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



  • sirknightdsirknightd Posts: 96

    i m impressed with your accuracy.

    Seems like the Explorer costs 8.5% more in gas to operate for the city driving according to you.

    So for me, I drive about 10,000 miles per year.
    I use regular at about $1.80 per gallon.

    The Explorer will cost me $95 more per year for gas than an ML320

    To have the truck I want, I d pay the extra 95 per year.
  • Interesting that you were only able to get 16.03 mpg in the old V6 Explorer on a highway trip (if I understood correctly that this was a highway trip from SLC to Yellowstone NP). I have a 2002 Explorer with the V8 (not the V6) and get better highway mileage than that, every single time.

    So far I've gotten anywhere from 17.2 to 18.6 highway mpg in the first 2300 miles, and from 14.3 to 15.6 city mpg. The V8 is supposed to get 14 city/19 highway, so I guess what I've been getting seems to be pretty dead on with how it's rated.

    Also, FYI, I accelerate quickly and set my cruise on 80mph. If I accelerated slower and set my cruise on 65-70mph, I could easily get an extra 1-2 mpg for both city and highway.

    I also calculate my own mileage, rather than trusting the trip computer, which I have also observed to be +/- 0.5mpg. I would have thought that it would have been consistently low or consistently high, but I have seen it both ways.

    The mileage figures I used for my example were the average of the city and highway mpg for both vehicles. For the Explorer V6, the average of 15 city and 20 highway is 17.5 mpg. For the Mercedes, the average of 17 city and 21 highway is 19 mpg. I was just trying to make an objective comparison using the rated mpg for each. I think that is a more fair comparison than basing it on one trip by one person with a rental car vs. a car they owned.

    My point, however, was not to say that the Explorer will be greatly superior in how much it costs you for fuel. Rather, I was just trying to say that the two are in pretty much the same league. I think that in the long run you will spend a _little_ less on fuel with the Explorer than you will with the Mercedes. However, I would certainly not make my decision on which vehicle to buy based on this small difference.

    (If you drive 15,000 miles a year, with the current Atlanta costs of regular ($1.389) and premium ($1.589) gas, using the average mpgs for each, it would cost you $63.90 less per year for fuel for the Explorer -- not very significant on a $30,000 vehicle).

    I just get tired of proteus using the ML mpg as a huge bargaining point, as if it is SO wonderful, while the Explorer's is SO awful. In my opinion, the Explorer may win by a nose in overall fuel cost, but there's not a big enough difference for anyone buying a $30K (or $40K for the ML) vehicle to care.
  • nikorrnikorr Posts: 23
    HI , take my post as my experience. I dont post much , I just read them . THAT TRIP WAS NOT ON HWY . Both ,,cars ,, drive OK . But in the hills and mountains was biger diferent between them . The transmition was working not OK . It shifts on the way up to hill from 5 to 4 and you dont see any improvments in the speed or power .For exempl , driving on cru.control 50 MPH Ford shifted from 5 to 4 and to 3 to keep same speed . MB from 5 to 4 ,I think that is why Ford need more gasoline .I'm driving well above speed limit , and I speed up a lot , so I dont care about couple extra gal.of the gas .
    One more thing . You still mention PREMIUM and REGULAR . MB DON'T NEED PREMIUM ONLY . The comp. is ,,watching ,, for you what type of gas you put in . Not even manual says that you have to use premium . And I dont think manny people who wants to buy a truck thinking between EXPLORER or ML BECAUSE THAT 10 k MORE .I have been thinking between 4Runner and Outback and ML and Volvo and Audi and E - wagon .
    But I needed higher view and space inside where I can sleep . And car must drive in deep snow and mud too . For me is it just a car that I'm using to deth and than I get another one and another one....( I'm traveling a 60 mi./ year for nature photography )
    Anyway good luck with your ex. :-))

    PS : I dont like some things on ML , but I can live with them .

    I will try to post pictures from the trips , but maybe in couple weeks.. 3 or 4 I hope :-))) From SW wilderness
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    True that the manual doesn't say that you HAVE to use premium, but that you should use premium. If that's not available it says that you can use regular octane, but you should switch back to premium as soon as possible. The retardation of the ignition and other adjustments that the computer makes causes the engine to run slightly less efficiently and hence the savings that you get from running regular will be none at all (or perhaps very little + you get slightly less power) so there's not much point anyway.

    All the best,

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • nikorrnikorr Posts: 23
    Right , but what is PREMIUM ?????????
    Premium in Europe is 96 oct.
    Premium in Chicago is 91 to 93 oct. Premium in Iowa , Col , Utah and manny other places is 87 to 89 oct. So what you can do ? I'm using premium , but what is premium in Chicago is not premium over there.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    MB specifies premium as octane 91 and above. The different explanations are in the owner's manual. In Colorado and other high spots, 91 is not needed since the air is thinner up at those altitudes, and their 89 would surfice.

    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
  • tavgradtavgrad Posts: 201
    My turn.

    Remember, price is what you pay: value is what you receive in return.

    Looks, aftermarket friendly, and the ultimate reason, VALUE, are my reasons to my Suburban vessel. Safety, race car-like speed and drawing attention to yourself are not.
    A vehicle is only as safe as the driver. If you need all of those curtains and sensors to increase your confidence on the road, you have no reason behind the wheel.
    Resale: If you are leasing (of which, I know most of you guys will), It does not matter. If you intend to keep this thing longer than 5 or 6 years, who cares? It won't be worth much anyway.
    Gas? Most of these things suck gas (except for the worthless baby suv's). If you cannot afford to set aside $30 weekly on gas, you have no reason considering an SUV.
    Reliablility: C'mon people. No car lasts forever, they all need maintenance!
    SOmething that is based off of a TRUCK that costs luxo sedan price is a waste of money. It is not an SUV, it is a bloated ego soother.

    Your decisions of your consideration to purchase should not be based on others.

    My conclusions:
    ML: Looks like a minivan.
    Buick: It IS a minivan with 4 doors.
    Explorer: That box shape has grown old and dull. Needs more aftermarket stuff to spice it up.
    Mountaineer: It looks good from the front only. Other than that, see explorer.
    Acura: Looks like a minivan, but is a far better value than the ML.

    I wish the Industry would go back to the stone ages of 4x4's. Just like it used to be. Luxury was having your spare tire out of the rear!
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Check out a 2002 Envoy. It will make ya smile.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    What's the envoy got to do with the comparo here? Doesn't have a third row.

    I did check out the Envoy. Hits include the 270hp V6, for once the General did something right. But for a vehicle that was supposedly "redesigned" they missed on the ergonomic factors again. Most notably trying to get into the back seat, almost half the door is over the wheel well. They could have lengthened the wheel base to get around this, in fact, if they had lengthened the wheel base then we might be talking about a third row
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Extended wheel base models coming in the new year with 3rd row. From spy report I read, it should be quite a good third row also.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    That would be cool. Hopefully the quality will be there and I actually might get to use my GM Bucks in a couple of years.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Do you have a lot of kids? I would personally not have any need for a third row.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    No, one at the moment. But he has dozens of cousins (my wife comes from a big family) and he is that that age when we're starting to car pool other kids around (his classmates at pre-school).

    3rd row not a big need, but an Envoy with longer wheel base would be very nice. The current 2nd row stinks, like on the previous Jimmy/Blazer.
  • gpvsgpvs Posts: 214
    what you need is the Buseta for all those car pooling :)
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    ...then I'd be arrested for child abuse.
  • kevin106kevin106 Posts: 13
    I agree with the article on the M-class! Talk about cheap looking. It's appalling to think that Mercedes would produce something of this nature, but even more appalling to think that people would spend that much for it. Maybe I have an eye for this stuff thank goodness. I hopped in the first time and it wreaked of plastic and lack of fit and finish. Just hop in an X5 and you'll see what I'm talking about. It is similarly priced, but BMW understands fit and finish. It's got an artistic contemporary flair with fit and finish that's expected of this company. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned them in their comparisons. You'd be hard pressed to beat their on-road handling and spirit. Would anyone agree?
  • ddl2ddl2 Posts: 1
    I have just recently been looking into the SUV market, and for me it seems to come down to the ML vs. the MDX. I lean toward the ML, but my wife thinks the 3rd row seat would be a useful extra (although I'm sure they would mostly be up). I'm concerned that they would take up too much cargo space when up/stored, and I definitely want them to be useable. Unfortunately, our dealer does not have a model with the 3rd row to look at, so I was hoping for some guidance. I saw your pictures from #28, but first-hand info is best. Thanks
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