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Volvo XC90 vs MB M Class vs Acura MDX vs Lexus RX 350 vs BMW X5 vs Cadillac SRX



  • sduv: Have you had any other "quality problems" with your MDX or is it just your bum transmission?
  • sduvsduv Posts: 2
    So far only this transmission issue. It has been an excellent vehicle otherwise..
  • I have looked/driven at all the vehicles listed in the title of this discussion. I liked the BMW X5 the best all around but can't bring myself to pay a high price for unreliability and high maintenance costs on a depreciating asset. This would also rule out the MB M-Class SUV's. The only logical choices for me were the Acura MDX or Lexus RX300. The MDX is a great SUV and is the one that both my wife and I would have liked to purchase. The main reason why we won't pull the trigger is that we can't bring ourselves to pay an Acura dealer full MSRP for a vehicle even if the end cost is in line (somewhat - the Lexus, BMW and MB provide more luxury and quality inside than Acura) with other vehicles of this class. I have owned Acura's in the past and the dealer experiences I have had (at more than one Acura dealer in my area) have been terrible. Fortunately Acura makes reliable cars so I haven't had to deal with them very often. One thing is certain, paying full MSRP at an Acura dealer will only get me lousy customer service. Is a one-way shuttle from the Acura dealer to any location within 10 miles (provided if it is prearranged) when I have any problems under warranty really a strong selling point??? A Lexus RX300 is going now for $500 over invoice which is equivalent to the MSRP (selling price) for a MDX equally featured (minus marginal/questionable 3rd row seats). Going with Lexus get's me a free loaner car whenever in need of service plus top notch customer service all the way around. In addition, the initial residuals of the MDX will diminish quickly once Acura get's production up properly (and they will). The RX300 has proven to have the highest residuals, reliability and customer satisfaction of any SUV on the market (Consumer Reports). As much as I wanted the MDX to work, they will lose me to Lexus...
  • If you guys have not seen it yet, check out the new Volvo XC90 SUV. It wonder how it will stack up to the X5, ML-Series, RX300, QX4, and MDX. It is supposed to have more room than the X5 and ML, plus seat up to 7 people, forward facing.

    Volvo XC90 Pictures

  • I own an x5 and have been disappointed in the quality. I thought bmw would be more careful. But lots and lots of parts have had to be replaced. Bmw seems more concerned wtih getting the product out there, and getting their money, and letting us poor fools have to deal with the constant repairs. Latches, fans, belts, steering col., fuel senders, stalling , etc. etc.
    Avoid this one , for now.
  • I have done extensive research on these 4 vehicles, and nothing compares to the high performance capabilities of the M-Class.

    M-Class has the best turning radius, the best off-roading capabilities, the best ground clearance, the best passive and active safety features, tremendous cabin and cargo space, unparalleled driving comfort, a superb suspension system, and great creature comforts.

    In addition, recently dateline tried to roll the M-Class and found that absolutely weren't able to!

    If you have any questions about the M-Class, BMW X5, Acura MDX, or the RX300, feel free to write me and I will be able to provide you specific information.

  • From our families' point of view it all depends on one's personal taste. My sister, my mom, my cousin and myself all live within 5 miles of each other but our tastes in cars are worlds apart. My mom thinks Lexus is the greatest car and just picked up a 2002 RX300 over the weekend. My sister is a MB fan and loves her E320. My cousin is a BMW nut, has a M5, and 5 serie station wagon, and refuses to get an X5 due to the lack of cargo space, went to Germany a few times to attend BMW driving classes, now that's passion. And me, I'm ordering a MDX for the wife and looking for a few year-old NSX to keep the Miata company. Not much decisions here.
  • I'm in New Jersey, and I'm interested in buying a new RX 300 and was intrigued by "heartmiser1"'s comment that they could be had for just $500 over invoice. Is this really the case?
  • Well I see selling it for $500 over invoice for 08824 zip code! $37,158 w/nav & destination charge. MDX is $3,500 over MSRP at Carsdirect. Local dealer wanted $3k over MSRP. If you can get one MSRP that's a steal!
  • jfxmjrjfxmjr Posts: 2
    advise any info on best price in philadelphia area and will dealer take anything off list or add add'l options etc? advise. thanks,
  • Brooke,

    What about the quality problems on the previous MLs? I like the new looks on the 02 ML but just worried if it could compare and hold their value against an X5 or an Acura. I still bought the ML but I guess I just wanted to hear from someone else that the 02 is totally different.
  • Just started the examination process for the following vehicles: MDX, RX300, X5, ML320/430 and even the Toy Highlander. I've talked to co-workers who own some of these, read magazines/ ratings till my eyes blurred and now am as confused as ever. Heer are my introductory findings:
    The RX300 has all the creature comforts but doesn't have much punch - found it somewhat vanilla to drive (The NAV was nice, but the salesman kept barking out orders on how to use it to the point of totally annoying both of us). The ML shape (boxiness) was too much for me to overcome. Reliability "seems" to be an issue as well.
    X5 was a joy to drive, seems to have a little more status appeal (if that's a consideration) but seemed to be a 325 in an SUV body. Also, realibilty seems to be a weak spot with this as well.
    MDX - I have no idea. No dealers around here (SF East Bay Area - Walnut Creek) do not have a vehicle to drive. We have attempted to drive one, but all the dealers keep telling us this SUV is so "hot" each owner has to pre-order one with a $1k - $2.5k deposit and then wait 20 - 40 days for delivery. That deflated me enough to nearly rule this one out!
    Highlander looks like a great bargain, but have not test driven it yet - it was an afterthought after all the other contenders had some weakness about them. Still, not sure about its inclusion in this company.
    I already own a Land Cruiser, so I don't need another heavy, lumbering SUV (don't get me wrong, I love my LC, but its big and bulky).

    So, I'm looking for something with functionality, power, SAFETY and above all else, RELIABILITY.
    Additional comments from current owners of these vehicles would be appreciated.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Looks like you eliminated all of your choices. If you feel the RX300 lacks "punch" and is "Vanilla" to drive, then certainly the Highlander won't please you either...they're the same car.

    Since you already have a big SUV and you appear to be looking for something smaller and sportier, perhaps you should look at the AWD wagons. The Audi Quattro and Volvo V70, to name just two, offer similar all weather capabilities and cargo room of the MDX, RX, X5 crowd, but are sportier and more fun to drive.
  • I agree with fedlawman.

    take a look at the A4, A6, Passat 4Motion, Subaru Outback/Forester, Volvo ...

    If you already own a Landcruiser - one of the above may be the way to go for you? Many station wagons are safer (side and head curtain aribags, strucural integrety, crash zones, low center of gravity - not prone to roll-overs), cheaper, more fun to drive, and use less gasoline than SUVs.

    - D.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I considered these vehicles a few months ago and ended up with the X5 3.0 - it's driving dynamics won me over - it's my 4th BMW. A very close second was the MDX, if cargo room or seating capacity would have been more of a priority we would have an MDX instead.

    I read about the X5 teething problems when they first came out and have experienced similar issues in newly released vehicles before. We decided to take a chance on a late 2001 X5 with the hope that a lot of the first year kinks had been worked out. So far that has been the case, the X has performed flawlessly in 6k miles, no problems to report what-so-ever.
  • Good to know the X5 has made it through a significant breakthrough period without any problems. I have been concerned about reliability with the X. I'd appreciate continued postings of your experiences, if you have the time and inclination.
    I am leaning toward the X and the only thing holding me back is the reliability.
    The only other option (for me) is the MDX. I still haven't had a chance to drive the MDX, so I'll have to wait until the "lucky" day arrives when a dealer has one available.
    However, I think I'm looking for an excuse to decide on the X, and the Acura dealers are giving me a convenient one.
    Anyway, as you just purchased an X, I did have a couple of questions:
    1) Did you drive the 4.4? (Our dealer did not have one for testing). Does the performance difference justify the addition $8 - $10K. I only drove the 3.0 and that was a joy.
    2) Did you opt for the rear side airbags?
    3) Did you have some negotiating room on the sticker or is this another Acura-type experience?
    4) Your opinion of the X's Nav system vs. the MDX.

    Many thanks!
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I was able to drive an MDX, it was nice, but not up to the X5 in interior design and material quality plus the driving dynamics of the X are truly amazing, same for exterior styling, the X wins hands down. The X's crash test ratings are increadable, it's built like a tank.
    Answers to your questions:

    I did test drive a 4.4, I guess it had more power, you wouldn't really notice the difference in day to day driving - the 3.0 is just as responsive and actually a better engine IMO (double VANOS etc) not to mention the much better gas mileage. I'm averaging just under 20 mpg in everyday driving according to the on-board computer, the vast majority is stop and go city driving.

    I do not have the rear side airbag option, Mine has the luxury package, rear climate control package, Xenon's, automatic transmission, CD, on-board computer and a few other things I can't remember. Total MSRP was around $46K, I was able to get a little over $3k off after a little arm wrestling. Join the BMW club - I got an extra $1k rebate from the club.

    I didn't see an MDX or X5 with the Navigation system.
  • Many thanks for the answers - I really appreciate it. Sorry for my tardy thanks - I've been out of town most of last week. Anyway, I'm close to "pulling the trigger" on the X5. Still, I have not driven the M-class and I promised to drive all four (RX-300, MDX, X5 and M) before making my final choice. Drove the MDX (finally)over the weekend and it seemed very nice, and is now the official #1 challenger. Still, it didn't drive like the X5, but, within the class, what does?
    Anyway, I found your options selection dead-on with my considerations:
    Premium pkg. 3,900
    Rear Climate 600
    Steptronic AT 1,275
    Xenon HL 500

    However, I am considering one other goody (either NAV or Sport package), possibly neither, but NOT both.
    I didn't think the Sport Pkg was a very good value
    (IMHO). I'm only interested in the wheels and the suspension. The wheels? - I can buy these later separately. So, really my question is whether the suspension is worth the price. I don't think so, but wanted to hear your thoughts as you probably reviewed this package as well....
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    You are exactly where I was when I set my sights on the X5. I thought I wanted the Sport Package initially, when it came to sign on the dotted line I decided against it for the following reasons.

    Even though I'm leasing my X5, I have a history of purchasing my formerly leased BMW's. I'll be really suprised if I don't end up purchasing the X at the end of the lease - I really like it. With that I didn't want the rear self leveling rear suspension on the sport package. I had an M5 with a self leveling rear suspension that was increadably expensive to fix when it wore out - granted it wore out at 150k miles and I didn't end up fixing it, it was a major factor in ditching it. I didn't want that added complexity on my X5.
    I do want the Y spoke 19" wheels that come on the 4.4i sport package X5, I've found them on Ebay with tires for $1,300 to $1,500 - a steal. Apparently a lot of people that get the X 4.4 with sport package get after market wheels. I'm in the process of purchasing some Y spokes now. I also plan on getting the 4.6is bolt on body pieces (painted front and rear valences and rear wheel well moldings) these should be relatively cheap additions to my X. I may go so far as to replace the springs with H&R sport springs which will lower it an inch - I doubt I will do the springs, although I usually install after market springs and suspension pieces on my other cars.

    I did look at the ML but didn't like it at all, it doesn't handle well (it's ugly), I don't like the interior (it's ugly), you have to get a V8 for similar X5 3.0 performance (it's ugly), and it's oogly.
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