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2022 Acura MDX Platinum Elite
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2022 Acura MDX Platinum Elite Review

Acura completely renewed its MDX premium crossover for the 2022 model year. Canada Drives spent a week with a Platinum Elite model to see how it shapes up.

Key Features:

  • Much-improved dynamics
  • Classy interior
  • SH-AWD drivetrain as good as any

Direct Competitors:

  • Audi Q7
  • BMW X5
  • Infiniti QX60
  • Lexus RX 350L
  • Lincoln Aviator

With the demise of the RLX, the MDX is now Acura’s flagship. The 2022 edition rides on a brand-new architecture that features double-wishbone front suspension, more secure steering feel and better body rigidity, all of which should make it more appealing to drive for younger, Gen X and Gen Y buyers. This new foundation also prepares the way for a Type S performance model. Powered by a brand-new, 355-HP turbo V6, it launches in early-2022.

Price: how much does the 2022 Acura MDX cost?

  • MDX $57,900
  • Tech $61,900
  • A-Spec $64,900
  • Platinum Elite $68,900

The Acura MDX was launched in Canada in late-2020 as a 2022 model. Four grades share a 290-HP V6, 10-speed automatic transmission and Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) drivetrain. MSRPs are up a few thousand on the previous-generation machine, starting from $57,900.00 (MDX), $61,900.00 (Tech), $64,900.00 (A-Spec) and $68,900 (Platinum Elite).

2022 Acura MDX interior and equipment

2022 Acura MDX Platinum Elite | Photo: Acura 

Standard equipment across the range includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 12.3in colour centre display with True Touchpad Interface (TTI) and a panoramic moonroof. Most exterior colours come at a $500 surcharge but to add more interior equipment, you need to trade up a grade rather than specify packages.

Moving above the base model, Tech adds a 12-speaker, ELS premium audio system, heated second-row seats and perforated leather trim in place of leatherette, among other amenities. The A-Spec has a more sporting theme, including Ultrasuede and leather-trimmed seats and metal pedals and footrest, while Platinum Elite – as tested here – tops the range for now, with luxuries like wood trim and 16-way driver’s seat power adjustment.

The 2022 MDX follows the RDX and TLX in a new generation of Acuras designed around the ‘precision crafted performance’ mantra. One consequence for the interior is the prominence given to the IDS (Integrated Dynamics System) dial, which sits centrally on the console within easy reach of the driver’s right hand.

2022 Acura MDX Platinum Elite | Photo: Acura 

We liked that the IDS didn’t dominate the MDX’s dashboard in the way that it does in the TLX, for example. Overall, the interior feels more Acura and less Honda than the TLX’s manages. The HVAC controls fall nicely to hand and the physical switches complement adjustments made via the large, clear, central screen. We’re not sure whether the TTI touchpad has been recalibrated, but it seemed more intuitive to use here than we’ve experienced elsewhere.

In line with the MDX’s more dynamic positioning, the leather front bucket seats of our Platinum Elite model were comfortable, and the driving position felt about as engaging as a mid-size SUV can be without compromising everyday practicality and comfort. Remember however that if you regularly travel with rear-seat passengers, an MDX won’t match the second- and third-row space of an SUV that prioritizes practicality, such as a Kia Telluride.

Performance: how does Acura's mid-size SUV perform?

Honda’s familiar 3.5-litre, i-VTEC V6 engine makes 290 HP and 267 lb-ft of torque in the MDX. Mated to a smooth-shifting 10-speed auto with paddle shifters, it delivers its power in a relaxed rather than overly sporting fashion in normal use. Fuel consumption was 12.8L/100km over our week’s use in cold weather, just above the official combined figure.

If you’re in the mood to drive more enthusiastically then twist the IDS to Sport mode or mix and match the settings to find your favourite Individual setup. Don’t be fooled by the ‘Suspension’ adjustment though, which plays with the SH-AWD drivetrain settings rather than ride comfort.

2022 Acura MDX Platinum Elite | Photo: Acura 

SH-AWD appears here in a new, faster-responding generation of hardware and software. You can feel it feeding the power between the wheels when powering out of a tight corner and we can testify that it works brilliantly to maximize traction on a slippery surface in Snow mode.

Verdict: is the 2022 Acura MDX worth it?

The 2022 MDX fulfils its brief as a more driver-focused premium SUV, especially compared with the previous generation. Happily, the MDX is still an accessible proposition in the everyday use to which most consumers will put it, with a classy cabin that should satisfy anyone for whom outright space isn’t the priority.

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