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Acura MDX : Used

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Justin Pritchard
History/Description Of The Used Acura MDX: Canadian shoppers commonly sought out the last-generation Acura MDX as an alternative to pricier Japanese and German premium crossover models. With an eye for performance and Acura’s proven reputation for reliable, nonsense-free operation, the MDX has been serving countless happy Canadian families for years.

All models got a 3.7L V6 with 300 horsepower, an automatic transmission and Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

Available feature content for this 7-passenger ute included Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, and an Active Damper System that allowed the MDX’s suspension to be set between “Comfort” or “Sport” modes, depending on driver intention.

A “Technology Package” added features like a power tailgate, rearview camera, premium stereo system, and navigation, too.

2012 Acura MDX driver's cockpit
Photo: Justin Pritchard

Common Issues With A Used Acura MDX:
Determine where the MDX’s timing belt is within its service life. The timing belt is a part that requires changing before it wears out, and if it fails with the engine running, it’ll probably turn the engine into a paperweight. Ask the seller if and when the timing belt was last changed to be sure. If the belt is overdue to be replaced call it into pricing negotiations, noting that the job can cost $1,000 or more.

Some issues have been reported relating to the power seats, the memory and heating function of said seats, the navigation and climate control systems, and the power tailgate -- so be sure to double check for proper operation of all of these systems.

Note that a chattering or binding sensation from the rear end when cornering sharply at low speeds could indicate worn out clutches or contaminated fluid within the SH-AWD system.

Some owners have reported consuming large amounts of oil between changes on newer models, which may be a result of lower-viscosity engine oil being specified as part of the fuel-saving powertrain updates. Be sure to check the condition and level of the engine oil in the model you’re considering.

Several owners reported replacement of the transmission’s torque converter, usually under warranty. Symptoms of a bad torque converter could include very hard shifting or “slippage” during shifting.

2012 Acura MDX 3/4 view
Photo: Justin Pritchard

2013 Acura MDX
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2013 Acura MDX
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Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert