2022 Acura MDX A-Spec. Refined Driving

Overview

2022 Acura MDX A-Spec

2022 Acura MDX is on the market as a strong contender especially competing the German brands like Mercedes, BMW and Audi. With a new chassis, and a more appealing body, and larger dimensions, Acura’s midsize three-row SUV got better in every aspect. The new MDX is 75 millimetres longer and 25 millimetres wider than its predecessor. Thanks to the wheelbase, which is 70 millimetres longer than the previous model, the 2022 MDX offers more space for passengers and cargo. We tested the mid-of-the model range A-Spec.

Subjectively speaking, the new model has a sleeker, sportier and more organic design and is more attractive than the previous model.

Engine and powertrain

The new Acura MDX has the former 3.5-litre i-VTEC V6 engine delivering 290 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm

2022 Acura MDX A-Spec inherits the same engine used in the previous model, the 3.5 litre V6 delivering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. It has a timing belt which is also one important reason for its smoothness. You may hardly believe it, but the roots of this direct-injection engine go back as far as 20 years and it shares the technology of the legendary NSX. Over the years Honda heavily updated this engine and it is a very reliable power plant.

This engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission with standard super-handling all-wheel drive. During our one-week, mixed-mode drive, Dan, my colleague and myself had a slightly different perception about this engine. Dan thought a more powerful, turbocharged engine would be a better match to the almost two-tonne vehicle. To me, this engine is a good choice for highway cruising, but also in the city. A 3.0L, V6 Turbo engine with 355 horsepower will be available as a Type-S model, later this year.

Interior

The dashboard with the wide centre console is functionally designed and superbly crafted. The touchpad to control the 12.3″ infotainment screen is not the ideal solution

Thanks to increased dimensions, the new MDX offers more passenger and cargo space. This positive difference is palpable in the first and second row in particular.

The layout of the interior is nice and well-crafted. However, extensive use of piano-black surfaces may be a disadvantage, since these surfaces are not easy to keep clean and new over the long run. The driver can control the 12.3-inch infotainment screen with a touchpad and which has wrist support. As we commented previously, we do not find this system very intuitive. Using the touchpad can be distracting while driving. But it is still better and safer than the touchscreen controls. On the plus side, the MDX offers wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration as standard across all trim levels. Furthermore, if you are an Amazon Alexa user, the Built-in feature can connect the MDX to your home Alexa account.

2022 Acura MDX A-Spec offers 460 litres of cargo space behind the 3rd row, 1107 litres behind the 2nd row and 2021 litres behind the first row. The additional covered storage space underneath the rear load floor is very convenient. The third and second-row seats all drop manually but easily. The second and third-row seats exactly flat when both rows are retracted. Although the MDX is a three-row SUV, the third row is not ideal for long drives, especially with adults.  Even if with more leg and headroom than the previous model, it accommodates ideally two people and preferably two children. But the 1st and 2nd-row seats are very comfortable and heated. The front seats are also ventilated. The 2nd row can accommodate two people very comfortably when the middle seat is converted into a large centre console. Or a child seat can be placed instead. If you are not satisfied with neither option, you can also remove the middle seat entirely and create easy access to the third row.

The second-row seats can be used either to sit three people (or with a narrow child seat in the middle) or for two with a centre console in the middle. You can also remove the middle seat entirely to create easy access to the third row.

Access to the third row is relatively easy, (even without removing the middle seat in the second row) but this space is ideal either for kids or for short drives

The MDX offers 460 litres of cargo volume behind the third row plus the additional covered storage space underneath the rear load floor

Driving impressions

2022 Acura MDX (A-Spec), in its fourth generation, has an improved Super-Handling AWD (SH-AWD) system with the double-wishbone in the front and multilink in the rear axle. The adaptive damping further enhances the ride quality. All MDX models offer five driving modes: Through the drive mode selector, you can choose: Snow, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual. With each mode, also the colour changes in the instrument panel.

With the 4th gen SH-AWD system, double wishbone front-axle, multilink rear axle and adaptive suspension, the all-new MDX provides a driving experience comparable to the best (German) rivals in the luxury three-row SUV segment segment

It is more fun to drive the MDX on the curvy roads or highway exits to experience the more sporty side of it. You may argue that Acura has an SUV in its portfolio that can challenge the BMW X5 in terms of driving pleasure.

After the one-week long, mixed-mode test drive, we came up with an average consumption of 12.5 litres, an average value for this class.

The A-Spec trim has 20-inch wheels with the shark grey finish as standard equipment

Pricing and Equipment

2022 Acura MDX comes in four different trim levels: The base, Tech, A-Spec, and the range-topping Platinum-Elite. The A-Spec, our tester’s MSRP is C$ 63,405. The value proposition is good considering the level of equipment and the price level of German rivals.

For more detailed information on pricing, please visit: http://www.acura.ca

Conclusion

If you are looking for a midsize luxury SUV, the new MDX is a viable alternative you cannot afford to miss. The reliability of Japanese engineering and the vast manufacturing experience of Honda comes into play in the refined and luxurious Acura package. And it is more affordable than its German rivals without sacrificing the quality.

 

Article by Varol McKars

Photos by Dan Gunay