Lincoln MKX vs Lexus RX 350 vs Mercedes Benz ML350

bosi77bosi77 Member Posts: 37
edited April 2014 in Lexus
A comparison of two vehicles which are very competitive


  • scootertrashscootertrash Member Posts: 698
    I can compare them:

    One exists and the other won't be made until 10/16/06.

    Otherwise-The RX, McX and MDX (such original names!) should be pretty comparable- on paper at least.
  • bosi77bosi77 Member Posts: 37
    A comparison of theese three five passenger crossover Suv's.
  • bosi77bosi77 Member Posts: 37
    Continue this discussion under: Lincoln MKX vs. Lexus RX350 vs. Mercedes Bemz ML350
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Continue this discussion ...

    ... right here, if you don't mind. :)

    I changed the title to reflect your addition.

    tidester, host
  • bosi77bosi77 Member Posts: 37
    Thank you very much tidester
  • townhometownhome Member Posts: 104
    My family happens to have a 2007 RX (my mom's) and a 2007 MKX (my wife's). Having driven both of them around town and on road trips, I feel as if I can compare them.

    My overall impression of the RX is that it is a luxury vehicle first and foremost. It usually does everything smoothly and quietly. And the interior is well built and "soft". Driving the RX is not fun. It can be enjoyable if running around town doing errands because it is very easy to drive, but if you want to hustle around a curve or do anything similar, the RX is not a good partner. Also, on my mom's car, the transmission shifts roughly (with a big lurch) about 50% of the time, similar to my '84 Volkswagen. The dealer says there is nothing wrong, but it sure seems wrong to me. This car has 5000 miles on it and the only thing that has broken has been the cargo cover - it would not stay extended and the dealer ordered a new one. Once in a while the sunroof does not want to close. but it has never gotten stuck and stayed stuck.

    The MKX is my choice between the two. It is just as quiet and smooth as the Lexus, yet way more enjoyable to drive. It will handle curves and hills and still trudge around town doing errands. The interior is nice (I like the retro design) and seems well built, if not quite up to the Lexus standard. The stereo is much more impressive and the nav system is easier to use. It cost less than the RX and has comparable equipment. It has 10,000 miles on it and has needed no repairs. The local Lincoln dealers are closing though, so I now have to travel a ways to see a dealer, but as soon as the free maintance is over, I will not need to go there anyway. (Free maintance is not something my mom gets on her RX by the way.) But, the Lincoln dealer is old-school Ford. Not nearly as nice as the Lexus dealer,

    Sorry this was so long, but it doesn't happen very often that I get to share personal experiences on two competing vehicles.
  • maximafanmaximafan Member Posts: 592
    townhome, thanks for sharing with us your takes on driving the RX and the MKX. I was curious as to how the MKX handles and such.
    I got my '07 RX350 last August. I love everything about the car with the small exception that the transmission does have some
    quirk to the shifting pattern particularly in the lower gear. I have had some occasional rattle issues that have been resolved. The interior on the MKX is very nice, but I'm a little disappointed that Lincoln decided to move away from the electro-iluminescent instrument lighting. I think that on a Luxury vehicle this is a very nice-looking feature to
    have. I wonder why they did away with that? They had it on the Aviator and the previous gen. Navigator.

    But I've gotta say, so far the treatment that
    I get at Lexus has been really top notch. It's
    been a very comfortable experience when I go in
    for my oil changes and such. My service guy
    that I stick with when I go in has a nice, easy
    going nature, never had any attitude. I didn't get anywhere near the nice treatment at Nissan as I do now with Lexus!

    I did not know that Lincoln offered free maintenance on their vehicles. That is a nice
    thing to have. I'd like to see more manufacturers start to offer this. Right now,
    the only other car-maker to offer that is BMW,
    that I know of.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Lincoln used to offer 3 years of free maintenance, not it's only 1. Personally I'd rather do my own maintenance and keep the change.
  • cneffcneff Member Posts: 65
    Need a little Benz love here. I do not have a an ML350 but I do have an ML320 CDI - diesel. I drove the Edge not the MKX and have driven the RX350. I liked the Edge which is similar to the MKX though not as luxurious. I found it road well and was fairly solid, not much shudder in the chassis. What really turned me away was the AWD drive system, it is not AWD, it is part time. When front wheels slip the rears engage a split second later. This won't bother most but I live in conditions where ice collects on the roads in winter and it only takes a split second to get into trouble. I put the Edge on dirt, cut the wheel sharply to the left and floored it and each time the front wheels spun before the rears kicked in. This does not happen on the ML as it is a 50/50 split - not sure of the RX (I heard it is also a part time system - Volvo has similar) as I did not get a chance to try it in dirt. By the way part time is better for fuel mileage

    The RX was a cream puff but what surprised me was the rattling, excessive from the rear. I was in a couple of them that had rattling from the rear, maybe rear hatch or cargo cover, but it was noticable and to me unacceptable. I am also a tech guy and thought a 5 speed auto was very old school for a modern luxury vehicle.

    I may be biased, I have had MBs for awhile but I still test all brands when shopping, what always leads me to MBs are the safety aspect, not just front or side crash scores but their ability to take multiple hits at high speed which on US congested roads is a real possiblily (maybe not the high speed). Most Euro cars follow this path - Euro crash tests are pretty strict. The solidity of the chassis is what I most notice with MBs which makes one feel safe, they just feel solid and the ML is pretty darn good, drive one for awhile and it is hard to go back. Interiors may not be Lexus but I go for what is underneath.

    As for the diesel ML320 CDI, excellent power once going, and have been over 28mpg on highway and averaging 24mpg around the suburbs. Rides well, MB taught on big bumps but on the highway amazingly smooth and very quiet.

    Again I may have had MBs awhile, but I still shop around and usually head back to MB after weeks of test driving. I liked the BMW X3 but found it road too hard for everyday driving - though I recommend you try one. Had a very bad and recent customer experience with Audi (I had one) so I stay away from them as well as VW.

    Good luck!
  • displacedtexandisplacedtexan Member Posts: 364
    Very informative review. Thanks for taking the time!

    Sorry to see that your local Lincoln dealer closing, but after reading that they're old-school Ford, I'm not surprised they are doing so. Lexus seems to do a good job of inculcating a dealership-wide culture of customer service, whereas after reading these forums for a while, Lincoln apparently does not. For a contrary experience, however, my local dealer is top notch and competes equally with the Lexus dealer next door. Both Lexus and MB seem to have a bit of a snooty attitude, whereas the Lincoln dealership does not. Seems my Lincoln dealer has learned some important lessons in customer service.
  • maximafanmaximafan Member Posts: 592
    I have to say I have not found the dealership at Lexus to appear snooty at all. The experience from the very beginning was so much more positive than my experiences with Nissan.
    I was treated with respect and, also, the internet saleswoman, who I dealt with, was great. She literally followed up by internet for at least six months to see how I was doing and how I liked my car. Same with my service
    rep. So far (August will be a year that I've had my RX) the experience with Lexus has been
    very positive!
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 10,451
    Any tendency of the Lexus dealer to over-do the recommended service? Mine tried to get me to do unnecessary work, and refused to stamp my warranty book when I declined.
  • s550iwishs550iwish Member Posts: 28
    I liked the '07 RX350 until i crashed it and its totaled!!
    Now i have and ML350 which is a lot safer and nicer to drive!! But of course it is its a mercedes. The mercedes is a little more expensive but definitely better. It is also bigger and higher off the ground. The ML is 2 hp slower but it seems faster??!! The MKX i have never driven so....
    all i know is it is ugly and has like 263 hp i think?
  • s550iwishs550iwish Member Posts: 28
    i saw a 2008 Cayenne Turbo today in person and it is very nice looking. The refreshments to the front back interior and engines really give it style and power.
  • displacedtexandisplacedtexan Member Posts: 364
    There's just something wrong with the idea of a Porsche SUV, or SAV, or CUV, or whatever this variant is termed. There are just some car manufacturers that I can't reconcile building anything other than fast, fun cars.
  • maximafanmaximafan Member Posts: 592
    So, far nothing other than my regular oil changes and tire rotation at the Lexus dealership, of which I prepaid for my oil change/tire rotation maintenance when I bought the car. I did have to pay for
    patching one of my tires though that had a nail in it.
  • townhometownhome Member Posts: 104
    I just noticed that the big new Ford store they built last year has now added a Lincoln Mercury section. That bothered me. If Ford is serious about keeping ( I mean making) Lincoln a luxury brand, they have to have stand alone stores, especially when it comes to service. Could you imagine a Lexus store sharing the same building, service bays, service writers, etc. with a Toyota store? Never in a million years, yet Ford is ok w/ it for it's premium brand.

    As an update to my personal comparison of the MKX and RX350, the Lexus dealer has still not called my mom for her part, but then again, when I order a new front license plate bracket (my wife bumped someone and it tore off), the lincoln dealer never called me when it was in either. So, they tie for lousy customer service on that one.

    We have taken the MKX on a few more road trips, and I actually sat in the back seat for the first time. It was very comfortable. That must by why my two teen age boys have never complained about it. Also, the Lincoln offers an MP3 jack where as the Lexus does not. And they love to blast their iPod.

    This also reminds me of the Consumer Reports comparison. (I am allowed to use their name, right?) I was appalled that the RX350 was first and the MKX was last. For years I have thought they were biased, because they always seemed to pick on the little things on certain cars and gloss over the same issues in any Toyota or Honda product. For example, I have used both nav systems pretty extensively, and the one in the Lincoln really does seem easier to me, yet they claim the opposite is true. Their was no mention of how difficult the power mirror controls in the Lexus are to use, yet they mention little things like that for other cars. And I just can not get over how they say the Lexus handles better. The Lexus needs constant steering corrections on the highway and it leans in every turn. the Lincoln has heavier, well-weighted steering and tracks much better through turns and on a straight road. I just don't get it...
  • maximafanmaximafan Member Posts: 592
    If you look at the last few issues of Motortrend and Car and Driver, they also complain about the handling characteristics of
    the Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX and they also talked
    about the heftiness of the Ford/Lincoln twins.
    A friend of mine got to rent a Ford Edge for a
    trip to North Carolina and she loved it! She
    thought it handled very well and had good acceleration. And she currently drives a 2005 BMW 5 Series sedan!
    But, hey, then again -- I think it was Motortrend that did a comparo between the RX350
    and the Hyundai Veracruz and they gave the nod
    to the Veracruz.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    "they have to have stand alone stores..."

    That's the reason Lexus dealers should always be referred to as "STEALERS".

    There are a single marque low volume shop selling a highly reliable product.

    So, how else to keep the service bay open other than RAPING the service customers...??

    The RX series quite clearly has a few design problems, flawed design in the climate control and AWD system for two, but in overall comparison it will ALWAYS OUTSHINE anything Ford, or Lincoln, peddles.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Sorry, forgot about the shear idiocy of the Toyota/Lexus transmission design flaws.

    Flawed design introduced to the product line in '98 and still no fix.
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