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2025 Acura MDX Type S Review: Subtle Upgrades for the Sales Superstar

acura mdx 2025 01 cg exterior front angle jpg 2025 Acura MDX | Cars.com photo by Conner Golden
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Conner Golden joined Cars.com in 2023 as an experienced writer and editor with almost a decade of content creation and management in the automotive and tech industries. He lives in the Los Angeles area. Email Conner Golden

The verdict: Subtle updates should keep the 2025 Acura MDX a fan favorite with its loyal customer base, with the addition of touchscreen infotainment a massive improvement over the old trackpad-based system.

Versus the competition: In all trims, the 2025 Acura MDX is a sharp three-row mid-size SUV that offers a great balance of comfort and amenities for a price that’s more premium than luxury, and carries more brand weight than the Infiniti QX60 and Buick Enclave.

This is not a new MDX. Sure, it’s refreshed for the new model year, but it’s a minor one at best, despite Acura’s best efforts at marketing it as a grand leap forward for its biggest SUV. This is hardly a bad thing — the three-row MDX has been the brand’s bestseller for the past few years, and current trends indicate we’re in for another season of MDX, especially with the update for the 2025 model year.

Why mess up a good thing? The 2022-24 MDX drives nice, is well appointed, fine to look at and even offers an enthusiast-oriented Type S performance trim level that’s quite the rare bird in the class. It’s a sales and segment sweetheart, and it just didn’t make much sense to go too crazy with the “Fix this” Post-It notes.

Related: Refreshed 2025 Acura MDX Priced From $52,250

Happily, this refresh not only addresses some of the few weak spots of the prior MDX, but expands both trim and tech that scooches the top-level Type S a smidge upmarket. I’m tickled to report that regardless of chosen trim, all MDXs ditch the awful touchpad-based infotainment interface in favor of a traditional touchscreen.

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Nipped and Tucked — And New Tech

The 12.3-inch center touchscreen is matched by a 12.3-inch digital driver display that is in turn supported by an available 10.5-inch head-up display, the latter two being noticeably crisp, quick and high-fidelity in use. With the removal of the touchpad, the center console is requisitely reorganized with a large wireless charging pad taking up much of the real estate on the driver’s side of the console. The physical volume knob remains, as does a rocker button for the skip-ahead and rewind audio functions.

If it stopped here, both a fleet of customers and I would be happy as clams. But there’s more, including fresh integration of Google Built-In alongside carryover wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Gone is Acura’s longstanding partnership with Panasonic’s ELS system, with the top-spec Type S blowing out eardrums with a stunning 31-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. All other trims save the base trim make do with a pitiful 19-speaker B&O system. Can you imagine? Only 19 speakers? Yikes. I’d like to give a very detailed audiophile breakdown of the 31-speaker bumper, but I must admit I have an untrained ear. Using my standard reference tracks from Spotify streamed via Bluetooth connection, it sounded great — far, far better than any non-premium audio system available on any car. B&O’s trademark Beosonic sound interface is fun to play with, and I’m positive this will prove a favorite of audiophiles.

I digress. There’s more to look at on the outside, as well, with an updated front end and new wheel designs, and all but the Type S wearing a reworked “diamond pentagon” grille. Headlights and taillights are darker, and if you spec it right, the lower exterior trim is body colored. The A-Spec styling package shares its schnozz with the more aggressive Type S, though the latter differentiates itself with a unique grille treatment.

Subtle stuff, but that’s what folks want. With the exception of an expanded active-safety suite, most everything else is unchanged, including the standard 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6 engine and turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. Lower trims have the choice of front- or all-wheel drive, while mid-level and higher trims all come standard with Acura’s Super Handling AWD system. No matter which MDX you pick, they all have the same 10-speed automatic transmission.

Semi-Spicy Type S

I spent all of my 120-ish-mile drive in a 2025 MDX Type S, and I’m pleased to report that it’s the same as it was for 2024. Our route snaked us through the squiggly country roads between Encinitas, Calif., and the iconic Julian Pie Co. in its namesake town. Riled up at the promise of hot crust, I hustled the Type S down some moderately tight and technical back roads, and while it’s a far cry from Honda’s atomic Civic Type R and the matching Acura Integra Type S, it is more than capable enough for a seven-seater and will have your passengers either laughing or puking — or both.

The Type S’ 355 horsepower and 354 pounds-feet of torque is enough for a 0-60 mph time that feels somewhere in the six-second range. It ain’t a Tesla Model X Plaid, but most other three-row SUVs and plenty of smaller fare are easy pickings on on-ramps and between stoplights. In the Sport+ drive mode, the adaptive air suspension was noticeably stiff and respectably managed body roll during some of the more aggressive pie-seeking maneuvers.

Left alone in either Normal or Comfort mode, the Type S was the same moderately cushy, leather-lined family sled as before. I’ll refer you to prior coverage of past model years for further details on the MDX in day-to-day use — including child-safety seat fitment — as my only cargo was a delectable Dutch crumble apple pie, half of which did not survive the trip back to my home in Los Angeles.

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More Driver-Assist Features

The updated suite of safety tech is arguably the most significant upgrade outside of the new infotainment interface, with a revised front camera and radar sensor and new corner radar sensors for the Type S that now allow for front cross-traffic alert, lane change collision mitigation and active lane change assist. I thankfully didn’t test the first two, but the active lane change assist is a nice (if not a bit extraneous) addition to the mix. With the adaptive cruise control engaged and all lane assist systems toggled on, a half-press of the turn signal stalk will instigate an automatic lane change if the MDX deems the way clear.

It worked fine during highway segments, though it was understandably cautious with car-to-car clearance. And much like the majority of driver-assist systems on the market, funky semitrailer configurations threw the MDX for a loop; more than once, the active steering assist moved the SUV a little too close for comfort with a flat-bed trailer.

Overall, good stuff, Acura. The 2025 MDX is more of the same, and all the better for it. Returning customers will be pleased as punch with the subtle upgrades, but do keep in mind that the new touchscreen is not pie-filling-resistant — you’re going to need some hand wipes.

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