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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of purchasing a new vehicle and with a growing family (two kids under the age of 2 and a 16 year old), I need something bigger than a sedan. I have been looking at the Lexus RX 350 and the Acura MDX. With the MDX, I need to narrow down my choices and would like some opinions on what I should do.

I have a couple of MDX options to choose from:

1) 2015 Acura MDX Advance and Entertainment- 38k miles- $31,000
-sold by a Used Car dealership

2) 2015 Acura MDX with Technology- 35k miles- $32,000
-sold by an Acura dealership, Pre-Owned Certified, comes with extended warranties

3) 2014 Acura Base Model- 22k miles-$27,000
-sold by a Used Car dealership

4 2016 Acura MDX with Technology package- 36k miles- $31,500
-sold by a Used Car dealership


In an ideal world, I would like to get a Pre-Owned Certified 2015 MDX with every option with under 40k miles, but the price of the MDXs in those categories are significantly higher. I would go with my #1 option but I am wrestling with wanting a pre-certified model so that I can have the peace of mind that comes with the warranties and the 182 point inspection.

Option #4 gives me a newer model but I am skeptical about the button gear shift, I am not sure if I can get used to that, plus what I have read about the transmission problems give me cause for pause.

Option #3 is the oldest model (2014) but has the lowest miles, and the warranty that comes with the vehicle expired or will expire soon.

Then option #2 is almost the middle ground of my wishlist, it is pre-owned certified, but it comes with only the Technology package and it is also the most expensive.

And then there's the Lexus RX 350.

MDXers, based on your experience, which option would you choose and why.

Thanks for your help.
 

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If you need to go used, then I’d stick with CPO. Only one of the vehicles you listed fit that requirement... so... there you go.
 

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I would stay away from anything from a used car dealership. With all the bad weather and floods,those cars could have come from anywhere. Make sure to check carfax on all of them. I’d go with number 2. Certified and extended warranty. Unless you absolutely have to have the advance features. Number 2 should have the changes to the nav system.
 

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I personally think the 'Advance' model is overpriced when new - I think about an extra $6K. It's a lot extra for very little additional substance. I ended up buying a new 2014 MDX Tech SHAWD and skipped the Advance model.

- The Lexus is a 2 row versus the 3 row in the MDX. For a family of 4 and some practicality I think it's no contest - the MDX with the 3rd row beats the Lexus. In addition to the extra space when the 3rd row is folded down, the 3rd row comes in handy when toting extra kids to/from school events, sporting events, etc. It also comes in handy when going to a restaurant with Grandparents or the like in tow - you can drive one vehicle rather than two.

- You didn't mention SHAWD in your post. If you live in snow country or a place with frequent rainstorms the AWD adds a measure of safety and if you like great handling the SHAWD adds to the handling in curvy or mountain roads. Consider this in your comparisons.

- The CPO adds warranty and some assurance but at a cost as you can see in your prices (given that the 2015 Advance/Entertainment was likely $6K more expensive than the Tech one when new yeat is now $1K less due to not having the CPO).

- I don't buy extended warranties since I don't think they're worth it but if you really want one you may be able to buy one of the ones from a used car dealer and simply buy an Acura extended warranty for it and then that solves your CPO issue/factor. I was under the impression you could still buy one as long as the vehicle's still under the factory warranty. Double check on this though in case one isn't attainable because again, I don't buy them.

- The 2015 and especially the 2016 have more factory warranty time left on the, The 2014 may be past the B2B depending on when it was sold but still has room left on the powertrain warranty which is what protects you from the more expensive bits (but also the things unlikely to fail).

- I wouldn't worry about the button shifter. I don't have one in my 2014 but I view this as a nit and something I could easily get used to whenever I replace the vehicle if the replacement has one. It's way down on my priority list for a vehicle and wouldn't be a factor for me - it's too trivial. But again, I don't have the button.

- You should understand what people are saying about the 9-speed and its shifting characteristics. But you should also make sure you drive it yourself to see what 'you' think given what you know others have said. Also make sure the vehicle has the latest updates for it - or you can take care of that after the purchase if there's an issue.

- The entertainment system was ridiculously overpriced on the 2014/2015 at least. I don't view an entertainment system as a must and made many long driving trips with my kids without such a thing but if you like the sort of thing you might consider just using tablets for the kids to accomplish the 'entertainment'.

No matter which one you get make sure you take it for extensive test drives over a variety of terrain paying attention to the different aspects of the vehicle - handling, rattles, weird noises, etc. This means not having the salesperson sitting there turning the stereo on loudly, which they like to do because it masks things.

Make sure you understand how the features/functions work including the infotainment. You can download user manuals from the Acura site and read them beforehand.
 

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Based on IIHS tests, the 2016 safety tech is rated higher than 2015. The 2015 couldn’t avoid either the 12 or 25mph impacts, while the 2016 could. Not sure if that matters to you, but that’s what swayed me to the 2016.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I personally think the 'Advance' model is overpriced when new - I think about an extra $6K. It's a lot extra for very little additional substance. I ended up buying a new 2014 MDX Tech SHAWD and skipped the Advance model.

- The Lexus is a 2 row versus the 3 row in the MDX. For a family of 4 and some practicality I think it's no contest - the MDX with the 3rd row beats the Lexus. In addition to the extra space when the 3rd row is folded down, the 3rd row comes in handy when toting extra kids to/from school events, sporting events, etc. It also comes in handy when going to a restaurant with Grandparents or the like in tow - you can drive one vehicle rather than two.

- You didn't mention SHAWD in your post. If you live in snow country or a place with frequent rainstorms the AWD adds a measure of safety and if you like great handling the SHAWD adds to the handling in curvy or mountain roads. Consider this in your comparisons.

- The CPO adds warranty and some assurance but at a cost as you can see in your prices (given that the 2015 Advance/Entertainment was likely $6K more expensive than the Tech one when new yeat is now $1K less due to not having the CPO).

- I don't buy extended warranties since I don't think they're worth it but if you really want one you may be able to buy one of the ones from a used car dealer and simply buy an Acura extended warranty for it and then that solves your CPO issue/factor. I was under the impression you could still buy one as long as the vehicle's still under the factory warranty. Double check on this though in case one isn't attainable because again, I don't buy them.

- The 2015 and especially the 2016 have more factory warranty time left on the, The 2014 may be past the B2B depending on when it was sold but still has room left on the powertrain warranty which is what protects you from the more expensive bits (but also the things unlikely to fail).

- I wouldn't worry about the button shifter. I don't have one in my 2014 but I view this as a nit and something I could easily get used to whenever I replace the vehicle if the replacement has one. It's way down on my priority list for a vehicle and wouldn't be a factor for me - it's too trivial. But again, I don't have the button.

- You should understand what people are saying about the 9-speed and its shifting characteristics. But you should also make sure you drive it yourself to see what 'you' think given what you know others have said. Also make sure the vehicle has the latest updates for it - or you can take care of that after the purchase if there's an issue.

- The entertainment system was ridiculously overpriced on the 2014/2015 at least. I don't view an entertainment system as a must and made many long driving trips with my kids without such a thing but if you like the sort of thing you might consider just using tablets for the kids to accomplish the 'entertainment'.

No matter which one you get make sure you take it for extensive test drives over a variety of terrain paying attention to the different aspects of the vehicle - handling, rattles, weird noises, etc. This means not having the salesperson sitting there turning the stereo on loudly, which they like to do because it masks things.

Make sure you understand how the features/functions work including the infotainment. You can download user manuals from the Acura site and read them beforehand.
Thanks for opinions. I am definitely getting an AWD as I live on the east coast.

I do like the fact that there's a certain level peace of mind with getting a CPO. With the CPO, do I need to pay additional to get the extended warranty or does that automatically come with it because of the fact that it is a CPO?

I need to look into option of buying an Acura extended warranty if I buy a used MDX from a non-Acura dealership, does anyone know if that's possible?

Is there really not a big difference between the MDX Advance & Entertainment vs the MDX Tech?
 

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I picked up a 15 Tech with entertainment CPO with 37K miles in Texas for $30,000 (TTL extra). They even threw in a cargo tray. You might want to keep looking.
 

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My buddy who sells Honda’s & Acura’s told me once “if you want a good deal on a used Acura then check with BMW, Porsche, Range Rover, Cadilac etc.. Dealers for a trade in they may have.

They want to offload them ASAP, at Acura they have to keep the price high for CPO as to not degrade their new car stock value.”

It makes sense - I have never tried it but I can see it working if you are lucky and find one in the distance you are willing to travel to.
 

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Might be worth it to look for anything under the 4 year 50k warranty and just add a Acura Care warranty for ~$2k yourself. CPO adds a year warranty, but you can get about 5 years added buying the warranty yourself on any Acura still under the basic warranty.
 

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I can confirm what Localbar's buddy says. I bought an 05 MDX from a GM dealer cheaper than I could have purchased an older MDX with more miles from the Acura dealer. Also, a few years ago I inquired of the Porsche dealer about an MDX they had advertised. They had already sold it to the Acura dealer.

Keep in mind that you can buy an AcuraCare warranty so long as the original warranty is still in effect.

My last two MDXs have been Advance models. The added features are worth it to me, but that is a personal decision.

My current Advance has the push button shift. It does take getting used to, but I'm getting there.

I shopped the RX and wanted to like it, but came back to MDX. More storage space in the back, and on the rare occasion when I use the third row, it is nice to have. The new RX L has the third row seat, but folks on the Lexus forum not real thrilled about it. Saying that there is no leg room if second row is back, and if no leg room in second row if moved up to accommodate third row passengers.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Might be worth it to look for anything under the 4 year 50k warranty and just add a Acura Care warranty for ~$2k yourself. CPO adds a year warranty, but you can get about 5 years added buying the warranty yourself on any Acura still under the basic warranty.
Thanks, so my option #1 would be eligible for Acura Care Warranty, I will look into this.
 

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Check out www.curryacuracare.com for an Acura Care extended warranty. For our 2015 Advance w Entertainment with 39,000 miles the warranty prices ranged from a low of $1,135 (2 years, 80,000 total miles, $100 deductible) to $2,390 (5 years, 120,000 miles, $0 deductible). The original warranty doesn't expire until January 2019, so I'll probably wait until December of this year, at which time I'll probably get the 4 year/80,000 total miles/$0 deductible warranty for around $1,400.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think I've decided to go the CPO route, but I am now between:

2016 MDX SH-AWD base model with 38k Miles= $31,500

and

2015 MDX-SH-AWD Technology Package with 35k miles= $31,600


Now the question is, which would you go with if you were in my shoes?
 

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I think I've decided to go the CPO route, but I am now between:

2016 MDX SH-AWD base model with 38k Miles= $31,500
and
2015 MDX-SH-AWD Technology Package with 35k miles= $31,600

Now the question is, which would you go with if you were in my shoes?
I wouldn't want a base MDX so I'd go with the Tech package. The 2015 was also the last year of the 6AT, which some people prefer over the ZF9.

Can you use the less expensive 2016 as leverage to negotiate a better price on the 2015? That would be a win-win.
 

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I think I've decided to go the CPO route, but I am now between:

2016 MDX SH-AWD base model with 38k Miles= $31,500

and

2015 MDX-SH-AWD Technology Package with 35k miles= $31,600


Now the question is, which would you go with if you were in my shoes?
Would definitely get the Tech package in whatever you get - the added features are definitely something you'll be more satisfied with especially if you're buying CPO. Whether you go the '15 route or hold out for a '16 is a personal preference. I've heard the '16's with the 9 speed aren't as dialed-in as the later '17's (which I have) - so I'd make sure I drove both and see which you like better. The '15 with a 6-speed won't be a bad vehicle to have if you're happy with the condition and lengthy test drive.

good luck! andy
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Is there a big difference between a 2014 MDX Tech and 2015 MDX Tech? I ran into a 2014 CPO with low miles for a couple of thousand dollars cheaper and I’m tempted. Any thoughts???
 

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No difference between the '14 and the '15.
 

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Is there a big difference between a 2014 MDX Tech and 2015 MDX Tech? I ran into a 2014 CPO with low miles for a couple of thousand dollars cheaper and I’m tempted. Any thoughts???
The Nav system was updated for 2015. The software was updated for 2015. It’s more user friendly. I’ll try to find the thread on that. Plus less 1st year problems.
SB 14-037. Can’t figure out the links. Do a search on 14-037..
 

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