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



  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,041
    After days of the AWD/RWD/FWD thread, talk about any car will be welcome in here :-)

    Thanks for the pricing rundown Hope; good summary, esp. the notes about availability in the base configurations.

    Steve, Host
  • I know what you mean Steve ROTF, I thought that AWD/FWD/RWD thread would never end.

    I rank them as following.

    1: BMW X5
    2: XC90 T6 with the 2004 5 speed transmission
    3: MDX
    4: XC90 2.5T
    5: ML320
    6: Envoy
    7: Grand Cherokee
    8: RX300

    Not sure where the Toureg or the SRX would fit into the list, but I would imagine the Toureg would be somewhere near the top and the SRX would be somewhere near the bottom.

    Of course, this is just one man's opinion, so please don't jump all over me for my ranking.

    Happy 4TH of July guys
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I was at Pacific Raceway yesterday and a BMW factory rep told me the ML's next makeover will lose the truck frame for a more car-like under-pinnings and the overall look will change only slightly, mostly the front headlights.
  • Yes, you are right WWest, the new M-class will be built from a uni-body structure, and it will be offer in a 5 passanger version and a extended wheel base 7 passanger version. Some pictures of it in the following site:
  • eaton53eaton53 Posts: 356
    Will be at the very top of the list, due to its outstanding power and vehicle dynamics combined with the utility the X5 lacks.
  • svalleysvalley Posts: 30
    I think the new M class looks like a Toyota RAV4.
  • hermantamhermantam Posts: 14
    Last week, I traded-in my 2000 ML320 and bought a 2003 Acura MDX Touring with Navi and RES.

    In the past year, my ML turned into a complete nightmare - first started with the air mass sensor failure (twice), then the in-line fuel filter, followed by the infamous/common power window switch failure, the moonroof (a trim fell off), the transmission valve stuck, mysterious noise from the AC center vent, the power steering hose clamp recall, and the last one - the glove box cover hinge broke! It was unbelievable.

    With warranty expiration in sight (we put 47K miles on it), the local MB dealer in Omaha (which runs their newly acquired MB dealership like a Ford dealership) sent me a letter saying that they will provide "complimentary local transportation" (read "no loaner") for service after the warranty expires. After seeing the JD Power report, well, that's it for me. I opt out.

    My wife and I both have high demanding jobs, with a little one year old. We have no time for stopping by the MB service department every now and then (they don't open on Saturday!) Plus they charge $90/labor hour! (A brake job at 25K mile costed me $900.)

    With reliabiliy as the #1 requirement and a $40K-$45K budget, we shopped for the Japanese brands only (love X5 but it's just another ML in terms of quality and reliability; do not want to take the risk of trying the "recently improved" GM quality - may be in five years when they have a track record established.) We considered the Lexus GX but the third row seat is a joke. The RX is gimmicky (the power hatch is for physically challenged people IMHO.), pretentious (oh come-on it is a dressed up next gen Highlander) and overpriced like the GX. The dealer experience was so-so (they were not fair on the trade-in value).

    Ended up I bought an MDX because that's a safe choice from a reliability standpoint, with a lot of nice features (DVD, Navi, third row seats, etc.), at a very reasonable price (I paid $40K). Also the dealer treated me well. In the past I owned a Honda Accord from 1995 to 2000 before I made the costly mistake of buying the ML. Over the five years I had no problem with the Accord. I trust Acura/Honda reliability.

    Looking back, I have to say ML is a well-designed vehicle with great off-road capability. I drove that in severe weather (heavy rain, whte out snow, icy road) and survived. I took that off road too and it rocked! But the build quality and reliability is simply horrible - I worried about another failure coming from god-know-where every day in the last three months I owed the vehicle.

    In conclusion, I have completed lost confidence in MB. Too bad the ML is our first and last Mercedes vehicle. We will never buy another Mercedes again.
  • Is it me or does the RX330 have even uglier tails lights than the RX300. It looks like a cheap after market product that definitely do not belong on a car in this price range. That kind of tail lights might go well with other unsightly add ons such as a 4 inch tail pipe, chain link steering wheel or maybe even that Jesus Christ sticker on the head lights, but not with what is suppose to be a luxury car.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Some folks think the 2004 MDX's taillights are ugly too. I'm okay with them, though.

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    Well, obviously the luxury SUV buying crowd doesn't think the tailights are ugly, otherwise it wouldn't be crushing every other entry level luxury SUV!
  • JPhamJPham Posts: 148
    "[The RX330] is a dressed up next gen Highlander" ... isn't the MDX just a dressed-up AWD Odyssey?
  • hopeitsfriday

    Both my wife and I both feel that these lights are ugly and, in general, do not like any vehicles that are sporting these lamps today. Like you said, they look like some cheap aftermarket add-on.

    I am waiting to see what they look like after a few years when they accumulate surface scratching and the nice clear plastic starts turning yellow like most of them seem to do. Knowing Lexus (Toyota's) tendancy for this type of lense to accumulate condensation, not only are they ugly new but they are certain to get uglier as time progresses.

    Seems to me this type of lense only is popular with the under 25 group, not the 45+ group of a typical Lexus buyer.
  • The 04 MDX's tail lights are different, but not ugly in my opinion. I personally prefer the tail lights on the 01 to 03 MDX. Some people actually like the 04 tail lights better, besides the dual exhaust more than makes up for it.
    Getting back to the RX, I remember that the 03 and earlier RX300 had a clear tail light lenses with red reflectors. The clear lenses was very cheesy and on the outside part of tail lights, a part of the round brake lights is actually cutoff by the hatch to make it fit. Almost looks like a after thought. I figure they would improve on it for the 04, but I actually think they made it uglier. Like bobeberhardt said, lenses like that only appeals to the 20s crowd who like to add things to their cars, it does not appeal to the typical buyers of the RX330, middle age females who do not like to sup up cars. Luckily for Toyota, alot of people can look pass a set of ugly tail lights for other quality that the RX has, but its like every other things, there will be a few people who will actually like them.
  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    At between $40-45K a pop and with sales of over 10,000 a copy last month, luck ain't got nothing to do with it. No doubt, no two people are the same, and everyone will have their likes and dislikes, but in the marketplace sales determine winners, treaders, and losers. So, considering all the fine offerings in this segment of the market, it is pretty evident that quite a few folks disagree with your assessment of the tail lights.
  • No , its just that quite a few folks can over look my correct assessment of the tail lights. How many people you know choose their car by how the tail lights looks?
  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    As my daughter would say, "it's just not that serious." But I must respond just on GP.

    You stated, "my correct assessment of the tail lights." "Correct" by whose standards? Not by mine because I don't agree, and my wife really likes the look--not run of the mill. Has anyone taken a poll? What is your empirical data? Very little mention of the tail lights in the numerous magazines and newpapers that have reviewed the 330, positive or negative.

    My problem with statements such as this is that they project personal opinions as ones shared by the majority of others. Personally, I have NO problem with you disliking the tail lights. That's what makes us individuals. However, in the absence of any other evidence, IMO my point about sales holds more validity concerning the general feeling about the tail lights than your personal view.
  • Just to add one more opinion, I went out to the garage last night and took a good look at my wife's RX330 tail lights, and I have to say that I think they are beautifully crafted. I personally like the way they make the whole back end of the car look. I realize that this opinion is not universally shared by all - I remember Car & Driver's initial criticism when they first reviewed it, pre-launch. I think it also depends a great deal on the exterior color - certainly with the dark colors and black in particular the contrast is much more noticeable, and some may find it to be a bit "too much." On the Silver and Breakwater Blue (which is what we have) it's more of a blended look that I really like.

    Not to start any more "wars" about the RX330's styling, but I personally am not crazy with the overall look of the FRONT end, which to my eyes looks a little bland...maybe "dowdy" is the word I'm looking for. I do like the side profile, and as stated above the rear, much better. Best of all is the overall construction and luxury touches that Lexus gives you, which in this class are unmatched by any other, IMO.
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    what are the chances that adp3 and adb3 would be posting on the same board?
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    I have come to the conclusion that Cadillac drivers do not ead Edmunds - no other way to explain why there are so few posts re the SRX
  • adb3: Its not just your daughter, I was saying the same, it's just not that serious. Its only a tail light. And you are right, it is my personally opinion and the opinion of some people and some car reviewers. Some actually likes the look of the RX330's tail lights, but then some people actually likes the look of after market white tail light lenses add ons too. To each his own I guess.

    adp3: You are right, it depends alot on exterior colors, I agree with you that it looks better with light colors. I think with the dark colors, it make them stand out more and they already draws too much attention by them self. I find the front end of the RX330 average looking, did not change much from the RX300 at all, which was very disappointing. I know that Toyota is capable of making a very nice looking front end. Just look at the front ends of the ES300 and the Toyota Sienna, they both have the contour head lights look, very sleek. BTW, are you two related?
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