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Acura MDX (pre-2007)



  • considering your windows are doing the same thing as your paint, and neither is related (the window doesn't have a clearcoat), it is probably something form the environment affecting your glass and your paint.

    it may just be temporary too because you said your bmw didn't do this. maybe you took your mdx somewhere one day to someplace that had some bad stuff in the air. and you may have waxed that stuff "in" with subsequent coats of wax. try washing with dawn or some other unabrasive dish detergent to remove all the old wax and put on a fresh coat afterwards.
  • Wash with dish detergent (will take all wax off)(non abrasive of course), Use a polish like Meguires (will strip remaining microscopic debris and some paint), after the polish it will look and feel like a new car, now you must wax it to protect it. A good wax should last 6 months.

    People have a misconception with polish, it does not protect. Don't worry about seeing a tiny bit of paint when polishing. Like waxing, do it a panel at a time, not the whole car at once. And don't drive in between wash/polish/wax. Do it when you have 6 hours to kill, or pay a professional detailer $140. My neighbor was one so this is his recommendation for my classic show car. Meguires and Zymol are both great products.
  • Took delivery of my white touring model adding only Gold Emblem package to the exterior. looks great; drives great.

    However, my wife and are having troubles with the seats. We both feel like there is a hole where there should be low back support( very bottom of the spine). I also feel like I'm sitting in a hole. We have been putting small folded towels on the back of the seat bottom and bottom of the seat back. Anyone else disappointed with the seat confort? Any suggestions?

    Gas milage on first tank of mostly city driving was 14.3 mph. Is that all I can expect or does it get better as its broken in?

  • I have a 02 MDX. Most city driving produces about 17mpg. I have reached 20 once. That is less than I expected also. I might have bought a Toyota if that was the case.
  • I have a Granite Green MDX on order that should arrive late next month. Three questions:

    1. I've been told the granite green color (and the mahogany) will be discontinued soon. Does anyone know why, since it seemed like a fairly popular choice? Is it just to make room for the new Havasu Blue color or have there been any problems with the granite green paint?

    2. Do the gray fender flares work with a gg mdx or do you need to paint the flares to make it look right?

    3. I tend to keep my cars a long time but would prefer to wait on deciding whether to buy the Acura factory extended warranty. Assuming I want the factory warranty on the MDX, is that something I can buy later from any Acura dealer or do I need to decide now? Any advice on how to get the best deal on it or suggestions on dealers to get it from in NY or, if it can be ordered by phone, elsewhere?

    Many thanks.
  • Just got 20 mpg on the highway with a cargo box on top. Tend to get 17 around the city.
  • Thanks for the advice. I'll try the dishwashing detergent, new polish, new wax (when I do have several hours uninterrupted).

    I also was thinking it might be environmental since it is almost a sort of tree sap quality to the paint. Since I live in the most polluted city in the nation(Houston), this is probably likely.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Here's some charts on some users' experience with MDX mileage. Highway mileage does seem to vary significantly based on speed.

  • Looked at MDX 11 months ago and finally decided to replace my 18 year old Toyota Van with one now. I do have a need for 6 or 7 seats once a while. Called every dealer within 100 miles (used Acura web site for the list). Some were charging well over MSRP and most were adding many unwanted extras. Found three dealers that sell for MSRP with no add-ons, and two more that add only the inexpensive protection package (mud flaps, wheel locks, and rubber mat for the cargo area).

    Ordered one, so I could get particular color. Wait is about 6 weeks. In the mean time, I have been receiving calls from several dealers that they have MDXs available now. If I was not color specific the waiting time would be less than one week.

    According to the Acura person I spoke with by phone this week, the new plant for Odysseys is operating and the production of MDXs is being ramped up. This would explain why several dealers that have called me have "extra" MDXs.

    Need touring because it is the only way to get memory driver's seat. Currently have one car (Jag) with memory (seat, mirrors, and steering wheel) and one (Toyota) without (but with a power seat). Seems to take 30 minutes to get the seat "just right" in the car without memory, vs instantly for the memory seat car. For us, just this one feature makes the touring package worth every penny.

    The dealer gave us three test drives. One was almost an hour long and included the roads I usually drive.

    No, it is not perfect, but overall, fits our need better than any other. Sure it needs more power on the freeways (a stiff headwind will probably make it shift form 5th to 4th), yes, the 3rd row is hard to get into and doesn't have a lot of room (but, my wife, daughter, and the salesman had no problem getting in and having enough room for a 30 minute ride - I tried it too, but being big, it was a "snug" fit), no, leather isn't everywhere (doesn't hold up as well anyway), the headlights are not the latest type (with street lights nearly everywhere I drive and so many cars on the freeway at all hours it really doesn't matter). There is some road noise, but not bad. I'm sure an electronic stability assist package would make the MDX easier to control under certain situations, but the handling isn't bad as it is and it is much better than my old van.

    Have heard that the 2003 models will have 3.8 liter engine with about 25 more hp and 25 pd/ft more torque. Should help on freeway hills but suspect the 03' will still downshift on most upgrades. On-Star will come with the Navi package. Haven't seen anything about VSA yet.

    The Honda Pilot should be very nice and cost less. However, it isn't supposed to have a memory seat or a power passenger seat (musts for us).
  • will4271will4271 Posts: 187
    I got a call from the Mike Harvey Acura dealer that there is no wait on the MDX either but they wanted $2000 above MSRP. I told them to go lower or keep it. I guess they are keeping it for the impulse shopper.

    Another dealer (Acura of Pleasanton) is also asking for $2000 above MSRP. I told them that I am not interested.

    Anyways, I have an order with another dealer already and they said that delivery is about weeks away.

    Btw since the MDX is so high, will the running boards help project the doors from dings from cars?

    It's a pricy option to add.

  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    My dealer called to tell me that my MDX that is due March 15th, was not silver, but white? I told him I didn't want white, that is why I ordered silver! He told me that orders get screwed up a lot, adding NAV to touring, etc. I asked him if they really ordered or if they just get shipments and then sort them out as they come in? He said no. I also asked him, if the car isn't made yet, why can't we change the color? Ain't gonna happen. So now I have to wait until April 15th, or so he says? Not too happy. I tried to get him to drop the price, and maybe we would take the white. Not gonna happen either, he told me that I was one of the last MSRP deals they did. Maybe that is why I got passed.

    BTW, NHTSA.ORG did side impact testing on the MDX. Demonstrating the real reason why I am putting up with all this crap.
  • As I recall, no SUV has ever achieved an NHTSA rollover rating better than 3, until now. They have finally rated the MDX and it received a 4 rating.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The MDX and the Pontiac Aztek 4x4 are the only tested SUV's that have a rollover resistance rating higher than 3. That's good news for MDX owners, though I still think that Acura should add stability control. Of course, non-SUV's can have even higher ratings.

    The NHTSA rollover rating is controversial because it is only a static factor based on the height of the vehicle's center of gravity and measurements of the width and length of the vehicle. The MDX probably has a relatively low center of gravity and of course is wide. Thus the measurement is useful in discussing the general physical propensity of the vehicle to roll over.

    It doesn't account for dynamic factors, such as the suspension tuning which might contribute to rollover. And NHTSA says, "the Rollover Resistance Rating, however, does not address the causes of the driver losing control and the vehicle leaving the roadway in the first place," which is where stability control (and, more importantly, good driving techniques!) can prevent rollovers. NHTSA does think that stability control can help reduce rollovers.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    As sbcooke mentioned and TheWorm told me, the NHTSA has released side impact crash test results. The MDX achieved 5 stars for the front, and 5 stars for the rear (second row; NHTSA doesn't test the third row).

    Press release:

  • Still looking for comment @ possible suggestions concerning my problem with seat discomfort. See post #3396. Thanks, Ed
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Unfortunately, seat comfort is such a personalized thing that it's hard to judge for everyone. I have seen several cases when people found the MDX's front seats uncomfortable, despite most owners reviewers (e.g. Consumer Reports) saying that the seats are comfortable. My wife finds them very comfortable, I find them only moderately so. It has to do with our different shapes and sizes, of course, as well as the heavy side bolstering in the MDX's front seats and the lack of better lumbar support. But you probably already know this, so sorry for repeating this.

    I've seen one more extreme case where the owner had to trade-in his vehicle (I think he got a Wrangler?). I think others have tried to find the proper height/cushion angle/back angle, and others have used some orthopedic supports and/or higher-end sheepskin covers to address the issue.
  • How 'bout a sheepskin seat cover (preferably a vest) and just stuff some foam in the offending spots? Been done before! Looks nice, too :)

    You're not getting enough outta the lumbar adjustment itself? Is it moving @ all?
  • ...and I must be right, since we posted the same answer @ the same time :)
  • will4271will4271 Posts: 187
    I talked to a salesperson and they did confirmed that the MDX/Pilot plant is builting more MDX now to makeup for the back log. They said that they have been getting more SUVs for the last 2 months.
  • will4271will4271 Posts: 187
    What's the owner's take on this?

    Is it worth keeping your MDX from being dented by the cars?
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I have the running boards, but I don't think they necessarily help prevent dings. The reason is that they don't protrude out especially far relative to the sides (sort of my father-in-law's huge Chevy pickup). Also, the shape of many doors are such that a running board (or side step) won't necessarily stop them before a more protruding upper part hits you (picture a rear door on a sedan where its lower part is notched out for the rear wheel).

    However, the running boards do seem to help prevent rocks and gravel from coming up and scratching the bottom part of the doors. While the front mudguards help, there's often still some debris that the running boards seem to help with. This will of course vary based on your driving conditions.

    The Acura body side moldings, sold as an accessory (ugh), and self-installable (so one should buy them from a discounter like, may help in some cases, but not in others -- there's that variation in door heights and shapes again.

    The most effective ding protection is "defensive parking," usually done by going to a less popular side of the parking lot, edging up beside a curb to protect one side and put more space between you and the vehicle on the other side, etc. If it's a non-family-oriented parking area (e.g. a business), best to stay on the passenger side of another vehicle. Avoid coupes which have long doors. Also avoid minivans in family-oriented parking lots (restaurants, stores) where careless kids can scratch the vehicle. If there's a regulation spot next to the disabled spot, it's a good one to take (the regulation spot, not the disabled one).

    While the MDX is wide, we were doing this well before we got the MDX to our previous, relatively narrow vehicle. I hate dings.
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    After being in the market for a mid-sized SUV for a couple of months, I finally took the plunge... but I didn't buy an MDX! Not because I didn't like the vehicle. My neighbor got one about six months ago, and she absolutely adores hers. She let me test drive it, since none were on the local Acura dealer's lot for about a month and a half, and after driving it, I really wanted one! That all went south after visiting the Acura dealer. Besides not being able to test drive one, the sales person had little real knowledge of the vehicle... I had done most of my homework anyway, but it's nice when the dealer can tell you exactly what you're getting. Anyway, at this point, I told them I'd be interesting in ordering one. The salesperson immediately requested a copy of my license so she could run a credit report, which was the first big turn-off. After it came back nearly perfect, she was more than eager to start running those pricing sheets! You should of saw the look on the her face when I stopped her and started negotiating prices! She let out a long sigh, almost like I was doing her an injustice. We went back and forth for a while, and eventually she just totally killed it. She came out and said, "If you're so intent on paying less, maybe you should look at a cheaper vehicle." I asked to talk to her manager, but he was little help either, citing the demand for the vehicle. In the end, I just walked out! It is absolutely ridiculous when a dealer doesn't have a vehicle on their lot, is paying no overhead for maintaining or advertising that vehicle, and still wants above MSRP and is completely unwilling to budge! It costs them no extra money to put in an order for a vehicle, so what the heck is the deal here? I thought about going to another dealer, but decided against it!Whether the problem is with Acura or the dealer, they lost a buyer for life! A week later, I visited a GM dealer, since I had heard so much about the triplets. Three days later I was driving a fully loaded AWD Bravada, that actually had more options than the fully loaded MDX I was pricing, and I paid roughly $7000 less! The biggest difference was the attitude of the dealer. They didn't have exactly what I wanted on their lot, but they had it in 3 days. As for pricing, they didn't hesitate to go very close to invoice price and then added rebates/special financing on top. Obviously the MDX is selling without any gimmicks, but it could be selling a lot better! Will reliability be less than the MDX? Maybe, but the Old's had a better warranty (5yr/60,000mile bumper to bumper) among other things. I'm not here to smear the MDX, because it's a great vehicle. I just wanted to let all those involved in the process know that there are other options out there.
  • I am also tired of the so-called "Acura Arrogance" that's been portrayed by so many Acura dealers. I have also looked at other options as well. Some options are good in which you will have to pay thousands more (BMW, Mercedes, Lexus) and some options you will have to pay less (Chevy, GMC, Oldmobile, Ford, Mercury). But what I see Acura is accomplishing is that they have provided a quality vehicle, having rave reviews, a little bit of luxury at a lower price than most luxury SUV's on the market today. I feel that there is no way you could compare the luxury and quality of an Acura vehicle to that of a General Motors vehicle (with the exception of Cadillac). Personally, I'm like you. I really want this vehicle, but i just can't make myself pay that price for one. So for now, I am just sitting and waiting until the other new SUV's hit the market and battle amongst one another. I feel that now the market is still a sellers market, but hopefully the latter part of the year may change. So far I hear that Toyota (newly designed Forerunner), Mercury (Aviator), Volvo (XC90), Lexus (GX470), Kia (Sorrento) as well as the Honda (Pilot) will be bringing out new products for the year. I hope they will not take the same "arrogance" that Acura has now. Acura seems to have a "bold" marketing stategy to sell their cars like this. They are not only doing this with the MDX, but also the TL, CL and RL.
  • Worm, thanks for the response. The seat problem for me is that the lumbar support is too high, I need the support lower right where Acura left a big hole. Also the side bolster are too high leaving my butt in a hole. Spoke with an auto trim place today in Denver that seemed to indicate opening the seat and adding padding in the "right spots" was no big deal ($125 ). He said they do at least 3 new cars a week for the same type of complaints. Does that sound like a viable idea? Ed
  • I bought my acura MDX a month back after trading in my 99 3.2TL. This is a Demo vehicle which has 5000 miles on it. After I bought the vehilcle, I start hearing all kind of rattling noices from the rear seats and also the front seats had a little play. I requested the dealer to correct the issue (Goodson Acura Dallas). They came back with the answer that the seats will get some play after some usage. I requested them to replace the seats if Acura cannot make one perfect, also the other parts which is making the noice. Acura dealers are arrogant and not professional. I think if Hundai can make little for better cars, they may have a better service that Acura. A big dealer like this in Dallas does not have time and capable service people. I may not buy another acura in my life!
  • mccaffrey - I don't see why not! Only caution would be to be careful of the seat heating elements (seat and seatback on drivers side, seat-only on pax side) and the airbag position sensors (seatback on the pax side). good luck!

    pjbijoy - there is a TSB for something re: the driver seat shifting on the rails, esp on turns and start/stop. does it feel like an old-fashioned manual seat that's not quite "in the clicks"? I don't know what the Px is, but I do know a TSB exists for that. FYI, rattling noises from either set of rear seats are commonly from the seatbelts whacking the C or D pillars, or the center seatbelt not properly connected in the roof-mount.
  • William:

    I do usually agree with you--and I really do like your posts here--but I continue to disagree with you on the value of stability control. What the MDX needs--as I've said many times before--is a Quaife differential up front, not stability control. (This would allow torque to be shifted between the two front wheels, in addition to what the VTM4 does--shift torque front to back and between the rear wheels.) Just look at the March 2002 issue of Consumer Reports, where it says (p. 56), regarding the stability control system of the Acura 3.2TL, " was difficult to keep the car on course." Presumably a stability control system for the MDX would be similar to the one on the 3.2TL and just as worthless. Instead of using brakes to destroy torque, we should be transferring torque where it's needed.

    2001 Acura MDX, Granite Green, Touring+Nav, 22500 miles, no problems
  • will4271will4271 Posts: 187
    I think we should make a list of bad dealers and send it to Acura's VP. I'll try to see if I can find the name and address from the marketing stuff I get from them.

    There are some good honest dealers that don't want to be black listed. A few bad cookies doesn't mean all are bad.

    Acura isn't probably aware of the problems at it's dealers.

    My Honda dealer routinely get survey's regarding customer satisfaction.

    Speak your mind.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Hey, long time no see!

    Actually, the specific problem that Consumer Reports described was in spite of having stability control, and likely not because of it. The phrase you provided was immediately preceded by "even with stability control ..."

    The Acura VSA, as implemented on the TL-S, is probably not very aggressive, and as such was unable to correct some of the emergency handling deficiencies in the TL-S. Also, the TL-S is extremely front-heavy and the weight distribution contributed to the problems.

    Let's look at it this way: CR tested the MDX and found its emergency handling only "below average." They said that the MDX at "its cornering limits" "fishtails easily, compromising its emergency handling. Electronic stability control would likely help."

    If Acura added a bad VSA system to the MDX, then yes, I agree, it'd be pointless. But a well-tuned one could reduce or eliminate the fishtailing and improve the MDX's emergency performance.

    When Toyota added VSC (their version of stability control) to the Land Cruiser, it went from a "poor" in emergency handling to a "below average."

    I think that when Lexus added VSC to the RX300, its emergency handling performance also improved, perhaps from "below average" to "average" (don't have the issues with me right now).

    Properly implemented, a stability control system doesn't have to interfere much with driver enjoyment. Hopefully if and when Acura adds VSA to the MDX, it will be a good balance between fun and safety so one gets the benefits (if not total) of both worlds!

    Stability control is an inexorable trend. Pretty much all of the MDX's competitors have it. While there may be some overdone marketing hype, its benefits have been acknowledged through independent testing like that of Consumer Reports, and government study by the NHTSA. Even the new Camry has it, and I'll bet the Passat gets it soon (and its W8 variant and its Audi big brothers have it).
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