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I am looking at three different 2014 MDX vehicles (all accident free and well maintained):


  1. 2014 MDX FWD base, 124k miles, $13,000
  2. 2014 MDX FWD with Technology and Entertainment pkg, 116k miles, $16,250
  3. 2014 MDX SH-AWD with Technology pkg, 104k miles, $17,940
These prices include dealer fees, but not taxes. Which of these would you recommend? Are options 2/3 worth the extra 25%/40% increase in cost over option 1?

I will be using the MDX primarily for a 20 mile (each way) office commute, with driving on local and interstate roads. I will occasionally transport up to six people, and so am looking at the MDX. I live in southern Indiana, and so do encounter some snow. I have always driven FWD cars and never had problems in the snow. I will probably keep the vehicle for about 4 years.
 

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2 and 3 have more features than the base model. And looking at this, I would suggest bargain the OTD for number 2, because you get more safety features than the base model. Also you do get the navigation (its the best when compared to other low end brands like Nissan, GM, Toyota, etc.). But then with that type of mileage you need to check if all the fluids are up to date, especially with the Transmission. And don't forget to test drive each car.

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2 and 3 have more features than the base model. And looking at this, I would suggest bargain the OTD for number 2, because you get more safety features than the base model. Also you do get the navigation (its the best when compared to other low end brands like Nissan, GM, Toyota, etc.). But then with that type of mileage you need to check if all the fluids are up to date, especially with the Transmission. And don't forget to test drive each car.

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I have test driven all three and they all drive great. The CARFAX reports for all three show regular maintenance up to now. Are the safety features of the Technology version useful? The only one that seems useful is the blind spot monitor. The forward collision warning system seemed prone to false alarms. As it does not do actual braking, will I have enough time to react to make it useful? As for navigation, it was a nice feature, but I generally use Google Maps on my phone for directions when needed (instead of the two dedicated GPS units that I own).
 

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I have test driven all three and they all drive great. The CARFAX reports for all three show regular maintenance up to now. Are the safety features of the Technology version useful? The only one that seems useful is the blind spot monitor. The forward collision warning system seemed prone to false alarms. As it does not do actual braking, will I have enough time to react to make it useful? As for navigation, it was a nice feature, but I generally use Google Maps on my phone for directions when needed (instead of the two dedicated GPS units that I own).
It is useful, to a certain degree. The FCW is a pain in the rear if you wanna ride the slow person hogging the left lane rear end as it will brake and slow you down. Navigation is a great feature to have just in case if Google Maps ends up taking you to the wrong place (its not 100% correct all the time). I am not if the 14s have it but it should have LKA and ACC in the tech package.

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I have test driven all three and they all drive great. The CARFAX reports for all three show regular maintenance up to now. Are the safety features of the Technology version useful? The only one that seems useful is the blind spot monitor. The forward collision warning system seemed prone to false alarms. As it does not do actual braking, will I have enough time to react to make it useful? As for navigation, it was a nice feature, but I generally use Google Maps on my phone for directions when needed (instead of the two dedicated GPS units that I own).
The comfort access on the rear doors is nice. Your own alert system,you. Works better than FCW.
 

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It is useful, to a certain degree. The FCW is a pain in the rear if you wanna ride the slow person hogging the left lane rear end as it will brake and slow you down. Navigation is a great feature to have just in case if Google Maps ends up taking you to the wrong place (its not 100% correct all the time). I am not if the 14s have it but it should have LKA and ACC in the tech package.

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The 14s have LKA AND ACC.
The Tech package was about $6,000 and AWD was $2,000. Plus that car has 20,000 less miles. Just make sure everything works. I assume there is no warranty.
 

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You get a spare tire with sh-awd and tow up to 5000lbs if you add a trans cooler. The sh-awd version will drive and handle like a smaller vehicle with an extremely small impact on mpgs.

I would find out all three had the big 105,000 service that may or may not include: timing belt, spark plugs, valve adjustment, new antifreeze, water pump, and/or serpentine belt kit. Many Acura owners trade in their vehicles around 100,000 miles because they don't want to pay the $1200-$1800 105K service at the dealership. It is mostly fluid and filter changes after that until the timing belt is due again around 210,000 miles. I doubt owners would do this service and then trade in the MDX?
 
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The only one that seems useful is the blind spot monitor. The forward collision warning system seemed prone to false alarms. As it does not do actual braking, will I have enough time to react to make it useful?
I have a 2014 tech shawd.

The blind spot monitor is useful and I like having it. The forward collision warning is only a warning, it doesn't automatically brake on the tech trim level, and I don't find much value in it since I pay attention when I drive, including not picking up and using my phone while driving other than when using the hands-free function of the infotainment.

I can't speak to the costs but there are 2014s out there with many fewer miles on them. As an example, mine's at about 58K and it seems like there'd be quite a few at around 65-85K. Lower mileage means less wear and tear is already on it and means more miles, and thus more time, that you could drive it relative to a vehicle with higher mileage on it. Another factor is how long you plan to keep it before getting something else. A way to value this is - if you plan to put 12K miles per year on it then option 3 gets you almost 2 years more of driving than option 1 albeit at a higher price and option 3 gets you about an extra year of driving over option 2 albeit at a price of about $1700.

Of course, the three options you posted are apples/oranges so you'd need to decide which features you're willing to pay for and how much you value them. When I bought mine (new) I only wanted the shawd, even though I live in an area where it doesn't snow, since I wanted the handling experience it provides, and I did 'not' want the entertainment since I'd never have used it in the 6 years I've owned this vehicle so even though it was an added cost of over $1K it had a value of $0 to me. Others, of course, would have wanted it.

Before buying any one of the 3 options I suggest getting some prices for other 2014/2015 MDXs that can provide a apples/apples comparison - i.e. fwd against fwd, shawd against shawd, tech against tech, ent against ent, etc.
 

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I would find out all three had the big 105,000 service that may or may not include: timing belt, spark plugs, valve adjustment, new antifreeze, water pump, and/or serpentine belt kit. Many Acura owners trade in their vehicles around 100,000 miles because they don't want to pay the $1200-$1800 105K service at the dealership.
^ This would be my first question. Even the 124K owner may not have had it done.

Sounds like price is a key factor (which I'm assuming considering you're looking at 100K+ mile vehicles), plus you've stated that AWD and Tech are not requirements, the $5000 savings while forgoing 20K miles seems like the best option for you (so, Option 1). However, I would guess the $17.9K has the most negotiation...especially if you mention the other 2 as viable options for your purchase dollar.

But I would definitely find out about the 105K service on each...that should be action #1.
 

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I like option 3. AWD and Tech and lower mileage. When all is said and done,it may not be that much more. Are these all at the same dealer?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Everyone! Thank you for all the responses! I truly appreciate the help.



I dug deeper and found the following:

Option 1: new timing belt, spark plugs, and water pump at 105k miles. Two new front struts and one new rear shock absorber. The vehicle is very clean and has been to the dealer almost every three months for oil changes. The vehicle is from a private seller and he has all the service records.

Option 2: new spark plugs (not sure if timing belt or water pump was replaced).

Option 3: no entries for timing belt and spark plugs in carfax report. Looks like it had an accident but air bags didn't deploy. Other SH-AWD vehicles with no accidents are about $1000 more expensive.

I don't see anything about transmission fluid or serpentine belts in the records. Options 2 and 3 are from separate dealers. 2015 vehicles start at $20k, while 2016 vehicles start at $24k, thus making 2014 vehicles significantly cheaper.
 

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Hi Everyone! Thank you for all the responses! I truly appreciate the help.



I dug deeper and found the following:

Option 1: new timing belt, spark plugs, and water pump at 105k miles. Two new front struts and one new rear shock absorber. The vehicle is very clean and has been to the dealer almost every three months for oil changes. The vehicle is from a private seller and he has all the service records.

Option 2: new spark plugs (not sure if timing belt or water pump was replaced).

Option 3: no entries for timing belt and spark plugs in carfax report. Looks like it had an accident but air bags didn't deploy. Other SH-AWD vehicles with no accidents are about $1000 more expensive.

I don't see anything about transmission fluid or serpentine belts in the records. Options 2 and 3 are from separate dealers. 2015 vehicles start at $20k, while 2016 vehicles start at $24k, thus making 2014 vehicles significantly cheaper.
Go with option 1. Since most of the required maintainence is completed and there are records that is shown. However, a timing belt and water pump job will cost roughly $1000 if you do it at the dealer.

I would never ever recommend a vehicle whose airbags were once deployed and was in a huge wreck, as it will be a money pit machine, unless you got another vehicle and time to replace the parts all the time.

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Great. However, My experience
1). Not many used 2014 mdx out there as choice. It sells fast due to limited availability.
2). Timing belt and suspension is most important to consider. No after market strut/shock at all to buy. Zero choice as of today.
3). Check for jerkiness - Drive above 50 miles and then let go accelator meaning not pressing accelerator at all. Don’t use brake at all. Now See the tech meter as car slows down at its own and if you see it jumps up 200-300 rpm and also gear shift with jerking then it’s a bad design by Acura. You will hate this. Downshift is worst. TSB out there with fix but don’t know how much will it cost. Note Above 50 miles no issues.
4) paid 16k OTD for 2014 with TECH package few months back.

Please report/reply jerkiness issue after you drive for couple of months.
 

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Great. However, My experience
1). Not many used 2014 mdx out there as choice. It sells fast due to limited availability.
2). Timing belt and suspension is most important to consider. No after market strut/shock at all to buy. Zero choice as of today.
3). Check for jerkiness - Drive above 50 miles and then let go accelator meaning not pressing accelerator at all. Don’t use brake at all. Now See the tech meter as car slows down at its own and if you see it jumps up 200-300 rpm and also gear shift with jerking then it’s a bad design by Acura. You will hate this. Downshift is worst. TSB out there with fix but don’t know how much will it cost. Note Above 50 miles no issues.
4) paid 16k OTD for 2014 with TECH package 110k miles few months back.

Please report/reply jerkiness issue after you drive for couple of months.
 
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