2014 Acura MDX AWD Long-Term Road Test


2014 Acura MDX: Expensive Jewels

March 6, 2014

2014 Acura MDX

A number of editors have commented on the form and function of the "Jewel Eye" headlights on our long-term 2014 Acura MDX. But here is something that isn't often considered: repair costs. After making a phone call to a friend who works at an Acura dealer, I can see why they call them jewel lights.

If the headlight breaks, it will cost about $1,400 to replace. This figure includes labor, which admittedly, is higher in California. If one of the individual jewels burns out over normal usage, you have to replace the entire headlight assembly. The only individual bulb you can replace is the turn signal.

It's important to note that these are LED headlights, which have a significantly longer lifespan than halogen or Xenon, but it could be an issue if you're looking to pick one up used, years from now.

On the 2014 MDX, there's no alternative. Jewel eye headlights are standard on every trim level.

Just for giggles, I asked what the replacement cost on an Acura RLX headlight was. It has a second row of jewels, so I assumed it would be pricier. The headlight assembly cost an eyebrow-raising $2,500 (labor not included). I'm thinking leasing might be the way to go on these cars with expensive features.

Would expensive headlights, deter you from buying the vehicle?

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor

Most Recommended Comments

By cobryson
on 03/06/14
11:19 AM PST

The whole point (aside from reduced power consumption and more consistent light) is that they shouldn't ever need to be replaced. A quick googling reveals the life expectancy of the Jewel Eye headlights is 10,000 hours. At a wild (and probably too high) guesstimate of 1hr/day worth of headlight time, that's 27+ years. Doesn't sound like much to worry about, if you ask me.

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By cobryson
on 03/06/14
12:57 PM PST

@markinapples What effect do physical bumps, vibrations, etc. have on an LED? They're solid-state semiconductors, with no filament or glass involved. There is a lens placed in front of the LED, sure, but there's no bulb in the traditional sense. I've been downvoted above and I'm not quite sure why-maybe there's some confusion over the new technology? Well-made LEDs are extremely reliable, and the diodes themselves almost never fail. As long as their is adequate space for heat dissipation, I'd be more worried about the driver circuitry or other components than the LEDs themselves.

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By markinnaples
on 03/06/14
12:21 PM PST

Good grief, that price is ridiculous. I get it that if you have to replace the entire assembly, but if a single bulb goes out? Do those tests on light longevity take into account the continual bouncing of the car, speed bumps, minor bumper collisions, bumps into parking space curbs, etc.? The bulbs should be replacable individually if you ask me.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Acura MDX in VA is:

$168 per month*
* Explanation
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