The MDX has quick acceleration, a large cargo capacity and impressive towing capability. Seven-passenger seating and a split, fold-flat third-row seat are other pluses. When pushed to its cornering limits, though, our test car fishtailed too easily, compromising its emergency handling.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags standard. ESC standard from 2003. Head protection air bags standard from 2004. Forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring optional from 2011. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking standard from 2017.
Road Test

The MDX has quick acceleration, a large cargo capacity and impressive towing capability. Seven-passenger seating and a split, fold-flat third-row seat are other pluses. When pushed to its cornering limits, though, our test car fishtailed too easily, compromising its emergency handling.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.5-liter V6 (240 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2002 Acura MDX owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"second rebuild we replaced bad torque converter"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"poor transmission design,"

Anonymous, WA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"no problems with replaced transmission"

Ralph K., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission stuck in 4 gear on a trip. Replaced with heady duty aftermarket and additional cooler"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Dealer was way too expensive. Went to an independent repair specialist who did a great job"

Thomas R., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"2 failed transmissions in 140000 miles ,not like Honda,,,first time at apprx 45000 miles lost second gear, last time bad clutch slippage at apprx 125000 miles....and I service my own cars at normal intervals using the best synthetic ATF"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission replacement required Twice in 18 months"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"dealer replaced transmission during one of my periodic service calls"

Allan B., OH (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission had to be rebuilt. Not sure what else to say"

Brendan S., TX (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission noisy from day1. Dealer said normal. Replaced (Acura recall) 30K, still same noise, dealer said normal. Worsened till 135K, slipping out of gear made unsafe. Great local shop, replaced w/reman from Jasper. No noise! and runs great!!"

Anonymous, AL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"rebuilt the existing transmission in 2014. Began having problems with the transmission in 2008"

Anonymous, OR (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission rebuilt twice. It must have been a serious issue"

Anonymous, AL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"We had to have 3 transmissions replaced under warranty. At 168000 miles, we had to pay for a fourth rebuilt transmission. the overall quality of the MDX was very good, but the transmissions are terrible"

Steve R., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"transmission shifting failure at 65,000 miles. Replaced with Jasper transmission and has not had any issues and mileage is now 113,000 miles."

Anonymous, FL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Previously had torque converter replaced at 60k, and transmission rebuilt at 115k"

Anonymous, PA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission was replace with a new rebuilt transmission"

Anonymous, VA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Have a noise that we are told is coming from the transmission as it would be two thousand dollars to fix and the car is only worth three and it will need brakes etc. in the near future we will drive it locally until it dies and donate it. We are in the process to start looking at new cars"

Walter F., NJ (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"It eeded a new one and I have had trouble with it. It could be the mechanic as much as the system"

David H., TN (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"Rear seat fan motor control had to be replaced"

Anonymous, TN (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Loud shrieking noise when using the system in very cold weather"

James A., AK (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Had heater motor transistor replaced"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Noise"

Anonymous, PA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Blower motor becomes unusually loud beyond first setting"

Anonymous, PA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Evaporator

"Rear AC evaporator replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Heater system

"the system in back seat failed"

John C., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"Compressor hose was leaking"

Anonymous, SC (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"cd player won't eject"

John C., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Display screen goes blank

"Display intermittently cuts in/out (blank screen) as if the system has an electrical short/connection. Acura dealer indicates analysis and repair would entail removal of dash. Cost would be extensive. Internet search indicates other MDX owners hav"

Al P., VA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"GPS screen went blank, probably short in electrical"

Jose G., UT (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Navigation display screen went out. Was able to fix myself with help from Pioneer"

Wayne E., OR (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Display no longer working"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"System seems to fail on a regular basis. Has a hard time locating GPS destinations. As if system cannot react to newer inputs"

Anonymous, MI (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"This generation MDX had GPS and AC controls on touch screen. Ours blacks out completely on occasion prevent access to these controls."

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Radio

"Radio constantly seems to cut out and have sound/signal distortions. Radio, especially AM signals, have never worked well from day one"

Anonymous, MI (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"fading"

Ralph K., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Seems to be common with older Honda/Acura cars, darker colors in particular if not kept inside, paint will oxidize/fade on exposed surfaces."

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"The vehicle stayed most of the time on the driveway,not in the garage under California sun. The paint initially began to fade ,then started peeling off exposing the base metal sheet"

Akihiro N., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Rust

"underside and windshield frame rust"

E T., ON (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

"Tappets. Makes loud noise on cold days on starting"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Engine mounts

"went for routine check and was informed there was only one mount holding the engine in place. All replaced"

Walter F., NJ (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Oil leaks

"rear main seal. was told is fairly typical on these models"

Michael C., CO (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"oil pan leak"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Shudder when shifting 2nd to 3rd"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"Unit started slipping approx 20 k miles ago"

Anonymous, MD (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Transmission slips out of gear on slow down"

Anonymous, AZ (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"Seals wearing out due to age and USge. Cost of repairs excessive compared to value. Manually monitoring and maintaining fluid levels. On average, need to 'top off' fluids every 3-4 weeks"

David K., IL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"Ball joints worn in front required replacement"

Robert T., NY (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"We had to replace the power steering pump because the assist function was failing."

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Shocks or struts

"Replaced front suspension, probably necessary considering mileage and age of car"

Jeff M., TX (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Just wore out"

Anonymous, AL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"SRS system warning light came on"

Anonymous, NJ (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"The acura needed routine brake pad replacement"

Anonymous, FL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Regular brake failure

"The front brakes needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"Change disks on 4 wheels. Normal use"

Anonymous, QC (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

"I THINK this is the correct response for frozen, no longer sliding, front driver's seat. I can't go up down forward or backward. Not fun"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Dealer installed trailer lighting harness never worked properly. Always had intermittent failure of left trailer lighting. Replaced twice then fell out of warranty with continued problem. Trailer lights work 100% on other vehicles..not on MDX"

Steve R., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Warning lights

"Seat belt problem activated warning light. replaced seat belt"

Martin D., PA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Acura dealership indicated numerous times that sound (grinding pop) underneath vehicle when turning steering wheel (left) was normal wear and tear. Local garage, that came highly recommended by a friend, revealed issues with: front struts/mounts an"

Al P., VA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

"seal around doors"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"Had to adjust the cylinder"

Anonymous, NY (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)
Scheduled timing belt replacement

"it was routine maintenance"

Patricia M., BC (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"Needed replacement after appox four years. Originally purchased through Sears Automotive. Replaced through mechanic. Chose a 'value model' battery as expecting car to not last much longer. Currently a car used by teenagers in household"

David K., IL (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Tail gate failed to hold its position when opened. Replacement parts were needed to correct the problem"

Akihiro N., CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust manifold

"Leaking and was replaced"

D S., CT (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Had water jacket gasket replaced"

Anonymous, OH (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"Ignition switch failed & changed"

Anonymous, CA (2002 Acura MDX None 3.5-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

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