Skip to main content

When shopping for a three-row SUV, you will most likely pay more attention to cargo room and towing power as opposed to fuel economy. But if you want a reliable three-row SUV that can achieve some pretty good fuel economy numbers, then the 2022 Acura MDX could be for you. I spent a week in the all-new MDX, and after hundreds of miles of driving, I was pretty impressed with its fuel economy.

The Acura MDX gets better fuel economy than its rivals

When you’re looking at a luxury SUV like the Acura MDX, you’re probably comparing it to other high-end three-row SUVs like the Genesis GV80, the Audi Q7, and the BMW X5 xDrive. And although those rivals all make more power than the MDX, they’re a bit lacking when it comes to fuel efficiency.

According to, the BMW X5 is the only one that comes close to the MDX’s 19 city/25 mpg highway fuel economy numbers as it’s rated at 21 mpg and 25 mpg, respectively. The Genesis GV80 comes in just a little under the MDX as it’s rated at 18 in the city and 23 on the highway, while the Audi Q7 can achieve 18 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway.

2022 MDX SH-AWD Advance posing in front of a winery
2022 MDX SH-AWD Advance | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit

How did the 2022 MDX do in the real world?

After driving the 2022 MDX for a week in a very good mix of city and highway driving, I was able to manage 23 mpg at best. I actually did so much driving that I filled it up twice, which can get expensive when you’re paying the Northern California tax of $4 per gallon.

But ultimately, the expense was worth it. I drove the MDX up and down the steep hills of San Francisco, through the tight canyon roads of the East Bay, and even up the highway to Sacramento during rush hour. And yet, the faithful MDX was still able to achieve better than the EPA-advertised 21 mpg combined rating.

2022 MDX SH-AWD Advance side shot
2022 MDX SH-AWD Advance | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit

Two more miles-per-gallon doesn’t sound like much

While you might think that getting two miles per gallon better than the EPA average doesn’t sound like much, consider how much it can add up to if you drive an MDX daily. Although it’s not a hybrid SUV that can achieve fuel efficiency in the upper 20s or even 30s, it still hits the mark if you’re looking for a large SUV that won’t suck too much money out of your wallet.

But it’s pretty good considering the MDX is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6, as opposed to a turbocharged mill like the Audi Q7 has. Either way, the 2022 MDX has enough class to impress all six of your passengers, enough room for all of their stuff, and enough fuel efficiency to get them where they need to go.

A rear shot of the 2022 Acura MDX in silver
2022 MDX SH-AWD Advance | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit

And if you don’t care about getting good fuel economy numbers, then you might want to wait for the forthcoming Acura MDX Type-S coming later this year, which will trade fuel economy for more power.


Critics Are Split Over the 2022 Acura MDX