For the first time, the Acura MDX is getting the high-performance Type S treatment.
Back in October, Acura lifted the wraps off the stunning MDX prototype previewing the automaker's new flagship SUV that will borrow styling cues from the new TLX sedan. Now, the 2022 Acura TLX production model has arrived as "the most premium, performance-focused and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history."
Compared to its predecessor, the styling is a major departure, taking Acura's flagship SUV in a new sporty design direction with a wider and lower body, a sculpted hood, and a bolder front fascia incorporating a 3D diamond pentagon grille and slimmer LED headlights with embedded daytime running lights.
In terms of dimensions, the new Acura MDX has a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase than the outgoing model and is 1.4 inches wider in the front and rear, giving the flagship SUV a more muscular look. The dash-to-axle ratio is also extended by nearly six inches, accentuating the SUV's long hood, and the wheels are pushed closer to the edge of the bodywork.
Exterior paint options include two standard non-metallic finishes and six premium colors including Phantom Violet Pearl first offered on the 2021 TLX and a new Liquid Carbon Metallic. For a sportier look, A-Spec trims add gloss black accents front to rear, darkened headlight and taillights, and Shark-Gray wheels.
Underpinning the 2022 MDX is an all-new light truck platform that increases the SUV's body rigidity and provides driving dynamics akin to a sport sedan. For the first time, the MDX sports double-wishbone front suspension combined with multilink rear suspension for a smoother, more comfortable ride, improved stability, and more precise handling. Combined with a quicker steering ratio and variable gear ratio steering system, a new belt-driven electric power steering system provides sharper steering.
Under the hood, the 2022 Acura MDX is powered by a 3.5-liter direct-injected V6 engine rated at 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque with intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that improves the fuel economy and increases the power output. For the first time, the 2022 MDX applies an active shutter grille that closes the lower grille in certain conditions to divert air around the SUV and reduce aerodynamic drag.
Acura's 3.5-liter V6 is mated to a new ten-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a wider gear ratio than the previous nine-speed automatic transmission. With front-wheel drive, the 2022 MDX has an EPA rating of 19/26/22 mpg city/highway/combined, while the all-wheel-drive version delivers 19/25/21 mpg city/highway/combined.
Inside, the luxurious cabin befits a flagship SUV, lavished with open-pore wood, brushed aluminum, and soft-touch Milano leather premium materials. As standard, the sport seats feature 12-way adjustment, three-way seat heating, and three-position memory. A-Spec trims also add ventilated front seats.
In the second row, 2022 MDX features an adjustable middle seat allowing for three seating options. With the middle seat up, it acts as a traditional bench, or it can be folded down to be used as a captain's chair style armrest with additional drink holders. Alternatively, it can be removed entirely allowing for easier access to the third row.
Compared to the outgoing model, the third row offers an extra 0.4-inches of headroom, 2.4-inches of legroom, and a seating position that's two-inches higher from the floor. Cargo space has been increased by 1.5 cu.ft. to 16.3 cu.ft. and can be increased to 71.4 cu.ft. with the second and third rows folded. The cabin is more high-tech too, with a 12.3-inch fully digital display replacing the previous physical gauges and a 10.5-inch head-up display available with the Advance Package. The infotainment system is displayed on a new 12.3-inch screen with a touchpad interface.
Like the TLX sedan, the MDX will also get the high-performance Type S treatment for the first time in the model's history, packing a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine producing an estimated 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. Visually, the MDX Type S will look even sportier thanks to an open diamond mesh grille, quad exhaust tips, 21-inch wheels, and gloss black trim replacing the standard chrome. Larger brakes with four-piston Brembo front calipers will give the Type S variant superior stopping power. The MDX Type S will also have a more refined cabin with available massaging front seats, unique colors and trim, and a premium audio system with over 1,000 watts, 22 channels, and 25 speakers.
As standard, all MDX trims come with an expanded suite of AcuraWatch safety and driver-assists including an updated road departure mitigation and a new traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection, and a driver attention monitor.
Arriving in dealers on February 2, 2021, the 2022 Acura MDX will start at $46,900 with FWD and $48,900 with AWD excluding the $1,025 destination charge. The high-performance Type S will follow in late summer 2021.