Peeling Back the Curtain on the 2022 Acura MDX

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.

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.