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Review of the first drive Acura MDX Type S 2022


NAPA, Calif. – First things first: 2022 Acura MDX Type S is not Honda’s motobike the luxury brand’s effort to create a BMW car X5M. Then again, at $67,745, it’s 30,000 under the stormy German SUV. So while the Type S bears the mark of high performance, it comes at a price that matches the entry level BMW X5 xDrive40i, plus Audi Q7 55 TFSI and Mercedes GLE 450 The 4Matic has an upgraded engine but isn’t considered a performance car.

Acura does that more convincingly with the Type S, but you still get what you pay for – and it’s okay to pay less sometimes. What Acura has created is an upgraded midsize SUV that offers enough sportiness for enthusiastic drivers, without being constrained by handling and brake harder than Thanos’ gauntlet.

Here’s what to tell your friends at the bar: Acura ditched the pre-existing 3.5-liter V6 for a 3.0-liter twin-scroll sequentially turbocharger that adds 65 hp (to 355) and 87 pound-feet of torque (to 354), and Enhance the 10-speed automatic transmission with a new torque converter, stronger gears, and improved clutch to handle the increased power. It’s also been reprogrammed to improve response, especially in the new, Type S-exclusive Sport+ mode. Brake upgrades include a 14.3-inch front four-piston Brembo. And Acura claims its first air suspension system – thanks to a supplier offering Continent – delivers both improved driving and dynamic performance.

What does it mean when you’re actually behind the wheel? On a rainy day in Napa, California, marked by intermittent drizzles that made the narrow two-lane roads greasy and slippery, MDX Sometimes, Type S shows its sturdy size but also confidently compares.

Most confident at corners marked “35 mph” and above, the Type S feels a bit bogged down in slower corners – especially when accelerating too soon. Acura claims that its Torque Super Handling All-Wheel Drive helps get around corners when accelerating off the top, but the laws of physics and slippery roads still apply. Pressing the accelerator earlier at the top of wet corners can lead to wheel slip and minor spins thanks to the SH-AWD, which is interesting if you’re expecting that from this 4,741-pound beast.

Due to wet conditions, it is difficult to feel the added power of the new Ohio-built turbo engine, or how the boost transmission represents faster shift and shift times (while keeping the same settings). transmission ratio). But the acoustic feel is really different – acceleration is marked at first by the slight squeal of the turbocharger, followed by a growl from the 3.0-liter engine. While the Type S returns an estimated 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined EPA (compared to 21 mpg combined in the base MDX), our driving route emphasizes performance. – there’s no highway driving to sample its variable cylinder management – and as a result our test trip model computer reported an average of just 13.3 mpg over a long lap four o’clock.

Driving mode in the Model S defaults to Normal mode with each start, and standard suspension compliance feels similar to Sport mode in the base MDX. Acura says electric power steering effort will be about 20 percent harder — but it feels sportier than that, as the standard MDX’s steering is so light and excessive. To switch between a multitude of drive modes for the engine, transmission and air suspension, the driver turns a large knob in the center of the dashboard’s center stack (as it does in the base MDX and other Acuras). . But if you want a more aggressive shifting pattern without moving the suspension to a sportier setting, pressing the D/S button in the gear selector array will accomplish the task.

A big plus for the MDX Type S is the braking system. Normally, the addition of sporty brakes like this 14.3-inch Brembos up front would result in responsive responsiveness, turning boulevard traffic and parking lots into a jarring, difficult task. towel. Not so here. The S type also gets an electric booster brake systemtransformed from NSX, where effective braking sends an electronic signal to a computer, which then applies hydraulic pressure to the brake calipers correctly. The result is that the brake pedal is very easy to adjust – whether it’s the dramatic effect of increased braking force as you approach a corner and want to balance this large SUV, or if you have to brake hard because A big truck has crossed the center yellow line in the middle corner and it’s coming right towards you. Initial testing on wet roads shows a well graded ABS correction.

But it’s the air suspension that really does the magic, delivering on Acura’s promises of improved handling and a more compliant ride. Typically, the overly firm tuning of the suspension of German sports cars is a dentist’s delight. But the MDX Type S maintains a politeness where you can feel the subtleties of what’s going on beneath your tyres – in terms of undulating, frosty roads and the like – but it don’t beat you. There is a luxury to the ride even in the sportiest setting. Yes, that meant sacrificing some cornering accuracy and speed, but Acura (and Continental) engineers realized that the brand’s customers weren’t looking for a race car. seven seats.

(Aside: About the seven-person reference. Just like the base model, the Type S will fit seven. Just know that the third row is definitely a kid-only affair.)

The air suspension also boasts adaptive dampers, automatic load balancing, a dynamic travel height, and a Lift driving mode that increases the ride height further. 2 inches at speeds up to 37 mph. As a result, ground clearance ranges from 6.7 inches up to 9.4 – that should get you through the drifting snow to your chalet.

The Type S also features self-healing high-performance tires on 21-inch wheels. Note, this is Not running apartment. This Continental 275/40R21 tire can actually seal leaks and other tread marks up to 5mm. Of course, that means no spare tire. That allows more space in the back for the device and also allows the battery move from the engine compartment to the cargo area to help with weight distribution.

MDX Type S top, standard MDX bottom

Visually, the Type S has a distinct front-end styling, including a more aggressive spoiler and a redesigned grille that allows more air under the hood. Black trim is added throughout, with the Enhancement Package even increasing around the wheel arches and lower body. The quad exhausts aren’t just unique to the Type S, but the entire active exhaust system, tuned from the NSX, opens up an additional cap for increased noise at 4,750 rpm in the Comfort, Medium, and Comfort modes. Normal and Sport, or 3,250 rpm in Sport+.

Inside, the Type S gets a flat-bottomed steering wheel and Milano leather seats available in Red, Ebony or Orchid (a light color) with black Ultrasuede inserts. The Advance pack swaps these insoles for Azurite Blue’s unique stitched textured full leather and optional extras, illustrated here. It also adds massaging to the front seats, an Acura first, with nine modes and three intensity levels for long drives.

For audiophiles, the base Type S offers an ELS 3D audio system with 16 speakers, 16 channels, and 710 watts of power, while the Type S with the $73,095 Advance package boasts an ELS system with 25 speakers, 22 channels and 1,000 watts. That will shake you like a hurricane.

Unfortunately, the Type S has the same infotainment system as every other MDX, using a distracting, overly complicated trackpad system that’s hard to learn to activate most systems (though few Best one Automatic log the editor has learned to endure it). The climate controls are controlled by Chiclet-sized knobs with even markings but unreadable due to their high-gloss piano black surface.

Other glitches in our test car: The backup camera was so blurry that it couldn’t be used in wet conditions despite the standard lens washer and reverse parking stacking lines. on the video screen is offset about one step to the right. The lane-keeping assist system sets up several false alarms for non-violations, while the forward-collision warning system warns the driver of vehicles that have clearly changed lanes. This will fit other Acuras and Hondas.

Acura has enjoyed unexpected success with the MDX over the years. Since its introduction in 2001, Acura has sold more than first million units. Acura claims the only other luxury badges with such a sales record are the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Classand Lexus ES and RX. Those are some strong companies. Acura expects 10-15% of MDX sales to be Type S. Then again, that percentage is expected for TLXand its Type S is currently over 25%.

Essentially, the MDX Type S is a seven-seat SUV with more sporty features – something Acura claims is at the core of its brand promise. What remains to be seen is whether the formula applies to Acura’s TLX and the flagship NSX sports car could successfully expand to a larger mall crawler. It is suitable for the SUVs of the German brand, but the voice of the customer is not suitable for Acura.

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