Review: 2022 Acura MDX Type S

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Once you get past the sticker price—$73,745—there’s plenty to like about the 2022 Acura MDX Type S, especially painted this Tiger Eye Pearl, a $500 option, and worth it.

At the top of the list is the powertrain, a 3.0-liter, 355-horsepower V-6 with a turbocharger and direct injection. Coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission, power is right there, delivered smoothly and with a very nice exhaust note.

This is the second Acura Type S model to arrive in this new era of Type S performance, following the launch of the 2021 TLX Type S. The limited-production 600-horsepower 2022 NSX Type S, is the third.

2023 Acura MDX Type S engine bay
Steven Cole Smith

As you would expect on a top-of-the-line model, the laundry list of options is a long one, and includes massaging leather seats, an excellent ELS sound system with—get this—25 speakers, red-painted calipers with front four-piston Brembo brakes and pretty much every safety feature you’d want including adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning. The only option is that Tiger Eye paint.

Good-looking 10-spoke alloy wheels hold fat, self-sealing P275/40 R21 Continental CrossContact radials that provide good grip in wet and dry conditions. Adaptive air suspension varies ground clearance from 6.7 to 9.4 inches. Even with all-wheel drive, it’s unlikely many owners will take their Type S off-road, but it’s certainly capable of moderate cow-trailing. Towing capacity is a healthy 5000 pounds. Turning circle is 40.5 feet.

2023 Acura MDX Type S rear
Steven Cole Smith

Handling is crisp and predictable. Weight is nearly 4788 pounds so the Type S is no lightweight, but it feels more nimble than the poundage suggests.

Inside, the MDX Type S is undeniably premium-feeling, with tan and charcoal leather and wood trim. (Really, why bother when the wood trim is charcoal colored?) Front 16-way power seats, covered with perforated Milano leather, are comfortable and supportive; second-row seats are fine on each side but the middle seat feels awkward and not that comfy, and the two rearmost seats are best left for kids and small adults who really, really need a ride.

Cargo space behind the rearmost seat is a usable 18.1 cubic feet, plenty for a grocery run. Lower the third row and luggage capacity expands to 48.4 cubic feet.

2023 Acura MDX Type S rear interior cargo area
Steven Cole Smith

Outside, the MDX Type S is clean-looking but not particularly distinctive. There’s a large lower bow-shaped feature that extends from the front to the rear wheel well, with thin black trim that extends to the rear quarter panel and ties into the black wheel well trim. Headlights and taillights are LED, with LED fog lights up front. It all snaps with the aforementioned Tiger’s Eye Pearl, but in, say, silver, it all blends together. It’s a really color-sensitive design.

Length is 198.4 inches, width is 78.7, height is 67.1. Dimensions put it very close in size to the Ford Explorer.

2023 Acura MDX Type S side
Steven Cole Smith

On the road there is little to complain about. The Type S possesses good brakes, a sharp turn-in with minimal body roll, and a ride that is an effective cross between sporty and compliant. That auto-leveling air suspension feels good on smooth and rough roads—Acura really got this right. Steering is linear, with a good feel through the just-right, leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Similarly, straight-line performance is solid, with the gutsy engine and eager transmission. We clocked a 0 to 60 mph time of a brisk 5.9 seconds. Mileage? Well, that’s another matter. EPA rating is 17 mpg city, 21 highway, with 19 overall. Calculated annual fuel cost is $2350, calculated at an optimistic $2.95 per gallon.

Overall, we found very little to complain about with the 2022 Acura MDX Type S (the 2023 model has very few changes, and a price increase of $650.) Performance is certainly on BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz’s level. At the same time, so is the price, which is a steep one to ask of customers who won’t be impressing anyone at the country club with an Acura badge.

 

***

 

2022 Acura MDX Type S

Price: $72,050 base/$73,745 as tested

Highs: Effectively balances style, utility, comfort, and speed.

Lows: High price. Rear seats a whole lot less appealing that the front (massaging) seats.

Summary: An impressive hail-Mary for Acura.

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