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



  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Pretty amazing that C&D tested the Infiniti FX45 at .87g's which just from a handling perspective puts both of these to shame.

    Also outdoes the X5 too. Very impressive. Too bad the FX45 lacks some of the practicalities of the GX470 and MDX. Though it's somewhat better than the X5 in that department.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Posts: 396
    I for one is not surprise that the Infiniti FX45 tested a .87g's on the skid pad, after all, it was what the FX was designed to do. It is the FX's strongest asset, without performance, the FX would not be what is it. Unfortunately, the FX lacks alot of the attributes that SUV buyers are looking for, but if the FX has all the other attributes as well, it would be a perfect SUV.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Agreed - the FX is focused on performance and in return you do give up some measure of utility (space and off-road capability). But for anyone who really cares about performance but still needs more utility than a regular sedan can give them, it's an intriguing choice. You may not be surprised that it can pull .87 on the skidpad, but considering that it sits pretty high off the ground and beats by a considerable margin many sedans that are known for their great handling (BMW 330's, Audi A4's, etc) I for one find this to be a remarkable achievement. With the FX45 the 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds (as measured by Car & Driver) is also pretty cool.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    AND it's RWD!!

    Or rear torque biased in AWD form.

    Shame its appearance is so....

    An RX330 with the FX AWD system, that's what I want.
  • chick26chick26 Posts: 2
    My husband and I both went for test drives today. We drove the ML350 and the MDX. It was a toss up. While with the MDX you get all the options DVD, NAV system, leather etc., the highway drive was a bit noisy and seems that the steering or handling was a bit different from the ML. The ML was a very quiet ride, and comfortable but for the money you dont get the touch screen nav.system. Its all pushing the buttons on the radio control. What is the deal with that?(not the latest technology) I found that the MDX has a touch screen nav. system much nicer and easier to learn. The MDX has controls on the steering wheel which makes it easier while driving to change the radio etc. I dont like the back of the ML it looks like a minivan, but I just love the ease of driving and how quiet it sounds on the road! We are both still debating about how we will get more for the money with the MDX but we are torn between the great feel and the ride of the Mercedes Benz. One big fault that I think we will get into with the ML is having to purchase all the accessories through Mercedes can get really expensive and its kinda terrible that with MB you can only purchase their stuff (like cd changers,dvd players etc) otherwise it wont work in the vehicle. I have been reading alot of complaints about he earlier models 99-2002ML's. It really is starting to scare me away, but they say the new redesign is coming in 2005. I know this purchase is important b/c this car must last for atleast 7 years. Anyone have any other suggestions before we purchase?
  • rerenov8rrerenov8r Posts: 380
    I would be wary of purchasing either if I had your experience. The Lexus RX 330 & GX 470 are both more luxurious, though the magazine tests suggest the MDX is just a quiet at highway speed. I wonder if the MDX demo was a new 03 or one of the earlier years that had some miles on it (don't laugh, with demand still quite high I've heard of this happening and many Acura stores...)

    The ML at MSRP has to be one of the most uncompetively priced SUVs currently available, BUT there ARE incentives and the Edmunds TMV for a "typically equipped" ML350 suggest a savings og $1600+ off MSRP is common. Not so the MDX, that Edmunds STILL shows is fetching a paltry $92 off MSRP even after nearly 4 long years of availability...

    Keep shopping!
  • greenlaterngreenlatern Posts: 77
    "BMW did not developed (sic) a platform just for the X5". The artcile I quoted is factual: the X5's platform is new development. Your link is also correct: "the chassis of the BMW is based on the independent suspension of the 7 series." That statement is NOT equivalent to "the X5 uses the 7 series platform" (as it does not). Therefore if it does not use the 7 platform, the 5 platform or any other platform it stands to reason that (as Healey stated) it is new development.

    The original poster who stated that the MDX was built on the same frame as the Odyssey was being factual. They use Honda's global Accord platform which is somewhat ingeous in it's own right as the wheels hook to the inner subframe where most designs connect the wheels to the mainframe. It's this technology that keeps the cost down as the platform is the most expensive part of a new car. Had they developed a new platform it's likely the MDX would be priced much higher.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    I read with interest your queries about the ML350 or MDX.
    I will explain myself and perhaps on my own experience you can find some answers.
    I bought my ML first as a utilitarian vehicle and not as an SUV look, height or the like, to use as a tow vehicle for my jet skies and boat (25 ft heavy offshore fishing boat). I used to pull with my GMC pickup but it did not have AWD and low range which was problematic on steep landings and sand. I did not want a big vehicle to be a pain when backing up on tight parking spots so a midsize was fine, after some research I settled on the ML because having met the size requirement I found it to be the strongest of the class, built on a heavy ladder frame the drive and suspension components match the frame, the vehicle was built for offroad use also, testament to the effect is that the ML has won the Dakar race three times in the unmodified class, in other words as is from the showroom, no modifications allowed plus many other grueling rallies. The mercedes engineers did a terrific job in smoothing the harder suspension by reducing the unsprung weight and going independent on all 4’s which was a novelty in 95-96 when unveiled, coupled to a rack and pinion steering which gives the vehicle a precise steering, the front has a very low caster angle which makes self centering a little slow but places less strain on the components when in off the road situations as it should be.

    Since I am not a gadget oriented type of person I find all the appointments more than enough, I don’t have to hand roll the windows or crank the seats and the Bose is fine for me and a map is all I ever got use too, but that’s just me, rugged substance under the skin was more important for me coupled to a first class ride.

    My ML430 is 5 years old now, never had any problems with it, I just came from a 500 mile trip pulling two jetskies (3500lbs) at 75mph average and being doing that for 5 summers, a few weeks ago I pulled an tractor and trailer (8000lbs) for several miles in the woods and hills on dirt roads, nothing to it using the low range. If I listened to all the experts and reports who never owned one I would have deprived myself of a fine vehicle, I got to the point that I look with contempt the competition.

    If you want a soft ride, car based SUV to use only as a car or you have concerns because of “HORROR” stories then for peace of mind is better to get an MDX or any of the other SUV’s in that class.

    The money may not be in the nice little appointments on the dash but to me a hefty build like this is real value, I took this picture myself at the plant in Alabama a few years ago.
  • I saw the Lexus GX470 on the road for the first time today. It sure looks different in real life than in pictures. It is not nearly as big as it looks in the pictures, it is also very tall and very narrow. A perfect candidate for Volvo's new rollover control system in my opinion. Overall, the look of this SUV was very disappointing, especially for a $50,000 one.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    Wow! I wouldn't have expected you to say something like that about the GX470 at all!! You amaze me.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The MDX has very limited front passenger shin space. My wife moved the seat all of the way back and could not avoid having her shins hard against hard and sharp plastic! She is just 5' 10" tall. I do not know if the Honda Pilot and Honda Odyssey versions of the vehicle have the same problem. All of them are front wheel drive vehicles, a significant shortcoming. Adding the AWD changes little, since it still mainly drives through the front wheels. I plan to replace my 2002 Mountaineer V8 with an SRX V8 (I drive much more than average on the often rough California freeways and roads).
  • rerenov8rrerenov8r Posts: 380
    I'd love to find out first hand. I saw the SRX at the Chicago autoshow, but it was a "no sitinit" display model...
  • I did a count of RX300 drivers today, I saw 14 RX300 on the road today, only one of them was driven by a male, and he had his wife or girl friend next to him. Just wondering if any guys out there actually owns and drive a RX300 and how do they feel about the fact that 90% of RX300 owners are female.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most of them chose one of us to marry so they must have really good taste. The mid-range SUV has undoubtedly replaced the minivan in the hearts of most women.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Yeah my wife has an RX330 and she has really good taste. :^) With just three in the family we don't need a minivan with 7 or 8 passenger seating, so that was out of the question. Seating for 5 with some cargo space, a little higher seating position, AWD for winter, good reliability, some nice luxury touches, plus a smooth ride are the qualities that led her to the RX. I guess men just don't appreciate any of these these features...
  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    I guess we Northern VAs are not macho. Split here is about 60/40 women to men driving 300s--which by the way corresponds to overall stats of purchasers. As for the 330, I purchased it for US, but my wife drives it through the week and I drive on the weekends. She gets constant compliments on her good taste, I get the satisfaction that she loves the vehicle and credits me with MY good taste.
  • I believe that female has good taste in car as well, this is definitely not a macho thing as far as I am concern. I am just wonder why the RX300 draw females like bees to honey. If only I can have that kind of effect on females lol, but seriously, male and female looks for different characteristic from a car, not that one or the another has better taste, just different taste. There are many other mid size SUVs out there that are driven by mostly male or a mix or both male and female. Does the RX300 have a particular characteristic that females loves and at the same time drives males away.
    Truely, in my opinion, the best car designs are the ones that is own and driven by a 50/50 mix of male and females, a design that appeals to the general population.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 372
    This discussion amazes me. I have a '99 RX and can honestly say I have never once considered whether more men or women drive RXs. When I bought it, it was the safest, most reliable car that carried what I needed to carry. I thought it was a bit ugly but got it anyway. Do I need to go to a shrink? Do I have unresolved issues about my gender? I'd better break the news to my wife. Thanks guys for clarifying this.
  • Just wondering, which part of the RX300 did you think was ugly, and why would you buy a car that you think is ugly? Did you buy for your wife's sake because it was reliable and safe. Surely, there are other cars that are just as or almost as safe and reliable.
    I find this topic very interesting, the RX is the most female dominate driven car I can remember. Even more so than the beetle and the mini cooper.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Huh, the BMW 3-series has a high female to male owner ratio also.

    I see alot of RX300's and now have been seeing alot of RX330's running around. I see mostly women driving them, but see plenty of men driving them also. I would say the split is probably about 70% female drivers to 30% male in my neck of the woods.
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