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Discussion Starter #1
The interior door panel is poor designed and built. It does not feel solid. In my opinion, the armrest is a step down from 2010-2013 and feel cheap. The whole door panel is flexing when rock back and forth or when pull quick to close. One of the door panel is making creaking noise when resting arm on it, closing the door, or thumb pressed against it. I'm bringing back to the dealership to have a look next week. My wife notices it first and I was like no-way. She is even mentioned the 2017 Sienna Ltd (I drive that one) is a better built quality. I concurred, but I didn't say a word. She had no complaint with 2011 MDX Advance, she loved it so much that she wanted a another MDX.



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The interior door panel is poor designed and built. It does not feel solid. In my opinion, the armrest is a step down from 2010-2013 and feel cheap. The whole door panel is flexing when rock back and forth or when pull quick to close. One of the door panel is making creaking noise when resting arm on it, closing the door, or thumb pressed against it. I'm bringing back to the dealership to have a look next week. My wife notices it first and I was like no-way. She is even mentioned the 2017 Sienna Ltd (I drive that one) is a better built quality. I concurred, but I didn't say a word. She had no complaint with 2011 MDX Advance, she loved it so much that she wanted a another MDX.



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I think you are smoking something. Seriously.


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The interior door panel is poor designed and built. It does not feel solid. In my opinion, the armrest is a step down from 2010-2013 and feel cheap. The whole door panel is flexing when rock back and forth or when pull quick to close. One of the door panel is making creaking noise when resting arm on it, closing the door, or thumb pressed against it. I'm bringing back to the dealership to have a look next week. My wife notices it first and I was like no-way. She is even mentioned the 2017 Sienna Ltd (I drive that one) is a better built quality. I concurred, but I didn't say a word. She had no complaint with 2011 MDX Advance, she loved it so much that she wanted a another MDX.



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Not sure what you talking about honestly about Acura build quality being horrible. It could just be that your MDX happens to be one of poorly built vehicles. Not all vehicles are built equally. Its most likely a manufacturer defect than anything. Build quality in our MDX is great, but that can't be said for our 2nd Nissan Rogue (our first Nissan Rogue had great build quality, but Nissan overall is spiralling downhill quickly).

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Discussion Starter #5
Not sure what you talking about honestly about Acura build quality being horrible. It could just be that your MDX happens to be one of poorly built vehicles. Not all vehicles are built equally. Its most likely a manufacturer defect than anything. Build quality in our MDX is great, but that can't be said for our 2nd Nissan Rogue (our first Nissan Rogue had great build quality, but Nissan overall is spiralling downhill quickly).

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The creaking noise around the armrest in one of the door panel is unique to my MDX. I am 100% certain on that that is why I am taking back to the dealer to have them fix it. I think a couple clips may have broken or not inserted in the area that you grab to close the door.

Most may not pay attention to it. With door close, hold the door handle (grabber) and rock back and forth. The area above the door speaker where the armrest points toward is flexing. I can see why that is. It is the weak spot. If there is a clip there, it wouldn't flex. There are only 3 screws and the parameter clips that secured the panel. The 3 screws, 2 are in the door lever and 1 is under the armrest.

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I have not had this issue. Curious if, since you just took delivery of vehicle, it could be one of the first built after production restart?
 

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The creaking noise around the armrest in one of the door panel is unique to my MDX. I am 100% certain on that that is why I am taking back to the dealer to have them fix it. I think a couple clips may have broken or not inserted in the area that you grab to close the door.

Most may not pay attention to it. With door close, hold the door handle (grabber) and rock back and forth. The area above the door speaker where the armrest points toward is flexing. I can see why that is. It is the weak spot. If there is a clip there, it wouldn't flex. There are only 3 screws and the parameter clips that secured the panel. The 3 screws, 2 are in the door lever and 1 is under the armrest.

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Did this on my 2019 hybrid with 20K miles on it. Plenty solid and no squeak, rattle etc.
 

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My wife loved our ‘12 and after 130k trouble free miles really didn’t do much shopping around. She wanted another MDX and we came home with the ‘18. I didn’t say much because in the end the MDX is considerably cheaper than what we would have ended up with otherwise. But I definitely see areas where this gen is not up to par with the prior gen. There are improvements for sure but fit/finish and some chintzy materials aren’t that great. Paint is terrible. The ‘12 currently has 150k miles and the paint is in so much better condition with few stone chips. The ‘18 is covered in chips and marred paint already at 35k.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have not had this issue. Curious if, since you just took delivery of vehicle, it could be one of the first built after production restart?
The manufactured date on the driver B pillar has 6/2020. The frame body date on the front passenger floor is 6/20/2020.



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My wife loved our ‘12 and after 130k trouble free miles really didn’t do much shopping around. She wanted another MDX and we came home with the ‘18. I didn’t say much because in the end the MDX is considerably cheaper than what we would have ended up with otherwise. But I definitely see areas where this gen is not up to par with the prior gen. There are improvements for sure but fit/finish and some chintzy materials aren’t that great. Paint is terrible. The ‘12 currently has 150k miles and the paint is in so much better condition with few stone chips. The ‘18 is covered in chips and marred paint already at 35k.
There are multiple generations/trim levels among my family and friends. I don’t see what you see regarding chintzy materials on the third gen vs the previous one.

OTOH, I do agree that our MDXes present a strong value vs the higher priced competitors.


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I ,ove the quality birth inside and out and I have owned Porsche, MB, Audi and Lexus. They all have some quirks! For what you pay for the MDX is is not perfect. Only thing I notice is the driver’s side lumbar support moving when I brake.
 

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The manufactured date on the driver B pillar has 6/2020. The frame body date on the front passenger floor is 6/20/2020.
Could have been one of first produced when production restarted and assembled by a make-shift production line.
 

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I can't attest to past Acura quality, but my 2018 Advance Hybrid certainly exhibits traits of questionable design, build and/or component quality: body panels are not aligned, gas fill door protrudes, hood vibrates at highway speeds, vehicle drifts to left even after dealer alignment, navigation head unit crashes, front suspension squeeks, OEM floor mats don't fit well, AcuraLink blows chunks, etc. I expected better from a premium brand (I don't consider Acura "luxury").

Happy for you if you have a good one but this was my first and will be my last Acura.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Could have been one of first produced when production restarted and assembled by a make-shift production line.
When you said make-shift production line, you meant just like the Ohio plant where Honda is mandating office workers to build cars?

I also noticed the headlight assembly on the right side is misaligned about 1/8 - 3/16 inch lower. This makes eyes soaring when looking at it, one side of the hood has larger gap then the other side. I can't believe the quality department missed that...just one glance you know it is off.


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one side of the hood has larger gap then the other side. I can't believe the quality department missed that...just one glance you know it is off.
Yep, that gap is "normal" apparently. I complained before we took delivery but after looking around the lot found they all were like that. Dealer shrugged and said that's how they are. Late last year I sent it in for paint correction because the paint has held up terribly and the detail guy asked if it had been in an accident. He said the hood gap was crazy bad but he couldn't find any signs of damage or repaint so he was a little befuddled.
 

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When you said make-shift production line, you meant just like the Ohio plant where Honda is mandating office workers to build cars?
I have now seen the Autoblog article, but had not when I posted. I did not mean office workers. I was thinking that with Covid, they may be moving folks around in production due to absences, not expecting them to use office workers.

Article cited employees with Covid, plus the extra $600 unemployment making it harder to hire production workers, for using office workers.
 

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I see a lot of comments here leading me to believe that many did not 1) research what is typical with a mass produced vehicle at this price point, and 2) were not aware of many of the quality differences once you decide to pay more for a competitor such as Audi, Volvo or BMW.


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Yep, that gap is "normal" apparently. I complained before we took delivery but after looking around the lot found they all were like that. Dealer shrugged and said that's how they are. Late last year I sent it in for paint correction because the paint has held up terribly and the detail guy asked if it had been in an accident. He said the hood gap was crazy bad but he couldn't find any signs of damage or repaint so he was a little befuddled.
The big gap around the parameter of the hood is by design, but the big gap on the right is the result of the headlight assembly not in proper position. They are saying this is normal?

Maybe my MDX was assemble poorly. I used tape measure to measure it, the left side, which is perfectly aligned has a gap at 1/8 inches. The right side has a gap of 5/16 inches. I removed the plastic cover, this is what I observed. The right side: the top end of the headlight assembly is protrude above the front quarter panel while the other end sits below the grill/bumper. The left headlight is perfectly aligned.

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I see a lot of comments here leading me to believe that many did not 1) research what is typical with a mass produced vehicle at this price point, and 2) were not aware of many of the quality differences once you decide to pay more for a competitor such as Audi, Volvo or BMW.
I think this comment is spot on. Many new to the brand consider Acura a "luxury" vehicle - it is not. It is an upscale Honda sold in North America as a separate brand for marketing purposes, while in the rest of the world where it is offered it is sold as a Honda. There have been on-going debates about whether Acura/Honda models qualify as "near luxury", but for me, the last near-luxury Acura in my experience was my 1991 Legend sedan. My 2009 MDX arguably made it to premium status, but only because of the attractive price point at which it was sold.

Among the vehicles in my present "fleet" is a 2019 Audi Q7 Prestige, which I bought at a nearly 20% discount from MSRP in January 2020. It's all-in price was only a couple of thousand more than for a 2020 MDX Advance I nearly bought, but oh my, the difference in fit, finish, materials and performance is incredible. Of course, once the warranty expires and complementary maintenance is over after the next several years, it will take more dinero, equivalently, to keep the beast running well than it would for the Advance. On the other hand, I have not had any recalls, paint issues or body panel alignment problems that seem to crop up in 3rd Gen MDXs. In other words, you get what you pay for.
 

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I see a lot of comments here leading me to believe that many did not 1) research what is typical with a mass produced vehicle at this price point, and 2) were not aware of many of the quality differences once you decide to pay more for a competitor such as Audi, Volvo or BMW.
Audi - OK. BMW - can't say. But Volvo?!? Hahaha. Having owned a current model XC90 Inscription, I'll agree the quality of some components is better (best seats I've ever set my bum upon.) But build and overall quality? Nope. Unless you want overlook a dent and rear spoiler 1/2" off center at delivery, excessive road noise (poor sound insulation + Pirelli tires), leaky roof, or being in the shop a dozen times over two years for a variety of other issues. But the car looked sharp and handled nice.
 
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