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Get out of my Acura MDX for an Explorer?


BRnPA

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2005 Acura MDX Navi & RES
Hello everyone. Brand new to this forum. I'm the owner of an '05 Acura MDX that will not die. No major issues but I'm thinking about replacing it with a 2016 or newer Explorer and putting my son into the MDX. I do pretty much all the routine maintenance, including all fluids, brakes, hoses, belts, etc... I'm looking for a few things from this community:
1. The routine fluid maintenance for the MDX is pretty high - Rear differential AWD clutch fluid drain and fill (Honda VTM-4 fluid), transfer case (90w oil) and tranny fluid drain and fill (~3 quarts) every 30,000 miles. I can do this in less than an hour because I've done it so many times. How does this compare to the newer Explorers?
2. I know there were major updates made to the Explorer in 2016. I've been looking at either the 2016 Limited with BLIS or a 2017 XLT with BLIS, cold weather package, and possible appearance package. Is there anything I should be looking for in these model years regarding TSBs, recalls, gremlins, etc... as I test drive them?
3. What are the main failures on these newer models? I've seen forum postings for rear main seal leaks(?). Are there any issues with the AWD systems I should be aware of?
4. Lastly, I was at the Philly Auto Show last month and saw the 2020 Explorer. Really nice. What's the general opinion on waiting for one of those? Are there major differences/updates/upgrades as compared to the current model iteration? I could always drive my MDX for a couple extra years and pickup a 2020 at the end of the model year to save a few bucks.

Thanks!
 


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KayGee

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1. If you follow the same maintenance schedule, I would expect your routine maintenance to be similar depending on your parts/fluid costs and how you shop for them.

2/3. Every vehicle has it's issues and the explorers have no shortage of them. I would probably look for a late production 2017 over a 2016 or early production 2017 personally to try and get the latest PTU and other minor updates, but depending on price, you can always add an esp. There's a lot of info out there for the taking - at this forum and elsewhere on the internetz.

4. 2020 is now RWD/AWD vs 2011-2019 are FWD/AWD. I'm not an early adopter and never buy the first few years of any new model. I prefer to buy more in the middle to end of a typical model run.

Best of luck.
 




thefranchise713

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PTU should be changed every 30-50k and probably closer to 30k. This is not documented officially, but we have seen a high failure rate tied to the PTU.

I would wait for the 2020 as the quality of the 2011-19 vehicles has been lackluster, along with some issues that will never seem to be fully fixed (such as the exhaust smell issue.)
 




613GT500

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I would also wait for the 2020 redesign.
There's no way you will get the same life out of the current Gen Explorer, as you are with the MDX.
 




peterk9

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Welcome to the Forum BRnPA.:wave:
The 2016 had it own issue and that was the throttle body. 2016 Explorer Throttle Body Problems
Also, the 5th generation has a transverse mounted engine and an internal water pump while the 2020, 6th gen. has gone back to the longitudinal engine and external water pump (to be confirmed?). Here is the issue with the internal one. Water pump failure leads to dead engine
Check the leading edge of the hood for paint bubbles. The 2016 is covered for 5 years, unlimited mileage. Hood Paint bubble issue only
BTW, it appears the 2020 could have a significant price increase estimated at 2k - 4k (estimated).

Peter
 




03WIExplorerLtd

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Consumer reports rates reliability on this generation as not great overall. They rust, corrode, have failures as listed above, and are very tight inside for their size.
Looking back, would have spent my money elsewhere. 16 plus are sharp looking, but unfortunately, they won't hold up over the long term like an MDX. Simply the vehicle I like and dislike at the same time.

Just from the owner of 2011 with 129k.
 




613GT500

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Consumer reports rates reliability on this generation as not great overall. They rust, corrode, have failures as listed above, and are very tight inside for their size.
Looking back, would have spent my money elsewhere. 16 plus are sharp looking, but unfortunately, they won't hold up over the long term like an MDX. Simply the vehicle I like and dislike at the same time.

Just from the owner of 2011 with 129k.
I agree with everything except for being "tight inside".
The Explorer is one of the most spacious 3row SUV in this segment and the 3rd row can fit actual adults, compared to that of the 3rd row of all MDX generations.
 




03WIExplorerLtd

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I agree with everything except for being "tight inside".
The Explorer is one of the most spacious 3row SUV in this segment and the 3rd row can fit actual adults, compared to that of the 3rd row of all MDX generations.
Try fitting an infant carseat in the second row. Front passenger is eating their knees with bench seat. 3rd row is OK, yes.

Poorly designed interior. Narrow second seat with ltd legroom.
 




RhinoQuartz

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Try fitting an infant carseat in the second row. Front passenger is eating their knees with bench seat. 3rd row is OK, yes.

Poorly designed interior. Narrow second seat with ltd legroom.
Infant in middle or behind driver? Or even in the 3rd row, although not everyone has enough kids to need that.
 




03WIExplorerLtd

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Infant in middle or behind driver? Or even in the 3rd row, although not everyone has enough kids to need that.
Behind passenger seat has a base for infant. Can't fit in the middle as.both seats need to move up. My son sits in 3rd row, we permanently have 60 bench folded down. If he goes behind me he doesn't have much leg room. I like my seat all the way back at about 55 degrees or so. Its pretty straight.

Only had 1 kid when we bought it and 2nd wasn't in picture. That's why mom has a Sienna.
 




RhinoQuartz

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Behind passenger seat has a base for infant. Can't fit in the middle as.both seats need to move up. My son sits in 3rd row, we permanently have 60 bench folded down. If he goes behind me he doesn't have much leg room. I like my seat all the way back at about 55 degrees or so. Its pretty straight.

Only had 1 kid when we bought it and 2nd wasn't in picture. That's why mom has a Sienna.
If only there was an anchor on the drivers side 3rd row, I would do the same.

Interesting arrangement, I never really though about having the 60 down.
 




blwnsmoke

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Behind passenger seat has a base for infant. Can't fit in the middle as.both seats need to move up. My son sits in 3rd row, we permanently have 60 bench folded down. If he goes behind me he doesn't have much leg room. I like my seat all the way back at about 55 degrees or so. Its pretty straight.

Only had 1 kid when we bought it and 2nd wasn't in picture. That's why mom has a Sienna.
Getting off topic a little but your child should be on the passenger side if alone, not the drivers side in the 2nd row. And there is plenty of room for children and car seats in the 3rd row (I did both)

A rear facing child seat I agree is tight because of the handle needing to lock down behind it. But a front facing car seat or booster seat is just fine for space
 




Odrapnew

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If you get an Explorer, get one like mine. 14 Sport, 80k miles and minimal issues. Not perfect, but nothing major at this time(knock on wood).
Also, I had an infant seat behind passenger seat in my Ex without much issue. Sure, the front seat had to move forward a little bit, but nothing that made my wife (~5'7" tall) uncomfortable.
 




RhinoQuartz

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Getting off topic a little but your child should be on the passenger side if alone, not the drivers side in the 2nd row. And there is plenty of room for children and car seats in the 3rd row (I did both)

A rear facing child seat I agree is tight because of the handle needing to lock down behind it. But a front facing car seat or booster seat is just fine for space
We have 3 kids, each one at different stages of car seat.

Seating arrangement:

Drivers side 2nd row - front facing [attached to latch + anchor

Passenger side 2nd row - booster seat [w/locking seat belt enabled]

Passenger side 3rd row - rear facing [attached to latch]

This also with the 60/40 bench seats. I see a lot of posts on other forums/groups with people freaking out over having captains chairs with 3 kids. I really cannot fathom such hysteria, all they have to do is read the owners manual.
 




RedXLTlove

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We have 3 kids, each one at different stages of car seat.

Seating arrangement:

Drivers side 2nd row - front facing [attached to latch + anchor

Passenger side 2nd row - booster seat [w/locking seat belt enabled]

Passenger side 3rd row - rear facing [attached to latch]

This also with the 60/40 bench seats. I see a lot of posts on other forums/groups with people freaking out over having captains chairs with 3 kids. I really cannot fathom such hysteria, all they have to do is read the owners manual.
I am in a very similar situation with car seats and the bench seat is very cumbersome, folding the seat to enter the 3rd row required removal of the booster seat, which gets annoying after few days. So my kids ended up just climbing over the seat, which is fine, but my OCD just does not like that.

So I can see why some would be fanatic about having captains seats, as it makes the daily entrance of the 3rd row much easier.

One big bonus that I did not think of till later, with buckets, you get fore and aft adjustment, which is huge with a rear-facing car seat. The 60 section does not adjust.
 




RhinoQuartz

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I am in a very similar situation with car seats and the bench seat is very cumbersome, folding the seat to enter the 3rd row required removal of the booster seat, which gets annoying after few days. So my kids ended up just climbing over the seat, which is fine, but my OCD just does not like that.

So I can see why some would be fanatic about having captains seats, as it makes the daily entrance of the 3rd row much easier.

One big bonus that I did not think of till later, with buckets, you get fore and aft adjustment, which is huge with a rear-facing car seat. The 60 section does not adjust.
My wife agrees with you completely on that actually. Retrofitting a bucket is a fairly simple process and really only requires the LH bucket seat - however I don't know if they make them in the camel cloth. If I could find one for a decent price I would totally do it.
 




BRnPA

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Everyone - Thanks for the replies! Looks like I'll either wait for the 2020+ models to see the updates/changes, or take the plunge and get a late model MDX. Truthfully, having two Acuras for 15 years, I'm very familiar with how they break, so fixing them has been pretty easy (they're just glorified Hondas). Other option is the Subaru Ascent. Saw one at the Philly Flower Show last week and they are pretty sweet. Subaru has a pretty good reputation with friends who have them, that might be an option. Last resort is a Toyota Highlander. That's running a distant 3rd in my choices at this point. Thanks again.
 




thefranchise713

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Highlander is in bad need of a refresh, so I would probably let that one slide, too.

The Ascent's a nice vehicle and my friends love their Subaru vehicles with a passion. Right now, the brand is killing it, although I suspect that they're about to head in the other direction.
 




BRnPA

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Probably good advice on the Highlander. The Ascent was really nice (interior) and Subarus seem to live forever. Need to go take the Ascent for a test drive to see if it's even close to the MDX.
 


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