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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear Experts,

I'm a single guy who want to have good space in the car. At this moment I don't have a car & don't commute much.

Had plans to get married this year or next so more members are going to join.

I decided to purchase an used MDX but would like to justify about Price, Year, Package, Features, Miles ..etc


# Features

Good Engine Capacity
Good Cargo space
Rearview camera
Blind spot assist (Optional)
Adaptive cruise control
Power Liftgate (Optional)
Good Audio system
Navigation
Heated Seats
Decent mileage & maintenance
LED Lights (Optional)

(a) Year & Price based on Engine , Performance ..etc - We can get First (2001-2006) / Second Generations (2007-2013) MDX for lesser price. Do i need to spend more money, Is this required & wise to spend more money on the MDX ? Also which year are the better models in the terms of Engine, Performance...etc ?

(b) Test Drive Engine Speed Pull - I did test drives for Acura MDX & RDX. I noticed when i drove RDX after giving gas speedometer at 30 or more (couldn't remember) i could feel the speed pull of the vehicle which i enjoyed the ride. Likewise can i expect the speed pull in MDX if so i need to look at which year ?

(c) Trim or Package - Technology / Sport / Touring / Advanced / Entertainment ..etc
Which Package i need to choose, Is Sport package have good suspension , Could you please help me to understand more about these packages & which is the ideal one. ?

(d) Miles - I can look for used MDX upto how many miles, Is 100 - 150K miles on MDX is safe bet ?

(e) Safety with features, less recall & Issues - Which year model is safer with features, less recall & Issues ?

(f) Issues with Used MDX - I think need to look for Tyres usage, Timing Belt.. Could you let me know what other issues i need to be careful to avoid any breakdown ?

(g) Used Vehicle Inspection for Purchase - Do Acura does used vehicle insapection before i make purchase ? Any other service which does inspection ..


Much Appreciate your reply.

Thanks,
Chris
 

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I will try to combine the 3 on all of it:


A) The best feature of the 2nd gen and up is SH-AWD, This system changes the driving behavior of the MDX in a dramatic way. The system itself is quite capable and Off Road capable in a mild degree. VTM4 in the 1st gen is not a horrible system it can be quite useful but SH-AWD is simply better in everything. Both systems will have the same amount of maintenance and cost of use. Looks are subjective but IMHO the 2nd Gen looks the best of all 3 gens.. 1st Gen is bland and forgettable and 3rd gen looks like a Pilot with lots of LEDs and Jewel Eyes.

B) The power distribution and setup is different the 1st Gen has decent power for its size and weight it wont blow your mind by any means and the highway power is a little mehh. 2nd Gen has even more power but it still a little lazy on the get go it will pull like a maniac on the highway though, 3rd Gen with the ZF is definitely the winner in 0 to 60 but with 9 speeds vs 5 and 6 is quite logical that is going to be the fastest.

C) Base is the most lacking skip it at all costs, Try to get at least the Tech you will need that Backing up Camera and its standard on Tech Pkg.
-Tech = Includes NAV and Back Up Camera
-Advance = Includes Safety Features and more commodities, on 3rd gen includes a small screen for the kids in the 2nd row.
-Sport = Includes Tech and RES/Advance with ADS Shocks on 2G these shocks enable a tighter Handling by having Magnetic Shocks, Downside is the gigantic cost of the Shocks (Almost 1K each) when you are out of warranty.
-RES = "Entertainment" Makes available the rear screen on the 2nd gen and on the 3rd gen enables a Larger widescreen for the 2nd row, Usually this pkg adds a 110v Outlet.

D) Miles aren´t really an issue on a Honda product it is logical to buy a lower mileage car anytime but don´t skip a good deal because of high mileage! It all depends on maintenance and other factors. What I can tell you is that if buying a 1st gen SKIP all the lower years from 01 to 04 as they all had issues with the transmission so mileage is irrelevant in that case. If you want to know how much mileage is average remember that most manufacturers count 15K a year so multiply that by the years of the car and it should give you the average for that car.. ie: a 2007 model is 10 year old = 10 by 15 = 150K average for that year and so on.

E) All of the MDXs have 5 star safety ratings so you are covered.. 2nd gen and Up add a sweep of extra Safety Features in Software add ons like Adaptive Cruise Control, Crash Avoidance and Lane Keep Assist from 2010 and up.

F) As with all MDXs they all have Timing Belts which is the Number 1 Concern when buying a used MDX.. Timing Belts are really important because they keep the engine living, If a timing belt were to snap it would destroy the engine and most Insurance Companies will Totall the Car in the older models. Timing Belts are also very expensive to change because the Timing Belt Service called the 105K Service needs to change not only the Timing Belt itself but quite other components so the dealership will kindly ask up and above 1K for it. If you can deal the price of the MDX to absorb the Timing Belt cost it will be better.

G) This is a logical step when Buying Used..


Hope this is Helpful for You.
 

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Depending on your budget, the 10-13 MDX Adv will check most of your boxes except LED headlight. Upgrading the OEM HIDs to OSRAM or Morimoto 5000K takes about 15-20 minutes and gets you about 85%-90% there to the LEDs of the +14 MDXs.

The Adv model will also add:
- Magnetic suspension for the Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with sport and comfort modes and it helps keep the vehicle more level in turns, acceleration, and stops
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), have to have this for Adaptive Cruise Control to work. Designed to aid in braking to lessen the severity of a collision NOT designed to completed stop the MDX
- 3 levels of heating and 3 levels of cooling for front seats
- front seat-belt pre-tensioners that works with the CMBS
- Blind spot monitoring (BSI). Solid light for vehicles in your blindspot, blinking if you use your turn signal when a vehicle is in your blind spot
- auto leveling headlights. works if a heavy load is in the rear and/or trailer hitch has a heavy load
- larger front/rear stabilizer bars, really helps the big girl dance a little harder in the curves along with sh-awd and magenetic shocks/struts
- standard 19" tires
- M.I.D. warnings for CMBS

The Entertainment feature just adds rear heated outboard seats, 110v outlet in center console, and the IR and wired headphones for the drop down center screen. The Ent system shouldn't cost that much more extra compared to a MDX Adv without. An iPad or smartphone is about 15X better than the Ent system. I only got the Ent system because of the rear heated seats.

The huge downside with the +10 MDX Adv are the magnetic shocks/struts because they can fail at any time or last forever. It can cost $800-$1200 per corner to replace. My fronts went out at 35,000 miles and I've been good with +87,000 miles now. Acura has an extended warranty up to 100,000 miles for the magnetic suspension. Most folks just convert to regular shocks/struts if the warranty doesn't apply.

You would have to step up to a 14-15 MDX Adv for $8000-$15,000 more depending on mileage to check all your boxes. You would drop the magnetic suspension, ELS system doesn't sound as good, narrower vehicle, and the seats are not as plush (a little too flat and not as supportive compared to the 07-13 MDX).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will try to combine the 3 on all of it:


A) The best feature of the 2nd gen and up is SH-AWD, This system changes the driving behavior of the MDX in a dramatic way. The system itself is quite capable and Off Road capable in a mild degree. VTM4 in the 1st gen is not a horrible system it can be quite useful but SH-AWD is simply better in everything. Both systems will have the same amount of maintenance and cost of use. Looks are subjective but IMHO the 2nd Gen looks the best of all 3 gens.. 1st Gen is bland and forgettable and 3rd gen looks like a Pilot with lots of LEDs and Jewel Eyes.

B) The power distribution and setup is different the 1st Gen has decent power for its size and weight it wont blow your mind by any means and the highway power is a little mehh. 2nd Gen has even more power but it still a little lazy on the get go it will pull like a maniac on the highway though, 3rd Gen with the ZF is definitely the winner in 0 to 60 but with 9 speeds vs 5 and 6 is quite logical that is going to be the fastest.

C) Base is the most lacking skip it at all costs, Try to get at least the Tech you will need that Backing up Camera and its standard on Tech Pkg.
-Tech = Includes NAV and Back Up Camera
-Advance = Includes Safety Features and more commodities, on 3rd gen includes a small screen for the kids in the 2nd row.
-Sport = Includes Tech and RES/Advance with ADS Shocks on 2G these shocks enable a tighter Handling by having Magnetic Shocks, Downside is the gigantic cost of the Shocks (Almost 1K each) when you are out of warranty.
-RES = "Entertainment" Makes available the rear screen on the 2nd gen and on the 3rd gen enables a Larger widescreen for the 2nd row, Usually this pkg adds a 110v Outlet.

D) Miles aren´t really an issue on a Honda product it is logical to buy a lower mileage car anytime but don´t skip a good deal because of high mileage! It all depends on maintenance and other factors. What I can tell you is that if buying a 1st gen SKIP all the lower years from 01 to 04 as they all had issues with the transmission so mileage is irrelevant in that case. If you want to know how much mileage is average remember that most manufacturers count 15K a year so multiply that by the years of the car and it should give you the average for that car.. ie: a 2007 model is 10 year old = 10 by 15 = 150K average for that year and so on.

E) All of the MDXs have 5 star safety ratings so you are covered.. 2nd gen and Up add a sweep of extra Safety Features in Software add ons like Adaptive Cruise Control, Crash Avoidance and Lane Keep Assist from 2010 and up.

F) As with all MDXs they all have Timing Belts which is the Number 1 Concern when buying a used MDX.. Timing Belts are really important because they keep the engine living, If a timing belt were to snap it would destroy the engine and most Insurance Companies will Totall the Car in the older models. Timing Belts are also very expensive to change because the Timing Belt Service called the 105K Service needs to change not only the Timing Belt itself but quite other components so the dealership will kindly ask up and above 1K for it. If you can deal the price of the MDX to absorb the Timing Belt cost it will be better.

G) This is a logical step when Buying Used..


Hope this is Helpful for You.

Thank you so much skirmich for your valuable inputs & explanation in detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Depending on your budget, the 10-13 MDX Adv will check most of your boxes except LED headlight. Upgrading the OEM HIDs to OSRAM or Morimoto 5000K takes about 15-20 minutes and gets you about 85%-90% there to the LEDs of the +14 MDXs.

The Adv model will also add:
- Magnetic suspension for the Integrated Dynamic System (IDS) with sport and comfort modes and it helps keep the vehicle more level in turns, acceleration, and stops
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), have to have this for Adaptive Cruise Control to work. Designed to aid in braking to lessen the severity of a collision NOT designed to completed stop the MDX
- 3 levels of heating and 3 levels of cooling for front seats
- front seat-belt pre-tensioners that works with the CMBS
- Blind spot monitoring (BSI). Solid light for vehicles in your blindspot, blinking if you use your turn signal when a vehicle is in your blind spot
- auto leveling headlights. works if a heavy load is in the rear and/or trailer hitch has a heavy load
- larger front/rear stabilizer bars, really helps the big girl dance a little harder in the curves along with sh-awd and magenetic shocks/struts
- standard 19" tires
- M.I.D. warnings for CMBS

The Entertainment feature just adds rear heated outboard seats, 110v outlet in center console, and the IR and wired headphones for the drop down center screen. The Ent system shouldn't cost that much more extra compared to a MDX Adv without. An iPad or smartphone is about 15X better than the Ent system. I only got the Ent system because of the rear heated seats.

The huge downside with the +10 MDX Adv are the magnetic shocks/struts because they can fail at any time or last forever. It can cost $800-$1200 per corner to replace. My fronts went out at 35,000 miles and I've been good with +87,000 miles now. Acura has an extended warranty up to 100,000 miles for the magnetic suspension. Most folks just convert to regular shocks/struts if the warranty doesn't apply.

You would have to step up to a 14-15 MDX Adv for $8000-$15,000 more depending on mileage to check all your boxes. You would drop the magnetic suspension, ELS system doesn't sound as good, narrower vehicle, and the seats are not as plush (a little too flat and not as supportive compared to the 07-13 MDX).
Thanks mrgold35 for the reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have seen my colleagues at work have purchased used MDX both First Generation 2005 & Second Generation 2009 btw prices $4k - $12k with miles around 150K have seen them using for a year by now ...

As Cars depreciate faster , Is it worth to spend more expense around ($20k - $30k) or get something for a reasonable price ?

I'm thinking to go with either First Generation or Second Generations but which one i need to go with.

(1) First Generation - Among the years (2000–2006) which year i need to choose ?



(a) Decent Features



(b) Trim or Package - Technology / Sport / Touring / Advanced / Entertainment ..etc

(2) Second Generation - Among the years (2007–2013) which year i need to choose ?



(a) Decent Features



(b) Trim or Package - Technology / Sport / Touring / Advanced / Entertainment ..etc

(3) Miles - Getting Acura used MDX Car for 150k miles , Is that a good option ?

Much Appreciate your reply.

Thanks,
Chris
 

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If you are really set on the 1st Gen AVOID the earlier years at all costs.. 01 to 04 had an Insane amount of transmission issues and while there will be some random guy that will tell you that his transmission has been flawless even on a 2001 the numbers speaks for itself.. 01 to 04 are the LEAST Reliable MDXs in the history of the MDX Life.

Before I could afford my 2G I was dead on, In getting a 2006 Touring.. Seems that honda worked the transmission in 05 but 06 was the most reliable (As in: Not a million frustrated owners complaining about the transmission randomly dying).

The 1st gen had a Base, Tech and Touring.
Base: Most lacking but had a neat info screen which had a virtual compass and trip meter, mileage + trip computer, That screen didn´t give you the Radio (XM) Info though it was only for the Trip Computer.
Tech: Added Navigation (Which by today standards is useless and outdated) and a better sound system.
Touring: Added the RES package basically.


There is absolutely no way to compare the 1st gen to the 2nd in a way that the 1st gen wins in something Perhaps the only area the 1st gen wins over the 2nd is used price but that´s it.. The 2nd gen was a different animal altogether which eclipses the 1st gen in every single area.. Even back in the day the 1st gen was very lackluster for the segment.. The 2nd gen was over equipped with lots of tech back in the day I think to compensate for the 1st gen or just to catch up with the segment.

The 2nd gen didn´t have sweetspot years basically it depends on your budget and what face you like the most.. The 07 to 09 (Shield Models) were mostly equal all around, the 10 to 13 (Beak Models) had the facelift that gave it a more boxy look with low clearance bumpers that look better IMO but destroyed the approach and departure angles (Meaning is harder to off road without scraping) so "No bueno" for me. But with that beak grille it also added a 6 speed Auto which help on MPGs and Acceleration and better Tech Equipment, It also boosted the interior quality in some areas.. The biggest CON of the 10 to 13 models is the Oil Consumption Issues which seem to be more and more frequent as the cars age, You can search for this problem on most "carcomplaints" sites or just find the threads about it here or acurazine.com but basically Acura needs to replace/rebuild the entire block to fix it which under warranty should be at no cost to you.

That is basically the summary.. If you can go for a 2nd Gen do not hesitate even if it is a 2007 is a hell of a good car.
 

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The tech version for the 07-13 seems to be the sweet spot. I would take a 07-09 and +10 for a test drive to see which one feels good to you. Just take note of the tires and if it is a tech, sport, or Adv for ride/handling quality. The upgraded tech in the +10 MDX and adding Advance features was the advantage that pushed me to the +10 MDX.

I don't know if this is true for the 07-09; but, the 10-13 MDX (base, tech, and Adv) had almost zero changes/updates each of the 4 model years. I think they added graystone interior +12 and applied some TSB issues from 10-11 model years like reflashing 6AT shifting programming. If you find a 10 MDX Tech with 70K and 13 MDX Tech with 70K; the only difference will be the price because of the newer model year.

There is usually a big service due around 100,000 miles for about $700-$1200 at the dealership (spark plugs, valve adjustment, serpentine belt, etc...). Some folks just trade in the MDX instead of doing the service. Complete maint records and that completed service might save you a lot of $$ if that service has been done already.

The +10 MDX tech will have the following differences compared to the 07-09 tech:

- 6AT: 1-2 mpg improvement and faster acceleration from 0-60
- larger 2nd row headrest
- a little darker interior (plastic) trim
- updated front bumper design with better color match plastic trim
- updated rear bumper with better color match plastic trim and square exhaust pipes
- added paddle shifters on steering wheel
- larger navi screen with deeper colors and faster startup/access with 40 GB harddrive behind dash. +10 Navi screen is larger and looks better than the +14 MDX navi screen.
- can input navi addresses faster with zip to narrow down location or by phone number to find address even faster
- XM weather and traffic (not 100% sure if 07-09 had this)
- streaming bluetooth audio for smartphone music or internet radio
- USB port for smartphone access/charging or USB flash drive for music
- AUX port in center console
- Hard Drive to rip CDs to MDX
- navi screen menu operated phone set-up and bluetooth importing phonebook, don't need to know any voice commands
- can set up 4 speed dials for most common called numbers (press info/phone, press navi knob, and twist knob to select 1 of 4 speed dials). Voice commands suck for all model years.
- +10 Ent has an updated DVD drop down LCD screen
 
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