Last post on May 28, 2012 at 9:19 AM
You are in the Acura MDX
What is this discussion about?
Acura MDX, Acura RDX, Lexus RX 350, Car Buying, SUV
#24 of 33 RDX vs MDX...
Apr 25, 2011 (6:02 am)
Its all about how much money you chose to spend and how many pass. you need to carry.
From $30k/5p to $45k/7p. Both cars, er, trucks, ah, crossers, or what ever you call 'em, are very nice.
Lux, comfort, performance and easy on the eyes.
The RD center console lid is one piece as opposed to two piece center split.
What else is different?
#25 of 33 RDX vs MDX
Sep 27, 2011 (7:18 am)
In the market for a new sport utility for my wife. She currently drives a 2004 MDX. Nice vehicle in terms of ride, amenities and very good in snow. She looked at the RDX and test drove one. Not impressed; in fact disappointed would better describe her reaction. Cheap feeling interior and a ride that she labelled uncomfortable at best. Before the MDX she owned a toyota landcruiser. Another very solid albeit gas guzzling vehicle. But the ride was solid and smooth and she loved the MDX ride.
If your considering an MDX, shoot on over to the transmission discussion raging there. My wife's well maintained MDX just died this past month. The Acura dealers won't fill you in on this but it's an all too common failure judging by the 85 page post that's still very active. So yes, the MDX is a beautiful driving SUV. But can you justify spending $45,000 plus and running the risk of a $6,000 transmission replacement which in some cases ended up in a second failure & replacement?
We can't. Acura has lost our business for good. We drive easy highway miles. No rush hour. The car LOOKS new. We keep our vehicles well maintained with regular service.
My wife's MDX has 150,000 miles on it. So our first thought was well it's just a bad break because we have owned Hondas and Toyatas with slot more highway mileage than her MDX. Normal wear and tear of course- but transmission failure?? Never. Nothing even close. Then we started realizing we were LUCKY! A number of MDX owners were experiencing failing transmissions with a third the miles of hers and in some cases in the 20,000 to 35,000 mile range?!?!? Wow!
At first we were inclined to replace the transmission and just keep the car thinking it'll run another 100,000 no problem. Then I started researching the transmission issue and WOW was I surprised. So much for Honda "reliability". There is a very real, well documented transmission issue with this vehicle and if you're thinking of plunking down $40-50,000 of your hard earned cash- I'd STRONGLY suggest browsing through the MDX transmission thread so you at least know what you are getting into.
By the way, my wife's business partner drives an '05 with 90,000 miles. Same issue- transmission is failing and needs replacing. Acura dealers will "play dumb" on the issue, but as you'll see if you venture over to the thread- this HAS to be a well known issue. Too many documented failures for my liking. Make sure you do your homework or cover your ss with a warranty policy. Then dump the vehicle before you have the disappointment that we've experienced.
#26 of 33 Re: RDX vs MDX [brianm7]
Sep 27, 2011 (8:42 am)
You might take note that the early Lexus RXes, '99-'00, had much the same issue, premature transaxle failures. In the case of the '01+ RX, Lexus changed out the VC fluid formulation to make it less functional and began using trac, frictional braking at the front, to apportion engine torque to the rear. With the advent of the RX330 the VC was dropped entirely.
So, whereas Lexus went with the CHEAPER, less AWD functionality, at least Acura addressed the problem in a positive way.
The 2010 and after RX350 series uses the more functional Ford Escape F/awd system but IMMHO that's still no where as good as the SH-AWD system.
Not that I would ever buy an MDX....
An RDX w/SH-AWD, absent the turbo, but with DFI and 12:1 CR would be more my cup of "tea".
#28 of 33 Re: RDX vs MDX [wwest]
Jan 13, 2012 (7:44 am)
I have a 2001 MDX (orig owner) and have loved it. However, I too have had one failed torgue converter/transmission at 101K which was replaced and paid in full by the dealer. Now I have over 215K and the torgue converter has been failing for that past 5K miles. The car cuts off unpredictably. I'd LOVE to buy another MDX..but don't what the hassles but I cant find another SUV that compares.
I no longer need that large of vehicle but love riding high in the seat so I wont be going back to a car. I've test driven the RDX, CR-V, RX350, RAV4 & Toyota Highlander (limited). Surprisingly, I liked the Highlander the best. The RDX was ok but requires premium gas and the MPG isn't all that. The CR-V & RAV4 were unremarkable. The RX too soft..hated the feel of the mushy steering (felt old lady-like). The Highlander had a nicely appointed interior and rides very much like my MDX cost a few $$ less and takes regular gas.
I've been driving Honda's/Acura's for the past 30 years so going to Toyota would be a big switch for me.
Any thoughts? Any known issues w/the Highlander? I'm big on reliability and longevity. As you can tell, I like keeping my vehicles for a L-O-N-G time.
#29 of 33 Re: RDX vs MDX [mdxer7]
Jan 13, 2012 (2:55 pm)
The MDX torque converter high failure rate in the earlier models seemed have been fixed by the adoption of the SH-AWD system as opposed to the VTM-4 system used in those early models.
Now here we are at 2012 and the torque converter failure issue seems to have yet gain raised its ugly head.
The only way I can think of to account for this is some sort of revision to the firmware controlling the rear drive engagement. Now having been revised to provide an even more "robust" feeling, yet even closer to that of a actua RWD vehicle.
I even have a possible explanation should this latest firmware revision have been made.
When the issue of premature transaxles failures first become obvious with the old VTM-4 system the very first thing I would have done would have been to instruct the programmers to lower the "robustness" of the rear drive coupling.
So now we arrive at ~2010, the transaxle failure rate problem appears to be alleviated via the use of the new system, so why not now reverse, remove the earlier firmware revision, that served to "derate" the MDX' "awd" functionality. In the words of Toyota/Lexus "protect the drive train".
If I were Acura I would add a "snow" PB. The SH-AWD system would go into fully ROBUST mode only in actual adverse roadbed conditions as discerned, suspected, by the driver. Engine start up would aways revert to"normal" (poor[??]) SH-AWD functionality.
Or even automatically, in addition to the PB enabling, go into fully robust mode if the current drive cycle were to encounter even the slightest level of wheelspin/slip due to engine torque, leading or lagging.
Other than the MDX the only "AWD" vehicle in the same price category that will yeild equal or better wintertime driving dynamics, adverse weather/roadbed conditions, would be the Porsche Cayenne base V6.
"...RDX requires premium gas..."
Not likely...more likely premium gas "recommended". However, due to the design requirements for a turbo engine their base/native compression MUST be derated, lower than would be optimal for a non-turbo engine.
Results: Substandard FE 99.98% of your driving time.
The HL and the pre-2010 RX share the same, mostly non-functional, F/awd system. The 2010 RX now uses the same F/awd system as the Ford Escape, more functional than previously, but still no where near up to the standard set by the "base" FWD MDX SH-AWD system.
I would expect that Toyota will soon, if not already, adopt this new F/awd system, first used in the new Venza, to the HL and the Sienna.
Speaking of which, have you test driven the F/awd Venza? With the I4..?
I can't understand why that new 187HP I4 in the Venza hasn't been revised to the use of DFI....210HP...? Or a Venza/h using an Atkinsonized version of that new I4, inclusive of DFI, of course. 15.5:1 base/native compression ratio, wow.
Were I to purchase a F/awd Venza, it would most definitely be the I4, and I would immediately add a modification such that I could fully engage the rear drive coupling "at will". Maybe with a 10 minute time delay to automatically disable the modification unless I renewed the modification's function before the time delay expired. That way it would not be upon me, my (failing) memory, to turn off the function.
#30 of 33 TC problem exagerated by dealers
Jan 21, 2012 (4:08 pm)
I am pretty sure some of the VC is legit. But at least for mine, the dealer's incompetence has exagerated the problem. I had a problem with my 2003 MDX at around 110k where the tachometer fluctuated up and down at around 20 miles on a mild uphill slope. I brought it to my dealer here in Austin. Dealer told me the TC was bad and asked me huge money for it. I bought it to another auto shop and showed them the problem and the technician recommended a complete transmission fluid flush (normal flush only covers 80% and this will cover high 90% or something like that) and that cured the problem. I have not had any problem since. One thing I can tell is MDX is slightly underpower. I bought my MDX brand new. But at 30k I found the car requires premium gas to get the horse power to run the car smoothly. I use premium gas ever since. Right now I have 150k miles on it. 2 days ago, I brought it to the dealer again because a noise at idle and get worse when I turn my steering wheel. The dealer told me the steering pump is bad and caused the steering fluid leak and that pump fix is $500 and rack and pinning is also bad and that is $1700. I broght my MDX to the same shop again. They just told me the pump may be ok. And they refill the fluid and ask me to observe a couple of days. It is completely different atitude. I may eventually need to replace the pump (because there is indeed some clear fluid leak on my driveway from last week). At least I can still drive my MDX without the noise till I find my next SUV (maybe another MDX). This reminds me the story in "American Greed" that some doctors would recommend unnecesary operations just to make more money. It is same thing here. The system is being taken advantage of and there is no check-and-balance. I guess some still remember the San Diego man faked the Prius problem just shortly after Toyota unintended acceleration problem becomes the headline. It is not just companies, laywers, even an individual would want to add salt to the injury.
#31 of 33 Lexus RX 350 loaner
Mar 04, 2012 (4:34 pm)
Has anyone purchased a certified Lexus RX 350 that was previously a dealer loaner car with low miles (ie less than 10,000)? If so, would you do it again, and how much of discount were you able to negotiate?
May 27, 2012 (10:04 am)
Is it true that the 2012 MDX still comes with a 'stick' key and not a smart key?
I have a 2009 MDX and was hoping for a smart/electronic key with a new MDX.
#33 of 33 Re: Lexus RX 350 loaner 
May 28, 2012 (9:19 am)
Just "free" advice..worth what you pay for it.
Prior to 2010 the RX350 was predominatly FWD, torque dynamically apportioned to the rear ONLY with TC activation. 2010/+ has the Ford Escape's pre-emptive type F/awd, not nearly as good as the MDX but a step in the right direction.