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2023 Acura MDX Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2023 Acura MDX Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Technology vs A-Spec and Advance vs Type S

What 2023 Acura MDX Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The 2023 Acura MDX is among the greatest values in the three-row luxury SUV segment. It matches the competition's level of performance and comfort for a more attractive price. Not only does the MDX come loaded with an above average number of premium features, but it also gives owners two years of free maintenance. Although the MDX is not the most ideal choice for off-roaders, impeccable handling makes this crossover a pleasure to drive on the street.

Even the base MDX is a fine pick. However, optional packages enable families to experience a more luxurious trip. Here’s an overview of how the various MDX trim levels compare.


Compare the base MDX vs Technology Trims. What is the difference?

The base MDX has a starting MSRP of just under $50,000, thus making it the range’s least expensive trim. However, it feels just as upscale as some of today’s pricier European models.

Motivating the base MDX is a reliable V6 engine, which is produced by Honda. Acura tunes this engine to push out a solid 290 horsepower. Another important aspect of the SUV’s powertrain is its 10-speed automatic transmission. Paddle shifters allow drivers to manually change the gears if desired. Testers report that the MDX is capable of clocking a 0-60 mph time of roughly 6.4 seconds.

Front-wheel-drive versions of the MDX have a predicted fuel economy rating of 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the open road. Luckily, all-wheel drive only slightly reduces fuel efficiency. While the front-wheel-drive MDX can tow up to a 3,500-pound load, opting for all-wheel drive increases this rating to 5,000 pounds.

Acura’s famous Super Handling AWD system does more than just ensure a more surefooted performance in bad weather. It also gives the SUV an added fun factor by enhancing handling. Torque-vectoring technology helps ensure good grip when approaching corners. The AWD-equipped MDX hugs curves like a much smaller model.

With Acura’s standard Integrated Dynamics System, you can modify how the MDX performs. This system adjusts steering feel, throttle response, and transmission shifting. There are four standard drive settings: regular, comfort, sport, and snow.

Few people will have any issues with the MDX’s exterior appearance. It receives Acura’s signature styling cues, including popular Jewel Eye LED headlights. Dual exhaust finishers and 19-inch wheels also come standard. The SUV’s heated side mirrors will benefit drivers during the winter. Available paint colors include Black Pearl, Liquid Carbon Metallic, Blue Pearl, Red Pearl, and Silver Metallic.

Three-row seating enables the MDX to satisfy up to seven passengers. However, a removable middle-row seat comes standard. Synthetic leather upholstery and a power tailgate add to the base model’s value.

Passengers will enjoy the base MDX’s 12-way heated front seats. Power lumbar support optimizes comfort. A power tilt/telescoping steering wheel helps drivers to maintain a relaxing posture. Acura’s further strengthens passenger comfort by equipping the SUV with three-zone automatic temperature control and reclining rear seats.

In contrast to some other base luxury models, the MDX comes standard with a panoramic moonroof. Proximity keyless entry with push-button start is another great convenience.

Acura’s True Touchpad infotainment unit boasts a 12.3-inch HD display with voice recognition software. While the system does not provide a touchscreen, drivers can operate it using a controller pad mounted along the console. The latest smartphone integration technologies are built into the interface. This includes wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, and Alexa.

Wi-Fi hot spot capability makes the MDX a more fulfilling family vehicle. Up to three people can stream HD video at once. However, owners will need to sign up for an AT&T data package.

Another nice piece of technology is the SUV’s Precision Cockpit gauge cluster. It features a large digital screen with personalized layouts. From safety alerts to music tracks, drivers can switch the system to display various information.

When riding in the MDX, passengers will be able to charge their electronic tablets using the SUV’s USB ports. A large wireless phone charging pad also comes standard. Fortunately, Acura enables music listeners to experience good sound quality. Although a more powerful audio unit is offered on the upper trims, most people will be pleased with the base model’s nine-speaker premium stereo system.

The base MDX’s AcuraWatch safety system provides a competitive number of standard driver-assist technologies. When traveling on congested city streets, Traffic Jam Assist can help with steering and braking. Another innovative feature is Road Departure Mitigation, which helps prevent drivers from unintentionally veering off the street. Pedestrian detection further enhances the driver’s awareness in urban areas. AcuraWatch also provides automated emergency braking, lane-keeping technology, traffic sign recognition, and advanced cruise control.

A blind-spot monitor is on the base model’s list of standard safety equipment. By observing nearby vehicles, the system gives drivers more protection when prearing to change lanes. It can also scan for approaching traffic while backing up.

To no surprise, the base MDX provides drivers with a reversing camera. Its dynamic guidelines help drivers to safely maneuver into spaces. A lens washer makes sure the camera’s video quality is not affected by dirt. Drivers will also appreciate the vehicle’s tire pressure monitor. When inflating the tires, it tells you when the proper PSI has been reached.

The MDX with Technology Package comes loaded with an additional number of high-end features. It features an exclusive GPS-linked climate control system, which can adjust the cabin’s temperature based on the sun’s position. Milano perforated leather upholstery and a multicolor ambient lighting system make the cabin feel more deluxe. On summer days, the second-row sunshades will help keep young children comfortable.

The MDX’s Technology Package upgrades Acura’s infotainment system with 3D navigation. Drivers will be able to avoid getting lost when traveling out of town. This system's real-time traffic updates help you to steer clear of heavy congestion.

Automotive reviewers consider the package’s more entertaining ELS Studio audio system to be a solid performer. It boasts a total of 12 speakers, which are powered by a high-performance amplifier.

At first glance, the MDX with Technology Package doesn’t look much difference from the base model. However, Acura beefs up its stance with larger 20-inch wheels. Power-folding side mirrors are included as well.

Some useful safety enhancements come with the Technology Package. Front and rear parking sensors lower the chances of drivers being involved in a fender bender. Meanwhile, low-speed automatic emergency braking enhances security when driving through the city. Rain-sensing wipers also help minimize driving fatigue.

Compare the Technology Package vs A-Spec Package. What is the difference?

Sportier exterior and interior treatments help separate the MDX with A-Spec Package. It features a more aggressive-looking set of 20-inch wheels and blacked-out styling elements. LED fog lights also come standard.

The MDX with A-Spec Package is powered by the same engine as the previously mentioned trims. However, a bigger rear anti-roll bar slightly improves road handling.

On the inside, there’s a flat-bottom performance steering wheel and track-inspired metal pedals. Heated and ventilated sport seats hug the front passengers. Buyers can choose between red or black Ultrasuede inserts. Exclusive A-Spec sill plates and an ebony headliner further distinguish this trim.

Moving up to the MDX with A-Spec package brings an even more powerful ELS Studio 3D sound system with 16 speakers. Parents will appreciate the built-in intercom system, which enables them to easily talk to children sitting in the rear.

Compare the A-Spec Package vs Advance Package. What is the difference?

The MDX with Advance Package is not quite as sporty. However, it does put an even bigger emphasis on luxury. Its 16-way front seats feature adjustable bolstering and thigh extensions. Acura also enhances cold-weather comfort by adding a heated steering wheel and second-row heated seats. Open-pore wood trim accentuates the cabin’s upscale atmosphere.

One of this trim’s biggest upgrades is its adaptive suspension system. Passengers can experience elevated ride comfort.

More high-tech goodies are found on the MDX with Advance Package. By putting essential driving info in your direct line of sight, the trim’s 10.5-inch head-up display enhances driver focus. Meanwhile, a 360-degree camera system gives drivers a full view of the SUV’s perimeter. Other aspects of the Advance Package include a hands-free function for the rear liftgate, remote engine start, and a second-row 110-volt outlet.

Although the MDX with Advance Package may not look as bold, it does come standard with a different set of 20-inch alloy wheels. LED exterior door handle lighting adds an elegant touch. Roof rails also come standard.

Compare the Advance Package vs Type S Trim. What is the Difference?

Drivers seeking peak performance will want the MDX Type S. Its turbo V6 engine ups the level of excitement by developing 355 horsepower and just shy of 355 lb-ft of torque. Its 10-speed automatic transmission is also tuned for more aggressive shifting. This high-output model can accelerate to 60 mph in as quickly as 5.5 seconds. Fuel economy does dip to a government-estimated 17 mpg in town and 21 mpg on the freeway.

A special air suspension comes equipped on the fun-to-drive MDX Type S. The suspension’s Sport+ setting lowers ride height for tighter handling. On the other hand, switching to the Lift setting increases ground clearance for a better performance in deep snow.

Acura equips the Type S model with a sports-tuned Super Handling AWD system. This feature helps ensure optimum agility. Wider performance tires and robust Brembo brakes also come equipped on the MDX Type S.

When it comes to exterior styling, the Type S model looks even more aggressive than the MDX with A-Spec Package. It features a more dynamic front fascia and 21-inch wheels with red brake calipers. An exclusive Tiger Eye Pearl paint color is also offered. Aside from adding a more aggressive touch, the SUV’s quad-tip exhaust sounds noticeably meaner. The Type S trim’s interior is similar to that of the MDX with A-Spec Package.

Compare Type S vs Type S with Advance Package. What is the Difference?

In terms of performance capabilities, there’s no difference between these two high-output trims. However, the MDX Type S with Advance Package is more luxurious. Its upgraded front seats feature nine massage modes. Full-leather upholstery with high-grade stitching further separates this trim.

The MDX Type S with Advance Package also enables music lovers to experience an unforgettable sound. Its 1,000-watt ELS Studio 3D Signature Edition audio system surrounds the cabin with 25 speakers. Other niceties include heated rear seats, a head-up display, and a 360-degree camera system.


Final Thoughts

The base MDX is among the strongest values in the class. It comes loaded with an abundance of desirable luxury features. Just a few of the highlights include a wide-screen infotainment system, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof. Furthermore, standard AcuraWatch helps promote a safe drive. Although the base MDX may not pack the excitement of the Type S model, it’s still powerful enough for most purposes.

While the MDX with Technology Package provides some additional niceties, buyers can save roughly $4,700 by choosing the well-equipped base model. Folks who desire a sportier flavor should go for the MDX with A-Spec Package. Alternatively, the MDX’s available Advance Package is recommended for drivers who are seeking high-end luxury.

There’s no denying the high-performance Type S model’s fun factor. However, car shoppers should consider its steeper MSRP. Prices start at nearly $68,000. If cost is no factor, drivers shouldn’t hesitate to pick the range-topping MDX Type S with Advance Package.

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2022 Acura MDX Trim Levels