The 2022 MDX is the first SUV to use the Acura Type S badge that denotes performance. We got behind the wheel to see if he lives to the plate.
After a hiatus of 13 years, the Sufijo Type S returned to Acura cars, reintroducing in the US market with 2021 Acura TLX Type S. Now, Honda’s luxury/performance arm applied the same logic, much of the same equipment, and in fact the name Type S to full-size SUV MDX. That makes this the first SUV performance Acura has built.
Ugh. Another SUV was angry to seem “performance” only so that the owner of the ha-green can feel young and hip, when—actually—it’s just proof of a middle-aged crisis, or worse! Right? I mean, am I right? Actually, no, not even close.
Yeah, this is an SUV. A cross of almost 200 inches long, of three rows with seats for seven or two and 71 cubic feet of load space. Or choose one of several minivan variations of seats and space between those bookstores.
Also, the MDX Type S is 67.1 inches high and 78.7 inches wide, and gets the energy delivered to the four wheels.
2022 Acura MDX Type S Review
Less is more… Power
But look at what sends power to those wheels: a 3,0L narrow-angle V-6, pumping up to 355 horsepower and 354 pounds-foot torque. That is 65 horsepower more and 87 more pounds-foot than the largest (but naturally aspirated) 3.5L V-6 on the standard MDX.
And, before the whole muscle gets to the wheels, first travel through an automatic 10-speed transmission and a vector torque system of the whole wheel. Acura called SH-AWD system, short for all-wheel-drive Super Handling.
The “Super Handling” part has merit, as it can send up to 70% of the total power to the rear axle and up to 100% of that to the outer wheel. In addition, SH-AWD has the ability to override the rear axle by almost 3%. All of the above improves chassis balance, especially at the exit of the corner, and allows the driver to apply copious energy amounts at the time you kiss any apex.
And that’s just energy training.
Acura added agility to the MDX with adjustable dampers and adjustable air springs. Toggle the drive mode selector to Sport and especially Sport Plus and you get a firm, fast-reacting suspension that keep the body in control and chassis balance near neutral. A stiffer MDX anti-roll bar than standard on the front sharpens the front end.
That’s the right thing about the sports sedan!
Well done. It really makes the cake
And, just to add the ice over this delicious cake: Run on wider wheels, 9.5 inches instead of 9.0 inches, 21 inches in diameter. Inside the front wheels are larger (by 0.5 inches compared to standard MDX) Brembo brake screwdrivers with fixed calipers of four pistons fasten strong.
And Acura redesigned the front grill to allow 14% more airflow in the engine bay to keep everything cool. Oh, for the 10 years of age in you, the exhaust has a valve that opens as early as 3,250 rpm, depending on the drive mode, to make the turbo 3.0L higher. Yes!
Inside, you get support leather seats with a nice insert of faux suede that runs the length of the center of the seat, which helps your back feel safe. And the steering wheel includes a grease edge and flat background to keep things turning as intended. And, in case you forget, Acura wrote “Type S” all over this MDX. Good reminder!
See what I mean? This is legal. Acura not only added bigger wheels and applause for type S. No, like the one TLX Type S, Acura transformed the transmission and the chassis to provide a remarkable progress in performance.
In fact, both Type S models use the same 3.0L turbo engine and SH-AWD system, as well as employ similar suspension tricks. You might argue that the TLX goes further with additional bras to the central structure, but the MDX remains only with an air suspension.
He still has all the SUV Crossover Things
And yet it remains a three-hectare crossing. An elegant one in that. You get control of the climate of three zones, a panoramic moon roof, second row umbrellas, a spokesman of 379 — I’m guessing — stereo system, and enough ports of load and portavasos to run as a boutique coffee shop in the city.
That is also two 12.3-inch digital displays ahead, one for the instrument cluster and the other for the central console, which also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto wireless connectivity.
But that poses a controversial point. The central console is controlled by something Acura calls True Touchpad Interface. And it uses absolute positioning, which means where you touch the pad represents playing the same part of the screen. It works well but it takes a little to get used to. And, when and if you use Apple CarPlay, you do not use absolute positioning, it takes a little more to get used to.
A parade, anywhere.
However, the entire kit mentioned complements a fantastic walk. In comfort mode, the air suspension adjusts the spring rate that is 40% smoother than a standard MDX, which rides well. And the dampers match the docks.
In addition, the Acura adjustable motor mounts installed help to minimize vibrations and balance any other changes you may otherwise feel from the cylinders deactivating to save fuel.
Together, the MDX gently and silently slices through the interstate. The wind, especially, stays calm at those speeds, with a well-inspired cabin, making conversations with passengers a pleasure.
The only thing to pause for long trips in Type S is to reach only 21 mpg on the road (17 mpg in the city, 19 combined). Especially taking into account the automatic transmission of 10 speeds and less than 2,000 rpm of engine at interstate speeds, the MDX Type S eke is expected to be a little more mileage than one gallon of fuel.
Or maybe you should drive slower, as much slower. After all, the air suspension in the Type S offers adjustable travel height, too. Put type S in lift mode and the MDX increases almost 2 inches to help manage incline time or on off-roading.
The lifting mode works at speeds up to 37 mph and technically counts as a unit mode. It’s one of seven, actually. There are also Snow, Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual.
I want to go fast! Like my wife, children and wives!
But again, it is Sport and Sport Plus where the MDX Type S is really based on its shape and size Crossover. In the first spin of the wheel in anger, you feel answers much more immediate than anything of this size that does not use a Porsche The badge would provide. Despite 58% of the weight of the vehicle resting on the front axle, the Type S becomes voluntarily and quickly.
As the tires squeal, claw on the road, the shock absorbers and elegant springs keep the body well controlled, minimizing the wizard, tone and diving impressively well. And that gives you the confidence to feed into power when you start to get out of the corner. And this is where the power train begins to appear.
The team knows how to involve clutch packages and send the power back, to the outer wheel, and mitigate much of any remaining that would otherwise experience. That means you just added more power, and the cycle happily repeats itself until it shoots out of the corner exit, the full accelerator, go too fast for normal people, and love the racy sound, raspy pumping out of the escape.
Yeah, it’s fun to drive Acura MDX Type S. It provides moments of joy of laughter and encourages more corners, sending positive feedback through the wheel and back, that seats do a good job to stay firmly in place, by the way.
2022 MDX Type S: Do you want the money?
The base price for a 2022 Acura MDX Type S is $67,895. That’s a lot of money for a family that transports people. But you bring those people comfortably and offer a lot of shareholders and load ports for everyone. You have a quiet and comfortable ride. And you can even tow up to 5,000 pounds toys behind you.
But he also keeps his young self-enthusiast-self alive — MDX Type S does all the above and participate with the driver. Yeah, it’s a high, long machine and has 4,741 pounds of seats and equipment to carry. However, the performance it provides and the feeling it offers to the driver make it worthy of praise. And worthy of the Sufijo Type S.
Build your own online now, and find your local distributor, in Acura.com.