• 2022 Acura MDX - Not a Red-Headed Step Child Anymore

Is this what the future looks like for Acura? Because we like what we’re seeing

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Acura wasn’t short on marketing praise for the 2022 MDX. According to carmaker, the new MDX is the "most premium, performance-focused and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history."

Of course, every mother loves her child and there’s obviously more to the 2022 MDX than just looks. Vector in that a turbo V-6 MDX Type S is also coming in 2021 towards the end of the summer and we could be looking at a first step in a very enticing direction for Acura.

Seeing the first batch of press pictures of 2022 Acura MDX it’s hard not to acknowledge that the SUV aged like fine wine. Gone is the indecisive body or the sluggish road behaviour (we hope!) to make room for a more mature yet inspiring approach, basically a mirror image of what we saw earlier this year when Acura launched the MDX prototype.

Other than looking just like the concept that used to preview it, the new Acura MDX is a looker, plain and simple. The proportions are right, the angles are right and the same can be said about the sharp edges. By the way, there’s a lot of Acura Precision Process baked into the MDX. And during that process, the interior got a thorough tune-up, too, making look sexier than ever.

Yeah, we might sound overly excited about the 2022 MDX, so subjectivity aside, let’s have a look at Acura’s hot crossover from the spec sheet perspective.

All New Everything

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Acura tells us the 2022 MDX sits on an all-new light platform that, hear this out, was designed with the spicier MDX Type S in mind. As highlights, the front suspension is of the double-wishbone ilk - a first for the MDX nameplate - while the rear uses a multilink setup. Stiffness is a big part of the sporty nature Acura advertises for the MDX. We’re told the front dampers connect to a housing that’s 45-percent stiffer, while lateral torsion takes a seven-percent hike for better handling.

The treatment is similar in the back - the rear body is 41-percent stiffer through the use of a new dual-balanced load path for the damper mounting points and torsion is said to have improved by 80-percent. Brakes get an upgrade as well and they now include larger and thicker rotors in the front.

2022 Acura MDX - Not a Red-Headed Step Child Anymore Interior
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On the inside, Acura says it opted for a driver-centric cabin which it imbued with fancy materials such as open-pore wood, brushed aluminum, and Milano leather. The front seats are 12-way adjustable, heated and ventilated if you opt for the A-Spec MDX.

A customizable 12.3-inch digital display replaces the traditional gauge-dominated instrument cluster and you can even get a 10.5-inch head-up display. Another 12.3-inch centrally-mounted display acts as infotainment system which you can interact with using a touchpad-style solution. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered too, along with Amazon Alexa, a first for Acura.

Under the hood and on the road

2022 Acura MDX - Not a Red-Headed Step Child Anymore Exterior
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Right, the juicy stuff. A 3.5-liter direct-injected V-6 sets the 2022 MDX in motion. The mill produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque (so no power increase over the previous MDX) and also incorporates i-VTEC and variable cylinder management. Sending power to either the front or all wheels (via the 4th-gen Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) is a new ten-speed automatic transmission developed in-house by Acura that comes to take over from the previous nine-speed unit.

2022 Acura MDX specifications
Engine 3.5-liter direct-injected V-6
Horsepower 290 HP
Torque 267 LB-FT
Transmission ten-speed automatic

Coming back to the SH-AWD setup, it can route up to 70-percent of engine torque to the rear wheels when needed, while further splitting that amount between the two wheels as needed. For example, if a grip scenario calls for it, SH-AWD can send up to 100% of the rear-available torque to just one wheel.

Later next year, Acura will launch the MDX Type S. The sportier MDX will get the brand’s new 3-liter mill with about 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of twist on tap. SH-AWD will be present, too, together with 21-inch wheels and four-piston Brembo front calipers biting into even larger rotors.

Pricing and Availability

2022 Acura MDX - Not a Red-Headed Step Child Anymore Exterior
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Four trim levels split the 2022 Acura MDX range. These are MDX, MDX with the Technology Package, MDX A-Spec, and MXD with the Advance Package.

The entry-level FWD 2022 MDX starts at $46,900, but for $51,600, you can get the FWD model with the Technology Package. Gaining access to A-Spec and Advance Package requires you to opt for the AWD 2022 MDX, which starts at $48,900. Prices go up to $60,650 for the all-wheel-drive MDX fitted with the Advance Package.

Acura says the new MDX is scheduled to reach dealers on February 2, 2021. The MDX Type S will follow suit towards the end of the summer in 2021.

Tudor Rus
Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read full bio
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