2025 Acura MDX Type S Review, Release Date, & Specs. Acura states the MDX Type S is for people that like to drive. That’s attracting somebody like me, a cars and truck fanatic with a companion, youngsters, a canine, and trip to take. And in the interest of full disclosure, my family members owns a 2020 MDX Sport Hybrid that is sensibly satisfying to drive while providing good gas mileage, supplying exceptional dependability, and doing all right stuff we require a family-sized SUV to do.
To create this performance-tuned example of the fourth-generation MDX, Acura swaps the common 3.5-liter V6 engine for a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, adds 21-inch wheels and an adaptive-damping air suspension, mounts larger brakes, and includes a number of exclusive driving settings. The method resembles just how Audi crafts its S models, BMW constructs M Sport variations, and Lexus creates F Sporting activity Performance versions.
Sadly, my experience driving the new Type S convinced me to go on and get our previous-generation MDX at the end of the lease. Why? The Type S design’s price is too high, the real-world gas economic climate is too reduced, and the infotainment system is virtually as exacerbating as the old-school technology in our Sport Hybrid. The performance renovation merely isn’t worth the added expense, and when you see my test vehicle’s price, you’ll comprehend why we made our decision.
The 2025 Acura MDX Type S can be found in common and Advanced trim degrees, and rates begins in the high $60,000 s, including the location charge to ship the SUV from its East Freedom, Ohio, manufacturing facility.
For this 2025 MDX review, I test-drove the Type S Breakthrough in Southern California. It included extra-cost Apex Blue Pearl paint, bringing the supplier’s suggested list price to $74,995, including the $1,195 destination charge. Acura provided the vehicle for this MDX Type S review.
2025 ACURA MDX TYPE S REVIEW: THE DESIGN
The fourth-generation Acura MDX looks good, and in Type S requirements, it looks far better. The Type S experiences on slightly bigger 21-inch wheels, and the red brake calipers match the accents on the badges and the offered red inside. Still, the aesthetic differences in between the MDX A-Spec and MDX Type S are too subtle to justify the price difference.
The MDX Type S comes filled with several goodies. Emphasizes include a thick-rimmed sporting activity guiding wheel, a dark headliner, stainless-steel pedal covers, heated and ventilated front seats, as well as red contrast stitching throughout. To assist make certain convenience, Acura furnishes the MDX Type S with a humidity-sensing, GPS-linked, triple-zone automated climate-control system.
Exclusives to the Breakthrough trim include open-pore wood trim, a warmed guiding wheel, complete premium natural leather furniture, 16-way power-adjustable front seats with massage, and heated outboard second-row seats. This design also boasts a hands-free version of the power liftgate.
Every Acura MDX has three rows of seats and a seven-occupant ability. In front, sport-design seats wait for. However, regardless of the examination vehicle’s adjustable upper leg and side bolsters, they don’t cover you in relaxing assistance, and they can not hold your body in position to the same degree the tires hold their grip when driving. That isn’t to state they’re awkward. With heating, air flow, massage, and a costs quality of leather, you’ll like them. Yet you expect something a lot more in a vehicle engineered for passionate driving.
You can eliminate the facility area of the second-row seat to develop a pass-through to the third-row seat, or you can fold the facility section down to create individual chairs with cupholders and storage between them. Travelers designated to the 2nd row will be satisfied with their holiday accommodations.
Acura equips the MDX Type S with a power-operated second-row seat release and slide systems on both sides of the SUV to improve accessibility to the 3rd row. That assists, but the reality is that grownups will certainly have a hard time squeezing past the roof covering pillar and seatbacks to get there. And as soon as they’re seated in the 3rd row, they’ll be sorry for making the initiative. I advise using the third row only for children or pet dogs.
Acura has improved the fourth-generation MDX’s inside. The design, display screens, and format infuse a feeling of excitement, and the top quality of the materials is impressive. Nonetheless, finding and utilizing typical features and features is needlessly complicated, and the car manufacturer’s emphasis on design over functionality limitations storage room.
Open the MDX’s rear liftgate, and you’ll discover 16.3 cubic-feet of cargo area behind the third-row seat and enough hidden storage under the load floor. Fold the 50/50-split third-row seats down, and the MDX holds 39.1 cu-ft of freight. Maximum volume measures 71.4 cu-ft behind the front seats.
2025 ACURA MDX TYPE S REVIEW: THE TECHNOLOGY
Acura equips the MDX with 2 12.3-inch screen screens. One is the Precision Cabin electronic instrumentation panel, operated making use of controls on the steering wheel. The other is a 12.3-inch infotainment display without a touch-sensing function.
That is uncommon. Besides, most infotainment screens are touch-sensing, much like your smartphone, tablet computer, the self-checkout at the store, the ATM, and virtually every other interactive technology in your life. So, why doesn’t Acura consist of one in the MDX?
Years back, Acura presented its True Touchpad Interface (TTI) technology in the current-generation RDX SUV. With its absolute positioning touchpad, handwriting recognition ability, and natural voice acknowledgment, Acura anticipated the TTI to cause “a much more instinctive and driver-friendly electronic experience.” But I have actually never ever been a fan, for numerous factors.
I fall short to see the point of Acura’s attempt to re-think the touchscreen. Even half a years earlier when TTI debuted, individuals were utilized to utilizing touchscreen display screens. Why throw everybody a curveball?
TTI is equally as distracting to utilize as a touchscreen. You should coordinate what you see on the screen with where you’re discussing the pad because the place of your fingertip represents the similar put on the display. Simply put, the technology doesn’t run like a laptop touchpad.
It is just as very easy to erroneously push the incorrect place on the pad as it is to press the wrong place on a touchscreen. Strike a bump, and you might pick a menu path you really did not want. After that you require to identify how to return to where you were and attempt once more.
If you resort to overlooking at the center console to orient on your own, the roadway in advance disappears completely from your peripheral vision. With a high-mounted touchscreen, that does not occur.
To easily use the TTI, Acura adds a wrist remainder that advises me of those automatic transmission shifter handles Chevy installed in the late 1960s and early 1970s Camaros. That’s type of great, yet it occupies even more precious room on the center console than the TTI setup currently does.
It’s not all negative. You can sidestep a lot of the irritation associated with TTI by auto parking the MDX, undergoing the food selections, picking all your settings, and leaving them alone. After that, pair your smart device to the cordless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connection and use their respective electronic voice aides. Alternatively, make use of the Amazon Alexa Integrated voice recognition technology.
My MDX Type S Breakthrough tester also included a 10.5-inch head-up display screen and an exclusive 1,000-watt, 25-speaker costs audio system. The audio speakers supplied terrific audio top quality using an Acura-provided USB stick containing uncompressed songs data. Paying attention to satellite radio was much less gratifying.
Changing to safety features, the 2025 Acura MDX Type S features basic AcuraWatch technology. This collection of features includes the advanced driving assistance and collision avoidance technologies you anticipate to find on a contemporary high-end SUV. Still, unlike several rivals, Acura does not go above and past a minimum standard.
For instance, the MDX does not use active blind-spot tracking that tries to prevent an unsafe lane adjustment. Likewise, you can not obtain front cross-traffic alert, crossway aid, or incredibly elusive guiding help on this SUV. The MDX does not have an automated emergency-assist stopping function, which in some rivals can bring a vehicle to a safe stop if the driver experiences a clinical trouble. On top of that, the only means you can obtain a surround-view electronic camera system is by picking the Development trim.
On the whole, I observe improvement in the latest AcuraWatch driving technologies compared to previous versions. Nevertheless, they’re not as precise or improved as what you can find in some opponents, and I’m not a fan of the guiding wheel wobble that comes with the lane-departure caution system.
Unfortunately, in this test vehicle, AcuraWatch identified the sun glow from an overhead highway indication as a barrier, released an accident warning, and turned on the emergency braking system briefly. I took swift activity to bypass, but this could have stimulated a chain-reaction crash in denser traffic.
At least the MDX excels in collision examinations executed by the Insurance policy Institute for Freeway Safety (IIHS). That organization provides the SUV a Top Safety Select+ ranking. Regrettably, the National Freeway Traffic Safety Management (NHTSA) is yet to publish total examination results for the MDX with AWD. Nevertheless, front-drive versions make a luxury overall score.
2025 ACURA MDX TYPE S REVIEW: THE DRIVE
Performance is the assurance the MDX Type S makes. So, Acura strengthens it with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine creating 355 horse power at 5,500 rpm and 354 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 rpm to 5,000 rpm. These numbers amount to 65 more horse power 700 rpm faster and 87 lb-ft more getting to a substantial 3,300 rpm faster than the MDX’s conventional 3.5-liter V6 engine.
A 10-speed transmission with paddle shifters networks engine power through Acura’s torque-vectoring Super Handling Four-wheel drive system. Acura says approximately 70% of the engine’s power can move to the back axle. From there, 100% of that part can go to a solitary back wheel.
Ironically, the version of the MDX you’re least likely to drive in the dust offers one of the most ground clearance. Thanks to the Type S’s basic adaptive damping air suspension and Lift setting, the SUV provides 9.4 inches of maximum ground clearance. But the 275/40R -21 self-sealing Continental ContiSeal tires aren’t the most effective selection for off-roading. Besides, you would not wish to scratch those costly 21-inch wheels.
Like other MDXs, the Type S features variable-ratio guiding that firms up when you select Sporting activity setting. Nonetheless, it gets an exclusive electric brake-by-wire system with bigger front discs and red four-piston Brembo front calipers. Acura states the NSX supercar influenced the electro-servo brake-by-wire technology it uses in the MDX Type S.
The checklist of hardware renovations is better theoretically than in practice. Yes, the MDX Type S feels faster than other variations of the SUV, however it averaged just 16.8 mpg on my assessment loop, dropping well except the main EPA gas economy rating of 17/21/19 mpg city/highway/combined. I ‘d state the tradeoff isn’t beneficial.
In addition, the brand-new self-sealing Continental tires need to be called self-squealing tires. Around every edge or sharp contour taken with enthusiasm, they send out sound to tell everyone within earshot that somebody is driving quickly. I prefer my performance lorries to display stealthiness.
Place the MDX Type S into Sport or Sport+ setting, and the suspension really feels too firm when driving in a straight line and allows excessive roll in the kinks and bends of an enjoyable roadway. That is the opposite of what you desire.
However the most awful driving quality relates to the MDX Type S’s brakes. When I drive for enjoyable, I trail brake into corners, which means I keep pressing the brake pedal as I enter a turn. That can boost grip, lower understeer (the propensity for the car’s front wheels to push wide), and aid to turn the vehicle around the curve. To execute this driving design constantly and with confidence, the brakes have to act regularly and with confidence. That’s an issue with the MDX Type S’s electro-servo system.
While zooming down Mulholland Freeway in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, The golden state, I discovered my pedal inputs and matching expectations of the digital stopping system often misaligned with actual braking action and habits. On a number of events, when I gradually launched the brakes as the SUV approached the contour’s apex, the braking system’s response was abrupt rather than a progressive cessation of braking. That left me lugging even more speed than was sensible, causing brief fits of panic. Inevitably, I could not trust the brakes because I could not anticipate what they would do.
Add that issue to the squealing tires, the cool suspension behavior, and the dehydrated engine, and the MDX Type S simply doesn’t present itself as a natural whole. The very best driver’s cars and trucks and SUVs do not draw attention to their behavior. Instead, the engineering works in the history, providing foreseeable, constant, and credible reactions to a driver’s inputs. These are the most fun-to-drive automobiles since you can concentrate on the road, the driving, and the hustle rather than emotionally troubleshooting and responding to unexpected, irregular, and distracting vehicle habits.
I couldn’t trust the MDX Type S when driving it in the manner Acura intends. So, in my sight, it falls short in its mission.
IS THE 2025 ACURA MDX TYPE S A GOOD SUV?
Unfortunately, I require to say no, the 2025 Acura MDX Type S is not a good performance-oriented high-end SUV. And because it does not fully deliver on its promise and the driver’s assumptions, there is no reason to buy one rather than a conventional MDX.
Attempt the sporty-looking MDX A-Spec and place your roughly $8,000 in financial savings toward a household trip. The memories you make with your companion, kids, and pet dog on a road trip will likely be a lot more fulfilling and unforgettable than driving the Type S.