Which Acura MDX Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

The Acura MDX is a high-end midsize SUV with a long-expected lifespan. In fact, the new 2022 models face a two-year delay owing to exceptional demand. The “multidimensional luxury” in the MDX’s name refers to the SUV’s role on the road as a vehicle that combines practicality with luxury.

In spite of the popularity of this three-row SUV, you should steer clear of specific model years of the Acura MDX. Several complaints have been made regarding this brand in the past few years.

You need not be concerned, as I am here to assist you. I’ll go through the years you should avoid and the safest ones to invest in.

Acura MDX Years to Avoid (List of Years)

I recommend avoiding the following Acura MDX year models-

  • 2001 Acura MDX
  • 2002 Acura MDX
  • 2003 Acura MDX
  • 2004 Acura MDX
  • 2005 Acura MDX
  • 2010 Acura MDX
  • 2014 Acura MDX
  • 2016 Acura MDX
  • 2017 Acura MDX

Transmission failure is the most common issue with Acura MDXs, and the 2004 model has more frequent and costly breakdowns.

MDXs from 2001 to 2005 suffer from total transmission failure, but it occurs later. An expensive oil consumption issue plagued the 2010 model, while early engine difficulties plagued the 2014 and 2016.

The 2014 MDX also gets the most complaints. Avoid buying any of these Acura MDX year models due to gearbox and engine difficulties.

What Makes These Acura MDX Years Worth Avoiding?

1. Acura MDX 2001 Year Problems

Honda introduced the Acura MDX in 2001. Their first issue was with the Acura MDX. They were able to regain confidence by refining and upgrading their initial notions.

Before they could do so, they had to deal with innumerable angry owners’ concerns. CarComplaints.com shares some of their many transmission concerns.

Customers frequently complain about gearbox failure, jerking, torque converter, and column shift. This can be costly, and in some cases the entire transmission system needs to be replaced.

2. Acura MDX 2002 Year Problems

The gearbox was one of the most often cited grievances about the 2001 Acura MDX.

There are a number of common complaints from transmission users, including transmission failure, unpredictable shifting, torque converter problems, and other concerns specific to automatic transmissions.

Transmission failure typically happens at 115,000 miles and costs $4,260 on average to fix. The most frequent option is to replace the transmission.

3. Acura MDX 2003 Year Problems

The transmission and the engine were the two most common areas of concern for this year, with this model year experiencing more problems than the prior two.

The NHTSA also received several complaints about the 2003 Acura’s seat belts and air bags. Transmission failure, torque converter failure, and reverse gear locking out are the three most pressing transmission problems.

When it comes to seatbelt and airbag safety, NHTSA is most concerned about seatbelt length, SRS failure to activate when seatbelt is unbuckled, air bag malfunctions and front buckle assembly problems.

4. Acura MDX 2004 Year Problems

The 2004 Acura MDX’s otp problems are with the gearbox and interior accessories. According to users, the most often reported transmission issues include rumble strip noise, transmission failure grinding noises, and jerking sounds originating from the transmission.

Concerns with interior components include leather seats splitting, door locks failing to function, and blower adjustments malfunctioning.

5. Acura MDX 2005 Year Problems

The major worries for these automobile model years are far less than in prior years. Concerning the 2005 Acura, the top category of worry remained the same as in prior years, with consumers reporting total transmission failure, anti-freeze leakage into the transmission, and transmission vibration and shuddering.

6. Acura MDX 2010 Year Problems

The 2010 Acura MDX experienced the most engine difficulties, with consumers reporting high oil consumption starting at roughly 77,000 miles and requiring regular oil changes and check engine light illumination.

The second most commonly complained about area in the Acura MDX was the electrical system, with some minor faults such as the battery dying and the replacement battery light turning on regularly during operation. Although this is a minor issue, it is inconvenient and may need you to spend more money on battery repairs.

7. Acura MDX 2014 Year Problems

The engine, body, and paint, as well as the brakes, were the most problematic components on the 2014 Acura MDX, more so than on any prior model year.

Complaints about the engine, the steering, and the electrical system are the most common. Some of the most common engine-related complaints are about the car lurching or stalling as the car accelerates; engine noise; strange noises at a rough idle; and a whistling engine noise.

When it comes to the 2014 Acura MDX’s body and paint difficulties, the most common complaints are about paint bubbles on the roof between the windshield and the sunroof and rust on the bottom of one of the doors. The most common problems occur about 34,000 miles into the vehicle’s lifespan.

There have also been some NHTSA concerns and consumer complaints about the brakes, which include rotor warping; service brake difficulties; and problems with electronic stability control (ESC), among other things.

8. Acura MDX 2016 Year Problems

This year’s model has considerable issues compared to the 2017-2920 model years, with most complaints concentrating on the gearbox, with customers reporting that the car hesitates when accelerating, jerks while shifting, and slides.

Which Years are Safe to Buy Used?

One of the best five-door SUVs on the market, the Acura MDX is one of the most opulent and comfortable. Choose one of the line’s more secure models, which we’ve identified for you. The following year versions of Acura MDX are safe bets:

  • 2006 Acura MDX
  • 2007 Acura MDX
  • 2008 Acura MDX
  • 2009 Acura MDX
  • 2011 Acura MDX
  • 2015 Acura MDX

In the years preceding up to 2006, there were seven distinct Acura MDX models, all of which were revisions of the Acura MDX.

Few complaints have been filed against any of the Acura MDX year models, or the concerns are minimal. The 2019 and 2020 MDXes are the safest bets, as they have no complaints.

There has been a single case of a 2018 model dying while driving, but this should not be a problem because it is so seldom. Even if there are just a few complaints about a 2006 model year, it’s still a very dependable vehicle because its faults are infrequent and arise on average after 150,000 miles.

The most common problem with the 2007 model year is a damaged sunroof. Although Acura MDX models have been around for a long time, they all have very clean records and most of their flaws are rather easy to fix.

A costly timing belt repair was required for a 2008 model with a damaged timing belt. This is most likely an isolated incident, and it will not occur in your MDX.

There have been several reports of minor issues with the backup camera and garage door opener on 2011 and 2012 versions. These Acura MDXs will put you in good hands.


Acura MDX recalls occurred throughout each year of manufacture, however not all of them are worth avoiding in order to avoid buying the vehicle. There are a few years in which to make a solid investment and get something that is safe.

Following the advice in this piece will assist you in making an informed decision on the finest Acura MDX for you.

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