After teasing its prototype, the production version of the 2022 Acura MDX has officially debuted. Early examples of the brand’s flagship crossover will arrive early next year. While you can clearly see the lineage with regard to the previous model, this is the fourth generation, signaling some revolutionary changes from the third-gen MDX, which Acura put on sale in 2013 and face-lifted in 2017.
2022 Acura MDX styling, platform changes
As it stands right now, the 2022 Acura MDX is unequivocally the brand’s flagship model. Now that the slow-selling RLX sedan is out of the picture, it’s up to this three-row crossover to officially take that role. Despite the similarities with the previous version — notably the front fascia, sporting a similar design with slimmer LED headlights — the 2022 Acura MDX does ride on a new platform with significant chassis upgrades over the previous generation. Bear in mind that MDX chief designer Catalin Matei penned every generation from the original’s 2001 debut, so it’s inevitable (and actually pretty neat) to follow the similarities and spot the changes made in the past 20 years.
Like its smaller RDX sibling, the new MDX takes on similar cues both front and rear. The sleeker light clusters translate to the rear as well, while the beltline is far more pronounced along the top end of the doors and around the rear quarters and tailgate. Cut down to its core, though, it’s still a three-row family hauler, with more flexibility and space than its predecessor.
In this new model, the wheelbase extends by 2.8 inches, while the body grows in overall length by 2.2 inches. Acura also extended the dash-to-axle ratio by 4.3 inches, which means better passenger and cargo room while also placing the wheels closer to each corner for better handling. In addition to stretching the MDX in this new generation, the car’s track is also 1.4 inches wider front and rear than before.
Same V6 as before
One aspect of the 2022 Acura MDX that hasn’t changed as much as you might expect is the powertrain. One of the major changes Acura did make incorporates the 10-speed automatic transmission, replacing the old model’s 9-speed. At the front, the new MDX also uses a double wishbone suspension setup, which is a first for the model. Under the hood, though, you still get a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. That engine is available across all standard trims, but a performance Type S variant is coming next summer. When that arrives, you’ll get the same 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 as the new TLX Type S sedan, putting out a heartier 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is still an option on standard trims, while the Type S gets Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive by default.
Per the EPA, official fuel economy figures for the FWD 2022 Acura MDX stand at 19 City / 26 Highway / 22 Combined (1 mpg worse than the 2020 model). Super Handling AWD models only lose 1 mpg at higher speeds, managing 19 City / 25 Highway / 22 MPG combined (1 mpg worse on its highway rating than the 2020 model).
What about the MDX Hybrid?
At the moment, the 2022 Acura MDX exclusively features that 3.5-liter V6 engine as its sole powertrain option. While the Type S is on its way, Acura made no mention that the 3.0-liter V6-backed, three-motor hybrid system would make a return in this generation. That isn’t to say it definitely won’t happen, but the automaker made no official comment on that just yet.
Step inside the 2022 Acura MDX, and you’ll notice quite a few welcome changes from the aging third-generation model. For those who can’t stand Honda and Acura’s push-button transmission solution — shoutout to our own Nathan Adlen on that one — tough luck, as that is still in use (though Acura repositioned it above the infotainment controls) with the new MDX. However, the automaker dramatically updated the rest of the cabin. Front and center is a new 12.3-inch infotainment screen, controlled by Acura’s latest “True Touchpad Interface”.
Yep, the old dual-screen setup is dead, and in its place you get a trackpad and rotary dial configuration more or less identical to what’s in the TLX. Again, take the trackpad for what you will, but you do at least get physical volume knob and seek buttons that fall easier to hand without having to stretch for them or dive into the infotainment controls. The climate controls also retain their physical buttons, so it’s fairly straightforward to access what you use most often.
While the base 2022 Acura MDX starts at $47,925 (including $1,025 destination), you can still get the same packages as before. That includes the Technology Package, which brings the price up to $52,625 for FWD models. The A-Spec and Advance Packages are only available for AWD models, but those two packages add features like CabinTalk, the ELS Studio 3D audio system and more luxurious features.
As with the infotainment display, a brand new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster also comes standard on the 2022 Acura MDX. A 10.5-inch color head-up display, on the other hand, is an option in the Advance Package.
2022 Acura MDX pricing
From the outset, the 2022 Acura MDX starts off $2,400 more expensive than the outgoing model. Currently, prices top out just over $61,000 for the most luxurious Advance Package. Again, that’s slightly higher than the outgoing version, at least before you start factoring in options.
Here’s the complete price walk:
|Trim||FWD Starting MSRP||AWD Starting MSRP|
|MDX w/ Tech Package||$52,625||$54,625|
|MDX A-Spec||Not available||$58,125|
|MDX w/ Advance Package||Not available||$61,675|
Pricing information on the Type S is not available yet. We should get more on that closer to its launch next summer. Standard 2022 Acura MDX models, on the other hand, should hit dealerships in the coming weeks.