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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few questions for anyone with a 18 MDX with Android Auto as I'm seriously considering the MDX. Looking for both answers to questions as well as general feedback regarding the usability / usefulness of features of the vehicle. Thanks again!

1. How are Acura Nav Maps updated? I'm assuming you have to pay for a DVD or a service appt to have them updated (like $100-$200)?

2. For Acura Nav, it would appear that the live traffic subscription is included for lifetime for free, is this correct? I definitely don't use satellite radio and thus don't want to pay a subscription just to get real time live traffic.

3. Does Acura Nav traffic handle construction related re-routing and road closures? Living in MN every summer is construction season, with many road closures, forcing you to take unusual routes. My FX35 navigation doesn't have traffic subscription, so it can't recognize detours during construction. Because of this my vehicle navigation is beyond worthless in the summer because it tries to route me on roads that are closed. If not, I would assume this is where Android Auto/Google Maps/Waze integration is extremely useful?

4. Internet connection - Can the MDX use your phone's cellular data connection (either through connecting to your phone's Wifi Hotspot or via USB)? Not sure what functions in the car would require a data connection but figured I'd check anyway

5. Voice recognition - Specs mention Siri Hands Free. Can it also utilize Google Now/Google Assistant voice commands for setting destination in Android Auto/Google Maps/Waze and playing audio, etc?

6. Power liftgate - Does the rear power liftgate include a hands free feature where you kick your foot under the bumper to open the liftgate? Or do you always need to use your hands to push a button on your keyfob/car?

7. Does remote start require a subscription? Or will it always be functional for free?

8. What are your perceptions of the headlights and visibility? From a distance perspective according to IIHS testing the low beams don't appear to be exceptional, some of which could be a simple adjustment to aim them slightly higher (similar experience has been reported on the XC90).

9. While the TLX has wireless phone charging it would appear that wasn't ported over to the MDX correct?

10. Are there any physical buttons for controlling cabin temp and/or seat heat/ventilation? Or is this all done through the touchscreen? If in touch screen, is it always acccesible or do you have to navigate into specific menus/sub menus?

11. In general would be helpful to know which features/apps require a paid subscription and thus will only be functional for a certain time after which point they won't work unless you pay a subscription fee
 

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1. How are Acura Nav Maps updated? I'm assuming you have to pay for a DVD or a service appt to have them updated (like $100-$200)?
Navigation map updates and infotainment software updates come on DVD.
They're normally $149, although they can be found on sale, occasionally, for $99. Updates are optional. The Official Acura Map Update Site | Acura | 2018 Brown DVD Map Update V3 | HERE

2. For Acura Nav, it would appear that the live traffic subscription is included for lifetime for free, is this correct? I definitely don't use satellite radio and thus don't want to pay a subscription just to get real time live traffic.
No. Traffic info comes through the AcuraLink subscription. New MDX purchases include 3 years free traffic info. After that, you need a paid AcuraLink subscription to continue receiving traffic info. A SiriusXM subscription is NOT required. https://acuralink.acura.com/#/availability/2018/MDX

3. Does Acura Nav traffic handle construction related re-routing and road closures? Living in MN every summer is construction season, with many road closures, forcing you to take unusual routes. My FX35 navigation doesn't have traffic subscription, so it can't recognize detours during construction. Because of this my vehicle navigation is beyond worthless in the summer because it tries to route me on roads that are closed. If not, I would assume this is where Android Auto/Google Maps/Waze integration is extremely useful?
Yes! Acura navigation does handle re-routing based on current traffic conditions. I believe it is disabled, by default, but can be easily enabled in your navigation settings. Of course you can use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, as well. Apple Maps, Google Maps, and Waze should provide similar re-routing capabilities in the 2018 MDX.

4. Internet connection - Can the MDX use your phone's cellular data connection (either through connecting to your phone's Wifi Hotspot or via USB)? Not sure what functions in the car would require a data connection but figured I'd check anyway
Not exactly. The MDX has its own LTE antenna and communicates with the cell phone networks (AT&T, I believe) independent of your phone.

5. Voice recognition - Specs mention Siri Hands Free. Can it also utilize Google Now/Google Assistant voice commands for setting destination in Android Auto/Google Maps/Waze and playing audio, etc?
I have an iPhone so I can only speak to that. Siri Hands-Free works great. I assume it would work with Google Now -- but you should double-check that on your test drive, to confirm.

6. Power liftgate - Does the rear power liftgate include a hands free feature where you kick your foot under the bumper to open the liftgate? Or do you always need to use your hands to push a button on your keyfob/car?
No. The tailgate can be opened by the FOB, a button on the exterior hatch, or via the button on the drivers door. There is no "kick-to-open" feature.

7. Does remote start require a subscription? Or will it always be functional for free?
The remote start function is wireless between your FOB and the vehicle -- no subscription and no data connectivity required. You could be in the middle of no where with no cell phone service and your remote start will work fine. The FOB is 2-way, as well, so you get visual confirmation that the remote start was successful. It's a great system!

8. What are your perceptions of the headlights and visibility? From a distance perspective according to IIHS testing the low beams don't appear to be exceptional, some of which could be a simple adjustment to aim them slightly higher (similar experience has been reported on the XC90).
Personally I find the MDX headlamps to be phenomenal. They are easily among the best of any vehicle I've driven.

9. While the TLX has wireless phone charging it would appear that wasn't ported over to the MDX correct?
Correct.

10. Are there any physical buttons for controlling cabin temp and/or seat heat/ventilation? Or is this all done through the touchscreen? If in touch screen, is it always acccesible or do you have to navigate into specific menus/sub menus?
There are some very nice physical up/down toggle switches for controller driver and passenger temperature. Seat heating/cooling is done via the touch screen -- although access to those functions is visible at all times. Also, the seat heating/cooling can be set to "AUTO" and the car will automatically heat/cool the seat depending on your desired temperature and climate conditions. I rarely have to touch my settings.


11. In general would be helpful to know which features/apps require a paid subscription and thus will only be functional for a certain time after which point they won't work unless you pay a subscription fee
AcuraLink details exactly that information: https://acuralink.acura.com/#/availability/2018/MDX

Free Forever* (Acura reserves right to change this)
  • Digital Owners Guide
  • Recall Notifications
  • Schedule Service via App
  • Roadside Assistance

Connect Package - Paid (This is the subscription level that I pay for.)
  • Automated Collision Notification
  • Send Destination (I love this feature -- It's the primary reason I pay for AcuraLink)
  • Stolen Vehicle Locator
  • Remote Lock & Unlock via App
  • Find My Car via App
  • Vehicle Status via App
  • Emergency Call
  • Security Alarm Alert
  • Destination by Voice (Another feature that makes the Navi much nicer to interact with)

Premium Package - Paid
  • Personal Concierge
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No. Traffic info comes through the AcuraLink subscription. New MDX purchases include 3 years free traffic info. After that, you need a paid AcuraLink subscription to continue receiving traffic info. A SiriusXM subscription is NOT required. https://acuralink.acura.com/#/availability/2018/MDX
Thanks for the info!

Check the following, this is on Acura's website for the 18 MDX regarding traffic subscription:

https://www.acura.com/mdx/modals/navigation-functionality-and-controls

Enhance your sense of direction with the Acura Navigation System10. The centerpiece of the Technology Package, it uses a hard drive for quick data access and displays on a full VGA 8-inch screen. The system is fast, easy to read and incredibly convenient.

The full-resolution, 8-inch screen is mounted high in the center control panel to minimize eye diversion from the road.
You can enter an address or search a location from its vast destination database, using the interface dial or the voice recognition system.
Option for 3D viewing
The screen will plot your path on the map while showing special displays to guide you through freeway ramps, interchanges and forks in the road, and even provide voiced guidance if desired.
An additional feature is HD Digital Traffic®, which can help you get around delays while traveling to your desired destination.
Lifetime Navigation Traffic Subscription
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's interesting. It contradicts the AcuraLink information that I linked, previously (Also specifically for 2018 model). I'm not sure which is correct.
Yeah, and when I look at the AcuraLink services via the link you provided it doesn't call out navigation traffic updates. When I go into the "stealership" for a test drive I'll specifically ask about this.

For me this is a huge deal. I don't want to pay $100-$200 a year just for the privilege of having a fully function navigation system that I already paid several thousand extra for. That's my biggest gripe with Infiniti. With an XM subscription and Nav traffic subscription then my FX35 can get this info. I don't want to pay for it, because of that many times my in-car nav is worthless, forcing me to use my phone. And what's the point of having a nice in car nav system if you are using your phone?

If Acura does in fact guarantee in writing that you get lifetime traffic subscription for free, then that in and of itself tips the scales in favor of the MDX over the other options i'm considering.
 

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I doubt you'll be able to get anything in writing. Even on the "three years complimentary" traffic there was an asterisk and a footnote saying Acura reserves the right to change the program, at any time.

However, I wouldn't worry too much about it. The MDX has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so even if you lost the AcuraLink traffic info you would still be able to use Apple Maps, Google Maps, or Waze -- and get traffic information that is probably more accurate and more quickly updated than even the paid AcuraLink subscription provides.
 

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That's interesting. It contradicts the AcuraLink information that I linked, previously (Also specifically for 2018 model). I'm not sure which is correct.
They made this mistake on the 2017 as well... Then corrected it about 4 weeks later. I expect the same this year. Their marketing and folks responsible for the builder always seem to get stuff wrong. You can ask on twitter and they will usually tell you the correct answer and also correct the website in the process.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They made this mistake on the 2017 as well... Then corrected it about 4 weeks later. I expect the same this year. Their marketing and folks responsible for the builder always seem to get stuff wrong. You can ask on twitter and they will usually tell you the correct answer and also correct the website in the process.

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Only way to know for sure if the advertisement of Lifetime Navigation Traffic Subscription was a mistake is for the 2017's and 2018's to have their 3 year free subscription run out. Then if Nav Traffic is still on, even though you aren't paying for a subscription, then we'll know for sure it wasn't a mistake.

It could have been something they started to offer in 2017 and carried it over 2018, meaning 2017 and 2018 models will both get complimentary Lifetime Navigation Traffic Subscription. Only time will tell I guess.

It looks like "AcuraLink The Next Generation" was introduced in the MDX in 2014. Do any 2014 MDX's with Navigation and AcuraLink, without a paid subscription, continue to receive Navigation Traffic updates even though your free subscription has ended?

AcuraLink FAQs | AcuraLink | Acura Owners Site

With them stressing below that AcuraLink Next Generation now bringing vehicles online and integrating them with cloud based services, providing navigation and traffic services without a subscription would be logical, as opposed to the Infiniti system which is 100% hard drive based outside of importing traffic info via XM radio.

What is AcuraLink The Next Generation?
AcuraLink® The Next Generation is a major upgrade of our navigation and connectivity experience; an upgrade that brings Acura vehicles online and integrates them with cloud-based services. The system pairs with most smartphones to deliver streaming music, podcasts, email and tweets—all of which you control using normal radio controls on the dash and steering wheel. When you subscribe to the Connect package*, your vehicle is able to send and receive data using its built-in cellular transceiver. This technology allows you to connect with your vehicle using your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can set the alarm, check fuel level and tire pressure, lock the doors, even beep the horn and flash the lights—from across the parking lot or across town. From virtually any location with cellular service, AcuraLink Connect gives you access to your Acura vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's another article I found, a press release from Honda/Acura on the 2017 MDX, which mentions HD Digital Traffic requires no subscription and is offered at no additional cost to MDX owners:

2017 Acura MDX Press Kit - Audio and Connectivity - Honda.com

2017 Acura MDX Press Kit - Audio and Connectivity
6/21/2016 11:51:00 AM

Enhanced connectivity is made possible by the MDX's next-generation AcuraLink® system, with thousands of media channels available with Pandora® and Aha™ mobile, all delivered via the owner's internet-linked smartphone and data plan. There is also a host of available security and convenience features, including collision notification, remote unlocking, stolen vehicle tracking and more, all delivered via built-in cell technology. New for 2017, HD Traffic digital surface street and highway traffic information can be displayed on screen in MDX models equipped with the Acura Navigation System. HD Traffic requires no subscription and is offered at no added cost to MDX owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One additional thing I just noticed, I'm curious if anyone else picked up on:

When selecting the Sport Hybrid, it says that this configuration adds a Head-Up display (project speed, nav on windsheild). This is a feature I'd LOVE to have on the non-hybrid version. Since the parts are obviously available for it I'm curious if the dealer would add/install this on a non-hybrid MDX?

Additional features included with the Sport Hybrid system are:

Electronic gear selector
Head-Up Display
Reactive Force Accelerator Pedal
Electric air conditioning with air quality sensor
LED fog lights
Smoked chrome finish for front grill
Exclusive 19-inch machine-finished, noise-reducing wheels
 

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Where do you see head up display available on the hybrid? I didn’t see it listed in the features/specs.

Is it possible you were looking at the RLX?
 

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One additional thing I just noticed, I'm curious if anyone else picked up on:

When selecting the Sport Hybrid, it says that this configuration adds a Head-Up display (project speed, nav on windsheild). This is a feature I'd LOVE to have on the non-hybrid version. Since the parts are obviously available for it I'm curious if the dealer would add/install this on a non-hybrid MDX?

Additional features included with the Sport Hybrid system are:

Electronic gear selector
Head-Up Display
Reactive Force Accelerator Pedal
Electric air conditioning with air quality sensor
LED fog lights
Smoked chrome finish for front grill
Exclusive 19-inch machine-finished, noise-reducing wheels
The only thing my heads up display shows are warning lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Where do you see head up display available on the hybrid? I didn’t see it listed in the features/specs.

Is it possible you were looking at the RLX?
I only see it under Build. So I go through the process of building a new MDX, then I expand the option for the Sport Hybrid to see what's all included, and in that pop up it displays what I shared in my previous post.

I only saw it referenced there, not in Specs.
 

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I only see it under Build. So I go through the process of building a new MDX, then I expand the option for the Sport Hybrid to see what's all included, and in that pop up it displays what I shared in my previous post.

I only saw it referenced there, not in Specs.
Once again head-up display is just warning lights. Nothing else. No speed,no nav.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Once again head-up display is just warning lights. Nothing else. No speed,no nav.
According to your signature you have a 17 Sport Hybrid, so if that came with head-up display then the mention of it for the 18 must be accurate. I'm assuming you also have Nav?

According to the following page it should show much more than that. Perhaps there's a setting/menu for what displays?

https://www.acura.com/technology/modals/head-up-display

Inspired by fighter jet technology, the Head-Up Display projects crucial driving information onto the lower portion of your windshield, helping you keep your eyes on the road. From a digital speedometer to turn-by-turn navigation directions, the display helps you focus on what’s ahead.

While this is for the RDX, I'm assuming they use the same exact hardware in the MDX and thus the display would be similar?

The Head-Up Display projects a transparent, easy-to-see image onto the lower portion of the windshield allowing you to view key vehicle information while keeping your eyes on the road. There are a wide variety of available displays that can be accessed. The primary display information is a digital speedometer reading which can be accompanied by a display for any one of the following:

Power distribution monitor
Tachometer band graphic
Compass
Turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system
Status of Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)59
The Head-Up warning is a feature on all RLX models and features warning lights that will flash on the windshield automatically. These include:

An orange shape will flash to warn you to begin braking if Collision Mitigation Braking System61 system detects a potential problem.
An amber lane marking will inform you that you are drifting to the edge of your lane
 

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That modal is for the RLX. Not the MDX. Not the RDX.

It’s a completely different class of vehicle.

The MDX — both 3.5 and Hybrid — only has a warning light that flashes on the windshield.
 
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That page you linked to also says see it on the RLX. Right in your description it says it is feature on the RLX. All the MDX has is head-up warning. I searched the owners manual in iBooks. There are exactly 4 mentions of head-up.. All on the same page referenceing CMBS. You are making a wrong assumption there. The RLX was just redesigned. The MDX is from 2014. I’m sorry to burst your bubble. It would be nice but it’s not there. I searched all 3 manuals. CMBS warning only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That page you linked to also says see it on the RLX. Right in your description it says it is feature on the RLX. All the MDX has is head-up warning. I searched the owners manual in iBooks. There are exactly 4 mentions of head-up.. All on the same page referenceing CMBS. You are making a wrong assumption there. The RLX was just redesigned. The MDX is from 2014. I’m sorry to burst your bubble. It would be nice but it’s not there. I searched all 3 manuals. CMBS warning only.
I don't have a vested interest in this, and yes I realize what I posted references another vehicle. However it was a page in the URL specifically for Acura's Head-Up Display technology, in which that page references it is in the RLX. I'm not doubting what you say, you own the vehicle and I don't, I was just looking to clarify whether it was actual functionality or only a misprint. Yes the MDX is from 2014, and the RLX was just redesigned. However as this "Head-Up Display" is only on the MDX Sport Hybrid, which was just introduced in 2017.

One additional question: the CMBS display on the windshield you reference, does the regular MDX display this info on the windshield as well, or only the Sport Hybrid? I assume only Sport Hybrid, however since safety technology is the same across both vehicles I figured I'd ask.

Again I'm not doubting what you say is true and I'm not arguing with you. I guess I just find it surprising that they'd advertise (albeit not openly) the MDX having "Head-Up Display" only to "dumb it down" on the MDX to only show warning lights (CMBS). From a manufacturing perspective you'd figure it would be easier for manufacturing and assembly to use the same components on both vehicles and thus logically they'd include the same functionality. Of course manufacturers don't always follow logic so they apparently decided not to do that in this case.
 
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