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Our problem car was a 2007 Lexus RX350 that we got rid of and replaced with the 2015 MDX. We intended to keep it until the three row RX was released for 2018 then replace it with one of those. It didn’t make it.

Every brand will build a bad one from time to time.
Interesting. I was going to recommend the RX350L since it's more akin to the MDX.

I traded a 2016 Highlander (same platform/drivetrain as the RX350L) on the MDX. I wish I would have test-driven the RX350L back-to-back with the MDX. My Highlander was absolutely rock solid with nary an issue in the 4 years I owned it (and it had the keyless entry you speak of). Not even so much as a rattle or squeak. I have frequently regretted not going over to the Lexus. That said, I appreciate your take.
 

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I learned from my 2013 Pathfinder that you never buy a first model year vehicle.
Yet my very early 3rd gen, a 2014 built in June 2013, has been pretty much flawless in the 6+ years I've had it now. I don't have an issue buying a first year of a new design as long as I check the particular vehicle out thoroughly and they have a decent warranty, which virtually all new vehicles have.

There are very few issues on the first year that weren't also present on the 2nd, 3rd, and some subsequent years and then when major changes take place a couple of years later, like a different trans, then do you reset the clock or what? Eventually it gets to a point where one needs a vehicle so it's time to pull the trigger and just do due diligence and deal with any issues that might pop up.
 

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I think the OP got a lemon - i.e. a car with multiple issues. Unfortunate, but it happens to all manufacturers AFAIK. There have been a few TSBs for my '16, but the only problem I had was with the 9 speed which Acura replaced without being asked. I am quite happy with the car. I do find it disturbing that it is commonly reported that after about 4 years the battery dies without prior symptoms, when trying to start. I carry a large lithium jump-starter just in case, which I have used several times to help other cars.

I bought a Base SH-AWD. Not only did I not think the extras were worth the cost; the extra complexity is both a distraction and more potential failures. Modern cars are so complex it is amazing they work at all.

When I bought my first car (half a century ago - ouch) the standard recommendation for buying a car off of the lot was to check the assembly date. Wednesday was preferred, and Mondays/Fridays to be avoided. It seems proximity to the weekends meant more human errors. I wonder if that is still an effect...
 

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I do find it disturbing that it is commonly reported that after about 4 years the battery dies without prior symptoms, when trying to start.
That's what happened to me on my 2014 when the battery failed at just over 4 years - no prior symptoms and it just Christmas tree'd and clickity clacked (relays clicking) one morning when my wife tried to start it. I picked up a replacement battery at Home Depot on the way home (in my 50+ y/o car that I drive daily), replaced it, and no problems since then. As I approach 4 years on this battery I might buy one of those Lithium jump starters.
 

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The OEM Acura/Honda batteries failed within 3-4 years on my 06 TSX, 08 RDX and 11 MDX. It was fine one start and completed dead on the next with the TSX and RDX. My MDX battery was weak and ran too low to start the MDX once I added a dashcam to film in parking mode after 10 mins. Replaced the MDX battery with an AGM from interstate in 2015 and it has been fine since. Replaced them all with interstate batteries and always got the full warranty period with them.

Acura has added AGM batteries with vehicle with Auto Stop/Start. Don't know if OEM AGM will have the same performance as the others?
 

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I don't blame you. Getting stranded in traffic with no reasonable diagnosis as to why from the supposed experts on the vehicle is troubling and a safety issue.

It'll be a good learning experience for him.

My 2014 MDX (60k+ miles), one of there early 3rd gens off the line, the kind that many here say they avoid, has had no issues that I've needed to take it to a dealer to fix. The only failure was the battery after 4+ years, which is a normal fairly for any car and to be expected. This is the most reliable new car I've ever owned. It's unfortunate not everyone has had as good of an experience with theirs that I've had with mine. I deserve it though because in the past I've had vehicles (not Acura/Honda) that weren't reliable and experienced problems that others with the same model didn't experience.
Completely agree with you about the 2014 MDX's reliability. My 07 Sport was in the dealership frequently to fix issues that ranged from replacing the door actuators (all 4 were replaced at least 4-5 times over the life of the vehicle - thank God for extended warranties) to warped rotors; but I still loved the way it drove. Our 2014 has never, and I mean never gone in for an issue. When it goes to the dealership, it's for regular service/maintenance.
 
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