By on December 8, 2020

2022 MDX SH-AWD A-Spec

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.

2022 MDX SH-AWD A-Spec

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.

2022 MDX SH-AWD A-Spec Red interior

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.

2022 SH-AWD A-Spec Red Interior Second Row Seats

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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40 Comments on “Peeling Back the Curtain on the 2022 Acura MDX...”


  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I think the word for that interior is busy. That said, a spot of bordello red is quite nice.

  • avatar
    Johnnyangel

    How is that styling “daring if not fearless”? I’d call it remarkably bland, though that is not totally a bad thing ….

  • avatar
    slavuta

    in the other news, “Goldman Sachs is going to Florida”. Also, friend told me, in Florida property prices skyrocket. Apparently, entire Manhattan is moving there. So, if you want to see this car, you better be somewhere in Florida

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Is there be a new RDX as well? It’s mentioned in the article, but doesn’t say much else. Nice SUV with a good reputation, but so bland on the outside while being a bit over-wrought on the inside

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2020/06/type-s-almost-all-the-things-acuras-2022-product-line-leaked/

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        June 2, 2020-

        “First of all, almost all the models in the lineup, save the RDX and NSX, appear to be getting a spicier Type-S trim. That’s no shock with the NSX, since that supercar is already hot enough, but it’s mildly surprising in terms of the RDX, given the relative sportiness of Acura’s crossovers. Especially since the other crossover, the MDX, will get the Type-S treatment.

        So that means the TLX and MDX will get Type-S trims, along with the “New Compact Sedan”. The MDX and New Compact Sedan will follow the TLX in the launch order. The RDX and NSX aren’t listed before 2022.”

        So, that’s a no then? I must have been out sick that day :(

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Acura U.S. sales (all models) peaked in 2005 and hit a recent low in 2009:

    https://carsalesbase.com/us-acura/

    Do an image search on “2005 Acura” and “2009 Acura” for hints as to why.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    This restyle now allows the MDX to snap into line behind the style leadership of the Kia Soul for 2-1/2 times the cash.

    Also, you know from Acura’s history that the Mazda Soul Red paint and the loud interior will appear on precisely 0.0001% of actual showroom examples. This won’t look a hella different from the old model in the usual gray over beige.

    Not even a powertrain reshuffle (although the incognito hybrid SH-AWD it has now is certainly no cause for complaint).

    Overall, pretty tepid stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      johnds

      I guess I don’t follow. My grandma has a 2020 Soul and I see no connection? Reading your comment makes me realize it’s the dumbest one I have read all day.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Look at details like the squared-up front-end top corners with slit headlights and the door speaker grilles. And BTW, I don’t see the need for the personal insult. I see you’ve got the usual internet courage. Up yours too.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      “Not even a powertrain reshuffle”

      Did you miss the part about the new turbocharged 3.0L V6?

      • 0 avatar

        I’ll believe the new engine when I see it. A TT v6 has only been common for, oh, 8 years ? Acura is King of Bold New Graphics….if they are finally redoing the body, it’s about effing time….and they could have lost the strut front suspension long ago.

        To be fair, I like my second gen MDX, but they’ve done basically nothing since 2008…..more speeds in the transmission, and a stop-start system, both of which just added complexity and trouble. Oh, and bluetooth music streaming…..I guess a revision 12 years later is due.

        I can hardly wait for the tape and stripe A or S versions !!!!

        Honda is a great company, and Acura is the polyester leisure suit drone in the forecourt….Dump Acura, put the $ into Honda, and let the engineers free….

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          speedlaw

          honda used to build cars for the intelligent people. Now they’re building Pontiacs for the masses.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Is is not TTV6 but a single turbo like Audi with similar Audi 3.0T ratings.

          Just think of Saab 3.0T V6…

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          speedlaw, seconding your comment about the last several years of tinkering:

          In addition to stop/start, they also gave the V6 cylinder deactivation. It’s been a disaster. It causes roughness so bad, it wears out the complicated custom motor mounts they had to add to quell the extra vibration. There’s a guy who’s made a cottage business out of selling an inline resistor just to fool the engine into thinking it’s never quite warmed up so that the deactivation never (de-)activates.

          Overall, between the jerky 10-speed transmissions, the V6 problems, the highly stressed 1.5T that’s allowing dilution of the oil, the disastrous infotainment, and noticeable deterioration in fit and finish, nearly all Honda and Acura models have now dropped to average or worse on the CR quality survey. The public perception is trailing the reality, but Honda quality is history.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Why on Earth do we need to deactivate cylinders on a V6?

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            28, I think the cylinder deactivation was to eke out 1 or 2 more highway MPG on the EPA cycle.

            Although, as your comment implies, highway cruising is any engine’s most efficient mode anyway. That’s why owners have reportedly seen very little real-world fuel economy loss when they install the aftermarket device that disables it.

            This raises the bigger issue of how the EPA test differs from real-world results. My understanding is that the EPA mileage rating is just a byproduct of a testing process that was originally designed to measure tailpipe emissions, not fuel economy. It’s mostly very gentle driving. On turbo-equipped cars, that mostly doesn’t make the turbo kick in, which seems to be why turbo-equipped cars do well on the EPA test and less well in the real world. It’s a pity, because it’s unfairly penalizing and often exterminating really good V8 and V6 engines like this Honda J Series (which you can no longer get in the Accord or RDX, to name two).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @tony

            Crazy. 1MPG highway isn’t worth a whole new complex system, especially in a V6.

            HMC seems to have been wanting to drop its V6 for years based on the lack of investment in it.

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            Did Honda ever sort out the cylinder deactivation in the Accord? I recall that being a sore spot and one reason why some resorted to a manual transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        Yes, I did miss the part about turboing the V6. Thank you for pointing it out.

        If this is a turbo on the existing J-Series engine, that’s a great engine that produces its best power in N/A form at high revs, and a low-pressure turbo that provides more punch off the line would be a perfect complement to it. That could be a very nice upgrade.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          It’s a new design, same as what’s going into the TLX Type-S.

          The 10-speed automatic is great; it’s a little herky-jerky until it’s warmed up, which is the usual Honda behavior, but unlike some Honda slushboxes, they’ve not had a rash of problems requiring replacements. Otherwise, it’s well-suited to the 2.0T in the Accord and (presumably) TLX and RDX. They may have released a software update for the transmission controller — I might check on that when my Accord goes in for its next oil change. I’m sure it’ll be even better on the V6s.

  • avatar

    Another day, another ugly crossover, When this cross will be over?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    An A+ for an interior besides black and gray. I like the red interior.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    Overall I think it’s a good looking vehicle for what it is, but while that red interior may look good on something small like a BMW 3 series, I think all that red in a vehicle this size will be awfully overwhelming.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Can we pull the curtain back over it?

  • avatar
    Nick_515

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

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Oh, wait. My Highlander has more HPs than $20K more MDX!

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Those Lambdas were slugs but that was because they weighed 5,000 lbs and never downshifted just like everything else GM made in that era.

      The current MDX runs in the 14s like everything else does these days and will effortlessly keep up with the brake lights in front of it.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The Lambda just needs a ecu tune. The speedster wife says the 2017 Acadia Limited is sluggish off the line but really goes at highway speeds. That was with torque management adjustments it js surprisingly quick once rolling.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It probably feels better than a 1G Enclave but it is still kind of a slow way to spend $50K.

      • 0 avatar
        kcflyer

        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.

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