Acura MDX vs Lexus GX 470 vs Mercedes-Benz M Class

imabotaimabota Member Posts: 15
edited March 2014 in Acura
I am in the fortunate position of selecting a new SUV...coming out of a MB ML 350...considering the new 2006 ML 350, Lexus GX 470, and Acura MDX. If the prices are similar, what is the best SUV and why? Appreciate any input.


  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    Carrying kids to the mall? Towing a trailer? Going offroad?
  • imabotaimabota Member Posts: 15
    I have two teen safety and handling are important as we live amid winding hilly country roads. A lot of local driving, some highway and occasional long road trips. Thanks.
  • genemachine2genemachine2 Member Posts: 6
    If safety is most important, you may want to also consider the Volvo XC-90. I've looked at all these cars/trucks. The MDX really can't compare with the GX 470. It's like apples and oranges... or to be more specific--cars and trucks, since the MDX is basically a dressed up Honda mini-van, whereas the GX470 is a gilded Toyota 4Runner. The MDX feels more like driving a sedan--you feel the road more, but the GX can tow and go off road in ways the MDX wouldn't dream about. If you're looking at the MDX, you might also like the Lexus RX which is its main competitor. Another consideration: the MDX has a six cyl engine vs. the GX V8. Mileage will be a lot better in the MDX. In the end, drive both, and chances are one or the other will speak to you. For me, it was the GX 470!
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    I would not put a teen driver in ANY SUV. SUVs are far more likely to roll over during an accident. They are far more likely to roll over due to mishandling -- that is, in an emergency lane change, if you turn the wheel first, then brake, rather than the other way around, the weight shift can cause a spin leading to a roll-over.

    You haven't said anything about towing or going offroad. That suggests to me that you don't need an SUV. I strongly recommend getting a wagon instead.

    If you need all wheel drive, get an all wheel drive wagon instead (e.g., Subaru Legacy, Audi A4/A6, Mercedes E-class wagon with 4Matic).
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    I'm not the only one who cautions against getting an SUV for a teen driver. An article in USA today reads, in part, "...Most safety experts caution against SUVs for teens. Young drivers tend to overcorrect when steering out of trouble, which makes them more prone to roll their vehicles..."

    Full text here:
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    Hmmm Safety and handling, thats like saying you want to go cliff diving but you want no risk. The best way to be safe in a SUV is to drive slow, especially around the corners. With that said, out of the 3 that you mentioned, the best handling SUV have to be the ML, unless you get the GX with the KDSS option. I would stay away from the 06 ML since it is a first year production car and ML is well known for quality control issues. All three are pretty safe SUVs but in my opinion the GX has the advantage because it is a ladder on frame design rather than a unibody.
  • imabotaimabota Member Posts: 15
    Thanks for all the sensible all makes sense. I (mom) am the primary driver. I enjoy driving a responsive car that is also surefooted in the snow on hilly, winding roads...but also want comfort for frequent long road trips. Has anyone found a car that has it all?
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    I suggest that you check out the Subaru Legacy GT, the Audi A6, the Mercedes E-class station wagon with 4Matic, and Volvo's all-wheel-drive large wagon. All of those will do just fine in the snow. On winding roads, they'll handle a whole lot better than a tall SUV. The extra ground clearance of the SUV isn't going to buy you anything unless you expect to be driving through 8" of unplowed snow.

    I've found that the single most important factor in driving through snow is to get a set of snow tires -- not all seasons tires, but a separate, dedicated set of snow tires. I've got a set of Nokians on my 4Runner and went through several hundred yards of 12" of unplowed snow last weekend.

    As for comfort on a long drive, you'll have to judge that for yourself in both the front and back seats. I think you'll find the ride motions more comfortable in the station wagons (less side-to-side head-toss, less front-to-rear pitching, less dive under braking).

    My 2003 Toyota 4Runner is very similar to the Lexus GX470. They're basically the same frame and drivetrain. The GX470 is a bit heavier, has a taller roofline, and more luxury features. My 2003 4Runner has very little on-center feel in the steering and the steering is very fast (few turns lock-to-lock). That, combined with the tall wind-catching body, result in a truck that wanders quite a bit on the highway. You really have to pay attention to keep it in the lane. On a windy day, it really gets blown around.

    In addition, the 4Runner (and the GX470) has a solid rear axle, instead of an independent suspension, and therefore a lot of unsprung weight. The heavier the unsprung weight, the harder the suspension has to work to control the axle when it goes over a bump. The result is that I really feel the axle moving around when I go over bumps. On a bumpy highway, there is a fore-aft pitching or pogoing that I find very tiring.

    Recently I drove out Route 2 in Massachusetts through the Berkshire Mountains and came back on Route 9 in Vermont through the Green Mountains. These are steep, winding, 2 lane highways. I would have much preferred to have been in a sedan or station wagon on those turns.

    On the rare occasions that I drive my wife's Mercedes C240 sedan, I'm always struck by how much better it drives -- it tracks the lane much better, the ride is much better, it corners much more confidantly, etc.

    The Lexus GX470 may be somewhat better than my 4Runner, but it is basically the same truck under the skin so I suspect it will be quite similar. My 4Runner's ride is pretty good -- for a truck. It's handling is pretty good -- for a truck. It's braking is pretty good -- for a truck. But you'll never mistake it for a good sedan or station wagon.

    I accept those limitations because I need the offroad capability; I took it offroad twice last weekend and will be taking it offroad tomorrow morning.

    But if you don't need that offroad capability, you might want to look at a station wagon, or dare I say it, a minivan.

    Parking my 4Runner can be a bit of a challenge. When backing up, you can't see the hood the car behind you, so you really don't know how close you are. If you do get an SUV, I'd look for one with a backup sensor or backup camera. Otherwise it is very easy to hit something while backing up.

    It's your money. If you want an SUV, then by all means get an SUV. All vehicles are compromises. SUVs have extra capability (offroad, higher ground clearance) but that comes at a cost. I'm just trying to let you know what some of the compromises are so you can make your own informed decision.
  • 97edwardc97edwardc Member Posts: 13
    For one, the prices really aren't that similar. We've been comparing the Acura MDX, Lexus GX470, and Volvo XC90. I think you'll find that the MDX is significantly less expensive than the GX470, and in many respects the GX is worth the extra money if what you get for the extra money is worth it to you. What you'll get is a much more refined interior, a strong V8 engine (but significantly -- about 20% -- worse gas mileage), and real off-road and towing capability. You'll pay probably $6-7k more for the Lexus than the MDX (note that while the 3rd row is "optional" on the GX, good luck finding one without it if you don't want it). Also, if you care about the 3rd row, the one in the GX will be useless for anyone over 8 years old, while the one in the MDX will probably comfortably accomodate most 13 year olds and smaller adults.

    We've settled on the MDX simply because the GX is nicer in ways that aren't as relevant for us in particular. We have 2 small children and a dog, so the more refined interior in the GX is really just wasted on us - my wife thought it was "too nice". We also don't need to tow more than 3,000 pounds, nor do we drive off road in a meaningful way. We also liked some of the interior gadgetry of the MDX -- the excellent Nav and Voice Recognition, the new ability to integrate our iPod, Bluetooth, etc. But I did love the GX and would recommend it highly to anyone in the market for a lux SUV -- it just wasn't ideal for us.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    I just traded in my 03 MDX for the GX. The built quality on the GX is far superior. In my opinion, the MDX was poorly design and poorly built. It had many design issues that Acura have yet to address in its 6 year run.
    Much like you, I was very impressed by the value of the MDX. I like the way it looks and that wonderful V6. The way the seat folded was very practical. I must admit, the MDX was very hard to beat at first sight.
    The problem with the MDX was design tolerance and built quality. Both very poor, after a year or two, it had a bunch of small problems and rattles. Unless you were leasing a MDX for 2 or 3 years, I would not recommend the MDX, especially if you plan to keep the vehicle for a long time.
  • howehowe Member Posts: 22
    When I see a GX on the road, I can't get over how narrow and tall it is. Just looks wrong to me though inside it is nice. Roll-over probablity stats from NHSA for the MDX is 15%, one of the lowest in class where the GX and 4-Runner are up in the 20's. Nevertheless, the 4-Runner looks more stable. Probably just an illusion. Both the 4-Runner and Lexus GX eat you alive with options while on the MDX its a short list. Ultimately, the Lexus ends up costing quite a bit more. If I could afford it, I'd buy a Landcruiser or LX470. They are great vehicles, but at $60K+++ with options, I draw the line at the MDX which can be had for $33K - $38K and well worth it. In these cases, you get what you pay for.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    The GX is a tall vehicle. That why the GX has so much more headroom than the 4runner and it also has a higher sitting position. The GX looks especially tall from the back due to the fact that the tail light sits so high, but dimension wise, is no taller than any other body on flame vehicle, like say a Trailbazer.
    As far as the NHSA's rollover ratings, they dont really roll over the vehicles, they just input the vehicle's width and height into a formula and come up with a % of probability of room over. It doesnt take into account that the GX is a body on frame design and the MDX is a uni-body design. The body on frame design has a much lower center of gavity.
    The MDX was actually test by road and track as one of the most unstable vehicle in its class in emergency handling, even with the addition of the VSC in 03, it is still rated very low. While the GX has one of the best VSC on the market. It is much more stable in snow or rain. I owned both the MDX and the GX, the GX's VSC actually works and the MDX's VSC just plain old dont work.
  • howehowe Member Posts: 22
    The '03 was an early implementation of Acura's VSA design. The MDX VSA was significantly improved after '03. Consumer Reports test was based on the '03 model and found shortcommings that are now remedied in the '05 and '06 models.

    The 2005 MDX features 4-channel Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) that has been enhanced with active yaw control for increased driver control during accident avoidance maneuvers, aggressive cornering and inclement weather. The VSA system monitors lateral (cornering) stability and seamlessly integrates traction control, 4-wheel drive, Anti-lock braking, throttle control and stability control functions.

    If you are comparing an '03 MDX to a current GX, it may not be a fair comparison. :)
  • davidc1davidc1 Member Posts: 168
    My wife and I considered both MDX and GX before we got the GX. We thought the MDX was the best SUV for the price. If you want to stay around $40k, MDX IMO, is the way to go. At around $50k, we liked the GX. The materials and general feel was more luxurious and I liked the air suspension, low range 4WD, V8, tow rating, etc..
    Also keep in mind that this might be the last model year for MDX before revision, though I can't be sure.
  • imabotaimabota Member Posts: 15
    Thank you for all the thoughtful responses. I'm realizing that one reason I'm partial to the GX 470 is comfort. When driving long distances, my posture is better (I sit up straighter) with armrests and my back hurts less when I get out of the car. Today, I sat in the MDX, XC90, X5, SRX, Highlander, Landcruiser, RL, TL, and BMW 5 and 7, seeking armrests. Only the Landcruiser (and GX 470) and Highlander had armrests (does the RX 330?). Actually, the center consoles are raised in most of these vehicles to act as armrests, but when I pull the seat forward so I can reach the pedals, the armrests are behind me and useless (I'm 5'3") :cry: , whereas the Lexus and Toyotas have armrests attached to the seats so when the driver moves forward, the armrests go with her :) . So now I am thinking about the Lexus GX470 (Landcruiser's too big for my needs) and I'm going to take a look at the RX 330. Does anyone have any thoughts about the RX330 vs the GX470 (Highlander seats are smaller and seem to offer less support). Has anyone else noticed this?
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    is a car based SUV. In other words, it is bascially a raised Camry with a simple AWD system. It uses unibody (aka monocoque) construction.

    The GX470 is a truck-based SUV. It has a separate body and frame.

    The GX470 is heavier (read: worse gas mileage), has a higher towing ability, and much better offroad ability. The RX330 is going to drive more like a car than the GX470.

    I'm NOT a fan of the GX470's rear door. It swings to the side and the window does not open. Take a long look at that and see if it works for you. If you regularly parallel park, then you may find loading into the rear of the truck when parallel parked is not convenient.

    I also recommend that you take a long test drive on the highway with the GX470. Look for a bumpy highway, if possible. See how well it tracks the lane and how much it wanders. As I mentioned previously, my 2003 4Runner is built on the same frame as the GX470 and has basically the same running gear. My 4Runner wanders quite a bit on the highway, making long trips very tiring. Check and see if the GX470 does the same.

    I suspect that the RX300 may work better for. The GX470's added capabilities (towing and offroad) are things that you would not utilize. YMMV.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    "The 2005 MDX features 4-channel Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) that has been enhanced with active yaw control for increased driver control during accident avoidance maneuvers, aggressive cornering and inclement weather. The VSA system monitors lateral (cornering) stability and seamlessly integrates traction control, 4-wheel drive, Anti-lock braking, throttle control and stability control functions."

    Did that come from a 2005 MDX brochure? Don't believe everything you read. One of my friend has a 05 MDX, and he also agree that the MDX is not good in the snow as the GX. He was amaze by the traction that the GX provides, but we both agree that the 3rd row seat arrangement is better on the MDX, but thats a non factor for me since I never use the 3rd row seat.

    Have a happy holiday everyone.
  • howehowe Member Posts: 22
    Yeah, that was from the Acura website. Not hype, just a technical and factual dialogue about how Acura's system operates.

    Granted, the GX is a well built vehicle and has advantages as it should for $15,000 more than a similarily equipted MDX.

    Then again, they are different vehicles. The 4 Runner / GX are real SUV's. The MDX is an AWD wagon and a good one. To call it an SUV, as it does in the brochure, causes confusion.
  • davidc1davidc1 Member Posts: 168
    I concur. If you are not towing anything heavy or going off road, MDX is what I recommend for the money. From what I hear, it's just as reliable as GX and it costs 10k less.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    Many people are buying the GX at invoice now, It is roughly about $5000 more than the MDX touring. While it is true that both the MDX and the GX are very reliable vehicle, the GX is far superior in built quality and quality of material used. I dont do any towing or off roading, I bought the GX for the reasons I mention above. Coming off a 03 MDX, I was so disspointed in how badly the MDX was slap together. The rattles, the clucking brakes, the sloshing gas tank, the shifting driver seat and muffler drone. The The Lexus engineers and the Japenese factory that built the GX did a much better job.
  • imabotaimabota Member Posts: 15
    The lease rates are so low now but I haven't been quoted anything below $1100 over invoice. I'm in the NYC vicinity. The leases are bringing the GX in lower than the comparably equipped RX. I almost prefer the RX, but the deal is hard to ignore. Do you know of any dealers in this area that are offering invoice? Thanks.
  • howehowe Member Posts: 22
    Many people are buying '06 MDX Tourings for $1,000 below invoice (see Prices Paid & Buying Experiences on Edmunds and Acura MDX boards) so without doing further math......... And no more sloshing gas tank, clunking brakes, muffler drone worth mentioning, or shifting driver's seat (new one on me). However, I agree, the GX has a higher build quality as it should for about $10K more. Most people buy the MDX because of its value at the price and they get what they pay for. People that buy the GX, pay more but they can see where the money went too. Both good choices depending on how much you want to spend. Personally, I'd like to have the LX470 but its not in my budget.
  • kwinnkwinn Member Posts: 11
    I have a 2001 MDX currently has 83K miles on it. Within that time frame i had spend a little fortune to keep the car in shape. since i drove a lot in early years of my mdx i ran out of warranty fairly quickly. Since then i lost my rear view mirror, couple of sensors and both front shocks, radio antenna. and during warranty i had two reapairs one was for the infamous VTM4 light coming on and the other one was for a check engine light which they had to replace a few things. And just recently i had the recall done for the front coil and thats when they told me about the shocks. Now i am not sure if it was needed or whether the dealer took me for a ride or if they could have broke it during the replacement. at any rate the MDX was the most troublesome car i ever had. I owned american, korean and japanese cars and this was my first and last luxury vehicle. MDX is poorly built with low quality materials and sold thru less than professional dealers with some unfriendly staff.
  • sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    I have a MDX and really like it. I went and drove a GX for fun. It was really nice. It was more like $17K more than the MDX. You need to get the cross link suspension they offer to keep the ride super road quality...well the GX is way better than most, but with the offroad capabilities I imagine without the cross link it is slightly wobbly in corners.

    Either way it was really nice. not sure if it is worth as much as they want, but I did like it.
  • howehowe Member Posts: 22
    If you had an '01 or '02 MDX you had the first years of a from the ground up new drawing board design so for 83K miles, that doesn't seem totally out of line annoying though how service visits can be. My '98 Ford Explorer would be envious of the relatively minor problems you experienced. I replaced the transmission (at my expense), rear end, the radio twice, Firestone tires wore out in only 25K miles, shocks replaced at about 80K too, vibration problems, many electrical problems, engine thermostat twice (once in the middle of the Bay bridge with white smoke pouring out from under the hood), etc, etc, etc. I have a stack of receipts and invoices as thick as the LLBean Christmas catalog. I've basically had it with American cars these days. The MDX feels like Swiss watch compared to the Explorer. On dealers: There are unprofessional dealers and unfriendly staff for all makes of vehicles (even Lexus) and there are also proffessional and friendly ones, luck of the draw?
  • davidc1davidc1 Member Posts: 168
    I've had an Acura vehicle couple of years ago. They are great cars for great price. I do believe however, that Acura dealers in general are not much better than Honda dealers in terms treatment. Lexus dealers are generally much more courteous and accomodating, IMO. I suppose you get what you paid for in America.
  • howehowe Member Posts: 22
    A lot may also have to do with how one treats them too. If a customer is irate about some small imagined defect or large unrealistic expectation, he or she may not get a friendly response even at a Rolls Royce dealer's service desk.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    Its not the 01 and 02 MDX that is problematic, I had a 03 and it had alot of problems. One of my friend has the 05 and he complains of poor workmanship, quality of material used and rattles, the car is only 1 year old.
    Coming from a 1998 Ford Explorer, I can see why you think the MDX is well built. So you must understand why I think the GX is built better since I came from a MDX.
  • howehowe Member Posts: 22
    Well, I'll get back and let everyone know if any rattles develop or notice poor workmanship, etc. or "real" problems. Right now, I'm still impressed with the lack of the above. I once owned a Honda Accord. Had it for 13 years and 135K miles. Unbelievable how few problems it had. Not bad in the Connecticut snow either compared to rear wheel drive vehicles such as my folks BMW 5 series. I would expect the GX for $10K more to be a notch up in materials, build quality and workmanship as I would expect the LX470 to go another notch for another $10K+ over that. Lexus is nice but when loaded with options $$$+++. It just depends how much you want to spend on a car. :)
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Member Posts: 4,277
    My wifes '03 is still ticking along like a champ. She's got about 60k on her now and getting ready for another 15k checkup. The drivers side seat bottom heater needs to be replaced, but she uses it all the time and well, these things happen... But, other than that, we are still very happy with the vehicle and couldn't justify the extra expense for the GX (Or the 12mpg fuel economy vs the 21 with our X) Still the GX470 is a very nice vehicle and I can understand how it would be a step up in materials and quality (Typical Lexus).

    Cheers! :D
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    Another example of why those MPG are estimated and should be use as reference only. I had a 03 MDX, traded it in for a GX because of the poor workmanship and cheap material used. While I had the MDX, I was getting about 15 MPG driving 95% city. With the GX, traveling the same route, I get about 14.5 MPG, both calculated manually. Going from a V6 to a V8, I was expecting the MPG to drop quite a bit, but to my pleasant surprise, the GX's V8 is alot more fuel efficient than I originally thought. Although the GX's engine is bigger in displacement, they both produce 270 HP, but the GX blows away the MDX in torque, which is really evident when accelerating from stop. Don't get me wrong, I think the MDX has one of the best V6 on the market, but its technology is getting old. It still uses a two stage VTEC system, while the GX has the variable valve timing through out its whole rpm range, which may be one of the reason why the Lexus' V8 is so efficient. One all highway, doing about 70-80 MPH on a couple of long trips, the MDX got about 19 MPG while the GX got about 17 MPG.
  • sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    My 02 MDX is a dream. It gets about 24+ mpg on the highway. We can crank out miles between stops and get there with plenty of gas to spare. The MDX aound town isn't great, it is a heavy vehicle and doesn't get much better than 15, however its highway mileage is awesome for a truck of its size. In addition the MDX is a fantastic road trip vehicle, it drives great on the highway with plenty of power to spare and gets awesome highway mileage. It also has great all weather handling, snow, rain, ice...and hopefully sunny.

    I would be interested to hear how a GX does on long trips? We simply love the MDX for doing long family vacations, I have considered a GX for an upgrade, but don't see much reason to at this point, our MDX still drives like new.
  • davidc1davidc1 Member Posts: 168
    GX is a great road trip vehicle. And you can adjust the suspension tuning depending on speed and surface. But I doubt it gets better gas mileage than the MDX.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    Hi sbcooke,
    Do you remember me from the MDX forum?
    The MDX does indeed get better mileage on the highway, according to my manual calculations: the MDX gets about 2 to 3 MPG more than the GX on the highway. In the city, it is very similar, only 0.5 MPG differences. This may be due to the fact that the MDX has a lower drag coefficient than the GX. The MDX also spend most of the in front wheel drive mode and has a smaller engine. One thing I did notice was that the GX has better acceleration off the line and on the highway, but most Lexus owner, much like myself, don’t really care about speed that much.
    The MDX is a dream on long trips, the seats are much more comfortable than the MDX's. It also has higher quality leather and has more power adjustments. Handling on the highway is close to the MDX but not as good, but you can cruise at 75 with no problem. The only bad thing I can say about the GX is that it has a large cross section, driving in high wind condition will need the driver's full attention. If you put the suspension in the stiff mode, it improves the handling a bit in high wind condition.
    As far as all weather handling, snow, rain, ice, the MDX does not even come close to the GX, about the only SUV I have driven that is as good as the GX was my old Grand Cherokee, which had off road tires.
    The first thing I notice when I went to look at the GX was how much better the built quality and built material was compare to the MDX. I am sorry to say this, but the Canadians cannot build a car as good as the Japanese can. Both car is selling at around invoice now, one can upgrade to the GX from the MDX for about 7 to 8 thousand dollars more. well worth it in my opinion.
  • sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    Yes. Of course I remember. How is your GX? Glad you switched?

    Interersting about the ride qualities. The MDX is like a minivan, but its egg shape is good in the wind. I loved the GX on a test drive, but I am not sure it is worth the $$ over the MDX for a flat out luxury SUV (i.e. all weather to me is 6" snow worst...and the MDX handles that easily, maybe not as good, but there are no worries). Luxury Truck, the GX is probably the best on the market. Here the GX with options is still about $53K.

    I like the MDX seats (I will concede the leather is thin and cheaper than the GX, but pretty good)...I have done 9 hours straight on a road trip with little discomfort except for the whole left foot thing, which you get used to. The MDX is very roomy all around with room for me to sit between the kids in the backseat...that doesn't happen often, but I can. The fold back center console is great for us to put the portable DVD player on...that feature alone is awesome for road trips.

    I am thinking about dumping my Trooper...great truck at $24K and can go almost anywhere...the GX probably has as good offroad ability, but a huge ride improvement. The rub is I don't worry about scraping my Trooper across some rocks, against a tree or filling it with woodchips.

    I am torn between the GX or saving 20K and getting a 4runner and using it in a more truck like fashion.

    I am lucky with the MDX since we have only 28K on our 2002 and those are mostly highway (it is the wife's car and we have very short distances to go), we probably don't have to worry about the higher mileage transmission issues before we trade out.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    The GX is fantastic, I was very glad I switch, my MDX had alot of problems such as brake cluck, shifting driver seat, rattles when windows were half open, the 2500 rpm drone and the sloshing gas tank.
    I bought my GX at invoice, it was $43000, just a bit more than the MDX. When I bought the MDX, it was still selling at MSRP. The MDX does have nice seats but I agree with you that the leather is cheap and they wrinkle easily. The Lexus' seats are among the best in the industry. Of course you already know that since you had a test drive.
    I had a 06 4runner on order before I bought the GX, the 4runner is a very nice truck, good built quality since it is built in Japan. You can probably buy a 4runner SR5 based model for $20K less than the GX, I was looking at the limited which at that time was only $5000 less than the GX. The 4runners has a $2000 rebate now from what I understand.
    The GX is much too nice to take off road, Although the optional KDSS suspension is great for off road use. The GX are like the Range Rovers, both SUV were design for off road use but hardly ever get used for its true design intend.
  • cdfwifecdfwife Member Posts: 37
    Having owned both, I would recommend both as fine vehicles. I would like to see what Acura is going to do with the 07 styling, it's time for a refresh.

    Now having the GX, it is just more refined in the ride/fit/finish than the MDX. I guess if you don't want or need 8 cylinders for towing or power, and you don't want to pay the price, the MDX is the choice. I really wish the gx came with 6 cyl, like the middle east version does, but, I drove it, loved it, leased it. It was a purely emotional decision. I will say that the third row in the Acura has 2 pluses...more comfortable, and, third row has side curtains, GX does not have 3rd row curtains and the 3rd seat is only for the smallest, skinniest toddlers.

    On the GX, I was offered such a good deal, it made it easy. My Lexus person offered me invoice and a money factor of .0012, and is selling my friend an RX at invoice as well. Acura has never been willing to deal on price with me.

    I would gladly recommend both, depending on your needs.

    Happy shopping!
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    I would say that the third row in the Acura has 3 pluses, more comfortable, side curtains and it folds down flat. It also has one minus, they are vinyl.
  • cdfwifecdfwife Member Posts: 37
    I agree with that. I do miss the fold flat seat option, but I guess with the truck layout on the GX they couldn't do it. Made for some great cargo space in the MDX. But, hubby has a Titan, so he we can haul junk with that one, ha ha.
  • hopeitsfridayhopeitsfriday Member Posts: 396
    Yes, the GX has a real axle connected to the rear wheel unlike the MDX which links the rear wheel by wires. Thats why the 4WD system on the GX works much better in the snow and it can be lock in at any speed. The disadvantage of the GX's 4WD system is added weight and it takes up more space which is why the 3rd row seat cannot be fold down.
  • carguy30carguy30 Member Posts: 1
    hi everyone...this is a great forum...i'm glad i stumbled across...

    i'm debating between an 04 mdx touring (with nav, dvd, cd changer etc...) or an 04 mercedes ml500 (nav, dvd etc)...both are similar in price...the ml500 is around 32,000 and the mdx is around 30,000...

    any thoughts would be much appreciated...

  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    GX is a great road trip vehicle. And you can adjust the suspension tuning depending on speed and surface. But I doubt it gets better gas mileage than the MDX.

    My girlfriend's mother has a GX470...I drove it from Montgomery to Birmingham (Alabama) recently, and was surprised at how numb the controls all were relative to our old 2000 Odyssey (the platform and vehicle the current MDX is based on). The steering felt numb, with late turn-in in response to my inputs. I've driven Suburbans and such, and know how a "truck" drives, and guess I expected better from Toyota. I do realize that it is a "truck" in the literal sense, based on how it is built, but the "SPORT" suspension setting did nothing to make the car handle more just made the ride more jiggly, which really made the rear jumpseat/bench things rattle even louder than they already do (it has 51,000 miles - 2004 model).

    Her average MPG commuting from the suburbs is 15MPG, BTW.
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