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Review of 2024 Acura MDX Type S, A Fantastic Fusion of Opulence and Athletics

The ongoing enhancement of driving experience for Acura’s models finds continuity with the expansion of its lineup under the banner of Type S. The reinvigoration of the Type S lineup initiated with the introduction of the TLX Type S, followed by the MDX Type S, signifying the maiden usage of the Type S tag for an Acura SUV, and most recently the Integra Type S.

In contrast to more aggressive counterparts like BMW’s M series or Mercedes-AMG models, Acura’s Type S editions provide a touch of additional athleticism under the hood while preserving comfort.

Let’s explore the mechanical enhancements. The standard MDX features a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6, whereas transitioning to the Type S variant brings a thrilling turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. This engine, shared with the TLX Type S, generates 355 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 354 pound-feet of torque at a remarkably low 1,400 rpm.

The wealth of low-end torque facilitates effortless acceleration from standstill and seamless passing on the highway. Furthermore, the V6 engine feels notably more refined in comparison to the standard offering of the MDX. The only missing aspect we longed for in the package is a more resonant exhaust note. Even in the most sporty Sport+ drive mode, the soundtrack from the engine and exhaust remains quite subdued.

This turbocharged V6 is matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission, purportedly resulting in 40% faster downshifts and 30% quicker upshifts. However, the transmission might at times lag in finding the optimal gear, despite the improvements.

Expectedly, the MDX Type S showcases slightly diminished fuel efficiency in comparison to the standard version, with ratings of 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 19 mpg combined.

An important benefit of choosing the MDX Type S is the inclusion of a standard air suspension, marking the first integration of this technology into an Acura model. This, combined with adaptive dampers, grants the MDX Type S with enhanced agility when compared to the standard MDX, all without compromising comfort.

Despite the large 21-inch wheels, the MDX Type S retains a comfortable ride quality and capably handles corners while cruising.

Acura’s Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive system comes standard on the Type S, delivering not only front-to-rear power distribution but also side-to-side. This AWD system instills confidence in handling, though the steering, while responsive and accurate, might feel slightly light.

The interior of the MDX Type S closely resembles that of the standard version, incorporating a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and infotainment screen. While the digital gauge cluster is aesthetically pleasing, the layout of information could be more user-friendly. The frustration lies more with the infotainment system’s touchpad operation, which detracts from ease of use in comparison to a simple touchscreen.

Utilizing a small touchpad on the center console, the system requires adaptation and can prove distracting when attempting basic functions without diverting attention from the road. Wireless integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto offer added convenience.

The cabin of the MDX Type S exudes luxury, with its supple leather-clad seats and available massaging front seats, delivering comfort during long drives or post-workout relaxation. All three rows provide spacious and comfortable seating. Acura’s interior design showcases a noticeable leap in quality, now rivaling luxury brands from Germany.

The 2024 MDX Type S is available with or without the Advance package, encompassing features like a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, ambient lighting, additional USB ports, and the exceptional 25-speaker ELS Studio audio system. Commencing at $69,345, the MDX Type S with the Advance package is priced at $74,695, including destination.

In summary, the 2024 Acura MDX Type S serves as an exemplary luxury three-row SUV, adeptly balancing comfort and athleticism. It remains a top competitor in its category, offering a nearly flawless amalgamation of features.

Image Source: Darren Brode @ Shutterstock

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