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Comparison: 2022 Acura MDX vs 2021 Genesis GV80 3.5T

The first-ever SUV from Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand takes on the well-established MDX from Honda’s Acura luxury brand.

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2022 Acura MDX 

Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $56,405 CDN

Pros

  • V6 is standard
  • Roomy, high-tech 7-passenger interior
  • Excellent towing capabilities

Cons

  • Only one engine choice
  • Not particularly fuel-efficient
  • Touchpad controller is an acquired skill

 

2022 Acura MDX Highlights

The MDX has been around since 2001, and this luxurious mid-size 3-row SUV has been a consistent solid seller for Acura. In anticipation of an all-new generation's arrival, there was no 2021 MDX model. But the 2022 version remains the roomiest Acura SUV you can buy. Starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices range between $56,405 CDN and $67,405 CDN for the topline Platinum Elite trim. The standard 3.5-litre 6-cylinder engine sends 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles.

Inside, the 2022 Acura MDX offers a luxurious cabin with a high-tech ambience, and the quality of the materials is top-notch. On the other hand, we’re not big fans of the MDX’s True Touchpad on the centre console. We wish the MDX had a standard touchscreen instead. The MDX’s wide body does offer more shoulder room than the 2021 Genesis GV80. Cargo capacity is important in this class, and the new MDX represents a slight improvement over the last generation with up to 2,690 litres when the 2nd- and 3rd-row seats are folded and 512 behind the 3rd-row seats.

On the road, the Acura’s Super-Handling All-wheel drive (SH-AWD) allows for torque vectoring, which helps keep the MDX from pushing wide in corners. Also good is the MDX’s ride quality, neither too hard nor too cushy. Interestingly, Comfort mode is no softer than Normal because the Integrated Dynamics System settings don’t alter the suspension tuning. Instead, in the transition from Normal to Comfort, it’s the MDX’s steering effort, interior sound, interior lighting, and gauge appearance that get adjusted.

 

2021 Genesis GV80 

Starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $64,500 CDN

Pros

  • Long list of standard and optional features
  • A pair of powerful engines
  • Class-leading warranty

Cons

  • 3-row seating only available with V6
  • Ambitious pricing
  • Limited towing capabilities

 

2021 Genesis GV80 Highlights

The 2021 Genesis GV80 is the first SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand. Starting at $64,500 CDN, the base, 5-passenger 2.5T trim gets a 300-horsepower and 311-pound-feet of torque turbocharged 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine. A 375 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque turbocharged 3.5-litre 6-cylinder is optional on the 3.5T trims. To match the Acura’s 7-passenger capacity, you’ll need to opt for the 6-cylinder trims that start at $80,000 CDN. Traction at all four wheels is standard, and both GV80 engines use an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Like Genesis’ other vehicles, the GV80 offers a lot for the money. It comes loaded with a full safety suite, and the standard infotainment system is robust, bundling a 14.5-inch screen and 12-speaker premium audio system. Higher-trim models can be had with everything from massaging seats and 21-speaker Lexicon audio to the ability for the GV80 to pull in and out of a tight parking spot while the driver stands outside the vehicle. Luggage space behind the 3rd-row measures at 530 litres, and 2,144 with both the 2nd- and 3rd-rows dropped.

Unlike many SUVs that are based on a front-wheel-drive architecture (like the MDX) the GV80 is rear-wheel drive by nature. This means it has the driving characteristics more associated with a sports sedan. The Genesis GV80’s manners can be tailored to your preferences via a drive-mode selector. The vehicle can be optimized for comfort, sporty handling, efficiency, or a customized setup that lets you tweak individual parameters to your personal preference.

 

Final Recommendation

Buyers have a lot of choices these days in the mid-size luxury SUV segment. Thankfully, both the 2022 Acura MDX and 2021 Genesis GV80 have a lot to offer.

Of this pair, the Acura is the more practical purchase. The MDX comes standard with room for 7 passengers, offers more elbow room in all three rows, and can tow up to 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms) compared to the GV80’s maximum 3,500-pound (1,588-kilogram) rating. The MDX also gets a standard V6, and can be had at a lower base price.

But the new-kid-on-the-block offers just a bit more.

The Genesis GV80’s long list of standard equipment, choice of engines, and more extended warranty (5-years/100,000 kilometres compared to the Acura’s 4-yr/80,000-km term, plus free maintenance, valet service, and a subscription to the suite of digital, remote, and in-car benefits of Genesis Connected Services) gives it the nod.

 

Specs

2022 Acura MDX

2021 Genesis GV80

Engine(s)

3.5-litre V6

2.5-litre Turbocharged I4

3.5-litre Turbocharged V6

Horsepower

290 hp @ 6,200 rpm

300 hp @ 5,800 rpm

375 hp @ 5,800 rpm

Torque

267 hp @ 4,700 rpm

311 lb-ft @ 1,650 rpm

391 lb-ft @ 1,300 rpm

 

 

Transmission

10-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Fuel Economy

11.2 L/100 km (9.4 city,11.2hwy)

2.5T- 10.5 L/100 km (11.3 city, 9.5 hwy)

3.5T- 11.8 L/100 km (12.9 city, 10.4 hwy)

Warranty

4 years/80,000 km

5 years/100,000 km

Max Seating Capacity

7

5-7

Curb Weight

2,044 kg

5-pass.- 2,226-2,285 kg

7-pass.- 2,226-2,315 kg

Wheelbase

2,890 mm

2,955 mm

Overall Length

5,039 mm

4,945 mm

Width

2,000 mm

1,975 mm

Height

1,704 mm

1,715 mm

Headroom, Front

977 mm

1,021 mm

Headroom, 2nd-row

968 mm

975 mm

Headroom, 3rd-row

919 mm

772mm

Legroom, Front

1,057 mm

1,057 mm

Legroom, 2nd-row

977 mm

983 mm

Legroom, 3rd-row

738 mm

770 mm

Shoulder Room, Front

1,573 mm

1,529 mm

Shoulder Room, 2nd-row

1,531 mm

1,473 mm

Shoulder Room, 3rd-row

1,401 mm

1,351 mm

Cargo Volume Behind 2nd-row Seats

2,690 L

2,144 L

 

Cargo Volume Behind 3rd-row Seats

512 L

530 L

 

Max. Towing Capacity

3,000- 5,000 lbs (1,361-2,268 kgs)

3,500 lbs (1,588 kgs)

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