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Discussion Starter #1
I am seriously considering selling my 01 and getting an 03...I love my current MDX, but I have a buyer that wants it and will pay me what I paid for it. So, I went to my dealership and he loaded me with 03 documentation and let me watch a video intended for the sales staff that talks about the enhancements for 03. A lot of what was presented on this video is not in the sales brochures.

But, here is my concern. They replaced the tranny for 03. They claim it is smaller, lighter and quieter....all good things. But, I am skeptical because of tactics I see by other companies.

Specifically, companies like Iomega will over-engineer their new Zip drives when they are introduced to ensure they are durable and establish a good reputation. But, as the model ages they replace components with cheaper ones to save money.

Auto manufactures have been known to pull the same stunts. A Ford Taurus that is 8 years into the model year is much cheaper built that those built several years earlier.

So, what is the real poop on this new 03 transmission. Do I have a more durable one in my 01 model?
 

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That's a really interesting question. It hadn't occured to me that a manufacturer might lower the production cost / quality of a product in later versions, simpy banking on the quality reputation of the earlier ones.

Regarding the '03, how could we possibly know at this point in time, unless they start dropping like flies?
 

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well, there are concerns regarding the old tranny on 01 and 02 MDXs, since it's very similar to those in TLs and CLs being recalled... i would think the new tranny might have addressed this issue, so i consider it an improvement...

on the other hand, i understand your concern, and i have to agree with jonnygoodboy that only time can tell...

i would go with the new 03 mdx if i could sell mine for what i paid for...
 

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While anything is possible...

I don't think that "cost cutting" is a valid concern with regard to the MDXs transmission design,

Afterall, it is not like this is a "volume leader" like a Ford Taraus, this is much more of a FLAGSHIP. Even Ford doesn't just lower specs so much as "wring out" the margins on supplies and ramp-up improved productuion efficencies. The RELIABILITY ratings on most of the Taurus systems has IMPROVED over time.

If have to believe that Acura/Honda does do some acturial type analysis on the WARRANTY COSTS that may result from a given area, and that would be a major DISINCENTIVE to "cut corners" on a very expensive to replace component...

ME? If somebody were to offer to buy my TWO YEAR vehicle for what I paid for it -- I shut my mouth, smile and CASH THE CHECK!!!

PS -- The IOMEGA thingy is not remotely similar. Their initial LOW VOLUME production system was not able to scale. When they went from making thousands of units to MILLIONS of units they just could not get the level of precise assembly that they needed, thus was born the "Click of Death". Coupled with the HUGE growth in fixed-disk storage density they were doomed...
 

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merrillcrosbie said:
A Ford Taurus that is 8 years into the model year is much cheaper built that those built several years earlier.

So, what is the real poop on this new 03 transmission. Do I have a more durable one in my 01 model?

Okay, Ford now has a more reliable transmission after many years of production.
Now why would you think because Acura designed a new transmission for the MDX after 3 years, it would be less reliable?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I drove em....

Yes, I do think that decisions are made based on bean counters rather than engineers recommendations. In fact, I know it.

It's all moot now. My dealer got in several 2003's yesterday that I could actually drive, so I went down and put some miles on a couple of them.

I guess I was expecting it to feel different in some way. But, it doesn't. That extra 20 hp doesn't show up at all on the Touring Model. It wasn't as spry as mine...I have a base model....and when I mentioned it to my dealer he said it was probably because the Touring is heavier, so he put me in a base model. I couldn't feel any more power there either. So, the next rationale was that mine was broken in and these were new and tight. Maybe so.

The 35% increase in torsional rigidity didn't feel or sound any different either.

The bottom line is that I really liked them, but not more than the 2001 I have. The improvements they have made are very, very subtle. The new transmission felt just like the old one. The drive by wire feels just like my old cable.

Oh, I do really detest the new plastic wood. It is more orange than mine is. It has less of a gloss so it probably looks more real, but the color is not appealing to me.

And, they changed the steeringwheel audio controls and these new ones are not as substantial as the old ones. They were flimsy and mounted crooked in both the base and Touring model.

Has anyone noticed that the button on the glove box and the little accents on the dash vents are chrome now?

I am resisting. Maybe 2004 will be the rocketship I was expecting. I like my MDX. If I didn't have a buyer bugging me to buy mine, I would never have considered the change. But, I am gonna just hang on to my 2001 for now.
 

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Interesting comments. Obviously a subjective matter as other posts have commented favorably on the horsepower increase as well as the increased rigidity. I haven't driven one yet, but looking forward to the opportunity.

BTW, I agree with renov8r...if someone were to offer me what I paid for my '01, I'd run with it in a heartbeat! I'm going to be selling mine soon and trying to decide what a fair price is but I don't have the guts to offer anywhere near the original '01 MSRP.
 

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If improvements in power (that you can feel) are essential to you, I would wait for a displacement change.
I am sure there are situations where the added power in the '03 might be noticed, but they would likely be too few and/or too infrequent to make a lasting impression.
If increase in power, even if it is modest, came with an improvement in efficiency and gas mileage does not suffer, then that's always a welcome change.
And yes, they do seems to loosen up and feel quicker with break-in. At least that's my subjective impression of the present (02) model.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I seriously considered taking the money and running....

Check out the NADA book value. For my base model it is currently worth $34,500, which is about what I paid for it before taxes and tags. The NADA is how my buyer came up with the price he was willing to pay. These things are holding their value amazingly well.

But, a new 2003 base model is over $36K, and sales tax is about $2500 on a new car of this amount here in Utah.

So, my decision boiled down to not wanting to pay several thousand dollars for a car that I just can't tell from the one I have. The VSA is the only improvement that I can quantify after having driven the new model. Sure, it is 2 years newer in model years, but I bought the last 2001 produced....had I waited another month I would have gotten a 2002, so my car is only a little over a year old and only has 15K miles on it. It just doesn't make sense to me to replace it right now even though I doubt they will continue to hold their value as well in the future. I had to wait 6 months for mine. I can get one off the lot now. I paid sticker, but I know a lot of 2001 buyers paid thousands over sticker for theirs or had forced options. I don't think dealers can get away with that much longer when they have inventory sitting on their lots.

And, then there is the issue of that orange plastic wood....yuk.

Don't get me wrong. They are great cars and I wholeheartedly recommend them, but after driving them, if you've got one I can't see the value of upgrading just yet.
 

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merrillcrosbie,

Are you nuts? Sell the 01 and get the 03 (run, don't walk).

I know you think your X is only 1 year old, but sorry to tell you this, it is 2 MODEL years old. Vehicles depreciate based on model year, not on purchase date.

A 5 year old X will have a value that is slightly over 50% of the original MSRP. So, do the math, take the deal. Another deal like this isn't going to occur that often (wow).

Additionally, the 03 X has some nice improvements. This could affect the price of pre-03 Xs (and I didn't mean in a good way).

I know you have some neat cars, but I don't think that a 2001 MDX is going to earn the same spot in history.
 

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I wanna 03 too and a black one this time..

But I got 2 problems.. 1, no one wanna buy it at the price i got ....

2, I added so many things in there.. it just feels like my home.. I like my X better then my bed....

Sigh..

:1:
 
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