When it was launched in late 2020, the new generation Acura MDX SUV received a lot of criticism for space issues. Will it be a luxury SUV to take on the Cadillac XT6 or a premium sports car to take on the Audi Q7 or Genesis GV80? Time showed that the car was neither one nor the other, which ended up making it difficult to promote in favor. But Acura, Honda’s premium division, appears to have solved part of the problem with an S-Type version — the name given to the brand’s high-performance configuration — for the latest MDX.
New arrivals in the United States, the new organization comes with a more powerful engine than the standard version, modern pneumatic suspension and, apparently, also a driving quality that erases the problems of the “poor” brothers.
Built on the same platform as the Honda Passport and Odyssey, the Acura MDX Type S borrows an engine from the TLX sports sedan: a 3-liter turbo V6 with 355 horsepower and 48.9 Nm of torque. Like its brother, it combines the engine with a ten-speed 4 × 4 traction system with Super Handling torque vectoring. Because of the new power unit, however, the new MDX had to get smaller radiators under the headlights and a wider radiator behind the front grille.
Acura also made an effort to bring more propulsion information. Most notable is the air suspension with stiff struts and adaptive dampers that have improved ride quality. Other improvements include the braking system brake-by-wire with Brembo four-piston front brakes, a revised steering column and a pair of 21” wheels with high-performance self-tire tires.
Handling has improved, but propulsion isn’t quite as sporty
According to information from car and driver, who was able to test the new version of the SUV, the driving quality of the S Type is much better compared to the regular Acura MDX. When walking around the city, the air suspension took the impact well, eliminating the rebound problems that occurred in the standard model. For this reason, the MDX can be described as one of the most modern three-row SUVs on the market – the adaptive dampers enhanced body control, even in the most demanding modes such as Sport.
In terms of performance, however, the car left something to be desired, mainly because of the nickname “Type S”, which would indicate a more sporty performance. For Car and Driver, the turbo V6 is powerful enough to move the MDX with confidence, but it didn’t perform as expected, despite the build improvements. According to Acura, the MDX S Type starts from 0 to 96 km/h in 5.6 seconds. Its top speed is 209 km/h (electronic limit).
Despite the frequent criticism of Acura’s infotainment system, the MDX S Type has a luxurious cabin: the front seats are spacious, especially with the activation of the massagers (available on the Advance version), as well as the middle and upper rows. behind. The difference is in the position of the secondary seats, which are harder and more comfortable than the front ones. Access to the queue, however, is easy, as the seats can be moved at the push of a button.
The ELS Studio 3D Signature sound system, which serves as the model’s standard platform, is one of the most praised features in the automotive industry and is a key asset in the Japanese manufacturer’s new model, but is only available in the Advance configuration.
The starting price of the Acura MDX Type S is US$67,745 (equivalent to around R$342,860). The Advance version costs about $5,000 more and has many luxury features, including leather seats with upholstery, wood or metal, exclusive upholstery options and a 25-speaker ELS system.
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