Acura MDX Type S test drive.

Last Updated:

At over $76,000, the Acura MDX Type-S is basically the most expensive Acura you can buy today.

At this price, it competes with many other great 3 rows of luxury SUVs, from many luxury brands, like the new Lexus TX, or Volvo XC90. But also EVs like the upcoming Lucid Gravity starting at $ 78,000 or the Rivian R1S now at $75,000. Or even a Mercedes EQE SUV starting at $78,000.

The Type-S has an exclusive 3.0 Liter V6 Turbo engine with 355HP. And an air suspension system with an adjustable parking height. (Something I couldn’t really notice after turning it on)

Outside, you can tell the Type-S from the many “Type-S” badges everywhere, the lack of chrome, and these new expensive-looking 21-inch wheels. Otherwise, it looks pretty much the same as other MDX models.

Inside, you can get this very “colorful” red and black interior. Which is something I would never get myself, but wasn’t as bad as I expected. Again, everything here is similar to other MDX models. Except for more stitching, metal footrests, and other small bits here and there.

The seats are very comfortable and include a massage feature. Something that, to me, felt more like being pocked everywhere than a real massage.

The sound system is exclusive to the Type-S and now includes 25 speakers instead of 16 in other versions. I have been a big fan of Acura’s ELS Studio sound systems, but I was never able to feel it sounded better than the excellent 16-speaker unit. The infotainment still has the dumb trackpad, but this time around it seemed much easier to use. It is still not as easy as a normal touch screen (that’s actually coming soon), but it wasn’t as bad as I remembered.

The interior is of course very roomy. Although the third-row seat is pretty claustrophobic with the small 3rd rear window. And the cargo area is still very roomy with the 3rd row in use.

The RDX Type-S has a marvelous new engine. The 3.0 Liter V6 turbo is always quiet and extremely smooth. But is it that much better than the 3.6 Liter V6 in the regular MDX? No, not really. That big Honda engine is already great and has plenty of power in the MDX.

The steering is surprisingly light for a sportier model. Even in the Sport mode, things don’t change much. It is slightly firmer and the suspension is slightly more uncomfortable, but the eType-S could never be called sporty.

The super smooth suspension makes the MDX a wonderful road trip companion. Although things can be a bit loud in the cabin over certain freeway surfaces. Which is a bit disappointing, especially at this price.

The Acura MDX Type-S is rated at 17/21 MPG. I was never able to get 17 around town, with my best number being around 15. But I easily got over 26 on freeway trips. Which is about 2MPG worse than the regular MDX with the 3.5 Liter V6.

The Acura MDX is an excellent and very comfortable 3-row SUV. The problem is the extra $ 12,000 cost of the Type-S Advance. Since most of the extra tech doesn’t seem to be noticeable in daily driving situations. It doesn’t really feel much more powerful, the steering is very very light. It’s not more comfortable either than other versions of the MDX.

While the MDX is great, the Type-S seems to be an expensive high-profit margin package to me. Something not worth the extra money at all.

Conversation 3 comments

  1. Great review and ever since this new generation MDX was introduced, I have really liked the package as a whole. Tbh though, I might actually prefer the Mazda CX-90.

  2. I’d take an MDX over a BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, Audi Q5/Q7, or Genesis any day of the week just based upon reliability and price. And I’d take an MDX over any Lexus because I can’t stand the Lexus design philosphy. The TypeS is for those wanting just a bit more excitement. But like all of Acura’s SH-AWD vehicles (Hondas VTM4), you have to push it in the curves to notice the change the rotation of the vehicle. I really hope Acura gets back in the sport hybrid business again instead of an all electric future. Fingers crossed.

  3. The design is bland. Perhaps it is the no-imagination and no-inspiration Acura-taillights. The Type-S is not much different that the base A-Spec. So, who in the right mind wants a family hauler with so much power to compete with the faster big boys?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *