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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.
I forgot to even list that difference. I agree - not a big deal (although mine has the stick). Growing up my parents had a 1957 Chrysler - it had push buttons for the gear selection on the automatic so actually the concept of push buttons for this isn't new.

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.
For a time when I was a teen living in Colorado I had a VW bug and doing what you say was great fun - get up to speed then either pull the e-brake handle or just stomp on the brakes and turn the wheel and do rotations in the snow covered lot - but watch out for light poles and make sure there aren't any snow covered parking curbs.

I'm not sure there are that many expensive SUV drivers, especially soccer moms, who would actually attempt that or even have doing it occur to them.
 

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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
I forgot to even list that difference. I agree - not a big deal (although mine has the stick). Growing up my parents had a 1957 Chrysler - it had push buttons for the gear selection on the automatic so actually the concept of push buttons for this isn't new.


For a time when I was a teen living in Colorado I had a VW bug and doing what you say was great fun - get up to speed then either pull the e-brake handle or just stomp on the brakes and turn the wheel and do rotations in the snow covered lot - but watch out for light poles and make sure there aren't any snow covered parking curbs.

I'm not sure there are that many expensive SUV drivers, especially soccer moms, who would actually attempt that or even have doing it occur to them.
Not sure shawd would like drifting.Probably go into limp . I had a 64 valiant push button on the dash
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Not sure shawd would like drifting.Probably go into limp . I had a 64 valiant push button on the dash
First things straight. VSA must be off, you must shift manually. Having a dedicated snow tires on, and now how to operate and control SH-AWD. You get her to push like a RWD. That's why our cars have larger sway bars in the rear than the front.
 

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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.
I would have to disagree with your analysis of the ZF9 tranny.
Nearly all auto manufacturers have had some issues with their automatic trannys.
Honda had far more issues with their in-house automatics back in the early 2000s.
They were rebuilding trannys and shipping them to dealers at a rate of 500-600 a day for a few years between 2003-2012 to take care of the failed units. Needle bearing failures was one of the main issues. The ZF9 has not had anywhere near that amount of failures.

But the ZF9 definitely had issues though when it was first introduced and installed in Chryslers and Jeeps back around 2014 and Hondas in 2016. But by 2019, Honda (and other manufacturers) made small mechanical and software changes to rid the majority of issues. Driving a 2016-18 MDX compared to a 19/20 is a world of difference. I had a 17 MDX and now a 20 and my 20 is far smoother and has had absolutely no issues in over 20K miles.
Do some people still have issues …… yes. But they have been greatly reduced.

And to call the ZF9 a flawed design is not really accurate. It is a very unique tranny that utilizes two dog clutches that make shifting from 4-5 and 7-8 feel more abrupt. Earlier versions also had a rough or slight delay when downshifting. But it’s wide range of gearing gave excellent acceleration and great fuel mileage, especially when it finally gets into 9th gear. Many people report over 30 mpg on the hwy (I got over 30 on a short 175 mile trip into AL earlier this month). But the ZF9 just doesn’t shift or act like a regular automatic and many people don’t like it because of this.

Honda still continues to install them in the Passport, Ridgeline and Pilot while Nissan now uses it in their new Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60.
Other manufacturers that have used them or continue to use them …. Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Fiat.
I also have a BMW M235i with a ZF8 tranny. Really fun car to drive and it shifts great … no issues. It doesn’t shift like the ZF9, it’s a more traditional automatic, more linear but rock solid. I wouldn’t say it’s any smoother than the ZF9 though.

The ZF9 is just a different feeling tranny and definitely had some startup issues, but in my opinion gets a bad rap now.
 

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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,
2014 MDX with Tech with 117,000 miles. Have done all recommended maintenance. Have replaced front struts and completed all recalls. Vehicle runs great. Both side view mirror blinker lights have failed and only way to fix is to replace side view mirrors-ridiculous. HVAC system has started to act strange (A/C works in auto but if you turn on A/C the auto feature shuts off. Currently getting ready to have roof repainted due to paint recall. Other than that, no other major issues.
 

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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,
The Sport Hybrid is by far the best MDX made and that’s including the 4th Gen models - all of them. I’ve owned a 2014 bought new since 7/2013 - all scheduled maintenance, repairs, etc done at the Largest Acura dealer in MD. After having perused the lots when they were new (checked over 100 different examples during my first two years of ownership), and driving almost a dozen 2014/2015 examples that were loaners, I have yet to see a single (not ONE) 2014/15 without at least poor and/or misaligned panel/trim gaps, air/wind/noise leaks coming from poorly fitting window gaskets at all four seating positions (worst in cold weather). That noise is only at hwy speeds and sounds like wrinkling paper or radio static, the best solution for which is to wedge a business card between window and gasket - at each window. All my gaskets were warranty replaced to no avail. The tech who road tested heard the noise initially and again after replacing the gaskets and said it was a known flaw - poorly engineered/bad fit from the factory. Rear A/C blows warm when dual/automatic temp mode used, due to a poorly located temp sensor in the system - no factory fix (WOW!). Only solution is to manually set rear A/C temp to about 5-7 degrees below the temp set for the front seats. Brake rotors (all four) were replaced under warranty for premature warping then the rears were replaced - yet again - under warranty for a TSB (labor not covered that time, oddly). Honda notoriously underspecs their brakes (since the 90’s) except on high performance models. Unfixable minor squeaks/rattles since new. The tech is awful and slow - use my cell phone for Waze and streaming music. Mine has minor but ongoing temporary blank screen electrical glitches (1-2x/year) that resolves by turning the car off then on but could never reproduced at the dealership, nor fixed by software updates. The car alarm/door-locking beep and rear hatch “beep” failed but isn’t worth fixing for $500. The seat memory stopped recognizing our key fobs about two years ago so we’ve since just manually press seat#1 or 2 when entering the car. That said, the car was mechanically flawless until 110K miles (software reflash fixed an early transmission issue), at which point the fuel injectors failed and all six had to be replaced (got 2nd and 3rd opinions before doing it). I’ve spent over $10K (!!!) in repairs and scheduled maintenance and wear-item replacements in the last 12 months - water pump/105k mile Svc, injectors over $2k, four new tires, four new rotors (again), drive axle replaced, several worn and failed suspension components replaced. Do not expect trouble free ownership from your MDX or ANY car once you pass 100K miles.
 

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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,
The Sport Hybrid is by far the best MDX made and that’s including the 4th Gen models - all of them. I’ve owned a 2014 bought new since 7/2013 - all scheduled maintenance, repairs, etc done at the Largest Acura dealer in MD. After having perused the lots when they were new (checked over 100 different examples during my first two years of ownership), and driving almost a dozen 2014/2015 examples that were loaners, I have yet to see a single (not ONE) 2014/15 without at least poor and/or misaligned panel/trim gaps, air/wind/noise leaks coming from poorly fitting window gaskets at all four seating positions (worst in cold weather). That noise is only at hwy speeds and sounds like wrinkling paper or radio static, the best solution for which is to wedge a business card between window and gasket - at each window. All my window/door gaskets were warranty replaced to no avail. The tech who road tested heard the noise initially and again after replacing the gaskets and said it was a known flaw - poorly engineered part fit from the factory. Brake rotors (all four) were replaced under warranty for premature warping then the rears were replaced - yet again - no charge for a TSB (labor not covered that time, oddly). Honda notoriously underspecs their brakes (since the 90’s) except on high performance models. Unfixable minor squeaks/rattles since new. The tech is awful and slow - use my cell phone for Waze and streaming music. Mine has minor but ongoing temporary blank screen electrical glitches (1-2x/year) that resolves by turning the car off then on but could never reproduced at the dealership, nor fixed by software updates. The car alarm/door-locking beep and rear hatch “beep” failed but isn’t worth fixing for $500. The seat memory stopped recognizing our key fobs about two years ago so we’ve since just manually press seat#1 or 2 when entering the car. That said, the car was mechanically flawless until 110K miles (software reflash fixed an early transmission issue), at which point the fuel injectors failed and all six had to be replaced (got 2nd and 3rd opinions before doing it). I’ve spent over $10K (!!!) in repairs and scheduled maintenance and wear-item replacements in the last 12 months - water pump/105k mile Svc, injectors over $2k, four new tires, four new rotors (again), several failed suspension components and a drive axle replaced. Do not expect trouble free ownership from your MDX or ANY car once you pass 100K miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
2014 MDX with Tech with 117,000 miles. Have done all recommended maintenance. Have replaced front struts and completed all recalls. Vehicle runs great. Both side view mirror blinker lights have failed and only way to fix is to replace side view mirrors-ridiculous. HVAC system has started to act strange (A/C works in auto but if you turn on A/C the auto feature shuts off. Currently getting ready to have roof repainted due to paint recall. Other than that, no other major issues.
Interesting about the paint. I don't know how you take care of your vehicle detail wise, I myself take care of that too as I do regular maintenance. I clay bar the car, 4 times a year, polish it, and use a hybrid wax on it. Started using the turtle wax hybrid as it seems to perform well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Wow. That's a lot of issues. Next time I'm at the dealership I'll ask them what day my car rolled out finished. No one wants a Friday or Monday car. 😂. I've never had issues that you have stated. I'm at 116k now. Myself when it comes to maintenance, I run my services a 1/3 what OE says and have issues. As far as panels not aligned, haven't noticed, but I don't go over it with a magnifying glass either. I notice little scratches on the exterior more than anything. Those are easy to spot while you clay bar your finish
 

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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,
Have 2014 MDX SH-AWD Tech. 106,000mi. No problems. Previously had 2007 with the same specs.
 

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Bought a 2015 MDX SH-AWD Tech in October of 2020 for the same reasons -- by all indications was a good year for the MDX from a reliability standpoint. It had 85,000 miles on it and I was the 3rd owner. Just rolled over 106,000 miles and had the timing belt water pump plugs done this past winter. Thing runs like a top. In answer to your question I believe the '15 to be the best of the bunch with the 6 speed and both carcomplaints and things like consumer reports appear to back that up. With the switch to 9 speed the '19 and '20 are likely the winners. The '20 makes the most sense to me as it was the last of the 3rd gen. Typically the final year of a car generation is its best.
 

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Personally, I think the 3rd Gen MDX had the most options and provided the best range of models with features that a lot buyers could make a choice based on their needs. That explains why the best model answer really "depends" on your needs and driving environment.

I think we can all agree the 3rd Gen MDX is probable the best overall compared to all 4 MDX models. The Jury is still out on the 4th Gen MDX; but, more weight, less mpgs, no hybrid option, and finicky touch-pad piano black info-tainment system puts it slightly behind the 3rd Gen MDX in those categories.
 

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What does that mean?
The title of the thread is: "What year is the best in 3rd gen."

The 2006 isn't a 3rd gen. I think the answer is that simple.

A little deeper possibly implied meaning - I assume the OP was wondering which of the last gen would be best to buy as a used vehicle (just an assumption on my part because I think the OP just bought a used 3rd gen). The 2006, while I'm sure is a mighty fine vehicle, is now a 17 year old model, most with high miles, that many wouldn't be looking to buy as their next used vehicle just because of age/miles even if they didn't care about advancements/features in the 3rd gen series of models. Note - I'm not saying anything at all negative about the 2006 model and I own some vehicles far older and with more miles than most 2006 MDX units would have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I previously owned a 2cd gen (07). The 06 was basically a Isuzu rodeo. Those 1st gen models were plaqued with problems especially the trans. I wouldn't mind picking one up for cheap just for snow in the winter. CA sucks tho for registration cost. Insurance on something like that wouldn't cost much for liability only,
 

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I previously owned a 2cd gen (07). The 06 was basically a Isuzu rodeo. Those 1st gen models were plaqued with problems especially the trans. I wouldn't mind picking one up for cheap just for snow in the winter. CA sucks tho for registration cost. Insurance on something like that wouldn't cost much for liability only,
I think you're thinking of the Acura SLX. This vehicle was a rebadged Isuzu Trooper.

The 1st gen MDX (2001 - 2006) was based on the Honda mid-sized platform that underpinned the TL/Accord, Odyssey, etc. You're correct in the 2001 - 2003 had transmission problems - we owned a 2003 TL Type-S with this transmission and I sold it as I was concerned of future issues (we didn't have any through 65K miles though).

As for our 1st gen MDX, we owned a 2006 Touring with Navigation and to this day, it was the best vehicle we've ever owned. Sold it after 206K miles because it was time for someone else to enjoy the vehicle. Very few problems over the 200+K miles and it was still going strong. I did most of my maintenance and it was very inexpensive and easy to maintain.

It was the main reason we are driving our 5th MDX today...
 

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I think you're thinking of the Acura SLX. This vehicle was a rebadged Isuzu Trooper.

The 1st gen MDX (2001 - 2006) was based on the Honda mid-sized platform that underpinned the TL/Accord, Odyssey, etc. You're correct in the 2001 - 2003 had transmission problems - we owned a 2003 TL Type-S with this transmission and I sold it as I was concerned of future issues (we didn't have any through 65K miles though).
Yes …… Isuzu Trooper = Acura SLX.
The MDX was truly a Honda product which was first manufactured in Alliston, Ontario starting with the 01 model.
I had a 94, 98 and 02 Honda Passport ….. they were a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo. The Passport was then dropped and the first Honda Pilot was produced as an 03 model which was also made in Alliston, Ontario.
Honda needed to get into the hot SUV market back in the 90s so they made a deal with Isuzu.
In return, Honda sold their Odyssey minivan to Isuzu and they rebadged it as the Isuzu Oasis.
 
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