New Model News

2022 Acura MDX gets a complete redo, gains high-tech features, Type S model

The Acura MDX has been redesigned top to bottom for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Acura's flagship SUV has gotten a complete makeover. The three-row 2022 Acura MDX takes full advantage of Acura's latest exterior and interior styling efforts, fresh technology, and safety innovations. It's also priced well compared to its closest competition.

The 2022 MDX slots above the RDX as the other SUV offering in the company's lineup.

The fourth-generation model is more athletic-looking than its predecessor. It has a 2.8-inch longer wheelbase, with a stance that's 1.4 inches wider in the front and rear. The hood of the new model is elongated thanks to a four inch increase in the dash-to-axle ratio.

2022 Acura MDX exterior

Photo courtesy of Acura

At the front of the model is the SUV's Diamond Pentagon grille, which is flanked by four-element JewelEye LED headlights with embedded Chicane daytime running light. The sculpted fascia blends this area into the fog light housing. A chrome strip frames the windows in the most models while MDX A-Spec models have a gloss black surround.

The rear of the SUV has wide-seat taillights with the same Chicane design that is set in a thin blade design.

The MDX rides on the automaker's new light truck platform. This allows the SUV to have the drive dynamics of a sports sedan, according to Acura. The MDX has a double-wishbone front suspension and new multilink rear suspension, which allow the model to have a smooth ride while adding to body rigidity for improved cornering performance, passenger comfort, and cabin noise.

Acura has given the SUV more powerful brakes and new electric power steering that uses a ratio that is quicker than the previous editions of the MDX. With these stronger brakes, the Collision Mitigation Braking system is able to reduce stopping distance from 30 mph by 12 feet.

New wheel and tire packages give the 2022 MDX improved handling and performance. Nineteen-inch wheels are standard while 20-inch wheels are available. A new tire developed exclusively for MDX features a revised rubber compound, construction and tread pattern to reduce rolling resistance by 17 percent.

Acura will sell the fourth-generation MDX in eight paint colors including two new offerings: Phantom Violet Pearl and Liquid Carbon Metallic. Apex Blue Pearl returns as an exclusive color offered on the MDX A-Spec, which also gets gloss black accents front to rear, darkened headlight and taillight treatments, and Shark Gray wheels.

Under the hood of the 2022 MDX is a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine that is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and achieves 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. That's the same engine and and power that comes in the 2020 model.

All-wheel drive is available. Now in its fourth generation, the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system delivers 40 percent more rear torque capacity and 30 percent quicker front-to-rear torque transfer than the third-generation system in the previous MDX. It can transfer 70 percent of engine torque to the rear axle during normal driving conditions, while continuously apportioning up to 100 percent of that rear-axle torque between either the left or right rear wheels.

Drivers will be able to choose from Snow, Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Individual drive modes using the control knob on the center of the dashboard. This is the same setup as in the RDX and Acura TLX. When the Technology Package is added to the MDX, an LED lighting scheme is standard with lighting schemes tied to the drive modes, with 24 additional user-selectable illuminations themed for iconic roads and race circuits around the world, such as Route 66 and Suzuka.

The 2022 MDX with front-wheel drive has an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. The MDX with all-wheel drive does about the same fuel economy: 19 mpg in the city, 25 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. Those numbers are about average for the class.

2022 Acura MDX interior

Photo courtesy of Acura

The 2022 MDX has a sophisticated cabin with space for up to seven passengers. Open pore wood, brushed aluminum, and soft-touch Milano leather are used to achieve the premium aesthetic.

Depending on the package, MDX is available in six different interior color schemes including Ebony, Parchment, Graystone, and Espresso. A-Spec models will be available exclusively in either Ebony or Red leather with black Ultrasuede inserts. All MDXs but the base models get Milano leather seating with contrast stitching. Advance Package models get contrast piping as well.

The SUV comes standard with next-gen Acura sport seats with 12-way adjustment, three-way seat heating, and three-position memory. MDX A-Spec models get ventilated front seats while models equipped with the Advance Package also get power-adjusting side bolsters and thigh extensions.

Buyers can opt for one of three seating options in the model: a traditional second-row bench seat (seven-passenger capacity), a captain's chair style with a wide armrest (six-passenger capacity), or a wide pass through with captain's chairs (six-passenger capacity).

The third row of the model as more head- and legroom than before while the seating position is two inches higher from the floor than the 2020 model. With the Advance Package, third-row occupants have their own USB charging ports on the sides of the cabin.

Behind the third row, cargo space has been increased by 1.5 cubic feet to 16.3 cubic feet and can expand to up to 71.4 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded. Like the RDX, the MDX has a large amount of cargo space under the floor. Removing the floor panel expands the cargo area behind the third row to 18.1 cubic feet.

In front of the driver is an all-digital cockpit that replaces traditional gauges with a 12.3-inch screen. Drivers can choose from two different appearance options: Advanced and Crafted. In addition to different displays for the main gauges, a fully configurable content selection is available to the right of the display for functions such as navigation, trip computer, AcuraWatch, maintenance, tire pressure, SH-AWD status, and a G-meter.

The SUV also gets a 10.5-inch head-up display that can show critical vehicle alerts, collision warnings, navigation instructions, vehicle speed, and incoming calls and texts.

In the center console is a refreshed version of Acura's True Touchpad Interface that pairs with 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen.

Buyers get a nine-speaker, 350-watt audio system with the standard model. Adding the MDX Technology Package bring along the ELS Studio system with 12 speakers and 550 watts. On A-Spec and Advance Package models, the ELS Studio 3D premium audio system includes 16 speakers and 710 watts of power.

A pop-up socket in the center console contains USB-C and USB-A. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interact with the infotainment system wirelessly. A standard Qi-compatible 15-watt charger is standard. Amazon Alexa is built into the system.

The Cabin Console allows passengers to control music, audio settings, rear climate controls, navigation and the panoramic moonroof's sunshade position using a smartphone app. A-Spec and Advance Package models come with CabinTalk, a system that is similar to what is in the Honda Odyssey and offers targeted voice amplification to second- and third-row passengers.

The latest generation of AcuraLink with Wi-Fi compatibility allows for over-the-air software updates and cloud-based services.

All 2022 MDX trims will come standard with an expanded suite of AcuraWatch advanced safety and driver assist technologies. The roster of tech includes road departure mitigation, traffic jam assist, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection, and driver attention monitor. Adaptive cruise control with low speed follow works to alleviate stress in heavy traffic situations. In addition, MDX will feature a new front and rear automatic low speed braking control system that is included in the Technology Package and uses sonar-based parking sensors to sense solid objects at low speeds, such as in parking situations, and warn the driver or apply the brakes to help avoid or mitigate a collision.

Just like in the 2021 TLX, the 2022 MDX features Acura's next-gen passenger front airbag.

Pricing: 2020 Acura MDX vs. 2022 Acura MDX

The 2022 Acura MDX will arrive on dealer lots on February 2 with the most technologically advanced interior of any model in the company's lineup and a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $46,900. That's up from the $44,500 starting price of the 2020 model. Acura has opted to skipped the 2021 model year MDX.

Here's the complete model pricing breakdown.

  • 2020 Acura MDX FWD: $44,500
  • 2022 Acura MDX FWD: $46,900
  • 2020 Acura MDX FWD + Technology Package: $49,500
  • 2022 Acura MDX FWD + Technology Package: $51,600
  • 2020 Acura MDX FWD + Advance Package: $46,250
  • Not available for MY 2022
  • 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD: $46,500
  • 2022 Acura MDX SH-AWD: $48,900
  • 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD + Technology Package: $51,500
  • 2022 Acura MDX SH-AWD + Technology Package: $53,600
  • 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD + A-Spec Package: $55,000
  • 2022 Acura MDX SH-AWD + A-Spec Package: $57,100
  • 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD + Advance Package: $58,250
  • 2022 Acura MDX SH-AWD + Advance Package: $60,650
  • 2020 Acura MDX SH-AWD + Entertainment Package: $53,500 (with Technology Package); $60,250 (with Advance Package)
  • Not available for MY 2022
  • 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD + Technology Package: $53,000
  • Not available for MY 2022
  • 2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD + Advance Package: $59,750
  • Not available for MY 2022
All models came/come with an additional $1,025 destination and delivery charge.

2022 Acura MDX Type S

2022 Acura MDX Type S

Photo courtesy of Acura

The Acura MDX Type S is coming in the late summer 2021. It is the first application of the Type S high-performance nameplate on an SUV and feature unique design accents, equipment, and tuning.

The exterior of the SUV alters the aesthetics to include an open diamond mesh grille, quad exhaust outlets, and gloss black trim.

Under the hood is a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that delivers 355 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, paired with all-wheel drive. The standard 21-inch wheels are wrapped in 275-series tires while larger brakes and four-piston Brembo front calipers provide additional stopping power.

Buyers get more interior refinement in the Type S model as well. The front seats are available with nine-model massaging functionality and are accented with unique colors and trim unique to the Type S. A new Signature Edition ELS Studio 3D premium audio system delivers more than 1,000 watts of power.

More details on the highest-performing ever SUV from Acura will be released closer to its on-sale date.

The 2022 Acura MDX joins its three predecessors in being designed, engineered, and developed in America. The MDX will be built exclusively at the company's auto plant in East Liberty, Ohio.

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST gives buyers more performance at a lower price.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Explorer lineup is getting a three-model enhancement for the 2021 model year. The Explorer Enthusiast ST, Platinum, and Platinum Hybrid will be making their way to dealership lots later this year in a targeted attempt to identify customer desires.

The new models join the just-announced 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch, also a new addition.

2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST

The Enthusiast ST grade takes a lot of what customers like about the existing Explorer ST and delivers it at a far cheaper price. The Enthusiast ST has a starting MSRP of $48,750 as opposed to the ST, which starts at $52,830.

Setting it apart from there Explorers is the Enthusiast ST's quad chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and sideview mirrors with ST projection lamps.

The new model comes equipped with the same 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that's in the Explorer ST that churns out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain.

Ford has given the model a sport-tuned suspension and a top track speed of 143 mph. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package provides towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.

The cabin of the Enthusiast ST is complete with leather seating surfaces, unique Miko micro-perforated inserts, and City Silver accent stitching with the ST logo. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated sport-style steering wheel with the ST logo, and paddle shifters.

The Explorer Enthusiast ST also features standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technology.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum

2021 Ford Explorer Plat Ford has two new Platinum models coming to a dealership near you.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2021 Ford Explorer Plat

The new Explorer Platinum is powered by a 3.0-liter engine and comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-when drive is available.

To make the Platinum version worthy of its upscale price tag, its packaging includes door handles with satin aluminum insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails, a twin-panel moonroof, and a unique grille with satin aluminum finish. Its cabin is fitted with leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum has a starting MSRP of $52,480. The hybrid version of that model starts at $53,085.

All the models are currently available for order via Ford dealerships. Deliveries are expected to begin this summer.

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