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Consumer Reports is about providing car buyers with the latest safety recommendations on all types of vehicles. The site recently had its teams test over fifty 2022 models on rear-seat safety features. Surprisingly, two Acura models — the TLX and MDX — scored near the bottom of this lineup regarding rear-seat safety features. Let’s learn more about Consumer Reports testing standards and what scores these two Acura models received. 

What goes into a rear-seat safety test?

For many years, automobile manufacturers and testing facilities have largely focused on the safety of the people sitting in the front seats. However, in recent years, we have seen a trend where more importance and testing have been done on rear-seat safety. For instance, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently updated its testing to focus more on rear passenger protection. In addition, Consumer Reports provides ratings in front and rear-seat safety. 

According to Consumer Reports, until the mid-2000s, back seats were considered the safest place to sit. However, the past 20 years have seen advances in safety features associated with front seating. For example, front passengers get airbags to protect them in front and side crashes. Additionally, front seat belts on new cars also have pre-tensioners, which tighten the belt at the onset of a crash, and load limiters, which let the belt spool out a bit to reduce jerking force upon the chest. 

While some manufacturers have invested significantly in elevating their rear-seat safety features, others haven’t integrated them into their new models. Some key categories regarding the quality of rear-safety features include child seat fit, booster-seat use, belt reminders, rear occupant alerts, advanced restraints like seat belt pre-tensioners, and rear head restraints.

And two vehicles that recently scored below average on Consumer Reports’ rear-seat safety tests are the 2022 Acura MDX and the 2022 Acura TLX. 

How did 2 Acura models perform on rear-seat safety tests? 

2022 Acura MDX crossover | Honda

Consumer Reports tested over 50 vehicles from the 2022 model year on their rear-seat safety features. CR’s standards gave only eight of the 50-plus cars tested a “Very Good” rating. The eight vehicles that received a “Very Good” in rear-seat safety features are the Toyota Sienna, Nissan Rogue, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Civic/Civic Si, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford Bronco 4DR, Ford Bronco Sport, and Ford F-150 XLT. 

Two 2022 Acura models that scored low in Consumer Reports testing are the Acura MDX and TLX. However, the Acura MDX fared slightly better than the TLX. The SUV received an excellent score in child seat fit, booster use, and head restraints and a good score in rear occupant alerts and advanced restraints. However, this Acura model scored poorly in the belt reminder category. 

In comparison, the 2022 TLX received a lower overall score from Consumer Reports. This Acura model received an excellent score in head restraints. In child seats, booster use, and advanced restraints, the sedan received a good score. However, this Acura model received two poor scores in rear occupant alerts and belt reminders. 

However, those results don’t mean the 2022 Acura MDX and 2022 Acura TLX are unsafe. In fact, both models received IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards.

The 2023 Acura Integra is ready to clear the family name 

Although the 2022 Acura MDX and Acura TLX could improve rear-safety features, the 2023 Acura Integra promises to save the family name. Consumer Reports has already tested the 2023 Integra and has given it a good. The Integra earned a very good score in child-seat fit and a good score in the other five categories in the rear-safety seat test. In addition, the 2023 Integra is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+.

The 2023 Acura Integra also wins in affordability. The 2023 Acura Integra starting price is $30,800, while the MSRP for the 2023 MDX is $41,350, and the sticker price for the 2022 TLX is $38,900.

So if you’re looking for a smaller Acura model with a better rear-seat safety score and a lower price, the premium sport compact Integra is worth a closer look.  


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