Acura MDX Years to Avoid and The Best Years

Acura MDX Years to Avoid – Are you considering purchasing a new or used Acura MDX? Before making a decision, it’s crucial to gather all the information you need to make an informed choice. One important aspect to consider is the model year of the vehicle you’re interested in.

Not all years of the Acura MDX have been created equal, and some have experienced more issues than others.

In this article, we’ll delve into the Acura MDX years to avoid, highlighting the worst years that potential buyers should steer clear of.

Acura MDX Years to Avoid

When buying a car, it’s essential to ensure that you’re investing in a reliable and dependable vehicle that meets your needs.

While the Acura MDX has earned a reputation for its luxurious features, spacious interior, and enjoyable driving experience, certain model years have faced notable challenges.

By identifying these problematic years, you can save yourself from potential headaches and costly repairs down the road.

Throughout this article, we’ll provide you with detailed insights into the Acura MDX’s troubled years, exploring common issues and concerns reported by owners and experts alike.

Our aim is to equip you with the knowledge necessary to make an educated choice when searching for an Acura MDX.

So, if you’re ready to learn which Acura MDX years to avoid and uncover the worst years that could potentially cause headaches, read on.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make a smart decision and enjoy a trouble-free ownership experience with your Acura MDX.

What Acura MDX Years to Avoid

When contemplating the purchase of an Acura MDX, it is vital to be aware of the years to avoid.

What Acura MDX Years to Avoid

Based on reported problems and owner complaints, it is advisable to steer clear of the 2001-2005 models, particularly the 2004 Acura MDX with its early transmission failure.

The 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2017 models also exhibit significant issues with oil consumption, engine troubles, and transmission performance.

Let’s explore the reasons behind each of these recommendations in detail.

2001-2005 Acura MDX

The first five-year models of the Acura MDX, spanning from 2001 to 2005, are plagued by a disastrous problem with total transmission failure.

While these issues typically occur between 100,000 and 130,000 miles, they can still result in substantial repair costs, often exceeding $4,000.

However, the 2004 model stands out as the worst among this group, as its transmission fails even earlier, at around 84,000 miles.

Additionally, the 2004 MDX suffers from additional transmission defects, such as jerking and a rumble strip noise.

Read Also: Acura RDX Years to Avoid

2010 Acura MDX

The 2010 MDX model has garnered a significant number of complaints related to excessive oil consumption.

On average, these issues arise around 92,000 miles, and addressing them can be quite costly, with repair expenses reaching approximately $6,700.

While excessive oil consumption may not be a dealbreaker in some vehicles, it is an issue you would want to avoid when considering an Acura MDX.

2014 Acura MDX

Among the Acura MDX year models, the 2014 model stands out for having the highest number of overall complaints. This particular year is plagued by various engine troubles that tend to manifest early on.

Some common issues reported by owners include stalling or lurching during acceleration, as well as strange ticking noises emanating from the engine.

Based on these problems, it is advisable to avoid purchasing a 2014 Acura MDX.

2016 and 2017 Acura MDX

The 2016 and 2017 Acura MDX models share similar issues, primarily related to transmission performance.

Many owners have reported instances of jerking, lurching, and hesitation during acceleration.

These transmission problems can significantly impact the driving experience and should be considered red flags when considering these particular model years.

So, when it comes to the Acura MDX, be cautious and avoid the years mentioned above to ensure a trouble-free ownership experience.

Read Also: Acura TSX Years to Avoid

Best Year for Acura MDX

The Acura MDX is a renowned 5-door SUV that combines luxurious styling with comfortable third-row seating. If you’re in the market for an Acura MDX, it’s essential to choose a model that offers reliability and minimal issues.

In this comprehensive guide, we will highlight the best years for the Acura MDX, providing you with a list of recommended models based on their performance and customer satisfaction.

Best Year for Acura MDX

Let’s delve into the reasons behind these recommendations and explore the strengths of each model.

For a safe and satisfying purchase, we recommend considering the following Acura MDX year models:

2006 Acura MDX

The 2006 model of the Acura MDX stands out as a reliable option with minimal complaints. Any reported problems have been rare and occurred at an average mileage of 150,000 miles. With its excellent track record, the 2006 MDX is a solid choice for those seeking reliability and longevity.

Read Also: Most Reliable SUV Of All Time

2007 Acura MDX

Although the 2007 MDX had a minor concern regarding a broken sunroof, the issue is uncommon and can be addressed with a repair cost of approximately $700. Overall, the 2007 model has a clean record and offers reliable performance.

2008 Acura MDX

The 2008 MDX has received positive feedback from owners, with most potential defects being inexpensive to repair. While there was a rare instance of a broken timing belt, such cases are likely anomalies and shouldn’t be a cause for concern when considering this model.

Read Also: Why Are Acura MDX So Cheap?

2009 Acura MDX

The 2009 MDX presents straightforward issues, such as a drained battery of around 96,000 miles, which can be fixed at an approximate cost of $400. Despite this minor concern, the overall reliability of the 2009 MDX remains commendable.

2011 and 2012 Acura MDX

Both the 2011 and 2012 MDX models have shown good reliability, with minor complaints related to slight malfunctions in the backup camera or the garage door opener.

These issues are easily fixable, and you can have confidence in the performance of these Acura MDX models.

2013 Acura MDX

Best Year for Acura MDX

The 2013 MDX boasts a clean record with no major complaints. It provides a smooth and reliable driving experience, making it an attractive option for those seeking a dependable SUV.

2015 Acura MDX

Similar to the previous models mentioned, the 2015 MDX demonstrates minimal issues and offers a satisfying ownership experience.

The potential defects reported, such as a hesitating transmission or a subpar A/C system, can be repaired at a reasonable cost.

2018 Acura MDX

Best Year for Acura MDX

While there was one rare report of a 2018 MDX experiencing a breakdown while driving, such incidents are highly uncommon.

The overall feedback for the 2018 model remains positive, making it a strong contender among the best years for the Acura MDX.

2019 and 2020 Acura MDX

The 2019 and 2020 MDX models have earned an excellent reputation, with no reported complaints or significant issues. These recent years offer the latest features and advancements, providing peace of mind for buyers.

These vehicles have demonstrated minimal problems, and any reported issues are either rare or easily fixable.

Remember to thoroughly inspect any potential purchase and conduct proper research to ensure the specific vehicle you are considering is in good condition.

Read Also:  How Long Does Acura MDX Last?

By selecting one of the recommended Acura MDX models mentioned in this guide, you can enjoy a reliable and enjoyable ownership experience.

Common Acura MDX Problems

In this section, we will address some of the common problems faced by Acura MDX owners.

By understanding these concerns, you can make an informed decision and be prepared to address potential challenges that may arise with your MDX.

Common Acura MDX Problems

While the Acura MDX generally performs well, there are a few problems that have been reported by owners.

Let’s explore some of the common issues and the model years affected:

1. Acceleration Issues (2016 and 2017 MDX)

Some owners of 2016 and 2017 MDX models have experienced problems with their transmission, resulting in poor or jerky acceleration. The issue becomes more pronounced when starting the vehicle.

To address this concern, Honda/Acura dealers recommended updating the transmission control module (TCM) software.

This update can help improve the acceleration performance of affected vehicles.

2. Excessive Oil Consumption

A frustrating problem reported by MDX owners is excessive oil consumption. Some owners have noticed that their MDX consumes more oil than usual, requiring frequent top-ups.

This issue has been significant enough for Honda to issue service bulletins.

If you encounter this problem, be aware that the repair cost can be substantial, with estimates reaching up to $6,800.

It is essential to monitor your MDX’s oil levels regularly and address any excessive oil consumption promptly.

3. Malfunctioning Climate System (2008 MDX)

Owners of 2008 MDX models had to deal with faulty air conditioning (A/C) units.

Reports indicate that the issue was caused by a leak resulting from the compression hose rubbing against the vehicle’s grounding surface.

If you own a 2008 MDX and experience A/C problems, it is recommended to have a professional inspect and repair the system to prevent further issues with cooling and comfort.

4. Stalling or Lurching (Various Model Years)

Another problem reported by MDX owners is stalling or lurching during light acceleration, typically occurring between speeds of 35 and 45 mph.

Acura has identified a faulty Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) rocker as the cause of this issue.

To resolve the problem, owners are advised to replace the faulty VCM rocker.

If you experience these symptoms, it is advisable to consult a qualified technician for proper diagnosis and repair.

What is Acura MDX known for?

  1. Functional Three-Row Luxury SUV: The MDX offers three rows of seating, providing ample space for passengers and cargo. It strikes a balance between luxury and practicality, making it a versatile choice for families or those needing extra seating capacity.
  2. Competitive Pricing: Compared to its German counterparts, the Acura MDX is typically priced lower, offering a compelling value proposition for buyers seeking luxury features without the hefty price tag.
  3. Slick and Powerful V6 Engine: The standard 290-horsepower V6 engine delivers smooth and responsive performance. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the powertrain works well to provide a satisfying driving experience.
  4. Fuel Efficiency: With an average fuel economy of 20 mpg overall, the Acura MDX offers decent efficiency for its class, allowing owners to enjoy a good balance between power and fuel savings.
  5. Type S Performance: The top-of-the-line MDX Type S variant boasts a powerful 355-horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine. This high-performance option adds an extra level of excitement and delivers a smooth and exhilarating driving experience.

Are Acura MDX reliable cars?

In terms of reliability, the Acura MDX has generally been regarded as a reliable vehicle. Its overall reliability rating stands at 63.05, which is considered very reliable in comparison to other cars. The average annual repair cost is $571, indicating average ownership costs.

The severity of repairs is low, and the frequency of issues is average, suggesting that major problems are uncommon for the MDX.

Which year did MDX have transmission problems?

However, it is important to note that early models, specifically the 2001 to 2005 MDXs, had significant transmission problems. These models experienced total transmission failure typically between 100,000 and 130,000 miles, requiring costly repairs upwards of $4,000.

It’s recommended to avoid these particular years to minimize the risk of transmission issues.

Is MDX reliable long-term?

Overall, the Acura MDX has a solid reputation for reliability, and with proper maintenance and care, it can provide a dependable and enjoyable ownership experience in the long term.


The Acura MDX is a functional and stylish three-row luxury SUV that offers a compelling combination of performance, value, and reliability. While it has garnered a reputation for being a reliable vehicle overall, there are specific years that potential buyers should avoid due to known transmission issues.

Beyond these problematic years, the Acura MDX has proven to be a dependable and enjoyable vehicle for many owners.

With its slick V6 engine, competitive pricing, and a range of luxury features, it continues to be a popular choice in the luxury SUV segment.

As with any vehicle purchase, it is essential to conduct thorough research, inspect the specific model you are interested in, and consider factors such as maintenance history and overall condition.

By being informed and aware of the Acura MDX years to avoid, you can make a more informed decision and ensure a positive ownership experience.

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