Review: 2022 Acura MDX gets fully updated, ditches the dual-screen setup
Acura completely redesigned the MDX sport utility for the 2022 model year. It’s new look is an evolution of the previous generation, having some harder edges and simpler design language overall. Inside, everything is changed, including the dual infotainment screens. Some of these changes are for the better.
At a Glance
- Solid value for the money spent when it comes to technology and features
- Spacious interior for people and cargo
- Infotainment is still needlessly complex
- One of the best AWD systems in the segment
The 2022 Acura MDX is a mid-sized luxury SUV with three rows and a lot of upsides. Changes in the 2022 model year are plentiful, comprising a complete redesign of the MDX from bumper to bumper. A few aspects of the previous-gen model remain, but most things have been supplanted by improvements.
On the outside, the Acura MDX now has a more sharp-edged, aggressive look up front, a simpler yet deeply cut side bodywork design, the same sloping-but-not-sloping roofline as before, and a solid looking presence. This is a big-sized SUV, even if it’s technically mid-sized, because it’s three rows of interior seating must be accommodated.
The interior of the new MDX is much more luxuriously upscale than it was before. Added materials like open-pore wood inlay, several upholstery options, stainless steel speaker covers, and more are immediately obvious. The infotainment system in the previous Acura MDX was a terrible two-screen setup that sometimes made sense and oftentimes did not. That clunky setup has been replaced with one larger screen, but that 12.3 inches of display space is greatly hampered by the difficult touchpad interface used to control it. The touchpad is area-sensitive, so the user is expected to (somehow) intuitively touch the space on the pad that matches the screen. This rarely works. Otherwise, smart little shortcuts like sliding along one side and using more than one finger can be mastered. With time. A lot of time.
Standard features are plentiful, though, and include a panoramic sunroof, simulated leather upholstery, tri-zone climate, a digital gauge cluster, a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hotspot, AcuraWatch advanced safety features, and more. The second row seats three, with the center section being removable to make captain’s chairs. The third row is kid-friendly and can seat adults when needed, but not for long trips. It otherwise folds down to improve cargo space.
Several upgrades through the MDX’s trim levels and options include premium audio, a surround-view camera system, working roof rails, a 120-V outlet in the second row, added USB ports to the third row, a driver’s head-up display, and more. We had most of these upgrades on our Advance model, which is the top-end trim with all the goodies.
The 2022 MDX is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that outputs 290 horsepower (216 kW) to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This is a nice setup with just enough power to feel confident and not so much that it feels overdone. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional on the base trim, while AWD is standard on the other two trim levels. Acura’s AWD system (called SH-AWD) is excellent in both bad weather and for light off-road.
Where it also deserves credit is in everyday driving. When cornering, the AWD system changes power output to the inside versus outside wheels to improve the turn. This, combined with the newly designed double-wishbone front suspension, brings a sporty feel to the MDX that its size wouldn’t otherwise merit.
Fuel economy is 26 mpg highway (9 L/100km) and 19 mpg (12.4 L/100km) in the city. Acura has not said whether a hybrid model will be coming, but it’s unlikely to happen for the 2022 model year. The new MDX Type S performance model (coming later in 2022) is replacing the MDX Sport Hybrid of the previous generation MDX.
While we find the lack of a hybrid disturbing, it’s worth noting that this new MDX is very well done and builds on where the previous generation of the SUV excelled.
Product Page: 2022 Acura MDX