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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello MDXers!

Names T.K and I've owned about 30 Honda/Acura's in my 16 years of driving. EF's, EG's, EK's, DC's, Accords, TL's etc.

So you know I'm not a scammer/bot/Croatian war criminal, check out some of my active build threads on other forums:
My CRZ
My RL
My CRX

I come seeking some general guidance and opinions, as I'm currently searching for an MDX for my girlfriend. We sold her Kia Sportage(gross, I know) to CarMax yesterday, and have our eyes on a 2017 MDX that we're going to check out on Monday.

Here are the general details:

Year/Make/Model/Trim: 2017 Acura MDX SH-AWD Advance w/ Entertainment package
Miles: 75k
Exterior Color: Crystal Black Pearl
Interior Color: Ebony
Recalls: None or All Completed.
Vehicle History: Carfax is spotless. 1 owner personal vehicle, no accidents or claims, all services done at the same dealership, all inspections done at the same inspection station. Almost seems like the vehicle never left the city it was purchased in for the 4.5 years the original owner had it. Driven 16k miles on average, annually, which is a standard amount.
Price: ~$30k
Seller Type: Dealership

I have a lot of experience buying and selling cars, although I will admit the majority of my experience is with private sellers. I've only purchase maybe 4-5 cars from dealerships. I know all the basic tests for drive ability, accelerating, braking, alignment, fluid/leak check, undercarriage rust check, feature checks etc. Pretty much all the basics. Along with how to nit pick stuff to drive the cost down.

The main thing I'm looking for guidance on, is anything 3G MDX specific that I need to make sure I check.

Some examples of other Honda/Acuras with common issues to look out for:
  • 98-02 Honda Accords | V6 Auto Transmissions commonly slipped and eventually failed.
  • 04-08 Acura TLs | Dashboards commonly cracked. A small crack now meant a completely cracked dash eventually.
  • 05-12 Acura RLs | If exposed to high heat (direct sun with no sun shade) the glove boxes will start to bubble. Once it starts it's hard to stop.

You get the idea.

So long time MDX owners, I humbly ask for you to share your vast knowledge on these awesome, fancy, luxurious SUV's! (My CRZ is the newest car I own, and I'm honestly gonna be a little jelly if/when my gf gets this MDX, haha)

Thanks in advance! (w/ Entertainment package)
T.K
 

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If you can dive or buy a 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid (7spd DCT) you can avoid the transmission problems (9Spd) that have be noted on these forums. Hard to find a Hybrid but worth it.
 

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- Check the body panel alignment closely to make sure it's to your liking. Some have complained of body panels not being aligned well.

- There have been a variety of complaints about the 9 speed trans - some of which have apparently been fixed by software updates on the trans. Most of the complaints seem to not be with reliability, but rather with how it shifts and the feel of it. You sb able to determine if it's an issue on her potential one via a good long test drive with a variety of speed, road variations, including a freeway, etc. Don't be afraid to stomp in the gas, stomp on the brakes, etc. and pay attention to how it behaves when slowing to a stop light of stop sign. Note that some posters think the 9 speed is fine and obviously Acura has sold a lot of them in comparison to the number of people who post here. My MDX is a 2014 and has the 6 speed so I have no direct experience with the 9 speed. The 6 speed has been great.

The main thing is - do a long and thorough test drive without a sales person gabbing in your ear (preferably without them in the car) and without the radio blaring so you can hear bumps, rattles, squeaks, and the like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you can dive or buy a 2017 MDX Sport Hybrid (7spd DCT) you can avoid the transmission problems (9Spd) that have be noted on these forums. Hard to find a Hybrid but worth it.
After doing all my homework on the MDX's and settling on the third gen, I was looking for the Sport Hybrid pretty hard. I learned they are pretty damn hard to find, and when you do find them they definitely retain their resale value, haha. That's when I shifted my seach to the SH-AWD Advance, the entertainment stuff is just a bonus.

My girlfriend is very much a 'vehicle=tool' type of person, so me being an enthusiast and convincing her why one model or trim is better than the cheaper ones has been a fun experience to say the least :D

- Check the body panel alignment closely to make sure it's to your liking. Some have complained of body panels not being aligned well.

- There have been a variety of complaints about the 9 speed trans - some of which have apparently been fixed by software updates on the trans. Most of the complaints seem to not be with reliability, but rather with how it shifts and the feel of it. You sb able to determine if it's an issue on her potential one via a good long test drive with a variety of speed, road variations, including a freeway, etc. Don't be afraid to stomp in the gas, stomp on the brakes, etc. and pay attention to how it behaves when slowing to a stop light of stop sign. Note that some posters think the 9 speed is fine and obviously Acura has sold a lot of them in comparison to the number of people who post here. My MDX is a 2014 and has the 6 speed so I have no direct experience with the 9 speed. The 6 speed has been great.

The main thing is - do a long and thorough test drive without a sales person gabbing in your ear (preferably without them in the car) and without the radio blaring so you can hear bumps, rattles, squeaks, and the like.
Body panel alignment is a new one, thanks for that.

Really relieved to hear the reported transmission issues aren't reliability or failure related. I'll definitely put the car through it's paces. We plan to get there when the dealership opens at 9am and will have 11 hours until they close, plenty of time to test any and everything.
 

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After doing all my homework on the MDX's and settling on the third gen, I was looking for the Sport Hybrid pretty hard. I learned they are pretty damn hard to find, and when you do find them they definitely retain their resale value, haha. That's when I shifted my seach to the SH-AWD Advance, the entertainment stuff is just a bonus.

My girlfriend is very much a 'vehicle=tool' type of person, so me being an enthusiast and convincing her why one model or trim is better than the cheaper ones has been a fun experience to say the least :D



Body panel alignment is a new one, thanks for that.

Really relieved to hear the reported transmission issues aren't reliability or failure related. I'll definitely put the car through it's paces. We plan to get there when the dealership opens at 9am and will have 11 hours until they close, plenty of time to test any and everything.
Make sure you ask if the TSB 20-015 was completed. If not, have the dealer do it (if you are buying the vehicle from Acura).

Sent from my SM-G781V using Tapatalk
 
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Test drive without a salesperson, blame Covid if you have toPlug in a code reader and drive it for an hour or so with several on off cycles. Then check the codes. I’ve test driven 2 MDXs (that I know of) that the codes were cleared within 0 to 8 miles of me test driving it. There’s a reason for that.

If you want car play to sync your phone, you need to go to a 2018, which is why I have an ‘18.

Not super common, but mine and several others on here have issues with the rain sensing wipers not working at all, or properly. Same with the lane keep assist. Some done work at all, some don’t work properly.

Oh, make sure the metal key actually operates the driver door lock. Neither of mine do.

Enjoy the hunt. There’s lots of these for sale. Take your time and get the right deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's actually really unfortunate to hear that the 2017 models don't support Apple CarPlay, I was under the impression that they did. That might be a deal breaker for my girlfriend.

Thanks for all the other tips. Gonna have to dig deeper on these ones.
 

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That's actually really unfortunate to hear that the 2017 models don't support Apple CarPlay, I was under the impression that they did. That might be a deal breaker for my girlfriend.

Thanks for all the other tips. Gonna have to dig deeper on these ones.
I recommend taking the time and looking for a hybrid. The increase in gas mileage is huge. Also, you'll definitely get the apple carplay. It took me over a month of looking, but i found the perfect hybrid for me, 2020 hybrid advance in fathom blue with less than 8,000 miles. I got very lucky.

If you're not picky about it being advance package or the color (most of the ones I've seen listed are white or black), you should be able to find one. As of 2 weeks ago, there were a handful of hybrids for sale in the nyc tri state area. Even ones i would have considered had I not found my blue gem.
 

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I found this weblink for Acura brochures. Comes in handy if you are comparing model years for features:


I like the 18-20 MDX in tech or Adv models with 3.5L or hybrid powertrains (Carplay is standard for +18 MDXs). There is a software TSB update to the 9AT and I'm not 100% sure if there was also a hardware change also. Owners of +18 MDXs don't have the shifting issues at the same level with the 9AT compared to 16-17 owners.

2019 was when Acura added the A-Spec MDX. Acura also included the electronic dampers on the 19-20 MDX Adv models. CPO MDXs do a 182 point inspection to check interior/exterior condition, service is up-to-date, and wearable items like tire/brake pads are within a certain %. CPO also increases the 4/50k basic to 6/100k and powertrain goes from 6/70k to 7/100k. You can sometimes find a CPO MDX cheaper out of state compared to local if you are willing to travel.

The hybrid is my fav because of the extra hp/tq, 7DCT, electronic dampers, Sport+ mode, and can go the same 425-450 miles per tank in city/hwy/combined driving. I haven't tried to break into 500 mile club yet in my hybrid (452 is my record).
 

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The hybrid is my fav because of the extra hp/tq, 7DCT, electronic dampers, Sport+ mode, and always getting 425-450 miles per 19.4 gal gas tank in city/hwy/combined driving.
I agree. That's why I searched so hard for my hybrid mdx advance. With the extra torque, the heavy beast accelerates as if it was 1000 lbs lighter. And the gas mileage is a dream
 

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2019 mdx and 2020 also added 4 way lumbar support for driver and passenger vs only 2 way in earlier years. They also added body color lower garnish, wider wheels and tires, new wheel design, and wood center console on the advance.

All 2019s and 2020s also have a slightly improved version of the 9 speed with some hardware improvements and better stop/start sensor.

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Okay well you guys definitely have the power of persuasion, haha.

We've already cancelled our trip to NY, it's too much of a rush. The deals good but the miles are up there to my gf. She also really has her mind set on an MDX with carplay and I don't blame her.

With that being said I've already started looking for 18+ Sport Hybrid's. I'm really wanting a black/black advance model. Question about the SH Advance trim, was entertainment offered as a package? Primarily asking for the bench seat. Captains chairs are cool, but bench are more practical to me.

EDIT: I'm an idiot. Saw your brochure link up above. Thanks my guy.
 

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Acura took away the entertainment system for the hybrid adv trim; but, kept the capt chairs. You do get an extra ceiling mounted speaker for the Adv hybrid (11 speakers total). You have to go with the hybrid in the tech trim to get the bench seats. I couldn't give up the ventilated seats and 360 surround camera system on the Adv for the bench seats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Acura took away the entertainment system for the hybrid adv trim; but, kept the capt chairs. You do get an extra ceiling mounted speaker for the Adv hybrid (11 speakers total). You have to go with the hybrid in the tech trim to get the bench seats. I couldn't give up the ventilated seats and 360 surround camera system on the Adv for the bench seats.
Thanks for the extra info! I already know my gf won't want to sacrifice the advanced features for 1 more seat.

Question about the dual capt seats. Do they still have the ability to fold down flat and be even with the third row while it's down? That's also a pretty firm requirement from my gf as we have an 85lb golden doodle that will be in the MDX for cross country trips.

Looked into the ASPEC for a minute but the applied "upgrades" aren't worth the additional cost, imo. I've owned an ASPEC RSX, ASPEC TL and my current RL is an OEM ASPEC model. Would've been cool to have another, but oh well.

One thing I'm already liking by adjusting my search is how low the mileage on the 2018-2020's can be. I can already tell that I'm gonna need to be vigilant and quick acting if I want to get a really good deal. I've seen mileage as low as 2k so far.

My gf isn't too keen on spending upwards of $40k on a vehicle though. She comes from a family that buys a sensible, reliable sedan, drives it for 100k miles then trades it in for a new sensible, reliable sedan. I'm hoping to convince to her to let me help her with half with the payment so we can get a nice 2020 with everything we want with little no miles. Pitch it as a long term 'us' vehicle ;)

I'll let yall know how well that goes over lol
 

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Acura/Honda will last way past 100,000 miles. It will be 150,000 to 200,000 miles minimal with routine schedule fluid/filter maintenance, rotation/balance tires, battery every 4-5 years, wipers, and key fob battery. Extra stuff would be alignment as needed, alternator 8-12 yrs down the road, update the navi database, and maybe some suspension components by +150k. I'm on my 5th Acura and my first 3 Acura had +500,000 miles between them before I added the 18 RLX hybrid and 19 MDX hybrid:
  • 06 TSX totaled 11/2019 with 176K by a red light runner
  • 08 RDX tech handed down to daughter +2 yrs ago with +185k now
  • 11 MDX Adv+Ent with 147k, going to hand down to my son and his girlfriend later this summer

You might have to put something to cover on the 2nd row arm rest; but, here are pics of my MDX with 2nd row seat folded down (can't remove the 2nd row arm rest/storage:

117401


117402
 

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One thing I'm already liking by adjusting my search is how low the mileage on the 2018-2020's can be. I can already tell that I'm gonna need to be vigilant and quick acting if I want to get a really good deal. I've seen mileage as low as 2k so far.

My gf isn't too keen on spending upwards of $40k on a vehicle though. She comes from a family that buys a sensible, reliable sedan, drives it for 100k miles then trades it in for a new sensible, reliable sedan. I'm hoping to convince to her to let me help her with half with the payment so we can get a nice 2020 with everything we want with little no miles. Pitch it as a long term 'us' vehicle ;)

I'll let yall know how well that goes over lol
Low mileage is really a subjective thing. What i would target is approximately 10k miles per year. I've only seen two 2020 hybrid advance with less than 10k miles. One was a dealer courtesy vehicle that had 8500 miles. The other is in my driveway which had 7900 miles at time of purchase. It was driven by an older lady who traded it in for a new Volvo.

I don't know where you live, but I recommend increasing your search area. Advance trim is really hard to come by. Most on the market are Tech trim. Also, be ready to spend a little over $40k for the vehicle.
 

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Hey someone else from the CRZ forum!

MDX with carplay and I don't blame her.
Definitely get the advance trim then for the goodies - the heated and cooled seats are well worth it, and in some years only the adv came with acurawatch (lane keep and radar cruise) which if she deals with heavy traffic she will LOVE the low-speed follow feature. I'm not sure if AW was standard by 18 on the lower trims...

Also, the MDX is a very reasonable vehicle - with a lot of luxury touches.
 

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Acurawatch became standard on all trims on +17 MDXs. Acurawatch is standard on Adv models for 14-16 MDX and optional for the base and tech 16 MDXs.
 
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We've already cancelled our trip to NY, it's too much of a rush. The deals good but the miles are up there to my gf. She also really has her mind set on an MDX with carplay and I don't blame her.

With that being said I've already started looking for 18+ Sport Hybrid's. I'm really wanting a black/black advance model. Question about the SH Advance trim, was entertainment offered as a package? Primarily asking for the bench seat. Captains chairs are cool, but bench are more practical to me.
Don't know where you are... but since you mention New York, I saw two in DC/Northern Virginia area... (few hundred miles south of NY)


 

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Question about the dual capt seats. Do they still have the ability to fold down flat and be even with the third row while it's down? That's also a pretty firm requirement from my gf as we have an 85lb golden doodle that will be in the MDX for cross country trips.
I made multiple coast to coast trips in the MDX with my 80 pound Boxer in the way back with only the third row folded down. It was plenty of room for him and he did fine back there. It's also safer in the event you need to slam on the brakes or worse, get into an accident, because the back of the 2nd row seats serve as a bit of a barrier to a flying dog. We actually 'belted' him in as well with a harness but it had enough slack that he could stand up, shake, turn around a few times, and settle back down.

Acura/Honda will last way past 100,000 miles. It will be 150,000 to 200,000 miles minimal
I've kept all my vehicles (all non-Honda/Acura) for past 100K miles and kept my Dodge Durango for 235K miles before donating it and it was still going strong. I'm sure that the vast majority of Acuras should last well past 200K easily even if an occasional repair is necessary.

Low mileage is really a subjective thing. What i would target is approximately 10k miles per year. I've only seen two 2020 hybrid advance with less than 10k miles.
Unless a person is very wasteful with money, most would have more than 10K miles on it within a year anyway and most wouldn't get rid of a vehicle after just a year due to miles of 12K. Most vehicles still seem new and have a long ways to go even after 3yr/36K miles, and 5yr/60K miles and my 2014 still feels new to me after 8yr/74K miles. This means when looking for a used vehicle getting something with 30k-50k miles would still feel and behave pretty much like a new car.

More important is whether there's any factory warranty left on the vehicle. It's reassuring and sometimes handy to have at least a year of bumper to bumper warranty left on a vehicle in case something silly happens to it and even more reassuring to have a powertrain warranty still - without having to buy an extra extended warranty which I'd never do. The last time I checked Acura has 4yr/50K bumper to bumper and 6yr/70K power train warranties as standard.
 
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