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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, all! I'm a former owner of a 2007 MDX, and I may be getting back into the game. I currently drive a 2011 X5, and while I really like the way it drives and the features it offers it has experienced what I would consider to be an unreasonable level of issues and I want to get out before my warranty runs out (a few months from now).

One of the vehicles I'm considering is a 3rd gen MDX, and I was hoping to get feedback from you all since I consider people on forums like this to be a more reliable source of information than, say, an Edmunds review :)

1. While I'm assuming I should look for newer than 2014 to avoid first-year problems, is there any particular reason (new features, tweaks, etc.) that I should be considering a 2016 over a 2015?
2. How do you all feel about the electronics interface? Especially helpful if anyone has used the BMW CIC or NBT system to compare it to ;) One thing that initially turned me off was the whole dual-screen thing, but what do you all think of it as owners? Are there any mainstream tech options that you feel like the MDX is lacking?
3. I know this generation has only been around for a couple of years and that brings some risk with it, but how has reliability been on these vehicles? Both in frequency of repairs and in average cost? I'm going to be getting married in the next year and my car buying frequency is going to have to decrease, so I want to find something that's going to last and not break me.
4. Are there any particular benefits or problems that I should be mindful of as I consider the MDX?

Thanks so much for your help! It's an unusual experience for me not to be laser-focused on a single vehicle (I have a few that I'm considering but none have WOWed me), so I'm hoping you all can help me make my decision one way or the other :)
 

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1. A 2015 gives you more fixes (esp with the navi) over the 2014. There are quite a few bugs that the 2014/2015 share though that the 2016 already addresses. The main difference for me between the 2014/2015 and the 2016 is the transmission. You need to drive both back to back to decide what you can live with.

2. The electronics are going to be the main negative of any Acura. It's clunky at best. It is sluggish at times and address entry for navi will make you crazy.

3. Repairs are higher than average, but cost is about what you expect out of the Honda family (cheaper side, with Acura markup). There are a lot of smaller repairs like loose seats, rattles, sometimes the seat memory doesn't work right, etc. Some folks have gotten larger problems, like broken electronic power steer, suspension clunking, and in the 2016, transmission errors solved by TSBs, not recalls. Of course, you have your warranty for these issues if you buy one with existing warranties (if used) or new. An extended warranty can be bought before 50k miles or 5 years (i think) from various places that sell an actual AcuraCare extended warranty. I'm still not sure how well the MDX will hold up, but I know it is nothing as frustrating as a BMW garage queen.

4. Sportiness of the MDX is a plus, since power and suspension are quite decent for the class. Of course, it's nothing like luxury 5 seater power and handling (say like a 3.0T Q5 or Porsche Macan), but the drive doesn't feel as big as it is. The X5 has always been great in that respect, so I think this could be somewhat of a downgrade in that department, but still similar. The flexibility of the 7 seats is nice, especially if you have kids. Materials won't be up to par with European either, but they're not bad either. The ELS sound is pretty decent as well, so make sure you test that out. I ended up buying a 2016 because it was cheaper than a used 2015 (there were no new ones left in SHAWD). I really loved the 6 speed in the 2014/2015, but I learned to live with the 9 speed. I am still looking for some fixes though, like new fuel injector programming and fixes to odd downshifting in sequential.

What else are you considering?
 

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1) I own a 14 and the wife drives a 15. Had some first year issues with the 14, dealer took care of them after several visits last year. Runs great now. 15 has been trouble free. I love the 6 speed and not a fan of the 9 speed because it is new. I am sure software updates are in Acura's future.

2) You will get used to the interface. My wife can use it, so anyone can. Name an OEM who's interface is perfect.

3) Been only driving Hondas and Acuras for years. Never left me on the side of the road. Repairs are reasonable compared to German makes. Service dept staff has been great.

4) If you get a new 16, make sure you drive that transmission for a while. You either love it or hate.

The wife and I love how sporty the MDX rides. We both drive ours in sport mode, to get the most feedback in the steering. Quality could be a little better (materials and fit/finish) but overall it won't let you down.
 

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Hey, all! I'm a former owner of a 2007 MDX, and I may be getting back into the game. I currently drive a 2011 X5, and while I really like the way it drives and the features it offers it has experienced what I would consider to be an unreasonable level of issues and I want to get out before my warranty runs out (a few months from now).

One of the vehicles I'm considering is a 3rd gen MDX, and I was hoping to get feedback from you all since I consider people on forums like this to be a more reliable source of information than, say, an Edmunds review :)

1. While I'm assuming I should look for newer than 2014 to avoid first-year problems, is there any particular reason (new features, tweaks, etc.) that I should be considering a 2016 over a 2015?
2. How do you all feel about the electronics interface? Especially helpful if anyone has used the BMW CIC or NBT system to compare it to ;) One thing that initially turned me off was the whole dual-screen thing, but what do you all think of it as owners? Are there any mainstream tech options that you feel like the MDX is lacking?
3. I know this generation has only been around for a couple of years and that brings some risk with it, but how has reliability been on these vehicles? Both in frequency of repairs and in average cost? I'm going to be getting married in the next year and my car buying frequency is going to have to decrease, so I want to find something that's going to last and not break me.
4. Are there any particular benefits or problems that I should be mindful of as I consider the MDX?

Thanks so much for your help! It's an unusual experience for me not to be laser-focused on a single vehicle (I have a few that I'm considering but none have WOWed me), so I'm hoping you all can help me make my decision one way or the other :)
Hey Adams. Sounds eerily similar to me. I traded in my 2011 BMW X5 Sport Activity for the 2016 MDX SH-AWD - Tech with remote start and tow package.

  • First the Acura's ZF9 feels very similar to the BMW ZF8 in the X5. I'm sure you also had the occasionally gear hunt at low speeds that happens with both vehicles. So far I really am pleased with the performance of the MDX. The SH-AWD allows me to take the same curves at as high a speed as the X5, especially if you stay on the throttle. The same straight line speed is there, you just have to rev the MDX higher than the X5.
  • While I love the interface of the I-Drive, the dual screen has grown on me after seeming over complicated at first. With the X5, you had to go small split screen or lose navigation altogether when displaying audio info. Love that the nav is always on with MDX.
  • I honestly don't think there is any comparison between BMW reliability and Acura. While there seems to be a lot of people with electronic issues, I highly doubt they will have a VANOS failure, HPFP Failure, Coil Pack Failure, Fuel Rails Sensor Failure, ECU Failure, etc that I had from 46k miles to 54k miles!
I certainly miss the big beefy 20" wheels and tires, but overall I am not really longing for the X5. I personally think she was prettier than the MDX, but not as refined or technologically advanced in most areas.
 

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Hey, all! I'm a former owner of a 2007 MDX, and I may be getting back into the game. I currently drive a 2011 X5, and while I really like the way it drives and the features it offers it has experienced what I would consider to be an unreasonable level of issues and I want to get out before my warranty runs out (a few months from now).

One of the vehicles I'm considering is a 3rd gen MDX, and I was hoping to get feedback from you all since I consider people on forums like this to be a more reliable source of information than, say, an Edmunds review :)

1. While I'm assuming I should look for newer than 2014 to avoid first-year problems, is there any particular reason (new features, tweaks, etc.) that I should be considering a 2016 over a 2015?
2. How do you all feel about the electronics interface? Especially helpful if anyone has used the BMW CIC or NBT system to compare it to ;) One thing that initially turned me off was the whole dual-screen thing, but what do you all think of it as owners? Are there any mainstream tech options that you feel like the MDX is lacking?
3. I know this generation has only been around for a couple of years and that brings some risk with it, but how has reliability been on these vehicles? Both in frequency of repairs and in average cost? I'm going to be getting married in the next year and my car buying frequency is going to have to decrease, so I want to find something that's going to last and not break me.
4. Are there any particular benefits or problems that I should be mindful of as I consider the MDX?

Thanks so much for your help! It's an unusual experience for me not to be laser-focused on a single vehicle (I have a few that I'm considering but none have WOWed me), so I'm hoping you all can help me make my decision one way or the other :)
I had the 2007 3.0si X5 (E70 series). While I loved the way the car handled, it became a total money pit after 50K miles. From 50K until 140K miles it became a money pit. So much so that I've left the BMW brand for good. I bought a 2016 SH-AWD MDX w/ Tech and so far my only regret is not getting the Advance Package. Getting a non-turbo SUV that goes 0-60 in 6 seconds is a no brainer. Those BMW turbos are going to be even larger money pits than my old in-line 6 E70. Now on the other hand, if you are just leasing 24-36 months at a time, I could completely see staying with BMW. But if you are buying to keep (like me) than the MDX is a no brainer.
 

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My best advice...if you can, wait a year for the 2017 model. Seriously.
 

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My 2 cents

I have owned and driven both, a 2012 X5 and a 2016 MDX, so I'll give my perspective.

1) The 2016 seems quite nice so far. I'm a little annoyed by some of the tranny behaviors, but not so much that I'm dragging it into the shop.

2) Electronics? The BMW is better. I still have a 2014 5 series and I love the iDrive interface. If I keep a second car after the MDX, I'll definitely shop BMW again, mainly because of my affinity for iDrive.

3) Reliability? Well, the 2016 has a new tranny and that may not bode well (who knows). Other than that, it seems about as solid as any Japanese luxury make I've ever owned.

4) Benefits: The MDX has one of the best AWD systems I've ever driven, bar none (Lexus, Infiniti, BMW, Audi). I really like the SH-AWD system. It makes the car drive almost as well as a BMW that costs $20K more.
 

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Any insider info? :29:
Who cares if there's any mid cycle refresh (new bumpers, wheels, etc)...the big change is production moves from the Lincoln, AL plant to East Liberty, OH. Quality control, paint, and panel fit will make a dramatic improvement.
 

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Who cares if there's any mid cycle refresh (new bumpers, wheels, etc)...the big change is production moves from the Lincoln, AL plant to East Liberty, OH. Quality control, paint, and panel fit will make a dramatic improvement.
Yeah, that was my main consideration too when I was wondering if I could wait for the 2017. But the vehicle this 2016 replaced has transmission issues, so I needed to get out of the ticking time bomb quickly. Sigh :28:

Oh and I heard that it doesn't move entirely to OH, but OH is supplementing AL production, so we would have to hunt for OH vehicles.
 

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the big change is production moves from the Lincoln, AL plant to East Liberty, OH
It'd be a new production line, new vehicle to the workers, likely a number of new workers, etc. I'm not sure that'll result in some kind of immediate improvement over Alabama. I also don't think there's something n the water in Alabama that prevents them from being able to assemble a vehicle as some on here imply. Granted, there were some assembly and QC issues and likely some tooling and design issues affecting the assembly (that hopefully have been corrected by now) but they're now 3 years into it and the Ohio plant would be setting the clock back to a first year somewhat - but hopefully with some of the learned lessons from the prior years' experience of the Alabama plant. If Acura's willing to skate on QC in Alabama I don't see why they wouldn't skate in Ohio as well - that's something that comes from the top down.

I also read that Ohio was going to supplement production and that Alabama will still produce the MDX as well. Of course, they could shift this all around.

...Honda to Add Second U.S. Factory for Acura MDX Investment in Ohio Plant Signals Shift in Auto Market as SUV Demand Soars...
Production of the MDX will continue at the company’s Lincoln, Ala., plant, which currently makes both the MDX and its V-6 engine.
...
http://www.wsj.com/articles/honda-to-add-second-u-s-plant-for-acura-mdx-1423681266
 

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It'd be a new production line, new vehicle to the workers, likely a number of new workers, etc. I'm not sure that'll result in some kind of immediate improvement over Alabama. I also don't think there's something n the water in Alabama that prevents them from being able to assemble a vehicle as some on here imply. Granted, there were some assembly and QC issues and likely some tooling and design issues affecting the assembly (that hopefully have been corrected by now) but they're now 3 years into it and the Ohio plant would be setting the clock back to a first year somewhat - but hopefully with some of the learned lessons from the prior years' experience of the Alabama plant. If Acura's willing to skate on QC in Alabama I don't see why they wouldn't skate in Ohio as well - that's something that comes from the top down.

I also read that Ohio was going to supplement production and that Alabama will still produce the MDX as well. Of course, they could shift this all around.



Honda to Add Second U.S. Plant for Acura MDX - WSJ
Alabama is full speed on the Pilot now. Not sure if MDXs are even in production at the moment. They overloaded up all the dealers for the summer with MDXs so they could just crank out Pilots non stop. Soon, Alabama will also produce the Ridgeline. I'm hoping MDX just completely moves out of there and stops ruining Acura's initial quality ranking.

As far as working bugs out of a new line? The RDX was a new vehicle to the line in East Liberty in 2013, yet the quality control was just what you'd expect for Honda. Meanwhile, the MDX is in its third year at Lincoln, and I'm still seeing gross production line QC faults. Panel fit issues, connectors not plugged in, missing bolts, extra bolts rattling around, connectors not plugged in, paint jobs that look like they were done outside by a blind drunk guy, water leaks, and many more.
 

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^^^^^. Well said. I recently found an extra piece of plastic trim under the driver's seat on the 15. Dealer service adviser was embarrassed as the technician confirmed it was extra "trash" left from the assembly line. No trim was missing. Built 2/15. One of the last 15's built.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all of the feedback so far, everyone! After a test drive on Wednesday in a 2016, I've decided that a 3rd gen MDX is going to be my next vehicle. The test drive was short, so I'll need to spend more time behind the wheel (preferably without a salesman) to make sure that I'm OK with the transmission, but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary on my initial drive.

Right now my choices (which is largely going to be determined by price and by my approving of the new transmission) are going to be either a 2016 with Advance (or Advance/Ent) and a certified 2015 with Advance (or Advance/Ent). As far as I could tell, the only meaningful differences between the model years were the introduction of auto start-stop (no thank you!) and Siri Eyes Free (nice to have, but not much of a decision maker). Am I right about that?

Thanks again, everyone!
 

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Thanks for all of the feedback so far, everyone! After a test drive on Wednesday in a 2016, I've decided that a 3rd gen MDX is going to be my next vehicle. The test drive was short, so I'll need to spend more time behind the wheel (preferably without a salesman) to make sure that I'm OK with the transmission, but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary on my initial drive.

Right now my choices (which is largely going to be determined by price and by my approving of the new transmission) are going to be either a 2016 with Advance (or Advance/Ent) and a certified 2015 with Advance (or Advance/Ent). As far as I could tell, the only meaningful differences between the model years were the introduction of auto start-stop (no thank you!) and Siri Eyes Free (nice to have, but not much of a decision maker). Am I right about that?

Thanks again, everyone!
In the 14 and 15 advance models, the ENT was standard. You could not get an Advance without ENT. Acura just added that option for 2016. You are correct about the auto start/stop and Siri. Also, obviously, the transmission change with shifter vs push button selector. Some other minor changes, like the rear view mirror design, etc. Also, the silver color was the only new color for 2016. There was a different shade of Silver for 14/15.

One thing to note, you won't find threads about the 6 speed transmission on this forum...because there are no widespread issues. Many discussions about the 9 speed. Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In the 14 and 15 advance models, the ENT was standard. You could not get an Advance without ENT. Acura just added that option for 2016. You are correct about the auto start/stop and Siri. Also, obviously, the transmission change with shifter vs push button selector. Some other minor changes, like the rear view mirror design, etc. Also, the silver color was the only new color for 2016. There was a different shade of Silver for 14/15.

One thing to note, you won't find threads about the 6 speed transmission on this forum...because there are no widespread issues. Many discussions about the 9 speed. Just food for thought.
Interesting! I didn't realize all of the 2015 Advance models would include Entertainment. That's good to know. Thanks for listing the other changes.

I have definitely taken note of the fact that the 6 speed doesn't seem to have many issues. Is there any significant difference in performance or fuel efficiency between the two transmissions? Not that I really care that much in an SUV, but did the 6 speed include the paddle shifters as well?

Thanks!
 

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Interesting! I didn't realize all of the 2015 Advance models would include Entertainment. That's good to know. Thanks for listing the other changes.

I have definitely taken note of the fact that the 6 speed doesn't seem to have many issues. Is there any significant difference in performance or fuel efficiency between the two transmissions? Not that I really care that much in an SUV, but did the 6 speed include the paddle shifters as well?

Thanks!
Yes, paddle shifters on the 6 speed. Some say the 9 speed is faster of the line, fuel economy is about even.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After going back and forth, I finally settled on a 2016 Advance black with parchment interior. So far I love it, and I did a significant (well, what I'd call significant...about 150 mile) test drive and didn't notice any oddities with the transmission. Maybe it was just because I came from an X5 that also used a ZF transmission with supposedly similar characteristics. In any case, I'm happy with it so far; here's hoping it stays that way!
 

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Congrats, I also went through the same thing and ultimately got a 2016. I drove it about 75 miles in the city then drove it 170 miles from Houston to Austin. No transmission issues, it is VERY smooth, downshifts quickly and smoothly and has plenty of highway passing power.

Gas mileage is inline with my expectations. We drive fast in Houston, and I always average 2 mpg under EPA for any of my SUVs. Cruise control is usually at 79mph, there are some stop light intersections on the highways and 20 miles of the trip is city.

XC60 was rated at 23, I'd get 21
X5 Diesel was rated at 26, I'd get 24

I got 24 mpg on this trip and it is brand new, unbroken in, so I'm happy with that. I could tell at speeds of 60-65 mph, I'd get high 20s.
 

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After going back and forth, I finally settled on a 2016 Advance black with parchment interior. So far I love it, and I did a significant (well, what I'd call significant...about 150 mile) test drive and didn't notice any oddities with the transmission. Maybe it was just because I came from an X5 that also used a ZF transmission with supposedly similar characteristics. In any case, I'm happy with it so far; here's hoping it stays that way!
Congrats Adams. :29:

I was in the same balance-act on whether to get a 2016 and was reading responses on here and azine ad nauseum. The problem is that if you go on most brand boards, you're going to get caution tales. Bottom line is that you have to make up your own decision and factor in faith of the Acura brand.

If believe you (and I) made the right decision. Enjoy!
 
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