Here’s What You Can Expect From An Acura MDX Long Term

While it’s nice to always know which car handles the best and which has more advanced and easier to use on-board tech, ownership costs can be just as important when buying new.

With that in mind, Kelley Blue Book drove this 2016 Acura MDX for a whole year, putting more than 24,000 miles (38,624 km) on the clock, and what they found was a very reliable product.

Still, the MDX is far from perfect, or at least this pre-facelifted 2016 model was, with its poor infotainment ergonomics and slow-shifting 9-speed automatic (especially from 1st to 2nd gear).

To make up for all that, this MDX came well spec’d with Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a 16.2″ rear-seat entertainment system. The KBB team also enjoyed exploiting the car’s 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine, which is good for 290 HP (294 PS) and 267 lb-ft (362 Nm) of torque.

What’s somewhat surprising is that for a whole year, absolutely nothing went wrong with the MDX, which may not mean much in terms of overall statistics, but it’s certainly promising for any aspiring MDX owners out there.

Of course, you can now go out and purchase the 2017 facelifted Acura MDX, which we’ve already reviewed.

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  • Day_Trader

    Drove one prior to this model for 5 years. No issues. However, I’d encourage buyers to also explore Lexus RX if considering MDX.

  • SteersUright

    The Japanese have long ago proven that if you actually give a crap, you can build a reliable automobile. And yet we continue to buy the utter junk put out by the Germans and Americans for various reasons but the most important one being, reliable has somehow begun to mean boring. It does not seem possible to build both exciting and reliable cars, these two qualities remaining mutually exclusive.

    • Imjus Sayin

      Quite the contrary, Honda did build just that such vehicle which embodied those two characteristics of reliability and excitement and added affordability (for those who could) when the Honda NS-X was produced. Sadly, with the passing of Mr. Soichiro, Honda’s golden age 1980-2000 has passed. So say we all.

      • SteersUright

        Totally agree, but I was a kid when that NSX came out. And then the S2000 was like a half-finished product to me. The interior was laughably cramped and it rode like it was a horse cart with leaf springs, brittle would be too soft a term. Where is my generation’s NSX? Surely not the overpriced, over complicated, overweight contraption Honda recently released.

    • Kash

      My ’13 LS460 F-sport was fun to drive, looked pretty good, and gave me no issues for the 3 years i owned it. Drove that thing from Vegas to LA to Guadalajara (with a couple stops in between) and back a couple times even with people in the backseat it was still super comfortable. All it ever needed was tires, oil, and gas. Now, after selling it, i miss it dearly and truly appreciate it for what it was, the best car i will ever own. The only thing I didn’t like was the MPG being so moderate for a V8 that wasn’t pushing out a mass amount of power.

      • SteersUright

        Could not agree with your comment more. My GS350 was used and boy was it used. I am very rough with my “sporty” cars and test out their limits all the time. My BMW’s all broke, as does my current Porsche (mostly annoying electronic issues). The Lexus just took all the abuse and drove like new ever single day, never skipping a beat. Now, where Lexus sucks is the drivetrain dept. Terrible, and I mean terrible fuel economy for such a pathetically weak V6 and an amazingly slow shifting, dim-witted 8-speed auto. Inexcusable and why I stepped away from the brand. Apparently, even brilliant reliability and build quality wasn’t enough to retain this customer. Im now a 2013 911 owner and its riddled with typical German bullshit electronic issues. But damn, the sweet sound of that H6, those bodacious curves, and the sweet shifting manual, just makes it such a thrill every time I get to drive it. It truly is a rush every single time I get to drive that car. However, given the short time I’ve owned it and all the issues its already had, Im ready to try to find a more reliable car again. Guess there is no perfect sports/sporty car just yet. C’mon Lexus/Acura…dammit, you know you can make one!

        • Kash

          We traded in the LS for the new LX and while it was a great SUV we didn’t use it as much and so we ditched that. I have a LC500 on schedule for delivery and I drove one and it was so fun. I think Lexus is onto something, if they can make the next GS and LS drive like the LC they’re gonna be the best cars in their segments to drive so long as the engines are powerful enough. The GS-F’s V8 in the LC was heaven, the new LS needs it as an option. Oh and the new 10 spd auto was superb. smooth yet sporty, just make sure you get the rear wheel steering. Oh my, the way it took curves and bends was almost like sex. And the V8 sounds good even if it seems underpowered on paper it does the job just fine in the LC, it’s fun and exciting but will be far more reliable than probably anything else in that category (S-class, 6 series, 911, etc.)

          Yeah the earlier 997’s seem to have quite a few problems, but that’s expected of the first run of a new generation. The new ones on the other hand seemed to have worked out all those bugs, especially the last of the pre-facelift models. I’m eying the new Targa GTS myself, but if the LC is something that I can use on as a moderate daily I don’t think I’ll need to look to the Targa and I’m willing to bet it’ll be more than fine to use like I want to.

          Look at 2015 911’s, if you wanna stick with the 911, price wise they should be decent, and their reliability should be a lot better, also late 2014’s will be better than 2013’s, anything with a manufacture date of October or later would be a safe bet. $65-80k should get you into a CPO 1-owner with decent equipment and not very high miles, but you may need to do some decent negotiating. Not sure on your price range though. Oh and maybe wait a few more months for a few more of 2015’s to fall out of leases or be traded in for the new ones, at least if you want a manual.

  • lwade

    I just got rid of my 2014. Worst car I’ve owned from a reliability standpoint. Loved the way it drove and handled in the snow. Just couldn’t take bringing it to the dealer every 6onths to repair something. The infotainment package was also horrible. I was really hoping it was going to be a 10 year car for us.

    • Infinite1

      I have quite a bit of friends who owned Acura over the past several years and got ride of them after a couple years complaining that they weren’t reliable like they’re Honda counterparts.

    • SteersUright

      Wow, that sounds way more like my BMW and other German brand owner experience. Definitely nothing I’ve heard about Honda/Acura before. I knew people that took their integral type R’s and GSR’s to crazy mileage without an issue. And others who swear their Accord or Civic will outlive them. Interesting to hear and not doubting you one bit. Honda definitely has been dropping the ball majorly up until this very latest Civic they came out with. I drove almost all of the recent Honda/Acura over the past several years and found them all crap. Maybe reliable, but reliable crap. Only when I drove the very latest Civic with the 1.5T was I very impressed with a recent Honda/Acura product. Its actually amazing how much car you get for the price in the current 1.5T Civic. And the interior and exterior panel gaps/fit were extremely impressive and something I’ve never seen any American brand achieve at any price point.

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