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I tried driving the car in S mode the other day to see what it was like. I was pretty disappointed. The transmission did not shift when I hit the paddle to upshift, and basically climbed up about 1.5K rpm more before it shifted. This happened with every gear. The transmission basically just shifted whenever it saw fit to shift. This left me wondering what the point of the S mode is, or the paddles for that matter. Does this get better as the miles add on and the computer figures out what it needs to figure out? (car has only 1K miles on it).

The IDS system is also very annoying. When I'm driving in normal mode, the car seems to bog and feels like it has no power. When it's in sport mode, it holds some gears a little too long and doesn't want to shift. So far, I'm not really feeling the driving characteristics of this car. I'd like to hear some input from people who have noticed the same thing, and from people who have owned the car for a while and have gotten used to the quirks of the car. Thanks
 

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If I recall correctly the S Mode its not a full manual override in the 3G MDX.. Its just a Sport Automatic mode which means it will try to drive "Sportier" by holding shifts and etc. To gain full control you have to switch it to Sport+ which will give you full manual control over the gears except 1st to 2nd which are automatic.

This should all be in your owners manual, I don´t even own a 3G and I´ve heard of this.

Also the shifting behavior you are describing while in Normal Mode is what a lot of users have complained about in the 3G MDX using the 9 Speed Auto, Does your MDX is up to date in transmission software updates? This issue was supposed to be fixed in the 2017 from the factory.
 

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The perception of sluggishness is nothing more than the different throttle maps between the IDS modes; the amount of acceleration relative to pedal movement changes in different modes. Doesn't seem like the OEM's have really been able to sort out a map to get pedal feel to be like the old cable actuated throttles that are more linear, perhaps on purpose to reduce drivetrain damage. I find that Sport is really the only way to drive the car mainly because the throttle map is better. Leave it in sport mode and drive normally and the transmission shift points will adjust.
 

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S mode or "sequential mode" should allow you full control over the gear shifts from what I understand. I'm not sure I understand the problem there. As for your observation on the transmission, I've noticed it to be a bit off as well. People say that the car will adapt to your driving style. You can also get a transmission reset or something from the dealer from what I've heard. It does feel a bit under-powered on normal mode, which is why I prefer sport.
 
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