SUV REDESIGN ADDS SIZE, MORE LUXURY TOUCHES
“That's an MDX?”
Rosa Reyes asked when she first glimpsed the 2022 Acura Platinum Elite SUV she was slated to drive for a week.
For 13 years, Reyes has piloted a 2009 MDX, a vehicle she bought new and that now has 290,000 kilometres on the odometer. The complete redesign of the 2022 MDX caught her by surprise.
“Acura has come a long way from the silver bird-beak look,” Reyes says. “The diamond pentagon grille is sporty and gives it a much more serious tone with a very bold and athletic look.
The body has several ridges and curves that give the car a sense of motion without it moving.”
Now in its fourth generation, the MDX is on an all-new platform and has grown in every direction. It is sportier looking, and some of that is because
Acura shifted the cabin farther to the rear, allowing the automaker to stretch the hood. Four MDX models powered by the same 290-horsepower, 3.5-litre DOHC V-6 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission are currently available. All are imbued with Acura's Super Handling Allwheel Drive system. A new Type S model with a turbocharged 3.0L V-6 that makes 355 hp is slated for release later this year.
Reyes spent time in the topof-the line Platinum Elite MDX, and before taxes, it cost close to $70,000. The only option on her tester was the $500 Liquid Carbon Metallic paint.
“Compared to my 2009, the new MDX does look bigger,” she says.
Inside, Reyes found plenty of room, and appreciated the way the centre console was designed. It wasn't bulky, and she found the 12.3-inch colour centre screen was easy to glance at without becoming distracted.
“It's controlled by a touch pad in the console, where the gear shifter would normally be. The system wasn't the easiest thing to figure out and the touch pad was a bit finicky. I was eventually able to do what I needed to, and once I figured out the wireless Apple Carplay, I didn't worry too much about the system,” she says.
“I'm not sure if the interior was trimmed out in real wood, but it was very upscale and classy in all black with highlights in a grey colour.
“Acura did not scrimp on interior materials, and the leather surfaces all feel like they'll last for years.”
It was easy to set up the MDX to her liking, and Reyes says all of the controls are user friendly. However, she's used to having a gear shifter to select drive and reverse. The new MDX, she says, is all buttons, and that wasn't a favourite feature.
Reyes bought her '09 MDX when her oldest son was one week old. Now he's six-foot-two, the same height as her husband. Her 11-year-old son is five-foottwo and growing.
“I need a lot of headroom in a vehicle,” Reyes says with a laugh. “There was no bumping of heads in any of the seats. My kids found the second row comfortable and liked that the middle seat could be pulled down, with storage and cup holders. They found it quite roomy, but when my 11-year-old tried out the third-row seats he found them small.”
Access to the third row, however, was easy, thanks to one button that moved the second-row seat down and forward with very little effort.
“The car felt quicker than mine, even though I think the engine is about the same size,” she says of the performance.
The drive settings could be changed between Sport, Normal, Comfort and Snow. Sport mode, she says, made the MDX more responsive, but also a bit louder, so for her day-to-day driving she kept it in Comfort mode.
Like her older MDX, the 2022 model is equipped with Acura's Super Handling All-wheel Drive system. Reyes says she'd have no problem being off the beaten path in this MDX.
“We have always felt our car had great control in wet and snowy conditions and this one seems even better; it was very planted to the road,” she says.
Reyes plans to replace her '09 MDX in the next year. She would put the newest MDX at the top of her shopping list, as it checks many of the boxes on her wish list. However, with the rising cost of fuel (she averaged about 12.1 L/100 km) and environmental issues in mind, she wishes the MDX had a hybrid powertrain option.
“It was a great SUV, though,” she says. “It does drive like a dream.”