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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, after watching dozens of YouTube videos on the new MDX, most reviewers are in agreement that the touchpad-based infotainment system is a true weak spot of the new MDX. This comes at no surprise, as touchpad systems have been criticized for years. What was Acura thinking in sticking to its guns on this system? Yes, yes, I'm sure it gets better with repeat use, but to limit the access to touchpad-only (which seems more of a distraction to the driver, say nothing of the limitation it places on the passenger (passengers- you're stuck with the driver's music!)) is a bit of a head-scratcher. How soon before Acura moves the infotainment display forward an inch and makes it touchscreen, so at least there are multiple options to access it?
 

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After you see it is not like a regular touchpad/mouse device, you get accustomed to it pretty quickly. I am not saying I love it but like how it operates better than others I have used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After you see it is not like a regular touchpad/mouse device, you get accustomed to it pretty quickly. I am not saying I love it but like how it operates better than others I have used.
I don't doubt that at all, but still, I feel Acura was just asking for trouble by sticking to a touchpad design (with no touchscreen option).
 

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A full touchscreen may have been nice but I just think of it as a small touchscreen that is closer to my hand. Works the same way.
 
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Is it easy for the passenger to use?
I think so. The touchpad is basically in the middle of the console. My wife uses the one on our RDX when I'm driving and vice-versa. The passenger just needs to be left handed!
 

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Is it easy for the passenger to use?
Yep, when my son is in the passenger seat he pretty much takes over and he uses the touchpad just as easy as I do - and I'd rather not have his grubby fingers on my screen :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't think it's a deal breaker for me, but I see it as an unforgiveable 'miss' by Acura (people's general loathing for a touchpad is no secret). My '19 Accord has an easy to use and good-looking touchscreen, and finger prints have never been an issue.
 

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Funny, I had so much trepidation over the touchpad that I almost made it a deal breaker for me prior to purchase. My previous car had a touch screen, which was fairly easy to use and I thought the touchscreen would be impossible for me......glad I did not let it stop my purchase. Now, after a few weeks, I would say that I actually prefer the touchpad. Its right at my fingertips so I don't have to reach across the car and divert my attention. And, it really is very simple to use.....even for an old timer like me!
I would venture a guess that the preponderance of the negative feelings are from those that have not spent any time using it.....gettinlm, don't hesitate, you will love the MDX!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Funny, I had so much trepidation over the touchpad that I almost made it a deal breaker for me prior to purchase. My previous car had a touch screen, which was fairly easy to use and I thought the touchscreen would be impossible for me......glad I did not let it stop my purchase. Now, after a few weeks, I would say that I actually prefer the touchpad. Its right at my fingertips so I don't have to reach across the car and divert my attention. And, it really is very simple to use.....even for an old timer like me!
I would venture a guess that the preponderance of the negative feelings are from those that have not spent any time using it.....gettinlm, don't hesitate, you will love the MDX!
Thanks! I agree with you- I'm sure that once you're used to it, it works well, and easily. BUT... Acura's decision to go with it still resulted in their being bludgeoned by (almost) every credible car reviewer out there. For that reason alone, they should have provided a second means of access (touchscreen, for example). It makes them look bad, and I'd imagine it's hindered many from buying it.
 

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Yes, yes, I'm sure it gets better with repeat use, but to limit the access to touchpad-only (which seems more of a distraction to the driver, say nothing of the limitation it places on the passenger (passengers- you're stuck with the driver's music!)) is a bit of a head-scratcher. How soon before Acura moves the infotainment display forward an inch and makes it touchscreen, so at least there are multiple options to access it?
Don't forget that with respect to music controls, there is a dedicated volume knob and a scan back/forward button next to the touchpad, allowing you those controls with no touchpad interaction required.
 

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Since most people probably have touchscreen phones that is what they are used to. As I said before the touchpad is like a touchscreen just in a different place. The relationship is the same. Top left is top left, etc. Most car reviewers don't get to spend enough time with the car to get used to the touchpad. After a few of days with it, it will become second nature to you.

I also think there is an economy of scale issue. It is my understanding that the infotainment screen and the new digital dash screen are the same. Less different parts make it easier and cheaper to manufacture.
 

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Touchpad is fine once you get used to it, plus no fingerprints on the screen is nice (I still have my factory plastic on it). The two screen setup is also pretty nifty, though I wish it could display two AA/Car play apps at once in each screen. Maybe just AA limitation. Once you realize you don't control the touchpad like a computer touchpad it starts to make sense. You basically press on the touchpad where you want to go rather than trying to drag your finger across like a mouse. This doesn't work as a well though in AA but hopefully some updates resolve this. Also if you have dirty hands, etc, a rotary dial is typically nicer to have. My hands tend to sweat a lot so I would have personally preferred a rotary dial but the steering wheels controls handle most of everything already. Voice recognition through AA works pretty well also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Touchpad is fine once you get used to it, plus no fingerprints on the screen is nice (I still have my factory plastic on it). The two screen setup is also pretty nifty, though I wish it could display two AA/Car play apps at once in each screen. Maybe just AA limitation. Once you realize you don't control the touchpad like a computer touchpad it starts to make sense. You basically press on the touchpad where you want to go rather than trying to drag your finger across like a mouse. This doesn't work as a well though in AA but hopefully some updates resolve this. Also if you have dirty hands, etc, a rotary dial is typically nicer to have. My hands tend to sweat a lot so I would have personally preferred a rotary dial but the steering wheels controls handle most of everything already. Voice recognition through AA works pretty well also.
I would prefer a rotary as well. The one in the GV70 seems to have ticked all the right boxes and looks great. It took Genesis a while to figure that out as well (the rotary in the GV80... woof!).

And I know the touchpad doesn't function like a mouse, and I've heard several reviewers say that this works great for corner buttons, but the stuff in the middle is more difficult to select.

But the point of my post was more so a critique of Acura's choice, not whether the system works. The system's being ripped to shreds in most reviews is bad optics for what seems to be a stellar new vehicle.
 

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So, after watching dozens of YouTube videos on the new MDX, most reviewers are in agreement that the touchpad-based infotainment system is a true weak spot of the new MDX. This comes at no surprise, as touchpad systems have been criticized for years. What was Acura thinking in sticking to its guns on this system? Yes, yes, I'm sure it gets better with repeat use, but to limit the access to touchpad-only (which seems more of a distraction to the driver, say nothing of the limitation it places on the passenger (passengers- you're stuck with the driver's music!)) is a bit of a head-scratcher. How soon before Acura moves the infotainment display forward an inch and makes it touchscreen, so at least there are multiple options to access it?
The major advantage, in my view, about the Acura setup is that they can locate the screen forward in the approximate line of sight of the driver. A touchscreen's location is by default where most drivers can touch it. Invariably, they end up closer to the driver hence you have to turn your head to the side away from your driving line of vision to operate it.

My 12TL's infotainment system (non-touchscreen also) was located almost similarly to the MDX and I loved its location. I switched to a 16 Pilot with a touchscreen and I hated it, having to constantly shift my view away from traffic to see it. Indeed, most often, I let my wife tell me what the navigation screen was indicating since, especially in heavy traffic, I felt quite uneasy taking my eyes from the road to see it.

The fingerprints were also annoying although I heard Honda put something on the screen to minimize this on later models. I love the MDX setup. Sure it took a few miles to get used to it, but my big fear is that with all the complaints, Acura will give up and go back to the touchscreen only setup.
 

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Thanks! I agree with you- I'm sure that once you're used to it, it works well, and easily. BUT... Acura's decision to go with it still resulted in their being bludgeoned by (almost) every credible car reviewer out there. For that reason alone, they should have provided a second means of access (touchscreen, for example). It makes them look bad, and I'd imagine it's hindered many from buying it.
Make sure you try it first. I absolutely hated it. Maybe you can get used to it, but adding a touch screen in addition to that TrueTouch would have made so much more sense. I really think the original idrive is superior in UI design. Mercedes gives you basically every possible way to interact with the car… Acura could have taken a lesson from them there. No reason to limit things to one input method. What annoys me about TrueTouch is that it really buys you nothing since unless you’re selecting something in the corners you still have to stare at the screen to figure out where your finger is pointing and unlike a rotary selector you can’t just move your hand and come back to it. It’s just insanely dumb, even if you can get used to it.

With that said make sure you drive it too - it wasn’t for me despite being perfect on paper. Reality was just a “meh“ drive with an impossible to use infotainment. It wasn’t for us, but still rooting for Acura.
 

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Edit: It was actually a 2022 not a 2021.

After using the 2021's infotainment for about a month and going in with high hopes, i ended up disliking it. I get what they were trying to do but i agree with others that the rotary and push down to select method is probably the best non-touchscreen interface. I actually don't even mind the old Lexus fake mouse style either. I agree also with the above that the GV70's interface is done well, as it is snappy and accurate, but I do prefer a rotary knob that comes up and isn't just a smidge above flush.

Sadly, the new Acura infotainment overall was laggy, crashed multiple times, the split screen was not entirely useful with the limited selections for each side, and I agree that the truetouch was really only good for finding corners and required too much eyes on time to confirm where you were and where you going to go with the interface. The voice command interface was also still problematic too because of problems with accuracy of recognition and also the mic also had some trouble picking up my commands from time to time. I did like how the system made phone calls sound through the left tweeter to give you a crisper pickup of the call. It's also still a very basic system that depends on your use of Android Auto or Apple Carplay to get the extra features you desire, but we all know very well that Google and Apple have been quite good at introducing new bugs that cause issues over time. Also, navigating through the apps with the truetouch could sometimes be very clunky, as a slight movement would cause the selector to end up on the wrong item.

For the MDX, I've now used the 2014-2017 infotainment, the 2018-2020 infotainment, and 2021 infotainment for quite some time and i think Honda/Acura still has a lot of work to do. The infotainment should be making the quality of life better for the users, not worse and I'm not sure Honda/Acura gets that yet. Feels like they're trying to hard to be different, but not necessarily in a good way.
 

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So, after watching dozens of YouTube videos on the new MDX, most reviewers are in agreement that the touchpad-based infotainment system is a true weak spot of the new MDX. This comes at no surprise, as touchpad systems have been criticized for years. What was Acura thinking in sticking to its guns on this system? Yes, yes, I'm sure it gets better with repeat use, but to limit the access to touchpad-only (which seems more of a distraction to the driver, say nothing of the limitation it places on the passenger (passengers- you're stuck with the driver's music!)) is a bit of a head-scratcher. How soon before Acura moves the infotainment display forward an inch and makes it touchscreen, so at least there are multiple options to access it?
I have an iPad with an Apple keyboard. Took me about 2 minutes before I stopped touching the screen and just use the touchpad. Much easier than trying to poke around on a screen while it is stationary, much less while moving around. 10 out of 10 for Acura. It should be the standard in the industry.
 

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I have an iPad with an Apple keyboard. Took me about 2 minutes before I stopped touching the screen and just use the touchpad. Much easier than trying to poke around on a screen while it is stationary, much less while moving around. 10 out of 10 for Acura. It should be the standard in the industry.
I agree I have no idea why people like the touchscreens. I too was kind of reticent at first having used the touchpad in a loaner RDX but after a little bit of a learning curve it is much easier than using a touchscreen. The touchscreens are just two distracting with all of the menu options they cram into the infotainment systems now. One of the things that turned me off of the GV80 was the touchscreen. It was too far to reach out to and make changes to the system quickly and easily and the optional control number was ridiculously cumbersome to use. The touchpad is just better all around IMO. That said I suspect Acura will knuckle under to the lemmings and probably provide a dual opinion.
 
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