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A buddy reached out asking me what I think of his coworker’s ‘14 MDX Advance ($16K) with 120K miles. It’s a one owner and she recently got the timing belt/water pump done. All maintenance was through the dealer and she has all the records. She’s in sales and drives 500-700 miles a week.

He have been looking for a ‘14+ MDX but I’m not to sure if this is the one for him due to the high mileage. Told him he could get the tech package with lower mileage for around $20K but he’s dead set on the Advance.

Any thoughts or support for either side?
 

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Depends on how long he is going to keep the 14 MDX? Will it be their main travel vehicle or just a second in-town commuter/errand car? Advance model would be my pick for the 14-15 MDXs because of Acurawatch. The 16 MDX had Acurawatch optional on lower trims and standard on every trim with the +17 MDXs. There was a wider gap between the tech -vs- adv models for the 14-15 MDXs compared to the +17 MDXs. The 14-15 MDX Adv upgraded you to HDMI wide screen entertainment with 12 speaker system, heated outboard 2nd row seats, AcuraWatch, front/rear parking sensors, front perforated milano cooled seats with electric lumbar, auto dim side mirrors, remote start, and roof rails.

It is just fluid changes, air/cabin filters, and tire rotations until the next major service at 210,000 miles. Other wear/tear issue would be the main issue like starter, alternator, suspension parts, door actuators, etc... It could be a good buy if the vehicle is well maintained with all records, good paint, and the interior is clean.

I have almost 470,000 miles between my 06 TSX (+165,000), 08 RDX (+170,000), and 11 MDX (+135,000). It has mostly been regular maint with the occasional alternator, P/S pump, or battery mixed in.
 

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$16K is a great price for a 14 Advance, if it has been maintained well. It is a cheap way to get some decent tech, at least pretty close to a $50K new MDX, minus the Apple CarPlay. If you are a person who needs fully loaded gadget bragging rights, but are budget conscious then that is probably the car for you.

$20K for a lower mile Tech is a better value per mile, assuming you are an economics professor. But both are a pretty good value in general. I encourage people to think of the car value and enjoyment factors in 3rds or 4ths. For 3rds, a luxury car might be monetarily valued at 50% new after the first 1/3, but it may really feel like 80% new. For the end of the middle 3rd, the monetary value probably drops another 50% to 25% of new, but the general enjoyment and utilitarian value is still probably at least 40%, and probably closer to 50%. If you pick a highly reliable vehicle, the last third can be the most most value in utility terms, but I feel that the middle third is the most bang for the buck in terms of cost per enjoyment. The best value is probably to buy around 4 years old, and use good fluids to extend the life well past 200K.

I was just in a similar situation choosing between a 14 Advance (1 owner) with 105K miles at $19.5K and a 16 Tech (1 lease) with 42K miles for $25K. The features that I liked from the Advance were the LKAS (included for Tech 16), the remote start and heated steering, so less than $1k to add. The safety cushion against a lemon with 2.5 years and approx. 30K warranty are huge, not to mention the 10 cents per mile for the 60K extra lifetime. I also really liked the ZF 9-speed, and the 2014 6 speed is a solid transmission, but it feels nearly identical to my 05 Odyssey 5 speed. The ZF is pretty remarkable design-wise, and efficiency wise, so that was a win for me.

Michael
 

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16K on a 6 year old car with 120,000 miles on it seems high to me. One major repair considering the complexity of systems would negate any potential savings. That is assuming it is Sh-AWD. If it is only 2-whd that lowers the value even more. If it is white pearl be aware there is a recall to effect to repaint big sections of the paint that blows off.
 

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Don't know if the price is right, but a well maintained MDX should last many more miles. With that many miles per week, most miles have to be highway miles rather than city start/stop, which is good. You risk an unforeseen major breakdown of complex systems on any vehicle, but less likely with one that has had regular maintenance.

Review the service records and see if there are any recommendations that did not get done. You might also take it to an independent shop, a Honda dealer, or another Acura dealer and have them check it out.
 
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