2025 Acura MDX ditches touchpad, embraces touchscreens, Google, Bang & Olufsen

The 2025 Acura MDX sees a number of updates and upgrades, especially inside, where a new infotainment system is a potential game-changer for Acura’s flagship SUV as well as, potentially, the entire brand.

Now, at first glance, adding a 12.3-inch touchscreen to a new luxury car shouldn’t be that big of a deal, even if it features over-the-air updates and Google built-in tech. It could even evoke an eyeroll if you found out that both the screen and interface are basically the same as you’d find in a range-topping Honda Accord. The reason it’s significant is because of what it replaces. Acura’s True Touchpad interface has been unloved since it debuted on the current-generation RDX and subsequently spread throughout the Acura lineup to everything not named Integra. This interface that paired a dash-top screen with a unique touchpad on the center console (pressing on the touchpad would select an icon on the corresponding spot on the screen) was not exactly a critical darling. The entire system felt like Acura was being contrarian, as if a touchscreen or even knob-and-display setup, were too basic. Well, they basic now. Even if the new touchscreen is shared with an Accord, so what? It’s sensibly laid out, looks good enough and Google built-in means an enhanced version of Google Maps is on board along with various Apps from the Google Play store. And yes, Apple CarPlay is still present. 

With the True Touchpad truly gone, real estate opened up on the center console. There’s a new, wide, kinda shallow bin that might be useful for something but seems a bit vestigial. It’s located where the volume knob used to be — that’s migrated west to where the touchpad was and therefore closer to your hand. The Touchpad’s wrist rest that used to hover over the wireless phone charger is obviously no longer there, either, making it easier to place and remove your phone. 

Another big-time change for 2025 is the addition of Bang & Olufsen sound systems instead of the Panasonic/ELS upgrades that have been an Acura staple for two decades. Although the ZDX is technically the first Acura to get a Bang & Olufsen system (the 2025 MDX will arrive at dealers after Acura’s electric love baby with GM), the MDX gets the most powerful version. Not just in terms of an Acura Bang & Olufsen offering, but most powerful Acura sound system ever. Exclusive to the range-topping Type S with Advance Package, it has 31 speakers (including 12 in the ceiling alone), 24 channels of power, two amplifiers and an 8.8-inch subwoofer. A 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen system is included on the MDX Technology Package, Advance Package and A-Spec models. Both feature Bang & Olufsen’s 3D Sound Control and Beosonic one-touch sound control that’s a serious upgrade over the usual Bass, Mid and Treble sliders. 

Elsewhere in tech land, the AcuraWatch driver assistance suite gets a hardware upgrade, resulting in improved adaptive cruise control performance, further-seeing blind-spot warning and a smarter forward collision mitigation system. The Type S with Advance Package gets even higher-grade stuff, including better sensors, that improve the various existing ADAS systems and make it possible to add automated lane changes to adaptive cruise control (must tap the turn signal), automatic steering intervention to the blind-spot warning system and front cross-traffic warning. 

There are no mechanical upgrades, unless you consider some extra sound deadening and rear laminated glass on most trim levels to be a mechanical upgrade. Exterior visual differences are also subtle, with revised lower fascias for both standard and Type S models, new grille inserts for both, and a revised grille surround that removes the chrome lipstick look of the standard MDX. The taillights are now darker, too, and there are new wheel designs throughout. I go into them more in the video above.

It may not seem like a lot, and possibly a change that shouldn’t have been needed in the first place, but the new touchscreen interface removes a significant barrier to signing up for several years in a new MDX. One can also jump to the conclusion that subsequent Acuras will be similarly upgraded, so keep an eye out for future RDX and TLX updates. 

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