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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just recently purchased a 2015 with advance and entertainment package. Love the car. What I have found through online research 15 seems to be pretty solid year with the least amount of compliments. As soon as you go to 2016, 2017 have lots of compliments. 2016 went to a 9-speed, and has that retarded push button parking brake. In my opinion for parking brake it should be the cable operated. 2016 also went to the push button gear selection. The six-speed automatic has been around for quite some time and has proven its reliability. I'm not sure why Honda keeps thinking that we got to go to all these more advanced transmissions why not just stick with what works. I honestly wish these cars had a 6-speed manual option that's what I prefer honestly. I know the older BMW X5 you could get with a manual. One thing I don't like about my car is I am the 5th owner. The first owner was a corporate lease. The car has 115k. So from the time of the soul to the time I picked it up, it's avg 15k yr. The timing belt the previous owner did at 94,000 at the Acura dealership that I purchased it from. I don't think the third row is ever been sat in I'm not even sure about the middle row all those entire seats are in mint condition. The front two seats honestly there's not really any signs of wear it to those either. There's no door dings a few scratches here and there which would fall under normal wear and tear cuz they're nothing serious. The first owner did have a minor accident according to the carfax. It occurred with the front left fender and Hood area I'm assuming an animal hit or somebody backed into them in the parking lot.

What are your guys thaughts of what year is the best for reliability in the 3rd gen. My previous was a 2cd gen 2007. It was pretty solid,
 

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I got mine 15 tech used in 2018 with less than 30k miles on it, and I did some research before pulling the trigger, and I am pretty happy now because all the fluid on this car is cheap, and I can DIY all the maintenance on my own.
 

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2018 Acura MDX Advance AWD, Modern Steel/Silverstone
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You just bought an 8-year old used car with 115K miles and now have Buyer's Remorse. Now that you own it, anything can - and probably will - happen, especially if you believed everything that used car salesman told you. Get over it.

Reliability depends on proper and timely maintenance and luck. Why do you think the previous owner sold it?

Every used car is a crapshoot. If you can't live with that, sell it and lease a car that has a manufacturer's warranty and stop worrying. It's costly, but that's cheaper than a psychiatrist!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You just bought an 8-year old used car with 115K miles and now have Buyer's Remorse. Now that you own it, anything can - and probably will - happen, especially if you believed everything that used car salesman told you. Get over it.

Reliability depends on proper and timely maintenance and luck. Why do you think the previous owner sold it?

Every used car is a crapshoot. If you can't live with that, sell it and lease a car that has a manufacturer's warranty and stop worrying. It's costly, but that's cheaper than a psychiatrist!
Wow. Bro. I don't have buyers remorse, I was just asking a question. Don't need to go so far out of your to be a jack wagon. Actually what I have researched online 2015 has some of the least complaints about. Like I said. Your model has that lame ass push button parking brake and gear selection. Unfortunately most new cars are going this way. 2016 was the first year of that push button stuff. I don't buy cars with new style unproven trans reliability. Like I said, the 6sp has been around for awhile problem free if maintained. Yes I prefer all of my cars to have a manual transmission, but that's not happening anymore now days.
 

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The best year for the 3rd Gen really depends on your driving needs. The 3rd Gen MDX had the most models to pick from with fwd, sh-awd, sport hybrid, w/ or w/o electronic dampers, w/ or w/o Acurawatch, Aspec model, 3 transmission choices, Carplay, and 2 engine choices. I went with the 19 MDX Sport Hybrid Adv because of the sporty powertrain that also had improved mpgs.

The 6AT had slower 0-60 mph times; but, had better hwy mpgs compared to the 9AT. The 9AT issues started to get resolved after the 2018 MDX. Another advantage with the +18 MDXs was the addition of Carplay to future proof yourself and Acuralink module works with the 4G network.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The best year for the 3rd Gen really depends on your driving needs. The 3rd Gen MDX had the most models to pick from with fwd, sh-awd, sport hybrid, w/ or w/o electronic dampers, w/ or w/o Acurawatch, Aspec model, 3 transmission choices, Carplay, and 2 engine choices. I went with the 19 MDX Sport Hybrid Adv because of the sporty powertrain that also had improved mpgs.

The 6AT had slower 0-60 mph times; but, had better hwy mpgs compared to the 9AT. The 9AT issues started to get resolved after the 2018 MDX. Another advantage with the +18 MDXs was the addition of Carplay to future proof yourself and Acuralink module works with the 4G network.
As far as audio was concerned, as long as it had Bluetooth. Yes the carplay is nice, but not a deal breaker, your correct in regards to the SPD, 0-60 time is . 5 second slower than the 9sp. I'll take reliability over that. From what is read, 18-20 models good, but too much $ rt now for me. 15 fit my budget and needs. It's also hard to turn something down in such mint condition inside and out. SH-AWD was and is an absolute necessity, living in the Sierra's
 

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I was looking for a 15 MDX sh-awd Adv back in 2019 at first because of the 6AT and the price was pretty good in the used market. I just couldn't find one I liked without having to drive 8-12 hours to see it from NM (factory 4/50k still active and blue/gray color combo). Test drove a MDX hybrid at my local Acura dealership just for fun when waiting for an oil change on my 11 MDX. I was hooked on the hybrid right then and there because of the extra power and it didn't suffer from the same amount of power loss compared to my 11 MDX living/driving 5000-7200 feet. Looks like I made a good choice because Acura stopped making the hybrid for the +22 MDXs. I still would have been just as happy with a 15 MDX if I went that direction instead.
 

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What are your guys thaughts of what year is the best for reliability in the 3rd gen.
I have one of the first 3rd gens off the line, an early 2014 model, built June 2013, that I bought new. It's now 9 years and 92K miles later and it hasn't had a single issue. It's been 100% reliable. I've done the maintenance (fluid/filter changes, brakes once) on it myself. It's as pleasurable to drive as the day I bought it and still looks and feels new (other than a few debris dings from road trips).

However, although I haven't had any issues, some others who've posted here have had some issues, just like with any vehicle.

The 2014/2015 have the 6sp tranny and then the MDX got the 9sp, which a number of people complained about early on but it seems many/most of the issues were resolved via software updates. I'm perfectly happy with the 6sp and it has the benefit of cheap and easy fluid changes.

At some point Carplay/Auto were added, which would be nice, but not essential (nothing in the infotainment is that essential to me other than the ability to play the radio and stream music from my iPhone).

At some point the MDX was made available as a hybrid, which owners posting here seem to really like and it looks good in the specs, and it doesn't seem to have added any reliability issues according to the lack of posts here.

There really hasn't been enough of a change in any subsequent 3rd gen to make me want to sell my 2014 and buy the newer one and now the 4th gens are out so I wouldn't get rid of my 3rd gen for another 3rd gen, which would seem downright silly to me (unless I had too many miles on the 2014, etc. but I don't yet). I don't even feel a desire to update to the 4th gen, or any other manufacturer vehicle, yet although someday I'll switch it out.

I hope your 2015 serves you well.
 

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Well, best is always in the eye of the owner. Most polished has to be the 2019 models. By then most all of the issues have been addressed/resolved.
BTW the ZF9 speed is fine transmission. Used in a variety of different car brands. The real problem is/was software Acura used on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have one of the first 3rd gens off the line, an early 2014 model, built June 2013, that I bought new. It's now 9 years and 92K miles later and it hasn't had a single issue. It's been 100% reliable. I've done the maintenance (fluid/filter changes, brakes once) on it myself. It's as pleasurable to drive as the day I bought it and still looks and feels new (other than a few debris dings from road trips).

However, although I haven't had any issues, some others who've posted here have had some issues, just like with any vehicle.

The 2014/2015 have the 6sp tranny and then the MDX got the 9sp, which a number of people complained about early on but it seems many/most of the issues were resolved via software updates. I'm perfectly happy with the 6sp and it has the benefit of cheap and easy fluid changes.

At some point Carplay/Auto were added, which would be nice, but not essential (nothing in the infotainment is that essential to me other than the ability to play the radio and stream music from my iPhone).

At some point the MDX was made available as a hybrid, which owners posting here seem to really like and it looks good in the specs, and it doesn't seem to have added any reliability issues according to the lack of posts here.

There really hasn't been enough of a change in any subsequent 3rd gen to make me want to sell my 2014 and buy the newer one and now the 4th gens are out so I wouldn't get rid of my 3rd gen for another 3rd gen, which would seem downright silly to me (unless I had too many miles on the 2014, etc. but I don't yet). I don't even feel a desire to update to the 4th gen, or any other manufacturer vehicle, yet although someday I'll switch it out.

I hope your 2015 serves you well.
Well thank you. On the first owner I don't have much of a maintenance history. It was a corporate lease, I'm assuming it was well serviced in house, or taken to a shop that doesn't report to Carfax. All the fluids when I purchased it from my local Acura dealer had gone through the car and changed all the fluids including a brake fluid flush, with brand new brakes on all 4 corners. I do all my own service too, minor, anything major goes to my local Honda dealer bc prices are less expensive. I keep all my records through Google Docs. My 12 Honda Accord 4cyl has also been solid. 247k with a 5sp manual, still on the original clutch
 

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I can chime as we're on our third 3rd gen - 2016, 2018, and now 2019. Both the 16 and 18s were AWD Techs and our 19 is a FWD Advance. For context, we've also had a 2006 MDX Navi and a 2010 ZDX Advance.

At the time of our 2016, close friends of ours had a 2014 MDX Advance (his) and a 2015 MDX Advance (hers). IMO, their 14/15s felt like different vehicles than our 2016. The transmission was clearly smoother in the 14/15s as Acura really had trouble with their first run of 9-speed automatics in the 2016. We live in a hilly area of Orange County and the auto downshifting going downhill was flat out jarring. That was in Normal mode (not Sport). When the 2018s came out and the reviews had said Acura figured out the transmission logic, we took one out and it was such a relief and pleasure to drive. So we traded in our 2016 for a 2018.

When our 2018 lease was up, it was pandemic fun and there were very few (overpriced) 2022 MDXs on lots. We leased a 2021 RDX A-Spec instead but after a year or so realized we needed the space of the MDX (2 active boys).

One thing the RDX taught us was that we both hated the dial/touchpad interface. The 2022+ MDX has the same interface. So we really wanted a low-miles 3rd-gen. We wanted an Advance model and captains chairs. We found the perfect one for us.

As for the "best" 3rd gen MDX, IMO, I'm not a huge fan of the "beak" grill design of the 2014-2016 MDXs (nor the transmission of the 2016). So that leaves 2017 - 2020. From my understanding, the 2017 model still had some transmission hiccups. Plus, the 2017-2018 MDX Techs didn't have remote start (which I thought was ridiculous) - you had to go up to Advance - and the wood trim in the 2019-2020 was a little more convincing.

Bottom line, I think the best 3rd gen is the 2019-2020 MDX Advance. The Milano leather is definitely an upgrade and the Surround-View Camera System is really useful. Plus when camping in tight spaces, the LED fog lights provide needed visibility down low that I forgot I needed. If you find a low-mileage example like we did (15k miles), grab it and hold onto it for a long time. 🍻 :cool:
 

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2018 MDX Advance SH-AWD Black Copper Pearl/Espresso
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I second the 2019-2020 Advance as the best models. I have a 2018, but the 19s and 20s have adaptive dampers, body-color cladding, nicer rims, and some small interior/trim upgrades. I wouldn't even consider anything prior to 2018 because of the infotainment upgrade, and the Advance has so many useful comfort and tech features I feel like I can never go back to a non-Advance trim. 2019-2020 Sport Hybrid Advance FTW.
 

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Generally the newer the model the greater number of features it'll have making them more desirable in some ways, but obviously that's not 100% - such as the switch from the 6sp to the 9sp initially when the 9sp had bugs that needed to be worked out (but they apparently worked them out). But I remember the posts when the 2014 first came out where some posters knocked it for having 'only 6 speeds', as if the greater the number the better the vehicle (which I don't agree with), but they were playing a spec numbers game.

More features doesn't translate to more reliable - it often translates to less reliable since more things can fail. There's generally a trade-off between features/functions and reliability depending on what the feature is.

Some differences in the 3rd gen from 2014/2015 to post 2014/2015 -

  • Went from 6p tranny to 9sp tranny.
  • Added Carplay/Auto
  • Offered a hybrid model, which is a significant difference with a different engine, transmission, and motors/batteries of course. This is the most significant difference in models.
  • Added 360 surround cams in some models (I think there were only available on Canadian models for 2014)
  • Changed the front fascia from the much maligned 'beak' to the newer look (I like the beak just fine, I don't get why so many hate it, but I also like the newer design)
  • Switched up some of the safety/warning features generally making more of them available in the lower models

I may have missed a few features along the way.
 

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Well, best is always in the eye of the owner. Most polished has to be the 2019 models. By then most all of the issues have been addressed/resolved.
BTW the ZF9 speed is fine transmission. Used in a variety of different car brands. The real problem is/was software Acura used on it.
The ZF9 transaxle is an inherently flawed design that has had issues in every vehicle it's been installed in. The software tweaks only mask the poor design.
 

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I'll chime in. I had a '17 AWD Tech and my current '19 AWD Advance. Previously I had a '13 AWD Base model - so I had direct comparison between a 2nd gen and a couple of 3rd gens. The 2nd gen with the 3.7L and the 6AT was a sporty vehicle to drive, but the MPG's were pathetic. The '17 was less sporty but had better features. The 9AT was OK, and a little confusing at time. I moved to the '19 due to a navigation issue they couldn't fix. The '19 is much more refined in terms of the 9AT behavior - much smoother and more predictable - and the did do some minor physical and SW changes to the 9AT for this final refresh of the 3rd gen. Overall after 3 years of having the '19 I'd say that it is the best year of the 3rd gen that you could get (the '20 is probably similar).

One comment on the 6AT. I've had that transmission in a few Acuras in the past decade. My '13 MDX. The wife's '12 TL SH-AWD. And even a short-stint in a '15 RDX AWD. While the 6AT is decent, it's VERY sensitive to the age of the tranny fluid, and can give you some odd behaviors. My wife's TL is the best example, as we had the most miles on it, and had to be religous about changing the fluid - perhaps more than the MID calls for. AFter about 15k miles you could really feel the change - changing shift points, occasional stumble in 2-3 shift behavior, and general sluggishness. I started doing a drain-and-fill annually just to keep my wife happy :).

Just a few thoughts.

andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'll chime in. I had a '17 AWD Tech and my current '19 AWD Advance. Previously I had a '13 AWD Base model - so I had direct comparison between a 2nd gen and a couple of 3rd gens. The 2nd gen with the 3.7L and the 6AT was a sporty vehicle to drive, but the MPG's were pathetic. The '17 was less sporty but had better features. The 9AT was OK, and a little confusing at time. I moved to the '19 due to a navigation issue they couldn't fix. The '19 is much more refined in terms of the 9AT behavior - much smoother and more predictable - and the did do some minor physical and SW changes to the 9AT for this final refresh of the 3rd gen. Overall after 3 years of having the '19 I'd say that it is the best year of the 3rd gen that you could get (the '20 is probably similar).

One comment on the 6AT. I've had that transmission in a few Acuras in the past decade. My '13 MDX. The wife's '12 TL SH-AWD. And even a short-stint in a '15 RDX AWD. While the 6AT is decent, it's VERY sensitive to the age of the tranny fluid, and can give you some odd behaviors. My wife's TL is the best example, as we had the most miles on it, and had to be religous about changing the fluid - perhaps more than the MID calls for. AFter about 15k miles you could really feel the change - changing shift points, occasional stumble in 2-3 shift behavior, and general sluggishness. I started doing a drain-and-fill annually just to keep my wife happy :).

Just a few thoughts.

andy
On my 2007 MDX and a 5sp auto, I used Redline ATF D4. This model 2015 calls for Redline D6. When I install it I'll drain refill back to back three times driving it around the block for a little bit in between, I always change the fluid every 15,000 as a cheap insurance policy. Never had any problems with the transmission in the 2007 doing that when I traded in had 217,000 on it never been out of the car. The previous owner before myself the only issue she had was a high pressure switch that had to be replaced that's no big deal that's outside the case. I plan to do the same on my 2015. The dealer changed all the fluids before I purchased the vehicle so I'll go ahead and run that fluid for about 10,000 miles and dump it.
 

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I am a loyal Acura fan owning and driving Acura models for last 25 years. In the past years I owned 2nd generation Integra, Legend and RL models. I owned all generations of MDXs excluding the latest.
Two month ago I upgraded from 2016 MDX Advance for 2019 Advance MDX with 11k miles.
2016 MDX was a great car. I bought it with 14k miles in 2017. I drove 2016 MDX until it reached worry free 88k miles. I did not experience any major issues with it. Besides scheduled oil changes, wheel alignments and filter replacements there was nothing else done. The MPG was great on 2016 model. With a full tank of premium I could get easy around 430 miles during summer time.
When I decided that it was time to get a new vehicle I knew it would be the same generation Advance MDX and nothing else.
It took me a couple of month to find the right Advance model but I am very happy with it.
The MPG is slightly less but its OK. I like the car and enjoy the ride.
 

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I see nothing wrong with the epb or push button transmission.Don’t think it’s lame ass at all.How often do you actually have to touch them.Get in the car puch the button and go.Wow what a hassle.Park the car push the button for the parking brake what a pain.No cable to stretch or adjusting with epb. I definitely wouldn’t trade my car for a 15 cause it has a cable on the parking brake and no lame ass buttons. I think I’ll keep the buttons
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I see nothing wrong with the epb or push button transmission.Don’t think it’s lame ass at all.How often do you actually have to touch them.Get in the car puch the button and go.Wow what a hassle.Park the car push the button for the parking brake what a pain.No cable to stretch or adjusting with epb. I definitely wouldn’t trade my car for a 15 cause it has a cable on the parking brake and no lame ass buttons. I think I’ll keep the buttons
Well one thing you can't do in yours, is use the E-brake to lock the rear to set up to drift in the snow. Let me tell you, that is so fun when you have a large empty snow covered parking lot. Your preference. Cable operated parking brake is better than having other stuff to fail such as actuators. 2016/2017 have complaints about them. 2015 is also the last year before Acura went to a honeycomb grill. I don't care for that. Unfortunately new cars don't come with aluminum or stainless
 
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