Acura MDX certified pre-owned warranty

There’s a far cheaper alternative - also from Acura

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If you read our feature on Acura’s certified pre-owned warranty, you’ll know it’s one of the best in the business. You’ll get two extra years of bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage, one extra year of powertrain-only coverage and a slate of handy benefits. The cherry on top? A free maintenance visit, which is rare among CPO programs.

All that being said, some models just aren’t worth buying certified to begin with. Maybe the dealers like to charge way too much for that specific CPO model. Or maybe that model is so reliable to begin with, paying for added warranty protection just isn’t worth it.

So how does the Acura MDX stack up? How reliable are MDXs? How much are dealers charging for CPO vs. non-CPO MDXs and is it worth paying the difference?

Read on to find out.


Key insights

The CPO warranty for all Acura models is six years/100,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection plus seven years/100,000 miles of powertrain protection. This effectively adds two years/one year to the factory warranty protection, respectively.

Jump to insight

The average CPO MDX costs $6,030 (15.3% higher) more than a pre-owned MDX with the same age and miles. That’s more than double the industry average CPO upcharge (6%).

Jump to insight

It’s worth getting a CPO MDX if you find one listed for just $2,000 more than a pre-owned one.

Jump to insight

Otherwise, it might be more cost-effective to schedule a pre-purchase inspection ($200) and purchase a three-year Acura Care extended warranty (around $2,250).

Jump to insight

How long is the CPO warranty on an Acura MDX?

The CPO warranty on an Acura MDX is as follows:

For context, all brand-new Acura vehicles come with the following warranty from the factory:

  • 4 years/50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage
  • 6 years/70,000 miles of powertrain coverage

When you purchase a CPO Acura (including the MDX), Acura essentially replaces your factory warranty with your CPO warranty. As a result, you effectively get an extra two years/50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage plus one year/30,000 miles of extra powertrain coverage.

Now, if you purchase a CPO MDX with an expired factory warranty, Acura still provides bumper-to-bumper coverage for another two years from the date of purchase or until your MDX reaches 100,000 miles. You’ll also get powertrain coverage until your MDX turns seven years old or reaches 100,000 miles.

Overall, two extra years of bumper-to-bumper coverage is excellent for a CPO warranty – but how much are Acura dealers charging these days for CPO?

» MORE: Acura certified pre-owned warranty

» MORE: Best CPO warranties

How much does a certified pre-owned MDX cost?

We found 947 certified pre-owned Acura MDX listings nationwide with an average price of $45,389, while the average pre-owned price was just $39,359 – a difference of $6,030 or 15.3%.

For context, as of May 2024 the average CPO vehicle – across all brands – was listed for around 6% more than the average used vehicle with identical age and miles ($33,727 vs $35,713). With Acura MDX models specifically, that gap is more than twice as large.

To find this out, ConsumerAffairs went to Edmunds.com to compare the average listing price of a certified pre-owned MDX to a regular pre-owned MDX with the same age and miles.

So, for around $6,000 extra, you’re getting:

  • A 182-point quality inspection
  • Two extra years of bumper-to-bumper warranty protection
  • One extra year of powertrain warranty protection
  • Two extra years of Acura Roadside Assistance
  • One scheduled maintenance visit (worth $250 to $500)

So while the gulf in price is wide, is it still worth paying?

Is a CPO Acura MDX worth it?

In general, it’s more likely to be worth paying extra for a CPO Acura MDX if:

  • The bumper-to-bumper warranty protection lasts for at least a year (ideally two).
  • The vehicle you’re considering has a below-average reputation for reliability.
  • The cost of buying CPO isn’t much higher than the cost of buying pre-owned.

We’ve already established that CPO MDXs come with an excellent two-year warranty – but the cost difference between CPO and pre-owned is also extremely high (15.3% versus the average CPO upcharge of 6%).

So for a tiebreaker, let’s look at the MDX’s reputation for reliability.

“MDXs are pretty darn reliable,” our local Acura dealer told us. “They’re Hondas at heart, and while they had some transmission niggles a while back, they’ve since ironed those out. The new engines and transmissions are just bombproof.”

That may be so, but when you ask a non-dealer, the response is a bit more mixed.

In its 2024 Vehicle Dependability Study, J.D. Power ranked Acura 20th out of 29 brands overall, with an average of 216 problems per 100 vehicles within the first three years of ownership.

Consumer Reports ranked Acura 4th out of 30, but the MDX received a predicted reliability score of just 51 out of 100. The outlet listed “noises/leaks” and “in-car electronics” as major trouble spots with the 2023 model, but the 2022 model fared better.

Overall, the MDX is probably more reliable than your average vehicle. But considering that it does have some trouble spots – and it’s a luxury vehicle with luxury-vehicle repair costs – maximizing your warranty might be a good idea.

Circling back to CPO, paying $6,000 for two extra years of bumper-to-bumper protection probably isn’t worth it. Luckily, you have two alternatives:

  1. Negotiate with the dealership by following step eight of our used car buying guides.
  2. Purchase an extended warranty from Acura or a third-party provider and receive bumper-to-bumper coverage for less.

So before we wrap up, let’s compare the cost of both options.

» MORE: Acura maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

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CPO vs. extended warranties for MDXs

The average cost of an extended warranty directly from Acura ranges from $521 to $788 per year of additional bumper-to-bumper coverage. The MDX was on the high end of that range, but even still, that’s far cheaper than paying $6,000 for just two years of coverage with CPO.

Better yet, Acura’s extended warranties come with one additional benefit over CPO: you’ll get $45 per day in rental car reimbursement ($270 max) if your MDX has to go in for warranty work – provided, of course, the dealer doesn’t have a loaner to give you.

So overall, unless you can negotiate the cost of CPO down to just $2,000 extra, it might be more cost-effective to:

  1. Find a low-mileage, non-certified pre-owned MDX
  2. Schedule a pre-purchase inspection for around $200
  3. Purchase a separate extended warranty from the dealer or one of the best extended car warranty companies of 2024.

» MORE: Acura extended warranty: cost, coverage and plans

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Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. Edmunds, “Used Acura MDX for Sale Near New York, NY.” Accessed May 6, 2024.
  2. J.D. Power, “Vehicle Dependability Slumps as Rate of Deterioration Increases, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed May 6, 2024.
  3. Consumer Reports, “Who Makes the Most Reliable New Cars?” Accessed May 6, 2024.
  4. Consumer Reports, “Acura MDX.” Accessed May 6, 2024.
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