We have a 19 SH-AWD Advance and the transmission is very smooth. Keep in mind that we did not own a previous year model, so I do not have one to compare it too, but it does shift very smooth. There are occasional herky jerky shifts, but that occurs in all of these new transmissions that have more then 4-5 gears.
Does it feel sluggish ? - No the shifts feels smooth and crisp, the SUV is a little lacking in power for such a large vehicle, our Cadillac SRX is definitely quicker, but the MDX is WAY more refined. The 19 Advance with the Magnetic Shocks and Stuts make a huge difference in the ride quality - I am very happy they decided to add them to the Advance package and its one of the main reasons we went for this as opposed to just the Tech package.
We do not have the trans cooler installed.
2019 MDX Advance White Diamond Pearl
2015 Cadillac SRX Performance