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Acura MDX vs BMW X5

tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
Compare them here!
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Comments

  • A comparison of the two 7 passenger luxury SUV's
  • seen much on the X5 other than some specs, is their a road test that I missed or something?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I think Tidester has got the jump on things. Not enough out there regarding the X5 for us to compare.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    I understand they have been released but I have yet to hear of anyone who has actually seen or test driven one. As they say, "any day now!" :)

    tidester, host
  • about 25 months out until a new car for my wife but these two along with the Q7 will be battling it out as far as I am concerned Maybe the M class benz but I drove it and I was under whelmed. I continue to be a little "nonplussed" with the mercedes that I test drive, Is there something I'm missing? They just don't seem to do much of anything. [Sshhhhh, don't tell merc 1 ;) ]
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    [Sshhhhh, don't tell merc 1 ;) ]

    My lips are sealed!

    tidester, host
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Once both are on the road, I'm sure things will get busy in here. But I know the MDX isn't being released until mid-October. I was under the impression that the X5 isn't due until later in the year.
  • We'll be looking at the two. We have an 03 MDX and test drove the X5 then but it lacked two critical features - 3rd row seats and a rear entertainment system.

    I think the new X5 will be a little pricier comparably equipped but BMW has a much better overall feel and ride.

    K
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    When comparing these two, one would expect the BMW to offer the handling and performance panache while the MDX would be the one offering the roomy interior and value. That would be the expectation - it's almost cliche.

    It's way too soon to say for certain given that neither vehicle has been heavily tested. But what I'm reading so far suggests the cliche isn't appropriate this time around. For example...

    "At the track, Acura reps assembled the aforementioned BMW X5 3.0i and Porsche Cayenne V6, and threw in a V8-powered Volvo XC90 to add insult to injury. Granted, there were no representatives from the other vehicles' manufacturers to prepare, observe or defend the contest, so it falls short of an authorized comparison. The unofficial results, however, indicate the MDX was the superior vehicle. It was easily quicker, more controlled and entertaining when compared to the BMW or Volvo. Where the X5 and XC90 summoned either overzealous stability-control intervention or developed terminal understeer entering a corner, the MDX simply dove in and powered out of those same corners.

    The Cayenne behaved like a Porsche should, rewarding an aggressive driving style with precise steering and a balanced chassis that would allow some sideways antics in both on- and off-throttle situations. It was a willing dance partner to be sure; however, the MDX was still the quicker, more confidence-inspiring vehicle — with the Porsche's stability control turned off and the MDX's still on."
    - Edmunds.com

    The words are always different, but most every reviewer has reported more or less the same thing - the MDX has succeeded in its mission of dethroning the current X5 in the twisties.

    Meanwhile, this is what BMW has to say about the 2007 X5.

    ""It's not the most comfortable in the class, but we're confident the handling is as good as, or better than, the outgoing model," says one BMW executive." - Edmunds.com

    "As good as, or better than..." Now, I'm not one to put words under the microscope, but that's not inspiring talk. If this BMW exec is correct, the new X5 isn't significantly better on the track than the outgoing model.

    In the grand scheme of things, that's not bad. There's nothing wrong with the current X5's level of performance. And I'm certain the X5 will have the advantage when it comes to braking and perhaps steering feel. It just sounds like the MDX has a very good chance of matching or bettering the new X5 in terms of outright handling performance.

    End of the cliche? Too soon to say, but a question worth investigating.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    you have thrown down the gauntlet, you have glove slapped BMW. How dare you. LOL, this could be a great comparo. I was actually hoping it would be in my latest edition of road&track but alas, it was the third or fourth write up I've seen on the mazda speed 3. [albeit a compelling car in it's own right]
    If it comes close, and I mean it would have to be whisker close to the BMW on handling, then I think on content, [value] and superior electronics it would win the crown as best all around SAV in that price range.
    Excellent post Varmint, and way to stir the pot...
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    There was already quite a bit of comparing going on over in the 2007 MDX thread. I figured this was the better place for it and did a little cross-linking.

    Anyway... I thought the BMW exec's quote was the closest thing we've got to a review thus far. But it'll be a better comparison when we have more than just his single-sentence opinion on the subject.
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    exec needs to be censored by his own company. That sounds like something someone would say from one of the big 3 [ok I'll say it... GM] "Well it's as good as the last one, isn't that ok? Maybe it's a little better". Luckily BMW can afford a few missteps here and there.
    FWIW I think the Q7 is a great whip as well and will try to get the wife to take a look at it. Like I said before, the ML doesn't seem to have much going for it. It's an ergonomic train wreck, it doesn't ride better than a RX 330, it doesn't handle as well as the current X5, and their isn't much value like the MDX. It sure isn't as elegant as the Q7 on the inside or outside for that matter.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The quote was probably in the context of concerns over the increase in size. As in... "Yeah, it's bigger, but that hasn't hurt performance."

    I've seen quite a few folks shopping the Q7, but I personally don't get it. Other than the fact that the X5, MDX, and Q7 are all new, they seem to have little else in common.

    I honestly can't figure out MB's strategy for the ML. When it was first introduced, it was a class leader. But it quickly got undercut in price and utility by the MDX. Then it took a hit performance and snob appeal from the X5 less than a year later. Every since, it's been touring with the big hair bands of the 80's on the "where are they now" lists.
  • Maybe it's just in Canada...but the 2007 MDX with tech package is around Cdn$56k. The 06 X5 (not the new one) lists in Canada at around Cdn$65k and it isn't equipped like a base MDX. An 06 X5 with 4.8 l engine and loaded is...wait for it...Cnd$98k!!! Notwithstanding performance and handling comparisons, for us Canuks, these two vehicles aren't even in the same league.
  • lornedlorned Posts: 8
    Consider buying the BMW in the US. BMW North America honours warranty on both sides of the border, unlike Acura. You will lose the free scheduled maintenance but save close to $10K.
  • Is that correct? Acura Canada won't honor a US Acura warranty. I talked with a dealership in Spokane and nothing I heard or read suggested that. Not surprising...but if you've got a source, etc, I'd love to get it.
  • mdxmommdxmom Posts: 6
    Page from Honda Canada that talks about warranty. I would think this applies to Acura.
    It seems to suggest that depending on how the US vehicle arrived in Canada the warranty terms are different.

    Honda Canada Faq
  • Does anyone have any computations of their 07 mileage for comparison? Thanks!! :shades:
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    No offense, but you appear to be a bit obsessed with minor differences in fuel efficiency amoung $40k to nearly $60k vehicles.

    The X5 3.0 and MDX are rated virtually identically - both 17 mpg city, with the MDX 22 mpg and X5 23 mpg highway. We have a 2005 MDX and friends have a 2004 X5 3.0 and, in reality, they get almost identical mileage.

    My intial point, however, is that even if one got 10% better fuel econmy than the other - say 20 combined vs. 22 combined - and you drove a rather generous 15,000 miles per year, the difference in gas costs would be less than $200 per year (68 gallons @ $2.85). I can think of about a dozen factors that would be significantly more important in deciding between a $45k MDX and a $50-$55k X5 3.0 than $200 per year in gas. Like third row convenience/use, long term maintenance costs, preference for sport vs. utility, etc., etc. And in reality, I doubt the gas expense would be more than $50-100 difference, probably in favor of the 6-speed X5.

    I certainly applaud prudence. I have commended those that exercise restraint and get a perfectly fine Honda Pilot over (the previous generation) MDX when their budget didn't allow an extra $7,000 for extra do-dads and luxury items. But you are already shopping in the luxury segment, and if a few pennies in gas makes a difference, you may be being penny wise and pound foolish. You could easily save $10-$20k shopping that same Honda Pilot - the equivalent of enough gas to go around the world about 4-5 times.

    P.S. I partially rescind my comments if you get down to deciding between an X5 3.0 and X5 4.8. In that case, the vehicle is the same and the only trade offs are extra luxury features, performance and fuel economy. And the difference in the latter will likely be closer to 20%. But even then, check with your insurance company. I'll bet the difference in annual premiums is graeter between these models than the gas cost difference.
  • to habitat 1 - my question about mileage is not related to financial issues. If it was, I would be crazy to look at premium consuming SUVs, let alone the cost of these luxury vehicles. I am very concerned with environment and pollution aspects however. I believe the MDX is rated either as a LEV or ULEV, but the lower than estimated mileage efficiency has cut in to the overall effect of the low emissions rating. Very few MDX drivers in the past got out of the 17-18 mpg range for combined street/city, so I am interested in whether the new gearing has improved this (should help). I talked with a BMW salesperson who checked emissions control ratings, now posted on the invoice form, and BMW has gotten 'greener' with the new X5's lowered emissions ratings.

    I would never buy an 8 cylinder; no need, and it just brings on more global warming. I get enough teasing from my teens and friends who are more inclined to get a hybrid. I tried a Highlander hybrid and couldn't handle the drive feel, and can't get a smaller than 7 seater, so I'm back to the bigger gas vehicles. I was interested in the new turbo diesel mercedes (20-25 mpg), but can't buy one new in CA until diesel is cleaned up and the laws change.

    BTW - AAA doesn't discriminate between luxury suv's - all are the most expensive to insure from what my agent told me.

    I would still be interested in any other responses - a driver in reviews said he was getting 17 mixed - anyone else have any computations? Thanks... :shades:
  • Edmunds hasn't posted them yet, but NHTSA has them on their web site - 5 stars in all crash tests!!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The MDX did well in the IIHS front crash test too. Unfortunately, it didn't do as well in the whiplash test:

    http://www.iihs.org/ratings/summary.aspx?class=50
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicle/E-ACURA-MDX-07.htm

    http://www.epa.gov/greenvehicle/E-BMW-X5-07.htm

    Note that several of the scores are based on pollution per mile, the fuel mileage differences are already taken into account.
  • These links were just the info I needed and was looking for. Thanks varmint and wmquan, for myself and all others who read these posts. It's great to have knowledgeable owners like both of you to help with this research!! I wasn't aware of either of these sites. BTW, have either of you decided which vehicle you prefer, or already bought one or the other? With emissions being equal, and price point being very close, we're still trying to evaluate the best option for us. thanks again! :shades:
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Cigars all around!

    I went with an MDX more than a year ago. Mostly because I liked the fact that it had the cargo space I need and the suspension is tight enough to feel safe, stable, and kinda fun.

    The BMW of the day was too small and not in consideration. (Thought I wouldn't mind having its suspension.)

    With these redesigned models, the decision would not be so easy.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I bought my MDX back in 2000. The X5 was just too pricey back then. I'd still be leery about "the German car ownership experience" if I was buying today.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for the info. on your MDX choices, varmint and wmquan! I don't have background on the reference to German car ownership experience - does that have to do with either build quality or social status? I know that BMW is the vehicle of choice for wealthy high school students - my relatives just got an X3 for their junior son, who is keeping up with his peers at his school in a wealthy area of New York (our son got a Corolla!). I worry that a Bimer would be perceived as a symbol of 'upper class', while the Acura is more 'high tech' luxury, at least in the perceptions of Northern CA folks. Any thoughts on image? Thanks again....
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I think no matter where you go in the US, BMW will have the edge in terms of prestige. BMW wins that category, hands down. About the only thing that can be said in defense of the Acura in this regard is that people can't miss the grille on it. Meanwhile, the BMW looks a little too much like the last generation.

    German car ownership? Generally, the trade-off is something like this. With most German cars, you get outstanding performance, oodles of envy from your neighbors, and equally plentiful repair bills. I suspect that's what he means by the ownership experience.

    That's a generalization, though. Both of these vehicles were redesigned for this year and both will have their share of first year bugs. I'd trust the Acura to have fewer of them, but some people will get lucky with the Bimmer and some will be unlucky with their Acura. There are no guarantees.
  • Thanks again, Varmint, for the words of wisdom. BMW does have the prestige, but also seems to come with a reputation for 'tude', as my kids say. I wonder if there is a higher theft rate with BMW's, given the prestige factor? Hmmmmm....anyone know a link to a site that has that info? Thanks again!
  • I sat in the new X5 and the new MDX at the DC auto show yesterday. The front seats were nice in both vehicles, but I found a big difference in the rear seats (not the 3rd row seat).

    Rear seat of the X5 was very unsupportive and uncomfortable. It felt like the seat cushion was too short and too low, almost as if I was an adult sitting on a child's seat.

    By comparison, the rear seat in the MDX was very nice and very comfortable. The fit and feel was very similar to the front seat.

    I don't know if the rear seat of the X5 is adjustable in any way, as several kids had been climbing around in the vehicle before I sat in it. But I was surprised to find that in a vehicle in the price range of the X5.

    Bruce
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