2002 Acura MDX 4WD 4dr SUV w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
Nice vehicle but not withstanding of the reputation of Honda's reliability. Transmissions have known issue under NHTSA recall 04V176000 of gear failure that could result in transmission lockup. This happened to me at 113k miles after Acura said they fixed the issue. While driving 35 mph the front end of the vehicle seized and skidded 5-7 feet. Luckily there wasn't a car behind me. They tried to charge $7k to fix the transmission. It appears there are 100's of similar cases reported online and Acura is using plausible deniability to avoid litigation issues. I logged a complaint w/ NHTSA & sold vehicle due to safety concerns.
Our family was in an accident on the freeway, where we lost control of the car due to slick road surface and were hit 2 times by other cars as we spun toward the fast lane. When we took stock of each one of us in the car, we were all okay. One of the airbags went off and the car was totaled. The next day, we found another Acura MDX and are very glad to drive such a safe and reliable car. We are certain many other cars would not have protected us in that situation.
My wife really liked the Acura's size and features. When we first got it, it certainly was smooth and quiet; much more refined than the 1996 Grand Cherokee we had before. It was a good size and she loved the touchscreen navigation. It was a little disappointing that the MDX didn't have some luxury features that the six-year old Jeep did, like automatic headlights and day/night outside mirrors. Overall she and I liked the car. The trouble started at 37000 miles when the first transmission went out. It was replaced. It broke again and was replaced at 87000 miles and we discovered this is a well-known and chronic problem with Acura's transmissions. I cannot recommend early decade MDX's.
The navigation system, the rear space. Engine was smooth and quiet.
I bought my '02 MDX in '06 with 64,000 miles on it. I have not had any problems with it in the last 3 years. I keep up with regular maintenance - that's it. I can regularly get 20-22mpg around town, and up to 26 highway. Pretty good for an SUV. I'm up to 120,000 miles and it still drives and looks great. There's a weird 'pop' noise when going back into drive after being in reverse, but it's been there since I bought it and has never caused any problems. To my understanding, it is common to most '02 MDXs.
Front seat comfort, 6-disc sound system (sounds great, and I'm a musician), reliability, hwy passing power, gas mileage.
My windows go down pretty slowly - wish they were a little faster. It'd be nice if the 2nd row seats folded all the way to flat. An aux input for an ipod (but it is an '02...). Road noise could be less, but the stereo on at a low volume masks it.