2022 Acura MDX

Asia's Tech News Daily


  • Upscale, tech-forward front row
  • Improved passenger and cargo space
  • Sporty Type S model on the way


  • AWD not standard
  • Slightly awkward non-touchscreen infotainment system
  • Less-expensive competitors offer more features

Don’t forget that the MDX was an originator. When it debuted way back at the turn of the millennium, it was the first three-row unibody crossover—a form factor that’s ubiquitous today. Since then, the MDX has proved hugely successful for Acura, and helped define the luxury three-row SUV segment. It’s now fully redesigned for 2022, aiming to become more spacious, luxurious, sporty, and high-tech in its new fourth generation.

What’s New

The MDX is fully redesigned for 2022, with standout features including:

  • Angular, attractive exterior styling
  • Premium interior with nicer materials
  • Standard 12.3-inch gauge cluster and infotainment displays
  • More passenger space in all three rows
  • Increased cargo capacity
  • A higher-performance Type S model will join the lineup soon

What We Think

Upon its debut for the 2001 model year, the MDX won our SUV of the Year competition. That was the first chapter in the MDX’s success story, one that we hoped would turn a new page with the redesigned 2022 model.

We’ve previously lauded the MDX for its responsive handling and sweet-sounding V-6. Acura’s available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive lived up to its name. The MDX functions well as a family SUV, providing decent passenger space in all three rows. It has consistently earned strong safety and fuel economy ratings. However, the button-riddled center stack and clumsy dual-display infotainment system indicated the third-gen MDX’s age.

When we first saw the new fourth-generation MDX, we were confident that its design and modern, tech-forward interior would make it a more convincing luxury contender. But our first drive showed us that although it’s better than before, it still follows a familiar formula. Despite the front row’s impressive appointments, the second and third rows feel more utilitarian than upscale. Features that are becoming common among non-luxury SUVs like power-folding rear seats and standard USB ports in all three rows are not available in the MDX.

Driving dynamics are mixed; quick acceleration and accurate steering contrast mediocre ride quality and numb brakes. The MDX is fairly comfortable, but Acura’s boasts of sportiness seem unfounded. As the luxury SUV space has advanced and brands from outside the establishment up their game, the MDX’s badge equity doesn’t seem as strong as it once was. Is it a fine three-row family SUV? Sure. Is it among the best on sale? No.

Dig into the pros and cons of the 2022 Acura MDX right here.

Performance and Fuel Economy

As before, the 2022 MDX has a 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. However, it’s now connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission, up a gear from the previous nine-speed unit. The MDX comes standard with FWD, and Acura’s SH-AWD system is available. EPA-rated fuel economy is 19/26 mpg city/highway for FWD models, and 19/25 mpg for AWD models. In MotorTrend testing the MDX proved quick in 0-60 mph acceleration, needing just 5.7 seconds to hit the mark.

Is There a MDX Type S?

Sporty handling has always been a MDX strong suit, and for the first time, Acura offers a properly sporty engine to go along with it. The MDX Type S will pack a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 producing approximately 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, connected to a 10-speed automatic and standard SH-AWD. It’ll roll on 21-inch wheels, with stopping power provided by larger Brembo brakes.

Besides Type S badging, visual distinctions include blacked-out trim, quad exhaust tips, and available Tiger Eye Pearl orange paint. Inside, the MDX Type S will offer niceties such as nine-mode massaging front seats and a 25-speaker ELS Studio premium audio system.

When it goes on sale in the summer of 2021, the MDX will be the first SUV to wear the vaunted Type S badge. If it can beat the MDX Sport Hybrid’s 6.0-second 0-60-mph time, the MDX Type S will be the quickest Acura SUV ever.

Gallery: Genesis GV60 (Inside EVs)

Will There Be an Electric MDX?

Acura offered the previous MDX in Sport Hybrid configuration, which used an NSX-esque electrified AWD system to enhance performance and fuel economy. So far Acura hasn’t said anything about a hybrid or all-electric variant of the new fourth-generation MDX, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see one at some point in the model run.

Several MDX competitors offer hybrid variants, so it’d make sense for Acura to take a piece of the pie. The NSX proved Acura’s sporty hybrid capabilities, and the MDX could once again be a showcase for what the brand can do with electric power—after all, the 2018 Sport Hybrid model is the quickest MDX MotorTrend has ever tested.


All 2022 MDX models are equipped with the AcuraWatch suite of active safety and driver assist features. It includes front automatic emergency braking for vehicles and pedestrians, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Numerous airbags are standard, including a new “catcher’s mitt” type for the front passenger.

From the IIHS, the MDX received 2021 Top Safety Pick+ designation, the highest possible score. Acura is targeting a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA, which seems likely given that’s what the previous MDX achieved.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Interior capacity increases slightly in the 2022 MDX compared to the outgoing model. Cargo space behind the third row measures 16.3 cubic feet, up from 15.0. With the third row folded, there are 39.1 cubic feet, increased from 38.4. Maximum cargo space with the second and third rows folded is now 71.4 cubic feet, more than the 68.4 cubic feet offered previously.

Front-row headroom is 38.5 inches in the 2022 MDX, increased from 38.1 inches in the 2021 model. Second-row headroom is 38.1 inches, a slight reduction from 38.3 inches. Third-row headroom increases to 36.2 inches from 35.6 inches. Front-row legroom measures 41.6 inches, slightly more than 41.4 inches previously. Second-row legroom is 38.5 inches, the same amount as before. Third-row legroom is now 29.1 inches, one inch more than the outgoing MDX.


Every 2022 MDX is equipped with two 12.3-inch displays: one in the gauge cluster, and another atop the dashboard providing infotainment. That display is not a touchscreen; it’s controlled by a trackpad on the center console. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Amazon Alexa and WiFi hotspot capability, are standard. Built-in navigation is included on all but the base trim. The Advance trim gets a head-up display and 360-degree parking camera system. All trims include three USB ports and a wireless charger in the front row, plus two USB ports in the second row, while Advance trim models get two third-row ports. A nine-speaker audio system is standard, while 12-, 16-, and 25-speaker ELS Studio premium setups are fitted depending on trim.

Trim Levels

2022 Acura MDX

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Three-zone climate control
  • Leatherette seating
  • Heated front seats

2022 Acura MDX Technology Package

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Perforated leather seating upholstery
  • Multi-color interior ambient lighting

2022 Acura MDX A-Spec Package

  • Sport-inspired exterior styling
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Metal sport pedals
  • Ventilated front seats

2022 Acura MDX Advance Package

  • Head-up display
  • 360-degree parking camera system
  • Heated steering wheel and second-row seats
  • Manual second-row sunshades

2022 Acura MDX Type S

  • 21-inch alloy wheels
  • Turbocharged V-6 engine
  • Four-piston Brembo front brakes
  • Quad exhaust outlets

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