Review by Veeno Dewan.

The  all-new fourth generation MDX is Acura’s flagship SUV and  so it should be, the MDX has been a family favourite for a while now. Its main  virtues of comfort, space, utility, and performance have always been highlights. The 2022 version starts with an all-new platform with new front suspension, and slightly larger exterior dimensions. It looks cool, sharp, and aggressive with its sleek side profile and that awesome front jewel light treatment.

The reliable 3.5L V6 engine is a carryover and produces 290 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque —but there is a  new turbocharged V6 for the upcoming high -performance MDX Type S. One change in the powertrain is a new ten-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing starts at $56,405 for the base MDX, and $60,405 for the Technology trim. The desirable A-Spec model weighs in at $63,405. The lineup tops out with the Platinum Elite at $67,405. All have three rows of seats for a maximum of seven occupants and varying levels of equipment. Acura’s superb SH-AWD Super Handling All-Wheel Drive, has been upgraded and is standard on all models. All  trims include tri-zone automatic climate control, 12.3-inch centre screen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless charging. The optional Technology trim and others add such features as advanced passive safety  features, leather seats, satellite navigation, and upgraded premium audio, and satellite radio systems.

Inside, the MDX features a sleek hi-tech interior with impressive quality, fit and finish. There is nice stitching on the door panels, the leather-wrapped steering wheel, fits well in the hand and there plenty of room for first- and second-row passengers. The dash and centre console has a busy, high-tech look typical of Acura with a plethora of buttons for different features and functions, but at least there is a proper dial for the stereo volume control, which is always appreciated. While the infotainment is unfortunately a chore  to navigate, the wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connections, built-in Amazon Alexa assistant, and the nice 16-speaker stereo are all great features for the money.

The third row is best seated for  younger, smaller passengers, although the middle seat in the second row can be folded down  or removed entirely  for easier access to the third row. Behind the third row is 513 L of storage, but fold that row down and cargo space grows to 1,368 L. Fold the second row down and the MDX offers a maximum of 2,690 L.

Safety is high with a next-generation front passenger airbag. It deploys with three chambers and a  cradle feature reacts on impact to help prevent head and neck injuries.

On the road, Acura’s stand out SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.) is standard on all trims. This traction system is improved now for faster response, apportioning power between the front and rear wheels  for superb grip. For such a  big SUV, the MDX feels light, quick  and agile. The MDX takes corners with aplomb, thanks to the new wishbone front suspension. The power delivery is smooth and the steering  responsive. The new ten- speed transmission is also an improvement with its well-matched shift logic system that always selects the right gear ratio. There are a variety of drive modes to suit personal preferences and adverse conditions. Normal is good for  everyday driving, while Sport mode kicks it up a notch. For those who need to  tow a boat or trailer, the MDX’s   maximum towing rating is 2,268 kg (5,000 lb).    Acura’s official fuel numbers come out at  12.6 L/100 km in the city, 9.4 on the highway, and 11.2 in combined driving conditions.

Just a few niggles. That touchpad-based infotainment system is still fiddly and its hard to know where your finger are sliding about. The sub menus or different functions could be simpler and designed for less driver attention. To sum up the Acura MDX is a compelling purchase if you are looking for a premium sports orientated SUV with stellar performance chops.  With its vice- free road manners, creamy smooth engine, transmission, and agile handling It is superbly refined. With seven seats, a technology driven driver cockpit, luxury  and style The Acura MDX  is highly recommended.

2022 Acura MDX; Priced from $56,405 for the base MDX,   Platinum Elite model – $67,405.

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