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Used 2016 Acura MDX SH-AWD SUV Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Acura MDX SH-AWD SUV.

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
I love my new 2016 MDX !
Sid J,09/11/2015
SH-AWD w/Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
My wife and I were in the market for our first luxury crossover and we couldn't be happier with our purchase (Advance Pkg, SH-AWD). Let me say outright that we did not consider any German cars for reasons ranging from high price point/high maintenance to poor reliability/longevity. We weren't particular about having 3-rows, but felt it'd be nice to have the option (for trips with family/friends) - the MDX fit the bill perfectly. I've had my MDX for 6-weeks and driven 1800 miles, so its obviously too early to talk about reliability(which the Acura brand is known for) but here are the pros/cons as I see it. Pros: - Drives great. Plenty of power to summon in any situation (esply with Normal/Sport IDS modes). - Very comfortable seats & ride. You don't feel minor road imperfections & the suspension does a great job of dampening out big potholes. - Very quiet cabin. Conversation between 1st & 2nd row passengers have never been easier. - Gas sipper (I use premium 93 octane). I consistently average over 24-mpg in combined driving. Averaged 26-mpg during a recent 600-mile road trip(80% highway) with 5 adults, fully loaded cargo space (3rd row folded). That said, I always use cruise at highway speeds and avoid very hard acceleration/braking. I calculate MPG estimates to be 100% sure though the tip computer is not off by much (-0.5 to +1 MPG off actual). - Realized the beauty of SH-AWD driving on curvy, hilly wet roads (yet to test on snow/heavy rain). Just when I thought I needed to hit the brakes to slow around a corner, the MDX breezes past with aplomb. It drives like a car - you don't feel body roll, side-to-side weight transfer during turns. - Love all the safety features, esply the Lane departure warning. I read recently that it received great crash-test scores. Now for the Cons: - Depending on the gear you are in, the transmission sometimes seems to lag for a split second before it accelerates. I believe this has to do with dog clutch in the ZF-9 speed design. - Adaptive cruise may seem hard on braking/acceleration depending on how you normally drive. - Touchscreen response is a tad slower than I'd like it to be. - Fog lights are offered only as an accessory (extra $) - Power-folding side mirrors, panaromic roof, motion-activated power liftgate not available. I've seen people voice concerns on online forums regarding transmission, build quality(as MDXs are built now in Alabama Vs Canada until about a couple of years ago) but based on my experience, I'm inclined to believe most of them are unjustified. There have also been complaints about higher than usual noise coming from under the hood(for someone outside the car) even when the a/c compressor is not running - the owners manual clearly says that is expected as a result of the system checks ! Complaints related to dual-screen is a matter of getting used to - I actually find it convenient. The 3rd row of seating is mostly for kids (or short adults for upto 2-hr ride). In my opinion, this is the most well-rounded luxury crossover offering an optimal mix of comfort, handling, value and safety. Get one - you'll love it !
5 out of 5 stars
After 2 months...Love this MDX!
Ron,06/30/2016
SH-AWD w/Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
I researched the the 2016 MDX for 9 months before buying. I'm so glad I did. I've owned two MDX's since purchasing my first MDX in year one of the MDX introduction in 2001. I'm amazed at the transformation, I'd been driving my MDX with 180K miles. Having also been an RL owner, I now feel I have the best of both vehicles in one. The slightly lowered height from the road is just perfect! The few lower reviews of the entertainment system has not been a problem for me. There's a lot to digest with so many great features, I take each feature one at a time which for me has been an enjoyable easy process. I love the new touch gear shifting! I love the sportier drive for an SUV, it really does not feel like I'm driving an SUV. The gas mileage increase is sweet, which is one reason I waited so long to buy a 2016. Love the seat air ventilation system that keeps me from back sweating during hot summer months. I can now seamlessly play music from my iPhone. The biggest surprise and enjoy is the warning system and lane keeping assist system. I feel like I'm now protected from blind spots when changing lanes and drifting out of my lane. This is simply the best vehicle I have ever owned! A huge leap of comfort, safety and technology in the past 10 years! I've never experienced this big of an upgrade in any vehicle I have ever purchased. Love this vehicle!!!
3 out of 5 stars
Not what I had hoped for $50,000+
Daniel,10/12/2015
SH-AWD w/Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
It came down to the 2016 Volvo XC90, Honda Pilot, BMW X5, and 2015 Toyota Highlander. We were inclined to get the XC90 for all the safety features & the incredibly cool look. The drive is great, however it felt really risky getting a brand new everything car. The dealer had been saying they would get in Jan, the first ones did not appear till May and it seemed like they were trying to get it right. Visibility was ok. However, loaded with all the safety features it was getting to 60 though it starts at $47 all cars had very confusing option packages & what is considered a safety feature. The test car 3rd row seat seem to have a problem. Then they recalled the vehicle to fix the third row airbags. We keep cars for 10 years & did not want to be going back to the dealer over and over again. The final straw is when they were offering factory maintenance for all models except the XC90 which had 1 year less of the maintenance. On a new model they should not insert more doubt. The BMW drove great but the 3rd row was not big enough for anyone over the age of 12 so had to cross it off. The highlander felt less luxurious but most importantly did not have all the safety systems that we were looking for so we decided to pass. At the time the 2016 was not out, it appears from the reviews that they have added some safety features. We were left with the pilot and the MDX. In the end, the Pilot's cheap minivan arm rest on the drivers side along with the bad handling and turning radius on turns made us skip it. Any man over 200 pounds will find there is no way to lean on the arm rest comfortably. The turning handling and radius were a big concern also as on a sharp turn near our house the car veered into the oncoming traffic lane. We did it twice. Finally, unless you get the highest trim the handling is so "trucky" the kids got out and were ready to throw up. This left us with the MDX. We were excited to be moving up in the luxury ranks and were hoping the reliability would be there also. After a bad selling experience we picked up the car and immediately noticed things. There is a paint defect under the clear coat on the roof. There was a sticker there so it was clearly a known problem and they sold to us anyway. We have complained with no response. The hood does not latch unless you slam it. If the hood is already down there is no way to close it without opening it and slamming it. Finally if you look around the car you can see multiple places where the rubber is not flush including the doors & hood. I walked around the lot and would say 50% of the cars had the same problem. Not what we had expected at $50+ . Dealer was no help with these issues, I have read on line about cars getting water on the inside I am hoping that the rubber problems will not cause that. When you go to the car wash & open the back doors there is water in the painted part. As for the drive it is pretty good, the 9 speed transmission is a little bouncy especially as low speeds, but no one is getting dizzy at least. The stop start feature takes getting used to, as if you need immediate power like turning onto a highway of making a left turn onto oncoming traffic, the car will hesitate long enough to make it dangerous. You have to turn the wheel of take your foot of the pedal to start the car & be ready to go, or turn the feature off, however if you do that I can't imagine how much worse the gas mileage it would be. We are getting 15.5 in the city, & its Premium so it has been surprising. Power in the SHAWD is very good & its a quiet ride with good handling. Seat comfort for a large driver is not as good as I would have hoped. I would like the seat to go back more when its high up and it just wont, so you end up sitting kind of low which removes one of the benefits of and SUV. As for the safety features the lane assist works well on a Interstate highways at high speed, not so good in other settings. The automatic follow feature is very sensitive and breaks really hard and speeds up hard, so much so that you can't use it. The break alert system works ok, I wish it would also go on if I am breaking but not hard enough. It will not stop the car automaticlally at low speeds like the volvo. The heads up display in bright sun creates a distracting reflection on the winshield & and the pairing with SIRI does not work well. The NAV is a complete waste of money, I wish I could convert the screen to show my iphone instead. Nav traffic & directions sub par in every way. The voice input is the same as our 08 Accord, very clunky. AC is hard to keep constant, need to adjust all the time. In the end we are very disappointed with what we hoped would be an amazing car. We hope it lives up to the reliability.
1 out of 5 stars
They just can't get it right
jl,09/03/2016
SH-AWD w/Advance Package 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 9A)
I thought many times before writing this review. I felt that there was no need to let others know about my problems , but my conscience just kept telling me to share my thoughts with the media. When I was driving home the first time from the showroom there was a metal knocking noise under vehicle and was quite concerned. I immediately called my salesman who put me through to service.the manager said there is a bulletin on this but acura had no fix ,but are working on one. i asked how long? and he responded by saying they have been working on it since 2014.I laughed and then choked and said what are you talking about. He said the design of the parking brake cable was not designed correctly and it knocks like a chain hitting the bottom. after quite a few adjustments and the rear brakes overheated from overtightening the cable, I just gave up and said I will live with it until acura comes up with a fix. Well, to continue, Ive had countless parking sensor issues that just go off even if no one is around waiting for the red light to change. It sometimes scares me thinking another vehicle is approaching .The only way to shut the sensors off is to override them and shut the system off completely. they removed my bumper 6 times ( damaging the bumper)and replaced modules and sensors and harness and still no fix.The dealers remedy is to just shut them off permanently, even though i bought the advance model to get this option factory installed.My preset steering wheel only works sometimes. My 9 speed tranny clanks ,I guess it wants to let me know its still there . My brakes practically go down to the floor and acura tells me that its ok. Seat adjustments are not great,but i guess acceptable. My rear backup camera looks like I have been driving in a dense fog ( useless) .They say other mdx cameras look similar. The ride quality on smooth roads is fine ,but try hitting a few minor potholes and it goes right through the cabin. While I was even servicing the vehicle a woman was complaining about the terrible ride quality and vowed to sell her mdx just to keep her sanity. There is a scraping noise when you first start the suv in the morning. Might I have to say more. Acura customer relations keeps telling me that they would like to continue working with me to correct these issues after more then 5 attempts ( i stopped counting) and yes I am aware of the lemon law.I said the right thing is to put me in another vehicle and you can continue to correcting these issues on your own and spend 24 hours a day to figure it out so other loyal customers don't suffer. Acura ,unfortunately with being the best selling luxury suv cannot get it right. i guess people gravitate to it because the price is great compared to other similar suvs .Also, acura shares the same mother company as the civic and accord who have held top honors for many year, so people that want luxury and reliability will hopefully get it like the honda products previously mentioned.I am not writing to punish acura I just want them to get it right. In closing, Maybe I just might just decide to stop punishing myself one day and move on to another brand after owning acura's for many years. I guess Im finally getting wise that taking off a shield on the front grill or giving real wood trim instead of plastic will ultimately not shield this company from customers realizing that there is something wrong here. What acura needs to do instead of fixing a grill issue is to fix mechanical issues that are the real reason why people have always purchased honda products in the first place called reliability.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2016 Acura MDX SH-AWD SUV

Pros & Cons

  • Generous number of features for the money
  • adept handling
  • good fuel economy
  • confident acceleration
  • quiet cabin
  • excellent crash-test scores.
  • Distracting tech interface with subpar graphics
  • cabin looks and feels less luxurious than rivals
  • modest cargo space behind the third row
  • dim-witted adaptive cruise control.


Full Edmunds Review: 2016 Acura MDX SUV

What’s new

The 2016 MDX gets a standard nine-speed automatic transmission with push-button gear selection, an optional suite of safety technologies called AcuraWatch Plus and a revised all-wheel-drive system that Acura says is lighter and more responsive. Other changes include a standard frameless rearview mirror, Siri Eyes Free voice controls for compatible Apple devices, an easy-entry driver seat and (via the Advance package) auto stop-start.

Edmunds says

Offering familiar comfort, value and performance plus a slew of updates, the 2016 Acura MDX is a top pick among three-row luxury crossovers.

Vehicle overview

Shoppers have flocked to the reasonably priced Acura MDX for years due to its strong resale value and reputation for reliability. The 2016 MDX boasts numerous updates, including a standard nine-speed automatic transmission and a widely available AcuraWatch Plus bundle that provides cutting-edge safety technologies. Add the MDX's rewarding driving dynamics to the mix and you're looking at one of the best picks for a three-row luxury crossover SUV this year.

The popular 2016 Acura MDX receives a few changes this year, including a new nine-speed automatic transmission.

Notably, the AcuraWatch Plus package isn't completely new, although it does mark the debut of both rear cross-traffic alerts and a camera-based lane-keeping assist system that Acura calls "Road Departure Mitigation." Many of its features were offered on the 2015 MDX, too, including lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems, adaptive cruise control and a collision mitigation system with automatic braking. In order to get them, however, you had to specify the top-of-the-line Advance package, whereas AcuraWatch Plus is available across the lineup. That means safety-minded consumers can save a hefty chunk of change for 2016 by specifying AcuraWatch Plus on lower-priced MDX models.

On the road, the 2016 Acura MDX remains one of the more satisfying three-row crossovers to drive, with a quiet interior at highway speeds and surprising athleticism when driving around turns (especially with all-wheel drive). The standard 3.5-liter V6 engine lacks the strong low-rpm torque of some turbocharged rivals, but wind it out a bit and you'll find that the MDX is still one of the quicker vehicles out there.

Add it all up and this versatile, well-made and feature-packed Acura is arguably the most sensible choice in the midsize luxury SUV segment. As such, we gave it an "A" rating, but know that there are other options out there that can be more desirable, if not more sensible. The 2016 Volvo XC90, redesigned at long last, has wowed us with its slick styling, exquisite interior and strong yet fuel-efficient power plants. When similarly equipped, it also offers similar value to the MDX. The overhauled 2016 Audi Q7, meanwhile, has a more restrained design, but it offers a sumptuous cabin, an advanced infotainment interface and an available turbodiesel V6.

Other popular picks include the BMW X5, which serves up the most engaging performance of the bunch but has less third-row space and a substantially higher price. The Infiniti QX60 is well-equipped and spacious, but is comparatively slow and unexciting to drive. We would also be remiss if we didn't mention the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot, which gives up little to its pricier Acura corporate cousin, while being less expensive and offering even more utility. All are worth a look, but the well-rounded MDX may represent the best balance of value, utility and luxury of them all.

2016 Acura MDX models

The 2016 Acura MDX is a luxury crossover SUV that seats seven. Standard features include 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, a sunroof, rear privacy glass, keyless entry and ignition, heated eight-way power front seats (with driver power lumbar), driver memory settings, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Technology highlights include twin dashboard displays (lower 7-inch touchscreen and upper 8-inch information display), a multi-angle rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Siri Eyes Free voice controls for compatible Apple devices and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB interface, Pandora and Aha compatibility and satellite radio.

The AcuraWatch Plus package adds a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking, lane-keeping assist, Road Departure Mitigation and adaptive cruise control.

A navigation system is standard on the 2016 Acura MDX if you select the Technology, Entertainment or Advance option packages.

The MDX Technology (available with or without the AcuraWatch Plus package) adds a navigation system, voice controls (navigation and audio), a color driver information center, AcuraLink and a 10-speaker Acura/ELS surround-sound audio system with HD radio. Also included with this package are 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, rear-door keyless entry, GPS-linked and solar-sensing climate control and a trio of safety systems: lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring (with rear cross-traffic alert) and a forward-collision warning system (but without the automatic mitigation braking that's part of the AcuraWatch package).

The Entertainment trim level requires the Technology package and adds a 110-volt power outlet, heated rear seats, rear door window sunshades and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with a 9-inch screen and an additional speaker. AcuraWatch Plus is again available for this MDX combination.

The Advance trim level includes the contents of the Technology and the AcuraWatch Plus package, and it adds roof rails, front and rear parking sensors, remote engine start, automatic engine stop-start, auto-dimming sideview mirrors, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, power lumbar for the front passenger and heated second-row seats.

You can also get the Advance and Entertainment trim level, which combines the respective features of those two lower trim levels while adding an upgraded rear-seat entertainment system with a bigger 16.2-inch screen, another speaker (bringing the total to 12) and an HDMI input.

Performance & mpg

The 2016 Acura MDX employs a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive (SH-AWD) available as an option.

EPA-estimated fuel economy starts at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway) with front-wheel drive. Adding the Advance package with its auto stop-start feature to the front-wheel-drive MDX bumps the rating up to 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway). As for the AWD models, they return 21 mpg combined (18/26) in standard form and 22 mpg combined (19/26) with the Advance package.

In Edmunds testing, the 2016 MDX with SH-AWD went from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, making it a solid, mid-pack performer. Properly equipped, the MDX can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the 2016 Acura MDX includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, a driver knee airbag, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is also standard, and AWD models come with a stabilizing function for trailer towing. Optional or standard, depending on the trim level, are blind-spot monitoring (with rear cross-traffic alert), a frontal collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal crash mitigation, a lane-departure warning system, lane keeping assist and Road Departure Mitigation. The latter essentially combines the functions of the camera-based lane-keeping system and the automatic braking system to help you avoid drifting off the road into roadside objects.

In Edmunds brake testing, an MDX required 122 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is a decent stop, but it displayed brake fade on subsequent stops. This could be an issue on mountain roads and grades.

In government crash tests, the MDX earned a perfect five-star overall rating, with five stars each for total frontal impact safety and total side-impact safety. The MDX also aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests, earning the top score of "Good" in all categories and additionally garnering a second-best "Advanced" rating for its optional frontal collision mitigation system.

Driving

The MDX's V6 is a sweet engine with a nice-sounding snarl when you plant your right foot. Nine-speed transmissions have a tendency to produce odd low-speed tendencies and inappropriate gear selections, but that's not the case with this new-for-2016 automatic gearbox. It's smooth, smart and has resulted in improved acceleration and fuel economy, although its automatic stop-start system included with the Advance package can send some uncouth shivers through the car when it's stopped. We also aren't enamored with the optional adaptive cruise control, which is too quick to slam on the brakes, too slow to speed up again and generally mediocre at keeping the set speed.

Thanks to its strong V6 and composed handling, the 2016 Acura MDX is pretty sporty as three-row crossover SUVs go.

We do know that the Acura MDX rides a little more firmly than some competing crossovers on the highway and around town, but most owners likely won't find it objectionable. Overall levels of wind and road noise are quite low, an area in which the MDX has improved markedly in recent years. Should you elect to hustle this three-row luxury crossover along a winding road, you'll be rewarded with responsive steering and composed handling. The all-wheel-drive version is particularly adept at powering out of turns.

Interior

The Acura MDX is one of the more functional luxury crossovers. Its front seats are nicely shaped and supportive even if it lacks the extra adjustability offered by certain competitors in the segment. The second-row seats slide fore and aft for added flexibility, providing generous legroom in their rearmost position. It also slides forward for third-row access at the press of a button, though the resulting pass-through is rather small -- especially compared to the Infiniti QX60. The third row is best suited for kids, as only small, limber adults will fit back there, but that's actually pretty good for a luxury seven-passenger SUV. If you want something bigger, you'll have to go for a non-luxury model.

Interior storage is excellent, with big cupholders and door bins, plus a deep center bin that can hold a small purse or tablet. The MDX doesn't give you much room for groceries with all three rows of seating in use, but folding those rearmost seats opens up a respectable amount of space suitable for lengthy road trips. When you fold both the second and third rows, its maximum cargo capacity is better than most two-row midsize crossovers, but considerably less than in mainstream models like the 2016 Honda Pilot.

Behind the second-row seats of the 2016 Acura MDX you'll find about 40 cubic feet of cargo space.

The MDX's cabin is meticulously well-constructed with quality materials, but it lacks the style and luxurious ambience of competitors like the Lexus RX and Volvo XC60. It just feels less special. There are also a few Honda-grade plastics and switchgear if you look closely. Some unintuitive controls are also problematic. The push-button gear selector is gimmicky, requiring you to pull a switch for Reverse and push buttons for Park and Drive. The dual-screen infotainment system is confusing as well, especially for the audio system. You use the lower touchscreen for many functions, but others such as media player control require the multicontrol knob and upper display screen. Certain climate controls are also in the touchscreen, resulting in multiple button presses for things like heated seats that used to require only one. Neither screen boasts the super-crisp graphics we've come to expect in this class either.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2016 Acura MDX in Virginia is:

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