How Long Do Acura MDXs Last? (Years & Miles)

The Acura MDX is made to last for a long time, and it has many positive features. It is a popular 3-row SUV in America. This vehicle has a V-6 engine for plenty of power and the style is one that most people love. The Acura is Honda’s luxury line so it has many features that make it special.

The Acura MDX is an SUV that should run until it has at least 250,000 to 300,000 miles on it. This is about 16 to 20 years before the Acura should need a costly repair. Some owners of MDXs have gotten 400,000 miles out of the vehicle, although this is not to be expected because it doesn’t happen often.

Safety features are very good in the Acura MDX and it has been designated as the top Safety Pick in 2022. The MDX has had some problems as all vehicles have, but these issues were not costly to repair and did not occur very often. Families love their MDX SUVs because they can be relied on to get them where they need to go.

Acura MDX Reliability Scores

Reliability in a vehicle refers to how often it is in the shop being repaired. If you don’t know whether your vehicle will get you to your destination, then your SUV is not very reliable. The scores are not a perfect 5, 10, or 100 because no car is perfect.

Edmund’s scores can help you see which vehicle models were reliable and which ones were often off the road due to problems. The following chart shows reliability scores for Acura MDXs:

                                              Acura Reliability Scores by the Year

Acura MDX 2001 Model                       8.0/10 by Edmunds
Acura MDX 2002 Model                       4.6/10 by Edmunds
Acura MDX 2007 Model                       82/100 by Edmunds
Acura MDX 2015 Model                       79/100 by Edmunds
Acura MDX 2020 Model                       8.0/10 by Edmunds
Acura MDX 2022 Model                       4.0/5.0 by Edmunds

Edmunds uses different tests to judge vehicles by driving them on streets, freeways, and back roads. This is a test of 115 real-world miles so they can fairly evaluate vehicles on scores that cover performance, comfort, interior, technology, and value. These scores are used by consumers to find information on their own vehicles as well as vehicles they may be interested in purchasing in the future.

As you can see by the above chart, an Acura MDXs reliability scores are not necessarily lower as the car ages. Some vehicles are reliable well into their old age.

Worst Acura MDX Years

Some years of Acura MDX models are very good while others should be avoided if possible. If you own one of the vehicles that we will discuss next, you might find some ideas about how to avoid these problems and help your Acura last longer.

2001-2005 – Acura DMXs produced in these years have had serious transmission issues and transmission failure. The 2004 Acura DMX had earlier and more expensive issues. Some Acura MDXs have had more than one transmission replacement

2010 – The 2010 Acura DMX model had problems with excessive oil consumption. This can result in engine problems as the leaking oil seeps into the engine. Repairs to the engine cannot be made most of the time. The only solution is to replace the engine.

2014 & 2016 – These Acura DMX models also had engine problems. The 2014 model had more complaints than any other model. With 210 problems, it ranked higher than other years of Acura MDX which had an average of 126 issues. Not all of these issues were major problems. Some of the problems were 31 steering complaints, 27 electrical system problems, 24 service brakes issues, 23 equipment problems, 22 engine, and engine cooling problems, etc.

2017 – This year’s models had early transmission problems, but the transmissions did not fail.

It is recommended that you avoid these models.

Best Acura MDX Years

It is recommended by that some models of the Acura MDX are safe and reliable. They are these models:

2006-2009 – The 2006 model had some complaints but they were minor and did not occur until the 150,000-mile mark or after. If a problem or recall was repaired or replaced years ago and the MDX has been running well afterward, then it is probably safe to purchase this model.

2011-2013 – These models had only a few complaints that were minor issues.

2015 – This year had minor problems that were inexpensive to repair, such as 18 different issues with equipment.

2019 & 2020 – These are excellent years for the MDX and are recommended if you are looking for a used Acura.

These models have had the fewest recalls and fewest complaints.

Acura MDX Vs. Other Cars in Its Class

There are other models of cars that are competitors of Acura MDX. They are similar to the MDX and we will tell you more about them in the following chart when we review how many miles each model gets.

                        Car Make & Model                                          How Many Miles Does It Last?

Acura MDX Vs. BMW x5MDX-250,000-300,000 mi. BMW X5-150,000-200,000
Acura MDX Vs. Audi Q7MDX-250,000-300,000 mi. Audi Q7-150,000-200,000
Acura MDX Vs. Infinity QX60MDX-250,000-300,000 mi.  Infinity QX60 – 250,000-300,000 mi.
Acura MDX Vs. Honda PilotMDX-250,000-300,000 mi.   Honda Pilot – 250,000-300,000 mi.  

Acura MDX Maintenance Cost

As vehicles age, parts wear out and it usually costs more to keep them in good running condition. The following chart will tell you more about the maintenance cost of an Acura MDX model.

                                            Annual Maintenance of an Acura MDX as It Ages

                  Acura MDX — 2 years old                          $571
                  Acura MDX — 5 years old                          $571
                  Acura MDX – 7 years old                          $1,340
                  Acura MDX – 11 years old                          $988
                  Acura MDX – 16 years old                          $3,000 up

How Long Do Acura Components Last?

The components in your Acura may last longer or not as long as the average amount of time. For example, if you skid out every time a light turns green, your back tires will wear down much sooner than if you drove conservatively.

The following chart will give you an idea of how long the brakes, tires, and transmission on an Acura MDX usually last and the costs for components that you may have.

Brakes Last 70,000 mi.Tires Last About 5 YearsTransmissions Last 200,000 mi.
New brakes $700One new tire $364New transmission $3,500
Brake pads up to $300 per axleSet of 4 tires $1,456Transmission leak repair $900
 Tire balancing $20 per wheelClutch replacement $1,300
 Wheel alignment $60-$150 

Do Acura MDXs Rust Fast?

Rust problems can happen to any vehicle, including the Acura MDX. Small rocks and pebbles often hit the vehicle and if the paint is chipped off, the area can rust. If the rusted area is not repaired and coated with an anti-rust solution, the rust will again damage the unprotected metal on your Acura MDX.

A rustproofing treatment costs between $100 and $200 and is well worth the investment if you plan to keep your MDX for many years. Rust can be prevented by washing your car after the streets have been salted during an ice or snowstorm if you live in a cold environment.

Damage to your vehicle’s paint can also result from snow, rain, or sand. Washing your car after these occur will help prevent rust in your Altima MDX.

Parking your vehicle in a garage will also help it to avoid rust. It should be dry and ventilated if possible.

Most Common Acura Problems

Some problems in Acura MDXs were small ones that were easily repaired, but some models had serious issues like transmission problems.

Here are a few symptoms of transmission problems that you may have noticed in your MDX:


  • Shuddering when driving fast
  • Failing to shift into gear
  • Hard shifts from Low to High gear
  • Slipping or lack of acceleration even with high RPMs

The transmissions in early Acura MDX vehicles from 2001 and 2002 had serious transmission problems. Acura updated their transmissions for the 2003 model and there were fewer problems. The exception to this is in the 2014 MDX with more complaints due to transmission problems.

Another bad year for transmission problems in cars like the Acura MDX (and even cars like the GMC Acadia) was 2016. Owners complained of hard and jerky shifts, not finding the right gear, and noises when shifting. The software was updated by Acura again but the 2017 and 2018 models still did not work optimally.

A mechanic can examine all of the components of your transmission and tell you if you need a new one.

A fluid flush and software update sometimes correct transmission problems. The cost of a new transmission in the MDX is approximately $3,500.

Excessive Oil Consumption

Acura MDX owners had many complaints about their 2010-2013 models leaking oil and about excessive oil consumption. These issues often occurred when the vehicles had very low miles.

Acura issued a recall on 2010-2013 models because of excessive oil consumption. Vehicles were tested and only those that lost a certain amount of oil qualified for the recall.

Carbon buildup could damage the piston and piston rings eventually leading to engine failure.

The cost of a new Acura MDX engine is about $4,700.

Adaptive Damper System Problems

The Acura MDXs, including the Sport and Advanced models, have an electronic Adaptive Damper System made with magnetic struts for better handling. There might be corrosion in your struts if you notice a less smooth ride and other changes in your vehicle.

You can have your mechanic check the Adaptive Damper System or take your vehicle to your Acura dealership. They can provide the information you need to decide how to fix the problem.

It costs around $700-$800 to replace one shock and over $2,000 to repair all shocks in your Acura.

Excessive Battery Drain

Batteries are necessary for your car to work properly, and they are not cheap to buy. The 2007-2013 Acura MDXs had issues with the Hands-Free Link (HFL) related to the battery. This function handled Bluetooth, but the HFL failed after about 2 years.

The result was a drain on the battery even if the vehicle was not running. Even when a new battery was installed, the same problem continued to happen. The HFL could be disconnected but then there was no Bluetooth accessibility.

There are other possible causes of battery drain such as a bad alternator or air conditioner compressor relay. If you have already replaced the HFL, you or your mechanic need to look for other causes of battery drain.

The cost of an HFL replacement part is around $200. This is without the cost of labor if you are having your mechanic do the work for you.

Suspension Problems

Acura models from 2014-2020 have had some suspension issues. Most of these have been hearing a thumping noise when moving over bumps at a slow speed. These involved the rear suspension.

In response, Acura released a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) about the problem. Their solution was to replace the rear shock absorbers and rear upper damper mount bushings.

The cost of replacing two rear shocks is $356 and the cost of two bushings is $700 for a total of around $1,056 for the replacements.

Auto Idle Stop Stalling

The 2016 Acura MDX model has Auto Idle Stop to automatically turn the engine off when you are stopped. As soon as you step on the accelerator, the engine should automatically turn back on. Some owners had their systems shift to Neutral. They had to restart the engine to move forward.

These stalling issues can usually be fixed by installing a new battery which costs approximately $270.

Acura MDX Recent Recalls

Vehicle manufacturers sometimes recall cars that have had numerous complaints about the same problem in a certain model. The repairs or replacement is free of charge because it is the fault of the manufacturer.

Here are some recent recalls for you to check to see if your MDX is included in any of the recalls:

2019-2020 – (Recall Number 21V215000) Fuel Pump Issues

This large recall of 624,552 MDXs for fuel pump problems. The problem can cause the engine to stall while driving. This is very dangerous and can cause a crash if the car is driving on the freeway.

A new fuel pump costs about $576 to replace. If you have received a recall notice, your Acura will fix your vehicle free of charge.

2001 & 2002 (Recall Number 20V027000) Airbag Problem

Metal fragments may shoot out from the airbag in the case of a crash. The airbag cushion may not protect the driver and occupants of the vehicle.

Acura will replace the driver airbag inflator when the replacement parts are available.

2003-2006 (Recall Number 19V499000) Airbag problem

This recall is due to the chance of metal fragments shooting out from the airbag in case of a crash. It is very similar to the 2001 and 2002 recall, but it has another recall number.

 Acura will replace the airbag free of charge if you have received a recall notice.