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For the sake of people considering buying the third gen MDX I thought I'd post why I chose the vehicle. There's a huge variety of manufacturers/models of vehicles available and not everyone is looking for the same attributes. I ended up purchasing a 2014 SHAWD Tech MDX a little over 2 years ago.

I had no bias in the manufacturer - in 45 years of owning vehicles from a number of manufacturers this is my first Honda/Acura product so I didn't choose it because I was a 'Honda guy'.

My base requirements -
- SUV style
- Third row seat usable by adults for short trips
- Not too big (i.e. no Suburban or anything close to that)

My base requirements rule out most vehicles and even some of the close competitors to the MDX. The following are the main attributes that led me to choose the MDX (not in strict order) -

1. Base requirements - SUV style, Third row seat usable for short distances by adults, medium size.

2. Handling - I wanted a vehicle that handled well given the vehicle type and size. I have an SHAWD model and the handling is great.

3. Acceleration - I wanted the upper end of the acceleration segment and the MDX fits the bill. There are faster SUVs but the MDX has sporty acceleration.

4. Practical size - for seating, hauling, not too big, not too small.

5. Reasonable price/value for what it is.

6. Upscale interior - I didn't need the 'top' interior, and wouldn't be willing to pay many more thousands of dollars for special hand raised leather or something, but I wanted something at a higher level than basic. I also like the interior styling.

7. Exterior Styling - I wanted an exterior styling that appealed to me and the 3rd gen MDX has it (I liked the 2nd gen as well but I like the 3rd gen better).

8. Reasonable fuel mileage - While this isn't at the very top of my attributes, I wanted decent mileage for the type of vehicle it is. I specifically was hoping Acura would do cylinder deactivation for the 3rd gen and they did. The 3rd gen MDX does very well in this area given its size, weight, type.

9. Quiet interior - I wanted reasonable dampening of normal road/wind noise. The MDX does well in this area.

10. Acceptable Infotainment - I wanted something with a reasonable sound system - it didn't need to be the 'top' sound system and I wouldn't want to pay an extra thousand or so for that level. I wanted to have an easy way to stream music frommy smart phone as that provides the greatest variety and IMO will soon render normal radio stations obsolete.

11. Acceptable Nav system - This is probably one of my lowest priorities because I normally don't really need one. I find the MDX Nav system 'acceptable' but not as good as it should be and not as good as even Acura decided to provide to 2015/later models but not provide to 2014 models. The 2014 system still has some bugs in it but generally, it provides a map showing the vehicle location and has some routing capabilities. One thing I like about it is how the Nav screen is integrated into the dash - up high but not too high - much better than the low mounted screens found on many vehicles and better than the added-on looking pop-up style.

There are more minor attributes that are part of the consideration but the above ones are the ones most important to me with a focus on the vehicle type, seating, handling, acceleration. Those are much more important to me than something like the Nav system, for example.

The 3rd gen MDX meets my requirements very well which, of course, is why I chose it over other vehicles. It's not a perfect vehicle (but none are perfect) and it could use some improvements,especially in the Nav, but in retrospect I'm quite happy with my decision and would make the same decision if facing a new purchase today.
 

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wow. that is a long list. My for '16. Mine are:

1. Under $50k. Bought SHAWD AWP at invoice ($45k). Almost bought the new Pilot EXL for $8k less, but the thin flimsy leather seats and armrests aren't acceptable.
2. 7 seats SUV, but drives like tall sedan. Almost bought the X5, but no real 3rd row.
3. NA gasoline engine.
4. A touch of luxury. Kinda disappointed that the seats are NOT 100% leather. Back and sides are cloth.

My first new Acura and really like it, even though my 1st choice was BMW
 

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My list is similar to yours. Ultimately only the new XC90 fit our needs (along with the MDX), but at $12K more and questionable first year jitters, the MDX just made way more sense.

The usable third row without being a Tahoe/Suburban was big for us too.
 
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