Acura today unveiled the all-new 2022 MDX, the most premium, performance-focused and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history. Occupying its new position as the brand flagship, the next-generation Acura MDX marks a quantum leap forward with a bold exterior design coupled with a sophisticated and elegant new interior featuring the most high-tech and advanced cockpit in the brand’s 35-year history.
Fully developed around Acura’s Precision Crafted Performance brand DNA, and built on an all-new platform designed for new levels of performance, the 2022 MDX will arrive at dealers Feb. 2 with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $46,900.
Elevated Exterior Design
As the most emotionally styled MDX ever, the fourth-generation model features a bold and upright face, intricately sculpted grille and hood, and a wide, aggressive stance. These cues are shared with the Acura Precision Concept that redefined Acura design when it was first unveiled in 2016. Dimensionally, the new MDX sits on a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase, with a stance that’s 1.4 inches wider in the front and rear.
Perhaps the most significant dimensional change is the dash-to-axle ratio, which has been extended by more than 4-inches. This lengthens the hood line significantly, giving MDX a premium “cab rearward” proportion, and emphasizing the power under its long and sharply creased hood. The bold and sporting new look is accentuated by a multi-faceted Diamond Pentagon grille and new four-element JewelEye LED headlights with an embedded Chicane™ daytime running light. Three-dimensional sculpting under the headlights serve to visually widen the front, blending to the fog light housing at the bottom.
The wide stance and larger-diameter wheels are pushed to the edge of the bodywork, providing visual cues of the dynamic handling potential of MDX’s new body and chassis architecture with front double-wishbone suspension and high-capacity, variable-ratio steering. The three-dimensional surface details were inspired by the wind-shaped rocks in Arizona’s Antelope Canyon, and can be seen in the pronounced shoulder line that defines the upper portion of the vehicle, and the sculpting along the lower portion of the doors.
The MDX’s windows are framed by a chrome strip (gloss black on A-Spec models) that begins in front of the mirrors on the front fender, running under the outside mirrors and ultimately circling the side windows. In the rear, the wide-set taillights have their Chicane™ design set in an eye-catching light-blade, and serve to define and enhance the width and stability of the pronounced rear fenders.
All-New Body and Chassis
The all-new light truck platform underpinning the 2022 MDX targets the driving dynamics of a sport sedan. Designed from the outset in pursuit of Type S levels of performance, MDX sports its first-ever double-wishbone front suspension, combined with an all-new multilink rear suspension for incredibly precise road holding while maintaining the smooth ride that is a key MDX highlight. The new platform also features improved body rigidity, paying dividends in ride comfort and handling in combination with improved collision safety performance. Quick, precise steering and more powerful brakes give the driver the ability to take full advantage of the new platform, in driving scenarios ranging from daily commutes to twisting canyon roads.
MDX’s double wishbone front suspension is a core feature of Acura’s performance DNA. The suspension delivers a larger tire contact patch through corners, helping to increase grip, while improving ride quality with greater vertical freedom of movement. The new rear suspension also improves stability and response, and together they give MDX a world-class combination of ride comfort and agility.
The new platform includes multiple enhancements in rigidity. In front, the damper connects to a new cast aluminum housing that is 45-percent stiffer overall for better noise isolation, with a new rigid-mounted subframe contributing to a 7-percent increase in lateral torsion for better handling. Replacing the previous floating-type subframe, the new front subframe translates steering inputs to the tires with greater speed and fidelity. The rear body uses a new dual-balanced load path for the rear damper mounting points, contributing to a 41-percent improvement in stiffness for better noise isolation, and 80-percent torsion improvement that benefits handling.
The 2022 MDX uses new belt-driven Electric Power Steering (EPS) with a high-output electric motor for increased steering assist, essential for the quicker steering ratio afforded by the new variable gear ratio steering system. The new EPS system’s variable gear ratio system is designed and tuned to provide the most essential characteristics, such as instantaneous response with a smooth, natural and precise steering feel. The variable ratio gives the new MDX increased agility in a variety of driving scenarios.
Improved Braking Performance
For 2022, MDX features enhanced braking capability, with larger and thicker front brake rotors, and a new electric brake booster. With front rotors that are 2mm thicker and 30mm larger in diameter, the new brakes can better withstand repeated hard stops without reduced performance (fade) thanks to a nearly 18-percent increase in heat capacity. The new electric brake booster allows the Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) to react 230 milliseconds faster, reducing stopping distance from 30 mph by 12 feet.
Wheels and Tires
New wheel and tire packages give the 2022 MDX a stronger stance for a powerful presence, while increasing contact patch stiffness by 15-percent in lateral loads for improved handling performance. Standard 19×8.5 (+1 in. diameter, +0.5 in. width) wheels are wrapped in wider 255 (+10mm) series tires take full advantage of the steering and suspension updates to the new platform. Available 20×9.0 wheels (+0.5 in. width) use special in-wheel resonators to reduce road noise when driving over uneven surfaces at highway speeds. A new tire developed exclusively for MDX features a revised rubber compound, construction and tread pattern to reduce rolling resistance by 17-percent.
Exterior Colors and Trim
The 2022 Acura MDX will be available in two standard (non-metallic) color finishes and six premium colors including two new offerings; Phantom Violet Pearl first offered on the 2021 TLX and an all-new Liquid Carbon Metallic. Apex Blue Pearl returns as an exclusive color offered on the MDX A-Spec. Gloss black accents front to rear, darkened headlight and taillight treatment and Shark-Gray wheels add a distinct sport appearance to the MDX A-Spec.
Driver-Focused Cabin with Room for 6 Passengers
Befitting its flagship status, the 2022 Acura MDX delivers the most premium and sophisticated cabin Acura has ever designed. The clean, horizontal design theme imparts a strong structural feel, softened with the use of high-grade authentic materials such as open-pore wood, brushed aluminum and soft-touch Milano leather. A hand-wrapped instrument panel with available top-stitching provides a premium touch beyond anything offered in MDX to date.
First-class front seat comfort is enabled via next-generation Acura sport seats featuring 12-way adjustment, three-way seat heating and three-position memory – all standard. MDX A-Spec adds ventilated front seats while the Advance Package gains additional power-adjusting side bolsters and thigh extensions for 16-way adjustment.
In the second-row, 2022 MDX features a first-in-class multi-function removable middle seat providing owners three discrete seating options; a traditional bench for 3-across seating and 7-passenger total capacity (middle seat up), a captain’s chair style wide center armrest with additional drink holders (middle seat down), or wide pass-through for access to the third row (middle seat removed), particularly useful when child seats are installed in the outboard second-row seats.
A hallmark of the MDX since its introduction in 2001, the third row is further improved on the 2022 MDX with an additional 0.4-inches of headroom, 2.4-inches of legroom and a seating position that’s 2-inches higher from the floor compared to the outgoing model. With the new standard panoramic moonroof on all MDX trims, the third row has a light and spacious feeling. In MDX Advance trim, third-row occupants have their own USB charging ports on the left and right side of the cabin.
Behind the third row, cargo space has been increased to 16.3 cu.-ft. (+1.5) and can expand up to 71.4 cu.-ft. (+3.0) with both second and third rows folded. The new MDX also features expanded under-floor storage behind the third row, with 80-percent more space available under the cargo floor. The floor panel drops into the cargo well to expand the MDX’s rear cargo area behind the third row to 18.1 cubic feet, and is reversible, with a carpeted side and an easy-to-clean hard side for dirty or wet items.
Interior Colors & Trim
MDX also will be available in six different interior color schemes, depending on package, including Ebony, Parchment, Graystone and Espresso. A-Spec models will be available exclusively in either Ebony or Red leather with black Ultrasuede® inserts. MDX with Technology Package and above feature seats wrapped in a rich, soft-touch Milano leather seating surfaces with contrast stitching while Advance Package models add contrast piping for all three rows.
All New: Precision Cockpit™ Digital Instrumentation
The 2022 Acura MDX features the new, all-digital Acura Precision Cockpit™, which replaces physical gauges with a customizable 12.3-inch driver’s meter. The new Precision Cockpit conveys information to the driver in personalized fashion, with drivers able to choose between two distinct appearances – Advanced and Crafted. In addition to different displays for the main gauges, a fully configurable content selection is available to the right of the display for functions such as navigation, trip computer, AcuraWatch™, maintenance, tire pressure, SH-AWD® status and a G-meter. Also new for 2022, MDX Advance Package benefits from a 10.5-inch full color Head-Up Display (HUD) that can show critical vehicle alerts, collision warnings, navigation instructions, vehicle speed, and incoming calls and texts.
Improved True Touchpad Interface
The 2022 MDX also benefits from the latest generation of Acura’s intuitive and driver-focused True Touchpad Interface™ (TTI), featuring Acura’s largest-ever center display. At an ultra-wide 12.3-inches, the full-HD display works seamlessly with the Acura-exclusive touchpad with “absolute positioning” and a new, more powerful CPU. The TTI in MDX features intuitive controls, including physical Power, Volume and Seek controls positioned within easy reach to the immediate right of the touchpad, along with more accurate swipe zones and handwriting recognition, as well as AI-driven Smart Shortcuts for quick and predictive access to common tasks.
Integrated Dynamics System
The MDX’s Integrated Dynamics System offers Snow, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual settings. The control knob on the center of the dash enables drivers to quickly switch modes on the go, with each mode offering unique settings for engine and transmission performance including Idle Stop, steering settings, and SH-AWD® responsiveness when so equipped. The new Individual mode enables drivers to tailor their driving experience by customizing settings according to their personal preferences. With the Technology Package, the Integrated Dynamics System also includes Acura’s IconicDrive™ interior lighting system, which illuminates the MDX cabin in 27 different selectable LED lighting schemes. Three are automatically aligned to the Comfort, Normal and Sport driving modes, with 24 additional user-selectable illuminations themed for iconic roads and race circuits around the world, such as Route 66 and Suzuka.
Award Winning Audio
The 2022 MDX will be offered with three different audio experiences. The MDX is equipped with a 9-speaker, 7-channel system with 350 watts standard. The MDX Technology Package gets an ELS Studio® system with 12 speakers, including an additional center speaker on the dash plus two new ceiling-mounted speakers, running 550 watts through 12 channels. On A-Spec and Advance Packages, the ELS STUDIO 3D® premium audio system features additional speakers in the third row plus two more ceiling-mounted speakers for a total of 16, with a total of 710 watts through 16 channels. Both ELS STUDIO® systems were tuned and perfected by eight-time Grammy® award-winning music producer and sound engineer, Elliot Scheiner, for whom the ELS system was named.
Connectivity & Charging
A pop-up socket in the center console contains USB-C and USB-A charging ports in front of a convenient pocket for smartphones. Alternatively, with the addition of standard wireless Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration along with standard wireless charging through a Qi-compatible 15-watt charger located adjacent the TTI’s palm rest, connecting and charging your phone is made even easier. The 2022 MDX also features Amazon Alexa Built-In, allowing drivers to ask Alexa to navigate to a specific address or point of interest, play music, make calls, listen to audiobooks, check the weather, control smart home devices, find parking, and more.
New convenience features include standard CabinControl®, which enables passengers to control music, audio settings, rear climate controls, navigation and even the panoramic moonroof’s sunshade position using a downloadable smartphone app. With A-Spec and Advance Packages, MDX features CabinTalk®, which amplifies the voices of front-seat passengers so they can be better heard in the second and third rows.
The 2022 MDX also features the latest generation of AcuraLink™, with in-vehicle 4GLTE Wi-Fi compatibility, over-the-air software update capability and a wide array of available cloud-based services, including emergency roadside assistance, remote locking/unlocking and engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking and Acura concierge services.
The 2022 Acura MDX debuts with an advanced 3.5-liter direct-injected i-VTEC™ V6 engine rated at 290 peak horsepower and 267 lb.-ft. peak torque (both SAE net). It incorporates a range of advanced friction-reducing technologies that help boost fuel efficiency and power output, and features a crossflow magnesium intake manifold, special “tumble” type intake ports, piston-crown shapes and an 11.5:1 compression ratio. The i-VTEC™ (intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) for the intake valves is combined with Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM™) to widen the power band and maximize fuel efficiency. For the first time, the 2022 MDX applies an Active Shutter Grille. In certain conditions, shutters in the lower grille close to divert air around the vehicle, thereby reducing aerodynamic drag. When the demand for cooling air increases, the shutters reopen.
For the first time, the 3.5-liter V6 in MDX is paired with Acura’s 10-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift and standard paddle shifters. The transmission offers a wider gear ratio range, more discrete gears, four-gear direct downshifts and lower first gear compared to the previous 9-speed automatic transmission.
The 2022 MDX with front-wheel drive received an EPA rating of 19 mpg city/26 highway/22 combined, while MDX with Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ received an EPA rating of 19 mpg city/25 highway/21 combined2.
Torque Vectoring SH-AWD®
The available rear-biased Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system for MDX uses Acura’s industry-leading torque-vectoring all-wheel drive technology, and is offered as optional equipment on MDX and MDX with Technology Package. Now in its fourth generation, SH-AWD® has 40 percent more rear torque capacity and 30 percent quicker front-to-rear torque transfer than the third-generation system in the previous MDX. The Acura SH-AWD® system can transfer up to 70-percent of engine torque to the rear axle during normal driving conditions, while continuously apportioning up to 100 percent of that rear-axle torque between either the left or right rear wheels. The rear axle is continuously overdriven by 2.9-percent, which amplifies the yaw moment effect of left-to-right torque transfer, giving MDX even sharper and more accurate turn-in, with improved traceability when cornering.
Advanced Safety and Driver-Assistive Technologies
All 2022 MDX trims will come standard with an expanded suite of AcuraWatch™ advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. For 2022, AcuraWatch™ includes updated Road Departure Mitigation plus new technologies, such as Traffic Jam Assist (TJA), Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), Pedestrian Detection and a new Driver Attention Monitor. Working in conjunction with Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow, Traffic Jam Assist helps reduce driver stress in highly congested traffic situations by helping keep the vehicle in its lane and at a set interval behind a vehicle detected ahead. In addition, MDX will feature a new front and rear automatic braking system called Low Speed Braking Control. Included in the Technology Package, the new system uses the sonar-based parking sensors to sense solid objects at low speeds, such as in parking situations, and warn the driver or apply the brakes to help avoid or mitigate a collision.
Next Generation Passenger Front Airbag
Like the just-launched 2021 TLX, the new MDX features Acura’s award-winning next-generation passenger front airbag technology. This new proprietary airbag uses a three-chamber design that functions much like a baseball catcher’s mitt, designed to more effectively cradle and protect the front seat occupant’s head to help mitigate potential injury, especially in angled frontal collisions.
The 2022 MDX also features the latest generation of Acura’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, with enhanced occupant and pedestrian collision protection capabilities. The new body structure improves overlap with smaller and lower-riding vehicles for improved collision compatibility, and features better absorption and distribution of crash loads around the passenger cabin. Side impact performance, assessed using the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s side impact protocol, is further improved with a 34-percent reduction in cabin intrusion thanks to a redesigned ultra-high-strength side door ring and center roof pillar.
The frontal area of the new MDX has been specifically designed with pedestrian safety in mind, with a deformable hood, hinge and upper fender combining with new lower and upper leg protection in the front fascia. Inside, MDX features new LATCH points for lower anchors and upper tethers, both redesigned to be more easily accessible.
The 2022 MDX targets a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and incorporates anticipated future testing requirements, including oblique frontal collisions, pedestrian safety, and forward warning and automatic emergency braking tests. In addition, the new MDX targets a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including the highest available rating of GOOD in all collision tests and SUPERIOR for frontal crash prevention, with new headlights designed to achieve a GOOD rating in the rigorous IIHS headlight standard.
Next to Arrive: High Performance MDX Type S
Arriving at dealerships in late summer 2021, the MDX Type S joins the lineup as the brand’s first application of the Type S high performance nameplate to an SUV. MDX Type S will deliver an even stronger performance styling statement, with an open diamond mesh grille, quad exhaust outlets and gloss black trim replacing the standard chrome. Under the hood will be Acura’s all-new 3.0-liter turbocharged DOHC V6 engine, producing an estimated 355 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, coupled with Acura’s SH-AWD®. Maximizing grip, the new MDX Type S will feature standard 21-inch wheels with 275-series tires, and additional braking power coming from larger brakes and 4-piston Brembo front calipers.
Inside, Type S drivers will find even higher levels of refinement, with available 9-mode massaging front seats accented with curvilinear stitching, and colors and trim unique to Type S. A new “Signature Edition” ELS STUDIO 3D® premium audio system will be the most advanced and powerful audio system ever offered in an Acura vehicle, with more than 1,000 watts of power, 22 discrete channels and 25 speakers. More details on the highest-performing ever SUV from Acura will be released closer to its on-sale date late in the summer of 2021.
Design, Development and Manufacturing
The 2022 Acura MDX joins its three predecessors in being designed, engineered and developed in America. Styling was led by the Acura Design Studio in Torrance, Calif., while full platform development was led by engineers in the company’s development center in Raymond, Ohio. The all-new MDX will continue to be built exclusively at the company’s auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio, while both the 3.5-liter V6 and 3.0-liter VTEC® Turbo will be produced at the company’s Anna, Ohio, engine plant, which also manufactures the NSX supercar’s twin-turbocharged hybrid V6 power unit. Acura’s 10-speed automatic transmission is built exclusively at the company’s Tallapoosa, Ga., transmission plant.