Used 2002 Acura MDX SUV

2002 Acura MDX
List price range

Pros

  • Powerful V6 engine, roomy interior, fold-flat third-row seat, sophisticated 4WD system.

Cons

  • Limited off-road capability, below-average tow rating, lacks personality.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A bland but otherwise utterly capable and perfectly useful SUV.

vehicle overview

Acura may be late to the SUV party, but it's decided to come dressed to the nines with a uniquely transformable interior wrapped in an angularly attractive skin supported by a four-wheel independent suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels.

With its standard 240-horsepower 3.5-liter VTEC V6 (which meets ULEV regulations nationwide) and electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission, the MDX delivers better performance than many of its competitors. With an estimated EPA rating of 17 city and 23 highway, the MDX is also one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs in its class.

Power travels to the wheels through Acura's Variable Torque Management (VTM) full-time four-wheel-drive system, which uses sensors to determine the vehicle's dynamic position and transfers engine torque to the wheels with the most grip. Unlike conventional automatic 4WD systems, Acura's proactively distributes engine torque during acceleration before wheel slip occurs. Unlike a Mercedes ML320, the MDX doesn't have a 4WD-low gear range, and the trailer towing capacity is low (at 3,500 pounds) for its class.

In terms of appearance, the MDX includes Acura's signature pentagon grille, clean headlamp treatment and sharply chiseled front fascia, but with a muscular look appropriate to an SUV. Some of us find the bulky nose a bit off-putting, but from most viewpoints, the MDX is quite a looker. We like to think of it as a luxury off-road minivan that you can take through the brush all day, and the valet will still front-line it for you when you reach Spago for lunch.

Inside, the MDX features second- and third-row seats that split and fold flat into the floor, creating an interior that can be easily reconfigured from seven-passenger hauler (though we wouldn't recommend trying to cram adults into the third row) to a flat-floor Home Depot runner in a matter of seconds. Large, flowing shapes dominate the instrument panel and center console, which is highlighted by woodgrained trim.

The MDX comes with a comprehensive list of standard equipment, including leather seating surfaces (on first- and second-row seats), eight-way power and heated front seats, side airbags for front passengers, keyless entry, power moonroof, automatic climate control and a multi-function digital trip computer.

Opt for the Touring Model and the front seat positions become linked to the key fob remotes, plus you get a 200-watt Acura/Bose stereo with in-dash six-disc CD changer as well as a handy roof rack. An optional DVD navigation system, mapped for all the 48 contiguous states, is also available.

Like most other Acuras, and Hondas, for that matter, the MDX is meticulously engineered to serve a specific purpose, much like a good set of Craftsman tools. There is no doubt that this attribute is attractive, as evidenced by Honda's sales successes over the years. But the MDX is not given to whimsy or flair. Consumers desiring a more impudent SUV should look elsewhere.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Acura MDX.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this 2002 ACURA MDX TOURING
grammyjan1978, 1/6/2014
I drove this, loved the looks of it, and it has 187,000 and counting. I would buy another one just like it...got it at 54000 at dealer certified and have had no issues whatsoever. I love my Acura. My only question...I just drove to work and for the first time I clicked the four wheel drive VDX button, how can you tell if it goes off...I clicked it and no change...got me to work in 13 inches of snow...
Great Car!
jbirken, 5/14/2013
I bought my 02 MDX new from the dealer. I have had it now for 10 years and have over 235K miles on it. No major repairs at all. I read about transmissions, struts repairs, etc but I have seen none of it. A great family car. Very reliable. Never failed me. The transmission finally went recently (no complaints after 235K miles) and I want to get another one. I do get worried from what I am reading here at times but for me the car was well worth the $$$ spent.
Don't be a Dummy from 3 Transmissions
davesocal, 4/18/2012
Bought this MDX new with all options. At 55,000 had the transmission replaced using my extended warranty (1 month shy of expiration and any work done under the warranty or extension it is only good thru the end of the extension date, meaning I only had one month of warranty on the new transmission). This transmission died at 88,000 mi. 6k replacement from the dealer, which was whittled down to 2 thousand. This car has been babied thru the dealer servicing since purchase. Service managers admit the design is faulty. And mentioned I was lucky to get this much use before the transmissons died ! DO NOT PURCHASE THIS CAR USED !!! YOU WILL HAVE A PROBLEM !!!
Transmissions
Tom, 8/9/2010
Stay away from this vehicle. Buyer beware. I had my tranny replaced at the dealer after numerous issues, in fact I had to take it to a different dealer who said yes after 109KM it needs a new tranny. Now I need another 139 KM it died. I called Acura? Honda Canada only to be told too bad it is past warranty (which it is). I repeatedly told them that there have been major issues with this model and specific problem to which the reply was. No there hasn't! Please Google 2002 acura mdx transmission issues before you make a major mistake.
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Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
5-speed automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 5300 rpm
MPG
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
5-speed automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 5300 rpm
MPG
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
5-speed automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 5300 rpm
MPG
15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 7
5-speed automatic
Gas
240 hp @ 5300 rpm
See all Used 2002 Acura MDX SUV features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2002 Acura MDX
Used 2002 Acura MDX SUV Overview

The Used 2002 Acura MDX SUV is offered in the following styles: Touring 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A), Touring 4WD 4dr SUV w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 5A), 4WD 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 5A), and 4WD 4dr SUV w/Navigation (3.5L 6cyl 5A).

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