An SUV For The Spirited Driver

The 2024 Acura MDX Type S arrives with the promise of performance and luxury, carrying the historic weight of being the first SUV from the brand to sport the coveted Type S badge. As production rolls out from Acura’s East Liberty, Ohio, plant, anticipation builds for what is hailed as a blend of Acura’s racing spirit and its commitment to precision-crafted performance. With a starting price of $68,150 and the advanced model at $73,500, Acura has positioned the MDX Type S as a driver’s SUV, equipped with a flat-bottom racing steering wheel that isn’t just for show.

From the outset, the MDX Type S sets itself apart with a sportier edge. It’s not just any MDX; it’s the high-performance variant that is sure to make the drive to soccer practice more exciting. The sportiest Type S trim is a nod to Acura’s performance lineage, and it does not disappoint. At its heart is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine, producing 355 horsepower and 354 lb.-ft. of torque, paired exclusively with all-wheel drive. This potent combination ensures that the MDX Type S needs only 5.5 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph, numbers that place it firmly in the upper echelons of performance SUVs for this price point.

But the MDX Type S isn’t just about straight-line speed. It’s a vehicle designed to deliver a driving experience that balances sport with sophistication. The adaptive air suspension is a key component of this, allowing for a dynamic ride that adjusts to the driving conditions and the driver’s mood, whether it’s the comfort needed on a long family road trip or the stiff, responsive feel desired on a spirited drive through winding roads.

The inclusion of Brembo front brakes and eye-catching 21-inch wheels wrapped in high-performance tires provide the stopping power and control expected in a vehicle with the Type S badge. It’s clear that Acura’s engineers have not only focused on power but also on ensuring that the MDX Type S delivers confidence and joy in the driving experience on winding roads.

The line-topping Advance Package offers an indulgent cabin experience with 9-way massaging front seats. The auditory experience within the MDX Type S is excellent, thanks to a new 25-speaker ELS Studio 3D signature edition audio system. With 1,000 watts filling the cabin, the sound system transforms the interior into a personal concert hall, creating an immersive listening experience that matches the vehicle’s dynamic abilities.

The MDX Type S knows how to make an impression when the sun goes down. The ambient lighting, which includes speaker housing lights, creates an atmosphere that’s both sophisticated and modern, contributing to a cool nighttime driving effect. The cabin is a sanctuary of soft leather and high-grade materials, a clear indication that Acura has crafted an interior with a luxury focus. However, at the Type S price point, the MDX does not completely match the opulence found in equivalently priced offerings from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

Yet, the MDX Type S doesn’t aim to outshine these rivals in traditional luxury alone; it seeks to offer something different—a sportier driving dynamic. This is an SUV that understands the driver’s desire for engagement and excitement. This focus on driving pleasure is central to the MDX Type S’s identity. Every time I got behind the wheel, I was surprised at just how dynamic and nimble the MDX Type S could be on winding roads. The road hold is absolutely excellent and body roll non-existent.

In terms of exterior styling, the MDX Type S captures the eye with its bold and assertive exterior style, a harmonious interplay of sporty design elements and the sophisticated lines characteristic of Acura’s DNA. The commanding presence of the MDX Type S is underlined by its athletic stance, accentuated by sharp creases along the body, a signature diamond pentagon grille, and a sleek, tapered roofline that conveys both speed and elegance. Jewel Eye LED headlights flank the front grille, providing a high-tech face that’s both functional and strikingly modern.

At the rear, the MDX Type S boasts a sculpted tailgate that gracefully integrates with the vehicle’s dynamic silhouette, while the chic, angular LED tail lights extend the visual width, highlighting the SUV’s broad shoulders. Below, the quad exhaust tips add a visceral punch to the vehicle’s sporty intentions, not just in sound but in aesthetics as well.

The 21-inch wheels feature an intricate design and house red Brembo brake calipers, which not only serve as a testament to the vehicle’s performance capabilities but also add a vibrant contrast to the sophisticated wheel design.

The MDX Type S makes a compelling case for itself. It may not be the most luxurious SUV at its price point, but it offers a driving experience that is genuinely engaging. It’s a vehicle for those who enjoy the journey as much as the destination, making the MDX Type S a true driver’s SUV that rightfully earns its place within the Type S lineage.

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