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Ever since my Benz got totaled I've been in the market to pickup a new 7 seater SUV
Have always liked the styling of MDX and i'm in the market for a 3rd Gen

Can someone point me in the right direction on whether buying a 9 speed 2016 is better than a proven 6 speed (14 or 15)
The body styling apart from subtle changes I don't see any drastic diff between a 14/15 or 16

Any owners who had a 14/15 that you guys traded in for a 16/17, what is your opinion on the 6 speed Vs 9 speed
 

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I have a 2014 with the 6 speed and I think it's been a fine transmission. I always drive in Sport mode and have been happy with the shift points, responsiveness, appropriate gear in multiple conditions, etc. There also have been not problems with it (about 3.5 years old - 37K miles).

When the 9 speed first came out there were complaints posted here about the shift points but I think that concern was largely addressed by an Acura software update and I don't see a lot of complaints posted anymore. I also have not seen any actual reliability issues, i.e. failures, posted here but the tranny isn't that old yet.

You may want to test drive one of each to see how it feels to you since some of this is subjective. Make sure you at least compare like driving modes between them - i.e. Sport, Normal, Comfort so it'll be more of an apples/apples comparison. Again, I always leave mine in sport.
 

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I have the 9 Speed and since the new software update the car is very fun to drive. But the ZF 9 Speed Transmission is just costly. :)
 
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I had a 16 MDX loaner for a few days while my 6AT 11 MDX was in the shop and some things I noticed were:

- the 6AT is suppose to get 1 mpg higher in 14-15 fwd and sh-awd MDX compared to the +16 MDX 9AT. Real world numbers might be different than EPA

- have to drive the 9AT a little differently to find the sweet spot during initial acceleration. The short gearing and gas pedal pressure can cause the 9AT to surge a bit when it up-shifts. I think it is just a very quick up-shift if you apply the gas a touch too hard

- much faster acceleration from a stop or in hwy passing situations

- If you are a paddle user, have to hit the paddles 3-5 times to down shift to the right gear instead of 1-3 for the 6AT. I don't think I would use the paddles as much with the 9AT?

- Not sure if this is in only in sport mode or all modes. I would hit the paddles to slow down a bit and the MDX felt like it was accelerating instead (even after a few extra downshift taps of the paddles). Ended up just using the brakes because the feeling caught me off guard

- Out of habit, I would reach for the gear shift knob to rest my hand on sometimes

- the push button gear shift takes about 2 seconds to learn. The only disadvantage I had was having to look at it for park, reverse, and drive instead of by feel with a shift knob. It would take some time to get the muscle memory for it.

I wouldn't say the 9AT was better or worst than the 6AT, just have to apply different driving techniques to get the desired results. I had to do the same with my 08 RDX Turbo to get the best driving experience for any given situation.
 
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I drove both 6 and 9 speeds one after another at the dealer before buying. Back then, the 9 hesitated a lot and made me really hesitate to get the 9. But I also had to factor in that a 6 speed 15, used, was going to cost me more than a NEW 9 speed 16. I don't think you will have that situation BUT, you are approaching the general period where the new 16s will start to disappear from stock and all you have left are the 17s or used 14-16. So, with that being said...

I do enjoy my 9 speed 16 after the software update. Before the update, mine was actually not as bad as the other 16 I drove at the dealer, but it still had some hesitation from a stop. ZF has a pretty good history with the 8 speed, which this 9 seems to be rooted from, so if you've ever driven something like the Audi Q5, you probably already know how it feels. Merc/Chrysler family also uses ZF transmissions (along with other OEMs), but are mostly licensed to be built in their own factories, so they don't necessarily feel/work the same (e.g. the Jeep Grand Cherokee version of our 9 speed is a total disaster).

Personally, I think the 9ZF transmission will be the least of your problems. You should definitely drive both transmissions to be sure you like it, but more importantly I think you need to determine for yourself if you'll like Acura interiors and technology. Not knowing what Merc you drove before, there are some things Acura can't even remotely get on par with Merc like the quality of the interior materials, especially if you've been driving an E class or above (even the current Cs are quite nice). We're more around the CLA/GLA level of materials. Technology wise, you should check the settings menu for software version 3 or 4 (4.xxxxxx may only be on the 17s, I can't remember), as there are some persistent issues that may nag you (laggier, blacks are washed out until you cycle the on/off state of the infotainment screens, voice command structure is different on older version 2.xxxxxx).

Prices for the 17s are coming down though. Considering we were looking at around $46k before TTL in Cali for a SHAWD TECH+AWP near the end, the 17 variant of just SHAWD TECH is at $46.5k now, but you also get things like the remote start included, the aesthetic changes, and all the bug fixes along the way.

Also one thing I should mention about the 6 speed is the tranny fluid seems to be breaking down earlier than expected, causing shudders/judders, so expect a transmission software update for that soon as well to limit the temperature in the transmission.
 

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Ever since my Benz got totaled I've been in the market to pickup a new 7 seater SUV
Have always liked the styling of MDX and i'm in the market for a 3rd Gen

Can someone point me in the right direction on whether buying a 9 speed 2016 is better than a proven 6 speed (14 or 15)
The body styling apart from subtle changes I don't see any drastic diff between a 14/15 or 16

Any owners who had a 14/15 that you guys traded in for a 16/17, what is your opinion on the 6 speed Vs 9 speed
I have owned both the 6 speed and 9 speed. The 9 speeds is 9 times better hands down. I just took my 2016 MDX in for service and the dealer gave me a 2017 TLX. This transmission feels even smoother than mine.
 

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I own the 9AT and extensively drove 6AT recently. Felt 9AT is much better in NVH and off the line acceleration. Only negative thing about 9AT is downshifts are little slower than 6AT. May be its tuned for efficiency or may be its too many gears to downshift, but you wait a split second before the car responds to sudden changes in throttle. However I am not overly bothered by this in daily driving. Once the car is in right gear, 9AT is smoother and faster than 6AT (my perception may be).
 

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Test drove 2 of the 9 speeds(2016) and just purchased at 2015 Advance with the 6 speed. The 9 is quicker but the 6 is noticeabley smoother at low speeds, especially when slowing down. Averaged just over 28 mpg on the 200 mile drive home, so the 6 offer a little better efficiency as well.
 

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The 6 speed transmission on my 2014 SH-AWD (52,000 miles ) has been such a consistent sore point since I bought the car new three years ago that I am now seriously considering trading my MDX in on a new 2017 MDX or a nearly new 2016 MDX (not sure where they came from, but CarMax stores in CT and MA have a half dozen 2016 SH-AWD Advance MDXs with 1,500-4,500 miles on them at decent prices), buying a 2016-2017 Pilot Touring, or, leaving Acura/Honda altogether.

From the beginning, the problem has been the lock up torque converter engaging with the engine lightly loaded at 35mph-50mph. From new, when the torque converter locked up there would be a noticeable but tolerable groan/vibration (a lot like the early GM 4 speed transmissions with lock up torque converters in the 1980s)... certainly not what one expects to hear in a "luxury SUV." As I put more miles on the car, the groan/vibration gradually became more pronounced and, at around 32,000 miles, the groan/vibration turned into a pronounced shudder. At that point, my dealer installed the recommended software update that delayed when the torque converter would lockup... which improved things for about three weeks. Then the shudder worsened, and Acura authorized replacing the torque converter altogether... and things reverted back to the noticeable but tolerable condition. At 45,000 miles I noticed that the groan/vibration was starting to get worse and now, at 52,000 miles, it's clear that we're heading down the same road.

I know from reading TSBs that Acura/Honda is less willing to replace torque converters -- blaming the issue on non-Honda transmission fluid, which is B.S. since that is all my transmission has been filled with. I'm still covered under the power train warranty so, if I push the matter hard enough, I can probably get Honda to replace my torque converter again. OTOH, going through that hassle just so I can be back in the same place a third time around 75,000 miles has me thinking I should bail.

I've driven two or three MDXs with the 9 speed transmission... once for the two weeks it took my dealer and regional reps to figure out why both of my side mirrors wouldn't heat... and I liked them (except I miss the shifter to rest my hand on).
 

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Maybe I'm old school but I dont like not having a gear shifter. Coming from an 08 I drove a friends 2016 and maybe it didn't have the update because it seemed the tranny was always hunting for gears if you make sudden changes in the throttle. Also it felt jerky. Our CPO 2014 shifts great, It just seems to be in right gear at the right time. Switching b/w D and S on the fly, R and P. Just like using a shifter I guess. So far so good
 
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