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Acura MDX MPG Real World Numbers

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,094
This topic is for MDX owners to report their actual MPG.

"Real World" Fuel Economy vs. EPA Estimates

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  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    We used to own an '01 MDX that we traded for an '04; so we have lots of real-world experience. The MDX takes a LOT of energy to get moving, but does not require a whole lot to keep it going. What this means is that if you do a lot of stop-&-go driving you will experience poor mileage (low 15s at best, maybe worse). Another observation is that our '04 gets about 1 mpg less than the old '01.

    Around town (Stop-&-Go): ~ 15.2 mpg
    Mixed suberb driving: ~ 17-19 mpg
    Pure Highway (~75 mph): ~ 22 mpg
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    Trip computer has never been reset. We have 8700 miles and have a grand total average of 17.8 mpg. Around town 30%, highway commute (75-82 mph) 70%. The average has been going up (a tenth at a time) since 8K miles so engine may be entering its true mpg?

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    We have 25K on ours and get 15-16 around town and 23+ on the highway.
  • mdx4lifemdx4life Posts: 2
    I bought my MDX (base) this April and got about 2K miles. It seems like everyone is getting over 20mpg on the highway. So far I got ~15mpg (city 40% and highway 60%). Its initial mpg was about 14mpg. I talked to dealer who told that the car is still new (according to dealer's words "infant stage") and needs to be broken into but dealer did not tell me how long this "break-in" will take. I am suspicious about this break-in period. Does anyone know more about this issue? When a government or independent agency tests car's mpg do they start recording mpg after break-in period? I doubt this but I am keeping the mpg record on my car will contact dealer soon. Is is too much to ask for ~17mpg for a car which they claim gets ~17mpg around city.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    It is well known that the goverment's mpg tests are flawed; almost universally your mileage will be less. Yes the MDX does have a break-in period (varies from 2000-5000 miles); mileage should inprove some, but not dramatically. As I posted above the MDX does not do well in stop-n-go city driving; we average low 15's in predominately city driving. Mixed suburb driving will be anywhere between 17-19. We do get low 20's on highway trips. Also I know from experience that the '04 MDX generally does about 1 mpg less than the '01.
  • silvrfox1silvrfox1 Posts: 1
    Getting about 12 mpg in the city, 15 1/2 on the highway. Very bad. Have 11,300 miles on it. Don't believe the dealer when he tells you it will get better.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Getting about 12 mpg in the city, 15 1/2 on the highway. Very bad. Have 11,300 miles on it. Don't believe the dealer when he tells you it will get better.

    I have owned an MDX since March of '01 and am currently driving my second one. We have put over 60,000 miles on our MDXs. I am a longtime contributer to Edmunds Town Hall, having joined in Jan '01 prior to buying our MDX. Additionally I am a top 10 poster over on and participate on other Acura forums as well.

    What's the point? You may not want to believe your dealer that the MDX should get better gas mileage, but you should believe me!! Your mileage figures do NOT match historical evidence from the many thousands who have reported on these various forums. The worst mileage we have ever experienced in predominately stop-n-go city driving is the upper 14s. I assure you that your reported milage is not normal! Check the other forum I mentioned.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Are you running premium? Check tire pressure? Is your parking brake stuck? There are some easy things to check. Another could be the gas you are getting, try changing stations, some places offer oxygenated gas (they are supposed to post signs however they are usually small), which is supposed to save on emissions, however you get much worse gas mileage with it and thus use more fuel?? Not sure which is better?
  • fun6889fun6889 Posts: 27
    Dave, what program you have now? since all the program ended 7/5. You can still do those crazy number?
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Averaged ~22 mpg over a 2300 mile trip last week. Used mostly 87 mpg gas from a variety of brands. Best tank mileage was 23.1 and worst tank mileage was 20.8.
  • mtdavis0mtdavis0 Posts: 10
    Hi...newcomer here.

    Am considering my first MDX, is premium fuel required? Saw from above thread that they used 87 oct.

    Any suggestions on threads / info trying to compare a new Honda Pilot or other base SUV to used "premium" SUV such as the MDX?

  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Acura recommends a minimum octane of 91 to guarantee the advertised horsepower ratings. Acura states that a lower octane may be used, but with possible loss of performance. In my real world experience I do not believe there is any noticable loss of acceleration at all (excepy maybe at hard "flooring" type starts).

    BTW, in my post above (#12) I meant 87 octane :blush:
  • I am getting about 14.5-15.5 in the city driving - not stop and go but a lot of heavy traffic with lots of traffic lights on the way. Freeway is at 22mpg.
    The other day I was shuttled from the dealership to work in an MDX and checked their milege - it has never been reset apparently cause they had 9500 trip and the average of 14.8. The driver said they they do 50/50 highway/city.
  • leonivleoniv Posts: 120
    My new 05 MDX (~700 miles) has been getting about 15.5-16 mpg in 80% city, stop-and-go driving. I realize the truck's new and most of the driving is in the city, in the dead of summer with the AC always on so I'm not too concerned about the mileage at this point. I expect it will get better as the engine breaks in and our front/back AC usage goes down (since we live in GA, it's always on).
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    I haven't reset the trip calculator either...

    2004 MDX - bought 9/17/04
    10,800 miles
    25% city / 75% highway [75-80 mph]
    17.8 mpg - it's been that since 9000 miles
  • mcsearsmcsears Posts: 1
    I bought an 03 MDX with 20k miles & reset the trip computer. Haven't reset since, now at 31k. Computer says 19.6 mpg. 50-50 city/hwy. Seems about right based on tank-by-tank guesstimates. I seem to get around 15-17 mpg city and 22-23 highway. Black interior in Hotlanta means A/C is at full blast all the time, so mileage is a little worse these days. Been using premium, but am thinking about stepping it back, last tank was $45. Crazy.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    We just did 300+ highway miles yesterday with a good bit of idling at a few stops. We got 21 mpg in our 2002 MDX. This was pretty much all highway with about 1/2 hour of idling at stops.
  • qrtlowqrtlow Posts: 13
    AAA has done independent tests on normal driving and so has the EPA, (which we get our false expectations). C'mon, we know some of you guys are reporting some terrible MPG, but do you tell us the truth about your driving habits? Do you lead foot it between the lights and approach a stop light still accellerating until 100 feet. Or do you drive on the interstate over 60? Well, guess what? the EPA estimates were not considering you when they came up with their stats.

    My 2004 MDX gets and average like most. 14MPG in the city and 20+ on the highway, I Avg 19.5. I'm estatic! Gee, I have a 265HP vehicle that weighs over 4000 Lbs and is a hot rod too?

    AAA has published a report on how EPA figures dont match up.

    Looks like a little pie in the face for a few brands.

    How about the Honda Element that boasts 160HP with 26MPG highway and in reality gets only 20MPG by AAA independent testing?

    Or...The Lexus LX 470 (AKA Seqouia) bragging about 13 - 17MPG and only delivering 10.8MPG

    Let's look at the 245HP Toyota 4 Runner that says it's getting 18-24MPG but actually gets 17.8MPG

    Look a gift horse in the mouth? Go out to your garage right now and give your MDX a big HUG!

  • Before I bought my MDX I reviewed the numbers here and they looked acceptable. A day after dropping a deposit off, I look at these numbers and wonder what I just got myself into. My 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee with rook rack and Yakima bike rack gets 18.9 mpg overall (in 2 wheel drive). I hope the same driving with the MDX comes out 20+. :confuse:
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    The numbers are not very accurate and it is annoying. My Isuzu Trooper said 15/19. How about 12/15. Mine are low for the Isuzu, but I don't think more than 1 or 2 people has reported over 19 on the highway.

    The Acura reports I think 16/19? I get 15 around town and 21+ on the highway. So I am happy the highway epa estimates are makes long road trips much more enjoyable not having to worry about filling up multiple times. There is nothing like having the caffeine kick in, the kids settle into a movie and really start cruising to realize you have to stop for gas...which means food, bathroom, 1/2 hour etc. The MDX can go so far on even under a 1/2 a tank it is nice.
  • The 2005 MDX is 17/23
  • dean7dean7 Posts: 32
    My 1996 jeep grand cherokee got about 13 in town and 20-21 on the highway.....very poor and I hear the new ones might be near the same - one reason I went with the MDX although not much better after a few hundred miles - 15 town and 22 city....we'll see.
  • otis123otis123 Posts: 438
    Just got 22.1 mpg [2004 MDX w/ 11,400 miles] - 85% highway 15% city - going from Lake George to Saratoga to Poughkeepsie, NY - with the AC on - 120 miles.

    Also, took 5 adults on various rides around Lake George area and all commented on the MDX's very smooth ride.

    Can't wait to see what the 2007 MDX will have up its wheel wells. I'm sure they are figuring out ways to squeeze more MPG out of it...
  • mixed highway / local.
  • I just bought a 05 MDX/touring w/Nav - have about 1300 miles. I live in Arizona and the A/C is always on this time of the year - so far my mileage is 19.1 to 21.2 with a 60/40 mix of freeway and stop and go - very happy with the mileage and I do not baby it! Love the MDX, performance and mileage!
  • Bought a 2005 MDX last week and first couple loads of gas have been pretty brake free. Driving from RI to NH, mostly highway miles but two stops 22.1. Across the mountains (well what we have here in New England) from NH to Stowe, VT. (22.6 MPG).

    Then on the final ride home from VT to Connecticut, filled up in VT and by the time I hit Hartford 110 miles later got MPG up to 25.2. By the time I got home to Rhode Island with some stop and go, I was sitting at 24.5. Very please so far.
  • I don't get it. Spend $40K for a car and then complain about the mpg? My cars generally max out at the EPA highway number on trips. My Avalon, Cruiser GT and MDX all have given the EPA highway number on occasion when on long freeway drives at speeds of 75 mph, but the norm is usually a couple of mpg less. Around town all three give about 20% less than the EPA number. Seems that, for my cars and my kind of driving, the EPA numbers are a reasonable source for ranking, not actual expected mpg.

    My 05 Prius is an exception for in town driving. I did not expect anywhere near EPA numbers, so I am not disappointed at my 45 mpg average. Like the other cars, it sometimes gets the EPA highway number on trips (we usually average about 48 mpg) at 75 mph cruise speeds. In town, the mpg is only 67% of EPA, instead of the 80% of my other cars, though a lighter foot would make a significant difference in around town mpg.

    I'd love to see a diesel hybrid MDX. My Prius hardly runs on only electric around town, but frequently does at highway speeds. Combining the low speed pull of a diesel with a diesel's better in town mpg, coupled with hybrid for freeway driving, could make the MDX like an econo champ while still having very good performance.
  • 2004 MDX bought 2/04
    Back when it was new - City 15-16mpg, hwy 23-24 mpg...great !!!
    Now around 16,000 miles - City 14-15 mpg, Hwy 22-22.7 mpg Tried to get 23 at 60 mph but can't get that fraction. Not bad though - AC on and some luggage and a passenger...1 mile and hwy...I'm Happy :)
  • My wife has an 04 with 17K. She does about 70% highway driving and gets around 20-21 mpg using mostly mid-grade gasoline.
  • I'm debating on buying the entertainment DVD that is optional vs adding in an after market one. How is the drop down screen in the center vs having the screen in the front headrests? Thanks
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