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2024 Acura MDX Type S Review: Luxurious, But Lacking in Power

2024 Acura MDX Type S | Photo: K.Soltani
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Khatir Soltani
This model is up against competitors offering more punch

•    Auto123 reviews the 2024 Acura MDX Type S.

In 2024, the Acura MDX is positioned as the brand's flagship SUV, offering a combination of comfort, advanced technology and performance suited to both family and sport use. It represents the pinnacle of Acura's SUV range.

Acura's Type S designation signifies an orientation towards enhanced performance. This designation is reserved for versions that benefit from improvements in power, braking and handling, without compromising comfort or everyday practicality.

2024 Acura MDX Type S, tested
2024 Acura MDX Type S, tested | Photo: K.Soltani

2024 Acura MDX Type S - what's new?

For 2024, the MDX Type S undergoes no significant changes from the previous year, remaining true to the fourth generation introduced in 2022. 

Pricing of the 2024 Acura MDX Type S

The Type S version starts at $88,890 CAD, including various fees but excluding taxes. For reference, the base version of the MDX starts at $65,390, the A-Spec at $68,390 and the Platinum Elite at $72,390.  

2024 Acura MDX Type S, logo
2024 Acura MDX Type S, logo | Photo: K.Soltani

Powertrain of the 2024 Acura MDX Type S

The Acura MDX Type S is powered by a 3.0L turbocharged V6 engine producing 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Technical specifications of the Type S variant
The Type S model differs from other MDX models in that it features 21-inch alloy wheels with a Berlina black finish, accompanied by 275/40 R21 self-sealing tires. 

The front seats feature 16-way power adjustment, including electrically adjustable lumbar support, as well as a massage function, much appreciated by both driver and front passenger. 

The ELS Studio Signature Edition audio system boasts no fewer than 16 loudspeakers, delivering excellent sound quality. 

Finally, performance features include four-piston Brembo front brake calipers, four round exhaust tips and an adjustable air suspension that's highly appreciable on poor road surfaces.  

The 2024 Acura MDX Type S, three-quarters front
The 2024 Acura MDX Type S, three-quarters front | Photo: K.Soltani

Fuel consumption according to Acura
Acura Canada claims fuel consumption of 13.8L/100 km city, 11.2L/100 km highway and 12.4L/100 km combined.

Fuel consumption observed by Auto123.com
For our part, after driving the vehicle for just over 350 km during our test week, mainly in the suburbs, we recorded fuel consumption slightly higher than the official figures, underlining the importance of testing the vehicle in real-life conditions to assess its fuel consumption. 

It should also be remembered that our driving took place in winter, with temperatures fluctuating between -12 and 2 degrees Celsius. Our average consumption stabilized at 14.7L/100 km, which is still high for this type of engine.

Exterior design of 2024 Acura MDX Type S
Exterior design of 2024 Acura MDX Type S | Photo: K.Soltani

Driving the 2024 Acura MDX Type S

Despite its sporty badge, the MDX Type S suffers from a few notable weaknesses. The 355-hp V6 engine is not impressive on paper. Its performance hardly justifies the Type S moniker. Not only is acceleration deadly dull, but you'd rather not even put your foot to the floor. 

Fortunately, the Sport and Sport + modes give it a boost, but who's going to want to drive in Sport or Sport + mode every day? In Normal or Comfort mode, this MDX behaves like a regular MDX. Otherwise, the ride is quite dynamic, and the air suspension does an excellent job. 

All the same, there’s no way around it: as much as we love the Type S version of the TLX, we don't feel this variant of the MDX fully merits the badge. 

2024 Acura MDX Type S red
2024 Acura MDX Type S red | Photo: K.Soltani

The final word
Throughout our week, one question kept coming up: who might be tempted to buy the MDX Type S? Perhaps this is the vehicle for those seeking the aesthetics and prestige of a sporty model, without demanding the extreme performance (or paying the price) that would normally accompany such a designation. 

However, if pure power and fuel efficiency are a priority, the MDX Type S may not be the wisest choice. Its lack of real power and high fuel consumption are weak points that are hard to ignore.

Given the disparity between the expectations engendered by the Type S designation and this model's mixed performance, the MDX A-Spec presents itself as a more coherent and attractive alternative. 

The MDX A-Spec combines sporty design with the high-end features of the MDX model, without trying to do too much. For me, this model represents the quintessence of what an Acura product is: a successful balance between aesthetics, comfort and efficiency, all encapsulated in a vehicle that offers an enriching driving experience. And all without the compromises associated with the Type S model.

Strong points

  • Cabin comfort
  • Cargo space
  • Very generous equipment

Weak points

  • Disappointing power from engine
  • Touchpad giving access to multimedia system
  • High fuel consumption
Glimpse of 2024 Acura MDX Type S from rear
Glimpse of 2024 Acura MDX Type S from rear | Photo: K.Soltani

Competitors of the 2024 Acura MDX Type S

The 2024 MDX finds its direct competition in European luxury SUVs such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Genesis GV80, each offering comparable options and levels of luxury. The Type S version has no real competition. If you're really looking for a luxurious, powerful three-row SUV, you can look to the Audi SQ7, Mercedes-AMG GLE or BMW X7 M60, but the cost will be much higher... and the performance will really be there.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
As a car enthusiast, he tests and compares vehicles from different categories through the eyes of the consumer, ensuring relevant and objective reviews.
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada