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I was thinking you are having a buyer's remorse as well. But I am trying to look at your perspective as well. Perhaps, you were expecting too much from what you have purchased.

I have an 18 MDX Tech Hybrid, and the initial impression was the most cushy ride I have ever experienced from a Honda car. It was, until my nth time passing by NYC. Made me realized how ugly the roads are in that city. I remember driving a Lincoln Navigator once several years back. The ride was so comfy until I drove around Manhattan. The bumps were bone jarring experience, most especially when you hit a path hole that is wide. Until now, I can still feel how the steering wheel felt. But that was some years ago. Nothing will escape the NYC path holes. I don't like driving in that crater-filled city.

Coming from a CRV, Civic, Odyssey, Civic Si and 07 RDX, my MDX feels so comfortable by many miles. Perhaps, I have never put any expectations on my MDX. But perhaps, the suspension was way different from my other and previous vehicles.

not everyone enjoys a rough ride. An access cover sticking 1'" above grade will toss me from side to side when I hit it at 35 mph. After a series of bumps like that I am ready to toss the MDX but it is owned and the financial loss would be significant. Shame on me for not catching that before buying it.
 

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Someone's gonna tell me I should have detected this when I test drove prior to purchasing
That would be me. ;)

I would not want to open myself up to the foreseeable comments on this site that I should have known better after taking a 10 minute "get acquainted" demo ride from the dealer.
That would be me again.

Regarding the posts about my not noticing this while test driving - There are very few car dealers in Manhattan and thus it is not possible to test drive on those roads. I've never once been able to test drive a car except with the sales person in the passenger seat and dictating where to go, so I'd like to understand where folks are able to really spend a lot of time with the vehicle premarket.
I tell the dealer where I want to go and make sure I include city streets, freeway, make sure I find some speed bumps to go over, go out of my way to hit manhole covers, take a few sharp turns, accelerate to the max on a freeway entrance, and the like - warning the sales person in the passenger seat just before I do any of these. In some cases some dealers let me take the vehicle out on my own without them in the vehicle - after they make a copy of my license. Some people have posted how dealers will let them drive a vehicle overnight but I haven't found that necessary but it speaks well to those dealers. If a dealer won't cooperate with me on this point I walk away and don't use them as there are multiple other Acura dealers within a reasonable distance from me. For the proverbial '$50K car' (my MDX was less than that), or even if I was to buy a $15K car, I want to do a reasonable test drive or I won't buy it. I don't want any remorse afterwards that 'I shoulda' test driven this some more or realize when I test drove I never went over a bump, took a sharp turn, felt its acceleration potential, felt for torque steering, etc. If one dealer won't work with you on this go to a different dealer. There must be a number of Acura dealers within a 30 mile radius of Manhattan. I'm willing to drive an extra half hour to find a more cooperative dealership. Any dealer will do warranty and service so it doesn't matter if you buy the vehicle in Long Island but want to service it at the closer dealership - they'll still happily perform the service since they make money off of that.

If one reads through the posts on this thread I think many people would be happier if they spent a little more time on a reasonable test drive specifically testing the attributes. I do it with the radio off so I can better hear any rattles, thumps and the like. You may notice many salespeople will try to turn it on and up a bit to show off the radio but I think at least some of them also do it for the masking and distracting effect.

Changing the shock dampening in an adaptive ride model will never offset what a lighter spring rate would have done.
That's right - it's not as simple as just the shock - the spring firmness rates rates are at play as well.


I noticed I enjoy the ride of my MDX much more when it is packed with people or luggage. I'd like to explore perhaps putting weights or sandbags into the trunk storage area to weigh the car down and help with the suspension. I fail to see how this would introduce any downsides since it shouldn't be different weight than when my tank is full of my kids are grown, but am wondering if anybody has any insights to keep in mind.
Like I posted earlier, adding the weight may make a noticeable difference for you since it counters some of the action of the spring stiffness. Just make sure you secure whatever you add for the load since if you get in an accident you don't want a 50 pound sandbag to slam into the back of your head.
 

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Let's see, it's never the problem with the vehicle, it's that the "complaining remorseful buyer" didn't conduct due diligence in accordance with *your* standards! That's what it always comes down to for you, isn't it? Even with respect to unforeseeable/undisclosable issues. Perhaps you could begin a second career as an agent for potential buyers and undertake your personal level of due diligence with respect to their next vehicle. BTW, I won't be surprised when you recommend a new MDX to them. After all, that's what you selected for yourself back in '14, no?
 

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I don't like driving in that crater-filled city.
This is just what happens when the Avengers gotta keep fighting back them pesky aliens :\


So to be fair, the MDX seems to be sprung well for higher speed. It definitely starts to fall a bit short on the low speed damping side and the reason why it feels a lot better with a load in the back is that the weight is preventing the higher spring rate from pushing the rear back up as quickly as it would if it were empty. It definitely has a bit too much bounce at the top of the strut travel. I think they mainly designed the suspension with a full family on board. I suppose they could have used a larger rear sway and maybe longer bump stops, but all of that would have introducing more "thumping" at a more frequent rate and increased wear on components. A perfect balance is hard to achieve, and much more so when the vehicle isn't designed at near 50/50 weight distribution (we're at 60/40).

You could be like one of the guys who quit the MDX early and stuck on the Pilot's rear suspension on in the rear. They're a direct swap and the spring rate is lighter, so it seems to handle some of the crap better. His thread is around here somewhere, with a video of the suspension travel differences. It would be a start, but it didn't solve everything.
 

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Maybe if one test drive contains too much information to process, you slow the purchase process down a bit, like several test drives? Certain qualities about the car are present from day one, and in the case of the MDX the unrefined, noisy ride was most certainly there so you have to take responsibility for missing that.
 

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It seems some people come to just complain...I wouldn’t trade my 11 MDX for any X5...
 

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Down size your wheels and you will get a more comfortable ride! 20 inch wheels are a waist of time unless you think 20 inch wheels are cool than you deal with the problems associated with them and their low profile that do not absorb very little it is that plain and sadly simple! Only way you are going to soften the ride with 20's is to add custom shocks to your vehicle! You are not alone out there lots of people make the same mistake thinking bigger is better without knowing all the pitfalls associated with larger wheels.


Some don't mind the harsher driving experience for the added visual appeal, something you will notice in your test drives! You might get a softer tire between manufacturers but it will come with the cost of increased tire wear! There is a great deal to know about tires and the effect the compounds and construction have on the quality of ride!



Quality of ride is Subjective. I want a soft ride for my MDX so i go for no larger than the 18's with a soft tire compound, but for my performance vehicles i want one that handles, so they are way harsher than your 20 inch equipped MDX which is what you must give up and be alright with for the added driving experience!
 

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Let's see, it's never the problem with the vehicle, it's that the "complaining remorseful buyer" didn't conduct due diligence in accordance with *your* standards! That's what it always comes down to for you, isn't it? Even with respect to unforeseeable/undisclosable issues. Perhaps you could begin a second career as an agent for potential buyers and undertake your personal level of due diligence with respect to their next vehicle. BTW, I won't be surprised when you recommend a new MDX to them. After all, that's what you selected for yourself back in '14, no?
Well, you seem to have been ruffled for some reason.

It's a fact that if people don't perform due diligence in this area, with any vehicle, they are more likely to end up disappointed. We see several instances of that in this thread. I don't know why you'd direct your ire towards me on this point. It's the people who buy a vehicle they've barely driven, or sometimes didn't drive at all, who later find out it's not a match for what they're looking for, who suffer the repercussions. I imagine any of those people who objectively review the timeline would wish they would have test driven the vehicle more thoroughly, or checked out out how the infotainment behaves better, etc.

It's certainly not anything that comes down to 'me' and that statement of yours doesn't even make sense. If people want to buy vehicles they haven't adequately checked out it has nothing to do with me and they're the ones who get to live with their decisions.

The above isn't specific to the MDX - it applies to all vehicles since they all have a unique set of attributes to appeal to a wide range of buyers. For example, some people buy a stick only to find out later they don't really like it in the heavy commute traffic, or buy a Corvette and find it doesn't ride like their Lincoln, or buy a Miata and find out it doesn't have as much power as a Corvette, or buy a Jeep that does great on trails but is somewhat rougher on the freeway, etc.

The only way to have a chance at ending up with a vehicle one wants is to spend time to know what they're buying or else they may end up disappointed. That doesn't affect me but hopefully anyone who's been disappointed in this area will at least pay more attention next time, or perhaps they're easy-going and it's really no big deal to them and they're easily pleased but in those cases they'd probably not be posting about it here.

But people can buy a car any way they want and it doesn't affect me. They can ignore whatever I'm posting here if they want although I'm only trying to be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks all for the thoughtful replies. Even if you schooled me on more diligent test driving you took the time to write your thoughts. Thanks!

Frankly we upgraded from a 17 year old Corolla. We also drove the CX-9 but felt the MDX was classier. Frankly I don't think I knew enough about cars during the purchase to even pay attention to the suspension. But now I'm a lot smarter, and maybe will even appreciate the car for how it's tuned more.

I will try some weights in the trunk storage compartment. I will reply back after we've had some time to drive it. Frankly my kids are growing everyday and maybe in a few years I will be happy the suspension is tuned for a full car. Who knows. We know they won't fix the roads in NYC anytime soon :)

Thanks all!
 

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James, live and learn. We all do It. It's an expression of our humanity and it makes life interesting. I try to never make the same mistake twice. I pride myself on always making new ones, grin.

Your situation shouldn't be too tough for a workaround. Adding weight is something that we used to do a lot of, in the north, to improve winter traction before things like FWD and AWD. Sometimes it seemed like it was the only way to keep a pickup truck on the road (no fun when the back wheels pass the front wheels on a curve). And it does generally improve ride quality. I used to do it with rock salt. It is best to try to get the weight between the front and back wheels if practical. Add some weight and drop the air pressure in the tires, and you will likely have a smile on your face. If your driving is city-only you can probably drop tire pressure to the minimum.
 

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James - another thought: does your MDX have a spare tire? The MDXs without SHAWD didn't come with a spare. The spare will add some weight in the back end and could possibly noticeably affect the cush of the ride. If you don't have one you might to consider getting one since it's handy to have a spare anyway just in case.

The other suggestion another poster mentioned up-thread about the hitch is something to consider as well, even if you don't really need a hitch. It'll also add weight to the back although I don't know how noticeable it would be regarding the ride. You might even find utility in it for use as a hitch-mounted bike carrier or even, especially in NYC, as extra protection when parallel parking from people who pull up too close to you and would otherwise tap your bumper.
 

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Really enjoyed this thread. Arizona roads are pretty notorious for "someday" getting fixed. The swerve handling of my '18 MDX comes in handy missing the potholes just coming home on my main artery. Biggest threat around here are windshield missiles on the freeway -- I keep $0 deductible glass just because of it, and I think the last windshield repair was over $2K, insurance covered and Acura tech's camera adjustments thrown in. [In AZ trucks can travel in any freeway lane].

LOL on JamesNYC comment about finally going Acura after 17 years. I'm a bump on a log while my son seizes out my '08 Lincoln MKZ on loan (yep, it does have a temp gauge). Wife LOVES her friend's MKZ so WTH? We go down and get one. Have to admit my '03 2-Door CLX memories had me beguiled from the start, but happy wife = happy life. What could go wrong? Anyway, so far no surprises on the MDX. I'd like to get new white sporty wheels to match the car, so anybody with good leads on that, much appreciated. And I'm still surprised when I need to floor it on a roadway merge and the front drive squeals with delight LOL.

So this is my 9th post, working hard to see y'all's attachments after the Moderator Police are done with me :)
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Thank you all. I added about 80 pounds of weight to the trunk of the car, and also set the front tires to 33psi and rear to 34psi.

Both my Wife and I believe it has made a positive impact. You still feel the bumps on our horrible NYC roads, but you feel slightly more grounded and less like your body is being thrown into the air. I think we will keep the weights in the back until our kids grow (and easily add much more than 80 pounds!) or unless we are going on vacation and loading up the trunk in any case.

I may put the tires back to 35psi (recommended) as it gives me the heavy jeevies to have them low - but 2 psi is still just 5% so hopefully it's not a big deal.

I will keep an eye on my gas mileage to see if there is any noticeable drop from the weight - I can't imagine 80 pounds would have much of an impact but if I see it dropping I'll decide how important it is to me for the improvement in handling.

Thanks all. There's a lot of variables to car buying - If I was able to make forward progress on this one, makes me really enjoy the car that much more. Thanks.
 

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Always noticed the suspension was harsh when it was just me but quite pleasant with 4 people in my 2018 MDX Adv when at 35 psi all round. Decided to lower it to 32.5 on all since it is mostly just me driving the car and that made a significant difference, the ride is borderline plush now, also cornering seems better as well.
 

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JamesNYC
After spending a few years with an RDX, I bought a 17 MDX for the extra room and better ride. After 30,000, it started to ride more like the RDX, a little harsh at times and quite a hum from the tires. I do a lot of Jersey Turnpike driving, and noticed the Michelin’s were part of the problem. At 40,000 I changed over to Pirelli Scorpion, as I did with the RDX, and the ride is much quieter and a little smoother.
Acura’s do not ride like a Lexus. It is a fact.
Great cars, but not as smooth as a luxury suv.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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JamesNYC
After spending a few years with an RDX, I bought a 17 MDX for the extra room and better ride. After 30,000, it started to ride more like the RDX, a little harsh at times and quite a hum from the tires. I do a lot of Jersey Turnpike driving, and noticed the Michelin’s were part of the problem. At 40,000 I changed over to Pirelli Scorpion, as I did with the RDX, and the ride is much quieter and a little smoother.
Acura’s do not ride like a Lexus. It is a fact.
Great cars, but not as smooth as a luxury suv.
Owning other Lexus vehicles over the years, I've shopped the RX in the past. Definitely a more luxurious ride that MDX, but I need more room. I'm on Lexus forum and the RXL is not the 3 row solution most RX owners wanted.

My 17 MDX rides better than the previous three I have had, and better than a friend's RDX. Although they recently got the redesigned RDX and I am interested to ride in it and check it out.
 

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At 40,000 I changed over to Pirelli Scorpion, as I did with the RDX, and the ride is much quieter and a little smoother.
Will be interesting to see how these tires work out for you in the long term. The 2016 XC90 I had came with Scorpions and after ~15K miles, they made so much noise that people riding with me would comment on it. Granted, the car needed better sound insulation and there wasn't active noise cancellation, but still....

(Just checked TireRack and it looks like the tire is marketed now in a "Plus" version. Maybe there were some changes?)
 

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Always noticed the suspension was harsh when it was just me but quite pleasant with 4 people in my 2018 MDX Adv when at 35 psi all round. Decided to lower it to 32.5 on all since it is mostly just me driving the car and that made a significant difference, the ride is borderline plush now, also cornering seems better as well.
I think you are stressing the tires too much. But that’s just me. Good luck. I hope your life insurance is paid up.
 
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