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Acura MDX vs Mazda CX-9

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  • Last week I went back and forth between a fully loaded Mazda CX-9 Vs the Toyota Highlander. I don't know if it was the dealer (or lack of them) but I was't confident in the Mazda build quality and all the complaints I have been reading. I went with a car which is a whole different story.
    Be glad you didn't go with the BMW X5. After owning 2 of them I will never buy another BMW as long as I live unless I hit the Lotto. The up-keep for repairs gets out of control and they are constantly broken.
    My 2007 MDX (first year of this build) had really loose steering when going down a road or highway over 45 MPH. I was always adjusting. Did they solve this problem?
    The MDX was flawless...never anything but oil changes in the 3 years I owned it!
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    In that case, a better tire will surprise you even more.
    The bad reviews from tirerack.com on the Bridgestone Dueler was not all done by me. The score of 4.x vs 8.x is shocking to say the least.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    You needed to own TWO BMWs to learn the lesson?
    I owned one ('98 BMW 540iA) and that was enough for me.
    BMW = Break My Wallet.
    I lost count of the amount of problems I had with my 540iA.
    After owning it for 9 years, I finally got rid of it.
    I estimated that I spent about $4000 on repairs AFTER OE warranty.
    That is not a lie. No major issues, just a bunch of smaller ones (except for the entire cooling system needed to be replaced).

    Early models of CX9 have some minor annoying issues (mainly electronics integration and noises in suspension, etc.) The transmission is as solid as Lexus (same supplier), the engine drinks 87 octane and yet it is responsive, powerful and torquey.
    My 2008 CX9 with 23K miles had only 1 small assembly issue inside the rear doors. Other than that solid still, no rattling, noises, in the cabin. Can't say the same thing about my wife's Toyota Prius... (lots of rattling, but 0 problem).
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    I visited SF Autoshow this past weekend, and I own a 2008 CX9.
    I have to admit that the interior quality of MDX is one-step ahead of CX9 (though 2010 CX9 comes with a much nicer leather - softer).
    I guess that is where you spend the money on. I am sure the stereo system is better also. However, the 3rd room remains pretty tight for MDX.

    I hope the new MDX had better transmission that the infamous ones on '01-05 MDX (and many other Hondas). I had a '01 Odyssey. At 80K, the transmission started to show slow engagement. I traded it in within days. I heard that the new 2010 MDX has the new Honda 6-speed transmission. Hopefully, Honda has learned their lesson from the transmission failure before.

    MDX is really nice, but I needed the extra space of a CX9.
    I was also disappointed that some features I like such as the SmartKey remains unavailable on Acura MDX (only RL and ZDX).

    The ZDX when fully loaded costs about $57K. I don't know what Acura has been drinking, but for a luxury "wagon" with 3.7L V6, who is going to pay that much $$$ for it. We will see.... Compared with ZDX, MDX certainly is a much better value.
  • "The ZDX when fully loaded costs about $57K. I don't know what Acura has been drinking, but for a luxury "wagon" with 3.7L V6, who is going to pay that much $$$ for it. We will see.... Compared with ZDX, MDX certainly is a much better value"

    ...not to mention that the ZDX is:

    1) not in the same class as the MDX or CX-9 because Honda/Acura considers it a sports sedan with a hatch crossover (which in my opinion is a big mix of uncertainy to define WHAT that thing really is).
    2) ZDX only seat five versus 7 like the MDX and CX-9 and,
    3) (subjective) that thing they call ZDX is by the far the ugliest creation yet by Honda/Acura also trailed by the "Accord Crosstour" which is essentially a badging engineering.

    No thanks...I will kepp my CX-9 anyday, anytime!!
  • We were looking @ the Q7, MDX and CX9. Test drove all of them.

    Q7 was overpriced and underpowered for the V6. Then Acura came out with the 4K incentives putting the CX9's cheaper pricing completely moot.

    Picked up a spanking new MDX for 33K + 0% financing. Was a no brainer at that time. Love the car.
  • 10sfan10sfan Posts: 136
    Can you share the name of the dealersip with me?
  • Can u pls share the dealer. That is the best price I heard so far for new MDX Base.
    I believe the financing is not 0 % , i only heard of 0.9% & 2.9%.
    If possible the salesman, pls email capricorn-70@hotmail.
    thx in advance :)
  • rbairbai Posts: 8
    Could you share the dealer information with me as well at gracewb@gmail.com? BTW, where I can find that $4000 incentive information?

    Thanks a bunch!
  • sedmundsedmund Posts: 93
    I leased my CX9 in 2007 and the lease end is coming up in June this year. This time I'm planning to buy the vehicle and surprisingly for what we are looking for the choices right now are coming down to the same 2 vehicles that we had come down to in 2007! The CX9 and the MDX. Right now we are slightly leaning toward the CX9 again though it has some shortcomings, as it seems to be the best value for money and the features we are looking for (specifically keyless start, Xenons, rain-sensing wipers and BSM).
    I typically don't give too much importance to resale values as we have typically kept our vehicles for a long time in the past - except of course this CX9 which we have leased. But I just compared in kbb.com the resale value of 2007 CX9 (GT AWD) and 2007 MDX Tech models. When I shopped in 2007 the best deal I got for the MDX was about 4.5K more that the price I could get for the CX9 both new at that time. But I was shocked to see in kbb.com that the trade-in price of the 2007 CX9 comes in at 11K less than the 2007 MDX (I put in 40K miles which is what I have on my CX9 now)! Is this for real? I thought kbb.com isn't necessarily accurate for used car prices but at least a guideline? Is kbb.com completely off the mark here, anybody have any comments on this?

    Thanks.
  • jcpharmjcpharm Posts: 92
    couple reasons i can think of off the bat:
    1) you noted the new price on 07 Acura was $4500 more than 07 CX9 so it started higher to begin with.
    2) 07 CX9 has since had an engine upgrade in 08 so that may add to depreciation relative to other CX9 model years (only time will tell).
    3) Acura (and Honda in general) have high reliability ratings and resell value. it is a luxury brand and is thus reflected in the marketplace with higher resell value.

    If resell value is one of your highest priorities, Acura will beat Mazda every time.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    What he said ^ plus for depreciation purposes you are comparing apples to oranges.

    Acura is a "premium luxury" brand whereas Mazda is not. A better apples to apples comparison would be a Honda Pilot. However, bottom line Acura/Honda will always beat Mazda as far as residual/depreciation/resale value. Even if Mazda has neared or equaled the bar set by Honda, the fact that people have made Honda's image be what it is for years helps the resale value of any Acura/Honda vehicle.

    Now as far as design and handling...Mazda outright beats Acura/Honda anytime hands down!
  • sedmundsedmund Posts: 93
    Guys, I definitely understand that Acura is going to beat CX9 in the resale value department, it's no surprise and I was/am fully aware of that fact. I was just taken aback by the scale of the difference in such a short time, especially given that their price wasn't that far apart to begin with.
  • sedmundsedmund Posts: 93
    BTW, Edmund's Used car Appraiser shows a difference of just 6K between the two (as opposed to the 11K that kbb shows).
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    edited April 2010
    If resale value was everything, everyone would be buying the same vehicle.
    Luckily we have many choices, and resale value is merely one factor of many.

    CX9 is much cheaper to maintain.
    An oil change + car wash only cost $30 at my Mazda dealer.
    How is that at your Acura Dealer?
    Coffee, donut, who does not have that?
    My Mazda dealer also gives loaner for repairs/recalls and major service.
    Not to mention all parts and accessories are all cheaper.

    I used to own a BMW 540 for 9 years. Luxury vehicles are OVER_RATED.
    That is just my opinion, of course. :P

    In my people's mind, Acura is "near luxury".
    I used to own an Acura also. Reliability? Great. It drove just like a Honda,
    fortunately or unfortunately... My CX9 has been very reliable also for 26K miles.
    Every Toyota/Honda owners who ever sat in it praised the vehicle. Some people just have their mind set on Toyota/Honda, and never even give other brands a small chance to compare.

    If buying a vehicle is all about saving $$$, we should all be driving a Civic, which has the highest resale value of all.
  • sedmundsedmund Posts: 93
    Extremely high differences in resale value isn't something to completely ignore. Things like cheaper to maintain etc won't translate to 6 or 7 thousand dollars between the two in 3 years. But of course there could be other reasons why one would pick one vehicle over the other. For example, for us the keyless start and the blind spot monitoring seem so useful that we would dearly miss it. MDX doesn't have keyless start and we wouldn't consider the "Advance" to get the blind spot monitoring as it's ridiculously expensive in our opinion. Other than that, both CX9 and MDX drive well and sporty for a 7 seater of this size. MDX definitely feels more luxurious but we don't think it's worth the difference especially as the difference between the 2010 MDX and CX9 is even bigger than the difference that was there in 2007. Plus the 0% for 60 months for the CX9 sweetens the deal quite a bit. Plus we would most likely keep the CX9 for a very long time, and typically after that the resale value differences diminish big time.
    So long story short, we are most likely going to be ending our lease and end up buying a 2010 CX9 tomorrow.
    BTW, I used to own a BMW 3-series sometime back and enjoyed it thoroughly - not because it was just luxurious but because it was a blast to drive and my next car would most probably be a 2011/2012 535 :-)
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    edited April 2010
    Seriously, not a Acura MDX hater here.
    I waited for MDX to come out before I was thinking about replacing my Odyssey. If I had to classify myself, I would say I have been a Honda/Acura camper. I owned more Honad/Acura than other brands.
    The MDX was simply too small for me (the 3rd row especially).
    Yes, more luxurious and better AWD, both did not translate into $5K more value for me. I bought my CX9 fully loaded for $33K, a "comparable" MDX at that time, would have costed me more than $40K (I checked the dealer).
    Resales value is more important for those who own their vehicle only for very few years. For me, I own mine for at least 7 years. The difference in resale values deminishes as you own the vehicles for a longer period.

    So, yes, if you only plan to own MDX/CX9 for 3-5 years, you should consider resale value. Then, again, if you own a vehicle for so few years, you should consider leasing instead.

    P.S. I also waited for Pilot to come out, but was disappointed at the design (both in and out).
  • ozeyozey Posts: 18
    We got a new 2008 cx9, after 19k miles, not happy at all. The AUX does not work, because we have GPS and Sat. The transmission make weired noise in the 4th and 6th gears, Mazda said its normal in some cars. The interior is shabby, the knobs are falling a part. I can't wait to get rid of it!
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    edited April 2010
    The mentioned GPS/Aux/Sat issue is a design oversight for 2007-8. There is an extra accessory needs to be installed for it (a switch box).
    Transmission problem? Take it to another dealer for second opinion.
    Remind you that the transmission is from Lexus/Toyota's supplier (Aisin), not the infamously problematic Honda transmission.
    Interior shabby? Knobs falling off? Mine is very much intact. It makes so much less rattles and noises than my wife's Prius. Also, much quieter than our replaced Odyssey, the most noisy vehicle I ever owned (a 2001).
  • ozeyozey Posts: 18
    I took it to the dealer and asked for the switch to be installed, the dealer said he can't install the AUX switch, because of the GPS and SAT. Basically no way to have everything.I did not want to disconnect the SAT. So I gave up on that.

    Regarding the transmission noise, I will tape the noise and call CarTalk and see what they recommend. Then, I will take it to a private mechanic and get some advice. Most likely I will trade the car for a different brand!
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,538
    I'm surprised that more people aren't linking to mp3 files here and on Edmunds Answers. Guess you need a recording device, but a laptop should handle that issue.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    edited April 2010
    ozey,
    It is time to change to a new dealer.
    Read this to see if I lied.
    http://www.mazdaparts.org/mazda-cx9-sirius-satellite-radio.html
    You need the kit mentioned when you intend to use the AUX input together with the Sat radio.
    Mazda was aware of this issue, but they fixed it in 2009 model.
    For earlier models, you need the switch box. Some owners have called MazdaUSA and got them to pay $100-200 for the extra cost. MazdaUSA is good in that sense. Try that with Toyota or Honda...
  • islandtractorislandtractor Posts: 14
    edited May 2010
    After coming across this thread while exploring the purchase of either a 2010 MDX Tech or ML350, I decided to go drive and price a CX-9. Glad I did but the choice is still a tough one except on economic grounds.

    The CX drives very much like the Mercedes ML which is to say not quite as sporty as the MDX but very controlled and tight. Pleasant drive with a more upright open drive position compared to the MDX which I see as more of a cockpit type position. Again, I liked driving all three and would be happy with any of them from that perspective. MDX has cushier seat, CX and ML are firmer and pretty similar. MDX has most luxurious feel with ML being typically teutonic and the CX just a notch behind either of the others but still very nice. ML seat was my personal favorite.

    Features on the CX Grand Touring AWD with moonroof/Bose/Nav are pretty similar to the MDX Tech. Nav is not as nice on the Mazda or the ML as the MDX. Mazda has the blind side proximity warning system which I found rather useful. All three have very similar rear camera functions and power lift gate.

    Cargo space on the CX is greater than either the ML or MDX. Folding is easy on all (much better than my current ML320). Third row seating similar on CX and MDX.

    Towing capacity sucks on the CX at 3500 with Class 2 (but aftermarket Class 3 hitch is at least available for bike racks etc). Unclear why the CX as the biggest of these SUVs has such a wimpy tow capacity. ML has best at 7000lbs (BlueTec) while MDX is exactly what I would expect at 5000. Flip side is that CX comes tow prepped standard (add aftermarket hitch for $200 and you're done). Acura seems very proud of their hitch at about $550 or so. Believe it or not you cannot get a dealer added hitch on an ML these days unless it comes from the factory. Must be a screw up somewhere in the Mercedes supply chain.

    Warranty is only 36/36K on the Mazda. 48 months on both the MDX and ML. However, extended warranty from Mazda/Ford is about $2000 for 7/100K which compares evenly to the Acura at about 2300 or so for 8/120K both of which are bargains compared to the Mercedes extended 7/100K at $4500. What does that say about the respective manufacturer's confidence in their vehicles?

    The thing that most clearly differentiates these three vehicles is the acquisition and maintenance costs. The ML at about $51K ($53 bluetec) is priciest out of the box and undoubtedly most expensive to maintain and repair even with extended warranty. (I'm on first name basis with my current ML320 service manager which is not a good thing). Best price I have found with a MDX Tech is about $500 over list which with roof rack and tow prep comes to about $45K. I'd imagine that being a Honda and all the MDX is likely the most reliable of the three but Acura service is priced more like Mercedes than Mazda so I'm thinking the MDX is probably the middle car in terms of maintenance costs at least under warranty period including extended warranty. What surprised me about the Mazda was the pricing/value. The Grand Touring AWD with Nav, Moonroof, tow, rack, remote start etc can be had for about 10-11% off MRSP or roughly $500-700 less than invoice or right about $36K. Mazda currently has 0% financing up to 60 months. Mercedes only has 2.9 as I recall and Acura is offering 1.9 this month.

    If price was not a consideration I'd probably choose the ML as I just like the German cars but including a factory extended warranty it is not worth $10K more than the MDX or nearly $20K more than the Mazda. I'd also say the MDX is a bit nicer all around (except for exterior styling) than the CX9 but I'm finding it hard to justify an extra 9K for that extra bit. All three are really nice driving vehicles and cost considerations aside I'd be happy with any of them. Leaning towards the CX9 at this point with the MDX still in the running. Taking operating costs and hassle into consideration I've ditched the ML this time around unless MB comes up with a $10K loyalty discount.
  • ozeyozey Posts: 18
    I did research for a year, and I decided the C9 is the best for the money. The trouble I am having with mine, I think, is not for all the CX9s. I am sure Mazda will take care of my problems.
  • sedmundsedmund Posts: 93
    edited August 2010
    Update: we had almost finalized the deal on getting the 2010 CX9 but we walked out because we couldn't agree on the final price (2 months left on the lease added some complexity etc). We then test drove the 2010 MDX and really liked the drive and the interior and long story short ended up getting the MDX with tech package. It's very comfortable and surprisingly nimble for its size making it fun to drive for a seven seater SUV. And the Nav and specifically the audio system are HUGE improvements over the CX9. Overall, we are glad we decided to get the MDX.
  • cericceric Posts: 1,093
    >> because we couldn't agree on the final price

    OK. How much more did you paid for the MDX over CX9? ;)
  • sedmundsedmund Posts: 93
    It's the same exact question my Mazda dealer asked me when I told him I bought the MDX :) I paid around 6K more.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    we had almost finalized the deal on getting the 2010 CX9 but we walked out because we couldn't agree on the final price

    What were you looking to pay and what was the dealers final price on the CX-9?
  • sedmundsedmund Posts: 93
    Our offer was 37K (GT + Nav+Bose), the dealer offer was like 800 more but more importantly the dealer wanted me pay the subsequent month's lease on top of it. So we decided that if we are going to anyway pay the subsequent month's lease why do the deal at that time, as there was no incentive for us to do that, and so we left. But soon after that we test drove the MDX and almost right away got interested in it and ended up buying it.
  • ozeyozey Posts: 18
    How is the service? I am not happy with my Mazda service, this is my first experience with Mazda.
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