Five Things I Love in the 2022 Acura MDX Sporty SUV

Acura Mdx

The 2022 Acura MDX hits five sweet spots for comfort.

A couple of weeks ago, I took the 2022 Acura MDX SH-AWD (or Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) out for a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, then back through lunchtime commuter traffic on the 101 Freeway. With a 3.5 L engine, 10-speed automatic transmission and 290 horsepower, this SUV is a surprisingly smooth luxury ride for a dual-purpose vehicle with a 5,000 pound towing capability. Best of both worlds? Yes. I liked a lot about this car but there were five things I specifically want to point out as my favorites.

Related: 2022 Acura MDX: The Best of a Minivan In a Luxury SUV

Acura Mdx Second Row With Removable Center Seat. Photo: Donna Biroczky

Acura MDX second row with removable center seat. Photo: Donna Biroczky

1. Removable Middle Seat in the Middle Row

I usually drive with 2-3 passengers, but there are times that we head into the city with some friends, a group of six, and we’d like to all ride together. This Acura MDX SUV makes that possible with plenty of space and comfort. Part of that is due to the removable section of the middle row. While it serves as the seventh seat when the console is pushed up, in under 15 seconds, you can fold it out of the way entirely. It takes two hands, but it’s easy to lift out of the vehicle and place into your trunk space, still leaving you a lot of room for other items.

Not only does this option allow for the two passengers in the middle row to have extra space without bumping arms, making their seats into captains chairs, but the passengers in the back row don’t have to climb around seats to get in or out of the vehicle. There’s also the extra cargo space between the seats. I love that this feature is standard in all packages.

Related: Which Acura SUV is Right for Me: RDX VS MDX?

Acura Mdx Seats And Trunk. Photo: Donna Biroczky

Acura MDX seats and trunk. Photo: Donna Biroczky

2. Brake Hold, Making Long Traffic Stops Easier

I spend a lot of time sitting on Los Angeles freeways, on my way to and from my house in the ‘burbs. Taking three hours to get home from downtown L.A. to my home in the Inland Empire is not uncommon, and in the worst traffic, we come to a complete stop. It’s not enough stop-and-go to put the car in and out of park, but it can be tiring as a driver. Push the Brake Hold button and the vehicle is held in place until you deliberately put your foot on the accelerator. What a game changer, right? It’s not as though I’d need to use it repeatedly during a long ride home, but now and then, this option would be so welcome. The Brake Hold feature is yet another option that’s available in all packages, making it affordable to get comfort and safety without extra fees. Thank you, Acura.

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Acura Mdx Steering Wheel. Photo: Donna Biroczky

Acura MDX Steering Wheel. Photo: Donna Biroczky

3. Clean, Clear and Luxurious Dash Display

The center display on the Acura MDX sports a 12.3” screen, but even higher on my list of cool things about this vehicle is the digital Acura Precision Cockpit. The Acura Precision Cockpit is the display screen directly behind the steering wheel, where each of the typical gauges are digital: fuel level, speed, RPMs, etc. It’s so easy to look at quickly while driving, and the digitized overall view of the car is also incredibly helpful. All moms have had at least one point where a kid gets in or out of the car and doesn’t shut the door fully. The cockpit screen will alert you to this, saving you from that frustrating “which door is open?” moment.

2022 Acura Mdx Luxury Suv

There are so many handy features that you can access just from the driver’s seat. Screenshot: Scotty Reiss

That screen also is where you’ll see the safety and driver assist visuals deploy. Drifting from the lane? That screen helps you avoid accidents, and the Traffic Jam Assist options help you choose how far you want to stay back from other vehicles (how many car lengths). In fact, the safety options in this vehicle are next level.

Related: Why Do People Buy Luxury SUVs? The 2020 Acura RDX Answers That Question

Acura Mdx Center Console. Photo: Donna Biroczky

Acura MDX center console. Photo: Donna Biroczky

4. Driver’s Center Console: Comfort and Convenience

I’m not sure how much more sleek a center console can get than the one in the Acura MDX SUV. Starting with the new minimized gear shift options (all push-buttons, which took a little getting used to) and the mouse-controlled navigational and infotainment system, this console is modern and convenient. The cup holders fit the larger-than-normal to-go cups while still hugging your small coffee cup without issue; knowing I can pop my huge gym water bottle in the cup holder without it tipping over is a nice feeling.

All of the options are clearly labeled and fairly intuitive, including a couple of surprises. The charging ports are cleverly hidden behind a spring-loaded push button, visible only when in use, and the arm rest for the driver’s right arm makes me wonder why other vehicles haven’t created this already. We don’t need a full-sized arm rest; this small rest fits your wrist perfectly, while still giving you access to all of the other options in this console. And maybe best of all, directly underneath that arm rest is a flat cordless phone charging system. My phone case sometimes impedes these types of systems from working, as I have a magnet between my case and phone to keep my phone attached to my dash in my own car. I was happy to still able to charge my phone in the MDX. At times it did slide in the charging tray, so it didn’t constantly charge, but it never slipped out of the tray and it is likely due to my case/magnet situation.

Related: 10 Full Size 3 Row Luxury SUVs That Will Make You Feel Like a Boss Babe

Acura Mdx Left Foot Rest. Photo: Donna Biroczky

Acura MDX left foot rest. Photo: Donna Biroczky

5. “Dead Pedal” Left Foot Rest for Driver

This may seem like nothing to many people, but for me, it’s a big deal. I love having a foot rest for my left foot. It’s not necessary to keep both my legs near the pedals, and sometimes putting your left foot on the floor as you drive can wear a hole if you have carpet by your feet. This foot rest gives you a stationary place for your foot to comfortably rest and it just feels right. This is an option that does nothing to change my driving ability or make us safer; it just feels more comfortable…and that matters a lot when you’re behind the wheel all the time. Additionally, I am not a person who uses her left foot to brake because that is not the safest practice; I think maybe this foot rest will motivate people to stow that left foot away from the pedals and help break the left-brake habit. For me, this is a big deal in a sporty SUV. Lastly, since I love driving a manual, having a better place to put my foot just feels more natural!

Related: 6 Driving Mistakes You’re Making — and 6 Minutes to Being a Better Driver

Me In The Acura Mdx. Photo: Donna Biroczky

Me in the Acura MDX. Photo: Donna Biroczky

Overall, the 2022 Acura MDX is a Top Contender for My Next Car Purchase

My top five favorite things list for the Acura MDX SH-AWD was a little tough to write. There’s a lot to love about this SUV, because it’s a car I’d feel safe driving in the snow through the mountain roads or towing a small U-Haul, but I’d still feel fancy pulling up to a nice restaurant. I can fit my entire family in it while still having room for some luggage in the back. It’s economical on gas, getting an estimated 19/25/21 miles per gallon. The MDX is a V-6 and when I pressed that gas pedal, it moved fast. Point A to Point B in comfort and style while solving a lot of problems that moms experience, whether driving across town or across the country. That makes it a winner for me. The 2022 Acura MDX SH-AWD is priced starting at $58,400, not including dealer handling fees.

Take the new Acura MDX luxury and sporty SUV for a test drive if you get a chance. It’ll make you reconsider an SUV if you weren’t considering it, and you’ll be planning road trips before you know it.

Acura Mdx Pin

Disclosure: Acura provided the MDX for me to drive. All opinions and impressions are my own.

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Donna is a SoCal mom of four who lives by the motto that life should never be boring, so... More about Donna Biroczky