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Acura MDX vs Buick Enclave CXL



  • merlin14merlin14 Posts: 2
    Jimjack. My understanding is the SH-AWD uses variable torque in all wheels, while most systems just adjust front to back. The result is that cornering and wet conditions are a lot safer to drive in.

    Motortrend has some information on their site if you are interested....

    Ah, I see in another forum you bought an MDX already. If you get a chance tell us more. I am also a former Suburban (Yukon XL) owner and considering the Enclave. Why did you eventually go with MDX? Right now, for me, it is down to what works better in our garage.
  • jimjackjimjack Posts: 43
    The bottom line is the rating of the 2 vehicles. Go to Kelly blue book .com and once you've got either car up on your screen, look at the resale value and other info available. All lees than the Buick. I believe the edmunds will show the acura as better than average in it's integrity while the Buick (consistent with GM) shows as less than average.
    I pull a boat @ 4K lbs and I chose to speak with the Service advisors re: the Buick and my needs. Although the Buick will pull the 4500 lbs, they suggested that it would be a strain and likely too much stress.
    The fit and finish on the Acura was better. I plan to keep my car for 5 years and I just thought that the Acura had more appeal to all for resale purposes vs. the Buick. Not many younger generation would look at the Buick as a gotta have it typed car. While the Acura appeals to most demographics.
    that's my take..

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Be careful when considering towing and read the fine print.

    Acura/Honda used to publish a towing figure assuming the passenger compartment was filled with 4 passengers and 200 lbs of gear. (A total of 800 lbs.)

    With the Ridgeline and now the 2007 MDX, they now publish specs based on only 2 passengers and their gear. (A total of 500 lbs.)

    Other companies will publish specs with 1 occupant and zero cargo. There is no consistency, either. I've seen GM trucks with figures based on 1 occupant and Buick SUVs based on 2. Ya gotta read the fine print.

    In the end, two vehicles "rated" to tow 4,500 lbs may be separated by as much as 650 lbs once you do the math.
  • These vehicles are rated to tow, but I wouldn't advise anything over 3000 pounds, especially if you are talking the Buick Enclave. That thing already weighs over 5000 pounds, and that is taxing enough on that drivetrain.
  • sookmdxsookmdx Posts: 4
    I HAD the Q7 3.6 Premium for 3 months. Beautiful interior, nice ride, adequate power. I loved the MMI interface (still find myself reaching down to find it in my MDX). The huge sunroof was nice but made the A/C really strain to keep things cool. However, the car broke down after 2 wks (400 miles or so ). Rode real rough, like it was missing a cylinder or two and was out of balance. After 3 months and basically replacing every part above the block the problem was fixed. Fortunately Audi mediator had already offered to buy back my car by then so I walked away free and clear. My circumstance is far from typical but scared me enough that I'll never do German again.
  • zegzeg Posts: 7
    Still waiting for a dream one to come in this price class ...
    Couldn't find AC seats in the class. Like someone mentioned in the forum, 3rd row in GX470 is a joke, 08 highlander is bit better, but not much; when could Lexus build one in this price range with decent 3rd seats? Maybe a RX-L
    GL and X5 if money is not too much an issue

    MB R350, if only it is less VAN like
    MDX, softer seat and more upscale interior looking
    Veracruz, perhaps 6" longer for bit more cargo space and real wood trim, sound is top in the class, well balanced and smooth ride, HID, Nav and AC seats?. Quite a newcomer though
    Enclave, Arcadia etc, price/quality ratio is questionable
  • Acura's SH-AWD is a "smart" wheel drive that distributes torque left and right (not only front to back). As a result, the system can shift more power to one wheel if it wants. It will do this around turns by spinning the back outside wheel faster then the others. The result is an amazing sensation of riding rails. The cars front is pushed in to reduce the chance of understeer. You don't feel like your fighting gravity as much (because your not). It's still quite unique in the industry even with the stupid name (super handling awd). Don't think of it as a feature for getting out of a snow bank. Consider it more of a performance driving feature.
  • The 07 mdx with the SH-AWD drives like a dream in the rain. I live in FL with common downpours and water on the road. My previous vehicles I have always had to slow down and felt "uncomfortable" while on wet roads. With the MDX it does not slip or slide at all on wet roads and gives a great sense of security in the 10 months that I have owned it.
  • sarendssarends Posts: 4

    Everyone, I am an Acura 03 MDX owner that was about 70% leaning towards a Mazda CX-9. I recently heard about thye Buick Enclave and decided to compare it against my short list (MDX, CX-9).

    OK, I have heard (via internet mainly) quite a bit about the Enclave - it is getting some fantastic accolades and lots of orders (for Buick) And, I have a soft spot for Buicks - I owned a very fine 1970 Buick Gran Sport 455 Stage I mscle car and a 1986 Buick T-Type (3.8 V6 turbo) that were both incredible, for what they were.

    And, my Dad always liked big American iron from the days of the 56 Buick Specials and the Olds Super 88s and the 98s of the 50's and 60's - honestly, those cars above all have some very very nice qualities - IMO, of course.

    So, the Enclave:

    Probably the best looking SUV I have seen, honestly. The piant and fit and finish is incredible - deep and lusterous - I saw a red one and a white one - the paint is deep and incredible - the lines, the chrome - everything is Lexus/BMW/Audi quality and above. And, I would like to remind everyone - I am a BMW nut (have owned 6 and ciurrently drive a 2002 M5), so I have an appreciateion for some nicely built cars.


    Also, pretty darn nice - up there with the quality of everything I have seen iin the hifghest end SUVs, but you have to like the old American car spirit that embodies some of the great american cars (like I mentioned above) - the interior has a little bit of a retro feel - ie. it has a very nice analog clock prominently displayed in the frt. dash - it is not tacky. And, the size of this thing inside is, well, pretty darn enormous compared to most other SUVs - and I thought the CX-9 was spacious!

    The whole effect of the gorgeous exterior and high quality lux interior works together - it is honest about what it is trying to accomplish!

    OK, the ride and handling

    Well, it was better than I expected (I was expected a big ol lumbering yukon-ish-suburban like wallowing beast), and the ride was honest considering the size and substance of this machine (it is a substantial piece of iron). It took off with a decent amt of zip and the engine and tranny seemed well matched to the weight of the vehicle. It is consistent with a luxury vehicle - a solid and EXTREMELY quiet ride. Did I mention to you how quiet and cushy and solid it is - it is amazing - every bump was handled with SHERMAN tank like dominance with no hint of a rattle, skeak or weakness.

    Performance? Well, now let's just skip this little bit shall we? Well, actually, if you are going to consider an Enclave, you do have to kinda skip the performance comparison - that is if if you want to measure it in 0 - 60, 1/4 mile, top speed, or G force on a skid pad type measurements, because it simply doesn't have excess here - nothing like my 70 Buick GS or the Regal Turbo I had!

    But, if you have been bitten by the Enclave allure created by the gorgeous exterior, interior, combined with a definite conveyance of "quality luxury cruiser",, then I can see why alot of people might be able to overlook handling in the realm of a CX-9, MDX, X5, Cayenne or Q7. It is simply not designed to meet these types of SUVs head on. Don't try to compare here at all - Buick doesn't, and is honest about it.

    Could I own an Enclave? You bet I could. Will I choose one over a CX-9 or an MDX? More than likely not, but my wife will decide. Why do I think the Enclave will not ultimately get the nod from my wife? She (and I) like performance and efficiency too much )over drop dead gorgeous luxury). And, even though the Enclave would draw tons of looks and would be a blast to "cruise" around in - it doesn't fit the main driver of our car - my wife - who is all about Zoom Zoom here and Zip Zip there with our kids and she likes to do it pretty aggressively without getting bogged down with excess size or trips to the pump.

    But if I could have two SUVs (which of course would be stupid)? Mmm, I am thinking a CX-9 and an Enclave would be certainly cool!!!
  • sarendssarends Posts: 4
    There was actually a one week difference in time between my Part I driving experience and this (Part II) experience.

    Who's Car is it Anyway?
    I mentioned in my original post that all of the experiences were MINE and not those of my wife - the original test drive was just me and the dealer. The MDX is her car and so the replacement will be hers too. So this morning I scheduled a test drive for my wife (kids along too).

    Wife's Assessment of the Enclave
    First of all, let me tell you, I have an immense amt of respect for my wife - she knows what she likes and it usually doesn't take her very long to figure out what she likes. I, however, tend to over-analyze purchase decisions. The Enclave we drove was a red on gray CXL with a $44,800 MSRP so it was fully equipped. It was all cleaned up when we arrived about 9am. The dealer got us going pretty quickly.

    As my wife walked around the car she made a few comments:

    Nice smooth lines, rich paint, it has allot of room, you can actually sit in the 3rd seat, you can actually get into the 3rd seat, I love the power liftgate, I like the light colored interior, the seats are comfortable, it has two sunroofs!, I like the way the roof rails are chrome and match the wheels, I still can't reach the laundry hooks - I guess I am just too short, pretty chrome Buick front end - way nicer than that hawk nose on the new MDX.

    The drive

    My wife started out driving and I can tell almost right away that she likes it. She said within the 1st 1/2 block - this is easier to steer than I thought it would be - it doesn't feel as large to drive as it is inside. Her comments in order as I remember them: This is so quiet, I don't think it is slow (I told her it was no speed demon), The air works well, It handles nice, I like this car, This is a reallllyyy nice car, I can see myself really enjoying this car.

    So, there you have it - she loved the Enclave, end of story and doesn't really need to drive or look at anything else now. That is about how quickly she comes to things in her mind. I say, "well, maybe we should drive the CX-9 again" and "we haven't driven the new Highlander yet" and "Should we investigate the new MDX a little further" and she just says, "I really like the Buick, it is different - there is nothing else out there as beautiful as the Enclave - why would we look at those again?"

    So, this is really the end of this thread, the boss has spoken - not that she is the boss, but in this case she is - it will be her car. OK, who am I kidding, I love this woman and would do anything for her!! So, we will be pursuing an Enclave now and you will be hearing lots from me as I over-analyze the rest of the purchase process (don't get me wrong - I enjoy it).

    But, one last note. In my last review I gave the Enclave glowing comments on it's design and exterior fit and finish as well as glowing marks on how quiet it is. But, I also stated that it's power and handling were not in the same league as an MDX/Sport a BMW X5 or a Mazda CX-9. So, I wanted to revisit the Enclave's performance and handling a little more - to see just how much it would affect me as an owner (I actually do most of the driving when we are together as a family and on trips).

    My Test Drive - Round II

    I read several times how much some of you really dislike the transmission behavior - it shifts down twice when you give it moderate pedal pressure (I alos read that some newer Enclaves may have a new FLASH that eliminates this issue and if not, the FLASH should be available for existing Enclaves). When my wife drove it I didn't notice her having this issue at all. I also read on this forum that the transmission Plus and Minus buttons only work when the car is in "L" so I wanted to check this out (on my 1st test drive I was in "D" and I couldn't get the Plus/Minus to do anything. So, I start out in "D" and do everything in my power to apply moderate pressure and see what the transmission will do. Maybe 1/2 of the time I too noticed two downshifts and 1/2 of the time I only noticed one downshift. However, I can't say the two downshifts were overly annoying, although I wish it would only downshift once - the two downshifts were very quick and smooth. And, I noticed when a significant amount of pedal pressure was given it downshifted once and got with the program as I hoped.

    Driving in "L" and shifting manually

    Here is where I was surprised - I really enjoy this mode. It is very simple to use and I have to say I found it more natural to use than the paddle shifting manual/autos I have tried in the past. It works very "Enclave-like" while turning up the boil just a bit. It works very well for the way I like to drive when I am in a bit of a hurry - I can rev it out a little more to get around other vehicles more quickly or downshift once to pick up the pace just a little or downshift two or three times very quickly (from 5th to 3rd or from 4th to 2nd etc) for a quicker and more predictable acceleration. I enjoyed the way the Enclave manual/auto mode worked - the "feel" - it was not overly abrupt but not mushy either (that would have driven me NUTS). I also confidently negotiated some quicker traffic moves, changing lanes quickly while downshifting from 4 to 2 instantly and mashing the pedal to move over and around quickly.

    I am now quite confident that I will be just fine performance-wise driving the Enclave - it will still not be as nimble or as quick as an MDX/Sport or a Mazda CX-9, but then it is a different vehicle entirely and one must enjoy it for what it is. And, my wife and I are beginning to get pretty excited about what the Enclave is!
  • My fiancee has the new 07 MDX with the entertainment and technology packages.

    I like everything about the vehicle except driving it. The thing takes work to drive. I have a 2004 Lincoln Aviator AWD and I can steer that thing with my finger. To turn the wheel of that MDX you need to get to work. Real arm work turning corners and both hands on the wheel when turning the wheel from a dead stop.

    I know that is typically how Hondas and BMW's are tuned, but I dont like it in a luxury vehicle.

    I can also tell you that my Lincoln absorbs and fades bad roads here in Louisiana, while that MDX sends bumpy roads up your spine.

    I havent driven an Enclave yet, but it's on my short list for my next vehicle. I just want to see if Buick does indeed offer a "Super" version with the small V8 next year.

    The Enclave is at the top of my list depending on what the Infiniti FX-37 looks like at the Geneva auto show next spring
  • Curious, what did you end up purchasing. I too was debating between the two and opted for the Enclave. I regret my decision.
  • dms9dms9 Posts: 137
    I don't know for sure, but when I looked at the Enclave, I bought the MDX because the Enclave was just too big for me. I really liked it, though. I thought it a bit underpowered and asked the guy when the V8s would appear. He didn't know but thought in 2009. He expects a Denali version of the GMC Lamda platform in 2009, which will be nicer and likely have a monster V8. I expect Buick will temper it down a bit and drop it in the Enclave. I wouldn't be surprised if they use the Caddy Northstar, which I think they put in other Buicks. The Northstar is one of the smoothest V8s ever built, it really is a great engine. I bought a Sport MDX, which I would urge people to consider, especially if you are buying the NAV anyhow. I usually drive it in the Comfort mode, which really aborbs the bumps nicely. If you want something a little smaller, I saw the new Infiniti EX (?) at the autoshow. I was really sweet, but smaller.
  • heronz12heronz12 Posts: 1
    I know this was a long time ago and you probably got a new car already. My wife and i leased a gmc yukon denali in 2005 and gas prices were going up and we make a 115mile commute everyday so we needed a better car. the 3rd row was also to small for my teens. we went to look at another yukon denali and gas mileage was better but not by much. we even looked into the yukon slt and it wasnt that luxury. we looked at the acadia as well but the step in hight was low. we then saw the enclave and it blew our minds. we had test drove the mdx a week before. it took premium gas and it was very small. the enclave it the perfect size for a family unless you want a lot of space like a navigator. my brother has a 2004 lincoln aviator. it rides nice and everything but the gas mileage is worse than most big suvs. he actually told me he wanted the enclave but when my wife saw it she had to have it. he is now stuck with his 04 aviator. and doesnt know what to get that would be an ugrade instead of downgreat. i own a 2008 cadillac escalade esv. if you did not get a new car already. keep the aviator until you find something worth buying. if you dont have kids and you like v8 power. dont get the enclave. its a chick car. go to the chrysler aspen or something with a big engine and improved gas mileage. but remember that the aviator is discontinued so you would never have to worry about getting a new car if you really love your avaitor.
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