Crossover & Midsize

Don’t Buy a 2014 Acura MDX If You Want Your Car to Look Good

When you buy a luxury car, part of that premium price is paying for a luxurious interior and exterior. Luxury vehicles frequently come standard with high-end leather seating, large dual touchscreens, and other premium materials. Luxury cars also typically use more expensive paints than a regular car. Because of this, fixing paint problems can be more expensive if you have a vehicle like the Acura MDX.

This midsize SUV has a strong engine, plenty of safety features, and gets excellent gas mileage. If you buy one from 2014, you’ll get all the benefits of a redesign while only paying half the current retail price. However, if you’re concerned about appearances, you may want to choose another model year for the Acura MDX.

Bubbling and chipping paint on the 2014 Acura MDX

The 2014 version of the Acura MDX had multiple complaints regarding its paint job. Customers reported that the paint would bubble whenever the vehicle became wet. Bubbling paint was most commonly found between the sunroof and the windshield. Some also reported seeing chipping paint around the car’s chrome grille.

In some cases, the problem was so severe that it was causing rust and corrosion. It seemed most apparent after 40,000 miles, though one driver reported paint issues after driving only 500 miles. Some drivers reported that they had to have new coats of paint applied to multiple areas of the car.

Good solutions were hard to find

An Acura MDX is displayed during the 2020 Sundance Film Festival
The Acura MDX | Bryan Steffy/Getty Images

For some 2014 Acura MDX owners, the bubbling paint would only appear after the car had been washed or during a rainstorm. Once the car was dry, the problem seemed to go away on its own. Because of this, it was hard for mechanics to replicate the issue and find a proper fix.

Some dealers also couldn’t fix the problem due to an expired warranty. Some customers had an extended warranty, but the MDX’s paint job was not covered. In most cases, drivers ended up paying out of pocket for new applications of clear coating and paint.

Other structural issues

In addition to bubbling paint, one user reported warped windows on their Acura MDX. Like the paint problem, it was likely caused by excess moisture around the windows. The panel later popped off when the owner took the vehicle through a car wash. They were able to have it replaced free of charge since the car was still under warranty.

One driver also said that the car has misaligned doors. While this problem doesn’t affect the car’s safety or performance, it’s unacceptable for a car that originally cost over $50,000.

Big engine problems

The 2014 Acura MDX had several complaints about its engine. Drivers reported that the engine frequently made ticking, whistling, and rattling noises. Many technicians reported that they could not fix the issue, but it wasn’t a safety hazard. Apparently, it was a cylinder management issue for cars with the 3.5-liter engine.

Multiple drivers also experienced a pause while trying to accelerate the vehicle. The car would then lurch after it was finished stalling, causing it to go faster than intended. Mechanics told drivers that this was a common issue for Acura cars and did not provide a permanent fix.

Is the Acura MDX still a good buy?

Later model years of the Acura MDX have gotten much fewer complaints overall. While it suffers from low reliability, one of the latest models boats a high owner satisfaction score from Consumer Reports.

It’s still a pricey SUV, so most consumers don’t appreciate paying more to fix poor-quality paint jobs. Luckily, it seems that 2014 was the worst year for paint problems. There were a few reports of peeling paint for 2015, but none as serious as the 2014 Acura MDX.