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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I am a new member here. I am recently thinking to buy a 2018 MDX, but couldn't make decision because of tons of complains about 9 speed transmission, especially 2016 and 2017 model. somebody said the issue has been fixed on 2018 MDX. So, if you are 2018 MDX owner, would you mind to share your 2018 MDX experience. Thank you very very much.
 

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As far as I'm concerned, the issue was fixed for the 2017 model. 2018 drives fine, too.
 
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I have a 2017 and I am not pleased with the driving characteristics of the MDX. it is not smooth particularly when cold and when driving slow on and of the throttle (think in a neighborhood or in slow go traffic). To be fair, there is little if any evidence of outright transmission failures, only driving quality. The simple answer is trust yourself and not the internet. Go give one a thorough test drive. I did not and should have instead of buying more on reputation.
 

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If you can live without towing, the 7 speed DCT in the MDX Sport Hybrid is a joy to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I couldn’t find any official document about fixation of 9-speed trans. Did they just update the software? Not very convinced. 9-speed trans has been used in mdx since 2016, I think nobody knows how reliable it is.
 

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I couldn’t find any official document about fixation of 9-speed trans. Did they just update the software? Not very convinced. 9-speed trans has been used in mdx since 2016, I think nobody knows how reliable it is.
You won't find a "fix" because Acura maintains nothing is broken. Operating as designed. You will find history of software updates designed to improve the driving characteristics of the ZF 9 which from all accounts *improved* the driving experience, but still left many unsatisfied (like me). As for nobody knows how reliable it is, I think that couldn't be farther from reality. The ZF 9 has been out for years and you rarely (if ever) see stories of it failing.

...look at it this way: if it (the transmission) was such a turd, why would you see so many MDXs on the road? I just don't think it operates in a way befitting an Acura.
 

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I'm OK for the most part with it in my 17 Advance, but my main beef is the long delay between the time you floor the gas and when the car actually responds. This has caused me a few scary moments, such as when entering a busy highway with a short ramp. You punch it and need response NOW, but it really is slow. I feel that is coming from the trans. And I've driven quite a few different MDX courtesy cars and they're all the same in this regard, so I know it's not just mine. The trans shifts, under normal conditions, quite well, but better when it's warmed up. I think there is a correlation between cars without the trans cooler (for towing 3500 pounds) having fewer complaints than those equipped with the cooler (for 5000 pound). Coincidence? I think not.
 

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I have an 18' Advance model with about 3000 miles and I have noticed no problems with the 9 speed. I run in Sport mode most of the time and it seems to work like it is supposed to. There have been several software changes and the last upgrade seems to address the issues. The Nav/ audio systems upgrades also addressed the 17' issues by adding Apple Car Play and several other programming ques that make the two screen setup much better. I like having the map running while I work my radio changes.
 

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'17 Hybrid here, the 7 spd. DCT is the best Acura has put in any MDX. I have driven all generations, owned a 2nd gen with a 6 spd auto. Drove a 3rd gen with the 9 spd and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but certainly could be smoother and not so indecisive about what gear to be in.
 

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Not entirely crazy about the sometimes (especially when not warmed up) strong shift from 1-2, but otherwise the transmission seems really nice once it is in 2nd or higher.
 

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I have an 18' Advance model with about 3000 miles and I have noticed no problems with the 9 speed. I run in Sport mode most of the time and it seems to work like it is supposed to. There have been several software changes and the last upgrade seems to address the issues. The Nav/ audio systems upgrades also addressed the 17' issues by adding Apple Car Play and several other programming ques that make the two screen setup much better. I like having the map running while I work my radio changes.

There's an update for the 2017 that adds Apple Car Play???
 

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No, he's saying that the 18 addressed the 17 issues by adding ACP and making the two screen setup work much better.
 

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I have a ‘16 as well. I was very reluctant about the 9 speed. I test drove a 2017 Pilot and my ‘16 MDX and found the 9 speed to be pretty good. One thing I have noticed is the transmission sometimes starts in second gear instead of first. I assume that was programmed into a software update and it does seem to smooth it out in low speed maneuvering. It also makes turning at say a stop sign a little smoother. I bought the car in April with 12,500 miles on it and I looked up the VIN to be sure it had all applicable software updates done. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it. I’ve driven over 4,000 miles and only twice have I stomped on the gas and waited longer than expected for the car to find the right gear and go. Both times were a merge situation. It was slightly tighter than I would have liked but it pulled it off.

Sport mode makes a big difference. It seems to know exactly what gear I want. However I saw a 2-3mpg mileage penalty when running in sport mode so I typically run the car in normal mode. I’d consider myself someone who is very sensitive to noises, shudders, clunks and jerkiness. With all of that said, both normal and sport mode suit me just fine. No automatic transmission is perfect (I would love a 6MT MDX) but I think this one is pretty good. I acknowledge that others may not have the same experience but at 16,500 miles I expect I’ve seen most scenarios with this car that I will. Ideally I could have the steering weight of sport mode, the fuel economy of normal, and the responsiveness/gear selection of sport mode.

One thing to note, my car has the tow package but DOES NOT have the transmission cooler. If you need to tow 5,000 lbs my feedback may not be helpful to you because that apparently changes quite a bit of the transmission’s behavior.
 

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I have a 2018 sport hybrid and it’s absurdly fun to drive. Handling, tranny, everything. So worth the extra $1,500. I’m amazed it isn’t more popular.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Tell Acura to actually produce them, especially in tech form. They seem to only want to make them in advance, so the markup is way more than $1500 over the equivalent gas model when you consider that they're normally $5k off msrp.

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Plus they don't allow ANY towing on the hybrid... Although I don't think the MDX makes a good "frequent tow vehicle", I do appreciate the ability to occasionally tow a small trailer.


There's also the issue of the hybrid being fun in short bursts, but reports of the electric motors overheating when pushed hard in corners, causing the system to revert to FWD-only operation. That would certainly kill the enjoyment/appeal for me, as it is my opinion that SH-AWD is a necessary part of the secret sauce that makes the MDX special.


If you want to talk about small amounts of money that really make a difference, it should be the $2,000 difference between FWD and SH-AWD. It shocks me that people buy the FWD version.
 

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It cost between $300-$600 to purchase and install the spare tire for a fwd MDX either DYI or by dealership. Sh-awd is a real bargain at around $1500 you factor in the cost of the spare tire you get with sh-awd.
 
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