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Old 12-30-2004, 11:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Best Model Year?

I am searching for a used (preferably certified) MDX with Navigation. As I understand from searching the forums here, the 2003 received several upgrades over the 2001 and 2002. Is the Navigation in the 2003 significantly different from the 2002 or 2004? Did anyone go through a similar search and would care to share advice or tips? Thank you for a great forum and your help!
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Old 12-30-2004, 11:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thumbs up First, welcome to the group

As a former '01 owner and a current '04 owner, I'll offer my two cents worth:

1) With any used vehicle (MDX no exception) the price vs. the mileage/condition is a major driving force. E.g. for approaximately the same price one can get a low mileage '01 or a high mileage '03. How long you plan on keeping the car should determine your mileage range.
2) All MDXs are quality/desirable cars; however there have been steady improvements every year - with the biggest jump in '03. As you have no doubt read there is an increased risk of transmission problems with an '01/'02.
3) Regarding the Nav, yes I prefer the newer edition; however the '01/'02 Nav was still a fine system. In addition to the obvious Voice Recognition of the newer Nav, it also has much better/broader coverage.

My recommendation is to search for an '03/'04 (you'll stand a much better chance getting a later model certified) - good luck.

PS: I bought both of my MDXs from John Eagle Acura in Houston (ask for Brian Simpson in Internet Sales).
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Old 12-30-2004, 11:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had an 03. It for sure had many improvements over the 01 & 02 ! However, I now have an 05 and wow MANY more improvements too ! As Msu said, it depends on how long you plan to keep your X......I would go for the 03 for SURE !
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Old 12-30-2004, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have 04 and my partner has 03. I drove it a lot and I see no significant difference in power or handling between two. Mine has extra 5 hp's, but it's hardly noticeable (if at all). 04 has a lot of cosmetic (visible) upgrades over 03 such as:
Nice dash board
A little different bumpers and lights
Some different buttons and more
Different muffler system (dual)

But as far as handling and power it's very similar. As for navigation system differences I don't know, but wait for a few days and you'll see more responses.

P.S. If at all possible with budget, I would take 03 over 01/02 as it has improved transmission and 20 more hp's regardless of NAV improvements.
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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AND while we're at it......nice touches to 05's over 04's.....
XM satellite radio
On-Star
and a number of upgrades such as ceiling materials, thicker leather, better dead foot pedal to name a few....

AND LET'S NOT FORGET THAT NEWLY DESIGNED ANTENNA !
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*****MDX SPORT RULES*****
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2007 RDX Tech package/Pearl White/Ebony
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2006 Lucchese Classics Black/Cherry Nile Crocodile belly, upper Black US Buffalo


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Old 12-30-2004, 03:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What a potential arguement question!

I studied the MDX since its inception and finally bought an 04 so I may be a little biased. I personally think the 04 had the biggest change of the models. As CTPYHA noted it isn't so much in the horsepoweer but in cosmetics that make it stand out.

Dual exhuast
Project Headlights
Beautiful new instrument panel
More HP (but small)
Different heated seat switches
Small chrome accents on the dash
Different shifter
and probably others I can't think of off the top of my head.

True the 05 added XM and onstar but basically everything else is the same--exhaust, headlights, instrument panel, etc.

It will be hard to go wrong with any year model as long as it has been maintained well. Good luck!
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Old 12-30-2004, 05:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Fabvsix

May I ask how much you had to pay in addition to your trade to jump from a 2003 to a 2005? I'm contemplating a similar jump to get the new goodies. My 03 has 38K miles.

Part of me says wait a year or two... but another part says why wait!
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Old 12-30-2004, 08:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Teledatageek:

I had a unique situation. I only had 12,200 flawless California granny miles when I traded. Long term relationship with my particular dealership/salesman/service dept..... Loyal customer of Honda Corporation from 1984 to present......I got a deal to say the least....31K trade and msrp for new black/ebony Touring Navi/Res (most desired model). All these factors worked for me.....
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CURRENT VEHICLES, NOT previous ones!
*****MDX SPORT RULES*****
2004 RL Navi/Blk/Ebony
2007 RDX Tech package/Pearl White/Ebony
2007 MDX Sport/Ent. Black/Ebony

2006 Lucchese Classics Black/Cherry Nile Crocodile belly, upper Black US Buffalo


** Converted to Zaino on 06-12-2002 **
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Old 01-03-2005, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow! Thank you for all of your answers, I am really impressed by this group.

It looks like I am currently on the hunt for a 2003 with Nav and will have to struggle with comparing it to a brand new 2005! Figuring payments, I now must decide whether to spend the extra approx. $150 a month for the new features and fun of a brand new vehicle
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Old 01-03-2005, 06:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The BEST MDX? Kinda like pizza...some are better than others, but all are good! Or was that something else?
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by MDteX
What a potential arguement question!

I studied the MDX since its inception and finally bought an 04 so I may be a little biased. I personally think the 04 had the biggest change of the models. As CTPYHA noted it isn't so much in the horsepoweer but in cosmetics that make it stand out.

Dual exhuast
Project Headlights
Beautiful new instrument panel
More HP (but small)
Different heated seat switches
Small chrome accents on the dash
Different shifter
and probably others I can't think of off the top of my head.

True the 05 added XM and onstar but basically everything else is the same--exhaust, headlights, instrument panel, etc.

It will be hard to go wrong with any year model as long as it has been maintained well. Good luck!
When I saw the 2004 over the 2003, the dual exhaust, and brushed chrome front and rear accents made me want the 04. When I finally test drove the 04, the dash display for the gauges are so much nicer, I could not believe it. I have an 02 TL which has the same gauge cluster (or very similar), to the 01 to 03 MDXs, and when I drive it I cannot believe the difference. The TLs cluster is so dull in comparison.
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My sister has a 2003 and I have 2001. Power increase in 2003 is noticeable compared to 2001. They also changed the gear ratio to increase acceleration in 2003, so noticeable increase in power is due to increased hp (20) as well as lower gear ratios.

One other important factor that you might appreciate is the difference in road/wind noise in the 2 model years. My sister's 2003 rides much more quietly than mine, due to increased sound deadening materials and thicker front windshield.

On the downside, it seems like they changed the leather material in the front seats. My sister's car seat feels softer with more cushion, which is good, but the leather seems to be wearing out much quicker than in my car (may be it's because she weighs more than I do? ). She also gets poor gas mileage compared to mine, but you can't really compare gas mileage of 2 different drivers using 2 different communting conditions (plus not enough sample size). Some other minor differences are that wheels look different, dvd is not available in 2001, interior cosmetic is upgraded in 2003 with more chrome accents, and more importantly, transmission was changed in 2003 (although there are some 2003 that has had transmissions failures too, but less than 2001 and 2002). In either case, both models are great cars and you should really look into finding a good clean car for the best deal. Good luck.
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by MaD-X
My sister has a 2003 and I have 2001. Power increase in 2003 is noticeable compared to 2001. They also changed the gear ratio to increase acceleration in 2003, so noticeable increase in power is due to increased hp (20) as well as lower gear ratios.

One other important factor that you might appreciate is the difference in road/wind noise in the 2 model years. My sister's 2003 rides much more quietly than mine, due to increased sound deadening materials and thicker front windshield.

On the downside, it seems like they changed the leather material in the front seats. My sister's car seat feels softer with more cushion, which is good, but the leather seems to be wearing out much quicker than in my car (may be it's because she weighs more than I do? ). She also gets poor gas mileage compared to mine, but you can't really compare gas mileage of 2 different drivers using 2 different communting conditions (plus not enough sample size). Some other minor differences are that wheels look different, dvd is not available in 2001, interior cosmetic is upgraded in 2003 with more chrome accents, and more importantly, transmission was changed in 2003 (although there are some 2003 that has had transmissions failures too, but less than 2001 and 2002). In either case, both models are great cars and you should really look into finding a good clean car for the best deal. Good luck.
You better pray that your sister does not read this post or you will be dead meat.
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have a 01. During my recent test drive of a 03, I totally felt the increase in power. 03 has much much better accelleration from a stop.
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Sounds to me like the original question has more to do with the NAV system than anthing else.

The 01 and 02 models had very similar NAV systems. The system was vastly improved for 03. The 04 and 05 are slight improvements over the 03 but they use the same base map.

As for the rest of the car? The 01 is probably the highest build quality of the bunch. Since then the MDX has gained popularity and Honda / Acura has been pumping them out at a steadily decreasing build quality standard. The 05's are technologically superior of course.
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