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Discussion Starter #1
I'm considering buying a 2018 MDX and wanted to gauge owner's experiences regarding reliability. I currently own a 2010 Infiniti FX35 which has been great from a reliability perspective (outside of rattles which aren't the same as tranny issues), I never have to bring it in for service. If I'm buying a new car the last thing I want is the service dept to know me on a first name basis because I constantly have to bring it in for service.

With the 2016 refresh there were a lot of issues with the MDX that really dragged down it's reliability score with Consumer Reports. Their current ratings are based on 2016 and some 2017 models, which tended to have the most issues and as such the reliability rating for the MDX took a substantial tumble.

With 2018 being another model year out and without radical changes to infotainment or transmission, would you have any reservations about 2018 MDX being unreliable?

I'm really torn between the 2018 MDX, 2018 QX60, 2018 XC90 and 2018 Enclave. I might even consider a used 2017 Q7 if I could find a good deal on one.

I've read way too many horror stories regarding the XC90 to have much faith in that car, even a 2018. If the issues were resolved with a single trip to the dealer would be one thing, however on their forums I've read many ppl take it into the dealer multiple times trying to fix the same issue. Plus there have been a LOT of buybacks/refunds and/or lemon titles. Not to mention Volvo doesn't always appear to be easy to work with.

At least with Acura, if there were an issue, I have a much better feeling that not only will the problem get addressed relatively quickly (without multiple trips), that Acura is likely much easier to work with to get things resolved. This is purely based on perception, not actual experience.

On other forums I have noticed there is often a tendency for people who own a particular vehicle to be overly sensitive to any reported issues because no one wants to believe the vehicle they bought was a "bad" choice. This results in it being very difficult to get the true picture. I would be most interested in Objective observations which includes the good with the bad. If there are legitimate problems I'd like to know before I buy a vehicle, rather than find out I've spent 50-60k. While all vehicles have problems (no one is perfect), it's helpful to know what are one-off vs what are wide spread as wide spread issues are likely design/build in nature and likely to be present across many vehicles.

Any feedback/observations you can provide as MDX owners would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

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FWIW, the 2018 does have a different infotainment system. 2018 gets a capacitive touch screen instead of the resistive system used in prior years. That said, I don't think it's a reason to not buy one... The capacitive system has been in the TLX, so it seems to work well (better than the 2017 system, for sure)

I have a mid/late 2017 and it's been quite good. I wouldn't hesitate to do a 2018 if you decide the MDX is the vehicle you like the best.

My thoughts on the rest of your list:

I didn't consider the QX60, at all. My wife drives an Infiniti and we typically get a QX60 as a loaner when she gets service. It's a fine loaner, but I would never spend my own money on it. It drives like a much heavier vehicle -- unlike the MDX, which feels more nimble and responsive. The Infiniti AWD system is also quite basic compared to the best-in-class Acura SH-AWD. The biggest fault with the QX60, however, is the transmission. The CVT in the QX60 SUCKS.

The XC90 is an extremely nice vehicle. The infotainment system is sublime. Reliability, however, is where you get hurt. As a lease, I'd consider a XC90. I don't think I'd want to own one, however -- especially outside of the warranty period.

The Enclave is "meh" to me. It doesn't have any redeeming qualities. Reliability is also highly suspect. The 3.6L engine can be problematic, and is a bear to work on. Supposedly the suspension is a frequent source of problems, as well. Resale value is weak, as well. I know everyone has different priorities, but I struggle to think of a scenario where an Enclave would be a winner.

The Q7 seems to get positive reviews. My concerns are primarily cost, styling, dealer experience, and "VW". The Q7 is definitely the most expensive option. Maybe that's okay to you... I just couldn't justify the cost. The styling is also not great, imo. The exterior is mostly fine, but as soon as I opened the tailgate I knew I couldn't own one. OMG they attached the taillights to the tailgate and it just looks hideous when you open it! The dealer experience was hugely negative, for me. I rolled up to the showroom dressed in business-casual attire driving a competitive luxury vehicle and the staff thumbed their noses at me. I felt extremely uncomfortable. Maybe that was a problem limited to this specific dealer? Either way, it was off-putting. And then there are my general feelings against VW for the shenanigans they pulled with the emissions scandal. They demonstrated that they don't care much for their customer, and I don't like to see that rewarded with sales.
 

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The 2018 MDX is the 'third generation' of the MDX, which was introduced in the 2014 model year. The 2014/2015 had a 6 speed Honda auto and in 2016 they went to a 9 speed ZF auto. For 2018 the infotainment changes somewhat radically with the introduction of Carplay/Auto in it - something most here would applaud.

I've had my 2014 for 4.5 years now and have had no issues. There have been some complaints here about the 9 speed trans in (2016 up) but not reliability concerns but rather, operational concerns with the shifting, etc., some of which has been mitigated by software changes Acura applied to it.

Anything you read in Consumer Reports take with a grain of salt. Sometimes their data is based on things that aren't that relatively relevant/important to most people, such as perhaps some glitches on the infotainment, which is much different than a stalled engine or wheel falling off or something. When you read CR, forums, and other input read it with as much objectivity as possible - i.e. try to pull out of it the objective complaints to get some value from them.

I wouldn't have any reliability concerns at all about buying a 2018 MDX. When I chose the 2014 MDX I looked at the whole playing field like you are. I've never owned an Acura/Honda product before but have owned several SUVs and other cars from a variety of manufacturers. Since I keep my vehicles for a long time, well beyond the warranty period, reliability and long term repair costs are an important factor to me. This aspect alone can help discern between the MDX and some of the other vehicles that would be in a somewhat similar category (BMW X5, Volvo, Mercedes, etc.). Another distinction when comparing it to Infiniti is the CVT of the Infiniti vs the trans of the MDX - i.e. a lot of people don't really like CVTs (but some don't care).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
FWIW, the 2018 does have a different infotainment system. 2018 gets a capacitive touch screen instead of the resistive system used in prior years. That said, I don't think it's a reason to not buy one... The capacitive system has been in the TLX, so it seems to work well (better than the 2017 system, for sure)

I have a mid/late 2017 and it's been quite good. I wouldn't hesitate to do a 2018 if you decide the MDX is the vehicle you like the best.

My thoughts on the rest of your list:

I didn't consider the QX60, at all. My wife drives an Infiniti and we typically get a QX60 as a loaner when she gets service. It's a fine loaner, but I would never spend my own money on it. It drives like a much heavier vehicle -- unlike the MDX, which feels more nimble and responsive. The Infiniti AWD system is also quite basic compared to the best-in-class Acura SH-AWD. The biggest fault with the QX60, however, is the transmission. The CVT in the QX60 SUCKS.

The XC90 is an extremely nice vehicle. The infotainment system is sublime. Reliability, however, is where you get hurt. As a lease, I'd consider a XC90. I don't think I'd want to own one, however -- especially outside of the warranty period.

The Enclave is "meh" to me. It doesn't have any redeeming qualities. Reliability is also highly suspect. The 3.6L engine can be problematic, and is a bear to work on. Supposedly the suspension is a frequent source of problems, as well. Resale value is weak, as well. I know everyone has different priorities, but I struggle to think of a scenario where an Enclave would be a winner.

The Q7 seems to get positive reviews. My concerns are primarily cost, styling, dealer experience, and "VW". The Q7 is definitely the most expensive option. Maybe that's okay to you... I just couldn't justify the cost. The styling is also not great, imo. The exterior is mostly fine, but as soon as I opened the tailgate I knew I couldn't own one. OMG they attached the taillights to the tailgate and it just looks hideous when you open it! The dealer experience was hugely negative, for me. I rolled up to the showroom dressed in business-casual attire driving a competitive luxury vehicle and the staff thumbed their noses at me. I felt extremely uncomfortable. Maybe that was a problem limited to this specific dealer? Either way, it was off-putting. And then there are my general feelings against VW for the shenanigans they pulled with the emissions scandal. They demonstrated that they don't care much for their customer, and I don't like to see that rewarded with sales.
That's helpful to know in regards to your experience with the 17 MDX, thanks! As to all of the vehicles I'm just doing initial research, I haven't actually gotten to the test drive phase yet.

As to the QX60, there is a difference between 2016 (1st year redesign I believe) and the 2017/2018 which has had improvements made to suspension/handling, engine power (direct injection with more HP), and CVT transmission tweaks. So similar to the MDX, a 2018 might behave radically different than a 2016. I haven't driven a new 2018 yet so I want to go check one out. I've driven them as loaners before, and the latest one I got had to have been a 2017, which was MUCH better than ones I'd received earlier (had to have been 2015/2016). But I'll reserve final judgement as to whether I consider the QX60 until after I test drive a new 2018. Also the thing I don't like is it doesn't have Android Auto yet. Supposedly it's coming, but it isn't clear if they'll roll it out via software upgrade or if it would require a completely new head unit and thus isn't retrofitted into 2016/2017/2018. Due to this alone I might have to rule it out if there isn't guarantee in writing from Infiniti that it would get Android Auto functionality in the future.

For the XC90 I love the look of it, the main problems are that all physical buttons are now gone and thus everything is in the infotainment system. So it's very consuming to touch, tap, swipe to navigate menus and sub menus just to change temp and/or seat heaters. So more of a nuisance than anything. However to your point about reliability, there have been a lot of technical problems with the infotainment system as well. It really seems as though reliability isn't just a hit or miss thing, it appears to be pretty systemic and thus I would not want to spend 50-60K on one only to have tons of problems. Because of reliability alone I'm very nervous about considering the XC90. Like the others I haven't driven one yet but plan to just to get a sense of it in person.

I'm not sure about the Enclave either being 2018 is a brand new model year and 1st year models always have issues especially with all modern cars changing transmissions in the 1st model year. I only considered it because it is also a mid-size 3 row SUV in the luxury/entry luxury segment. And historically Buicks have been rock solid for reliability. The main concern is the new transmission, as well as new infotainment system as their new LaCrosse last year had some issues with both in it's first year redesign.

The Q7 is definitely way too expensive which is why I won't consider it brand new. If however I could find a fully loaded 2017 used with under 40k miles for around 50k, then I might consider one. I also haven't driven or looked at one. Normally I'd decline any german car including Audi/VW due to poor reliability historically. However Audi and the Q7 really appear to have very good reliability ratings, which I found to be quite surprising. That's the only reason I started to consider it.

I see Lexus also has the new RX-L, but it is WAY too small inside and won't be an option for me.
 

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Acura does require you to make multiple visits to fix one single issue. Some people have to visit multiple dealerships. At first they will try to talk you out of it by saying your problem is normal. The fuel pump Chirping also includes 2018 MDX. Stick with Lexus.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Acura does require you to make multiple visits to fix one single issue. Some people have to visit multiple dealerships. At first they will try to talk you out of it by saying your problem is normal. The fuel pump Chirping also includes 2018 MDX. Stick with Lexus.
Only problem with your last suggestion to stick with Lexus is the closest direct competitor to the MDX they offer is the brand new RX 350L, which just came out, and it is MUCH SMALLER than the MDX (only 7 cubic ft of cargo space behind 3rd row, 3rd row legroom is only 22 inches!). If it were bigger I'd definitely consider it because it's competitively priced with the MDX.

What I was referring to with multiple trips to dealership is when there is a known issue where they just need to replace a part and they just can't fix it right. For example I had an 2007 A8L with dynamic suspension, there was a problem with the suspension and I took it into the dealer to fix (under warranty). Immediately after getting it back it was apparent they didn't fix it right because issue was still present. Had to bring it back probably 3 different times to finally get it fixed right. Very frustrating on a car that cost 80k brand new. On the XC90 forums I hear of similar issues with Volvo service.

With my Infiniti, everytime I've had an issue they can reproduce they always take care of it 1st trip. Times when an issue is sporadic and not able to recreate it then yes I have to bring it in multiple times hoping they can recreate the issue. I had a seat heater switch that was sporadically not working. They wouldn't replace it until they could recreate the issue. Eventually after several trips, they still weren't able to recreate the issue but replaced the switch anyway (it worked fine with new switch). So I always had very good experience with Infiniti. I assume Acura service and Infiniti service would be very close to the same experience. I live in a metro area with multiple Infiniti and Acura dealers that are competing with each other for service experience.
 

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Only problem with your last suggestion to stick with Lexus is the closest direct competitor to the MDX they offer is the brand new RX 350L, which just came out, and it is MUCH SMALLER than the MDX (only 7 cubic ft of cargo space behind 3rd row, 3rd row legroom is only 22 inches!). If it were bigger I'd definitely consider it because it's competitively priced with the MDX.
I think the RX is slightly more expensive when you spec them similarly. At any rate I wouldn't buy the Lexus, even if it was cheaper. I test drove the MDX and felt it was a nice vehicle. I test drove the RX and couldn't wait to get back to the dealership. The RX has no soul. It drives worse than a potato. Transmission shift points are all wrong. Suspension is hard when you don't want it to be, and soft when you don't want it to be. It moans and groans and fights you if you try to drive in a spirited manner. The RX was easily one of the biggest automotive let-downs I've experienced.

With my Infiniti, everytime I've had an issue they can reproduce they always take care of it 1st trip. Times when an issue is sporadic and not able to recreate it then yes I have to bring it in multiple times hoping they can recreate the issue. I had a seat heater switch that was sporadically not working. They wouldn't replace it until they could recreate the issue. Eventually after several trips, they still weren't able to recreate the issue but replaced the switch anyway (it worked fine with new switch). So I always had very good experience with Infiniti. I assume Acura service and Infiniti service would be very close to the same experience. I live in a metro area with multiple Infiniti and Acura dealers that are competing with each other for service experience.
I think the key for all brands is the dealership... Some dealers are great... Others sucks. Being in a larger metro should give you choice -- and I think competition always helps. I know in my area there are two Acura dealers close to me, and I certainly prefer one over the other.
 
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Acura does require you to make multiple visits to fix one single issue. Some people have to visit multiple dealerships. At first they will try to talk you out of it by saying your problem is normal. The fuel pump Chirping also includes 2018 MDX. Stick with Lexus.
Clearly a disgruntled owner. Some things get fixed right away and some are subtle and hard to find. Could happen on any car.
 

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I think the MDX is a very reliable vehicle and in my opinion the reported drop in reliability ratings is misleading. The 2017 MY was the refresh year, but the 2016 did get the 9 speed ZF and most of the issues that brought 2016 MY vehicles to the dealer for service was for the how the transmission operated, software updates resolved that for nearly everyone. The other item is the transmission cooler which is needed for the 5000# tow rating...I don't have personal experience with this but from what I read you want to avoid installing one on your car (and if you have to tow 5000# get a truck).

Every forum I've been part of has 'nightmare dealer' service threads, so that is a meaningless data point in the big scheme of things.
 

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We currently own a '16 MDX(transmission updated) and a '17 Q7. I don't think one can go wrong with either one.
Below is a recap of my feelings about both I posted on another MDX forum:

Advantage Q7:
1. Ride. It's amazingly quiet and smooth.
2. Handling. Better than the BMW 5 series and MB E series we've owned. Curves are FUN again, can be driven hard and stays stable and well planted. It's easy to forget you're in an SUV.
3. Transmission. Silky smooth, barely noticeable.
4. Comfort. Great seats, roomy even for my 6'4" frame and the serene cabin makes for a truly luxury experience.
5. Options. Audi offers a lot of individual options for each trim level allowing easy personalization.
6. Towing. Q7 tows 7,700 lbs. Has automatic tow mode when you hook up trailer. Transmission and engine stay smooth and quiet when towing.
7. Second row seats. Very roomy, lots of backward adjustment available.


Advantage MDX:
1. Price. Similarly equipped would have cost $10K less than my Audi.
2. Storage. MDX has abundant and easily accessed storage. Audi skimps on storage and it's hard to access. No sun glass holder on Audi.
3. Controls. Maybe I'm just used to the MDX since I've driven it more, but it's controls seem easier to navigate. But, both systems need lots of improvement.
4. 3rd row seat. Audi is slightly more comfortable according to my grand kids, but they're complicated to access.
5. Friendliness. A very subjective thing, but the MDX just seems to be like an old friend you're comfortable being with.
6. Safety features. They're standard on MDX, expensive option on Q7.

Ties;
1. AWD. I've found both to be good in snow and long stretches of slippery mud. Both pull my boat out of slippery ramps with ease. Also, I can tell no difference on dry roads.
2. Styling. I find both to be relatively plain.

What will I buy next? IF the MDX improves the transmission and adds a little non hybrid power, I'll definitely consider again. IF the Q7 resale value is good, I'll definitely consider again. Otherwise, I'll be considering other SUV's. Change in the auto industry is so rapid now, who knows what choices we'll have in a few years. I sincerely hope Acura keeps up, but based on their sedans, I'm not sure.
 

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My experience with a 2015 MDX that I just sold, with 60K miles, is that it came from the factory with the wheel alignment messed up, and it was tramlining and just not driving right. I had this fixed the first week that I had it. After that I never had it back to the dealer. I did my own fluid and filter changes. No other defects, no reliability problems at all.

I bought a closeout 2017 MDX hybrid to replace the 2015. I considered a closeout 2017 Infiniti QX60 - I believe that the 2018 QX60 is essentially unchanged. I already have an M37x that I love, so like you I am familiar with Infiniti’s. I thought that the QX60 was a good option. Drives well, good performance, decent handling for what it is, quiet, comfortable seating, good space for hauling stuff (cargo width and length dimensions just about exactly the same as the MDX with all seats down). I like the dash layout and controls, which are just about identical to my M37x.

My Infiniti has been reliable. It now has about 80K miles on it, and there has never been a problem other than for one of the MAF sensors needing service, took about a half hour and was free to fix. So my experience with the two cars is about the same from a reliability standpoint.

I got the 2017 hybrid Advance model rather than the Infiniti. The hybrid is a far more capable car (except for towing), but at a higher price and who knows about the reliability. If I think about a non-hybrid MDX versus the QX60, I still would have gone with the MDX, but it would have been close. In my opinion, the MDX has a bit more utility; the QX60 seemed like it is optimized a bit more for luxury/refinement, with the MDX a bit more for piling tons of stuff in the back and going off on a big trip, and we prefer the latter.

A major difference is that, at least with the 2017 QX60, you don’t get much in the way of the latest safety and collision avoidance features until you buy an expensive, top of the line feature package. With the MDX nearly all of the key features are built into the base sticker price. Infiniti may have changed the way it prices these features on the 2018(?), in order to be more competitive with Acura - if they didn’t, they should, as they are uncompetitive in this regard.

One of the features that I looked forward to, in moving from the 2015 MDX - because I hate the NAV system on the MDX - was that the new models have Carplay. But I learned that you have to physically plug your phone into the car (does not connect via Blutooth), and I don’t like that, plus the number of apps that can be used seems to be very limited. So I solved my nav problem by getting an Apple watch that does what I want for nav when I can't get the MDX nav to cooperate.

One minor grumble, on both - you don’t get full seat adjustability on passenger side. How come these so called luxury vehicles fudge on the passenger seat and I had full adjustability on a danged Chysler van?! This is a bit of a sore point for my wife and me, as we do a ton of over the road driving and want the added comfort for the passenger seat. Another minor grumble on both of these “luxury” SUVs, is the trim inserts. Until you get to the top of the line with either, you get fake wood trim on the MDX and you get fake carbon fiber trim (or whatever it is supposed to be) on the QX60 - sigh.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We currently own a '16 MDX(transmission updated) and a '17 Q7. I don't think one can go wrong with either one.
Below is a recap of my feelings about both I posted on another MDX forum:

Advantage Q7:
1. Ride. It's amazingly quiet and smooth.
2. Handling. Better than the BMW 5 series and MB E series we've owned. Curves are FUN again, can be driven hard and stays stable and well planted. It's easy to forget you're in an SUV.
3. Transmission. Silky smooth, barely noticeable.
4. Comfort. Great seats, roomy even for my 6'4" frame and the serene cabin makes for a truly luxury experience.
5. Options. Audi offers a lot of individual options for each trim level allowing easy personalization.
6. Towing. Q7 tows 7,700 lbs. Has automatic tow mode when you hook up trailer. Transmission and engine stay smooth and quiet when towing.
7. Second row seats. Very roomy, lots of backward adjustment available.


Advantage MDX:
1. Price. Similarly equipped would have cost $10K less than my Audi.
2. Storage. MDX has abundant and easily accessed storage. Audi skimps on storage and it's hard to access. No sun glass holder on Audi.
3. Controls. Maybe I'm just used to the MDX since I've driven it more, but it's controls seem easier to navigate. But, both systems need lots of improvement.
4. 3rd row seat. Audi is slightly more comfortable according to my grand kids, but they're complicated to access.
5. Friendliness. A very subjective thing, but the MDX just seems to be like an old friend you're comfortable being with.
6. Safety features. They're standard on MDX, expensive option on Q7.

Ties;
1. AWD. I've found both to be good in snow and long stretches of slippery mud. Both pull my boat out of slippery ramps with ease. Also, I can tell no difference on dry roads.
2. Styling. I find both to be relatively plain.

What will I buy next? IF the MDX improves the transmission and adds a little non hybrid power, I'll definitely consider again. IF the Q7 resale value is good, I'll definitely consider again. Otherwise, I'll be considering other SUV's. Change in the auto industry is so rapid now, who knows what choices we'll have in a few years. I sincerely hope Acura keeps up, but based on their sedans, I'm not sure.
Thanks for sharing your experience, very helpful! From a reliability standpoint have you had any issues with the Q7, and with the MDX have you had any issues other than the well documented transmission software update to improve shifting?
 

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Q7 has 5k miles with no problems.

MDX has 17000K with two issues. First, in traffic, my MDX lost power and barely poked along. I had to pull to side of road. Tried lots of things, but finally turned car off and restarted. Worked fine. Dealer said he could not find any malfunction codes and offered no assistance. The other problem is my steering makes a rubbing noise at low speeds. I reported steering noise to dealer on my first service but dealer said they couldn't hear it. I'll press harder next time I take it in.

One other oddity. MDX screeches if I hit stop button and hold on to steering wheel for support when I exit. I figured out this only occurred when I hung on wheel as the car retracts steering wheel for easy exit. I guess that resistance of me pulling wheel down and left as I get out causes some misalignment of mechanism, thus the screeching.

As to the MDX trans, in spite of the update, I still hate it.
 

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Q7 has 5k miles with no problems.

MDX has 17000K with two issues. First, in traffic, my MDX lost power and barely poked along. I had to pull to side of road. Tried lots of things, but finally turned car off and restarted. Worked fine. Dealer said he could not find any malfunction codes and offered no assistance. The other problem is my steering makes a rubbing noise at low speeds. I reported steering noise to dealer on my first service but dealer said they couldn't hear it. I'll press harder next time I take it in.

One other oddity. MDX screeches if I hit stop button and hold on to steering wheel for support when I exit. I figured out this only occurred when I hung on wheel as the car retracts steering wheel for easy exit. I guess that resistance of me pulling wheel down and left as I get out causes some misalignment of mechanism, thus the screeching.

As to the MDX trans, in spite of the update, I still hate it.
Our steering column squealed on our 14. Dealer replaced it.
 

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I am in a similar situation looking for 2018 replacement for my 2015 MDX Advance.

For the same reasons stated above I'm also not considering a 2018 Q7. To me, it's a good alternative to X5 or GLE, but a 3rd row is cramped and is hard to get into. It looks like it was designed for less occasional use.

So, I'm considering between 2018 MDX and XC90.

2018 MDX Hybrid SH-AWD w/Technology As I see many current 2017/2018 owners comments about their dislikes for 9-speed tranny (I hated push button shifter even since 2016 and main reason I got 2015, last year with a "normal" shifter (event English vocabulary says it's a gear stick, not a GD button). Acura's packaging for Advance is still bothersome. In 2015, Advance had Entertainment Package bundled, not an option. It worked for me as I pretty much got it at no additional cost when I negotiated between 2015 and 2016 Advance). In 2017/2018, Advance comes with 6-seater configuration. I don't like/want captain's seats, why am I stuck with Technology? I hear Advance is possible with 7 seats, but only with Entertainment package. Is this true?

2018 XC90 T6 AWD R-Design/Inscription I test drove a fully loaded 2017 Inscription and loved the ride although it was only 20 minutes long. I am Gen X, so latest technology gimmicks are not my cup of tea. I do prefer the traditional buttons on the dashboard, but I lived for 3 years with Acura's dual screens just fine. An abundance of electronic nannies in all new incoming vehicles is another concern as more of these to me are just more points of failure that many today's mechanics simply are not qualified to diagnose/repair. Reliance on computer diagnostics to identify and correctly the root cause of a problem results in majority of reliability issues reported by actual owners. IMO, of course. So, this is what my main concern is with XC90. In 3 years, it will be a driver-optional car, like many others. So should I become a test driver of their technology for the next 3 years and take it like a man of Gen X, straight up. Or do I take an easier route with MDX, but still leave on the edge with a Hybrid?

Decisions-decisions.
 

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Yes an advance is $10,000 more than a base and yet we do it. I have no use for a rear seat entertainment system so that’s fine with me. So there are 3 trim levels. Apparently Acura didn’t want to deal with Advance,no Tech. I guess it cost a lot to put heaters in the back seats.
I lived on the edge and got the hybrid.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am in a similar situation looking for 2018 replacement for my 2015 MDX Advance.

For the same reasons stated above I'm also not considering a 2018 Q7. To me, it's a good alternative to X5 or GLE, but a 3rd row is cramped and is hard to get into. It looks like it was designed for less occasional use.

So, I'm considering between 2018 MDX and XC90.

2018 MDX Hybrid SH-AWD w/Technology As I see many current 2017/2018 owners comments about their dislikes for 9-speed tranny (I hated push button shifter even since 2016 and main reason I got 2015, last year with a "normal" shifter (event English vocabulary says it's a gear stick, not a GD button). Acura's packaging for Advance is still bothersome. In 2015, Advance had Entertainment Package bundled, not an option. It worked for me as I pretty much got it at no additional cost when I negotiated between 2015 and 2016 Advance). In 2017/2018, Advance comes with 6-seater configuration. I don't like/want captain's seats, why am I stuck with Technology? I hear Advance is possible with 7 seats, but only with Entertainment package. Is this true?

2018 XC90 T6 AWD R-Design/Inscription I test drove a fully loaded 2017 Inscription and loved the ride although it was only 20 minutes long. I am Gen X, so latest technology gimmicks are not my cup of tea. I do prefer the traditional buttons on the dashboard, but I lived for 3 years with Acura's dual screens just fine. An abundance of electronic nannies in all new incoming vehicles is another concern as more of these to me are just more points of failure that many today's mechanics simply are not qualified to diagnose/repair. Reliance on computer diagnostics to identify and correctly the root cause of a problem results in majority of reliability issues reported by actual owners. IMO, of course. So, this is what my main concern is with XC90. In 3 years, it will be a driver-optional car, like many others. So should I become a test driver of their technology for the next 3 years and take it like a man of Gen X, straight up. Or do I take an easier route with MDX, but still leave on the edge with a Hybrid?

Decisions-decisions.
For the 6 seat (captain's chairs) with the Advance Package vs 7 seat (bench) with the Entertainment Package thing, typically yes when you add Advance it replaces bench with captain's chairs. However when you add Entertainment package, this replaces the captain's chairs back to the bench seating. Only problem I see is that when trying to build a Sport Hybrid I can't select Tech, Advance and Entertainment Packages. It appears the Entertainment Package is ONLY available on the 3.5L MDX not the Sport Hybrid. Not sure why, but that's how the build feature on Acura's website works. Perhaps it's a bug or perhaps it's by design, I'm not sure.

So if you want Entertainment package, it appears you cannot get the Sport Hybrid. The other thing to consider is that while the Sport Hybrid doesn't include the 9 speed tranny, and shifts smoother with a 7 speed, Acura advises you NOT TOW ANYTHING with the Sport Hybrid. So if you think you ever might want to tow something, whether 3,500 or 5,000 lbs, then again you'd likely want the 3.5L MDX and not the Sport Hybrid.

For the XC90, definitely the advance electronics play a large part in some of their issues. They however had much bigger issues such as faulty spark plugs that broke off / cracked resulting in shot motors and several buy backs. This is just 1 of the mechanical defects the new XC90 has had besides electronic issues. In general it's this reliability and large number of buybacks that has me most concerned with the XC90. I love the look of it and the technology, however I'm too nervous about it holding up. If just leasing then it wouldn't be as much of an issue outside of inconvenience of having to constantly bring it in for service. I however plan on keeping whatever I buy for at least 10 years and will likely drive it much longer than that.
 

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Q7 has 5k miles with no problems.

MDX has 17000K with two issues. First, in traffic, my MDX lost power and barely poked along. I had to pull to side of road. Tried lots of things, but finally turned car off and restarted. Worked fine. Dealer said he could not find any malfunction codes and offered no assistance. The other problem is my steering makes a rubbing noise at low speeds. I reported steering noise to dealer on my first service but dealer said they couldn't hear it. I'll press harder next time I take it in.

One other oddity. MDX screeches if I hit stop button and hold on to steering wheel for support when I exit. I figured out this only occurred when I hung on wheel as the car retracts steering wheel for easy exit. I guess that resistance of me pulling wheel down and left as I get out causes some misalignment of mechanism, thus the screeching.

As to the MDX trans, in spite of the update, I still hate it.
I know your boat is old, but did you hear about this class action suit? I'm in the market to update my 2011 MDX, but now I'm not sure I want to take a chance on Acura again. This is my 2nd MDX and I've had good luck.


 
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