Review by Veeno Dewan

The all-new fourth generation MDX is Acura’s flagship SUV and so it should be, the MDX has been a family favourite for a while now. For 2023, the new top version in the line up is the $83,000 MDX A-Spec Ultra that adds improved exterior aerodynamic aids , including an exclusive front splitter and grille that improve airflow to the engine bay. There are cooling side vents, and a rear diffuser with large round exhaust outlets. The Type S features gloss black trim accents, 21-inch alloy wheels painted Shark Gray or Berlina Black, and with a machine finish on the Ultra Package. It will also offer an exclusive eye-catching Tiger Eye Pearl paint option.
The Acura Type S has a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 as found in the TLX Type S sedan. This new powerplant is smaller but produces an increase of 65 hp and 87 lb-ft over the standard MDX’s 3.5L V6. This makes the Type S the most powerful Acura SUV ever. There is a revised 10-speed automatic transmission and the Acura’s fourth-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system that sends up to 70 per cent of torque to the rear axle and 100 per cent of it left or right, when required. Also added to the Type S is a double-wishbone front suspension, with adaptive dampers, more effective Brembo brakes with red painted calipers, seven drive modes, and a battery relocated from under the hood to the cargo area for better weight distribution. An extra radiator have been added for extra cooling and the steering, transmission, and brake pedal have been recalibrated
Inside, the MDX features a sleek hi-tech interior with impressive quality, fit and finish. The dash and centre console has a busy, high-tech look typical of Acura with a plethora of buttons for different features and functions, but at least there is a proper dial for the stereo volume control, which is always appreciated. The Type S MDX features three-seat rows, wonderful Milano leather seats in red or ebony, accented with black “Ultrasuede” inserts. The racy flat-bottomed steering wheel is highlighted with a Type S badge, and contrast stitching on various details, as well as two standard 12.3-inch display screens. Upgrades to the Ultra Package include spectacular quilted front and middle row seats, massaging front seats with nine settings (An Acura first!), and 25-speaker, 1,000- watt ELS Studio 3D audio system, LED illuminated doors speakers, and 16-way power-adjustable front seats which brings the MSRP to $83,000 for the Type S Ultra.
The third row is best seated for younger, smaller passengers. Behind the third row is 513 L of storage but fold that row down and cargo space grows to 1,368 L. Fold the second row down and the MDX offers a maximum of 2,690 L. Safety is high with a next-generation front passenger airbag. It deploys with three chambers and a cradle feature reacts on impact to help prevent head and neck injuries.
On the road, Acura’s stand out SH-AWD (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.) is standard on all trims. This traction system is improved now for faster response, apportioning power between the front and rear wheels for superb grip. The Acura Type S as tested definitely ups the performance quotient – For such a big SUV, the MDX feels light, quick and agile. There are a variety of drive modes to suit personal preferences and adverse conditions. Normal is good for everyday driving, while Sport mode kicks it up a notch. The transmission has a new torque converter and strengthens gears. It can downshift 40% quicker with rev matching when using the paddle shifters and in its most aggressive setting (Sport+), will also upshift 30% quicker under hard acceleration.
The MDX Type S is quicker and handles and rides better, the air suspension offers automatic load leveling and is able to raise the ride height by 2.0 inches in “Lift” mode. For those who need to tow a boat or trailer, the MDX’s maximum towing rating is 2,268 kg (5,000 lb).
Just a few niggles. That touchpad-based infotainment system is still fiddly and its hard to know where your fingers are sliding about. The sub menus or different functions could be simpler and designed for less driver attention. To sum up the Acura MDX Type S is a compelling purchase if you are looking for a premium sport orientated SUV with stellar performance chops. With its vice- free road manners, creamy smooth engine, transmission, and agile handling, it is superbly refined. Add; seven seats, a technology driven driver cockpit, luxury and style The Acura MDX Type S is highly recommended.
2023 Acura MDX : Priced from $57,900 for the base MDX, Type S Ultra package $83,000 plus extras.
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