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Acura MDX vs BMW X5



  • 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:
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326

    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.

  • I currently own a 2000 Toyota Landcruiser that I love, but can no longer take the bulky 3rd row (that I need for carpooling the kids). So I'm in the market for a smaller SUV with a 3rd row and have narrowed down the options to the X5 and the MDX. I also considered the Mercedes GL450 and Audi Q7, but they are both 8 inches longer than my Landcruiser.

    On the MDX, everything but the new exterior look was great (smooth drive, awesome features, decent price range). Then we went to see the X5. The 3rd row and back seat feel tighter than the MDX, but kids are young, so not a deal breaker. Handling was excellent and features were comparable to the MDX. Pricing net net was about $10k more for the BMW, but 4 years of maintenance was included, making the difference closer to $7.5k.

    What surprised me was what the BMW sales guy told me about the 3rd row. According to him, the MDX 3rd row is in the crumple zone (along with most Japanese cars including my current Landcruiser). The BMW chassis actually includes the 3rd row and is apparently safer. Has anyone heard this?

    In the end, safety for all passengers is our top priority. Handling, features, price next.

    Does anyone have any further info on this? Suggestions?
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    If you do maintanence according to BMW's computer, your first oil change should arrives at ... 10K-14K miles.

    No way I am going to maintain my baby that way. Just make sure you know what BMW mean when they say "full-maintanence included.". Yes, I own a BMW '98 540iA since it was new. BMW make safe but unreliable vehicles. If you must own a BMW, please lease it (yes, for 4 yrs same as the warranty), don't buy it. Especially for people like you coming from Toyota, you would be better off with Acura.

    I have had more than 20 problems (averaging 2-3 problems per year). The worst being the radiator rapture at 55K miles on highway. I don't think ANYONE desire to experience that! The whole cooling system (in addition to the radiator) was subsequently replaced within 20K miles (water pump, reservoir tank, thermo-stat, hoses). Trust me, that costed a lot of $$$ (especially with BMW's parts and hour rate).
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Pricing net net was about $10k more for the BMW, but 4 years of maintenance was included, making the difference closer to $7.5k.

    When I did my price comparison, the net difference was closer to $13K especially considering equipment levels. I doubt that 4 years of MDX maintenance will cost you $2,500 plus the included BMW maintenance is really not that much. You'll probbly want to do more service than is included, expecially after dropping $55K on the SUV.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    While this reviewer makes a pretty obvious case for the MDX in his review of the X5, it's also clear that he thinks the Acura isn't quite in the same class as the Bimmer. Props for both. _id=yhoo
  • Researched the BMW X5 a lot while car shopping recently. I ended up narrowing down my search to the BMW X5, Acura MDX and Volvo XC90. I have to admit I was kind of rooting for the BMW. But after sifting through the smoke and mirrors of the good looks and the "just for show" maintenance plan I couldn't get myself to buy the Bimmer. There are numerous reasons, For example: third row is a joke and as an added insult has to be added on as an option which results in BMW removing the spare tire! I couldn't believe they wanted me to pay extra money for a useless third row and then they have the nerve to tell me that they are going to remove the spare tire (because there isn't enough room). I take my family on long road trips and not having a spare (even with overpriced run flats) makes me very nervous. After realizing how much extra I would have had to pay and knowing the low reliabilty of bimmers, I just couldn't justify the purchase of the X5. My wife and I finally came to the conclusion that the '07 X5 is more about the looks and name and less about the performance and technology we wanted. Proud to say that we have a 2007 MDX parked in my garage as we speak. It has been a lot of fun so far!! No regrets!
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    I'd narrowed down my choices to the xc90, mdx and x5, all 2007's. I liked the xc90 front seat area, back seat (2nd row) was just too cramped. I really don't need a third row as we have a Suburban for that. Some feel the interior is too plain. I feel it's serene, not too fussy. But it's been eliminated. Then we checked out the mdx. Sharp looking inside, roomy interior. Did not like the exterior, just okay looking, looks like too many others. Driving it was good but not great to me. Although, now I drive a bmw 530 sport with manual. Big change to an suv. I tried to like the mdx, but it just felt like a Toyota. Also, both times I took it for a test drive, my back hurt. Then I went to look at the 2007 530 to see if they've increased interior space - not noticeable if they did. Decided to look at the new x5. Once I got in that and took it for a drive, I was sold. To me, it's just in a different league than the mdx and xc90. You're right, the 3rd row is laughable, which is what I did when I saw it. Again, I don't need the 3rd row. Loved the interior! It reeks of quality. Very comfortable, roomy, love the panoramic sunroof. Maybe I'm just used to the feel of bmw, but I felt there just wasn't any comparison. Again, it's pricier, but I believe worth it. Btw, my 2001 530 has been a great car. I keep hearing about reliability with bmw's, but mine has been wonderful, except for the cupholders! I have 77,000 miles on mine now and would not hesitate to get another bmw. :shades:
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    I trust my personal experience over the anecdotal complaints of this or that person who had a bad experience with an 8 year old BMW. The fact is that newer BMWs are extremely reliable. My family has had 11 BMWs in 10 years, including 5 X5's. With the exception of my 2002 745i, they have all been extremely reliable. None of my X5's has ever gone back to the dealer for warranty repair. The MOST unreliable car I've ever owned was an Acura; not a month passed without a warranty repair visit to the dealer. Further example: the Acura RL has a miserable repair record.

    The problem here is that Japanese car buyers are used to buying whatever mass-produced-truck-dressed-up-as-a-luxury-SUV happens to be on the lot with options chosen by someone else. It's just a car, so why put any thought into it? Just buy one of the hundreds of cars just like it on the lot.

    The X5's rear seat is an option because not everyone wants one, so they give you a choice. I ordered an X5 without a 3rd row seat. You could have done the same. (This isn't a mini-van. I agree that the 3rd-row seat is pointless in a vehicle like this.)

    Every BMW is made to order either to a customer's or dealer's option spec. You can have a custom-optioned X5 delivered in as little as 6 weeks if you can't find one on the lot that fits your needs. When your X5 moves along the assembly line in Spartanburg, SC, it has your name and your option choices attached to it from beginning to end. At any time, your sales person can tell you which stage of production your car is in, when it's on the truck, and which day it will arrive for delivery. (Try custom ordering an Acura or Lexus and see how long you wait and whether they can do the same.)

    You must be the only person on the planet who thinks the X5 is NOT about performance. The choice of an Acura over a BMW is never about BMW performance shortcomings. It's usually about price. And it's about buying a dressed up Honda (Acura) off the lot cheap and quick because it's good enough. Anyone who is happy with cars that are just "good enough" would be smart not to pay the premium for a BMW.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    You must be the only person on the planet ...

    Marginalizing the opposition isn't a particularly persuasive argument. Certainly you can come up with something more convincing. Or maybe not. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • justg0justg0 Posts: 42
    The fact is that newer BMWs are extremely reliable

    I will let the results speak for themselves: aker-report-cards/0407rep.htm

    BMW: BMWs are sporty, ride well, and have good crash-test results. Reliability is inconsistent.

    Acura/Honda: Hondas and Acuras have the best reliability overall in our survey and consistently high test scores.

    I have nothing against BMWs - I really like the way they drive. In fact the next car I lease (not buy) will probably be a BMW. But I have to say I am very happy with my 07 MDX. When I compared it to 07 X5, the ride/handling in 07 MDX was better (my opinion). Yeah, the 4.8 X5 is quicker due to its V8, but that's about it. The sh-awd system in MDX makes all the difference. I can take corners as if I am riding a sports car. Just amazing.

    And BTW, what's wrong with Honda - I would have still bought it if it was called Honda MDX 07 - in fact one of the reasons I did buy it was because its a Honda! Just because Honda makes economy cars, does not mean they cannot also build luxury/performance oriented vehicles.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "You must be the only person on the planet who thinks the X5 is NOT about performance."

    Everyone has different criteria when determining performance needs. For example, I know many enthusiasts who would say that anyone serious about performance would never buy an SUV, no matter which company builds it. They'd be towing an S2000 behind a beater K5 Blazer, or something. Even if they had the "one vehicle with cargo space" dilemma, they'd go with a sport wagon instead of an SUV.

    I haven't seen the new MDX go head to head with the new X5, so there is plenty left to be seen. However, I've read several reports, from different events, where the only SUV posting laps faster than the MDX is the Cayenne. If that level of performance is merely "good enough", we're going to need much, much better roads in the US.
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