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

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Comments

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Pretty amazing that C&D tested the Infiniti FX45 at .87g's which just from a handling perspective puts both of these to shame.

    Also outdoes the X5 too. Very impressive. Too bad the FX45 lacks some of the practicalities of the GX470 and MDX. Though it's somewhat better than the X5 in that department.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Posts: 396
    I for one is not surprise that the Infiniti FX45 tested a .87g's on the skid pad, after all, it was what the FX was designed to do. It is the FX's strongest asset, without performance, the FX would not be what is it. Unfortunately, the FX lacks alot of the attributes that SUV buyers are looking for, but if the FX has all the other attributes as well, it would be a perfect SUV.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Agreed - the FX is focused on performance and in return you do give up some measure of utility (space and off-road capability). But for anyone who really cares about performance but still needs more utility than a regular sedan can give them, it's an intriguing choice. You may not be surprised that it can pull .87 on the skidpad, but considering that it sits pretty high off the ground and beats by a considerable margin many sedans that are known for their great handling (BMW 330's, Audi A4's, etc) I for one find this to be a remarkable achievement. With the FX45 the 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds (as measured by Car & Driver) is also pretty cool.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    AND it's RWD!!

    Or rear torque biased in AWD form.

    Shame its appearance is so....

    An RX330 with the FX AWD system, that's what I want.
  • chick26chick26 Posts: 2
    My husband and I both went for test drives today. We drove the ML350 and the MDX. It was a toss up. While with the MDX you get all the options DVD, NAV system, leather etc., the highway drive was a bit noisy and seems that the steering or handling was a bit different from the ML. The ML was a very quiet ride, and comfortable but for the money you dont get the touch screen nav.system. Its all pushing the buttons on the radio control. What is the deal with that?(not the latest technology) I found that the MDX has a touch screen nav. system much nicer and easier to learn. The MDX has controls on the steering wheel which makes it easier while driving to change the radio etc. I dont like the back of the ML it looks like a minivan, but I just love the ease of driving and how quiet it sounds on the road! We are both still debating about how we will get more for the money with the MDX but we are torn between the great feel and the ride of the Mercedes Benz. One big fault that I think we will get into with the ML is having to purchase all the accessories through Mercedes can get really expensive and its kinda terrible that with MB you can only purchase their stuff (like cd changers,dvd players etc) otherwise it wont work in the vehicle. I have been reading alot of complaints about he earlier models 99-2002ML's. It really is starting to scare me away, but they say the new redesign is coming in 2005. I know this purchase is important b/c this car must last for atleast 7 years. Anyone have any other suggestions before we purchase?
  • rerenov8rrerenov8r Posts: 380
    I would be wary of purchasing either if I had your experience. The Lexus RX 330 & GX 470 are both more luxurious, though the magazine tests suggest the MDX is just a quiet at highway speed. I wonder if the MDX demo was a new 03 or one of the earlier years that had some miles on it (don't laugh, with demand still quite high I've heard of this happening and many Acura stores...)

    The ML at MSRP has to be one of the most uncompetively priced SUVs currently available, BUT there ARE incentives and the Edmunds TMV for a "typically equipped" ML350 suggest a savings og $1600+ off MSRP is common. Not so the MDX, that Edmunds STILL shows is fetching a paltry $92 off MSRP even after nearly 4 long years of availability...

    Keep shopping!
  • greenlaterngreenlatern Posts: 77
    "BMW did not developed (sic) a platform just for the X5". The artcile I quoted is factual: the X5's platform is new development. Your link is also correct: "the chassis of the BMW is based on the independent suspension of the 7 series." That statement is NOT equivalent to "the X5 uses the 7 series platform" (as it does not). Therefore if it does not use the 7 platform, the 5 platform or any other platform it stands to reason that (as Healey stated) it is new development.

    The original poster who stated that the MDX was built on the same frame as the Odyssey was being factual. They use Honda's global Accord platform which is somewhat ingeous in it's own right as the wheels hook to the inner subframe where most designs connect the wheels to the mainframe. It's this technology that keeps the cost down as the platform is the most expensive part of a new car. Had they developed a new platform it's likely the MDX would be priced much higher.
  • thor8thor8 Posts: 303
    I read with interest your queries about the ML350 or MDX.
    I will explain myself and perhaps on my own experience you can find some answers.
    I bought my ML first as a utilitarian vehicle and not as an SUV look, height or the like, to use as a tow vehicle for my jet skies and boat (25 ft heavy offshore fishing boat). I used to pull with my GMC pickup but it did not have AWD and low range which was problematic on steep landings and sand. I did not want a big vehicle to be a pain when backing up on tight parking spots so a midsize was fine, after some research I settled on the ML because having met the size requirement I found it to be the strongest of the class, built on a heavy ladder frame the drive and suspension components match the frame, the vehicle was built for offroad use also, testament to the effect is that the ML has won the Dakar race three times in the unmodified class, in other words as is from the showroom, no modifications allowed plus many other grueling rallies. The mercedes engineers did a terrific job in smoothing the harder suspension by reducing the unsprung weight and going independent on all 4’s which was a novelty in 95-96 when unveiled, coupled to a rack and pinion steering which gives the vehicle a precise steering, the front has a very low caster angle which makes self centering a little slow but places less strain on the components when in off the road situations as it should be.

    Since I am not a gadget oriented type of person I find all the appointments more than enough, I don’t have to hand roll the windows or crank the seats and the Bose is fine for me and a map is all I ever got use too, but that’s just me, rugged substance under the skin was more important for me coupled to a first class ride.

    My ML430 is 5 years old now, never had any problems with it, I just came from a 500 mile trip pulling two jetskies (3500lbs) at 75mph average and being doing that for 5 summers, a few weeks ago I pulled an tractor and trailer (8000lbs) for several miles in the woods and hills on dirt roads, nothing to it using the low range. If I listened to all the experts and reports who never owned one I would have deprived myself of a fine vehicle, I got to the point that I look with contempt the competition.

    If you want a soft ride, car based SUV to use only as a car or you have concerns because of “HORROR” stories then for peace of mind is better to get an MDX or any of the other SUV’s in that class.

    The money may not be in the nice little appointments on the dash but to me a hefty build like this is real value, I took this picture myself at the plant in Alabama a few years ago.

    http://www.funtigo.com/mltransmission
  • I saw the Lexus GX470 on the road for the first time today. It sure looks different in real life than in pictures. It is not nearly as big as it looks in the pictures, it is also very tall and very narrow. A perfect candidate for Volvo's new rollover control system in my opinion. Overall, the look of this SUV was very disappointing, especially for a $50,000 one.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    hopeitsfriday,

    Wow! I wouldn't have expected you to say something like that about the GX470 at all!! You amaze me.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The MDX has very limited front passenger shin space. My wife moved the seat all of the way back and could not avoid having her shins hard against hard and sharp plastic! She is just 5' 10" tall. I do not know if the Honda Pilot and Honda Odyssey versions of the vehicle have the same problem. All of them are front wheel drive vehicles, a significant shortcoming. Adding the AWD changes little, since it still mainly drives through the front wheels. I plan to replace my 2002 Mountaineer V8 with an SRX V8 (I drive much more than average on the often rough California freeways and roads).
  • rerenov8rrerenov8r Posts: 380
    I'd love to find out first hand. I saw the SRX at the Chicago autoshow, but it was a "no sitinit" display model...
  • I did a count of RX300 drivers today, I saw 14 RX300 on the road today, only one of them was driven by a male, and he had his wife or girl friend next to him. Just wondering if any guys out there actually owns and drive a RX300 and how do they feel about the fact that 90% of RX300 owners are female.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most of them chose one of us to marry so they must have really good taste. The mid-range SUV has undoubtedly replaced the minivan in the hearts of most women.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Yeah my wife has an RX330 and she has really good taste. :^) With just three in the family we don't need a minivan with 7 or 8 passenger seating, so that was out of the question. Seating for 5 with some cargo space, a little higher seating position, AWD for winter, good reliability, some nice luxury touches, plus a smooth ride are the qualities that led her to the RX. I guess men just don't appreciate any of these these features...
  • adb3adb3 Posts: 112
    I guess we Northern VAs are not macho. Split here is about 60/40 women to men driving 300s--which by the way corresponds to overall stats of purchasers. As for the 330, I purchased it for US, but my wife drives it through the week and I drive on the weekends. She gets constant compliments on her good taste, I get the satisfaction that she loves the vehicle and credits me with MY good taste.
  • I believe that female has good taste in car as well, this is definitely not a macho thing as far as I am concern. I am just wonder why the RX300 draw females like bees to honey. If only I can have that kind of effect on females lol, but seriously, male and female looks for different characteristic from a car, not that one or the another has better taste, just different taste. There are many other mid size SUVs out there that are driven by mostly male or a mix or both male and female. Does the RX300 have a particular characteristic that females loves and at the same time drives males away.
    Truely, in my opinion, the best car designs are the ones that is own and driven by a 50/50 mix of male and females, a design that appeals to the general population.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 372
    This discussion amazes me. I have a '99 RX and can honestly say I have never once considered whether more men or women drive RXs. When I bought it, it was the safest, most reliable car that carried what I needed to carry. I thought it was a bit ugly but got it anyway. Do I need to go to a shrink? Do I have unresolved issues about my gender? I'd better break the news to my wife. Thanks guys for clarifying this.
  • Just wondering, which part of the RX300 did you think was ugly, and why would you buy a car that you think is ugly? Did you buy for your wife's sake because it was reliable and safe. Surely, there are other cars that are just as or almost as safe and reliable.
    I find this topic very interesting, the RX is the most female dominate driven car I can remember. Even more so than the beetle and the mini cooper.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Huh, the BMW 3-series has a high female to male owner ratio also.

    I see alot of RX300's and now have been seeing alot of RX330's running around. I see mostly women driving them, but see plenty of men driving them also. I would say the split is probably about 70% female drivers to 30% male in my neck of the woods.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    that the 911 is sold mostly to men make it less desireable overall?
  • maxhonda99: I drove a BMW 3 series once, I think the 3 series are mostly driven by the younger population which eventually upgrade to something a little more roomy.
    I have not seen much RX330 on the road here in the northeast for some reason. I think I have seen 2 so far. One was driven by a man and the other a woman.
    Do you think it is the cuteness factor that attracts females to the RX or the 3- series?

    wwest: The Porsche 911 cost $70000 to $180000. I would say that most of the people who are willing to pay that much for a car are men. Therefore Porsche like many other high end auto companies, design their cars for men. I think that females are more practical when it comes to cars and just us men are stupid enough to pay $100000 for a car.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 372
    At the time I didn't like the roundness of the rear end. I still much prefer the X5 design but it is smaller, 10 grand more and more trouble.

    Like I said looks is down near the bottom of my list when evaluating a car. First is finding the right size and features, then safety, then reliability and projected longevity, looks is down there but you would still never catch me buying an Aztek. And at the time the only car with the size, features, safety and expected reliability was the ML. (I'm sure glad I chose the RX. The first MLs had too many problems.)

    Given these criteria I am TOTALLY satisfied with the RX and I've even grown to like the looks a little bit.

    By the way my wife has only driven the car a couple of times in the 5 years we have had the car. She drives an AWD Aerostar. I suspect that doesn't fit the pattern either but she is an artist and needs the room.
  • smwls8smwls8 Posts: 103
    My first benz has been quite an experience(1997 C-230 67K miles). As I was driving it home from the seller's house (private sell) the check engine light came on. Car drove fine, I reset the light and took it to Mercedes dealer for 60,000 service which previous owner had not done. $1200 later (full tune up, front brakes/rotors, oil change). No mention of check engine light during service. On the WAY HOME from the Mercedes dealer the check engine light came back on. Take it back to dealer, says its the Mass Airflow Sensor, $750 parts/labor. Ok, the car is 6 years old, things will go wrong. 2 weeks later I smell oil after daily hour commute. Oil leaking under car, take to dealer. Front crankshaft seal needs replacement. $275 parts/labor.

    Now this car is rock solid, and a good driver, but Mr. Honda would roll over in his grave if an Accord was blowing oil out the crank seal at 70,000 miles. The car has not been abused, looks brand new (garage kept), and was service by a Mercedes dealer for the first 36,000 miles.

    What does this have to do with the ML 350?
    I was considering an ML to replace our Lincoln Navigator due to it's age and excessive fuel consumption, but with 60,000 miles the Navigator has needed NOTHING but fuel,oil, and tires.

    I hate to judge a mark by one experience, but an Acura MDX is looking better than a ML350 right now. We have 3 children, so don't even suggest the RX 330, BMW X5, or any other 5 passenger SUV. I really want to stay with Daimler as the Acura has NO soul, and the Mercedes service/treatment is great (but you do pay for it when out of warranty). Any long time MB owners want to comment?

    Thanks
  • While on the road today, I saw a Volks Wagon Toureg for the first time. It look alot like a Porsche Cayenne. It was a nice black one and the owner must have pay some good money for it, because he was taking it easy with it, doing like 55 miles an hour on the interstate. One thing that really jump out at me was that the Toureg had its day time driving light on, it was obviously a new car, but one of the headlight was not working already. Hum, does that say something for the reliability of the Toureg. Remember, it took Volks Wagon a long time to work out the bugs in the Passat.
  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Posts: 668
    Thanks for the common sense. Around here virtually all of the SUVs are driven predominately by women during days during the week. MDXs are about 90% with RXs and MLs the same. Even the giants like Suburbans and Expeditions are too. Makes sense to me. The versatility is needed for kid transport and shopping.

    I agree with avery1's comment about not even considering whether more men or women drive a particular vehicle. Of the four MDXs in my family only one, mine, is driven regularly by a man. I drive the MDX because my wife finds our PT GT a lot more fun (so do I), easier to get in and out (so do I), more versatile (so do I in some situations), and has a hidden luggage space (instead of all the shopping items being visible when parked).

    I don't care that nearly every driver of other MDXs I see during the week are women. My MDX gets the job done for me.
  • clemboclembo Posts: 253
    Good morning. Like you I had a Benz C-Class (1994 C280), it was a great little car. Since that time I have gone back and forth between Benzes and BMW's and my wife has driven a couple of Grand Cherokees. I currently drive a 2003 MB E500 and a 2001 BMW 330Ci convertible for the rare sunny days. 6 months ago we wanted to replace our 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee because we were tired of ongoing nagging quality problems (it did perform well when it worked).

    My wife really wanted a BMW X5 but after test driving the car with both engines we just didn't really like it. The decision then was down to the ML500 and the MDX, we chose the MDX and it has been a great vehicle. The typical Honda/Acura quality is present and it is relatively fun to drive as it has a great engine and it handles well. The bonus is the third row seat as it is handy as well as the fact that the MDX is wider inside than most other vehicles in this class.

    Good luck with your decision, If you choose an MDX I'm sure that you'll like it.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    hopeitsfriday,

    Well, the cutest factor is definately one of the reasons women flock to cars like the 3-series, RX300 as well as other cars like the Integra, Celica, Golf's, Jetta's.

    But back to the RX300, the reason it is soo popular among women is because it was the first entry luxury cross-over designed with women in mind. The unibody construction and Camry platform gave it a low step in height(it doesn't need running boards at all), it's easy to see out of, with it's big windshield and sloping hood, it has a interior designed for women(big center consoles & a place for a purse between the front seats), and from the start it had bulletproof lexus quality/reliability. The RX300's only real other competitor at the time, the ML320 kinda flopped on all of the above counts and definately screwed up on the quality.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    smwls8,

    NO Soul in the MDX? What gives a Mercedes a soul....the 3-pointed star?
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    first, let me state right up front that I believe clembo is a real person

    but don't you ever read a post loike his and wonder if the poster is actually that person, of if he/she works in marketing at Acura?

    I know that would violate the rules for posting on this site, but....
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