Acura MDX Problems: 4 Known Issues (Explained)

The Acura MDX is a popular mid-size luxury crossover SUV that has been on the market since 2001. 

While this vehicle has gained a reputation for its impressive performance and premium features, it has also faced its fair share of problems over the years. 

From transmission issues to electrical problems and beyond, Acura MDX owners have reported a range of concerns that have impacted the vehicle’s reliability and overall driving experience. 

In this article, we will explore some of the most common Acura MDX problems to help you make an informed decision when considering this vehicle.

1. Transmission Issues

Transmission issues are one of the most common problems reported by Acura MDX owners over the years. 

Experts and consumers alike have noted that the vehicle’s automatic transmission can be prone to failure, leading to a range of performance issues and potentially costly repairs.

According to Consumer Reports, the Acura MDX has had a history of transmission problems dating back to the early 2000s. 

The publication notes that the 2003-2007 model years, in particular, were known for transmission failures, with many owners reporting issues such as hesitation, slipping, and difficulty shifting gears.

In more recent years, the Acura MDX has continued to face transmission problems. 

In a 2019 report by CarComplaints.com, the 2016 and 2017 model years were identified as having the most transmission complaints, with some owners reporting complete transmission failure and the need for a costly replacement.

Some experts suggest that these transmission problems may be due to a design flaw in the vehicle’s automatic transmission. As Edmunds notes, the Acura MDX uses a six-speed automatic transmission that may not be as durable as some of its competitors. 

Despite these transmission problems, the Acura MDX remains a popular choice for drivers looking for a luxury crossover SUV. 

However, it’s important for potential buyers to be aware of these issues and to carefully consider their options before purchasing a vehicle with a history of transmission problems.

Related: 14 SUVs Without Transmission Problems

2. Electrical System Malfunctions 

Electrical system malfunctions are another common problem reported by Acura MDX owners. 

The vehicle’s complex electrical system is responsible for controlling a range of features, including the:

  • Audio system
  • Climate control
  • Power windows, and locks

When this system fails, it can cause a range of issues that impact the vehicle’s performance and convenience features.

Consumer Reports notes that the 2007-2013 Acura MDX models had a higher-than-average rate of electrical system problems. 

These issues can include:

In addition to these consumer reports, CarComplaints.com also highlights electrical system problems as a top complaint among Acura MDX owners. 

According to the website, the 2014 and 2016 model years have had the most electrical system complaints, with some drivers experiencing complete electrical failure while on the road.

Experts suggest that the Acura MDX’s complex electrical system may be at the root of these problems. 

In a review of the 2019 Acura MDX, Edmunds notes that the vehicle’s infotainment system can be difficult to use, with a complex menu structure that can be distracting for drivers. 

As with transmission issues, it’s important for potential buyers to be aware of these electrical system problems and to carefully consider the potential costs of repairs and maintenance before purchasing an Acura MDX. 

While these issues may not impact every vehicle, they can be costly and frustrating for those who do experience them.

3. Extreme Oil Consumption

Extreme oil consumption is another well-documented problem in Acura MDX vehicles. 

Many Acura MDX owners have reported that their vehicles consume oil at a much higher rate than expected. 

Some drivers have even reported needing to add oil to their vehicles every 1,000 miles, which is far more frequent than the recommended oil change intervals. 

In some cases, this excessive oil consumption can lead to engine damage, as the engine may run low on oil or become contaminated by excessive oil burning.

This issue can cause:

  • Engine damage
  • Impact performance
  • Result in the need for costly repairs

Although Acura has issued a technical service bulletin to address this issue, which involves replacing the engine oil level sensor and updating the vehicle’s software, some owners have reported that this fix is only temporary and that the problem can return over time.

Experts suggest that the cause of this problem may be related to the design of the Acura MDX’s engine. 

As CarComplaints.com notes, the 2010 and 2011 model years are particularly prone to this issue, with some drivers reporting that their engines have failed due to oil consumption issues. 

In some cases, the engine may need to be completely replaced, which can cost thousands of dollars.

While this problem may not impact every vehicle, it can be costly and frustrating for those who do experience it. 

Drivers who notice excessive oil consumption or other engine problems should have their vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Related: Do All Cars Leak a Little Oil?

4. Steering Concerns

Steering concerns are also significant problems for some Acura MDX owners. 

Many Acura MDX owners have reported problems with the vehicle’s power steering system, which can make it difficult to steer the vehicle. This can be especially problematic at low speeds or when making sharp turns, as the vehicle may feel unstable or unresponsive. 

Some drivers have also reported a clunking or rattling noise when turning the steering wheel, which can be indicative of a more serious problem.

This can result in:

  • Difficulty handling the vehicle
  • Increased risk of accidents
  • Costly repairs

According to CarComplaints.com, the 2014 model year has had the most steering complaints, with some owners reporting that their vehicle’s power steering system failed. 

In some cases, this failure can be dangerous, as the vehicle may become difficult to control and may be more likely to be involved in an accident.

Experts suggest that these steering concerns may be related to the design of the Acura MDX’s steering system. 

While not all vehicles are affected, these issues can be costly and may impact the safety and performance of the vehicle. 

General Pros and Cons of Acura MDX

The Acura MDX is a popular mid-size luxury SUV that offers a comfortable ride, impressive handling, and a high-quality interior. 

However, like any vehicle, it has its pros and cons. 

Below, we have outlined some of the general pros and cons of the Acura MDX to help you decide whether this SUV is right for you.

Pros

Cons

Spacious and comfortable interior with high-quality materials The infotainment system can be complicated and unintuitive to use
Smooth and powerful V6 engine with good fuel economy for its class Third-row seating is cramped and best suited for children or smaller adults
Excellent handling and ride quality, especially with the optional adaptive suspension system Limited towing capacity compared to some of its competitors
Standard advanced safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning Some may find the ride quality to be too firm or stiff
The available all-wheel drive system provides enhanced traction and stability in various weather and road conditions Higher starting price compared to some of its competitors in the mid-size luxury SUV segment
Generous cargo capacity and versatile second-row seating arrangement

As we can see above, the Acura MDX offers a lot of value. However, its infotainment system, limited third-row seating, and firm ride quality may be downsides for some buyers. 

Ultimately, it’s important to weigh these pros and cons against your own needs and preferences when considering the Acura MDX.

What Do the Reviews Say?

The Acura MDX has generally received positive reviews from critics and automotive experts. 

Many praise the vehicle for its:

  • Smooth and powerful V6 engine
  • Impressive handling and ride quality
  • High-quality interior
  • Advanced safety features

“The 2022 Acura MDX is a well-rounded luxury SUV that doesn’t skimp on features or quality. It’s worth considering if you’re looking for a spacious and comfortable family hauler.” 

[Source: Edmunds.com]

Edmunds.com’s review of the Acura MDX praises the SUV for its well-rounded nature, spacious and comfortable interior, and impressive features and quality. They recommend the MDX for families in need of a reliable and versatile SUV.

However, some reviewers, like U.S. Car News, note that the MDX’s infotainment system can be complicated and unintuitive to use. 

“Despite its many strengths, a wonky infotainment system and mixed ride quality detract from its overall appeal.” 

[Source: Cars.usnews.com ]

Overall, the Acura MDX is a well-regarded mid-size luxury SUV. While it may have some downsides, it’s worth considering if you’re in the market for a versatile and reliable SUV.

What’s the Resale Value of Acura MDX?

The resale value of an Acura MDX can vary depending on various factors, such as:

  • Year
  • Model
  • Mileage
  • Condition
  • Location

However, in general, Acura MDXs have a good reputation for holding their value over time compared to other luxury SUVs.

According to Car Edge, a 2019 Acura MDX has an average resale value of around $36,000 to $42,000, while a 2021 Acura MDX has an average resale value of around $45,000 to $52,000. 

Here’s a table that shows the estimated resale value ranges for different model years of the Acura MDX according to Car Edge:

Model Year Estimated Resale Value Range
2019 $36,000 to $42,000
2020 $40,000 to $47,000
2021 $45,000 to $52,000
2022 $51,000 to $58,000

Remember that these are just estimates, and the actual resale value of a specific Acura MDX will depend on the abovementioned factors.

It’s always a good idea to do some research on the current market conditions and consult with a trusted dealership or car valuation website to get a more accurate idea of the resale value of a specific Acura MDX.

Check problems for all Acura models here.

Sources

Acura MDX Depreciation

2022 Acura MDX Problems and Top Complaints

Quote Sources:

https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/acura/mdx

https://www.edmunds.com/acura/mdx/

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.