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I recently had the chance to drive the 2022 Acura MDX on the busy streets of San Francisco and the suburbs of the Bay Area and found that it feels right at home in either setting. According to the press materials that the automaker sent me before my trip, the all-new MDX is the “most premium, performance-based and technologically sophisticated SUV in Acura history.”

Those are some bold words, and I had to find out if this premium SUV really lived up to them. And I will say, the Acura MDX didn’t disappoint.

The 2022 Acura MDX is comfortable while sitting in traffic

If you have ever driven in the San Francisco Bay Area during rush hour traffic, then you’ll know that a 20-minute drive can easily turn into an hour-long one. But if you happen to be driving the 2022 Acura MDX, you probably won’t notice it too much.

During my trip, I did a lot of commuting and even found myself in a three-hour drive in traffic up to Sacramento during the busiest part of the day. I wasn’t too annoyed, though, as the 16-way power-adjustable front seats wrapped in Milano leather coddled every part of my backside in relative comfort. I especially like the fact that they are heated and ventilated as well.

When it came to driving in traffic, I relied heavily on the car’s AcuraWatch system, particularly the Traffic Jam Assist feature. If you’re not familiar with it, Traffic Jam Assist uses the car’s sensors and cameras to do the “traffic dance” for you as it maintains the appropriate distance from the car in front of you, negating the need for you to hit the gas and brake pedal while in stop-and-go traffic.

2022 Acura MDX at the beach
2022 Acura MDX at the beach | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit

The 2022 MDX worked well in the city

When it came to driving around the busy streets of San Francisco, you would think that the 2022 MDX would prove unwieldy to drive given its larger, three-row size. But I found that the MDX was relatively easy to drive and park, thanks in part to the car’s surround-view camera system. Not only does it show the car’s trajectory, but it even shows you where the front wheels are pointed.

San Francisco is known for its steep inclines and crowded streets, however, the Acura MDX didn’t seem to notice. Under the hood is a powerful 290-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine that’s meant for upper-RPM power delivery, but it had plenty of low-end grunt as well.

2022 Acura MDX in the city | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit
2022 Acura MDX in the city | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit

That was clearly evident when I had to park the MDX on a super steep hill and found myself flooring it to get out of the parking space. Fortunately, the MDX’s engine responded quickly and I was off without a hitch or even a scary rollback. But that was mainly due to me using the “brake hold” feature, which holds the brakes for you when you come to a full stop and releases when you step on the gas pedal.

It’s a handy feature when you go through drive-thrus, but it’s even handier when traversing steep inclines in The Golden City.

2022 Acura MDX in the city | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit
2022 Acura MDX in the city | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit

The Acura MDX shined in the suburban streets

While the Acura MDX proved to be comfortable in traffic and spry in the city, it really shined in the suburbs. With long, wide well-paved streets to drive on, I was impressed with how well-insulated the MDX felt and enjoyed its light steering and commanding view of the road.

I even put it through its paces on a canyon road with not-so-smooth pavement, and the MDX’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive never let me down. The SUV steered with the sports car-like sharpness, had precise handling, and even soaked up the bumps and imperfections while driving at a hurried pace.

2022 Acura MDX on a canyon road
2022 Acura MDX on a canyon road | Joe Santos/MotorBiscuit

A 2020 Acura MDX Might Be More Affordable Than You Think

And when it was all said and done, I can honestly say that the 2022 Acura MDX is one of the most premium, performance-based SUVs on the market. It’s no wonder that it’s also the best-selling three-row SUV ever.