Acura’s redesigned MDX SUV returns to the brand’s roots


Now must be an interesting time—in the Pratchettian sense—To become an auto manufacturer. All you want to do is sell your vehicles, but economic recessions and pandemics are common. Around the world, climate change policies are giving high priority to electric machines, at least in Europe and China, and a California upstart had to embarrass all players. usually in the process. And most of all, all your customers get bored with the cars they’ve ever bought – everything has to be a crossover or an SUV, preferably with Wi-Fi.

In Acura’s case, the company had to deal with all of the above while experiencing a mid-life crisis. After decades of sales competition with Lexus and Infiniti, Honda’s North American division decided to engage in some soul search to see if that’s really where the efforts of they should be reserved. And Acura decided that instead of focusing on luxury, it needed to go back to its roots as a performance brand.

In the past, Japanese luxury brands were seen as a step above their German rivals, especially in terms of dynamics, mainly due to the superiority of front-wheel drive. But if Acura’s plan is to bounce BMW as the driver’s choice, then the MDX is the SUV that can do just that. Separately the version it sent us in 48 hours – a $ 57,100 MDX A-Spec 2022. A-Spec, apart from being something to do with Great travel, is also the Acura code for “this is a really good handling car”, just like the BMWs you see with the M Sport badging.

This redesign makes 2022 the fourth generation of the MDX badge-bearing SUV, and our test example looks dazzling in Performance Red Pearl paintwork. (It is a similar shade Mazda’s Soul Red but maybe a little deeper.) Viewed from the outset, the new MDX has a less fussy shape than the replacement model, with the front being dominated by a larger Acura grille and badges concealing some of the feel. Turn towards the front of the SUV.
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However, the black intakes on either side of the grille are actually left blank, even on this variant – obviously, testing shows it would be better if those vents were permanently closed. (The main grille also has shutters that work that close to reduce drag when needed.)

Staff car for an imminent Royal officer?

Acura’s return to performance doesn’t mean trading a luxurious interior for something extravagant. Darth Vader will probably be a fan of the MDX A-Spec interior, with super black-black leather and leather, red stitching, and glossy black panels. Acura says that 30% of the polyester converted to ultrasuede comes from molasses produced as a byproduct of sugar refining, which is an amazing fact that could one day come in handy.

Behind Acura’s newest multifunctional steering wheel is a 12.3-inch digital display that replaces a physical dial. you can find it in a TLX sedan. It changes appearance depending on the drive mode and in the center of the screen is an infographic representation of what the sensors are seeing around the MDX.

The infotainment system is the latest version of Acura’s True Touchpad Interface, was first seen on the RDX crossover. It uses the center console touchpad that has a 1: 1 relationship to the display – if (for example) an icon or UI element is on the top right of the screen, you touch on the top right of the touchpad to touch it. There’s a lot more to learn than using a regular touchscreen or touchpad-based UI, but with a few hours of getting used to, you’ll quickly appreciate how easy it is to operate. without taking your eyes off the road.

There’s a plethora of USB ports (five or seven if you choose to replace the MDX Advance, which also has a full color display, 10.2 inches) and a wireless charging dock, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both working. cords (although in the past, you might find using cables for a more error-free experience).

The middle row of seats slides 5.9 inches (150 mm) front and rear, and it comes with a little trick – you can remove the middle seat. Eliminating the seat means you can only carry six on the plane and you’ll want to leave the middle seat at home. But it makes getting into the third row a lot more realistic.

Go on target

The new MDX has achieved great chassis rigidity in search of better handling, mainly through the use of high-tensile steel in strategic locations. Dual wishbone front suspension is new and suggests this SUV means business; there’s also a new multi-link rear suspension design at the rear. And I must say, the engineers have succeeded – this is a well-handled SUV that bodes well for the more powerful MDX Type-S in development.

Its curb weight of 4,534 lbs (2,056 kg) is standard for the class, but the MDX’s poise and body control mark it as one of the smart kids sitting in front. There is no lag between input and response affecting many SUVs (or even the Acura TLX sedan I’ve been testing recently), and the SH-AWD system efficiently transmits torque from front to back and on the rear axle, side-to-side, all for a quicker change of direction.

Sadly, there’s only one drivetrain option for the new MDX, the 290 hp (217 kW), 267 lb-ft (362 Nm) variant of the company’s 60-degree 3.5-liter V6 engine, combined with 10-speed automatic transmission. It is rated at 21 mpg (11.2 l / 100km) combined, which is a bit over (I get 21.8), but it’s disappointing to report that no MDX hybrid for this generation. When I rechecked this omission with Acura, the company said it still loves electrification, which is not only good for the planet but also for performance, and introduced me to NSX super car is very competent as proof of that.

Listed photos of Acura



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