I’ve all the time been a fan of Honda and, its luxurious arm, Acura, because of their inherent sportiness. Honda has one of many biggest motorsport pedigrees of any automaker and that motorsport know-how has usually made its means into its automobiles, together with many Acuras. So after I had the prospect to drive the all-new, totally redesigned 2022 Acura MDX, I used to be very excited.
Having not pushed an Acura in a few years, I used to be excited to enter the drive with a whole clean slate; not having a clue as to how it might drive. After spending per week with it, I got here away shocked — each pleasantly and unpleasantly. One factor’s for sure, although, the brand new MDX is probably the most luxurious Acura ever made.
Very first thing’s first — the brand new Acura MDX is large. I nonetheless bear in mind when the primary MDX debuted, and it was a giant SUV for its time, nevertheless it was nonetheless sufficiently small and sporty sufficient to tackle its rivals on the time, such because the BMW X5. This new automobile, although, is huge. It’s a giant, hulking three-row luxurious SUV that isn’t shy about being a giant, hulking three-row luxurious SUV. This isn’t your dad’s Acura MDX.
Regardless of its gargantuan dimensions, its design isn’t wherever close to as brash. It’s clean, subtle, and reserved. The latest evolution of Acura’s massive grille is its finest but, its headlights are slick and fashionable trying, and it has simply sufficient crisp traces to make it look premium. It’s a good-looking SUV, the MDX, even when it’s a bit too reserved. In its protection, my take a look at automobile lacked the kick-ass trying A-Spec sports activities bundle and was carrying a comparatively boring shade of grey.
Step inside, although, and also you’re met with a really premium, very luxurious cabin, particularly for the value. Not solely is the cabin extraordinarily spacious nevertheless it contains a tech-forward design that additionally prioritizes practicality. There are cubby areas all over the place, there’s an ideal wi-fi charging tray to your cellphone, slightly pop-out hub for some charging ports, and an enormous infotainment display. It makes an excellent first impression, little question.
Although, a few of the inside begins to collapse, figuratively (construct high quality is superb), when you begin poking round. For starters, the ergonomics are a little bit of a large number, with random-sized buttons all through and no actual logical sense of placement. The auto-start/cease button was a specific level of curiosity for me, because it’s positioned so randomly on the console, forward of the infotainment controls, and is oddly huge for no purpose in any respect. It’s not an issue, it’s simply weird and appears a final minute element.
Then there’s the infotainment system itself. It really works so much like Lexus’; with a touch-sensitive monitor pad controller, just like a laptop computer, and it options 4 quadrants to make shifting across the display a bit simpler. Nevertheless, it’s tough to make use of whereas driving as a result of it actually requires you to avert your consideration from the street to the display, to make sure your finger actions are appropriate. The menus are additionally complicated and unnecessarily difficult. It’s higher than Lexus’ system however that’s probably not saying a lot, because it’d be simpler to diffuse a nuclear bomb whereas driving than use Lexus‘ setup. Nevertheless, the MDX does function wi-fi Apple CarPlay, which is improbable, works rather well, and is what I used throughout my complete week with it.
It’s not all dangerous inside, although. The seats are very good; immensely snug but nonetheless shockingly supportive. I’d like to tear the driving force’s seat out and use it as an workplace chair, it’s that cozy. The supplies are principally actually good; every part you’re realistically going to the touch feels nice; there’s loads of house, even within the third row for youths, and the ELS Studio 3D sound system is totally killer.
However you in all probability wish to know what it’s really wish to drive, proper? In that regard, it’s a little bit of a blended bag. I used to be each impressed and upset with the MDX after my week.
To be truthful, my disappointment stemmed from what little expectations I had for the automobile. In my eyes, Acuras are presupposed to be sporty automobiles. You purchase a Lexus if you’d like luxurious, you purchase Acuras if you wish to correctly drive. That’s the way it’s all the time been, that’s what I’ve all the time remembered Acuras to be, in order that’s type of what I anticipated moving into. Nevertheless, the brand new 2022 Acura MDX is just not a sporty car and it solely takes driving a number of ft to understand it.
That’s not an insult, thoughts you. It feels as if the MDX wasn’t designed to be a correctly sport SUV in the best way a Porsche Cayenne is. As a substitute, it prioritizes consolation and luxurious earlier than sharpness and dealing with. The trip is pillowy, its steering is gentle and sluggish; requiring extra steering lock than I’d anticipated; and its cabin is quiet at velocity. The brand new MDX won’t be the sporty Acura of yore nevertheless it’s an extremely refined and relaxed SUV to journey in.
The engine — a 3.5 liter naturally-aspirated V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque — was sadly a little bit of a weak spot. Honda/Acura’s 3.5 liter V6 is a good engine in a automobile however not in a three-row SUV. It simply by no means felt as if it had sufficient grunt to maneuver the MDX with any type of enthusiasm. It’s clean, refined, and makes a ok noise nevertheless it lacks the low-down punch of its turbocharged rivals.
Additionally, ten speeds is simply means an excessive amount of for an computerized gearbox. I say it every time I drive the Lexus LC500 and I’ll say it right here. Ten speeds is simply too many gear ratios, so the transmission is all the time looking to seek out the fitting gear within the MDX, which causes delays while you put your foot all the way down to go one other automobile. It precipitated a number of moments of frustration throughout my time with it. Although, I’m admittedly a, let’s say spirited driver, so possibly it’s nice with a extra relaxed method.
Acura has additionally been making it a little bit of a degree to say its SH-AWD (Tremendous Dealing with All-Wheel Drive) system. It’s a intelligent all-wheel drive system with a trick rear differential that can overdrive the rear wheels, for higher efficiency. Whereas I’m positive that’s true, and I’m positive it really works very nicely — all SH-AWD Acuras have been improbable up to now, so I’ve no purpose to doubt the system now — I by no means actually had an opportunity to check it. The MDX is simply too massive, too heavy, and too comfortable to hustle arduous sufficient that I’d discover a rear-biased system corresponding to SH-AWD. I’d love to check it on sportier Acuras, however I simply couldn’t within the MDX.
The Acura MDX is an effective automobile, it truly is. It’s snug, luxurious, and filled with good (if generally irritating) expertise. It has an ideal all-wheel drive system, house for seven passengers, tons of cargo capability, and beauty. There’s one catch, although — worth.
Sometimes, Acura presents a finances various to the premium Germans; giving clients the identical ranges of construct high quality and expertise as Zee Germans, simply at a lower cost level. Nevertheless, the Acura MDX isn’t that less expensive than the equal BMW X5.
As-tested, my Acura MDX was round $62,000, which isn’t precisely low-cost. Certain, the MDX begins at just below $48,000 however if you’d like all of the tech goodies and badass sound system, you’ll must spend north of $60-grand. At that time, the BMW X5 xDrive40i with the equal choices is round $68,000. The X5 xDrive40i additionally has a 3.zero liter turbocharged I6 with extra energy and torque, is quicker to 60 mph, and extra athletic to drive. Although, the MDX does get a 3rd row included in its worth and the X5 doesn’t.
The brand new 2022 Acura MDX is a automobile I actually wished to like; as I stated, I’ve all the time had a factor for the model and I really like an underdog; nevertheless it by no means actually bought me. It has nice bones, is filled with spectacular luxurious, and a ton of nice items nevertheless it by no means actually got here collectively to be greater than the sum of these elements. Perhaps a sportier-spec automobile would change my thoughts however, so far as my take a look at automobile is anxious, it’s a little bit of a blended bag.