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



  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    Do you really need the V8? The 2.5T is very reliable, costs less and uses less fuel. If you're not planning on racing, it's more than fast enough. ;)
  • Just purchased an X5 3.0 after having both an '01 and '04 MDX for the last 5 years. These are my wifes cars but here are my first impressions of the differences.

    The models I'm comparing are an 06 X5 3.0 w/ premium, cold weather, rear climate, xenon, heated rear seats, heated wheel and 04 MDX Touring, Nav & Rear Ent.

    Obviously the MDX is the value leader, costing 5k less yet having both Nav and DVD system in the price. We did not get the Nav in the X5 due to its poor ratings and the BMW DVD system seemed poorly executed as well.

    I also give the nod to the MDX in the power department. The additional 30-40hp is a difference you can feel in acceleration from a stop and when passing.

    Storage capacity is also on the MDX's size, cargo as well as passenger.

    The X5 definitely gets the nod on comfort. The seats are softer, and I always felt like I was sitting on top of the MDX seats not in them. Part of the comfort feeling is also in the quality of the materials used. The dash looks much richer in the X5. The MDX's dash materials, while better than most, still are a step down from the plush looking X5. This is expecially true of the faux wood trim on the MDX center consol.

    I also prefer the feel of driving the X5. There are two major reasons for this. One is road/engine noise. The X5 is much quieter than the MDX, expecially at highway speeds. The X5 feels like it is going much slower than the MDX at the same speed. The X5 definitely has a more solid feel and the steering has a much better weight to it. The MDX seems very over boosted in comparison. I also like the fact that the rear wheels drive the X5 most of the time compared to the MDX fronts, which leads to torque steer at times. The AWD systems in both are outstanding, working invisibly. The MDX's only issue is when you hit the gas while turning a tight slick corner, causing some initial push before the system catches up. In testing the X5 on the one snow day it's had, it seems unflapable.

    The X5 also gets the nod for nice extra power features like power tilt/telescope on the wheel w/memory, power reclining rear seats, all windows are one-touch up & down vs. just the drivers on the MDX, the panorama moon roof and soft-touch rear hatch. Also like that the X5's hatch opens in two parts so that things that have moved around don't come crashing out when you open the door. The keys with fob controls included are nice as well.

    In the end, I would not discourage the purchase of either. If your looking for value and utility, go MDX. If your a driver who likes a bit more luxury, go X5, it is worth it.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I wonder why the X5 3.0 carries over the old low power 3.0 liter engine. All of the other BMW models get a 255 hp 3.0 liter engine. That 30 hp difference would have been most beneicial to the X5 and would have at least equaled the MDX.

    We got an MDX for it's size/versitility. But the X5 3.0 6-speed would have been our first choice had we put the kids up for adoption.
  • I'm interested in the 2006 Volvo XC90. However, can't compromise on which engine model. Gas is a big factor to my decision which one would prefer the 2.5T. But how is handling and noise in regards to a 5-cylinder 2.5 liter SUV? I didn't even know SUVs come in 5-cyliner. :confuse: :confuse:
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    It's a 5 cylinder TURBO engine. Handling is fine, noise level is low. You should go on a test drive and see for yourself.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    We considered the XC90 V8 when it first came out and it was selling at quite a premium over the 2.5T. However, it appears that prices have come down significantly - I've seen ads for $6,000+ off the V8. I was very impressed with the V8, save for the rather busy 6-speed transmission. It clearly would have been my engine choice had my wife not gone for an MDX instead.

    If gas is a big factor in buying a $40k-$45k SUV, perhaps you should be looking at a Highlander Hybrid or - heaven forbid - an Odyssey or Sienna minivan. those will give you much better fuel efficiency than either XC90 engine. The fact is the difference of 2-3 mpg would equate to around $200-$300 per year at 12,000 miles a year. That's not chump change, but it's also insignificant compared to the overall price and cost of ownership. Heck, at at a purchase price that's $10k-$15k less, you could drive a Honda Pilot for 5-7 years for free, compared to either XC90.

    The XC90 in either form is a very nice vehicle. I recommend you get the engine that suits your needs and preferences. ;)
  • dhdandhdan Posts: 5
    Does anyone have any hard and fast numbers relative to the actual costs of regular maintenance (oil changes, regular PMs, etxc.) for the MDX, RX330, and XC90? I've calculated the relative costs of gasoline, gotten insurance quotes for all three, read these boards, etc. Just want to flesh out as complete a picture as possible on these three vehicles.

    Perhaps a better question might be "Is the True-Cost-To-Own" which Edmunds provides a good comparative measure?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    No disrespect to Edmunds, but I found their "true cost to own" estimates relative to repairs and maintenance pretty useless.

    I suggest you call the service departments of 1-2 dealers for each of the models you are considering and have them quote or fax you the regular maintenance schedules and prices. You might ask them for quotes on 1-2 specific repairs to give you a sense of relative pricing - like brake rotors and water pump.

    I have found there can also be fairly significant geographic differences, with smaller town dealerships changing 20-30%+ less than larger metro areas.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,016
    In addition to the True Cost to Own tool, the Edmunds Maintenance Guide will break down maintenance costs by the manufacturer's schedule. Your dealer may charge more, but the dealer may be doing more than what's recommended in the owner's manual.

    Steve, Host

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • dhdandhdan Posts: 5
    Thanks Steve. The prices may not be dead on but they give me a relative comparison for each vehicle. Of course, none of this has made my decision between the three vehicles (MDX, XC90, RX330) any easier. I guess I'm going to have to take two baby seats and a double stroller to each dealership and see which fits the best.
  • I would put money on it that the maintainence costs for the Volvo would be significantly higher than the other two. On the plus side, the first 50k is covered by Volvo, something that Lexus and Acura do not offer without promotion... yet. So in the end it may balance out equally, but I believe that Volvo amintainence costs are some of the highest in the industry.

    For the record, our 15k service is about $250.00 while the 30k is about $450.00. We've had no other issues to speak of other than maintainence on the vehicle in 56k miles. My father had an '01 that he put something like 135k on. Only out of warranty maintainence was the 105k timing belt and W.P. which was something like 3 grand :surprise:. Not out of the ordinary, but still a big chunk of coin...

    Still, that was THE ONLY thing that went wrong over the time he had it. :D
  • jccai1jccai1 Posts: 106
    We have an 05 2.5T AWD. The turbo engine is quite loud compared to other vehicles I've owned. It's partially the turbo whine and partially the unique noise made by a 5-cylinder engine. I feel it's a bit underpowered, but that's a personal opinion. The vehicle has good sound insulation overall. Handling is pretty good for a tall and heavy vehicle. Brakes are good. Steering is a bit vague and not speed sensitive. Gas mileage wise, I average 16mpg in local driving and 22-23mpg on highways. Hope this helps. Drive both models and decide whether the V-8 is worth the extra cost.
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    Currently own an 04explorer xls. Paid 25 grand for it new. Its only worth 13grand and has 15000 miles. Heres the problem, past the warranty and many many problems mainly no 3rd row for the ocassional child seat and her mother. Transmission is almost out and not worth replacing because of its bland interior and $75 to fill tank every 5-8 days.

    Deciding on an 06 explorer xlt, 04 mdx with navi, and xc90. Tried the 06 explorer. its ok but i figure no right off th dealer new, maybe wait a year. The o4 mdx because of the up dated navi and restyled front and rear(i dig the new tail lamps), the performance for my needs and extra storage. Finally the xc90 because of the flair power and looks. I cant decide between the t6,t5, or v8. Did i mention fuel economy is best in the mdx? The explorer is off the list for the mediocre warranty. I prefer new but being 38grand+ vehicles,used is ok 4 me. I count highway miles moreso city because its a 45mile drive to work and almost 50 to the enearest volvo dealer

    Does anyone have any suggestions, i don't want another :lemon:
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 372
    Please explain how with 15,000 miles and two years you are out of warranty.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    its a 45mile drive to work

    Even if that is round trip and, say, 2/3 of your total miles then that would amount to over 16,000 miles per year so I take it your 15,000 mile figure is a typo.

    tidester, host
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    sorry, the 15,000 miles was a biggggggggggg mistake. I have 45,000 miles on a 36,000 mile warranty. Btw, miles are high because of a new job, 2 road trips to orlando, fl from south miami, and frequent long distance runs to wal*mart in fla. city :blush:
  • jccai1jccai1 Posts: 106
    If reliability and gas mileage are your major concerns, get the Acura. The engine has good power and the car comes loaded with pretty much every feature you need.

    I have the XC90 2.5T, which I find underpowered. And it drinks quite a bit of gas, too. I've seen quite a few problem reports in these forums about the T6 and the V8 models, but very few on the 2.5T. Also, once out of warranty, a Volvo will certainly cost more to fix than a Honda/Acura.

    Don't get me wrong. I like my Volvo! I chose it over the MDX for its safety features, better brakes and handling, and better looks (personal taste).
  • Hi All,
    I hope this post is OK, I am looking at some of the models listed, but not all due to my desire for more seating. And I therefore included a couple luxury things not on the list that do seat 7.

    I am new to the board and shopping for a larger vehicle. Current vehicle is 98 Maxima SE Manual Transmission with toys. Need a vehicle that can handle 2 car seats, a Basset hound and stuff easily, 3 car seats occasionally, possibly regularly(future car pools), and handle ski trips. I like toys like the nav systems, blue tooth phone link, back up camera, etc.

    I do not like to deal with car repairs and if I buy a nice new luxury SUV, I don't want to bring it in all the time.

    I like to drive. The way the vehicle drives is very important to me, that is why I am mostly considering SUVS and not minivans, I can't stand the way the nicest van (Odyssey IMO) drives.

    Here are my thoughts so far:
    Acura MDX - like the exterior styling, nice enough ride, great nav system/toys, kinda small interior, hard to access 3rd row, but seems OK. From the little reading I have done, it seems Acura maintenance is not as carefree as I would have expected. They are at or near the bottom of JD Power list for 2005. I also don't like the dealer location where I visited, need to visit the other local dealer. Fold down 3rd row nice and flat.

    Infiniti QX56 - larger than Acura, but more useful 3rd row when needed, a bit more truck like ride, but really not bad, good toys. OK exterior, not as nice interior as some. Have also heard they have had all kinds of problems with this car, the electronics that I like so much being part of the problems. Haven't heard a lot of other specific problems, hard to ascertain what to make of it. Nice infiniti dealer in the area.

    Volvo XC90 - nice inside and out, nicer than I expected, cool middle part of second row seat, hard to explain, but it slides up. Don't remember if it folded down separately for better rear seat access, but want to say it did. Good crash/safety. Good fold down seats. Dealer told me to get an after market nav system, back up assist therefore not camera, but a buzzer. No blue tooth. Drove surprisingly nicely. Liked the local dealership.

    Lexus GX470 - Was surprised salesman tried to put me toward this so much above the LX470. I asked for him because a friend has bought cars from him and liked him. GX he showed me had 3 third row seats that faced each other, didn't look like any latch option for either. HUH? This was very odd. LX looked like it at least had a real 3rd row, but access didn't look any better/worse than the Acura. Love the Lexus interior luxury feel, hate the disconnected way they drive. I like the idea of all the safety features, but it compromises the drive feel I think. Wonder if I would hate the bigger LX even more. The GX seats didn't really totally fold away and he said most people leave them in their garage for occasional use. This doesn't really do it for me. Very nice local dealership though.

    Not driven - Mercedes ML500 with 7 seats, looks really really tight back there with 3rd row up. Kind of afraid of Mercedes maintenance record. Don't find their kind of luxury to suit my tastes as much. Drove a Merc sedan around LA for a week comparable to ones my hubby was test driving and was not impressed (BMW 3 series and whatever the comparable Merc was).

    Land Rover - also large, but 3rd row very close to back and not great on the one vehicle that had it. Heard these are really best when you do a lot of off roading.

    Anything American. On my list to go try them, just haven't done it yet.

    The biggest thing I am unsure of how to judge is the maintenance/repairs/resale on these vehicles. I probably liked the MDX and XC90 best, but Lexus seems to have the best reliability. The Infiniti might be the most useful of the bunch, but is also a little larger, which may be more difficult getting around shopping and such.

    Any thoughts about what else to look at and experiences with these vehicles would be helpful.

  • Well, if our favorite Volvo dealer had, in stock, a white FWD w/Premium only--we would be driving it. Didn't know how difficult it would be to find a 5 pass vs 7(about a $2k bump).
    Closest one was in So Fla.
    NOW, DW and I are more interested in the RX 330 and are having trouble sticking to our Volvo guns(three Volvos in a row and a total of five over the years). For almost the same money, the RX feels more refined, appears to get better mileage on reg gas, 7-800 lbs lighter and feels it, just the tiniest reduction in cargo capacity but with easier access to rear area, XM readily available...what to do? Local Lex dealer (Nalley--same family as our Volvo dealer) has just what we want--FWD, white, Premium pkg--on the lot. We are trading our '02 V70 loaded, 44K miles and last week(w/free Premium from Volvo) dealer offered $35.5 but with only $15k for our trade. If Lexus comes close, we may pull the trigger unless SOMEONE can shed some light on our puzzlement. What to do--what to do??? :confuse:
  • 10scoachrick -

    Just to put in my $0.02; I have never owned either a Lex or Volvo - I drive a 2002 ML 320 so technically I won't be of much help to you (my wife prefer the personality of MB vehicles and whatever class society has attached to know how that goes).

    If you are just purely looking for opinions/validations on whether to choose a Lex or Volvo, then I probably would be leaning more towards the Lex. I test drove one when I was in the market looking to purchase a vehicle and I really liked the handling, styling and the gas mileage numbers; on the other hand, the XC90 is a great SUV and if you are going to shed quite a small fortune on an automobile you should get what you really want so you won't be second-quessing yourself if you saw the other vehicle you almost bought on the road.....

    Good luck.....
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