Acuras MDX is getting a makeover for 2022.
It's sharper looking more comfortable, packed with the latest tech and promises to be the best driving one to date.
Which is particularly interesting to me because I have a bit history with this nameplate.
It's a tired soldier, this 2003 Acura MDX that's been in my family since new.
He has more than 250,000 miles on the odometer, countless dense, quite a bit of rust and doesn't drive nearly as tight as it used to, but it's been a reliable workhorse.
Well, with the exception of leaving my brothers in laws stranded in Times Square that one time because of a dead battery.
Anyway in its state this first generation, MDX was a damn nice three row luxury SUV.
It offered a silky v six smooth ride, soft leather and a roomy interior heated front seats navigation, a Bose audio system with a cassette and CD player and a backup camera.
None of this sounds special today.
But when this was new, a younger Johnny Wong and his buddy Dave spent more time than they'd like to admit driving backwards in a parking lot because they are so geeked about the camera.
But this is how accurate MDX started before going on to sell more than a million units over the course of 20 years in three generations.
And now this is how the Acura MDX is going this is the new fourth generation MDX that lands for the 2022 mt a year.
And boy, what a difference a couple of decades makes, of course with 20 years of advancements a new MDX better blow the first one out of the water but even compared to its immediate predecessor, the third generation car is packing a hearty list of improvement.
For starters, it's a bit more aggressive looking on the outside like the new TLS sedan.
The latest MDX takes styling cues from the precision concept with a wider stance, more upright nose with a wider grille, longer hood, sharper creases and broader shoulders.
This a spec model features a little more attitude with gloss black accents, dark light housings, and gray wheels.
All in all, it looks pretty good for a big SUV.
Am inside changes are more drastic, the layout is lower and sleeker, providing good visibility out.
It's intuitive with a mess low to clearly Mark buttons on the center stack that some people may find busy materials are a higher quality with mana leather standard on most models.
There's large swaths of soft touch instinct services, aluminum trim, comfortable seats and it's light and airy in here, thanks to a panoramic roof.
That's standard on every MDX this, a specs cabin is dressed further with a flat bottom steering wheel suede seat inserts and metal pedals.
All that is an interior that's more spacious in the second and third rows thanks to a wheelbase that's stretched nearly three inches.
So that row in the way back is a little roomier in accessing it remains rather easy in the MDX with the one touch smart side middle seats.
Or you can now remove the new second rose middle seat essentially creating captain's chairs, with a walkway to the rear.
And there's more cargo space, 16.3 cubic feet of it behind the third row, that grows to 71.4 with both rear rows folded, making it competitive in the class.
How about tech?
Well, the new Acura MDX has lots of it.
It's got a 12.3 inch configurable gauge cluster and available head-up display.
Infotainment is projected onto a 12.3 inch center screen.
That's controlled by accuracy.
True touchpad system.
I find it easy to use after you spend some time with it, but others on staff.
Aren't big fans.
I'll admit, it isn't perfect.
The center screen is not a touch screen so when you enter things like navigation destinations it is a pain.
But it's got a great ELS audio setup wireless Apple card play and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and a Wi-Fi hotspot on board.
A wireless charge pad and USB port sprinkle throughout the cabin are also included For safety MDX gets forward collision warning with auto braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.
Getting to the drive a 3.5 liter V six making 290 horsepower and 267 pound feet of torque provides power like before.
It works with a 10 speed, automatic that tags in for the previous nine speed to route power to the front wheels or all wheels through the latest SHR drive system that can route up to 70% torque to the rear wheels and transfer a hundred percent of that to either side of the rear axle.
The engine is punchy enough and super smooth while the gearbox cracks off seamless.
Well, time shifts and can downshift for gears when you really need to giddy-up.
Hacker says it did consider putting its 2-liter turbocharged four, into the new MDX, but after talking to customers, it decided to stick with the six, which I'm happy about because it's V6 is a smooth great piece.
That sounds pretty good under wide open throttle, with all-wheel drive.
It returns an EPA estimated 19 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.
Without question how the MDX handles is the most drastic change in the new generation.
It's based on a new stiffer platform with a new double wishbone front suspension, rework, multilink rear, quicker steering and stronger brakes.
Compared to the previous generation.
It's noticeably more agile.
There's less role at turning steering response is snappier.
It feels better planet around corners and it confidently slows.
Honestly, it doesn't feel like a 4500 pound vehicle,
Most of the time, even though it is.
Now I'm not gonna say you're gonna get yourself in MDX and head to your local track but for a three row SUV, it can hustle through some twisty roads and feel at home doing so.
There is, however another Upshot to the new chassis and that'd be a more comfortable and quieter ride.
It's less jiggly and smoother going down the road and cabin isolation from road and wind noise is better than before.
The 2022 Acura MDX goes on sale in February starting at about $48,000 with destination with front wheel drive, while all the drive takes on additional $2,000.
This sporty looking A spec version here with standard all wheel drive is a bit more beginning at $58,000 For those looking for more performance there is a type s version coming later this year with the turbo V six making about 355 horses, bear wheels and Brembo brakes which should be quite interesting.
But until then the new base MDX packs some impressive upgrades.
It's sharper looking has a nicer cabin filled with tech and is a tighter driver.
Hm, I don't know, maybe it's time for the Wong's to upgrade.