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Hi all, I was looking at the 2017 Mdx as my next new car. Could any 2017 owners please give an update on the transmission? Any issues so far or are people mostly happy with them. I know of the recent (sort of) tsb with the updated logic. Just looking for more data on the 2017's. I have yet to drive a 2017 only my sister's 2014. Thanks!
 

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I too have a 2017 tech and have owned this for 5 weeks now. I did actually think the transmission was not smooth initially and resorted to driving with the dynamic mode in sport, which was smoother albeit livelier and less fuel efficient. Earlier this week went back to try normal and it's buttery smooth. I either have gotten used to the car and modulate my driving accordingly or it currently is smoother than I initially perceived. Whatever the case, the transmission currently is really smooth and the car quiet. I came from a BMW 750i which was ultra smooth, but I can say confidently that the way my vehicle shifts in normal currently is indeed very smooth. It also can drive quite spiritedly though it is 154 hp, two cylinders and a turbo unit less than the previous car. That for a mid sized SUV is a pleasant surprise.
 

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Thanks for your valuable opinions! I really do appreciate them. I guess my next step will involve a test drive. I plan to get some freeway and hills (especially downhill) if possible to feel out the 9 speed. Any further opinions would great! thanks
 

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If I recall, the transmission "learns" the driver over time. I'm not sure if I'm imagining things, but mine seems to be doing just that.
 

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Zero complaints or issues with the ZF9 in my '17 MDX.

My '15 TLX with the ZF9 however was very slow to downshift and often abrubtly upshifted. I think now that Acura has been using this tranny for a few years, the bugs have been worked out.
 

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Yes, the transmission controller learns and adapts to your driving. Sometimes a reset improves things if it is shifting badly.

The only disadvantages to the 9-speed over the 6-speed are 1) the servicing - even topping up ATF is a pain on the 9-speed, and 2) the paddle shifters are of less value as it is more difficult to find the right gear when there are so many so close together - but the computer works pretty well, particularly after learning how you drive, so I don't bother trying anymore. (2016 owner)

Greg
 

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Yes, the transmission controller learns and adapts to your driving. Sometimes a reset improves things if it is shifting badly.

The only disadvantages to the 9-speed over the 6-speed are 1) the servicing - even topping up ATF is a pain on the 9-speed, and 2) the paddle shifters are of less value as it is more difficult to find the right gear when there are so many so close together - but the computer works pretty well, particularly after learning how you drive, so I don't bother trying anymore. (2016 owner)

Greg
Agree with Greg above, particularly on the paddle shifters. Fun in a 6 speed, may be even 7 speed. At 9 speeds however, a 3 or 4 gear down shift per paddles is no longer fun and is slower than the automatic. Now if your are just downshifting a gear or two or driving "manual" altogether in "s" mode, then there's till some fun to be had as you to some extent can chose and hold your gear.
 

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I was under the impression the paddle shifters in the ZF9 allowed you to quickly downshift into the lowest gear if you hold the shifter for maximum downshift like Lambo or Ferrari does? If not yet another reason to hate the ZF9 due to pretty moronic lack of software code..
 

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I was under the impression the paddle shifters in the ZF9 allowed you to quickly downshift into the lowest gear if you hold the shifter for maximum downshift like Lambo or Ferrari does? If not yet another reason to hate the ZF9 due to pretty moronic lack of software code..
it sure is another reason to hate it if you chose to. This is not a Ferrari or Lambo but at least the option to shift is available. If you are navigating steep hills for instance, you at least have the option of switching to S and manually hold a gear or switch as you chose which is certainly much better than straight PDNRL transmission gate and having the transmission shift back and forth.
 

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Is not like you need a DCT to enable that functionality as the transmission does already downshift into the lowest gear possible automatically in Drive.
Using the Paddle Shifters and Hold Downshift into the maximum Downshift Possible has been done a lot in plenty of cars its just more noticeable in Lambos and Ferraris but You don't need a Lambo or a Ferrari you just need good Software Code in a capable transmission, The ZF9 fits that profile since it can downshift many gears in a hurry.

If the Transmission can Downshift +3 gears in Drive, It should also be able to do so in S Manual Mode while Holding the Downshift Paddle..
If it cant is pure a simple lack of hindsight and bad programming, Why enable a SPORT MANUAL MODE in a 3 Row CUV if you don't think it has any sporting pretentions? So basically the Manual Mode in the ZF9 is Slower than full Auto which should be the other way around.

I think then the Pure Sport Automatic is the best setting for the ZF9.. Which is a Shame, driving in Manual Mode in my 2ng gen MDX makes it 10x more fun to drive than in Full Auto and Not because I miss a Manual Transmission but because the Full Auto logic of the MDX makes it quite underwhelming to drive.
 

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Is not like you need a DCT to enable that functionality as the transmission does already downshift into the lowest gear possible automatically in Drive.
Using the Paddle Shifters and Hold Downshift into the maximum Downshift Possible has been done a lot in plenty of cars its just more noticeable in Lambos and Ferraris but You don't need a Lambo or a Ferrari you just need good Software Code in a capable transmission, The ZF9 fits that profile since it can downshift many gears in a hurry.

If the Transmission can Downshift +3 gears in Drive, It should also be able to do so in S Manual Mode while Holding the Downshift Paddle..
If it cant is pure a simple lack of hindsight and bad programming, Why enable a SPORT MANUAL MODE in a 3 Row CUV if you don't think it has any sporting pretentions? So basically the Manual Mode in the ZF9 is Slower than full Auto which should be the other way around.

I think then the Pure Sport Automatic is the best setting for the ZF9.. Which is a Shame, driving in Manual Mode in my 2ng gen MDX makes it 10x more fun to drive than in Full Auto and Not because I miss a Manual Transmission but because the Full Auto logic of the MDX makes it quite underwhelming to drive.
The hold to downshift to lowest safe gear is not mentioned in the manual, so i assumed it does not exist for us. Whoever wants to try it though, let us know. This is something most mfgs will state on their manuals, but ours just says it does one gear with each pull.

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It would be really nice to have this functionality - it would put new life into the paddles.

But consider how many features are omitted from the Base model radio, and I see a pattern here. And even if Acura does add this feature - not too difficult to program as the calculation is already there for the auto mode - don't count on it being retrofitted even if it would only require a firmware update. They want you to buy a new car to get new features.
 

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If I had one I would try it :D I already tried it on my 2G MDX keeping the shifter down and see if it will kick down 2 gears but nope... Just 1 by 1 which is fine I guess since I only have 5 forward gears.... But 9 gears??

I think the logic behind this is that Honda/Acura thinks you will use this on slow winding roads so you should be already in a low gear but since the first 5 gears are so god damn close to each other I would not be surprised if you have to move between 3 or 4 gears depending on the curve you are taking which is insane to shift 1 by 1.

Since the ZF9 transmission works with dog gears I think its highly possible due to the design of the trans to behave like this with a simple software update for the driving behavior of the paddle shifters... This will make the Paddle Shifters work like they used to on the low geared 5 and 6 speedo by skipping unnecessary gears on the 9 speed.
 

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If I had one I would try it :D I already tried it on my 2G MDX keeping the shifter down and see if it will kick down 2 gears but nope... Just 1 by 1 which is fine I guess since I only have 5 forward gears.... But 9 gears??

I think the logic behind this is that Honda/Acura thinks you will use this on slow winding roads so you should be already in a low gear but since the first 5 gears are so god damn close to each other I would not be surprised if you have to move between 3 or 4 gears depending on the curve you are taking which is insane to shift 1 by 1.

Since the ZF9 transmission works with dog gears I think its highly possible due to the design of the trans to behave like this with a simple software update for the driving behavior of the paddle shifters... This will make the Paddle Shifters work like they used to on the low geared 5 and 6 speedo by skipping unnecessary gears on the 9 speed.
They also intended us to only go up to the 7th gear while in sequential, with 8 and 9 purely as overdrive or figured we would go back to D by that time.
 

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Wasn´t the ZF9 specially tailored for Honda and Acura to actually use 9th at 80mph? I remember reading somewhere that the Chrysler Variant would not use 9th until it was beyond 90mph.
 

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Wasn´t the ZF9 specially tailored for Honda and Acura to actually use 9th at 80mph? I remember reading somewhere that the Chrysler Variant would not use 9th until it was beyond 90mph.
Yeah it is. In the manual it just reads that sequential is intended for use between gears 1-7. Probably because they assumed you wouldn't try shifting yourself if going that fast in an SUV.

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Ohh Ok.. I thought you could not shift into those gears with the manual mode.. I really wish Honda/Acura Engineers look this thread and re-Do the programming for 2018 model... Allowing full Downshift with the Paddle will be AMAZING and that could also work if Honda ever release its 10 Speedo.
 
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