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Acura MDX vs Buick Enclave CXL

msindallasmsindallas Posts: 190
edited 12:17AM in Acura
Would like to see the experts comment on the subject. I am in the market for an Acura MDX, but don't like the way they have set up the packages. Examples:

(1) To get a power liftgate, you need to get the Entmnt package - an 8" screen DVD - whereas you could get an aftermarket 12" screen at car-toys for $1K. (2) Self leveling headlamps need heated 2nd row seats and Sports suspensions that I will never use. (3) You need navigation to get a rear view camera because it is the "Tech" package - I am not really happy with these marketing tactics.

I am comparing this to the Buick Enclave CXL, and can get almost all the stuff on MDX except the SH-AWD for about $10K less. Even the roof rails and auto-dimming mirrors are standard. You also get a rear park assist, can ask adults to seat in the 3rd row, and get a wood-grain steering wheel for free. Similar gas mileage, a 6-speed transmission (in Buick) and you get a 2008MY vehicle, too. I dont know what difference 275 and 300 HP makes for stop-n-go city traffic and occasional Hwy trips, the curb weights being similar.

So... while the MDX is at the top of my list, I am having 2nd thoughts about protesting to Acura about their options with my wallet. Is anybody else having this dilemma? Please share your thoughts. Best wishes, - MS.


  • ux149ux149 Posts: 18
    I was looking at the Enclave and decided against it for my needs/desires. I need a vehicle that is extremely comfortable for four with the ability to carry occasional bulky cargo (plants, new lawn mower, things that will not fit in my 300C AWD) My Escalade was perfect except that it was huge for everyday use and was huge to get around when parked in the garage.

    The Enclave/Outlook/Acadia is just as long as an Escalade without nearly the comfort. The second row of seats (whether bench or split) are small, hard minivan seats - not what I want my friends and associates experiencing when we're traveling to dinner or a golf course. The two Acadias and two Outlooks I've driven were comfortable for the driver and very quiet. I was a bit dissappointed in all of their sound systems.

    The MDX is nearly a foot shorter - thus easier to parallel park and takes up less garage space.. The second row is far more comfortable. And, Acuras typically have much greater resale value than Buicks. Road noise in the MDX was much louder than the GM models or my wife's Lexus. I'll need to test drive a lot more before I'm sold on the MDX.

    Both vehicles are brand new and will have more standard features added each year. Note: if you use Nav, get a voice activated system. Many of the functions of a dial or touch screen system are disabled when the car is not in park so that the driver will watch the road instead of a Nav screen.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    First of all, the Enclave is a Buick, poor reliability, quality, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm as red-blooded a republican as you can get but I will never own another american vehicle (2000 Olds Intrigue, ugh!). Have an '04 MDX and '07, the '04 has never been in the shop except for oil changes (45,000 miles). The money you spend on the more expensive acura will result in less headaches and higher resale value. Keep in mind the MDX is much more of a SPORT utility than the Enclave. The limited options packages offered by Acura actually reduces the cost to the consumer.(As opposed to some other foreign auto makers, BMW, M-B)
  • ody02tjkody02tjk Posts: 66
    I have to mostly agree with your assessment comparing the MDX to the Enclave. I can get the loaded Enclave for more than $8K less than the MDX sport for purchase. Comparing leases (36mo, $0 down, 12K miles a year) the Enclave is at $654 a month, while the lowest quote I got on a MDX was $815/mo.

    Probing further, I found out that the MDX now has a 3 year residual of 57%, while for the Enclave it was 63% at 3 years. I have also found that you can get an Audi Q7 3.6 Premiun for just $650 a month as well (with a subsidized lease from Audi). Has anyone found that the MDX's are not getting the residual rates they used to?

    I am really torn on the choices here. I love the sporty way the MDX drove (only the $55K X5 was as nice), but space is tight, and what is with all the dark colors on the interior? The wood dash looks like black plastic. I do not want the Rear ENT, but do want the rear heated seats, I would like the Sport Package wheels, but w/o the self-leveling lights. I also tried just adding on the 19 inch wheels from the MDX accessory list (but those with the required tires are nearly $3400 more). Further, if you opt for the 19inch wheels, you do not get credit for the 18 inchers that come standard (in fact one salespersontold me to take the 4 wheels and tires, and sell it on Ebay. Also, Space is at a real premiun MDX.

    The Buick and Audi were both more comfortable, & held a lot more (stuff and people). The Buick gives you a credit for the larger wheels, from the standard wheels. Audi just charges less for the 20 inch wheels. Due to my space requirements (car pool, sports and kids nearly every day), the 2nd and 3rd row seat space is a real need, and the Buick leads on this front. I know some one will tell me to get a minivan, but we already have an Odyssey, and my wife does not want a 2nd van.

    Since the Buick and Audi are both in their first year, I am leasing, in case the models have reliability issues. I am coming out of a Lexus LX, and really wished Lexus had something comparable with a decent 3rd seat. The GX rear space is a joke.

    Any recommendations?
  • celica8celica8 Posts: 42
    Buick reliability is poor? That's not true. Check JD Power. Buick consistently beats Acura in long term dependability.

    The Enclave also beats the MDX in size, price, and definitely looks. The NY Times called the face of the MDX a "duck."
  • I used to own an Acura and a VW. While the Acura I owned was an excellent car, the VW was a money pit and always in the shop, sometimes repeatedly for the same problem, at $1,000 a pop.
    When GM was having the employee pricing strategy in 2005, I leased two GM cars (including a Buick Ranier). Both cars have been extremenly reliable and the service I get when I take the cars in for service surpasses what I used to get at my old Acura dealer.
    That being said, I am not sure how I feel about the Enclave. On paper it is a great car. Having test driven it, however, I was very disappointed with the acceleration and the "tiptronic" mode of the 6-speed transmission did little to improve the off-the-line acceleration. Since then
    I have test driven both the new MDX and the Audi Q7 4.2. The MDX is a great, great SUV with terriffic seats. The Q7 was just, well, awesome. Its amazing what an extra 25 or 75 horsepower and torque can do!
  • ody02tjkody02tjk Posts: 66
    I whittled my shopping list down to the MDX, the Q7, and the Enclave. I must agree with your assessment of the Buick. While it is cheaper, and has more interior room, the driving experience just does not measure up to the other 2 SUV's. Due to a need for space, and the fact that I like a very large sunroof, as well as near 0% financing on a lease, I leased a Q7 3.6 Premium. It drives as nice as the MDX, and is nearly $140 less per month. I am a little worried about reliability, but I can always turn in from the lease. I have read a little about some engine issues in Q7's built early last year, but it sounds like Audi addressed things quickly and treated customers very well. Coming from a Lexus, my expectations for service are high. It should be noted, though, that if I leased a loaded Buick Enclave, the monthly payment would have been nearly $200 less than my Audi. My recommendations are to lease the Q7 if you can swing it.
  • jimjackjimjack Posts: 43
    I've enjoyed the discussions re: the Enclave CXL,Acadia SLT2, MDX & the Q7 3.2 premium. I've gone thru the full line of vehicles to get to the one that will do the most for me that I had on my list for priorities.
    They were: ride, quietness, performance, mpg, power to pull a 4k lbs boat, looks, equipment offered and the dollars.
    I found the MDX able to pull 5k lbs, powerful, very agile, performance better than the Enclave, attractive inside and out exept the front end grill work. The equipment that I wanted put the MDX @ nearly $8K more than the Enclave. the residual was touted to be 62% however which was very good.
    The Enclave/Acadia was smoother in ride to either the MDX & the Q7.
    Performance on the Enclave was decent but did not blow my doors off. Was very acceptable for typical driving however. More quiet than the other 2. Well appointed and attractive in and out. The rear camera was offered as an extra that can be put on. I want that. I would choose to allow the 18" wheels stay on while I ordered 20" on my own. I want chrome wheels not their polished.
    My greatest issue is the torque or lack there of. The ability to pull from a stop will my boat is in tow is very important. I should be able to stay with other traffic and not be looked upon as " damn boat puller, get moving will ya".
    The Q7 V6 was a new experience for me just yesterday for kicks. More money than the other 2. Nicely appointed and looks good in and out. The V6 was not much different than the enclave however. Both their V8 and 6 were rough in nature in their ride and acceleration. Pretty much like an SUV I suppose. I own an 02 Suburban at present. The MPG present a negative factor for me. The MDX is @ 16-22, the Enclave is 16-22/24 while the Q7 is @ 15-20 and 14-19 on the V8.
    Now, the Q7 4.2 is the winner as far as torque and power and it will pull 6600 lbs. But the V6 is in the middle of the MDX and Enclave. 4500lbs for the Enclave Acadia and 5k lbs on the MDX.
    I'll go back to try out the Q7 but the cost takes me further than I choose to want to go. A bit more than the Acura.
    Their Lease has got to be a good one and the residual must have some pop to it.
    I'm truing to get the Enclave/Acadia dealer to hook my boat up for a pull session. About a 4 mile pull will do me just fine.. That will be the answer I seek in the engine department.
    I have enjoyed my Suburban and has given Zero Grief. A battery and rear brakes @ 86k mi. But, it is eating 13 mpg and that really hurts any more..
  • epineyepiney Posts: 462
    Probing further, I found out that the MDX now has a 3 year residual of 57%, while for the Enclave it was 63% at 3 years. I have also found that you can get an Audi Q7 3.6 Premiun for just $650 a month as well (with a subsidized lease from Audi). Has anyone found that the MDX's are not getting the residual rates they used to?

    Can you post the source of this info? I have been looking at both vehicles as well and just looked at the TCO for teh Enclave on Edmunds. The predicted depreciation for the Enclave is staggering compared with the MDX. It's a new model, so info would be scarce, but if it's close to true than what you gain on teh purcahse could be more than lost at trade in time.
  • ody02tjkody02tjk Posts: 66
    Epiney: I received this information from Acura, Buick and Audi dealers when I was shopping late last month. I do not know what is the cause of this issue with Acura's, but I found that the residuals were better for the Buick (63%) and lower (52%) for the Audi. However, with Audi, the lease factor rate is at .00019 (0.465%), while the Buick rate is .003 (7.2%). Audi is subsidizing their leases this way. The Acura had a sales price around $48K and rate I was quoted on the Acura lease was above 8%. This caused the lease pmt (nothing down except taxes) on the MDX Tech/Sport to be more than $850 per month. The lease payment on my Audi was only about $20 more a month ($672 vs $651) than the Buick. IF you are BUYING the car, both the Buick Enclave and the Audi Q7 can be gotten close to invoice prices, if not less. However, the Buick is the best deal about $40K (CXL AWD loaded) at invoice, compared to the the Audi at about $53K. If you are leasing, however, the monthly price difference is quite small, due to the VERY low rate on the lease. Since there is no history yet for the GM Midsize SUV's, I believe GM is setting the residuals for the Enclave high, in anticipation. Several dealers quoted me the 63% residual rate at 3 years, with 12K miles per year. I liked the style of the Audi, as well as its huge sunroof, and did not have to wait to get the color I wanted, so the Q7 is what I leased.
  • epineyepiney Posts: 462
    Thanks ody02tjk. Iwas only considering an outright buy, which doesn't make sense on the Audi with those low lease rates. Buying the Enclave concerns me as the TCO in Edmunds predicts horrible depreciation. At least with a lease, your residual is locked in. The mileage is a bit unpredictable, that's why I am heavily favoring purchase.

    I think the MDX is close to invoice now so at about $44, it's only about $4K more than the Enclve and almost $10K less than the Q7. I am worried about the Audi reliability as well.

    Bothe the Buick Enclave and teh Hyundai Veracruz look interesting to buy, but unknown resale value has me thinking twice and staying "safe" with the MDX :confuse:
  • ody02tjkody02tjk Posts: 66
    Did you take a look at the Mazda CX-9? That was my #3 choice, behind the Audi and the Buick, and well ahead of the MDX. The CX-9 has more room, and a much larger 3rd seat and rear storage than the MDX. Also, the Mazda handles as well as the MDX, if not better. While it may not be quite as luxurious as the Acura, a loaded CX-9 Gran Touring(with Nav, Sunroof, 20inch wheels, etc) was selling at near invoice of $38K. I was VERY impressed with it. I also tested the Veracruz, but was not impressed at all. The Mazda seems to be the real value in this size vehicle. What state are you in? I am in MD, and the Acura dealers around here would only go about $2k below sticker. I am a bit worried about the Audi reliability, and that was another reason I leased. Since all of these vehicles are in the first model year (MDX, Enclave, CX9, Q7, ACADIA, Veracruz), I did not want to take a chance with any of them.
  • jimjackjimjack Posts: 43
    I'm in California (East Bay Area). I have the MDX (07)in mind as well as the Enclave (08) or Acadia (07).
    The MDX with a sport package is available to me at present @ 500 over invoice. The Enclave (CXL fully loaded) dealer hasn't gotten back to me just yet and I'm grinding them down in hopes of an invoice price.
    The Acadia SLT 2 fully equiped (same dealer as the Enclave) is @ invoice along with their promo called conquest that is a cradit of 1K.
  • epineyepiney Posts: 462
    I had a quick look at the CX-9. Since we are so close to MY changeover, I am holding out for an 08. Will start test driving in a couple of months. Doing some upfront research. The CX-9 was bigger and had better access to the third row. I felt the MDX had a nicer interior. The CX-9 does not offer memory on the mirrors and steering wheel at any price. It may seem minor, but that's a big deal to us. It's almost a deal breaker. Your lease rate on the Q7 has me taking another look at it!
  • merlin14merlin14 Posts: 2
    I have just read the posts. I am also considering both an Enclave and an MDX. Whichever vehicle we use needs to be able to withstand ice/snow in North Dakota, driving and towing in the mountains, fit in our garage (6'3 clearance) and be comfortable for three adults and two child seats. I looked at most cars mentioned in the posts, but have only test-driven the MDX. I only "discoverd" the Enclave a week ago. We were very happy (except for the garage problem) with our Yukon XL until gas prices took to soaring and our frequent trips to the Dakotas from the Carolinas became less frequent. The Acura is more expensive because it is more of a "luxury" vehicle. I know that its safety rating are phenomenal and according to Consumer Reports the SH-AWD is amazing on hairpin turns and snow and ice. Has anyone used either of these vehicles in a harsh environment (granted the Enclave is too new for a summer yet)? Or has anyone tried a 1000 mile trip with two or more kids under 5?
  • celica8celica8 Posts: 42
    If reliability is a factor in buying, I would avoid the Mazda. Buick and Acura are consistently reliable, but Mazda has a spotty reputation.
  • jimjackjimjack Posts: 43
    I would have to say that I'd be pretty suprised if the Acadia/Enclave/Outlook had difficuties beyond the typical quirks of any car. I have now driven the X5 BMW and found that to be superb but way up there ie cost. I found the Q7 harsh by comparrison. Much rougher than any of the others. I can't consider the Veracruise or CX9 as they don't pull the weight I need pulled.
    The Acadia family is a crossover and should be considered as such. It is very competitive or we wouldn't be talking about it so much. Guess what? We like it for all the right reasons. It's just a new venture for GM. I think they got the message and did themselves fairly proud.
    I'm at the point where which ever I buy, I will wonder if it was the other I should have bought. It's decision time boy's.
  • eclipse2eclipse2 Posts: 64
    We got the MDX with the Tech pack in Dec we took a trip to Disney on spring break with 3 kids for a week! We drove from NJ to Orlando it was great!!!!! I don't think people know to much about the SH-AWD because they wouldn't even talk about the Mazda and Buick if they did!! I have the 06 Acura RL with SH-AWD I just love the way both the MDX and the RL hug the ground around turns...Plus with all the tech stuff in it you can't beat it!!! :shades:
  • jimjackjimjack Posts: 43
    Help me out here please. The distinction of the SH-AWD vs. any of the compitition's AWD is?
    I need to have this knowledge. I think you might have some info that is very criticle to any who are looking at cars.
    I really like the AWD format but you have me peeked with interest with your SH-AWD. HELP!!!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,957
    Check out the 4WD & AWD systems explained discussion too.

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

  • jimjackjimjack Posts: 43
    Went back to the dealer for another test only with my wife along. The SH AWD means super handling. Very cool..
This discussion has been closed.