2016 MDX - April 2019 Consumer Reports Issue Says "Worst Used Car" Page 83 - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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2016 MDX - April 2019 Consumer Reports Issue Says "Worst Used Car" Page 83

I'm thinking of buying one from an Audi dealer. It has 46k on it, one owner. I just saw the CR issue today, coincidentally just prior to taking a test drive on the 2016. I've read posts on here complaining about the transmission, but I didn't notice anything that I couldn't live with. The car drove and handled nicely on the highway and in the city traffic. It's a SHAWD, with Tech and Acura Watch Plus. They want $27,500 for the car, allowing me $6k for my babied 2008 MDX with 118,000 miles on it. After taxes, and stealership fees, I'm out the door at $24,200. I'd appreciate any feedback or comments you all may have. Thanks in advance for any insights or suggestions!


Lookin' for a 2016-17 SHAWD W/Adaptive cruise & lane departure - black on black
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Guess Honda did not gŮive CR enough advertising dollars this year.
Seriously CR has to be one of the most biased rags printed today. You would be far better off searching places like Edmonds.com, motortrend.com etc for their appraisals.
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What a useless response! Consumer Reports has NO ADVERTISING in their magazine!
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Originally Posted by Donn0128 View Post
Guess Honda did not gŮive CR enough advertising dollars this year.
Seriously CR has to be one of the most biased rags printed today. You would be far better off searching places like Edmonds.com, motortrend.com etc for their appraisals.

+1 on the errors in this comment, given that CR is non-profit and takes no advertising. In contrast, Motor Trend and the rest of the car rags are beholden to the ad dollars from the auto companies whose products they review.


CR purchases their test vehicles from the same source we do - dealerships. I believe their conclusions generally are valid. Moreover, I don't sense any institutional antagonism toward Honda generally in CR's recommendations. If anything, CR and its subscriber base seem to lean toward vehicles of Asian manufacturers - just take a look at the number of Toyota, Lexus, Honda and similar models recommended by CR and/or which are up-voted by CR subscribers.


I have a 2009 MDX Tech with nearly 117K miles on it. I have it maintained regularly at a local dealership, where I've heard fellow customers as well as technicians make comments that seem to validate CR's reliability conclusions regarding issues with 3rd Gen MDX models. Given the relatively tiny slice that Acura represents in Honda's world-wide operations, I'm not really surprised when the lion's share of Honda's R & D and NVH budgets go to its other models rather than Acura. While I await better news when the 4th Gen drops, I plan to wait a couple of years so as to not become an Acura beta tester.
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OH yes they take advertising dollars. They for years and years have solicited money from mfgs to keep going. Where do you think they get their revenue? Sure not from subscriptions!
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OH yes they take advertising dollars. They for years and years have solicited money from mfgs to keep going. Where do you think they get their revenue? Sure not from subscriptions!

Non-profits in NY are required to file records of financial donations with NYS regulators. Please enlighten us as to exactly which manufacturers give money to CR and in what amounts. Bet you can't.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn0128 View Post
Guess Honda did not gŮive CR enough advertising dollars this year.
Seriously CR has to be one of the most biased rags printed today. You would be far better off searching places like Edmonds.com, motortrend.com etc for their appraisals.
No they aren't and no you wouldn't.

CR is offering reliability data on used cars. From their web site:

Quote:
Where Is the Data From?
Consumer Reports obtains its reliability data from an Auto Questionnaire that is sent to members of CR.org and Consumer Reports magazine. In all, we received responses on over 470,000 vehicles in our latest survey, detailing 2000 to 2018, and some early introduced 2019 models.

How Is the survey conducted?
Consumer Reports’ Survey Department conducts the survey each year. In the survey, we ask members to note any problems with their cars that occurred in the past 12 months. They are asked to identify problems that they considered serious (because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime). We ask them to include problems covered by warranty, but not the ones resulting from accident damage or due solely to recall. Respondents check off problems from a list of trouble areas, ranging from the engine and transmission to climate system, brakes, electrical system, and power accessories. They also tell us specifically what their experiences were to help us understand precisely what problems they are having. (See the full list of trouble spots below.)

How current is the data?
All of the data was collected in the 2018 calendar year. Respondents are asked about problems their vehicle experienced within the last 12 months.

2018 MDX Sport Hybrid Advance, Lunar Silver
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The big reason has to be all the issues and replacement transmissions in 2016's with the ZF9. It's to the point where several people who weren't even part of the recall have had their transmissions replaced as well, so it was a pretty widespread issue in 2016.

Overall I like CR and the fact they are independent and purchase all test vehicles (don't take anything from manufacturers). I do however think their ratings are biased. The MDX reliability for 2018 for example is a pathetic 3/5 (yellow), even though when you look at the break down by category everything is dark green green (5/5). It's barely ranked higher then the XC90 for 2018 and that car has been a train wreck for reliability. The MDX is ranked #7 out of 10 for reliability for 2018. No way it's had that many issues.

Unless the fact the MDX has 3 recalls vs 1 each for the Q7 and XC90, that could factor into the equation. Although Volvo and Audi appear much more unlikely to admit a fault and issue a recall unless forced to do so, while Acura seems to be pretty straight forward and more willing to admit fault and issue recalls. Trust is a huge factor and I personally don't trust either the Audi or Volvo brands (reading owners forums). Audi has done plenty of shady things with the emissions scandal and I personally feel they'd rather keep issues hidden/under wraps rather then proactively issue a recall where Acura I feel if there is a legit issue they get out in front of it and issue a recall.

Another example is the Audi Q7, has it's share of issues yet from a reliability perspective is always ranked substantially higher than the MDX and near the top of the pack. It has the best possible 5/5 rating and is ranked #2 out of 10. Reading the Audi owner forums there's been plenty of people complain about reliability (and let's face it reliability isn't a historical strong point for Audi or german autos as a whole). Yet consumer reports always has the Q7 ranked in the top 2.

So most ratings agencies unfortunately appear to be biased against the MDX in terms of reliability from my perspective. Other manufacturers appear to see a quicker improvement in scores while Acura even when their reliability improves their overall rating stays the same and doesn't improve. Nearly every rating agency has the MDX basically rated as trash for reliability. While I'm not saying it's perfect and doesn't have some issues, my 2019 hasn't had a single problem so far and I don't see how it could possibly be justly ranked near the bottom of the pack for reliability in 2018+. We'll see next year what they say about the 19
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Nearly every rating agency has the MDX basically rated as trash for reliability.

If your quote is accurate (and I think it is), it's hard to square that comment with your conclusion that CR is biased against the MDX. If anything, it would tend to show CR is consistent with the rating agencies and is UN-biased about the MDX's pre-2019 reliability, and not just for the infotainment system, either. As you say, we will see how the 2019 fares; I hope there is an improvement in its scores. Personally, I'm just hoping Honda gets its act together and makes a 4th Gen MDX with 2nd Gen overall reliability.
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If your quote is accurate (and I think it is), it's hard to square that comment with your conclusion that CR is biased against the MDX. If anything, it would tend to show CR is consistent with the rating agencies and is UN-biased about the MDX's pre-2019 reliability, and not just for the infotainment system, either. As you say, we will see how the 2019 fares; I hope there is an improvement in its scores. Personally, I'm just hoping Honda gets its act together and makes a 4th Gen MDX with 2nd Gen overall reliability.

By biased I wasn't referring to them in comparison with other ratings agencies. I meant biased compared to other auto manufacturers. CR loved the Q7 when it's redesign launched and even when there are quality issues and their individual reliability category rankings show imperfection they continue to rate the Q7 a perfect 5/5 and always no lower then #2 out of 10. CR has had the MDX ranked near the bottom of the pack pretty consistently since the redesign in 2014, with no measurable improvement despite the fact the individual reliability category rankings show a consistent improvement in reliability.


If their excuse is it takes awhile to bounce back after reliability issues look at the XC90, which was garbage the past couple years and now suddenly leaped up substantially and is basically on par with the MDX.


So by saying biased against the MDX I meant in comparison to how other cars appear to consistently get better reliability ratings from CR, and/or see quicker improvement in overall reliability ratings, while they don't appear to ever really change the overall reliability assessment of the MDX for the better.
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Got it. Thanks.
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OP - regardless of where you read about 'reliability' and 'satisfaction', in CR, Forbes, or elsewhere, it's important to get objective about what you're reading, if the report even makes it possible.

Many of these 'reviews' are including 'soft' items such as the usability satisfaction of the infotainment system and other tech gizmos in their ratings. You as a consumer may be reading the results with a mindset of buying a vehicle that won't get you stuck in the middle of nowhere due to a 'hard' kind of fault but their ratings can be skewed considerably by things like the users aren't that crazy about how the Nav works.

The 2016 MDX was the first year for the 9 speed trans - the 2014/2015 models have the 6 speed trans. There have been quite a few posts here regarding the 9 speed trans including many where people weren't happy with the shift points. Acura subsequently came out with some software changes to address that area. In some cases some have had the transmission replaced although I wouldn't be surprised that in some of these cases it may not have been called for and a software update may have been the real solution. There apparently were also some issues related to whether the optional transmission oil cooler was installed where if it was present it could cause some issues with the shift points. I don't know if the software updates resolved this issue but you could check the one you're interested in to see if it has this extra cooler - it's for units with the 5K pound towing capacity as opposed to the 3500 pound capacity.

I don't recall seeing lots of posts of any other chronic issues with the 2016 - i.e. the engine, running gear outside of the trans, general quality, etc.

Given the above, if you're interested in the 2016 then make sure you test drive it extensively under a variety of conditions including freeways speeds, accelerating/decelerating, stopping at lights and taking off from them, etc. to make sure you're satisfied with the way the trans 'in that particular vehicle' is shifting.

Also realize that you'd still have time left on the powertrain warranty.

Not the exact model but my 2014 MDX (built June 2013) has had no issues and I'm very happy with it.
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Thanks mdxstang for your insight. Your perspective on Nav/gizmo issues vs being stranded somewhere make a lot of sense. I appreciate all of the facts on the transmission issues...good takeaways! I especially want to thank you for the information on the optional transmission cooler. I always enjoy your posts...please keep up the good work. Thanks to everyone else that replied, as well. I enjoy this site and have learned much from it.

Lookin' for a 2016-17 SHAWD W/Adaptive cruise & lane departure - black on black
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Originally Posted by Donn0128 View Post
OH yes they take advertising dollars. They for years and years have solicited money from mfgs to keep going. Where do you think they get their revenue? Sure not from subscriptions!
They are always asking me for more money. I have never seen an ad either online or in print. I know Iíd be upset if I paid for ads that never appeared. Where do these advertiseing dollars go,since they donít accept advertising?

2014 MDX,TECH. CHERRY AWD Gone.
2017 MDX, ADV SP HYBRID. MODERN STEEL.
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CR takes money from manufacturers, so I should use Motor Trend or Edmonds. What?! A claim without supporting argument and/or evidence is empty. What Donn says has no credibility with me until he provides an argument or evidence.

I have been using the CR reliability summaries for over 50 years. I donít find them biased. Yes the current MDX model is all green, but this isnít the end of the story. The current model is based on previous year models, and CR does trend analysis. They explain this in their disclaimer. Prior years MDX reliability shows relative weakness in a half dozen areas. I canít explain what happened with the Volvo improvement, but Iíd be willing to bet that it isnít arbitrary.

Years ago cars were far less reliable in the important areas that could get me stranded or separate me from the contents of my wallet, so CR data was relatively more important. In my experience modern cars are far more reliable in the key areas. Also, if we look into the details of any specific area of reliability we can see that it can sometimes take only small changes in absolute reliability numbers to result in a green for one car and a yellow for another car. So, anymore I pay little attention to CR reliability ratings, unless they indicate an area of real trouble. In my experience an MDX that is a 2/5 is of little concern unless there are red flags. I was fully aware of what CR had to say about MDX reliability when I bought mine - both times - and I wasnít a bit concerned.
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