Don't forget the pea hidden under 30 mattresses.
But I agree that Honda/Acura's quality control has been slipping. Test drive carefully and consider a HondaCare warranty.
2014 and 2015 model years have a Honda 6
-speed transmission. 2013 was the last model year of the prior ( 2nd ) generation MDX, which is a different vehicle. 2016+ model years have the ZF 9-speed transmission. Keep in mind car model years are usually released in the prior calendar year. So 2014 MDX became available in 2013.
I have the ZF 9-speed transmission in a 2016 Honda Pilot Touring. I prefer the 6-speed in our 2014 MDX Tech; it is very smooth and responsive, and it doesn't have the strange surging behavior that plagues the 9-speed. ( Software updates improved that behavior, but didn't eliminate it ). But for the Tech trim, the Nav system in 2014 is disappointing; the display lacks contrast and data entry is frustrating, to put it mildly. Otherwise it's a very solid vehicle that's a pleasure to drive and is very safe in the weather-challenged North. We plan to drive it into the ground. Especially because we despise
the push-button shifter on newer models!
As for reliability of the transmissions, my ZF 9-speed was replaced at about 40k miles. And I discovered a very slow leak of ATF from the 6-speed during a routine fluid change, which turned out to be the result of a porous casting, so that one got replaced too, at about 26k miles. But it was functioning fine. Both of these failures are apparently rare events, so I guess we just got lucky.
Did I mention HondaCare?
To OP: I found this thread under "Recent Discussions", but I now see that it's in a "help" section of the forum that's intended for resolution of technical issues with the forum. You might get more responses if you re-post to: Model Specific Discussions > Third Generation MDX (2014-Present)