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Discussion Starter #1
I was just about formally decided on a ‘17 MDX and was wondering about the removability of the second row console which led me to this site but it appears it’s not an easy removal to create a second row pass through.

Now I’ve read about the harsh 1-2 shifting problems and am getting scared off. Is the shifting problem with all recent redesigned G3’s or is it only 17’s and newer?

I’m curious of your opinion as owners and what you would do if you could go back? Would you still get the MDX or would you have gone a different direction? If so which? Thanks for your feedback!
 

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The ZF9 speed, at least the early ones have been plagued with shifting issues. There are several updates that have taken care of that. The ZF9 speed may not be the best transmission, but so far mine has been fine. Extended warranty takes care of the rest.
Second row bucket seats is on the Advanced. Base and Tech get second and third row bench seats.
In all honesty if I had waited another year I would be driving a Kia Teliruid.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. I looked at the Telluride but I’m opposed to buying the first generation of a new car or a major remodel. Sounds like it might be a lottery or how much does it bother you situation as every post I’ve read has acura saying the behavior is normal.
 

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The mdx hybrid version has the 7 speed dual clutch which doesn't have the issue. It drives great & shifts smoothly. I really like the way it accelerates & has power when I need to overtake. Sh-awd is something else.

I didn't have as much time to research & purchase last December. But if I did, I would have definitely checked out the Telluride, Palisade, X5, & GLE. The new Genesis GV80 looks fantastic as well. Not sure how that would have changed my decision. I passed on the Q7, Pilot, & RX450HL to purchase the hybrid mdx. Mainly came down to price.

Overall I'm a bit disappointed with the interior but I can live with it. Android auto/Apple Carplay really saves the day for me. I tried using the built-in navigation, it felt quite outdated.

I really hope Honda/Acura gets it's act together & starts leading again.
 

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I had a few MDX loaners from 14-16 model years and didn't feel it was worth trading in my 11 MDX Adv+Ent. The intro of the hybrid power train is what got me interested in the 3rd Gen MDX again. I don't need towing (except for cargo carrier and 4 bike rack) and the MDX is our main travel vehicle for the wife and I. I love getting 25-27 city mpgs in the hybrid compared to 14-16 mpg with my 11 MDX. The hybrid $1500 price increase over the sh-awd version will pay for itself in a few year compared to decades with other hybrid models from other manufacturers.

The sport hybrid leans towards "Sport" compared to the "Hybrid" side. It is more of a Type-S MDX with 321hp/289tq that happens to get good combined gas mileage. Depending on how you drive and weather conditions (wind and/or near/below freezing temps), you can actually get lower mpgs than the 3.5L MDX. If you need to tow or do +80% hwy driving, the 3.5L would be a better choice. Sporty handling and city/rush hour driving is where the hybrid has a big advantage over the 3.5L MDX.

The +18 MDXs updated the touch-screen and added CarPlay. Using voice commands, sending/responding to texts, music, and navigation with Apple/Google/Waze gives you a lot of choices you don't have with the 14-17 MDXs.

Almost zero differences other than the power train comparing the hybrid and 3.5L MDX. The MDX interior isn't as nice as it should be with outdated tech and no "WOW factor" luxury look. It was just the power train performance and handling I couldn't get at the same price from other vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’ve considered the Q7 and X5 but am scared to death of maintenance costs on German automobiles. The Q7 is intriguing based on generally all around positive reviews. I’ve been a lifelong Honda/Acura guy though. Thanks for the info on hybrid—didn’t know that was an option as I’m still early in my research. Appreciate your comments.
 

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I had a few MDX loaners from 14-16 model years and didn't feel it was worth trading in my 11 MDX Adv+Ent. The intro of the hybrid power train is what got me interested in the 3rd Gen MDX again. I don't need towing (except for cargo carrier and 4 bike rack) and the MDX is our main travel vehicle for the wife and I. I love getting 25-27 city mpgs in the hybrid compared to 14-16 mpg with my 11 MDX. The hybrid $1500 price increase over the sh-awd version will pay for itself in a few year compared to decades with other hybrid models from other manufacturers.

The sport hybrid leans towards "Sport" compared to the "Hybrid" side. It is more of a Type-S MDX with 321hp/289tq that happens to get good combined gas mileage. Depending on how you drive and weather conditions (wind and/or near/below freezing temps), you can actually get lower mpgs than the 3.5L MDX. If you need to tow or do +80% hwy driving, the 3.5L would be a better choice. Sporty handling and city/rush hour driving is where the hybrid has a big advantage over the 3.5L MDX.

The +18 MDXs updated the touch-screen and added CarPlay. Using voice commands, sending/responding to texts, music, and navigation with Apple/Google/Waze gives you a lot of choices you don't have with the 14-17 MDXs.

Almost zero differences other than the power train comparing the hybrid and 3.5L MDX. The MDX interior isn't as nice as it should be with outdated tech and no "WOW factor" luxury look. It was just the power train performance and handling I couldn't get at the same price from other vehicles.
I had wrongly assumed Apple/Android was in the ‘17 MY update but I was wrong apparently. Thank you for that! Guess bumping up to a ‘18 would put me with still having a factory warranty left—not a bad idea given the potential for possible issues.
I’m definitely in the same place of price for value features and the Acura is ticking all those boxes.
 

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Most of the problems you read about the 3rd gen are subjective opinions rather than hard failures. The ZF9 is a fine transmission and its had very few failures as far as I know. It does have a firm 1-2 shift when cold, but that goes away. It's weird to me how many people post about firm shifts, but much more rare are the posts about the downshift latency. Once up to speed and you need quick burst of speed, the car feels dead and then about the time the window is closed for you to make your move the engine roars and you get the acceleration you commanded, often too late. The transmission is functioning as designed, but gets reported as a problem and gives the allusion to some that Honda/Acura quality is in "free fall", its not.

I wish the ride was better. It's noisy and choppy, but again these aren't problems, this is just a difference between my opinion and Acura engineers and accountants that created the MDX. Please take a thorough test drive and see for yourself if you can live with the MDX. Seems like a lot of people on here get caught up in the emotion of car buying and overlook the driving experience.

I very rarely regret a car purchase because I do the research that matters (which is not being consumed by ridiculous reliability ratings). The MDX is exactly the car we thought it would be; firm 1-2 shift, noisy ride, slow down shifts wrapped in a high value, good looking package that my wife loves. All cars are flawed, be honest with yourself and find one that most matches your expectations rather than buying a car you want to like and then blame the manufacturer for the short comings that you can't live with.
 

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Im kind of with carli123 for most of it. I have been really disappointed with a lot of the stuff I have had to put up with. Mostly electrical. Took most of a year to work out the major bugs still have a few to go. Really disappointed with the highway noise and lousy fuel economy. Were basically 12 miles of highway out of town and my fuel economy has averaged over the life of the car is only 22.76 MPG.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you both for the thoughts. I view a car as a utility and don’t expect perfection. I’ve been a longtime Acura owner because it’s always perfectly fit that mix of value, refinement, quality and reliability to me. That’s what’s most important in my eyes.
 

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Pretty happy with our '18. I don't think the trans shifts bad...it has firm-ish shifts at lower speeds but I prefer that to slushbox shifts. It's tremendously smarter shifting than the 6-speed in our '12. The ZF does hesitate at higher speeds in D mode....so if I'm serious about wanting to accelerate quickly at speed I'll just use the paddles. I'm still not a fan of the push-button shifter because previously you could easily slide the shifter to "S" mode as you were flooring it. Now you have to find the S button which my muscle memory still hasn't figured out. Granted I drive several different vehicles so there may be a point it would become more normal. I have pretty much mastered the art of hitting the auto-start switch immediately before shifting the transmission.

I would definitely try to move up to an '18 for the updated infotainment. It's still rather mediocre (even Subaru has it beat by a mile) but it's better than previous. You've got it right on the value part...it slots nicely above some of the upper model economy brands but really isn't that much more expensive to operate. We drive it ~20k miles a year and would never want to pile that on one of the better options from Europe. If Lexus actually had something that truly competed that might be a better choice but so far they don't.
 

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Pretty happy with our '18. I don't think the trans shifts bad...it has firm-ish shifts at lower speeds but I prefer that to slushbox shifts. It's tremendously smarter shifting than the 6-speed in our '12. The ZF does hesitate at higher speeds in D mode....so if I'm serious about wanting to accelerate quickly at speed I'll just use the paddles. I'm still not a fan of the push-button shifter because previously you could easily slide the shifter to "S" mode as you were flooring it. Now you have to find the S button which my muscle memory still hasn't figured out. Granted I drive several different vehicles so there may be a point it would become more normal. I have pretty much mastered the art of hitting the auto-start switch immediately before shifting the transmission.

I would definitely try to move up to an '18 for the updated infotainment. It's still rather mediocre (even Subaru has it beat by a mile) but it's better than previous. You've got it right on the value part...it slots nicely above some of the upper model economy brands but really isn't that much more expensive to operate. We drive it ~20k miles a year and would never want to pile that on one of the better options from Europe. If Lexus actually had something that truly competed that might be a better choice but so far they don't.
I’m coming from a ‘08 TL which will go to the teenager and I think I’ve used the Sport manual shifting once or twice in the 9 years I’ve owned the car. Thanks for your insight!
 

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Tranny issue has been beaten to death all over this board and others. Drive the car. If you don't like the way it shifts, don't buy it.
 

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Beyond the transmission, I have a laundry list of fit and finish, quality and functional problems with my '19. I have owned MANY Hondas from new and never experienced anything like this with any one of them. To answer your direct question, If I had to do it over again, I would have kept my '16 Highlander until the 2020 came out or went with the RX350L.
 

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Beyond the transmission, I have a laundry list of fit and finish, quality and functional problems with my '19. I have owned MANY Hondas from new and never experienced anything like this with any one of them. To answer your direct question, If I had to do it over again, I would have kept my '16 Highlander until the 2020 came out or went with the RX350L.
What quality & fit/finish issues do you have?
 

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What quality & fit/finish issues do you have?
Rattles, chrome trim pieces not seated (insufficient adhesive), excessive panel gaps, paint inconsistencies, panels don't line up right, infotainment glitches, interior trim clips not seated from the factory, problems with the lumbar support squeaking and popping (now solved). And that's without getting into the various bizarre drivetrain noises that I've just learned to ignore. I'm sure I've missed a few, but you get the picture. I'm not saying that every MDX is like this, but the fact that they allowed this one to leave the factory like this is pretty telling of Honda's overall attention to quality.
 

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But Acura still charges premium for MDX with no so good fit and finish compared to RDX .
Even for new RDX from outside it’s nice but inside it’s different story all hard plastic .
 

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Yeah Acura/Honda doesn't have any excuses especially when Hyundai can get it right with the Palisade & Genesis GV80. Price range is comparable or even lower.
 

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But Acura still charges premium for MDX with no so good fit and finish compared to RDX .
Even for new RDX from outside it’s nice but inside it’s different story all hard plastic .
I had several RDX loaners while I’ve waited for my dealer to repair various issues. I found them to be much better screwed together and while the transmission shifts weren’t always smooth, it was always well behaved and appropriate for the situation. Honestly coming out of the RDX and getting back into my MDX, felt like they were from two different manufacturers. It didn’t feel quite so plush as the MDX, but I found it to be comparable to others in this class.
 
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