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Acura MDX Towing

Thanks for the info about the additional engine and transmission coolers. The latest word from the dealer is that there is no info on the hitch/harness etc for the 2007 model yet. The $800.00 quote was for the 2006 model. Dealer hopes to have updated information soon.

I'm going to call acura service departments tomorrow to see if I can find any more information.

Thanks again.


  • My dad negotiated an OK deal for a 2007 MDX with Tech and Ent package over a week ago. Was told it would arrive in 4-6 weeks. It arrived on Monday. The problem is they claim they don't have the hitch in stock and my dad is refusing to take delivery without the hitch (as per the negotiated trade/deal). Dealer has called everyday to come pick up - apparently they say they are losing money on the deal and need his trade in ASAP (2005 Highlander w/22k).
    Question is has anyone had trouble aquiring a hitch? Dealer says they haven't received any yet. My dad wont take delivery without the hitch (he's always towing something around; atv,lawn mower, stuff my mom doesn't want around the house anymore). The dealer response is "we'll just call you when the hitch arrives and install at that time" (no eta on that).
    Price for the hitch is $800.00
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Ethically, father knows best. If the dealer promised a hitch and is losing money because they can't deliver on that promise, it's their problem, not his.

    However, losing a good deal on an expensive vehicle just to prevent being without a hitch for a while seems like a Pyrrhic victory.

    I can't imagine it would take more than a few weeks to get the proper hitch. Is it possible for him to be without a tow vehicle that long, but he just doesn't want the bother? Or does he need to tow and cannot do without? If he can wait, I'd try to weasel some free stuff from the dealer based on how long it takes to get the hitch. One free oil change coupon for every week he has to wait, or something like that.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    The dealer can give you a "Due Bill" for the missing hitch.

    My concern would be the wait time - seems like someone had to wait months for an OEM hitch (or harness?) around here for their SUV. Been searching for the post but can't find it though; this isn't quite what I thought I remembered:

    darrylj, "RAV4 Towing Options" #10, 26 Jul 2006 5:55 am
  • Appreciate the responses on this issue. The concern is "what if the hitch wont be available for months" and unfortunatley it is an accessory he can't live without in the coming months. You know how it goes - you always need something when you don't have it.

    I think the biggest factor has been the dealer response. They didn't notify him about the hitch till he went to the dealer to check out the car. He had to remind them to "install the hitch" and that's how he found out it was going to be delayed. They're not interested in any concessions, in their words - these cars are in high demand. So no free oil changes, no free car washes. nada. My dad doesn't go for that stuff anyway. He told them, If you want my car so bad give me a car to use while were waiting for the hitch. By the time it arrives you'll have another MDX like I requested. When the dealer heard that suddenly they think the hitch will be available Nov 13 - but not guarenteed. Of course the dealer declined the loaner car suggestion.

    I'm really curious if others have had similar trouble getting a hitch (I couldn't find it listed as an accessory or option on the website). Apparently the harness etc is specific to this model so it's not like and aftermarket product will do (something about voiding warrenty etc).
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You might want to call around other Acura dealers or check out the Web for Acura Accessories.

    But I agree with you and your Dad's concern. We looked into getting a trailer hitch for our 2005 MDX, primarily to use with the rear bike carrier. As it turns out, we had a heck of a time finding a dealer that stocked them and they would only install it with the additional engine and transmission coolers that Acura requires. Failure to do so would have invalidated the warranty.

    Very few MDX's have trailer hitches. I have only seen 1-2 in our area. If the redesigned 2007 required a new hitch design, I wouldn't be surprised if you had to wait a long time to get one. And be sure to check if you don't also still need the engine and transmission coolers for the 2007.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    2007 hitch price should be less than the 2006 because there is no need for the extra coolers.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    2007 hitch price should be less than the 2006 because there is no need for the extra coolers.

    Is that official fact from Acura, or speculation?

    According to the Acura regional representative I spoke with last year, they determined that so few customers use the MDX for serious towing, that they elected to not make the engine and transmission oriented towards that purpose, hence the need for extra coolers. The 2007, although more horsepower, is still well below the torque of many of it's V8 competitors (GX470, LR3, X5 V8, Cayenne) and it's still a FWD based AWD system (more stressed under towing conditions). I have no actual knowledge on what the hitch/cooler issue is for 2007, and neither does my dealer who I called yesterday. He was going to look into it and get back to me. What is the source of information for your statement?
  • my3rdrxmy3rdrx Posts: 167
    Actually, according to the dealer where I got my 07 MDX from ~ the extra large cooler and trans capability have already been built into it and that the towing capacity has been increased from 3,500 lbs. to 5,000 lbs.

    It's hard to believe they would go through all that trouble just not to have a trailer hitch available!
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    That's according to a salesperson at my local dealer. Not the best source, I'll agree. He didn't have specific pricing, though.
  • Thanks everyone for responding, the feedback has been really helpful.
    I called around to a few dealers. They all said the hitch is scheduled to hit dealers on Nov 10th. The hitch info is listed on the acura mdx site under "Features and Options," and then "Utility" It does say that the tranny "was designed with towing in mind.."

    So looks like this deal may live after all. Dealer even called offering a loaner car while we wait for the hitch.

    Thanks again for all the responses.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Is that official fact from Acura, or speculation?" - Habitat1

    It's official from Acura. Here's snippet from their press/news site.

    With a towing capacity of 5000 pounds the 2007 MDX can tow boat and/or camper trailers with equal confidence. Standard towing equipment includes a high-capacity radiator with twin 160-watt fans, an automatic transmission fluid cooler, a heavy-duty power-steering cooler and pre-wiring for an electric brake controller. A Towing Package is available as dealer-installed accessory, and includes a hitch, receiver, ball and wiring harness.

    "According to the Acura regional representative I spoke with last year, they determined that so few customers use the MDX for serious towing, that they elected to not make the engine and transmission oriented towards that purpose, hence the need for extra coolers." - Habitat1

    It looks like your rep has got his/her wires crossed. They did add the coolers, they upped the capacity (slightly), and they reprogrammed the VSA to react specifically to towing situations. Scroll down to the bottom of this press release for details.

    On a related note, Acura is starting to play the same games as other manufactuers.

    From 2001-2006, the MDX was rated to tow a max weight of 4,500 lbs. That weight also allowed for up to four passengers (600 lbs) and enough luggage for a weekend (200 lbs). Most all other manufactuers publish the towing caacity with only the driver (150 lbs) and absolutely no cargo.

    With the Ridgeline and MDX, towing is now based on a vehicle with only two passengers and the 200 lbs of gear.

    So, if you compare the old MDX with the new one (both loaded with four passengers and gear) the difference in max towing is only 200 lbs. 4,500 vs 4,700 lbs.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It looks like your rep has got his/her wires crossed.

    Maybe I wasn't clear, I spoke with the Acura rep last year regarding our 2005 MDX. That's very good news for the 2007 that you don't have to go to hell and back with installing engine and power steering coolers just to add a trailer hitch. All we wanted to do wass add a bike rack and possibly tow a light boat (under 3,000 lbs) short distances.

    As for the 2001-2006 MDX towing capacity of 4,500 lbs, my hometown dealer recommended against the MDX for anything over 3,000 lbs, especially the pre-2005 model and especially for long distances on highways with some topography. The previous MDX (and TL) automatic transmissions were already a weak link in the car and that additional stress could cause problems down the road. My dealer also sold Mercedes and towing is the one area that the ML500 had a significant practical performance advantage over the MDX.

    Thansks for the official info and link on the 2007. I still don't think I'd push it to its capacity limit as a boat hauler, but at least for lighter duty towing it will be a lot more practical that the previous model.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Maybe I wasn't clear, I spoke with the Acura rep last year regarding our 2005 MDX."

    My bad! I thought the rep was giving you his assessment of the (at the time) upcoming 2007 MDX.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    if you compare the old MDX with the new one (both loaded with four passengers and gear) the difference in max towing is only 200 lbs. 4,500 vs 4,700 lbs

    While the standard to rate towing capacity seems to have changed (two occupants as opposed to four), the older 4500-lb towing was recommended only for boats, 3500 lb for trailers/campers. The new 5000 lb towing capacity is claimed to be good for trailers/campers.
  • burtsburts Posts: 6
    Anyone have an update on the availability of the '07 MDX trailer hitch? The dealer mentioned December, but had no details. Thanks
  • Just got a call from my dad who is waiting for the hitch also. The hitch is in production now. Well not the hitch exactly, apparently there needs to be a metal plate installed behind the bumper inorder to add the hitch and it's still being developed/manufactured somewhere in LA. My dad's been driving an RDX loaner for about 2 weeks and this is the latest news he has heard from his dealer. Is anyone being told something else?
  • Got a call. The hitch has arrived and the MDX should be ready Saturday.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    How is the MDX for towing with the Acura towing package? Can someone comment on their experience and how much weight they are pulling?
  • jimjackjimjack Posts: 43
    Just purchased the MDX with the towing Pkg. I did hook up my boat to check its ability but only pulled it for about a mile in areas that would be of certain concerns as to it handling. A bit premature but it seemed to handle pretty good. Acceleration from a stop was good. More noise than I expected at the hitch area from the inside. I'm acustomed to my Suburban. But it did remind me of my buddy's Tahoe which is a bit shorter than the Suburban..
    I'll be doing more fairly soon.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    jimjack, curious as to the noise you are hearing - is this the bar moving inside the receiver? Also my current setup (using FX45) is too low and I am looking for a little more height from the tow bar to the ground. If you get a chance could you measure yours when you have your boat hooked up? Thanks.
  • jimjackjimjack Posts: 43
    I get the typical slide sound from the square tubing of the receiver and hitch from the stop and go perspective. I really hadn't spent the time to figure the other sound as yet. I have not measured the height but can say that the rear dropped down about the same as my Suburban did. I store my boat on my driveway and need to back it in. The grade is upward from the street to the house (22' long and 24" high). It handled pretty well. No more info at present.

  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Jim, thanks for the additional info. I have a pretty good grade from the street to my garage, and since having my driveway re-done last year, it's now steeper down by the street. This now causes the hitch to scrap as it passes over this angle, either coming or going. The factory FX45 hitch is angled down to where the ball mounts, and I am thinking of trying to reverse the direction of the ball mount to provide more clearance. But I'm not sure if this is recommended and/or safe to do (?) until I buy a new vehicle (probably MDX).

    Anyway, thanks again and please report back once you've taken your MDX and boat on a trip.

  • Hi:
    Need a hitch to tow an (as yet) imaginary boat. Simple class 3 is $1100. at the dealer, and $350 at an experienced local place(for hitch, ball and wiring).
    Please tell me if I am silly to save the money and risk ruining my new Acura! What is different at the dealer that they can charge so much more?
    Thanks, Kat
  • I know that both the older MDXes and the Pilots are towing rated at 4500 lb for boats and 3500 lb for "other" trailers. What I want to know is how much they can really tow. We have an "other" trailer that weighs about 4000 lb. We don't tow often...maybe 10 days a year tops, and rarely more than a couple of hours per trip.

    Would either a Pilot or an older MDX be able to handle that amount of towing? Has anyone had experience with towing slightly outside the ratings?
  • blufz1blufz1 Posts: 2,045
    Go to the local trailer place. They know more re towing than your dealer. The savings is just a plus. Be sure the trailer tongue is roughly parallel with the vehicle when attached. They make variable height hitch balls and/or adjustable height hitches to get it right. Hope this helps.
  • Hi:

    Looking for additional ideas for the best Aftermarket Hitch w/ wiring harness to add to an 08 MDX that I will be leasing soon.

    Dealer wants $995 (anyone getting a better price from a dealer?)

    I've seen some of the hitches available (Hidden Hitch) but they don't look as integrated as the Acura Hitch kit. (pretty crummy actually).

    Looks like I may be able to get the Acura hitch kit for $500 direct but it looks difficult to install myself.

    BTW I am towing a moderate sized boat but only twice per year.

    Thanks in advance!

    Anthony O
  • Anthony, sorry can't offer any suggestions but please report back after you decide what to do.
  • I found a great post on - &threadid=28975&highlight=hitch

    Once I get the car I think I will be going with the Valley Hitch from - 2007&h=

    Looks like the Hitch and Wiring Harness can be had for about $150

    This looks just as nice as the $1000 Acura Dealer installed Hitch!

    I'll post my experience once I get this all installed..


    Anthony O
  • Very cool, and very reasonable too. Looks like the way to go - good luck!
  • arnold10arnold10 Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 MDX. I am looking to buy a 3200lb (dry weight) camper. The manual says 3500lb towing capacity and 4500lb capacity on a boat trailer. I called the dealer who advised me that 4500lb. is the capacity with the towing package (coolers etc.). Looking for anyone who has an experience towing with this kind of weight and any comments on whether the vehicle would be capable of handling this load.
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