Acura MDX Best and Worst Years (Quick Facts!)

Acura MDX Best and Worst Years (Quick Facts!)

The Acura MDX is a high-end mid-size SUV that was initially released in 2001.

It may not have the opulent flair of some of its competitors, but it is a handy people carrier with lots of sportiness.

We’ll examine both its finest and worst years in this piece.

Acura MDX Best and Worst Years
Acura MDX Best and Worst Years

Looking for Reliable Cars: Check out the Most Reliable Car Models for Acuras

VIDEO: 2009 Acura MDX Review

2009 Acura MDX Review

Acura MDX Best and Worst Years

The most significant and worst model years for the Acura MDX are 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006, respectively.

What Are The Acura MDX’s Best Years?

We’ve highlighted a few MDX models below that are just plain superior to others.

Acura MDX 2023

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Acura MDX 2023

The 2023 MDX, perhaps the best model to date because it is significantly more advanced than many of its predecessors, should be at the top of your list if money is no object.

Acura now provides free maintenance for two years/24,000 miles and free access to the AcuraLink connectivity plan for three years, even though no significant upgrades were made for this model year.

The 2023 MDX is hailed for its cutting-edge design, agile handling (for a car this size and weight), and several standard entertainment and safety amenities.

  • Edmunds: 3.6 out of 5
  • 4.5 out of 5.0 on Kelley Blue Book

JD Power: 77 out of 100

Acura MDX 2022

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Acura MDX 2022

Like Acuras, check these other models: Acura TLX Best and Worst Years and Acura RLX Best and Worst Years

The updated 2022 MDX, which offers three seats in a tastefully furnished, roomy cabin, is another excellent option. This is the fourth generation’s first model.

The MDX had a complete end-to-end revamp for 2022 as it makes a comeback following a one-year hiatus (the 2021 model year was skipped).

  • It has a new 12.3-inch infotainment screen and borrows many stylistic ideas from its RDX and TLX brother vehicles for both the exterior and interior.
  • Edmunds: 3.6 out of 5
  • 4.5 out of 5.0 on Kelley Blue Book
  • JD Power: 77 out of 100

Acura MDX for 2020 and 2019.

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Acura MDX for 2020 and 2019.

While the 2020 model carried over unchanged from 2019, these two models are practically identical. Both received high customer ratings and few complaints. These vehicles, the third generation’s last, were quite dependable.

The A-Spec variant debuted in 2019 and came standard with AWD and an aggressive appearance.

Also, this year, the auto-start-stop feature of the 9-speed automatic transmission was improved to make it faster and more seamless.

Acura MDX in 2020:

  • Edmunds: 4.4 out of 5

2019 Acura MDX: 

  • 77/100 JD Power: 4.1/5.0 Kelley Blue Book:
  • Edmunds: 4.3 out of 5
  • 4.1 out of 5.0 on Kelley Blue Book
  • JD Power: 77 out of 100

MDX 2018 Acura

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MDX 2018 Acura

For individuals with a modestly smaller budget yet want something current and dependable, the 2018 MDX is an excellent option.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were standard updates for 2018.

A new capacitive touchscreen was installed in the revised dual-screen infotainment system, making it noticeably easier to use.

  • Edmunds: 3.8 out of 5
  • 4.1 out of 5.0 on Kelley Blue Book
  • : 78 out of 100 JD Power

MDX 2015 Acura

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MDX 2015 Acura

The 2015 MDX is mainly a carryover from the 2014 model. However, it had fewer issues than the 2014 version.

Although this model has a vintage look, it has a comprehensive list of typical technological features.

The 2015 MDX is a fantastic choice if you want luxury and comfort at a fair price.

  • Edmunds: 3.6 out of 5
  • 4.1 out of 5.0 on Kelley Blue Book
  • : 78 out of 100 JD Power
See also  Ford Escape Best and Worst Years

2013 Acura MDX; 2012; and 2011

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2013 Acura MDX; 2012; and 2011

2013, 2012, and 2011 MDX models should check the box if you’re searching for a vehicle that has a few miles on it but has proved to have bulletproof reliability. All three models are practically the same because they were the last 2nd Generation models.

Due to the low number of issues and complaints, the 2012 MDX was among the best model years ever made; the 2013 and 2011 models were just a little behind too.

These models remain true to tradition, providing luxury, elegance, and performance without the astronomical price tag.

Acura MDX 2012:

  • Edmunds: 4 out of 5
  • 4.6 out of 5.0 on Kelley Blue Book
  • JD Power: 79 out of 100
  • Edmunds: 4.1 out of 5

2011 Acura 

  • MDX: 80 / 100 JD Power: 4.6 / 5.0 Kelley Blue Book:
  • Edmunds: 4.3 out of 5
  • 4.6 out of 5.0 on Kelley Blue Book
  • JD Power rating: 81/100

Consumer Scores For Best Acura MDX Years

Model YearEdmundsConsumer RatingKelley Blue BookConsumer RatingJD PowerConsumer Rating
2023 Acura MDX3.6 / 5.04.5 / 5.077 / 100
2022 Acura MDX3.6 / 5.04.5 / 5.077 / 100
2020 Acura MDX4.4 / 5.04.1 / 5.077 / 100
2019 Acura MDX4.3 / 5.04.1 / 5.077 / 100
2018 Acura MDX3.8 / 5.04.1 / 5.078 / 100
2015 Acura MDX3.6 / 5.04.1 / 5.078 / 100
2013 Acura MDX4.1 / 5.04.6 / 5.080 / 100
2012 Acura MDX4.0 / 5.04.6 / 5.079 / 100
2011 Acura MDX4.3 / 5.04.6 / 5.081 / 100
2010 Acura MDX4.5 / 5.04.6 / 5.078 / 100
2009 Acura MDX4.3 / 5.04.6 / 5.079 / 100
2008 Acura MDX4.6 / 5.04.6 / 5.081 / 100
2007 Acura MDX4.7 / 5.04.6 / 5.080 / 100
2006 Acura MDX4.7 / 5.04.6 / 5.0NA

What Are The Acura MDX’s Worst Years?

Although the MDX received favorable reviews, for the most part, there were still some jerks.

MDX 2017 Acura

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MDX 2017 Acura

Many customers complained about serious transmission problems with the 2017 MDX, including jerking, hesitating, skipping, and even complete failure.

Total complaints and difficulties for the 2017 MDX were 18 at and 158 at

Common issues:

  • sluggish acceleration
  • Hesitation
  • faulty automatic braking
  • Inaccurate MPG for a 

2016 Acura MDX

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2016 Acura MDX

The 2016 MDX is statistically the most problematic model ever made out of all the model years on this list, primarily because of widespread transmission and powertrain difficulties.

Strange noises after shifting, total power loss, slipping into neutral while driving, and unexpected acceleration were all observed by owners.

Total complaints and difficulties for the 2016 MDX were 35 at and 267 at

Common issues:

  • Transmission makes irregular shifts
  • Rattling noise from the engine
  • pauses when accelerating
  • Roof explosion

MDX 2014 Acura

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MDX 2014 Acura

The steering was the main issue with the 2014 MDX. Many owners reported their vehicles’ steering as failing, locking when turning, becoming loose, or making odd noises.

According to owners, the caution lights on the dash would occasionally turn on and stay on.

Total complaints and difficulties for the 2014 MDX were 61 at and 210 at

Common issues:

  • paint problems
  • steering error
  • lurches and stalls under light acceleration
  • strange noise when idling

Acura MDX from 2005 and 2004

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Acura MDX from 2005 and 2004

The 2005 and 2004 MDX versions were infamous for gearbox problems and torque converter failure.

Vehicle trembling and grinding noises have been observed by owners.

Total complaints for the 2005 MDX at were 10; real problems at were 215.

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The 2004 MDX was the subject of 216 issues at and 36 complaints at

Common issues:

  • the transmission failed completely
  • leakage of antifreeze into the transmission
  • faulty hands-free link
  • Jerking

Acura MDX, 2003, 2002, and 2001

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Acura MDX, 2003, 2002, and 2001

The first iterations of the car, 2003, 2002, and 2001 Acura MDX models, all had their fair share of growing pains.

Each model had similar issues and received an equal amount of complaints, most of which were about the powertrain.

Unintentional acceleration and slowdown, stuttering when accelerating, and power loss when driving were common complaints from owners.

These symptoms frequently preceded transmission failure.

Some owners even had to have the transmission replaced twice.

Also impacted by the controversial Takata airbag recall were these vehicles.

It was known for these airbags to detonate, sending pieces of shrapnel shooting into the cabin with the potential to be fatal results.

Total complaints and difficulties for the 2003 MDX were 23 at and 246 at

Total complaints for the 2002 MDX at were 12; real problems at were 223.

There were 25 complaints and 251 problems for the 2001 MDX on and, respectively.

Common issues:

  • transmission breakdown
  • defective motor mounts
  • failure of a torque converter
  • unpredictable and dangerous shifting
  • Engine mount failure Check engine light is on

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints(
2023 Acura MDXNA3
2022 Acura MDX128
2020 Acura MDX438
2019 Acura MDX986
2018 Acura MDX265
2017 Acura MDX18158
2016 Acura MDX35267
2015 Acura MDX1382
2014 Acura MDX61210
2013 Acura MDX937
2012 Acura MDX1882
2011 Acura MDX2871
2010 Acura MDX2155
2009 Acura MDX2064
2008 Acura MDX854
2007 Acura MDX30124
2006 Acura MDX5109
2005 Acura MDX10215
2004 Acura MDX36216
2003 Acura MDX23246
2002 Acura MDX12223
2001 Acura MDX25251

Which issues does the Acura MDX have?

  • A lot of oil usage
  • transmission breakdown
  • Transmission makes irregular shifts
  • paint problems
  • lurches and stalls under light acceleration
  • Strange noise while the engine is idle
  • pauses when accelerating
  • Wind and wheel noise
  • The garage door opener is inoperative.
  • “Parasitic draw” following numerous instances of dead batteries
  • All of a sudden, the sunroof cracked. The airbag light was on.
  • Jerking

How Safe is an Acura MDX?

The Acura TLX received the highest honor bestowed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2023 when it was rated a Top Safety Pick+. In all six crash tests and for how well its headlights illuminate the road, the TLX received the highest rating of Good.

Advice on Steering Clear of “Lemons”

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Advice on Steering Clear of “Lemons”

The best thing you can do is do as much research as possible before buying any new or old car. It’s essential to learn as much as possible about a specific make or model so that you are aware of any known problems, recalls, or frequent complaints from auto owners.

Some of these suggestions will help you learn more about a particular vehicle so you can make an informed purchase decision and determine whether it is a lemon.

Obtain an automobile history report.

When purchasing an automobile, especially a used one, you should always request a vehicle history report. You may research a car’s history, including its title status, any substantial repairs made to it, and whether or not it has ever been in an accident using a service like CARFAX or Autocheck. The report will let you know if the car has been labeled a lemon.

See also  Chevrolet Spark Best and Worst Years

You must locate the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, to run a vehicle history report. The automobile might be a lemon if the vendor hesitates to provide you with the VIN.

Examine Recalls

Recalls are common in every car and can occur for various causes, from the odometer not accurately recording miles to more severe problems like failing brakes. Check to see if there have been any recalls on the car before you buy it.

On the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website or at other websites like Consumer Reports, these can be discovered using the year, make, and model.

Even if an automobile has undergone one or two recalls, it may not be a lemon. However, if a car has had multiple recalls for crucial parts, it can be more trouble than it’s worth.

Arrange for a pre-purchase inspection.

One of the best things you can do as a car buyer is to have any vehicle you think about buying professionally inspected by a reliable mechanic.

Pre-purchase inspections are crucial when purchasing a used automobile since they might uncover various potential problems, even if the model isn’t a lemon.

Look for window decals.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) mandates that auto dealers include a window sticker as a “disclaimer” and provides details about prior owners, warranty conditions, and other things.

These stickers are intended to advise you of any potential concerns with the vehicle and any warranty benefits for which you might be eligible. Therefore, any fraud involving these stickers should be blatant, and it may be illegal.

The seller might be trying to conceal something if a car doesn’t have this sticker. Ensure you can see this information and any links or QR codes that can direct you to online resources like the NHTSA and others. These will inform you if a car is a lemon or has other significant design flaws.

Avoid purchasing “as-is” vehicles.

You may have noticed that certain vehicles are advertised as being offered “as-is.” In other words, the seller waives their responsibility for the vehicle’s condition.

Please avoid using this phrase whenever you see it since it is a warning sign that there might be a severe problem they don’t want you to know about that might turn the car into a lemon.

When you purchase a vehicle that is being sold “as-is,” you assume all responsibility for it, including the cost of repairing any problems that may exist at the time of purchase.

Typically, a seller will only include this requirement in a listing for a car if they don’t want to reveal a known problem with it. Therefore, it is nearly always wise to steer clear of autos with this designation.

Acura MDX FAQ’s

Which Acura MDX reliability is the best?

The Acura MDX’s expected dependability rating is 78 out of 100 for 2023. A predicted reliability score from J.D. Power of 91 to 100 is regarded as the best, 81 to 90 as great, 70 to 80 as medium, and 0-69 as fair and below average.

When did the Acura MDX experience transmission issues?

Total transmission failure is a terrible problem that plagues the initial five-year models of the Acura MDX (2001-2005) at some time in their lifespan. It isn’t too early because they typically happen between 100,000 and 130,000 miles in, but the expense of repairs is above $4,000 nevertheless.

Which is better, the Lexus RX 350 or the Acura MDX?

There are numerous ways in which the 2022 Acura MDX surpasses the 2021 Lexus RX 350L. From the Jewel Eye® headlights and the first-class seating to the 12.3″ HD center display and additional cargo space, the new MDX is unbeatable.

How far will an Acura MDX drive?

You shouldn’t have any problems purchasing a new Acura MDX and having it run for a long time, spaciousness and tech features aside. It might survive 400,000 miles or more, if anything.

What is the Acura MDX’s greatest mileage?

946 252 verified

There are 946,252 verified miles on this Acura MDX.

Lead Writer and Editor at Discover Seldric | + posts

John Valdez - Passionate Car Enthusiast and Accomplished Writer

Meet John Valdez, a dedicated car lover and seasoned writer whose passion for automobiles is as vibrant as his words are eloquent. With a keen eye for detail and a heart that beats to the rhythm of engines, John brings a unique blend of expertise and enthusiasm to the world of automotive journalism.

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