Best & Worst Acura MDX Years

The Acura MDX. With its strong reputation for quality and style, the MDX has been a popular choice among discerning drivers for many years. Not all model years are created equal. We’ll take a closer look at the best & worst Acura MDX years to help you decide when shopping for this prestigious vehicle.

Acura MDX debuted in 2001 and has undergone numerous changes and updates to the present day, resulting in varying levels of reliability and customer satisfaction across different model years. You can find out which year offered the most innovative features or which one had some notorious issues to watch out for.

Our comprehensive analysis will provide valuable insights into the history of this iconic luxury SUV. We will provide this analysis with research from other authoritative sources like Kelley Blue Book, NHSTA, and Edmunds.

Acura MDX Generations

The Acura MDX has seen four generations since its debut in 2001, each with unique features and improvements. The first-generation MDX was praised for its car-like ride quality, innovative third-row seat design, and strong V6 performance. It sets a high standard for luxury mid-size crossover SUVs and establishes the MDX as a formidable contender in the market.

Subsequent generations of the Acura MDX have built upon this strong foundation, introducing technological advancements, safety features, and interior comfort.

Below is an overview in the table of all Acura MDX Generations 2001 to the present date:

1st generation (YD1)2001 to 2006
2nd generation (YD2)2007 to 2013
3rd generation (YD3)2014 to 2020
4th generation (YD9)2022 to Present

Acura MDX Best, Neutral, and Worst Years:

It’s essential to consider multiple sources of information when categorizing the Acura MDX based on various factors.

  • Owner-reported reliability surveys can provide insight into the overall dependability of different model years.
  • Annual maintenance costs can also be a critical factor in determining.
  • Safety ratings from organizations.
  • NHTSA and IIHS can help classify the MDX in terms of safety performance.
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores and owner satisfaction scores.
  • Along with ratings from J.D. Power and Kelley Blue Book, VehicleHistory, and owner ratings, they offer valuable perspectives on the overall quality and satisfaction with different model years.

All these factors can help categorize which years of the Acura MDX are best, neutral, or worst regarding overall performance and satisfaction for owners.

Below is a graph of the rating of Acura MDX with the help of the sources mentioned above.

Best & Worst Acura MDX Years

The table below will categorize each generation into the best, neutral, and worth years.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st generation (YD1)2006, 2005No2001, 2002
2003, 2004
2nd generation (YD2)2012, 20132009, 20112007, 2008
3rd generation (YD3)2018, 2019,2020No2014, 2015
2016, 2017
4th generation (YD9)202420232022

Neutral Years mean these years are average, not the best or the worst.

Best & Worst Acura MDX Years in 1st Generation (2001-2006)

The first-generation Acura MDX, produced from 2001 to 2006, had its strengths and weaknesses across the model years. 2005 and 2006 are the best Acura MDX years. They improved the design, including new features and some Acura MDX years to avoid, like 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004, which avoid years in this generation.

Best Years For Acura MDX: 2005, 2006

The 2005 and 2006 best Acura MDX year models are highly regarded for their reliable 3.5L V6 engine with VTEC and a 5-speed automatic transmission. The VTM-4 four-wheel drive system provides excellent stability and engages seamlessly during acceleration and slippage, making it a popular choice for those seeking a capable all-weather vehicle. With 265 hp, the powertrain stability is commendable, and the integrated GPS, rearview cameras, and DVD entertainment system add to the overall appeal of these model years.

It’s worth noting that the 2005 model had some VSA issues that led to recalls and intermittent brake application problems. Consumer response has been generally positive, with above-average ratings in various rankings from sources such as Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book.

The 2005 and 2006 Acura MDX models have earned an average rating of 4.5 in Auttomite rankings, reflecting their strong performance and reliability in the SUV market.

Acura MDX Years to Avoid: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

These model years have been marred by notorious transmission and engine mount issues, leaving many owners frustrated and out of pocket. The 2001 MDX came onto the scene with ambitious promises, but unfortunately, it was quickly overshadowed by persistent transmission problems and unsettling engine vibrations. Even its successor, the 2002 MDX, carried forward these same transmission issues and added engine mount problems to the mix.

In response to mounting concerns, Honda issued a recall concerning gear failure in the transmissions of 2001 and 2002 models, a worrying sign of the severity of these issues. The problems continued into the subsequent years as well. To undergo Takata airbag recalls, the 2003 MDX faced further woes with transmission troubles and inefficiencies in its catalytic converter.

Despite technological advancements in its time, even the 2004 MDX struggled with persistent transmission failures that cast a shadow over its potential reliability. This series of Acura MDX models faced an uphill battle regarding their mechanical integrity.

Best & Worst Acura MDX Years in 2nd Generation (2007-2013)

The second generation of Acura MDX, from 2007 to 2013, saw a significant improvement over the first generation. The 2012 and 2013 best years for Acura MDX model are often considered the best due to their refined features, reliability, and overall performance, and these years received high ratings from reputable sources such as Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and J.D. Power, making them popular choices among consumers.

The 2007, 2008, and 2010 model years are often suggested to be avoided due to various concerns, such as transmission issues and lower overall reliability compared to later years in the second generation.

Best Acura MDX Years: 2012, 2013

The best Acura MDX years to consider are the 2012 and 2013 models. The 2012 MDX featured a powerful 3.7-liter 300-hp V6 engine with improved torque and a smoother shifting 6-speed automatic transmission, but it was noted for having some transmission problems.

The 2013 model addressed these issues, offered incremental updates, and improved fuel efficiency at 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.

The 2012 and 2013 MDX models showcased advanced technology such as navigation, ELS sound system, and driver-assistance systems, making them appealing options for those seeking modern features in a luxury SUV like Subaru Outback.

The transition from VTM-4 all-wheel drive to SH-AWD in the later model year enhanced its performance capabilities. Both years offer a compelling combination of power, technology, and improvements that make them stand out in the Acura MDX lineup.

The Neutral Years: 2009, 2011

The years 2009 and 2011 can be considered neutral for the Acura MDX. While they may not have been exceptional, they were reliable in performance. These models continued with the 3.7-liter V6 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission, providing a stable driving experience for owners. There were subtle enhancements in infotainment and safety technology, adding to the overall appeal of these vehicles.

It’s important to note that some issues were reported during these years, such as Bluetooth draining the battery. The 2009 and 2011 MDX models are not categorized as the worst years for this vehicle.

They offer a decent driving experience with reliable performance and some technological improvements, making them viable options for those considering an Acura MDX from that era.

Acura MDX Years to Avoid: 2007, 2008, 2010

The Acura MDX experienced some reliability issues during 2007, 2008, and 2010. The second-generation MDX addressed challenges from the first generation, but unfortunately, it faced problems.

The 2007 model had issues with its electrical system and suspension, which persisted into the 2008 model, along with additional Bluetooth problems. The 2010 MDX still inherited past issues and was a stepping stone for future improvements.

It’s important to thoroughly inspect the vehicle and consider potential repair costs when you purchase these models. While these models may have had their share of challenges, later model years may have addressed these issues and offered better reliability.

Best & Worst Acura MDX Years in 3rd Generation (2014-2020)

The Acura MDX 3rd generation, from 2014 to 2020, has seen both highs and lows regarding consumer satisfaction and reliability. The model years 2018, 2019, and 2020 have been recognized as the most reliable, with improvements in technology and comfort features. The earlier years of the generation (2014-2017) have been criticized for powertrain issues and lower consumer ratings.

Best Year For Acura Mdx: 2018, 2019, 2020

The Acura MDX has been a popular choice for those seeking a luxury SUV with a potent 3.5-liter V6 engine and advanced features. The 2018, 2019, and 2020 models are particularly notable for their upgraded infotainment systems, improved audio quality, and the introduction of a 10-speed auto transmission in the 2020 model. The MDX Sport Hybrid variant offers enhanced fuel efficiency for those looking to minimize their environmental impact.

It’s worth noting that the 2019 model had occasional engine stalling issues, which may be a consideration for potential buyers. On the positive side, Acura promptly addressed these concerns through recalls, demonstrating their commitment to customer satisfaction and safety.

The Acura MDX from 2018, 2019, and 2020 offers a compelling combination of performance, technology, and safety features, making it a strong contender in the luxury SUV market.

Worst Years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

These years were a challenging time for Acura MDX owners as they grappled with a range of persistent issues that tarnished the reputation of this popular luxury SUV. The 2014 model year was plagued by powertrain problems, particularly with its transmission and torque converter, causing headaches for many drivers. As if that wasn’t enough, the 2014 and 2015 models also experienced troubling issues with their service brakes and steering, further souring the ownership experience for those affected.

2016, things didn’t improve much as the MDX was considered the least reliable in its class due to a host of issues, including transmission malfunctions, poor acceleration, and stalling problems. This dismal trend continued into 2017 when owners faced ongoing troubles with transmissions and powertrain components.

Even a recall for reduced fuel pump efficiency in the 2016 model failed to alleviate concerns about the vehicle’s reliability. These years represent a disheartening chapter in Acura MDX’s history, underscoring the importance of thorough research and consideration before investing in any car.

Best & Worst Acura MDX Years in 4th Generation (2022-present)

The 2022 Acura MDX marks the beginning of the fourth generation. While it brings many new features and improvements, caution may be warranted due to potential teething issues associated with a brand-new model. It’s always advisable to wait for the initial reviews and feedback from owners before purchasing a newly released vehicle.

As the model years progress, Acura will likely address any early concerns and refine the MDX further, making later years in this generation potentially more reliable and refined.

Best Year For Acura MDX: 2024

The 2024 Acura MDX has made significant strides in its 4th generation model, particularly with the improved 3.5-liter V6 engine and 10-speed transmission. These enhancements have undoubtedly contributed to a more powerful and efficient driving experience, making it a top choice for many car enthusiasts.

The enhanced interior features, such as the 12.3-inch infotainment system and 12-inch digital complete TFT instrument cluster, provide the vehicle’s cabin with a modern and luxurious feel.

The positive feedback from owners regarding improved reliability and reduced issues is a testament to Acura’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. It speaks volumes about the brand’s dedication to continuous improvement and ensuring that its vehicles meet or exceed customer expectations.

Neutral Years: 2023

In 2023, Acura experienced a transitionary year with the MDX model. The company significantly improved the transmission and fuel efficiency, addressing some longstanding issues. There were some complaints about the infotainment system and engine performance. The overall improvements in the MDX were substantial enough to earn it a place as a neutral year for Acura.

While some customers may have been dissatisfied with specific aspects of the MDX, the consensus was that the improvements outweighed any drawbacks. The enhanced transmission and fuel efficiency were noteworthy, demonstrating Acura’s commitment to refining their vehicles. While there were some areas for improvement, 2023 was a Neutral year for Acura’s MDX model and marked a step forward in their ongoing efforts to enhance their vehicles.

Worst Years: 2022

In the case of the 2022 MDX, there have been reports of intermittent issues with the Forward Collision Avoidance system leading to unexpected braking, which is cause for concern regarding safety and reliability. Some users have voiced dissatisfaction with the infotainment system, who have found it less intuitive and prone to glitches.

Scrutiny of transmission and engine operations has highlighted inconsistencies that may be frustrating for potential buyers.

The reduced fuel efficiency of 13 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway is also worth noting, as it may impact owners’ long-term operating costs. Those considering a purchase can find solace in knowing that the hybrid variant offers improved fuel economy and potentially alleviates some concerns related to engine operations.

For individuals weighing their options, it would be wise to consider holding out for the 2023 or 2024 MDX models if possible, especially if price is not a limiting factor. These future iterations may address current issues while providing an updated and refined driving experience worthy of consideration.

Acura MDX Average Resale Values:

Below is a graph we will show the Acura MDX average resale values.

The End:

The Acura MDX has seen both its best & worst years, with some models standing out for their reliability, performance, and advanced features. In contrast, others have faced transmission problems and overall quality issues. It is important for potential buyers to thoroughly research and consider the specific model year they are interested in to ensure they make an informed decision.