Car companies are presenting some of their 2022 models and Acura does its part with an all new MDX. This is the luxury mid-size SUV’s fourth generation since its emergence in October 2000.
Exterior styling emphasis is on boldness, highlighted by dramatic creases and pronounced sculpting, a blacked-out diamond pentagon grille, and new four-element LED headlights with an embedded daytime running light.
Interior ambience is markedly enhanced by its outstanding design, superior workmanship, and use of upscale materials such as open-pore wood, aluminum trim, and a hand-wrapped instrument panel with available topstitching.
Added infotainment technology includes an available 710-watt ELS Studio 3D premium audio system with 16 speakers, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, Qi-compatible wireless charging, Amazon Alexa, and a 12.3-inch center display nestled in the dash.
Upgraded underpinnings along with steering and braking enhancements give the MDX newfound handling vitality and increased ride comfort.
The 3.5-liter V6 engine (290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque) is carried over from last year’s model but its previous partner, a nine-speed automatic transmission, has been cast aside in favor of a more exciting 10-speed automatic.
Acura’s collection of safety and driver-assist technologies, named AcuraWatch, has updated its road departure mitigation system and added some new perks: traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection, and a driver attention monitor.
The 2022 MDX has four trims: base, Technology, A-Spec, and Advance. The first two trims are available with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive, and the last two come standard with all-wheel drive.
A high-performance MDX Type S model is scheduled to arrive later this summer.
With a $1,025 destination charge included, pricing for the base MDX model with front-wheel drive is $47,925 and the Technology FWD trim is $52,625. All-wheel drive is an extra $2,000 on both models. The A-Spec version is $58,125 and the top-level Advanced is $61,675.
Fuel economy ratings for the 2022 MDX with front-wheel drive are 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. With all-wheel drive the numbers are 19/25/21 mpg.
The second row inside the new MDX is a bench with big bonuses. The middle seat folds down to create a captain’s chairs arrangement with a wide center armrest complete with cupholders. The middle seat is also removable if empty space would serve better there, such as having easier access to the third row, or when child seats are installed in the outboard second-row seats.
A bummer also exists within the MDX: a touchpad controller for the infotainment system. The sad thing in this case, there’s a large knob front and center among the controls but it’s for driving mode selection, which is not a frequently used function. If only Acura had made THAT the infotainment control and freed up the touchpad space for something more useful.
The 2022 MDX is packed with great features starting right from the base model. I drove the MDX AWD A-Spec, whose standard equipment transcending what’s found on the base and Technology trims includes Cabin Talk (amplifies voices of front-seat passengers to be better heard by passengers in other rows), the ELS 3D 16-speaker audio system, sport seats with perforated Milano leather and ultrasuede trim, ventilated front seats, LED fog lights, flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, and an A-Spec sport appearance package.
2022 ACURA MDX AWD A-SPEC
Base price, including destination charge: $58,125
Price as driven: $58,125
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.