What Yr to buy - 2013-2017 - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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What Yr to buy - 2013-2017

Hello Folks,
I am looking to buy my first MDX and been thinking about picking a CPO. I could buy a brand new one too (so far money is no bar).

I really like the looks of 2014 or newer MDX. Now, question is what are the known issues with these models and which one is safest to pick. I read here that 2015 (and newer) 9 speed transmission have known issues to be jerky.

What are the thoughts?

Thanks for help in advance!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 06:17 PM
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2016+ has the 9 speed, but many of us got the software update and are pretty happy with the results. If you wait for the sport hybrid and don't need towing, it uses a 7 speed instead. 2013-2015 all have the 5 speed which has an atf early deterioration issue so change the fluid more often than scheduled. Other issues include build quality issues, misalligned panels, nvh caused by poor assembly, interior bits loose, suspension noises caused by parts movement over time, door/window seal hissing or crackling, vibrating seats cause springy sounds. I have a few unique ones like tapping behind the infotainment, creaking dash steel structure, center console arm extension rattling, 2nd row seat rail tapping noises, broken clips in door opening step pads, dash tach surround squeaking and buzzing. 2014s have a slightly inferior infotainment software. 2015s are slightly better, 2016+ got most improvements, but 2017s have an annoying lower screen dim now in audio mode.

I could write a novel of issues i suppose, but it drives well for the money.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-09-2017, 07:15 PM
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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?

[edit]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)
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 04:19 PM
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The good thing about the 2013 MDX would be:
- last model year of production, most bugs were worked out
- shawd standard
- ready for 5000 lbs of towing, just add hitch and harness
- if you go for the 10-13 Advance model, you get magnetic suspension, active cruise control, 3 setting cooled seats, BSI, CMBS, auto level headlights, seat belt pre-tensioners, larger front/rear stabilizer bars, and 19" wheels.
- Very comfy seats and wider cabin
- ELS stereo sounded a little better to me compared to the +14 MDX loaners I had
- only 2D Navi; but, colors didn't look as washed out like the +14 MDXs
- donut spare standard and you can replace with a full size spare (need full size if you travel a lot or tow)

Bad things
- gas hog, can see as low as 13-15 mpg in 100% city and maybe 22-24 mpg if you keep in around 65 mph (I get 19-20 mpg at 80 mph).
- oil burning, I use 3/4 quart per 7500 miles, some use 1-2 quarts or more between changes
- large and wide, going to get door dings and stay away from tight parking spaces
- 360 degree visibility isn't as good as the +14
- HIDs are weaker compared to LEDs
- not as kid friendly in 2nd and 3rd rows as +14
- leans more towards large SUV compared to CUV like the +14 MDX
- still looks current now; but, already several cycles behind on styling with the 2nd Gen MDX (subjective)

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His - 08 RDX Tech, Moroccan Red Pearl w/ Taupe (finally replaced Takata airbag on 6/16/16 after 86 days with rental)
Her - 11 MDX Adv/Ent, Palladium Metallic w/ Ebony
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 05:49 PM
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I Own 2017 and I love it

Quote:
Originally Posted by desiaggie View Post
Hello Folks,
I am looking to buy my first MDX and been thinking about picking a CPO. I could buy a brand new one too (so far money is no bar).

I really like the looks of 2014 or newer MDX. Now, question is what are the known issues with these models and which one is safest to pick. I read here that 2015 (and newer) 9 speed transmission have known issues to be jerky.

What are the thoughts?

Thanks for help in advance!
Have not driven other models. Mine is 17 and I love it. One of my friend has 14. I have driven his once but driving dynamics wise I did not see much difference. Looks wise...Man that new front looks stunning.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2017, 07:59 PM
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Why the 9 speed can never be as smooth as the 6 speed:

https://youtu.be/Z7EMGnjEhmE

Details on the stupid ZF design fluid check/change proceedure.

https://youtu.be/BPkCUfqi-gE

2014 SH-AWD Tech
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 10:53 AM
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I would get a '17 base, it has all the important safety stuff standard, I had a '14 SHAWD I traded in for a '17 SHAWD base, both have been great vehicles but the NAV was useless and I wanted all the improvements and additional safety stuff the '17 offered. We use Waze now which is much better for where and how we travel.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-19-2017, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCTD View Post
I would get a '17 base, it has all the important safety stuff standard, I had a '14 SHAWD I traded in for a '17 SHAWD base, both have been great vehicles but the NAV was useless and I wanted all the improvements and additional safety stuff the '17 offered. We use Waze now which is much better for where and how we travel.
I agree. There is very little reason to go with the TECH package with the new 2017s.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 02:44 PM
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I think they have also gone down in the last few years and with that being said the 2014 vs the 2015, 2016, 2017 all pretty much look the same and drive about the same except for a higher price. If I could find a low miles 2016 for a good price and I had to have a MDX I would consider it if I were you and had to have one. If there is a problem know it up front because there is never a fix for a lot of stuff and they keep telling you they are working on it. My 2015 still have a few items like that and I have been through dealer and Customer Relations to get no answers except we are working on it. I guess they might find a fix in the next 10 years but I really won't care because it will be someone else problem then because mine is gone in December thank goodness. I have had enough.
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