2022 Acura MDX test drives: the drive modes…

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I noticed a few comments asking me about the various drive modes in the new Acura MDX. And I thought I would do a quick post about it instead of waiting for my week drive to be over. 

As you can see in the photo above, you can pick “Comfort”, “Normal” or “Sport”. This affects all of the items you see on the screen. And I tried most of them.  

You can also pick the “Individual” setting where you modify everything individually. Which I like to do for normal driving. For instance, the steering feel is very light in both “Normal” and Comfort”. So I use it in “Sport”. But I do like to use the suspension in “Comfort” mode for everyday driving.

If you use “Sport” for everything, the suspension is a bit firmer but never uncomfortable. But what is uncomfortable is the horrible (and ridiculous) fake “sporty exhaust” sound that comes with it. By using the individual mode, I can switch the “Engine setting to “Normal” and get rid of the fake sound.

The only annoying thing is that every time you get back in the car and start, it reverts to the “Normal” mode. You just have to switch back to “Individual” (or any other mode) every single time. 

And why????

Otherwise, the engine and transmission are super smooth. The ride is very, very comfortable and steering in Sport mode feels great. (although still not really “sporty”)

I’ll go into more details in a few days…

Conversation 8 comments

  1. I wonder can you turn off the entry/exit sounds? I noticed they were pretty loud in video's and I wonder if in settings there's an option to turn them off.

    Btw another weird thing is that you can't turn off the display with 1 button. And neither is there a button to switch between sources.

  2. You have to have the drive mode revert back for fuel economy reasons, if you let the driver select and leave the selection active, then the EPA will require you to only get the fuel economy rating of your worst performing mode.

  3. You actually won't see any vehicles that retains the various driving modes. As the above comment said, unless the automaker is willing to sacrifice fuel economy numbers, the choice is always defaulting back to Normal mode. This is the same reason that the Stop/Start function is on every time you start the car.

  4. Glad to see your attention and comments on drive modes, I've been curious about this as well. Wasn't sure what it physically does for each.

    I'm looking at the 22 MDX Advanced and just not sure I'm gonna wait for the V6 turbo. I've also read some folks question direct injection with carbon build up issues vs dual injection systems. I guess Honda engineering has this under control? I believe their system are straight DI. This engine has been around awhile and hoping the naturally aspirated would be bullet proof. Although i could do without the STOP IDLE and VCM. Hoping that putting in sport mode will bypass both of these. Maybe a combination of the Individual mode you mentioned. I'd forego a mile a gallon in fuel economy to delete these from the system, it's only something else to go wrong if you keep one of these for 200K miles. How good are the Acura Info and speedo screens? I haven't had a car with a HUD and look forward to this feature. Thanks in advance for a detailed review. Curious to see how the MDX stacks up to the competition.

  5. The new 22 MDX has a new 10 speed transmission, how does it perform compared to previous 9 speed and or other competition? I've sat in previous models of MDX and they didn't have enough leg room for me being 6'2" but this one has more room for the driver. I'm shopping for a new 3 row and looking closely at this 22 MDX. Also looking at the GV80 but believe the MDX would be the better long term purchase. Not a fan of the Acura color choices but the new Liquid Carbon Metallic looks pretty good. Looking forward to a full review of this car as compared to the competition.

  6. Love the new style of the new mdx, thinking about buying one. What's the best feature of the new generation and what's the worst of this new one? Looks pretty well balance between comfort and sporty. Definitely want some sporty / fun to drive in my next car. Or as much as you can get in a car this size.

  7. Once you set the individual drive mode, will it retain those settings?

    So I just have to go to individual mode and it's like i left it the previous time?

    I think all you have to do to get to individual mode is push the button. I could be wrong and why i'm asking.

  8. – Not sure about the entry/exit sound.
    – You can turn off the start/stop in Individual mode no matter what. But again, you have to make sure you put the car in your favorite mode every ti,e you start.
    – HUD is always good. But the info in the screen right in front of you has super small lettering for some reason.
    – I have no idea about legroom for a 6'2" person since I am only 5'11". (it's really roomy back there anyway) And cannot compare anything with the previous version since I have never driven one.
    – There' really nothing sporty about it. Steering is pretty light even in the sport mode. If you want sporty/fun to drive, a really big 3 rows crossover is not the way to go…
    – Yes, the individual mode does retain its settings. So you just need to push the button once when you get back into the car.

    I'm also having a weird issue with music from the USB drive (provided by Acura) isn't playing while I am using my phone for Wireless CarPlay. I actually have to turn the phone completely off. Contacted Acura about this and waiting for an answer.

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