Publisher's note: Normally, the cars you read about here at MikeHagertyCars.com are loaned to us by the press fleets of the various manufacturers for several days. Seven is typical. Occasionally, we'll get a longer period of time, and sometimes it'll only be three or four days. Our "30 Minutes With" series features cars we spent half an hour driving during this spring's Western Automotive Journalists Media Day in Half Moon Bay, California.
Needless to say, these are quick drives and brief impressions that we hope to be able to flesh out with a full review of the vehicle at some point in the near future.
Media Days is a driving program, with journalists taking cars from the staging area at our host hotel, the Aristocrat, down Highway 1 to Highway 84, onto Stage Road (named for the former stagecoach stop still---but barely---standing on the corner), past the historic (since 1889), socially-aware and only-in-Northern-California funky San Gregorio General Store, through some marvelous twists and turns that lead back to Highway 1 and ultimately back to the hotel.
At the hotel, support teams from Page One Automotive and DriveShop sanitize the vehicles as they return while journalists choose their next vehicle from a total of 20 cars, trucks and SUVs provided by their manufacturers. This goes on for eight hours on day one, minus a 90-minute lunch break, and for three hours on day two.
In early 2021, Acura brought the 2022 MDX to market. I drove the SH-AWD Advance model and proclaimed that Acura had gotten its groove back.
I also noted that the 290-horsepower 3.5-liter VTEC V6 and its zero to 60 times of roughly seven seconds wouldn't be enough for some people, who would want to wait for the Type S. And now it's here. It has the same 355-horsepower 3.0-liter turbo V6 that's in the TLX Type S sedan, and that pares the standing start to 60 runs down to 5.5 seconds. EPA ratings suffer, as you'd expect, dropping to 17 city/21 highway for the Type S (it's 19/25 in the SH-AWD Advance).
The extra power is noticeable, even if you're not keeping an eye on a stopwatch. The Type S includes the Super Handling All Wheel Drive from the SH-AWD Advance, and folds in adaptive dampers and an air suspension that can lower the vehicle by 6/10ths of an inch at speed or raise it 2.1 inches for off- and soft-roading.
There are a couple of ways to get an MDX Type S. One is the base model, starting at $67,350. It's loaded by any reasonable standard, but you can also choose the MDX Type S Advance, which begins at $72,200 and adds nine-way massage function front seats, quilted-stitched seating, an ELS Studio 3D Signature Edition Premium Audio system and a hands-free power rear liftgate.
Acura being Acura, the only extra-cost options are special paint choices ($500) and what amount to dealer-installed options. Add $1,195 destination charge and you're looking at a bottom line of $69,045 for a standard Type S with an optional paint color and $73,895 for a Type S Advance with an optional paint color.
Yes, $70,000 is a first for any Acura that isn't an NSX. But the new MDX is a really good crossover and a really good Acura. The Type S's 355 horses are worth something, too. At a moment when the typical new car sells for north of $40k, the 2022 Acura MDX Type S justifies its price tag.