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My wife and I just bought a used MDX Tech with 107,000km after a maintenance nightmare with a LR4 Land Rover that once it went over 140,000km just started falling apart - I loved that machine from a luxury off-road perspective (I pulled a snow plow on the side of the mountain we live on out of a ditch with it), but they are pretty princesses when they need to be fixed and this one's head gasket gave up the ghost due to a known issue with the heads LR just either never seems to be able to fix, or even acknowledge in the form of recall.

Long time Honda Civic owners as well however have never owned an Acura - we've had Grand Caravans (family of six), KIA Sorento LX-V6 (which surprisingly was a very adept off roader).

What're we getting into reliability and off-road and/or winter driving in an alpine area wise? Tire recommendations and expectations of brake life, basic maintenance, drive train...etc?
 

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Welcome back to the Honda/Acura family.

The Acura sh-awd system can handle some off road situations. The MDX has limited ground clearance, little-to-no metal undercarriage protection, I wouldn't hit any water obstacles deeper than 7.5"-8", you will scratch the paint on the sides with the brush, and the all season tires won't be able to follow your old LR4 off road. Maintenance and reliability should be the same as your Civic with the addition of fluid changes for the transfer case and rear diff. I would check to make sure the maint is up to date and you might have to change all the engine/trans/brake/rear diff fluids and engine/cabin filters if you can't verify.

I would check out YouTube and search for "2014-2016 Acura MDX off road test". There should be a few vids of this. The 14-15 MDXs had the 6AT; but, everything else was the same for the chassis and powertrain.
 

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I've done a lot of off-roading but it was in a Jeep XJ (and a little bit in a first year 1991 Explorer) but the MDX isn't built for the type of off-roading I've done, which required a low range 4wd and decent ground clearance and the skid plates helped protect against rock damage on a number of occasions, so I don't do what I call 'off-roading' in the MDX. But when people say 'off-roading' it means different things to different people. Some people are really referring to fairly decent dirt roads and the MDX should do fine on those - just don't try rock crawling.

My 2014 MDX at around 72K miles now has been fairly perfect. Nothing's failed. I do the maintenance myself. The brakes I just replaced not long ago, maybe at around 70K miles, and the pads still had a lot of life left in them but I went ahead and changed them anyway. I don't expect to need to change them again for at least another 70K-90K miles. Oil changes are easy to do as is the trans/transfer case/rear end fluid changes. Mine has the 6sp trans and yours the 9sp where the trans fluid change isn't so straightforward I think.

You didn't say if you have the shawd model but assuming you do I expect the MDX will handle itself in the snow pretty well. It doesn't snow where I live and I haven't had it in snow but others report it does very well in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome back to the Honda/Acura family.

The Acura sh-awd system can handle some off road situations. The MDX has limited ground clearance, little-to-no metal undercarriage protection, I wouldn't hit any water obstacles deeper than 7.5"-8", you will scratch the paint on the sides with the brush, and the all season tires won't be able to follow your old LR4 off road. Maintenance and reliability should be the same as your Civic with the addition of fluid changes for the transfer case and rear diff. I would check to make sure the maint is up to date and you might have to change all the engine/trans/brake/rear diff fluids and engine/cabin filters if you can't verify.

I would check out YouTube and search for "2014-2016 Acura MDX off road test". There should be a few vids of this. The 14-15 MDXs had the 6AT; but, everything else was the same for the chassis and powertrain.
Thanks - that's what I was figuring. The LR4 is pretty capable, I'm not expecting this to rock crawl. One video I did see seems that the power transfers through the power train isn't as responsive IF you're not firmly planting all four wheels.

Overal the reviews I've seen seem to be impressed with it, even the longer term one's...as long as you stay on the street, and it can negotiate back rounds and basic obstacles just fine. I'll take it out, get it dirty, and

How frequently do transfer/rear diff fluids need to be replaced? 40,000km?

Either way, just happy to not have to deal with the nightmare that is Land Rover repairs/service.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've done a lot of off-roading but it was in a Jeep XJ (and a little bit in a first year 1991 Explorer) but the MDX isn't built for the type of off-roading I've done, which required a low range 4wd and decent ground clearance and the skid plates helped protect against rock damage on a number of occasions, so I don't do what I call 'off-roading' in the MDX. But when people say 'off-roading' it means different things to different people. Some people are really referring to fairly decent dirt roads and the MDX should do fine on those - just don't try rock crawling.

My 2014 MDX at around 72K miles now has been fairly perfect. Nothing's failed. I do the maintenance myself. The brakes I just replaced not long ago, maybe at around 70K miles, and the pads still had a lot of life left in them but I went ahead and changed them anyway. I don't expect to need to change them again for at least another 70K-90K miles. Oil changes are easy to do as is the trans/transfer case/rear end fluid changes. Mine has the 6sp trans and yours the 9sp where the trans fluid change isn't so straightforward I think.

You didn't say if you have the shawd model but assuming you do I expect the MDX will handle itself in the snow pretty well. It doesn't snow where I live and I haven't had it in snow but others report it does very well in it.
It is the SH-AWD model - we don't get much snow down in the valley, but up on the mountain we do so AWD is something we need so it and 6-7 passenger seating are generally our only requirements. The LR4 was overkill for what we do as a family, it was just nice to know it was that capable - it was too pretty to rock crawl as well, though there's a lot of construction around us and one time the road washed out and having it's wading capability was helpful. I don't expect that from this car - assuming I put decent tires on it, it just has to get us up and down the mountain IF an when the weather is shitty.

Nice to also be back into "reasonable" maintenance stuff - oil, transmission, brakes...standard fluids and items are easy to replace.

Tire recommendations?
 

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The sh-awd rear diff 1st changes is at 15,000 miles and every 30,000 miles after that for normal driving. Probably sooner if you take short trips, extreme weather, or tow. I'm not sure about the 9AT service intervals? I think it starts to pops up around +50,000 miles mark for most drivers with the 9AT. I've only had the 5AT+TC, 6AT+TC, and 7DCT and kept a 30,000 miles service interval for them (TC=transfer case).
 

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Congrats on the new ride. Im in the same boat having just purchased a 2015 mdx tech awd. I recently bought a place in the mountains and my civic type r wasn't cutting the washed out dirt road we live on. Mine has 35k miles on it but I'll be swapping all the fluids soon. The atf fluid swap is the only one I'm a bit iffy on as it seems you are supposed to cycle fluids swaps 3 times. Im thinking I can just do a swap, drive for a week, and repeat that 2 more times. All other fluids seem trivial.

I think the 2016 may have a transmission reflash available so check with your dealer on that.
 

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You can do a 1X drain/refil or the drain/refill/drive/repeat 3X to get a higher % of the ATF replaced. NEVER do a flush or any mechanical suck that removes 100% of the fluid. I just did the 1X ATF drain/refill on my 06 TSX, 08 RDX, and 11 MDX every 30,000 miles.
 

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Ahh ok, I'd much rather just drain and refill once even if that means I have to do it more often. Thanks for the tip! Out of curiosity, what would be the result of removing all the atf and refilling?
 
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