2022 Acura MDX

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2022 Acura MDX Test Drive Review: Family Fun

The 2022 Acura MDX has a big legacy to live up to. With over one million units sold over 20 years, the MDX is the most successful three-row luxury SUV of all time. But despite the massive sales, the outgoing third-generation MDX felt pretty long in the tooth by the end of its life cycle, exacerbated by shortcomings like an unintuitive infotainment system and a clunky transmission. Both have been replaced. The fourth-generation 2022 Acura MDX arrives as an all-new model, looking to answer any complaints we had with the previous version. Borrowing much of the style and technology from the smaller RDX while adding some unique features and a first-ever Acura SUV Type S, this latest MDX looks poised to be a sales success.

Sitting in the midsize three-row SUV category, the Acura MDX is not short on competition. Some notable rivals include the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Cadillac XT6, Genesis GV80, Lexus RX-L, Lincoln Aviator, and Volvo XC90. The MDX's 290-horsepower V6 engine is one of the more potent base engines in the class, and the Type S model ups the ante with a 355-hp turbocharged motor. Acura has priced the fourth-generation MDX well against its competitors and crammed in a ton of handy features, making it stellar value. CarBuzz tested a 2022 MDX in the sporty A-Spec trim level to find out how Acura's changes stack up in the real world.

Read in this review:

8.8
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2022 Acura MDX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Acura MDX?

Apart from the badge and name being carried over, everything else is all-new or thoroughly enhanced. The platform, body, and chassis are new, while the enhanced 3.5-liter V6 engine is mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission, although it retains the same power specs as before. New features that are standard across the range include a panoramic moonroof, a multi-function second-row with a removable middle seat, five driving modes, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch high-definition center display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, Amazon Alexa, and traffic jam assist.

The Type S variants are the first Acura SUVs with the S moniker, featuring a 355-hp turbocharged V6 with air suspension, specially tuned adaptive dampers, Brembo brakes, a Sport+ drive mode, and self-sealing tires wrapped around 21-inch wheels.

Pros and Cons

  • Handsome exterior
  • Smooth ten-speed automatic
  • Doesn't mind being hustled
  • Sport mode makes a difference
  • Competent all-wheel-drive system
  • Spacious interior
  • Brakes don't inspire much confidence
  • Cluttered center stack
  • Touchpad controls not to everyone's liking
  • Base V6 lacks torque
  • iPhone 12 owners beware the charging pad

Best Deals on 2022 Acura MDX

2022 Acura MDX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
3.5L
3.5L V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$48,000
3.5L with Technology Package
3.5L V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$52,700
3.5L with A-Spec Package
3.5L V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$58,400
3.5L with Advance Package
3.5L V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$61,950
Type S
3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$66,700
See All 2022 Acura MDX Trims and Specs

2022 MDX Exterior

2022 Acura MDX Front View CarBuzz
2022 Acura MDX Rear View CarBuzz
2022 Acura MDX Front Angle View CarBuzz
See All 2022 Acura MDX Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 198.4 in
  • Wheelbase 113.8 in
  • Height 67.1 in
  • Max Width 78.7 in
  • Front Width 67.7 in
  • Rear Width 67.7 in
  • Curb Weight 4,534.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Platinum White Pearl +$500
  • Majestic Black Pearl +$500
  • Phantom Violet Pearl +$500
  • Performance Red Pearl +$500
  • Apex Blue Pearl +$500
  • Liquid Carbon Metallic +$500
  • Tiger Eye Pearl +$500
  • Lunar Silver Metallic
  • Fathom Blue Pearl

2022 MDX Performance

2022 Acura MDX Forward Vision Acura
2022 Acura MDX Driving Back View Acura
2022 Acura MDX Engine Acura

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    3.0L Turbo V6 Gas, 3.5L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    10-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Acura MDX has a strong reputation for athletic handling throughout its illustrious history. With a new Light Truck Platform boasting a 32% increase in structural rigidity, improved multi-link rear suspension, double wishbone front suspension, and excellent SH-AWD, the latest MDX is a prodigious handler. It may seem like a knock on a luxury vehicle of this caliber, but one of the kindest comparisons we can make is to the Mazda CX-9, which is known as one of the most thrilling three-row crossovers in the mainstream segment. This is not a boulevard bruiser like a BMW X5 M, but the handling makes the MDX feel much nimbler than its mid-size proportions would suggest.

That being said, we don't love every element of the MDX experience. The steering is a variable-ratio setup and feels extremely over-assisted in all drive modes. Ditto for the brakes, which reminds us of the pedal on a racing video game. It's difficult to tell how much pressure to apply because the pedal is highly over-assisted and delivers nearly no feedback to the driver. As for ride comfort, the MDX never feels too stiff and the cabin is nicely isolated, even at the top legal speed. Acura's Traffic Jam Assist adds steering assistance at low speeds, but it's not the most confidence-inspiring system we've tested. A large, NSX-inspired knob on the dash allows drivers to change the drive modes, which include Snow, Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Custom. We love how each mode change is accompanied by a video game-themed beep and a new gauge cluster color.

2022 MDX Interior

2022 Acura MDX Steering Wheel Design CarBuzz
2022 Acura MDX Central Control Panel CarBuzz
2022 Acura MDX Front Seats CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    7-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.6 in
  • Front Head Room 38.5 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.5 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.1 in

2022 MDX Trunk and Cargo Space

2022 Acura MDX Trunk Floor Storage CarBuzz
2022 Acura MDX Floor Mats CarBuzz
2022 Acura MDX Maximum Trunk Space CarBuzz

2022 MDX Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating

Verdict: Is the 2022 Acura MDX A Good SUV?

The 2022 Acura MDX feels like a significant improvement over the outgoing model, making it a mid-size SUV we'd happily recommend. Our biggest gripes with the outgoing model, the infotainment and transmission, have both been replaced by better options. The last MDX wasn't an ugly car but this new model dials up the attraction even more while improving the handling and interior space. We wished the naturally-aspirated V6 engine possessed a little more oomph, but that's what the Type S performance model is for.

Buyers in this category have no shortage of options. Rival SUVs in the USA like the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Genesis GV80, and Volvo XC90 feel more premium than the MDX inside, but most will cost more for similar features and not all offer more power in their base configurations. Acura's updates for the 2022 model year have not instantly vaulted the MDX to the top of the midsize segment but unlike last year's long-in-the-tooth model, we think this new one is a compelling option.

2022 Acura MDX Comparisons

Acura RDX CarBuzz
Honda Pilot Honda
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Acura MDX290 hp19/26 mpg$49,550
Acura RDX 272 hp22/28 mpg$41,350
Honda Pilot 280 hp20/27 mpg$38,080

2022 Acura MDX vs Acura RDX

It's interesting to note that in terms of pricing, there isn't a huge difference between the top-spec RDX and the entry-level MDX. In previous years, the MDX's only advantages were the seating and cargo capacity, but now there's more to consider. The MDX's V6 is more powerful than the turbocharged four-pot in the RDX, though the latter is more fuel-efficient. While we like everything you get in the top-spec RDX, we can't help but be impressed by everything Acura decided to include as standard on the new MDX. You get 90% of the comfort and safety features, which makes the base model a bargain.

For the same price, we'd take the base MDX over the top-spec RDX. We don't feel as if we're giving up anything important, plus you get the added advantage of a V6 engine, more space, and a lot more cargo capacity.

See Acura RDX Review

2022 Acura MDX vs Honda Pilot

As Honda's luxury arm, surely every Acura is automatically better than the equivalent Honda, right? Surprisingly, reviews of some Acuras have shown that this hasn't always been the case although the 2022 MDX is comfortably more accomplished than the 2021 Honda Pilot. The top-spec Pilot Black Edition costs $50,220, making it less expensive than the mid-range MDX with the Technology Package. However, the MDX justifies its higher price with a more luxurious cabin, a more refined ten-speed automatic transmission, and the availability of more high-tech features. None of this means that the Pilot isn't an excellent vehicle, especially if you have a tighter budget. Given the choice, we'd choose a lower-spec MDX over a higher-spec Pilot.

See Honda Pilot Review

2022 Acura MDX Popular Comparisons

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