The completely redesigned 2022 Acura MDX made its global debut on Tuesday in the same virtual fashion as the prototype introduced in October. Elevating luxury, performance and technology to new heights, it will show up in dealerships as early as February.
Built on a new, more rigid platform designed to make it a sportier SUV, the fourth-generation MDX promises a superior driving and ownership experience for Acura enthusiasts, according to the brand’s assistant vice president in Canada, Emile Korkor.
- Also: New Acura MDX Prototype is Unveiled, Type S Variant Announced
- Also: 2021 Acura TLX: Now That’s Refreshing!
Same Engine, But…
Under the hood, you’ll find the same 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. However, various enhancements contribute to increased responsiveness and efficiency, supported by a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
Power is further controlled by Acura’s fourth-gen SH-AWD system, which boasts 30 percent quicker front-to-rear torque transfer than the previous system. It is then adjusted based on the drive mode you select (Snow, Comfort, Normal, Sport or Individual) using the control knob on the centre of the dash. Combined city-highway fuel consumption is 10.8 L/100 km, Acura claims.
Another highlight of the 2022 MDX is unquestionably the new double-wishbone front suspension combined with a new multi-link rear suspension for sharper handling and a smooth ride. The vehicle rides on larger wheels than before (19 inches standard, 20 inches optional), while new tires developed exclusively for the MDX feature a revised rubber compound, construction and tread pattern to reduce rolling resistance by 17 percent. There’s also a new belt-driven electric power steering with a variable gear ratio steering system.
More Sophisticated Design
While not dramatic, the design evolution of the Acura MDX reveals a more athletic stance and silhouette, even though the big SUV is 2.5 cm wider and 5.5 cm longer. That’s because height is essentially unchanged (-0.8 cm), the wheelbase is stretched by 7 cm, and the dash-to-axle ratio is extended by 15 cm resulting in a longer hood. By the way, the lines and three-dimensional surface details are inspired by the wind-shaped rocks in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon.
The new four-element JewelEye LED headlights feature an embedded Chicane daytime running light. In the rear, the wide taillights have their Chicane design set in an eye-catching light-blade, and they are integrated into a more dynamically shaped liftgate.
The 2022 Acura MDX will be available in eight body colours including the new Phantom Violet Pearl first offered on the 2021 TLX and an all-new Liquid Carbon Metallic. Apex Blue Pearl and Performance Red Pearl return as exclusive colours offered on the MDX A-Spec, qui also sports gloss black accents, a darkened headlight and taillight treatment and Shark-Gray wheels.
Entering a New World
Using a combination of refined materials such as open-pore wood, brushed aluminum and Milano leather, the new interior is largely defined by light—the one that’s coming in from the standard panoramic roof and also the configurable ambient lighting system. The cockpit is fairly similar to that of the smaller RDX, with a touchpad on the centre console, but the main display high above is a wide, 12.3-inch unit. Another 12.3-inch screen replaces the traditional instruments, while Platinum Elite models add a 10.5-inch head-up display.
If you don’t like Acura’s infotainment system (complete with a 4G LTE hot spot allowing over-the-air updates), the new MDX offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Amazon Alexa built-in. A wireless smartphone charger is also included as standard.
Next-generation sport seats with up to 16-way power adjustments await front occupants. A notable innovation is the versatile middle seat in the second row. When in use, the MDX accommodates up to seven passengers. Fold it down, and it doubles as a wide armrest for outboard seat occupants. You can even remove it—a segment first—to make access easier to the third row, where there’s more headroom (+1 cm) and legroom (+6 cm) than in the outgoing MDX.
The trunk is also roomier with a total of 462 litres, not counting the under-floor storage. The floor panel drops into the cargo well to expand trunk capacity behind the third row to 513 litres, and is reversible with a carpeted side and an easy-to-clean hard side for dirty or wet items. Once all the rear seats are folded, you get up to 2,690 litres of cargo room.
Are you a music lover? Three separate systems are available, none more impressive than the 16-speaker, 710-watt ELS STUDIO 3D premium audio unit. And just like the Honda Odyssey minivan, the MDX is now available with CabinTalk, which amplifies the voices of front-seat passengers so they can be better heard in the second and third rows.
When it comes to safety, AcuraWatch includes updated Road Departure Mitigation plus new technologies such as Traffic Jam Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Pedestrian Detection and a Driver Attention Monitor.
MDX Type S
Following the lead of the TLX, the 2022 Acura MDX lineup will be bolstered by a high-performance Type S model starting next summer. This one naturally boasts racier looks (pictured below) and stronger character with unique 21-inch wheels, an open diamond mesh grille, quad exhaust outlets and gloss black trim replacing the standard chrome.
The engine for the MDX Type S is an all-new turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 producing an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. There’s additional braking power, too, in the form of four-piston Brembo front brakes.
The interior will prove even more inviting and refined with available 9-mode massaging front seats, colours and trim unique to Type S, and the most advanced and powerful audio system ever offered in an Acura vehicle, with more than 1,000 watts of power, 22 discrete channels and 25 speakers.
Keep following The Car Guide for more details about the 2022 Acura MDX including pricing and full Type S specs.