2016 Acura MDX Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

3.32/5 Average
82 Total Reviews
This Year's Model Updates:

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.

  • Generous number of features for the money
  • Adept handling
  • Quiet cabin
  • Excellent crash-test scores.
  • Confident acceleration
  • Good fuel economy
  • Modest cargo space behind the third row.
  • Dual-screen infotainment system's mediocre graphics and distracting interface

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 82.00
  • Not what I had hoped for $50,000+ - 2016 Acura MDX
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    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.

  • Like the car. But expecting little more power and - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

  • Not what I was expecting from Acura - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

    Chose the MDX for a few reasons - reliability, versatility, build quality, value. Been very surprised that car does not deliver well on at least two of those traits. Had a transmission issue the first day I drive the car. Transmission got stuck in low gear. Was solved with a software upgrade and been ok so far. I did a lot of research on the transmission issues and was under the impression that the ills of 2015 were fixed in 2016. Not sure of that. Next issue was a rattle from the rear of the car since day 1. Turns out that a bolt was dropped into the chassis during assembly which required taking out part of the interior to find. How did that ever pass the quality check before delivery I don't know. On a positive note, I am actually getting great mileage - averaging 25 mpg on the freeways, far better than my last Lexus. But the car feels cheap and as if corners were cut. Lots of plastic and poor damping on the different cubbies in the car. My Lexus was far superior for only about $3k more. Still 2 1/2 years on my lease but this is my last Acura. I grew up on Hondas and Acuras but feel Acura, at least, has lost its way. Back to Lexus for me.

  • Great, responsive car. Terrible interface. - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

    Before buying, I test drove a 2016 Pilot EX-L and a 2015 MDX. In my opinion, the MDX felt more agile and responsive than the Pilot, and I preferred the MDX's interior and exterior styling over the Pilot. The Good: Car handles incredibly well. Accelerates, turns, and brakes superbly. If you're looking for a three-row SUV, I can't think of anything that would come even close to the same level of performance and value, except perhaps a Pilot. The only other option I considered was the Volvo XC90, but it would cost around 25-30% more, and although I greatly prefer the Volvo's interior and user interface, my friends with Volvos have had issues with reliability. Audi Q7 also looks great, but again price and reliability issues steered me away. So, from a price-performance-reliability standard, the MDX is very hard to beat. I took the MDX on a curvy, secluded mountain highway, and it was truly the most thrilling drive I've ever had. I'm happy with the car. The Bad: The user interface is disgraceful. Acura's worst yet, and that's saying something. Even though the dealer set up the car for my wife and me, my wife's first solo drive in the car had her near tears because of the maddening user interface. For instance, getting the car to accept her phone's bluetooth connection instead of mine was crazy complex, and you have to go through two entirely separate menus if you want to transfer both the phone operations and the phone's media (e.g., Pandora) from one source to another. Even everyday tasks like turning on the seat's heaters, adjusting the A/C, or tinkering with the audio settings (e.g., fade/balance) all take multiple levels of menus, requiring too much of the driver's focus and attention. I sorely miss when I could do any of those things with a single gesture (flip a switch! turn a dial!) without having to take my eyes off the road. Now, I have to find the 1 cm square on the display panel that takes me to the menu to adjust the fan. Then the menu changes, and I have to navigate my hand to the "+" and "-" icons. Even when I know what to do -- which isn't often the case, because the menu system is poorly laid out -- my eyes leave the road for what'd I guess to be about three seconds... just to adjust the fan! Speaking of user interfaces, the displays in the car are terrible. Just plain old washed out and "fuzzy." I'm wondering if Acura got a deal on surplus parts from circa 2001. Backup camera quality feels like it's made from Soviet-era parts, and the touchpad was probably made from leftover Microsoft Zune panels. Resolution and clarity are shameful. Other annoyances: The glove compartment light apparently only comes on if the headlights are on. I, personally, tend to open the glove compartment when the engine is off, and even if it's light outside, the back of my glove compartment is still pretty dark. The chrome trim used all over the center stack reflects the sun like a mirror, creating an annoying and blinding distraction. My wife and I each experienced this independently, so I don't think I'm being nit-picky. Look for a recall on this in future months, where your dealer installs non-reflective stickers over the chrome trim to solve this safety issue. ;-) With Acura's button-based transmission system, it seems impossible to park the car, turn off the engine, and keep the radio on. There's a ridiculous "car wash" mode that lets you turn off the car and keep it in neutral, but good luck remembering the proper sequence of brake, button, and transmission to put it in this mode, and I'm still not sure how practical this mode is anyway. Suspension is... bumpy if not jarring. Too much hard plastic. Acura dealer mentioned crazy expensive parts when trying to upsell on warranty. Do headlights really cost $1,100!? Notes on AcuraWatch Plus: AcuraWatch plus is a suite of features like adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist. Unfortunately, it does not include blind spot monitoring. I had great hopes for both adaptive cruise and lane keep assist, but neither seem quite ready for prime time. Adaptive cruise is a little too slow to react, especially when speeding back up either when the car in front accelerates or when you change lanes to go around a slower car. Lane keep assist is at times too aggressive while at other times too oblivious of the car's drifting across lanes. It also seems to continually "test" if the driver is actively steering by subtly turning the wheel slightly back and forth. After a couple of hours of driving, my arms and shoulders were sore from subconsciously fighting these small, constant tugs on the steering wheel. On the other hand, I have had at least one successful driving experience where I let the car do most of the steering while I barely assisted. That was kind of fun, but I don't foresee those opportunities arising often, due to typical traffic and road conditions. Overall: Great car, terrible tech.

  • Rattle box - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

    This is the worst purchase ever. The seats are very uncomfortable. Cheap build quality as the doors rattles when you drive. Terrible drivetrain. Lots of noise and vibrations. If you want a real luxury car, look at Lexus, Mercedes, or Bmw.

  • beware of useless nav system - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

    Navigation system is mostly useless..better off not paying for it and using Wavz

  • MDX has major problem, Please read before buying - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

    I have bought a brand new Acura MDX in February, 2016. My experience with my new Acura MDX is pretty bad so far. On June 20th, I had the first experience of the problem with dashboard showing that there is Transmission, Emission, and all other system problem. The car stopped on the road. Later it started but continue to flash the warnings. This same problem occurred second time on September 6th and at the time, I was starting the car and it won't even start. Later it started but continue to flash the warnings. I took the car to Acura dealership on these both occasions and it shows up later. Again, Third time it happened on October 30th. Checkout the https://community.cartalk.com/t/dashboard-showing-that-there-is-transmission-emission-and-all-other-system-problem/96331 for multiple people reporting the issue. Please think hard before you sink in 50K for this car.

  • Jerky Transmission + Clunky Shifting = last Acura - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

    Background: Purchased this 2016 model in May of 2015 - have driven for a year. Thud/clunk noise e-v-e-r-y time I accelerate from around 40 to a higher speed. Head mechanic at dealer acknowledged this shouldn't be happening, had my car for weeks, put in a new drive train. Problem still there so then they told me that all of the MDXs do this. Wait-what?? Engine will shut off when I stop, every single time I stop, unless I deactivate the fuel saving feature. Get in the car in the AM, deactivate, go to grocery, get back in car, deactivate, stop to get gas, get back in car, deactivate. You can see how irritating this becomes on a daily basis. Dealer tells me no way to get around this. Driver's side window rattles when it's about 1/3 of the way down. After my first month of driving this car, transmission made a thud noise when in reverse (dealer was able to fix this). Very jerky ride at slow speeds (i.e., pulling slowly out of my driveway or rounding a corner). Lots of "cool" touch screen controls -- until you realize that you can't just turn a knob to change the AC or heat, you have to hit the control screen multiple times. Even my husband, who loves everything tech, complains about what a pain this is. When you shift gears, rolls forward or backward quite a bit so don't you dare park too close to anything. And there are other smaller things that make driving this vehicle every day unpleasant. My car history: every 3-5 yrs, when a typical manuf. warranty runs out, I get a new car (I've been hit more than once so I'm very concerned about safety) and this is the WORST car I've ever owned. I hate it. What am I comparing it to? Going way back to my Honda Passport, Mercedes ML350, Mazda MPV, Subaru Tribeca, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Volvo XC60 (all of them high-end models w lots of features). This vehicle may get a great review after being test driven once for a car website, but check online and see how disappointed all of us owners are who have to drive it every day.

  • Mostly OK with the SUV - terrible transmission! - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

    Mostly this car is OK for the price. But the transmission is terrible and has an odd shift that makes it uncomfortable to drive and for passengers. No matter what "mode" you're in. It's been in the shop twice now for this problem and we just keep hearing - it is what it is. Which is frustrating given how much we are paying for it. The Acura service department we also have been going to is less than stellar at communication and makes us even more frustrated with the car. I loved, loved, loved my first Acura many years ago - but I do not think I will be purchasing / leasing another one anytime soon.

  • Terrible customer service and tech problems - 2016 Acura MDX
    By -

    Acura customer care refused to return my calls for 8 months when the backup camera was intermittently not functioning. Even after I send videos of it occurring they refused to accept responsibility or communicate. Acura clearly doesn't care about customers after they make the purchase. The navigation system and voice recognition system is really a joke as well. I replaced it with a dash-mounted iPhone. The car does handle well and the all-wheel drive is great.

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