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The 2022 Acura MDX has been revealed and it’s making waves. After taking a year off of making the MDX, Acura came back with a better model than ever. If you’re in the market for a midsize luxury SUV, you’re probably looking at the MDX and the 2021 Audi Q7. How do you decide between them? Let’s compare the safety in the Acura MDX vs the Audi Q7.

A blue 2021 Audi Q7 drives down the highway.
2021 Audi Q7 | Audi

Which is safer: the Acura MDX vs the Audi Q7

Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests a whole bunch of cars to see which ones are safe. They perform a variety of crash tests that simulate real life crash scenarios. Although both the MDX and the Q7 did well in each of these tests, only the 2022 Acura MDX took home an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. 

To get an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must get a good score in all of the IIHS crashworthy ratings. The vehicle must also get a good or higher in the roof strength and head restraint tests. Additionally, the vehicle must have an advanced or superior for both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian accident avoidance systems. It also must get an acceptable good headlight rating for all standard headlights, not just available ones. 

What makes the 2022 Acura MDX so safe?

The 2022 Acura MDX did all of this. It got a good score in all of the crashworthiness categories, including small overlap front: driver-side and passenger side, as well as moderate overlap crash tests and side crash tests. 

The 2021 Audi Q7 also got all good crash test ratings, and they both did well in the roof strength tests. The 2022 Acura MDX had a strength-to-weight ratio of 5.06, and the 2021 Audi Q7 had a strength-to-weight ratio of 5.0. These are both better than the minimum required for a good rating, which is 4. The IIHS finds the strength-to-weight ratio by crushing the SUVs five inches. This is important in the event of a rollover; you don’t want the roof to give in easily. 

Even though both SUVs do well in all of these tests, there’s one area where the Q7 falls short: headlights. All of the headlights in various Q7 trim levels tested by the IIHS received poor ratings. The IIHS noted that they had poor visibility and that there was a glare. These sorts of things contribute to the likelihood of a crash. If you can’t see an object in front of your car, you can’t avoid it. 

How are the accident avoidance in the Acura MDX vs the Audi Q7?

Other accident avoidance features were good in both the MDX and the Q7. They both have all of the advanced safety features that Consumer Reports recommends car shoppers look for. These things, systems like pedestrian detection and forward collision warning, reduce the chances that you’ll be in an accident. Having all of them is definitely an advantage. 

When it comes down to it, the 2022 Acura MDX is the better midsize luxury SUV. Even though they have similar crash test ratings, good headlights in all trim levels of the 2022 Acura MDX is a huge selling point. If you’re on a dark, isolated road and a deer runs in front of your SUV, you want to be able to see it. In the 2022 Acura MDX, you have a better chance.