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Discussion Starter #1
I own a 2010 Tech. I was given a 2014 AWD Tech overnight (24 hours) while my truck was in for service. Here's my thoughts after a couple of hours on the freeway and many little errands, then getting my truck back to confirm my opinions

The good:
Keyless entry & go : this is awesome. It's the #1 thing I wish my X had.

Little display between tach & speedometer : looks sharp & I love the 'compass + street name' mode

noise : it seems a little bit quieter than mine as far as wind noise goes, but then again mine has a roof rack while the 2014 didn't

heated steering wheel : damn, I didn't think I'd enjoy this so much. Very nice.

sliding & easy-fold 2nd row seats : just plain great. I wish mine had this

fuel economy : obviously better than mine

the bad:
no hard switches or memory for heated seats : really?? Here in Canada the seats spend half the year "ON", this truck forces me to turn them on manually every time I re-start??? Somebody mentioned there's an "automatic mode" but I didn't find any mention of it in the owner's manual. To make things worse, they're activated off the wretched touchscreen

driver's seat has less freedom of movement than before : I like to raise the front of the seat cushion a bit higher than the rear for some thigh support. 2014 can't seem to do this ???

touchscreen : arghhhhhhhhhhh this sucks so badly. Not only does it force you to take your eyes off the road for longer to find common functions, there's nothing to steady your hand against while you're pecking at the screen. On bumpy roads I'd try to hit one button but I'd often hit another one accidentally cause my arm would flop around

interior design : this is highly subjective but to me, the 2014 interior doesn't feel as "special" as the 2nd gen. The dashboard and IP look a lot more plain now, I feel they've lost some visual interest vs the previous-gen. The instrument panel is very flat and simple like something you'd expect to see in an Accord. The 2 screens make the center stack look like a video arcade cabinet


General observations:
Looks are growing on me. The Tech's 19" wheels look very, very nice

At city speeds, the engine makes weird resonant noises at some combinations of RPM vs load, like a cow mooing. Not really offensive but strange

LED headlights don't seem to be a big improvement. Maybe a bit more light focus on low beams but the cutoff seems to be lower so it doesn't feel like you see any better

Handling and ride comfort seem pretty close. The 3rd Gen felt twitchier, but this could be down to the IDS setting - default mode was "sport"

On the 2G, you definitely get the feeling that the engine is working hard to move the beast. The driveline in the new truck feels like it isn't working as hard to build and maintain speed.

Size : could be an illusion but, parked in my garage, the 3rd gen seems to be a few inches shorter and narrower than mine, while not feeling noticeably smaller inside.

I'm surprised they didn't add a panoramic sunroof this time around. Many of the competing trucks have this and I enjoy the open-sky feeling it gives

The doors on the 3rd gen need a bit more force to close. Using the same swing that works on my 2010 would leave the door slightly open on the 2014

tl;dr: Overall it's a very nice & enjoyable truck. I could get used to one very easily but the lack of seat heater memory is close to a deal-breaker for me
 

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My Take

Interesting comments. I have never owned an Acura before, so here are my thoughts- from a first time MDX owner...

I have some buyers remorse, but overall I would still hesitate at other options out there:

Audi Q7- overpriced
BMW X5 overpriced, and smaller
MB GL Very nice vehicle, but pricey and the gas mileage is abysmal
Toyota Highlander- Was seriously considering waiting for the 2014 to come out to take a look- very happy with our existing Sienna minivan.
Buick Enclave- Really liked this one, get more for the $. Smooth, quiet, but gas mileage was only fair, and some other minor issues like still using a key to start, etc. Was very close to purchasing this before I bought the MDX
Ford Explorer, nice, but just didn't like the interior room, and some issues with reliability
Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX/Q whatever now- the CVT was a deal breaker

Things I like about the MDX:
Gas mileage
Quiet interior
OK looks- interior and exterior
SH-AWD
Things I don't like:
Rearview camera
Heated seat- no 'memory'
climate control system
some general quirkiness- hard to explain, but electronics, and overall quality in some respects makes it seem like it was released about 6 months before it was really 'ready for prime time' If I had to do over again I would have waited for the next model year.
 

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Please send your letter and feedback to Honda/Acura. They believe that everything is operationally excellent, including the touchscreen and navigation system.
 

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An observation from a non-previous-model-owner (me) -

When I read reviews of the previous model one of the top items in the negative column was always the 'too many buttons/knobs on the center stack' issue. It was universal - practically every review I read had this as a negative.

Acura obviously attempted to solve that issue with the touchscreen. They definitely reduced the number of hard buttons/knobs.

Yet when I read the input on this forum from previous gen owners it seems universal that they all prefer the many buttons to the solution (i.e. touch screen).

There's something out of sync between the professional reviewers and the owners posting here.

fwiw - I don't have any real issue with the touchscreen. It works well enough for me and in reality I rarely need to use it. I also don't think I would have had an issue with the 'many buttons/knobs on the center stack' design. I didn't own one so I can't say for sure yet it seems that I would have gotten used to it after a bit.

The new design is cleaner and more flexible, especially if Acura is willing to implement improvements via software updates (ex: making the seat heater you all complain about more user friendly and flexible), but at the end of the day this is the wave of the future I think and I can't see Acura or other manufacturers moving away from it back to buttons - not on a vehicle with a large number of features and hence need for additional controls (i.e. buttons/knobs whether they be virtual or real). One can see that as even more features are added through the years, each necessitating a means of controlling it, simply adding real buttons/knobs doesn't scale - it really needs to be done through a more universal control input - i.e. a touchscreen.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd bet all reviewers found the 2nd Gen center stack too complicated and confusing. They only test the car for a few hours or days; for the first few days I couldn't find anything either and often had to pull over to find the button I needed. But an owner who lives with the car for years eventually memorizes the buttons they need and appreciates direct access to them

the touchscreen wouldn't be as bad if there was a place to rest the hand relative to the screen, also if the menus had bigger tiles for controls (like a Microsoft Surface or Windows Phone interface for example). But some of the controls are *tiny* - the seat heater buttons are like 1/2" x 1/2", on a bumpy road it's hard to hit them so it makes you spend more time focusing on the screen instead of the road. That's bad. On my truck, I can turn seat heating on or off without even looking - I know where the switch is located and I know I have to push it forward for "high" or backwards for "low". I just reach down and BOOM, its done. Couldn't be easier

I could probably learn the menus enough to live with the touchscreen but at least give me a hand rest to help me hit the tiny button on 1st try ...

... especially if Acura is willing to implement improvements via software updates (ex: making the seat heater you all complain about more user friendly and flexible)
Ideally this could be true, but hoping that Acura will fix anything on the interface with system updates is extremely unrealistic in my opinion. With car software, you better love it as-is because there's a good chance you'll be stuck with what's there forever.
 

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I own a 2010 Tech. I was given a 2014 AWD Tech overnight (24 hours) while my truck was in for service. Here's my thoughts after a couple of hours on the freeway and many little errands, then getting my truck back to confirm my opinions

The good:
Keyless entry & go : this is awesome. It's the #1 thing I wish my X had.

Little display between tach & speedometer : looks sharp & I love the 'compass + street name' mode

noise : it seems a little bit quieter than mine as far as wind noise goes, but then again mine has a roof rack while the 2014 didn't

heated steering wheel : damn, I didn't think I'd enjoy this so much. Very nice.

sliding & easy-fold 2nd row seats : just plain great. I wish mine had this

fuel economy : obviously better than mine

the bad:
no hard switches or memory for heated seats : really?? Here in Canada the seats spend half the year "ON", this truck forces me to turn them on manually every time I re-start??? Somebody mentioned there's an "automatic mode" but I didn't find any mention of it in the owner's manual. To make things worse, they're activated off the wretched touchscreen

driver's seat has less freedom of movement than before : I like to raise the front of the seat cushion a bit higher than the rear for some thigh support. 2014 can't seem to do this ???

touchscreen : arghhhhhhhhhhh this sucks so badly. Not only does it force you to take your eyes off the road for longer to find common functions, there's nothing to steady your hand against while you're pecking at the screen. On bumpy roads I'd try to hit one button but I'd often hit another one accidentally cause my arm would flop around

interior design : this is highly subjective but to me, the 2014 interior doesn't feel as "special" as the 2nd gen. The dashboard and IP look a lot more plain now, I feel they've lost some visual interest vs the previous-gen. The instrument panel is very flat and simple like something you'd expect to see in an Accord. The 2 screens make the center stack look like a video arcade cabinet


General observations:
Looks are growing on me. The Tech's 19" wheels look very, very nice

At city speeds, the engine makes weird resonant noises at some combinations of RPM vs load, like a cow mooing. Not really offensive but strange

LED headlights don't seem to be a big improvement. Maybe a bit more light focus on low beams but the cutoff seems to be lower so it doesn't feel like you see any better

Handling and ride comfort seem pretty close. The 3rd Gen felt twitchier, but this could be down to the IDS setting - default mode was "sport"

On the 2G, you definitely get the feeling that the engine is working hard to move the beast. The driveline in the new truck feels like it isn't working as hard to build and maintain speed.

Size : could be an illusion but, parked in my garage, the 3rd gen seems to be a few inches shorter and narrower than mine, while not feeling noticeably smaller inside.

I'm surprised they didn't add a panoramic sunroof this time around. Many of the competing trucks have this and I enjoy the open-sky feeling it gives

The doors on the 3rd gen need a bit more force to close. Using the same swing that works on my 2010 would leave the door slightly open on the 2014

tl;dr: Overall it's a very nice & enjoyable truck. I could get used to one very easily but the lack of seat heater memory is close to a deal-breaker for me
The elite do have the heater memory. Set it on auto and that's all that is needed for all the heating and cooling functions.
 

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This is my first MDX which was an upgrade from Murano. I'm a bit surprised to hear LED headlights are not a "big improvement". That was one of the features I've noticed right away on my recent road trip thru upstate NY at night. I had a feeling my headlights were providing illumination for all cars around. LEDs are excellent.

Touchscreen...well I'm with Acura on this. I think it's a future given a number of functions/features in a car will grow all the time and you need some means to control it. Buttons is so 20th century. Besides I'm trying to learn voice commands (hope they will release a software update to fix the heated seats voice command, the dealer here in Canada said January/February)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Damn I miss coding with my previous BMW...
hey you re right, I remember reflashing my A4 through VAG-COM (that name sounds so dirty, lol) to add new featues like DRLs and enabling remote-closing the windows & sunroof from the key fob buttons ...

This is my first MDX which was an upgrade from Murano. I'm a bit surprised to hear LED headlights are not a "big improvement". That was one of the features I've noticed right away on my recent road trip thru upstate NY at night. I had a feeling my headlights were providing illumination for all cars around. LEDs are excellent.
well I compared them directly back to back with my 2nd Gen MDX (HID) headlights and it's a toss-up. I guess that means the 2G headlights are also excellent :)
 

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I installed a double-din touchscreen stereo in the wife's old car (prior to getting the X) and I hated it. I thought it would be cool, but it was a pain. I much prefer a tactile interface … keeps the eyes on the road where they belong. As much crap as BMW's iDrive gets, I like it a lot better than the touchscreen (I drive an '07 335i). It gives you access to a lot of things without a lot of buttons. And the jog dial/controller has a tactile feedback, which makes it a lot better.
 

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At city speeds, the engine makes weird resonant noises at some combinations of RPM vs load, like a cow mooing. Not really offensive but strange
I have noticed this as well and posted about it a while ago. I described it as a throaty engine note, but you describe it better here. I asked the dealer about it and they said they heard nothing unusual, so perhaps that's just the way the engine sounds.

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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I think the engine sound is related to the cylinder deactivation which you notice when you maintain a constant speed. The noise cancellation does do a good job of masking it. I find the acceleration smoother and more responsive than my 2011 and the handling is more car like. My wife actually like driving the 2014 and was reluctant to drive the 2011.
The touch screen could be improved, why does changing the air re-circ take three screen presses when it's a binary function? I'll admit the auto heated seats are nice but they could again allow it to be turned on just but pressing the screen quickly and open the menu if you hold down on the screen if you want to change more functions. If you have ventilated as well they could tie it to temperature to determine if heating or cooling is activated if you just tap the screen.
I've also had a few issues with the upper screen not functioning at all and having to restart the car to get it to work. There are definitely some bugs but hopefully software updates can fix it. The voice functions for the heater/ventilated seats don't work, I'm tempted to try all the voice commands and see if others fail as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
... As much crap as BMW's iDrive gets, I like it a lot better than the touchscreen (I drive an '07 335i). It gives you access to a lot of things without a lot of buttons. And the jog dial/controller has a tactile feedback, which makes it a lot better.
Right. Also on iDrive your wrist is resting on the console while you operate the control knob, unlike the MDX touchscreen where your arm is extended in mid-air trying to punch a tiny area on a screen while the car pitches and bumps around.
 

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When I read reviews of the previous model one of the top items in the negative column was always the 'too many buttons/knobs on the center stack' issue. It was universal - practically every review I read had this as a negative.
Reviews from whom? Car magazines who have the car for a couple weeks? Or owners?

I never had a problem with my 2011 MDX. The 2014 touchscreen has been slow and a challenge.

I did *not* like the 3G TL buttons - I thought the arrangement around the dial looked cheap and similar to a 1980s-era boombox. However, early reports - and the first photo I ever saw - indicated that China was high on Acura's target for the car, and the interior was designed to address the needs/desires of both US/Canada and Chinese shoppers.
 

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I installed a double-din touchscreen stereo in the wife's old car (prior to getting the X) and I hated it. I thought it would be cool, but it was a pain. I much prefer a tactile interface … keeps the eyes on the road where they belong. As much crap as BMW's iDrive gets, I like it a lot better than the touchscreen (I drive an '07 335i). It gives you access to a lot of things without a lot of buttons. And the jog dial/controller has a tactile feedback, which makes it a lot better.
Latest version of iDrive (4.2/4.3) is actually quite good. I have the non-Touch version on my 2013, and have heard great reviews from everyone with the 2014 models including touch.

That's pretty amazing - (someone can prove me wrong) but I haven't personally read one single negative review on their current-gen interface. The CPU is fast, the jog dial works, and the associated buttons are quick jumping points.

We'll see how the new Audi MMI (or whatever it's called) interface works in the 2015 TT, but by the looks of it (at CES 2014), people are pretty impressed.

On this side of the car fence, Acura has failed. Slow processor. Washed out screens. Slow touchscreen. Data import errors. And so on.
 

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I haven't had experience with the iDrive but I don't find the MDX touchscreen too slow to be annoying. For some reason I don't use it often mostly at stop if at all so pushing a button or making two clicks makes no difference for me. I prefer touchscreen in general to buttons mostly due to a better interface. Many car manufactures are moving to touchscreen these days. Slow processor...actually, the MDX GPS zooming is much better than the top of the line Garmin though I use both each for a different purpose
 

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In general, I'm not a big fan of the touch screens because they require you to take your eyes off the road. I much prefer a tactile operation … being able to feel the bumps of the buttons or the resistance in the jog dial. I know touch screens are becoming the norm, but I just don't think they make a lot of sense without any sort of tactile feel.

When BMW introduced the iDrive, they got a lot of crap. Within in a year or two or three, they introduced more buttons for often-used functions in order to alleviate some of the complaints.
 

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Soft buttons for the heated seats? That is completely ridiculous.

I love the new engineering, but the soft exterior, the uninspiring interior just don't make me excited, and the soft buttons to access practically every setting is just nuts. It's not safe.
 

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...the soft buttons to access practically every setting is just nuts. It's not safe.
I couldn't agree more.

Acura has been giving me line after line of boilerplate on how perfect and wonderful it is... tempered with an occasional "your issues are being discussed internally and with customers". Contradiction?

I think the Road & Track article raised eyebrows.
 

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Slow processor...actually, the MDX GPS zooming is much better than the top of the line Garmin though I use both each for a different purpose
I have the Garmin 3597LMTHD flagship model with capacitive, multi-touch display. The panning and zooming is much better than the MDX Nav.
 
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