Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
The MDX is a very well-rounded vehicle that consistently outscored competitors costing much more. Updates for this model, including a six-speed automatic transmission, further improved it. The Acura rides and handles well, while its refined powertrain provides smooth and quick acceleration as well as good fuel economy. Fit and finish are impressive and the five main seats are comfortable.
Alerts
There is 1 recall 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
NA
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
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
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 is a very well-rounded vehicle that consistently outscored competitors costing much more. Updates for this model, including a six-speed automatic transmission, further improved it. The Acura rides and handles well, while its refined powertrain provides smooth and quick acceleration as well as good fuel economy. Fit and finish are impressive and the five main seats are comfortable. The small third-row seat is OK only for kids and controls can be frustrating.

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
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.7-liter V6 (300 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Acura MDX owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Alignment

“Went to get an alignment, found out that the RR lower track arm bushings had worn out and had to have an adjustable replacement for $300, I later replaced the LR myself for $75”

Allen S., CO (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

“The power steering pump would be noisy/whine when it got hot, after highway freeway driving. The dealership replaced the pump, solving the problem”

William M., WA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Needed to replace power steering pump”

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“the power steering was making a groaning noise. This started the day the dealership performed100K timing belt service. It had been just fine prior to that. The dealership replaced it at no cost to me. All is well”

John C., MO (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Shocks or struts

“front adjustable suspension began to get bouncy/sloppy ride. the issue was traced to the shocks. all 4 were replaced under warranty by the dealer. EXCELLENT service support!”

Benaron G., AB (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Noticed hydraulic fluid on my garage floor. It was from the struts - a safety concern. They checked the other side and it had the same failure. Fixed under warranty”

Charles P., MA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“electronic struts squeeks”

Anonymous, WV (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Struts were blown when I bought the car and needed to be replaced b/c of vibration”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“during my last service visit the front steering felt sloppy. the dealership found that there was a loose component in the steering linkage. the dealership replaced the connecting parts and performed an alignment - all under extended warranty. again Excellent Service”

Benaron G., AB (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Shimmy/vibration since I purchased. Tires were replaced twice at purchase to try and rectify the problem. Dealer blamed aluminum suspension for "road feel/vibration." Tires also wear unevenly. No problems like this with 2004 MDX previously owned”

Anonymous, VA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Tires are cupped/noisy (started at 30,000 miles). Brakes also wear unevenly”

Anonymous, VA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-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

Backup or other camera/sensors

“No lights on back up camera for night time driving. Cannot see well in the inboard dash monitor. Brought up to dealership many times and no help or they just say no lights for that year although if we get a rental car from the dealer while ours is fixed there are lights”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Blind-spot system lights warning light and sometime the car will not start”

Jay D., NC (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
CD player

“CD player no longer ejects CDs”

Anonymous, KS (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“CD player stopped working and couldn't retrieve CDs that were in the system. Had to replace the whole system (radio and CD player)”

Anonymous, FL (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Radio

“SiriusXM receiver has begun to lose signal on the open road where my other vehicle has reception. Acura has been unable to repair”

Anonymous, AE (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Steering wheel controls

“Does not return to driving position after start up”

Doug T., ON (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Voice control commands

“sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. Appears to react better to low men's voices and not mid range women's voices”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Display screen difficult to see

“Display is cluttered, with important or frequently needed information difficult to see - no clear hierarchy. An engineer designed the interface, not a designer. Really stupid”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“50% of the time the display screen and radio led display are so dim during daylight that they cant be read. I have to run dim/bright ciontrols all the way up to bright several times and finally screens will brighten”

Anonymous, LA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

“Froze up at random. Dealer fixed it, but it still happens”

Michael S., NY (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“Very unreliable playing music with my Ipod. Frequently does not work at all”

Michael S., NY (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

“when it rains, the passenger side floorboard gets wet. I've taken it to the dealer and they can't find the leak”

Ken H., TX (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“At one point water was coming in under the hood and running down the emergency brake lever. Some plastic pan was cracked. At another point, a port in the sunroof was plugged up and water ran down the drivers side window”

Karlah D., MO (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Not wind noise it is road noise... when driving on concrete roadways it is the noisiest car I ever owned going back to the 1960's”

Anonymous, LA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“NOISES COMING FROM FROM SUNROOF AND FRONT DRIVER'S SIDE. BOTH OF THEM HAVE WIND DEFLECTOR”

Anonymous, VA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

“rattle in sunroof/headliner”

Shawn H., AZ (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“rear door rattles, right rear seat squeaks in cold weather”

Thomas L., NJ (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“headliner had to be replaced due to poor quality adhesive clips and loud rattles”

Evgeniy M., CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“rattle in passenger door. service dept can't find problem; taken in twice in past year”

Anonymous, MS (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“The dealership cannot determine the cause. No safely or harm in it”

Robert J., NC (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Had a 2002 MDX prior to this 2012 mdx. Many more rattles in this one”

Jennifer K., CO (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

Brakes

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

What Owners Say

Calipers

“The calipers vibrate and make a loud scrapping sound. They sound as if they are rusty”

Anonymous, MN (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“Brakes on all of my cars have always lasted at least 80000 miles. I am easy on brakes and on this car the pads are worn. This is poor quality”

Anonymous, MN (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Rotors

“Replaced after regular wear”

Anonymous, VA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“The rotors were cut several times since purchase which forced me to replace at my expense. I believe it was a defect”

Christina R., PA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“As ALL V6 Hondas/Acuras that I ever owned, MDX developed break shimmy at about 20K miles and the front rotors had to be machined”

Evgeniy M., CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“warped causing vibration upon braking”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“At less than 36k miles the rotors were warped and the dealer told me that they had to be replaced and were not covered by any warranty. At the same time all the pads were worn out. pretty sad for a high end Acura!”

Christopher R., FL (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“I HAVE BEEN HEARING SQUEAKS WHEN I SLIGHTLY DEPRESS MY BRAKE PEDAL WHILE SLOWLY MAKING A LEFT OR RIGHT TURN”

Anonymous, VA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

“Brake shudders when pressure is applied to pedal”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-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

Headlights

“power module for the HID headlight failed”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

“Driver's seat stop working due to short in heating harness”

Anonymous, NB (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Keyless entry

“We experienced faulty door lock on front passenger side which we had to pay to repair. We are also experiencing the same issue on the back passenger door, let side”

Howard N., CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“It is not a 2012 MDX, it is a 2008”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Faulty report on one tire. Replaced sensor”

Anonymous, MD (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Body control module

“This accident avoidance module measures imminent impact. The module has had repeated issues. Third time a repair was needed since new”

Charles P., MA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Warning message for daytime running lights, indicating they were not working. Message was incorrect, but dealer had to clear the computer so that the message would go away”

Anonymous, OH (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Back up lights shine over 3feet off the ground. You can't see anything on or near the ground behind you at night if backing up. Design flaw”

George F., GA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“Burns quartof oil every 1000 miles”

Anonymous, GA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Ran out of oil on long trip. Had slow leak on next oil refill but seems to be ok now. No money spent on repair”

Justin Y., IL (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Not sure that it is a leak. The oil I think is burning up and I have to add two qts at the 35% oil life point”

Christina R., PA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Issue losing oil traced to fuel pump gasket which was replaced. Hard to get at so expensive repair. Still losing oil - Engine light on - and dealer is doing an oil consumption test - measuring every 1K mikes for 4K miles to determine if engine defect issue and if rebuild needed. In the middle of that now”

Susan D., NJ (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

“loose molding, it popped out”

Anonymous, PA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“Purchased as a certified used car. Everything should have been in perfect working order. Immediately after purchase, the right rear door (upper) trim molding was defective & began sagging down. Dealer promised to fix it, but has not. A few pieces of interior trim also were broken upon delivery”

Michael P., CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Paint was missing on the inside of the door seal. When you open the door you can see the lack of paint. Dealership offered to repair but I suggested they give me a towing package worth about $800 retail and they agreed”

Albert F., CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Paint chipped off - about a 2 square inch spot - and immediately began to rust. Odd that the spot isn't even a dent”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-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

Mirrors

“Purchased as a certified used car, so everything should have been in perfect working order. Right side mirror immediately defective upon delivery & began to "chatter" instead of moving smoothly when it auto adjusts when the car is put in reverse. Dealer promised to fix it, but has not fixed problem”

Michael P., CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“Outside side mirror made a sound when moving and was replaced under warranty”

Albert F., CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Sunroof

“water leaked”

Anonymous, PA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-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

“rough to server shift from full stop to 2nd gear. Intermedate only”

Anonymous, NV (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Slipping transmission

“Transmission shifts erratically/inconsistently. Dealer says there's nothing wrong with it. Had it in twice for the same problem”

Gary A., NC (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

“reprogrammed computer code to remedy problem”

Anonymous, OR (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-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

Driveshaft or axle

“Carrier bearing started squealing. The dealership replaced it under their 3,000/3 month warranty”

Darren P., FL (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Electrical failure

“The shifting was delayed and thumped”

Anonymous, OH (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-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

“The Honda/Acura J37A engine uses excessive oil which Acura is trying to claim is not excessive when it is less than 1 quart/1000 miles. The 2008-2014 cylinders were lined with a new alloy which is abrasive on the cylinder rings and causes the engine to burn excessive oil. Acura is working hard to downplay this defect. 2007 engines never had this problem and did not have cylinders like this- I had one and it never used any oil between oil changes. Acura MAY provide a "goodwill" correction if”

John M., NC (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)
Timing belt or chain

“Coolant Leak. The Timing Belt Automatic Tensioner was replaced under the drive train warranty”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-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.

What Owners Say

Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“check engine light continuously on-took to dealer 3 times to fix”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

“Coolant Leak. The Timing Belt Automatic Tensioner was replaced under the drive train warranty”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-L V6)

Exhaust

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

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

“Dealer was unable to find the source of the exhaust smell in the cabin while car idling. Neighbor was able to read and repair. The plugs needing replacing”

Kristen K., TN (2012 Acura MDX None 3.7-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

Climate System

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

Change Vehicle