The Acura MDX delivers a high-quality performance if you’re in the market for a luxury SUV. Then the 2022 Acura MDX Type S takes things a step further with an extremely athletic performance. However, there are a few drawbacks to consider.
Driving the 2022 Acura MDX Type S has its pros and cons
First, we will kick things off with a quick overview of the 2022 Acura MDX Type S. It starts at about $67,745, and the fully loaded model takes the price up to around $73,095. This three-row SUV is far from cheap!
Upgrading to the Type S provides a more powerful engine, a sport-tuned adaptive air suspension, a sport-tuned transmission, and all-wheel drive system, 21-inch wheels, Brembo front brakes, and a unique style.
1. PRO: The Acura MDX Type S is comfortable
The 2022 Acura MDX Type S prioritizes comfort. The front seats are large, well-padded, and comfortable. The massagers are stronger than the ones in the Infiniti QX60, and the ventilated is strong.
Also, the automatic climate control system is smart and effective. During 80-degree days, the air conditioning is pretty strong. The automatic start and stop system is paused to focus on keeping the cabin cool.
On cold, 40-degree mornings, the heat quickly keeps in to keep drivers and passengers toasty. Plus, the heated seats and heated steering wheel don’t take long to warm up. The MDX is comfortable during all seasons.
2. PRO: The MDX is so smooth
The 2022 Acura MDX Type S has an impressively smooth ride over most surfaces. Even rough patches of roads are confidently dampened. The suspension doesn’t feel floaty, and you can sense your connection to the road without any rattles.
However, the suspension is tuned for an athletic performance, not off-roading. We went down a few gravel roads, and the ride was noticeably bumpy.
The automatic start and stop system is very peaceful. It’s hard to notice when the engine cuts off or restarts. In rivals, the engine can cause the SUV to shake when it restarts, and the engine can be loud.
Also, it’s quick. At red lights, the engine fires up without delay so you can quickly get off the line. There’s no hesitation. Active vibration control, noise cancellation, stability assist, double-wishbone front suspension, and an active damper system add to its smooth performance.
3. PRO: The driving modes are impressive
The 2022 Acura MDX Type S has driving modes for Normal, Comfort, Snow, Lift, Sport, and Sport+. We didn’t get to use the Snow mode, but we found the integrated dynamics to be advanced.
Comfort mode is noticeably smoother, with a quieter engine and less aggressive throttle response than Normal mode. Sport mode has a stiffer ride with increased response times. The brakes are a bit more responsive too.
Life mode raises the suspension by two inches for a 9.4-inch ground clearance. This was helpful during our light off-roading test.
The Sport+ mode lowers the suspension to 6.7-inches to improve aerodynamics. The center of gravity is reduced for more responsive handling too. Plus, you can see your G-force and the amount of extra PSI from the exhaust.
4. Pro: There’s a lot of good tech
The 2022 Accura MDX Type S feels pretty advanced with its head-up display that’s easy to customize. Plus, the wireless phone charger is in the perfect spot, and the interior ambient lighting illuminates the speakers.
Each driving mode displays attractive graphics, and the 25-speaker ELS system includes 3D audio for an immersive experience. It comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, phones are easy to connect.
The blind-spot warning system illuminates indicators inside of the SUV when it’s not clear to change lanes. Other vehicles typically place the blind-spot monitor on the side mirrors, making them more difficult to see.
Plus, the lane-keeping assist system gently causes the steering wheel to vibrate instead of emitting a loud beep.
1. CON: The touchpad isn’t our favorite
We spent a week with the 2022 Acura MDX Type S, giving us plenty of time with the 12.3-inch infotainment display. It’s not a touchscreen, and it’s controlled with a touchpad. You can easily learn the controls in a few days.
However, Car and Driver notes that it’s a bit frustrating to use. Simple commands such as pausing your music or reviewing your fuel usage would be easier with a touchscreen. Also, the touchpad is a bit sensitive. Rg your finger across it slowly to access the correct menus.
2. The fuel economy could be better
The 2022 Acura MDX Type S gets an EPA-estimated 17 mpg in the city and up to 21 mpg on the highway. We discovered this to be accurate and got about 19.6 mpg combined while driving on the interstate, up mountain curves, and through downtown city areas.
It can go about 351 miles between fill-ups, so you might stop at gas stations more often than expected.
However, the 3.0-liter V6 engine cranks out 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds. It’s too much fun to resist the Sport and Sport+ modes, making burning fuel worth it.
3. CON: There’s no space for kids
The 2022 Acura MDX Type S is pretty limited when it comes to passenger space. At 5’1″, getting into the second row was a squeeze. My knees hit the back of the front seats. Only short kids can fit in the second row.
Then getting in the third row is even more difficult, and there’s even less space. The third row is reserved for very tiny children. But at least there are USB ports in each row, so kids can keep their devices charged.
The Acura MDX Type S provides 18.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row with up to 95 cubes total. The center console is a little tight, but there are plenty of storage trays for your items. Plus, the in-floor trunk provides a little extra storage.
Overall, the Acura MDX Type S is an advanced luxury SUV that’s irresistible to drive. It’s fast, capable, smart, and relaxing. However, the infotainment system could have better controls, it’s a bit thirsty, and passenger space is cramped.