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Discussion Starter #1
We've had our MDX for a couple of years now and we're slowly getting used to its bigger size (we used to have a CR-V). I'd like to get other owner's impressions on the driveability of this vehicle.

My impression is if you drive it with a light throttle, in an attempt to get better mileage, the car accelerates smoothly and the transmission upshifts very quickly and seems to settle in around 1200 RPM during city driving. From then one, it's more like controlling the inertia of a big mass rather than feeling like you're driving something sporty. There's not much torque at 1200 RPM and you have to mash the accelerator to force it to downshift before you feel any torque. I realize that the MDX's V6 is optimized for high revving rather than high torque. When I drive it more spiritedly, it feels more satisfying.

I know there's the "S" option on the transmission to delay the upshifts, resulting in a more "sporty" drive. I've been reluctant to use it thinking it'll suck gas more quickly.

How has other people's experience been driving this car? Does the "S" mode really kill your gas mileage?
 

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I've given up on trying to get anything better than 15 mpg avg in straight city driving. The MDX is made to be a hwy cruiser and that is where I get the best mpgs. The longer I can stay in 6th gear the better the overall mpgs.

I use the paddles to downshift going down hills to keep from riding the brakes in city driving. I also like the paddles when I use my ACC to accelerate faster to cruise control speed if the ACC radar had to slow the X down. The only time I use "S" mode is driving in the mountains to hold a gear longer to keep it from up/down shifting too much killing my speed. The MDX size/weight/height/aerodynamics starts to work against her at higher hwy speeds for sporty handling.

I did the Hondata reflash on my RDX and that raised my rpm limit to 7200 rpms in sport mode. I use sport mode or paddles in Auto more in my RDX because of the Turbo an being in the sweet spot for hp/tq once the turbo is spooled up. Sport mode on my RDX give my a wider range to downshift compared to just using the paddles in auto. I haven't tried to see if the MDX sport mode also give me a wider range for downshifting. I really don't have a need to shift into sport mode because of the 6AT extra gearing and I'm usually loaded down too much for sporty driving on long hwy runs.
 

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It feels like an underpowered minivan if you son't drive aggressively. We jump in/out of much better shifting vehicles so we have to re-train our selves in the MDX. My understanding is that the '12-'13 models are programmed even more conservatively than the prior years to improve mpg. It will try to kill you crossing a busy intersection if you don't come to a complete stop because it sits in 4th gear even if you're barely moving. You pretty much have to use the paddles or floor it to get decent performance.

You can have your dealer reset the learning process in the transmission. I've done that a few times and it drives lovely for awhile (like how it drove when we test drove it new.....). But with all our highway driving, it goes back to shifting sluggishly fairly soon. I need to figure out a way to reset the transmission myself.

But for all that, the mpg is decent....avg around 19 for routine driving. The vast majority of our miles are highway where it sits around 22-23. 65k miles on our '12 with no problems besides the janky shifting, so at least it's reliable.
 

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I have two 2011 Elites .. our white had the tranny flash update so would be comparable to your 2013 driveabilty so I will comment here. When I take my wife's X I'm always in S sport mode for off the line and in town with stop and go traffic or passing. Once I'm up to speed and cruising I shift to D drive. It responds quick and accelerates faster with quicker shifting in S, is the way too go.
Another big help is to use 94 Oct . gas!
Use the best gas you can find!
What moves your vehicle. ? It's not the car that
moves is self. . quality of your gas is first most important and really makes a big difference in the X.
If your driving an X your last concern should be gas milage. .
when it's near empty just fill it up! Just enjoy the X ..
if your so concerned about fuel milage you shouldn't be driving it. Get your self a 4 cycleder light weight cross over cause the X is not about that! Is why we bought this in the first place enjoy your X it's meant to be enjoyed !
 

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When I take my wife's X I'm always in S sport mode for off the line and in town with stop and go traffic or passing. Once I'm up to speed and cruising I shift to D drive. It responds quick and accelerates faster with quicker shifting in S, is the way too go.
There's a further difference between the '10-'11 and the '12+ in regards to how S-mode operates. S-mode on the 12'+ will not upshift to 4th and 5th gears unless you rev beyond 5,500rpms. Ironically, 1st-3rd still shifts pretty quick, so it's not particularly useful around town unless you like rolling along with the engine screaming at 5k. It sounds like the flash for the '11 didn't give it the same program as the '12+, at least in S. I use it in low-speed stop-n-go but that's about it.
 

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Gas mileage is pretty terrible unless you're just on the highway with no traffic. It's even worse when you consider having to put premium in the tank. After the pump initially cuts off, I can usually squeeze another gallon or so in which helps out in extending time between stops.

I never put it in sport mode. Just put your foot further down and it gets up and goes. But then again I have an '11, perhaps the '13 is programmed more economically as mentioned above.

I recently had the opportunity to drive a new Lexus GX for a few days... MDX feels like a sportscar comparatively :D Then again the MDX weighs about 800lbs less, so it should.
 

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Gas mileage is pretty terrible unless you're just on the highway with no traffic. It's even worse when you consider having to put premium in the tank. After the pump initially cuts off, I can usually squeeze another gallon or so in which helps out in extending time between stops.

I never put it in sport mode. Just put your foot further down and it gets up and goes. But then again I have an '11, perhaps the '13 is programmed more economically as mentioned above.

I recently had the opportunity to drive a new Lexus GX for a few days... MDX feels like a sportscar comparatively :D Then again the MDX weighs about 800lbs less, so it should.
Keep doing that and you will get "tighten fuel cap message" all the time....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It feels like an underpowered minivan if you son't drive aggressively.... It will try to kill you crossing a busy intersection if you don't come to a complete stop because it sits in 4th gear even if you're barely moving. You pretty much have to use the paddles or floor it to get decent performance.
You've hit it bang on! My sentiments exactly. It does feel like an underpowered minivan if you drive it leisurely. And it sure does hang onto a high gear even when you're going very slowly. You need to mash it to get some torque, but then it shoots out like an angry scalded bear.

I don't have experience with earlier models, but I can believe that Acura tweaked the '13 models (and probably earlier) for more aggressive upshifting to squeeze every last MPG out of it.
 

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I've driven a lot of SUV's and the MDX feels more car-like than many of them, it's a good compromise.
Exactly the reason why I bought it.

You've hit it bang on! My sentiments exactly. It does feel like an underpowered minivan if you drive it leisurely. And it sure does hang onto a high gear even when you're going very slowly. You need to mash it to get some torque, but then it shoots out like an angry scalded bear.

I don't have experience with earlier models, but I can believe that Acura tweaked the '13 models (and probably earlier) for more aggressive upshifting to squeeze every last MPG out of it.
I have an '07 and it's no different. I recently had a wheel sensor go out and haven't had a chance to replace it yet. It really gave me a good look at why you absolutely need AWD on this vehicle. Front wheels spins so easily without it if you get on it.
 
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