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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

Ok...so I've been car shopping for months and considered the CX-5 (seats too uncomfortable), RX350 (too "soft" and not much room in the cargo area for my 2 dogs), etc., etc.
My wife and I test drove a used 2015 MDX (Tech Pkg.) and really liked it. So I've finally made up my mind to purchase a good used 2014 or 2015. Looking for Tech Pkg. as a minimum but would also consider the Advance Pkg.

So...my questions:

I've heard about a "clunking" sound on some of the rear axles/transmissions...when I test drove the 2015 I didn't hear anything. When I test drive other MDXs what exactly should I be listening for? Is it only when the car is put into Reverse?
Btw, I didn't hear any noise coming from the fuel pump when I test drove the 2015. So that's good.

In regard to the driver's seat comfort. The car I test drove had heated seats and they were reasonably comfortable. If I get the Advance Pkg. it comes with ventilated seats. Are they less comfortable (maybe less padding?) than the standard seats with heat only? This is important to me because I'm getting older and my butt doesn't have much padding.
Does Advance come with a heated steering wheel too?

Also, speaking of trim levels...where can I find a quick, concise chart that lists the features in each trim level?
I need to know the difference between the Tech and the Advance.

Last question (for now)...I see that some of the used MDXs have running boards attached. I absolutely don't want running boards.
Can I have the dealer uninstall these for me? Is it easy and inexpensive to have them taken off?
Finally, when they were installed in the first place...were there already existing holes for them to bolt the boards into? Or did they have to drill new holes to install the running boards?
This is very important for me because I live in Syracuse, NY and we have lots of snow in the winter...we also have a TON of salt on the roads to melt that snow. Any holes or other access points in a vehicle here means RUST.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Brian R.
Syracuse, NY
 

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Here is a cool weblink that has a lot of brochures for previous models: Auto-Brochures.com|Acura Car

Check out the 2015 Acura Fact sheet to see each feature at the different trim levels. The best bang for buck for me (I'm a tech head) would be the sh-awd Adv model. I found the extra safety features like CMBS or ACC really come in handy if you like to travel. I don't use the Adv features at much on my 11 MDX Adv when in my home town (except for the cooled seats) and a tech version would be the 99% solution if I didn't travel +20,000 miles per year.
 

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The "running boards" is pretty easy to remove and install. You can remove yourself and don't have to Jack the car up high to remove them. Those holes are already there.
 

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I’d stay away from the 14. While the car is fine,15 had some changes to the the infotainment that made it less sucking. Also make sure all the body panels line up. There were some issues. Used,there is not much a price difference between Tech and Advance. Drive an advance to make sure it’s comfortable for you.
 

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1) Clunking was determined to be from the struts. If you experience them under warranty, they would be replaced. Nothing from the axles though.
2) Yes, the Advance seats are a bit harder because they have the ventilation plate there with less springs. Comfort is highly subjective though. IIRC, the heated steering wheel was always an option across all trims.
3) The Advance Running boards, as mentioned by IRobot, are easily removed. It's just 6-8 bolts and voila, you're done. The Sport Running Boards though need to have the rocker trim restored. The Sport ones are the ones that only serve the back doors. Advance boards run the length of the front and back doors but are too recessed for most people. Do you know which ones they are?

I recommend you change (3x drain and refill should be fine) the ATF on any 14/15 immediately (or make a deal for seller to do it). The ATF fails earlier than designed and causes torque converter shuddering.
 

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I have an early 2014 shawd Tech and have had no problems at all with it and am really happy with it. Some people here reported a rear clunking/thumping but mine's never experienced that and I think there's a TSB for those who do experience it. The important thing is to drive the specific vehicle you're interested in and listen for any odd noise while doing an extensive test drive that includes some bumps and turns. Make sure you leave the sound system off for this part of the test drive (most salespeople want to turn it on - it masks little noises, rattles, etc.). Of course, you'd want to do that with any vehicle you buy.

Regarding the comment above to go for the 2015 rather than the 2014 because of the infotainment changes - they're actually fairly minimal and you'd have to value it by the price difference. I wouldn't spend an extra $100 for just the minor diff in the infotainment between the 2015 and 2014 but that's just me. I might be willing to spend an extra $20-50 for it.

I agree with you on running boards - they're mostly leg knockers and pants dirtiers but some people like them. I think they're mostly bolt-on which would mean they s/b easy to remove. If you buy from a dealer I'd expect they'd be more than happy to remove them in exchange for keeping them which they can sell to someone else or put on another used vehicle.

Good hunting.
 

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Link to one site regarding features between trims: https://www.edmunds.com/acura/mdx/2014/features-specs/

I personally find seats in the Advance to be more comfortable due to the premium, softer leather, and I have to have ventilation.

My understanding heated steering wheel is an dealer-installed option and not standard on the Advance.

When installed the Advance board, they most likely cut 3 notches each side on the bottom side of the bottom side trim piece. You might (or might not) see those ugly notches with boards removed when looking from the side. Otherwise just 6 bolts each side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all who responded! Great information provided. Looks like the running boards wouldn't be too much of an issue. Also, I think I'll have to drive an Advance with the ventilated seats to see how I find the comfort level...and as was mentioned seat comfort is highly subjective.

Am now possibly considering the 2016 MY but am a bit worried about the new 9-speed auto transmission. What do folks think about it as compared to the 6-speed?

Thanks again!
 

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Personally i like the way it operates but many complain that it is not smooth. However, some of us are getting chirping now that is likely due to a defective warmer component, so there's that to watch out for. I drove both the 6 and 9 before i bought the 9, but back then the 9 had some issues before tsb 15-054 improved the shifting. I also drive in sport ids mode full time, although normal is pretty decent now too.

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