-way adjustment in well-bolstered buckets. Synthetic leather gets an upgrade to real leather on all above the base model, and cooling and heating are available. Second-row passengers have great space, and the middle seat section can be removed to turn the seven-seat MDX into a six-seater with a middle aisle to the third row.
By the numbers, the 2022 MDX measures 198.4 inches long (up 2.2 inches from the outgoing model), 78.7 inches wide (up one inch), and rides on a 113.8-inch wheelbase (up by 2.8 inches).On the cargo front, the MDX has a two-level cargo floor with 1.8 cubic feet of storage beneath a reversible panel. That complements 16.3 cubic feet of space behind row three, 39.1 cubic feet behind row two (48.4 with the seats moved forward), and 71.4 cubic feet behind the front seats (95.0 if those seats are moved forward).
The MDX earns both a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS and a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA that add on an impressive list of standard and optional safety features. Every MDX has automatic emergency braking front and rear, low-speed braking control, traffic-jam assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and a driver attention monitor. Technology editions and above get front and rear parking sensors; the Advance model gets a head-up display and a surround-view camera system.
At least $47,925, not including $2,000 more for all-wheel drive on the base models. Every MDX has a panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone charging, and a 12.3-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. High-end ELS audio, navigation, 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and a surround-view camera system come on the top versions. The Type S tops the lineup at $67,745.
Acura has once again redefined the premium large SUV class with the 2022 MDX. Acura’s new MDX brings together all that it has learned and wrapped it into a near-perfect package with strong powertrains, evolutionary new styling that looks fresh but yet the styling needle, and blends it with cutting-edge technology. All of that is just a bonus compared to the MDX’s impeccable road manners that make some sport sedans cringe, this is definitely the crossfit athlete of SUV’s. In the end, the new 2022 MDX blends the best of Acura’s hallmarked past in an amazing new package.