Peeling Back the Curtain on the 2022 Acura MDX

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
peeling back the curtain on the 2022 acura mdx

Acura has unveiled the 2022 Acura MDX, peeling back the curtain on the latest iteration of the luxury SUV with its most dramatic redesign in 20 years. For a brand more reliant on technology, Acura’s new flagship model is daring if not somewhat fearless in its appearance.

Sporting an all-new platform and chassis, the MDX also has new sheetmetal.

Performance hasn’t taken a backseat to its outward appearance, as the 3.5-liter VTEC V6 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission, and available fourth-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive in the MDX will attest to. A new light-truck platform incorporating a double-wishbone front suspension, the first for the MDX, is among the highlights.

The 3.5-liter V6 makes 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, and Acura has a listed base price of $46,900 for the base with front-wheel drive and $48,900 for an entry-level model with AWD. The highest base price for an MDX is $60,650. Those prices exclude the $1,025 destination fee.

If fuel economy is a concern for you, Acura has listed the EPA figures at 19/26/22 city/highway/combined for front-drive models and 19/25/21 for AWD units.

While it might be a stretch to call the MDX’s interior opulent, it is well-appointed, with new features and technologies. The MDX joins Acura’s RDX, the best-selling model in its segment, and the TLX sports sedan as the latest models to be designed around what Acura calls its Precision Crafted Performance DNA. The new MDX will arrive at dealers early next year. Acura’s first high-performance SUV variant, the MDX Type S, will follow in the summer of 2021.

Key additions include a digital gauge cluster, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in Amazon Alexa, a removable middle-row seat, standard moonroof, 19-inch wheels, traffic-jam assist, wireless cell-phone charging, available low-speed braking control, and a boost in passenger space.

The MDX gets a double-wishbone front suspension for the first time. The rear suspension is multi-link.

When the Type S hits, it will have a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and standard AWD. Estimated horsepower is listed at 355 with torque at 354 lb-ft, and the Type S will get Brembo brakes and 21-inch wheels along with unique styling.

Renouncing the more rugged attributes of truck-based SUVs for comfort, space, and better mileage, the 2001 MDX was the industry’s first three-row SUV to be based on a unibody platform. The MDX earned critical praise, including the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards, on its debut. America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV over two decades and three generations of advancement, the MDX has had cumulative sales exceeding 1 million units, according to MotorIntelligence.

The MDX will continue to be built in East Liberty, Ohio, with both engines being assembled in Anna, Ohio. The 10-speed automatic gets built in Tallapoosa, Georgia. The 2022 Acura MDX is slated to go on sale in February, with Type S model launching in the late summer of 2021.

[Images: Acura]

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  • Nick_515 Nick_515 on Dec 09, 2020

    Do us all a favor and put the curtain back on, please.

  • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Dec 09, 2020

    Pretty underwhelmed by the power in the base engine. The 355 hp in the Type S should be adequate but at a non competitive price. The biggest complaint I had with our old Enclave was the sub 300 hp engine was really working hard at interstate speeds with four our more adults. I'm guessing the MDX will feel much the same with the base engine. No sale.

    • See 4 previous
    • Kcflyer Kcflyer on Dec 09, 2020

      @ajla agreed. It's lighter by nearly 800 lbs (and has less passenger room) but the turbo 6 should be the base engine at that price. Same story on GM's current Enclave / Traverse. Drop a 5.3 V8 in either and you really have something. But that would step on Yukon/Tahoe toes I guess. Bottom line, any legit three row SUV/Crossover should have a V8 or a least a turbo 6 IMHO.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.
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