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Mercedes-Benz M-class vs Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer vs Buick Rendezvous vs Acura MDX



  • None of the Rendezvous owners have attacked the MDX. Indeed several, including fedlawman, have complimented the vehicle. We like our Rendezous' and can appreciate the MDX. We don't have to tear down another person's choice to feel good about the choice we made. For you a powerful engine seems to be the deciding factor. For me, it was utility. The MDX simply wasn't big or comfortable enough for my needs while the Rendezvous has fit my family to a tee.

    If we seem defensive, it's only because you continually attack and throw in provocative comments to boot. This "debate" went stale ages ago. It certainly appears that you feel the need to tear down the Rendezvous in order to feel good about the MDX?

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Sorry - got to toss in my tuppence!

    It is impossible to have a 12 deg difference in such a small compartment like that.

    Gosh, I just measured the temperature near my lamp shade and where I sit 1 meter away. The 30° temperature difference hasn't changed in quite a while!

    As anyone that took physic [sic] in college would knows.[sic]

    I was told that with the right heat flow configuration just about any temperature gradient could be sustained.

    The hot are [sic] will consume the cold air ...

    No air is consumed. Heat flows from the hot air to the cold air and thermal equilibration occurs. Energy is conserved.

    ...the mixing of the two air temperature makes it impossible to have such a temperature differential.

    With one end at a fixed 68° and the other at a fixed 80° you have a temperature gradient. Intermediate locations have intermediate temperatures. What am I missing?

    Don't answer that! We're way too far off topic as it is!

    tidester, host
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    "Why would anyone want to remove their second roll seats when they can just fold it down?"

    Actually, I can fold down my RDV seats, 50% at a time OR I can remove either/both of them for major hauling. Why? Because sometimes I just might need additional cargo carrying capacity. 26.9 cu. ft. more than the MDX, to be exact -- 32.8% more than the MDX. That is significant!

    "The RDV's MPG rating is 18 city and 24 highway." Actually, the mileage I quoted (19/26) is correct for the FWD model. 18/24 is correct for the AWD model. See

    This is funny. First, The Detroit News is not big enough or respectable enough. Now that I've enlightened you and you know that it's the 41st largest newspaper in the U.S., you claim their automotive editorial staff isn't big enough. Yeah -- thanks for the laugh!

  • When valuing the extras, ask yourself how much would you pay for them separately. I don't really care how much is cost to have the trip computer installed by GM in my old Olds (warranty paid $1,300 to replace in 1988), it was only worth about $150 to me (which happens to coincide with the sticker price of that option). HUD for me, big deal. If it has it cool, if not cool.

    Off topic now: 41st largest newspaper in the country? There are only 50 states. Sounds to me like being jazzed up about being number 41 is because you are trying to cater to a small reader group.

    Let's stick to the facts. Even better, let's move on. Anyone want to discuss the ULEV qualities? Personally I don't care at all about that. Don't really care about fuel economy either. How about global warming? Personally I am pro-global warming, even though it's a farce. I imaging that's were this discussion will be in a few days!

    Good luck.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    "Off topic now: 41st largest newspaper in the country? There are only 50 states. Sounds to me like being jazzed up about being number 41 is because you are trying to cater to a small reader group."

    Actually, the reason I brought this up was that hopeitsfriday said being named Truck of the Year by the Detroit News was not an important award because the Detroit News was "... merely one newspaper out of 200 that are in circulation in the country, hardly worth even mentioning." I think it warranted clarification that it was not merely one of the top 200 newspapers, but one of the Top 50 -- that's a pretty big difference (by a factor of 4), especially in terms of circulation and respectability. You suggest we "stick to the facts" ... and that's all I'm trying to do.

    Some things are never good enough for some people, especially when those things don't support a person's point of view.

    I view this forum as a great form of entertainment. If you're looking for solutions to world problems -- famine, global warming (I know you're joking) and international hostility, you're not going to find it here ... ;)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Here is one road test I found in a major publication that I feel is the most accurate assessment of the RDV:

    The Buick Rendezvous offers all the essential elements of a well-rounded crossover vehicle - an elevated stance, plenty of room for passenger and cargo, a smooth-running drivetrain - and in this category - plenty of luxury amenities.

    Despite these strong credentials, the Rendezvous failed to inspire much enthusiasm among our staff.

    Step-in is easy thanks to a relatively low ride height, and lightweight doors add to the ease of entry and exit. The seats are soft all around, a trait that, while normally commendable, puts it at a disadvantage when scored back to back against firmer, more supportive sport seats. Even with the vehicle's low ride height, the seats remain elevated enough to provide a good view of the road ahead, but the rearward sight lines are hampered by the wide C-pillars and small rear side windows.

    (The engine) is not as willing to rev nor is it as powerful down low as (others in this class), but for most day-to-day driving, it's a perfectly competent motivator.

    The suspension is a fully independent setup that emphasizes ride comfort above all else. Toss it into a turn at any substantial rate of speed and it will keel over and beg for mercy. There's never any loss of control, but there's not much fun to be had, either. The brakes were the softest of the four, although they turned in a respectable stopping distance.

    Despite the fact that few, if any, Rendezvous owners will ever venture into the wild, we still dragged it along one of our off-road test loops. To no one's surprise, the Rendezvous was just too soft to handle rough terrain at speed. The soft suspension isolates the cabin nicely, but push it too fast over bumps and rocks and it bottoms out easily. The all-wheel-drive system never failed to provide perfect traction despite the relatively tame street tires.

    We didn't like it as much as the others, but for those who would gladly give up cornering prowess and a gutsy engine in return for a forgiving ride and a quiet cabin, it makes perfect sense.
  • cfocfocfocfo Posts: 147
    It IS Friday

    During the week:

    1) Fedlaw, montreid & Friday fill up 20 % of Edmund's 'SUV5' server as the RDV - MDX debate continues.

    2) I am offered quite a deal on a RDV via the internet, one that I could hardly refuse.

    3) On the way over to the Buick dealership, I stop at the Honda dealership because I never did test drive the Pilot. During the 2 mile test drive, a large truck runs a stop sign, (while talking on their cell phone). I T-boned him at 40 MPH and totaled the brand new 2003 Honda Pilot, the saleman and I walk away with minor injuries ... no thanks to the air bags that didn't go off.

    4) I find out today that the Buick rebates are continued, so I can still get the great "deal".

    5) But most importantly, I am shocked that Dorene1, a very pleasant RDV poster, "ate" that first year depreciation on her new RDV, and traded up* to a MDX !! That is quite an expensive 180 ! (No slight or offense intended Dorene, enjoy that great MDX)

    * trade up * for the purposes of the debate, IMHO, the MDX is a better vehicle ... if they cost the same I would already be driving an MDX, but they don't.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,947
    Let's not get carried away with reposting copyrighted articles from other sources please. Limiting your quotes to a paragraph or two should keep the intellectual property lawyers happy. Thanks!

    Steve, Host
  • montreidmontreid Posts: 127
    now THAT's a week! Since my holiday leave is now over, the server space should be freed up ;)

    Post your internet deal and experience over in the board, gotta see that one.

    Wow, T-boned and walked away from it. Surprised that they didn't offer you a good deal after that one! Maybe should have told them about the RDV deal, and they could've matched it with some extras, then sell it on the 2nd market and get the RDV anyways! :)

    Glad you got it! Remember, don't pay your medical bills on the accident, bill that cell-phone talking trucker!
  • Well, I've been lurking the various SUV boards for a while now researching my next sled. I never thought I'd actually own a "wagon", but mid-life has finally caught up with me and I need something roomier.

    Anyways, I've been researching all of these crossovers for several months and have driven most of the seven people capable haulers out there and have formed my own opinion.

    Let's start with the Honda Pilot...'cause that's where I started. What an overated SUV! Sure it's a Honda, it looks rugged, and it sure is peppy, but really, I thought the seats were uncomfortable (and the leather felt cheap), there's no dead pedal, road and tire noise are LOUD, and it rattled and flexed on all but the smoothest of roads...and it's huge. Strike one.

    I also checked out the Explorer. I thought the Pilot was a little nicer...but not much. Great low-end grunt from the V8, and the seats were comfy too, but it was definately a truck. Rode like a bucking bronco on the freeway, although I admit that, around town it was pretty nice. Ford reliability kinda scares me too. Strike two.

    The Buick Rendezvous was next. Basically a really nice ride, in a vanilla sort of way. It's upscale looking (tho a little "chick car" looking) inside and out, and I liked the room. It has the most comfortable seats I've ever sat in! The grown-up sized seat cushion supported my thighs all the way to my knees, and adjustable lumbar too...great for a long trip. On the road, the ride was really nice. Smooth and quiet (and I didn't get any of that "float"), tho it does roll in the corners a bit more than I'm used to.

    And the Acura MDX. Well, I can see why some folks step up from the Pilot for this one. Honestly couldn't tell the difference in acceleration, but it handles better than the Pilot (tho it's no Bimmer!). I also think the "wood" dash looks OK. On the down side, The seats were almost as bad as the Pilot, and it also had a LOUDNESS problem...especially on textured pavement. It's a good compromise and I liked it overall, tho I'm not sure I want to pay 38 large for one.

    Finally the Mercedes ML320. Sorry, I don't trust this one and haven't test driven it yet. With the 350, maybe they got the bugs fixed...I'm not taking a chance.

    So, this whole MDX/Buick debate has me vexed. They each have their ups and downs. The MDX is definately the better performer, but at the price of plushness. The Buick is the other way around. Yeah the MDX feels sportier, but neither one is any fun to drive...both pretty much "point A to point B" as they say (we are talking about minivans here, after all).

    I think I'll go test drive the new Lexus and Volvo before the jury retires.
  • Dont mean any disrespect here tidester but I want want to respond to your thermo Dynamics posting. You should know me by now, if you didnt want me to response, you should not have posted anything. First of all, I didnt think your lamp shade test was a fair comparison to a car's left and right HVAC system. The light bulb is over 200 deg and room temp is 70 deg. Can a HVAC system in a car generate a 130 deg difference? Secondly, both the 70 and the 200 deg air is not being circulated by a fan like the air in a car.
    You are right about the fact that with the right heat flow configuration just about any temperature gradient could be sustained. Only true if there is no returned air re circulated back from the rear of the vehicle.

    You are right about no air is consumed, consumed was the wrong word, the hot air warms up the cold air.

    Finally, you said:
    With one end at a fixed 68° and the other at a fixed 80° you have a temperature gradient. Intermediate locations have intermediate temperatures. What am I missing?
    What you are missing is the recirculated mixed air returning from the rear of the vehicle that will influence both of the temperatures. If the passenger compartment in a car was actually a wind tunnel, then it may be possible to maintain a 12 deg difference with a 12 deg output temperature difference in settings.
    Sorry, didnt mean to correct you but I just thought I shared with you what little I learn from college physic 101.
  • First of all, sorry to hear about your accident, hope you are all right.
    The front air bags in all vehicles are set to go off at a certain force. Perhaps in the heat of the moment, you over estimated your speed. But you should be happy that you only walk away with minor injuries. Had you been test driving the RDV, you may not have been able to walk away. Finally, this comment does not apply to you, because the other driver ran a stop sign. So dont response to this please. I think people who talk on cell phones and drive at the same time are as bad as driving drunk. They should really have a law banning this practice.
    By the way, I am not too crazy about the Honda pilot neither.
    Drive safely cfocfo
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Not crazy about the Pilot?

    A few days ago, you said, "there is very little distinction between the MDX and Pilot."
  • Hey old buddy, good to have you back. You are not going to verbally attack me again, are you? Just kidding.
    I believed what I said was the top of the line pilot is very close to the MDX base in price. I never said I like the pilot.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    It was more of a rhetorical question...

    Seriously though, did you read the review I posted in #365? I thought it was a surprisingly unbiased evaluation. What do you think?

    (cfocfo...sorry about your mishap; glad you're OK!)
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Sorry, didnt mean to correct you but I just thought I shared with you...

    You may not have intended to correct me and you succeeded in not doing that! :-)

    You ignore the presence of cooling and heating elements that maintain the "endpoints" at fixed temperatures. The "system" is not closed or isolated.

    My lightbulb analogy holds as the principle applies to a 1° temperature gradient as well as it does to a 1000° temperature gradient. That was in response to your flat out claim that a temperature gradient could not be maintained in such a small space. In fact it can.

    tidester, host
  • montreidmontreid Posts: 127
    Welcome to the frying pan! Take a serious look at those two (Lexus and XC90). Unfortunately, the new Lexus is going to still be a 5 seater (a mistake by Lexus IMHO), so that's ruled out of this board altogether. Take the XC90 for a spin. Rides well, good safety, decent engine in either model. Price and maintainence are its major issues.

    Good luck hunting, and let us know what are thoughts are about those ones.

    If you're in the SFBay area, there's a poster who's wife hated her XC90 for xmas. It's on that thread somewhere recently....
  • fedlawman: Very nicely none on posting # 365. You post the editor's good comments as well as the bad.
    tidester HOST: Since we are going way off subject here, I will make it short. We are getting nowhere with this physic thing, so I will give you a case and point. If I remember right, when the GMC Envoy first came out, it too has a similar dual climate control. GMC claims that the system can maintain a 10 deg difference on the two side of the car in the front. Since that was a manufacturer's claim, usually in reality, its less than that. The RDV has a similar system, maintaining a 12 deg difference is impossible. I can't get my MDX to even maintain a 10 deg. difference between the front and the back, and the MDX's HVAC system has more BTU than the RDV.
    You also stated that: " You ignore the presence of cooling and heating elements that maintain the "endpoints" at fixed temperatures. The "system" is not closed or isolated ". I know a little something about temperature control loops, all auto climate control systems are closed systems. Meaning it had a feedback loop, therefore its a feedback system. The more the temp. differnce in setpoints, the more unstable the loop becomes. When you say endpoint, I think you mean sensor right? The cooling and heating elements maintains the sensor area to the set temperature. Temperature loop tends to be very unstable in any area that has high air flow, thats why most manufacturer place their sensors under the dash. Therefore it may have a 12 deg. difference where the sensor is. Any area that is a foot or 2 away will vary in temperature depending on the circulation.
    Finally: you also stated that " your lightbulb analogy holds as the principle applies to a 1° temperature gradient as well as it does to a 1000° " Well its somewhat true, but image how much energy it will take to maintain a 1000 deg difference in a area that is about 150 cubic feet. Imagine the heating and the cooling cost. The same theory can apply the the dual climate control system. To maintain a 12 deg. difference it would take a awful lot of energy, and frankly, I dont think the HVAC system in the Buick can do that. I think the key word here is maintain, it can certainly output air temp diff. of 12 deg. But it cant maintain it without the temp drifting up and down.
    Sorry that I couldnt make it shorter.
  • jk27jk27 Posts: 244
    hopeitsfriday: bottom line ... the RDV dual climate control system works very well.

    Also, you said, "the MDX's HVAC system has more BTU than the RDV." Just out of curiousity, how are you measuring the BTU output of these two vehicles? Please post a link. ;)
  • I have never said the RDV's climate control didnt work well. I merely said it cannot maintain a 12 deg difference in both side. The MDX's system should be able to create a bigger temperature differential since it has a seperate heater core and a air conditioning condenser just for the rear compartment.
    Following is a link to a edmunds article about the MDX. It claims that the MDX can output 19000 BTU. That is more than most of the SUV in this class.
This discussion has been closed.