Acura is on a tear updating its small lineup of cars and SUVs. Among them is the three-row MDX, whose recent overhaul brings lots of goodies. This SUV takes its handsome styling cues from the compact RDX SUV and TLX sedan, and the cabin boasts luxury materials and features worthy of the Acura’s premium badge. The base powertrain for this front-driver consists of a 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 and a 10-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive is available. But select the performance-oriented Type S model and you’ll get a turbocharged 355-hp 3.0-liter V-6 and standard all-wheel drive.
What’s New for 2022?
Acura redesigned the MDX for 2022, skipping the 2021 model year. The new SUV shares its styling and technology with the recently revamped RDX and TLX models.
As driving enthusiasts, we’re most intrigued by the Type S for its performance aspirations, but Acura says that model won’t go on sale until late 2021. For buyers looking for a nicely equipped luxury crossover without the sporty flair, we’d recommend the Technology trim, which has niceties such as leather upholstery with contrast stitching, adjustable interior ambient lighting, an ELS Studio stereo system with 12 speakers, and low-speed front and rear automated emergency braking.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The new MDX uses the same 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 as the outgoing model, but the engine is now mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission instead of a nine-speed. Front-wheel drive remains standard with all-wheel drive available as an option. The outgoing 2020 MDX also offered a hybrid powertrain, but so far Acura has not indicated an intention to hybridize the 2022 MDX. The sporty Type S model is powered by a 355-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 and comes standard with all-wheel drive. We haven’t driven the Type S yet, but our test drive of an all-wheel drive Advance model with the standard powertrain revealed surprisingly nimble handling and perky acceleration.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The base 2022 MDX boasts EPA fuel-economy ratings of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Opting for all-wheel drive reduces the highway rating by 1 mpg. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, our all-wheel drive A-Spec test vehicle delivered a disappointing 22 mpg. For more information about the MDX’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The MDX’s cabin has a far more premium look and feel than 2020 model’s interior. French-stitched leather covers the dashboard in high-end trims, and open-pore wood mingles with metal and piano-black accents. Acura also outfitted the MDX with plenty of creature comforts, such as dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and leather upholstery. The front seats are supportive and comfortable and can be equipped with niceties such as 16-way power adjustability as well as massage. The first and second rows offer plentiful passenger space, but the MDX’s third row is still a kids-only affair. Although the interior is nicely designed and offers plenty of convenience options, it doesn’t feel quite as posh as the cabins of rivals such as the Genesis GV80 or the Volvo XC90.