Acura MDX

The Acura MDX has long been one of our favorite three-row premium SUVs. It offers a composed, comfortable ride, good-quality cabin furnishings and has a strong reliability and quality track record. For a luxury crossover, it’s also pretty smartly priced compared to rivals like the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Lexus RX-L, with generous standard equipment levels.

The MDX’s brand may dnot have the same cachet as some of its rivals, but it’s not just a good value, it’s a good steer, too. There’s plenty of power from the gas-powered 3.5-liter V6, and the available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive isn’t too shabby, either. There’s even a Sport Hybrid model that boosts performance and efficiency using a 3.0-liter V6 and a three-motor hybrid setup matched with a dual-clutch gearbox. Pricing starts at $44,200 for a front-drive base model, with the AWD Sport Hybrid coming in at $52,100, including a robust tech package that normally costs $4,400. (All models are subject to a $995 destination charge).

Editors' Review

Acura's Type S models are not about hard-edged aggression. If you're trying to find a Japanese competitor for BMW M or Mercedes-AMG, sorry, you've got the wrong number. Instead, the Type S treatment focuses on confident power and smooth poise. And when applied to the redesigned MDX crossover, it makes for a compelling glow-up indeed.

A number of mechanical improvements do wonders to the MDX, but the real showpiece is the Type S' standard air suspension. This is Acura's first implementation of such a technology and it's super good. Combined with adaptive dampers, the Type S is both more comfortable and more agile than the base MDX. Even on large, 22-inch wheels with low-profile tires, the MDX rides like a dream over nasty stretches of highway while still being appreciably fun to hustle along a winding road.

The Type S comes standard with Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive, which shuffles power front to back and side to side as needed, not only helping with traction in inclement weather, but overall grip on dry roads, too. Combined with light but accurate steering, the MDX Type S is easy to drive fast. It's not nearly as thrilling as a BMW X5 M or Mercedes-AMG GLE63, but again, it's not supposed to be.

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The Good ~ Strong turbocharged power ~ Excellent air suspension ~ Lots of standard driver-assistance tech ~ Less expensive than rivals

The Bad ~ Sluggish transmission ~ Absolute positioning touchpad doesn't work with smartphone mirroring

The Bottom Line The Acura MDX Type S offers lots of power without unnecessary aggression.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 9
  • Design 9
  • Media 8

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