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Discussion Starter #1
I have been spending some time reading these posts and am now ready to pull out of the deal! I bought as 2011 Explorer and it has been nothing but issues, TSB's, and fixes that don't fix. We spent the last month test driving and reviewing and whittled it down to the MDX. These posts are obviously disheartening.

I am looking for a reliable car, I drove my last car 10 years and had hoped to get the same out of my Explorer.

What can I specifically look for and ask to help possibly avoid some of the issues I am reading about? I can't seem to find a list of TSB's for the 2016 but it looks from the forum that there is 1 for the neutral issue in Advanced MDX models?

I am not in the know about transmissions, shifting, etc. I just know that the MDX drove like a dream compared to all of the other cars I test drove. We drove it for 20 minutes in all road types and it felt great but it obviously doesn't guarantee that the vehicle I end up with won't have issues. I am worried that I am not savvy enough to pick up on the issues.

Any words of advice or wisdom would be greatly appreciated! I am looking for a 3rd row (7-8 seat), 6 cyl SUV and I thought this fit the bill!

Thank you in advance for any feedback. ~ Kim
 

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It's still going to be your best bet. The only car in this class I have not test drove was the new Volvo XC90. That car has been flying off the shelves.

Test drove: Infinity JX (whatever it's q number is now), BMW x5, mdx and Lexus GX460 (of which parents bought a brand new one last week).

Out of all of them, the mdx fit the bill for us and had the most features. I have a 2015 though.
 

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Take a deep breath.

First of all, short of the Lexus RX350, the Acura MDX is one of the most popular SUVs in the US. They sell over 60K units per month, that is HUGE.

Between here and acurazine, there is like NO traffic compared to other forums. Go over to the X5 forums, the XC90 forums, wherever and there is way more activity against considerably fewer cars sold.

What that says is, a VERY small percentage of MDX owners come on to talk about their car. Usually the ones with horror stories come on and share their frustration, but considering the sheer volume of MDX sold compared to the traffic here, it is mind blowing how little people come here. Not to mention, every other car forum has people complaining wildly about their cars. On the transmission stuff, good majority of people complaining about the transmission don't even OWN the car and are comparing it to crap they read about Jeeps and other cars, and possibly defending their 2014/2015 car's different transmission. This is standard Internet rhetoric, it happens on all forums when things change. I remember when Volvo change their Haldex unit from Gen IV to Gen V in 2013 and all of the people talked about how crappy the new system was, how it was cheapen down and slower to respond, and there was no real evidence of any of that. Now nobody talks about it, but man did the 2011 and 2012 XC owners pounce on that to help them value their cars and purchases more.

Personally, the car has 9 speeds, it's going to shift more than a 4, 5, 6 speed car, that's fact. It also gives better fuel efficiency while improving performance, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

MDX has a track record of reliability and incredible resale. Take a deep breath and if you like the car for what it is, don't hesitate to buy it. Any car can have issues, but just look at the volume of posts here compared to the units sold then compare it to ANY other forum.
 

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Take a deep breath.

First of all, short of the Lexus RX350, the Acura MDX is one of the most popular SUVs in the US. They sell over 60K units per month, that is HUGE.

Between here and acurazine, there is like NO traffic compared to other forums. Go over to the X5 forums, the XC90 forums, wherever and there is way more activity against considerably fewer cars sold.

What that says is, a VERY small percentage of MDX owners come on to talk about their car. Usually the ones with horror stories come on and share their frustration, but considering the sheer volume of MDX sold compared to the traffic here, it is mind blowing how little people come here. Not to mention, every other car forum has people complaining wildly about their cars. On the transmission stuff, good majority of people complaining about the transmission don't even OWN the car and are comparing it to crap they read about Jeeps and other cars, and possibly defending their 2014/2015 car's different transmission. This is standard Internet rhetoric, it happens on all forums when things change. I remember when Volvo change their Haldex unit from Gen IV to Gen V in 2013 and all of the people talked about how crappy the new system was, how it was cheapen down and slower to respond, and there was no real evidence of any of that. Now nobody talks about it, but man did the 2011 and 2012 XC owners pounce on that to help them value their cars and purchases more.

Personally, the car has 9 speeds, it's going to shift more than a 4, 5, 6 speed car, that's fact. It also gives better fuel efficiency while improving performance, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

MDX has a track record of reliability and incredible resale. Take a deep breath and if you like the car for what it is, don't hesitate to buy it. Any car can have issues, but just look at the volume of posts here compared to the units sold then compare it to ANY other forum.
^^Ditto!!

I have a 14 and signed on tday to check for a software update and saw your post; all I can say is that BrianV is right, and our MDX has been a peach. Good luck....
 

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How long are you able to wait? The RX350 is supposed to come out with a 3rd row variant in 2018. Lexus tends to be better in terms of reliability too. I know a lot of people will preach that Acura/Honda are very reliable, and I agree to some degree, but also remember it is also jam packed with technology that has proven to be somewhat problematic for some folks. You tend to be pretty good on the engine department, transmission is hard to say since it's new (but ZF tends to be quite reliable), there will be some NVH issues you will need to hammer out with the dealer, and then really make sure that you really are OK with the MDX tech stuff (it's a deal breaker for some, European tech is much better to use, but also more risky reliability wise).

The MDX is also being assembled in Ohio next model year, so you may want to wait until then if you still really want the MDX (some of us think that Alabama plant is just a QA nightmare).

TSBs for 2014+ models are here: http://www.mdxers.org/forums/94-third-generation-mdx-2014-present/91865-tsbs-2014-mdx.html

There's also the Highlander, the 2016 Pilot (which essentially is a cheaper and slightly updated MDX), and the larger Santa Fe (non-turbo, turbo has some problems) for downmarket 3 row that provide decent reliability.
 

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Just curious what other vehicles you looked at?

Sounds like you really like the MDX, I say go for it but drive the one you want to buy first to make sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the input all, I really don't want to wait on a vehicle, I need to sink a ton of money into this sinking ship of an explorer including new tires, brakes, and an extended warranty. With the equity I have in it now I figure it's the best time to get rid of it! Fixes are not working and frankly, I am tired of the maintenance battle!

I looked at the Infiniti QX60, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, Enclave, Highlander, 2016 Pilot, Pathfinder, Traverse, and the 2016 Explorer (yes I am sucker!). I feel like it was a pretty exhaustive search - the MDX was tops for reviews and test drive but again, I am not that savvy, just know what felt good!
 

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Maybe I should wait until the local Honda dealerships have the nicer Pilot model. They are still trickling in around here and I only drove the middle model, wasn't too impressed with the interior and technology at that point and again the MDX felt better on the road to me.
 

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I own a Buick Enclave and a Acura MDX.

The Buick is much larger I would say (1/3 bigger), it has been very reliable and the AWD is great. My wife drives this car and her only complaint is the Navigation system it is slow and hard to use.

I own and drive the 2014 MDX advance. I think the ride and handling are great. The AWD is great as well. The "tech" in the car is really good. It does amaze me some of the things you can't adjust easily (muting the navigation system - which I think is fixed in 2015+). The dealer experience is much better than any I have ever dealt with in the past (well I guess I miss the dedicated service advisor I had with my Chevy Avalanche). No regrets from me in this purchase.


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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...I bought as 2011 Explorer...
I had a 1991 'Exploder' - that's spelled with a 'd' on purpose - it was the least reliable vehicle I've ever owned. Even though it's not that fair on my part since I know that virtually all the components are different now, because of that experience I never considered owning the Explorer since then.

So far my 2014 MDX, now 2 years old and 24K miles, hasn't had any problems and is probably the most reliable vehicle I've owned.

I really like the handling and power on the MDX. I've used the 3rd row seat on a number of occasions when taking people (adults) to restaurants, etc. and it's come in handy. I've driven this vehicle coast to coast and back twice plus a number of other trips and it's been great.

In an effort to prevent buyer's remorse/anxiety, I suggest you drive the MDX (or any other vehicle) longer for a test drive and do it under a variety of road conditions - without a salesperson there yakking away and without the radio on for most of it. Pay attention to the power and handling, the ride of bumps and around corners, feeling how it works and listening for any weird noises, rattles, thumps, etc. Pay attention to how th tranny shifts under the varying conditions of acceleration, deceleration, etc. and push it a bit with some quicker accels/decels to feel how it behaves. Note that my 2014 has the 6 speed vs the 2016's 9 speed.

Do all of the above in the actual vehicle you plan to end up with as opposed to a similar lot vehicle - at least do it before accepting delivery of that vehicle. Also take your time checking over every body panel for alignment and fit and finish to make sure it's perfect.

I also suggest spending some time with the Nav manual (download it from Acura) and then playing with the Nav in a vehicle so you have an idea of how it works and its quirks or areas you may not be thrilled with but keep in mind that almost no one is thrilled with the infotainment in any vehicle - there's a lot of personal preference involved as well as personal tolerance. I think the Nav/infotainment is 'okay' but has its issues but it's not the most important thing in the world to me.

Also consider the alternatives - ExploDer - well, you've been there and done that, BMW X5 - more expensive - less room - reliability concerns, Lexus with a 3rd row seat - more expensive and not as much of a driver's car with handling, etc., Infiniti - CVT - I wouldn't want one and the power/handling is nowhere near an MDX, Mercedes - very expensive for the 3rd row seat model, Volvo XC90 - more expensive - uglier styling IMO - Volvo's not know for reliability, and you can keep going down the list based on what's important to you.

By spending more time with the vehicle on a test drive and Nav playing and by giving some good comparison considerations against the vehicles you'd cross-shop against, I think the MDX will fare well as it did for me.
 

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As tempting as it looks, I'd stay away from the XC90 at least this year until they workout first production year glitches. I sat in one from in the Mall on Saturday and the seats were not as comfortable as the MDX. Also, the Navi was touch screen responded horribly. It's a very technical car from a very non technical company.
 

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It sounds like you ended up kind of like me. Test drove all of those except the 2016 Pilot and the American SUVs and ended up with the MDX in the end. To that effect, I say you might as well pull the trigger then. A lot of what you enjoy about a vehicle is the feel you get from it as you drive it. It could be greatest car in reliability and features, but just doesn't jive with you (and vice versa). If you really have some reliability issues down the line, there is always AcuraCare that you can get before 50k miles too. So far though, a lot of the 2014/2015 complaints seem to have been addressed in the 2016. If you have no qualms with the 2016 9ZF, then I think you're in a pretty good place. I had qualms with the 9ZF but still bought it because used 2015s were way more expensive than a new 2016 and actually don't have much issue with it now (especially considering most of the other regular AT (non-DCT and non-CVT) SUVs acted similarly).
 

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Thanks for the input all, I really don't want to wait on a vehicle, I need to sink a ton of money into this sinking ship of an explorer including new tires, brakes, and an extended warranty. With the equity I have in it now I figure it's the best time to get rid of it! Fixes are not working and frankly, I am tired of the maintenance battle!

I looked at the Infiniti QX60, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, Enclave, Highlander, 2016 Pilot, Pathfinder, Traverse, and the 2016 Explorer (yes I am sucker!). I feel like it was a pretty exhaustive search - the MDX was tops for reviews and test drive but again, I am not that savvy, just know what felt good!
That is a pretty exhaustive list of vehicles. Funny that you looked at the 2016 Explorer, I think your 2011 model looks much better. I had a 1998 Explorer back when everybody had one, and I enjoyed it for the most part although it did have its share of issues.

I actually haven't driven any of the current versions of those vehicles, but if I had to choose from your list I would go with the MDX for sure. I'll have to make a point to test drive a 3rd gen sometime for reference.
 

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I just drove a 16 advance as a loaner. Boy,the voice commands are so much better then the 14. Makes me jealous. However,I noticed something with the stop/start. I was waiting for traffic to clear to turn left. I had a break in traffic. I turn the wheel to turn left. I can't turn the wheel until the car starts. Very strange feeling. That would definitely take some getting used to.
 

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I just drove a 16 advance as a loaner. Boy,the voice commands are so much better then the 14. Makes me jealous. However,I noticed something with the stop/start. I was waiting for traffic to clear to turn left. I had a break in traffic. I turn the wheel to turn left. I can't turn the wheel until the car starts. Very strange feeling. That would definitely take some getting used to.
As soon as you put pressure on the steering wheel to initiate a turn, the engine will start. I turn the engine on by accident doing this.
 

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I had a 1991 'Exploder' - that's spelled with a 'd' on purpose - it was the least reliable vehicle I've ever owned. Even though it's not that fair on my part since I know that virtually all the components are different now, because of that experience I never considered owning the Explorer since then.

So far my 2014 MDX, now 2 years old and 24K miles, hasn't had any problems and is probably the most reliable vehicle I've owned.

I really like the handling and power on the MDX. I've used the 3rd row seat on a number of occasions when taking people (adults) to restaurants, etc. and it's come in handy. I've driven this vehicle coast to coast and back twice plus a number of other trips and it's been great.

In an effort to prevent buyer's remorse/anxiety, I suggest you drive the MDX (or any other vehicle) longer for a test drive and do it under a variety of road conditions - without a salesperson there yakking away and without the radio on for most of it. Pay attention to the power and handling, the ride of bumps and around corners, feeling how it works and listening for any weird noises, rattles, thumps, etc. Pay attention to how th tranny shifts under the varying conditions of acceleration, deceleration, etc. and push it a bit with some quicker accels/decels to feel how it behaves. Note that my 2014 has the 6 speed vs the 2016's 9 speed.

Do all of the above in the actual vehicle you plan to end up with as opposed to a similar lot vehicle - at least do it before accepting delivery of that vehicle. Also take your time checking over every body panel for alignment and fit and finish to make sure it's perfect.

I also suggest spending some time with the Nav manual (download it from Acura) and then playing with the Nav in a vehicle so you have an idea of how it works and its quirks or areas you may not be thrilled with but keep in mind that almost no one is thrilled with the infotainment in any vehicle - there's a lot of personal preference involved as well as personal tolerance. I think the Nav/infotainment is 'okay' but has its issues but it's not the most important thing in the world to me.

Also consider the alternatives - ExploDer - well, you've been there and done that, BMW X5 - more expensive - less room - reliability concerns, Lexus with a 3rd row seat - more expensive and not as much of a driver's car with handling, etc., Infiniti - CVT - I wouldn't want one and the power/handling is nowhere near an MDX, Mercedes - very expensive for the 3rd row seat model, Volvo XC90 - more expensive - uglier styling IMO - Volvo's not know for reliability, and you can keep going down the list based on what's important to you.

By spending more time with the vehicle on a test drive and Nav playing and by giving some good comparison considerations against the vehicles you'd cross-shop against, I think the MDX will fare well as it did for me.
So many good pieces of advice here I wish I had done before buying my 14 MDX with tech/res (mdxstang really does offer some good posts). I would love to hear your final decision as I am in the same market of vehicles. I'm just taking my time as I absolutely loathe my MDX for all the issues I have had (over $10,000 in vehicle repairs under warranty and an appointment for $1500 more this week). I'm holding out to see the 2016 Qx60 and 2017 MDX. I really want to stay with the MDX convinced I just got an awful car, but the first year of the 9 speed engine and electronic button shifter are scaring me off, especially as a first year of them (learned my lesson as a first year guinea pig). I still don't get the need for electronics in the shifter, just seems like something to go wrong with cup holders right next to them.
 

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I just drove a 16 advance as a loaner. Boy,the voice commands are so much better then the 14. Makes me jealous. However,I noticed something with the stop/start. I was waiting for traffic to clear to turn left. I had a break in traffic. I turn the wheel to turn left. I can't turn the wheel until the car starts. Very strange feeling. That would definitely take some getting used to.
No power steering that's why, however, it should detect minimal pressure on the wheel and fire the engine up.
 

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I have a 14 and 15 MDX. The 15 is put together better, the 14 was the first year of the new generation. I had some growing pains with the 14 and many dealer trips to fix some tech bugs, but it seems to be great now. Service gives you a loaner, so you are never without a vehicle...if something goes wrong.

No matter what you buy, there is so much technology in the cars these days, there are going to be issues. If I had to do it all over again, yes I would buy another MDX. The ride says it all. Thus why the wife drives one too. :29:
 

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Between us and the TLX, the first year of the 9ZF was really in the TLX. They are taking a beating in terms of updates that are supposed to fix their 9ZF experience (only just recently got an update that seems to be working better). Some of their users have MDXes as well and have stated that the MDX 9ZF is considerably better.

That being said, I do share the anti first year model sentiment. Just ask me about the 1st model year Porsche Macan :\ http://www.macanforum.com/forum/macan-general-discussion-forum/22121-known-issues-list.html Stuff like doors rubbing paint off the fender when you open the door and the trunk latch issue are just plain stupid to have.
 
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