The All-New 2022 Acura MDX: A Family-Friendly Luxury SUV

by Nicole Wakelin

Three Rows of Luxury for Busy Families

The 2022 Acura MDX arrives at dealerships this winter giving families a compelling new three-row SUV to consider. There’s a lot of competition in the segment, so introducing an all-new anything, whether it’s a wholly new model or the latest generation of an existing favorite, comes with a lot of pressure. Get it right or risk losing customers to the legions of other options. Did Acura manage to get it right with the latest iteration of the MDX or will families look elsewhere?

The SUV that works for one family might not be the best choice for another, but the 2022 Acura MDX does an admirable job of delivering key features that give it wide appeal. Outside, a thorough redesign adds presence with a bold grille that’s striking without overwhelming the front of the vehicle.

This is a three-row SUV with seating for seven people, so it’s not going to look like a sleek sports car, but the MDX avoids looking like a boring metal box. It has a longer wheelbase and wider stance that give it a dose of sportiness without adding bulk. The MDX is attractive and eye-catching. Acura is a luxury brand and the MDX looks every bit the luxury SUV.

Seating to Suit Your Lifestyle

It’s even more important that a luxury car looks like one on the inside. Rich trims, plush leather seats, and an open and airy interior thanks to a standard panoramic roof all create a positive first impression the moment you open the doors. Front passengers get 12-way adjustable seats with three-way heating – something that came in handy during the single-digit weather we had during our loan – and the adjustability made it easy to find the perfect seating position.

Also handy is the removable middle seat in the second row. If you don’t need it for seating, then you can fold the back down creating a wide center armrest with drink holders. This also makes for easy access when you need to reach back into the third row. If you don’t want that seat at all, then take it out entirely, which makes it much easier for the kids to hop in back and reduces the chances they’ll step on your fancy leather seats with muddy shoes.

2022 MDX

Ready for Any Weather

Power for the 2022 Acura MDX comes from a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s smooth, responsive, and powerful enough to easily get the MDX up to highway speeds.

There’s the option for all-wheel drive, which dealt with a bit of nasty winter weather with ease. It can direct up to 70-percent of torque to the rear axle and then further split that with up to 100-percent going to either of the rear wheels. That translates into superior handling when the roads are slick, so you get where you’re going rather than finding your way into a ditch.

Drive modes that include Snow, Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Individual let you adjust vehicle dynamics to suit the road and your preferences. These alter engine, transmission, and steering settings to enhance control. Acura designed this new generation of the MDX for better handling from suspension to steering to overall rigidity. You can’t see those engineering enhancements, but you can feel them behind the wheel.

The MDX is more responsive and controlled so it feels less like a seven-passenger SUV and more like something smaller and sportier. You don’t notice its weight, even during high-speed highway maneuvers, which makes it more relaxing to drive. The ride is equally smooth for passengers and it’s notably quiet with minimal road and wind noise finding its way into the cabin. The 2022 MDX is nicer to drive and nicer to ride in than the outgoing generation.

2022 MDX Advance

Infotainment that Keeps You Connected

There’s a unique instrument cluster that features a 12.3-inch customizable screen. It looks very futuristic and adds to the premium feel of the MDX. The same is true of the 12.3-inch infotainment screen that extends across the dashboard. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Qi wireless charging are standard. It’s not a touchscreen however, which will frustrate some, and instead has a True Touchpad Interface.

This touchpad on the center console uses absolute positioning that makes it easier to move the cursor across the screen than other touchpad systems, but we’re not going to lie. It’s a challenge to use any touchpad in a moving vehicle. There is a learning curve, and it gets easier with time, but bumpy roads that make your hand bounce make navigating the system frustrating.

The 2022 Acura MDX is a luxury SUV with key features that make it ideal for family life. It has an attractive interior with an open, airy feel and a uniquely configurable second row that lets you customize seating in a way that works best for your family. It also has a fully-featured infotainment system to keep everyone connected and a responsive engine that makes it engaging to drive. Those who want a premium SUV well-suited to family life will find plenty to like.

Look for the 2022 Acura MDX to arrive at your local dealership this winter with pricing from $46,900 to $60,650.

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