2022 Acura MDX – Interior, Exterior and Driving / Luxury 3-row SUV. Acura just launched the 2022 MDX in prototype form. Acura is skipping the 2021 model year for its largest SUV. And don’t let the P word fool you, it is essentially the fourth-generation model, due to arrive at dealerships in early 2021. Also announced today, Acura is building a Type S version of the MDX with sportier handling and arriving sometime in the summer.
More importantly, the same 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 mounted in the new TLX Type S will lie here as well, replete with 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. While Acura didn’t say, you can bet it will come standard with the brand’s super-handling all-wheel-drive system, which the company likes to call SH-AWD. While Acura didn’t confirm, expect MDX to come standard as a front-wheel-drive SUV with SH-AWD optional.
The 2022 MDX rides on a new platform, the company’s most rigid yet and different than the also new platform of the recently released TLX. But we’re suspicious of a lot of parts bin sharing, as the new MDX now uses a double-wishbone front suspension, just as the sedan stable-mate. Regardless, tossing away struts is a win for enthusiasts like us, as it means better wheel control and a more responsive front end.
Expect better body control, too. First, the body itself is lower and wider than the outgoing model and Acura made the front track wider as well. From there, the MDX receives several drive modes called Intelligent Dynamics System, or IDS, which Acura says adjusts handling, ride, steering and powertrain behavior. That means adjustable shocks are going to be optional as well.
If it’s not the Type S turbo motor, expect a largely carried over, naturally aspirated, single-overhead-can 3.5-liter V6. Will it get more than the 2020s 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque? Or improve on the 20 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined fuel economy? Time will tell. No word yet on a hybrid option, but that cannot be too far away.
But for many, the above might prove secondary to the new appearance. This fourth-generation definitely holds true to Acura’s design language, with the familiar shaped grille, headlight pattern, and harder creased body. The MDX’s three-row size, however, gives the shape a chance to look a bit more stately and mature.
Inside, Acura uses real wood, metal, and leathers to adorn and trim the space. With the new structure comes more legroom for all three-rows and more headroom for the first and third rows, tall second row passengers can go pound sand. But, maybe they won’t mind if the MDX comes with the panoramic moonroof, meant to allow natural light to illuminate all three rows. Acura also gave the MDX a new illumination called Acura Iconic Drive. It has 27 different colors to choose from to light the cabin and they change depending on drive mode as well.
Upfront, the MDX can be fitted with massaging seats for both driver and passenger. They’ll also have the best view of the 12.3-inch center console screen to give visuals for all needed infotainment. It is controlled by an absolute positioning touchpad, introduced in the Acura RDX. And only the driver can clearly the see the also 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen. Say good bye to gauges in the MDX.
And if you’re an audiophile, Acura is offering an audio system similar to the TLX. It’s called the ELS Studio 3D stereo and it comes with one-million speakers and a trillion watts of power. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it is a lot, 25 speakers and 1,000 watts, if you must know.
Also similar to TLX, there’s a new passenger airbag that better protects the spine from twisting. And the Acura Watch suite of safety tech now includes Traffic Jam Assist and Low Speed Braking Control, the latter was just introduced on the 2021 Honda Accord. Logical enough as Honda is Acura’s parent company.
As this is technically a prototype, Acura did not yet reveal details on its full-size SUV’s size or weight or price, but we’ll be sure to share as soon as we learn. And, of course, let you know how it drives.
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