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Acura MDX vs BMW X5



  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    What I can't figure is why C&D loves the SRX so much. It's ballsy with the V8 and it does handle well, but my attraction for it stops there. The interior is so-so. Comfort and utility are sub-par. And it isn't the most tight vehicle I've experienced.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    I suspect that Car & Driver and other magazines are starting to make the point that some Japanese and American car manufacturers are closing the sport performance gap in areas where BMW traditionally had an advantage (like steering, handling, suspensions, and drive dynamics.) A 260hp BMW costs about the same as a 300hp Acura and a 320 hp Cadillac. When most of the performance measures are running neck and neck, the car that costs $10k less will win the comparison. So is it worth it to pay a $10 - 15k premium in price for a 350hp BMW V-8 to out perform a Japanese V-6 or an American V-8? Some would say it's not when the competition is so close.
  • They should have compared the srx v6 and see how that stacks up.
    I have driven all the luxury models I think the new mazda cx9 kicks all their asses.
    BMW is too heavy/slow in the 3.0, no powerliftgate and not as much fun to drive. (yes, even with the sports package) Other than that it looks the best. If they improve the power I will probably get one.
    ML350- actually very impressed but the shifter on the steering column is a no go..don't care to manually shift only when my hands are in the 10 and 2 position. They are part of the steering wheel. Also, Mercedes has the worst navigation I've seen.
    MDX-would buy it in a second if it had comfort access. What the hell is wrong with them? An Altima has keyless start but only the big sedan acura has the keyless start. They also have the best nav I've seen.
    As a Realtor I feel luxury is important but I have to say I keep coming back to the price and driving fun and the Mazda does a great job.
  • You are right, the BMW X5 3.0i is not the most compelling SUV to buy amongst its peers(ML350, Audi Q7 V6, Acura MDX, Porsche Cayenne V6), perhaps there is a reason why it is not selling so well in the US.

    Compared to the other six cylinder SUVs, it ranks as one of the most expensive ones out there, I guess it is leading the segment in terms of being the most expensive one.

    Comparing the respective engine outputs, the X5 3.0i is the weakest of the bunch.
  • I went out to test drive three of them today, and I didn't expect to find out what I found out. X5 (3.0) gives a smoother ride in my opinion. The engine seems a little small for the size of the truck. We didn't test drive 4.8 V8. I always felt that Lexus is the smoother one, and MDX is in between, but that was not the case. Personally, I like MDX, really because it is a lot cheaper, but my wife likes X5 better.

    It is never too old to be surprised.

  • tpulaktpulak Posts: 44
    The older Acura's do have some problems, like the ones equipped with the 5 speed transmission, at hardly 30-50k they clog up, resulting in the need for a new transmision. But the new Acuras are very reliable. I mean tell me, when was the last time, and 04-07 Acura stuck on the side of the highway? ;)
  • tpulaktpulak Posts: 44
    Who needs a V-8 option, when the V-6 in the Acura beats some V-8's?? Also, when the gas prices hit $4 , like they are now, you wouldn't want one. Also, whats against the stylling of the MDX? People just hardly look at it, and call it"a minivan", just because, back in 2001, it had a third row seat(which was pretty rare in vehicles that time). This minivan thing continues even today, in its new generation. Personally, the BMW looks like a 3 series, on stilts, and looks like it will tip over one day. But I can't argue, though, 'cuz its up to your opinion. Also, you said that there was a sea of Acura MDX's in your area---where do you live??!! I'd like to know, because I live in Dallas, Texas, and it is rare to see an MDX. And to this time in the forum, based on what people are saying, I'm leaning towards the MDX.
  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    tpulak, just a note but you are responding to a post dated April 07. What that said, I am going through the process of selecting a replacement for our current family hauler, a 06 Volvo XC90 V8. The three being considered are the Q7, X5 and MDX. Each model has pros & cons (but that is typical in any vehicle comparison). At the moment both the X5 and MDX are the front runners (with a slight edge to the MDX).

    While styling is very subjective, it is my opinion that the X5 is the best looking vehicle, inside and out. It has the best ride but the base engine needs a bit more tuning. The soon to be available diesel option would be very attractive. Lot's of torque and good fuel economy. The downside is the price tag. For a comparably equipped model, X5 to MDX, I would need to spend another $9k. While within my financial reach, I'm not sure that I can justify it.

    The MDX is a good vehicle. The front could use a redesign but in a dark color it doesn't look as bad. Again, this is my opinion but also is noted in most auto reviews. At a potential $44k purchase price, fully loaded, this is a bargin. I wish the MDX had the smart key access, 6-speed auto and real wood (the fake stuff is a bit shinny) but it is not a deal breaker for me.

    Why would someone want a V8? A V8 provides better low-end torque which results in a better setup for towing. While the MDX might be rated for 5000 lbs of towing, it may struggle a bit under full load.

  • ..... the BMW looks like a 3 series, on stilts, and looks like it will tip over one day .....


    My wife and I recently alternated between driver and shotgun driving new V-8 X5's around the off-road circuit at their performance driving school. It was uncanny how far the X5 could lean sideways and not tip over. The instructor said the max left-right tilt we encountered on that course was + / - 35 degrees, and the X5 is capable of up to 45 degrees.

    We also took turns driving a 3.0 I-6 X5 around a short road race circuit, going as fast as we wanted to / as fast as we could go, over the same course where we were driving sedans and coupes. I was absolutely amazed at how well the X5 did. It wasn't as fast as the cars we drove, but the handling really impressed me, especially considering the mass and height.

  • Just wondering... what makes you not want to get another XC90, if you don't mind me asking? I have an 06 MDX and while I LOVE this vehicle, I find that when I see the XC90's driving by, I still drool... :P When the lease is up next winter, an 08 MDX will definitely be a front-runner, but I will be very seriously considering the XC90 and X5 once again.

    You mentioned the XC90 as your "family hauler", so I am curious what the downsides are in that capacity?

    I have three children, who will be 11, 8, and 4 when we replace our MDX. Any thoughts? TIA
  • There are two major things (IMO) to consider between those three vehicles with regards to your situation (fairly large family). I have an '07 MDX and it will comfortably hold 7 people with 2 of them being children in the rumble seat. And there is still room for some stuff behind the third row. I don't know if you could say that about the XC90 or the X5. The second is reliability. The Volvo's has been atrocious with the X5 not far behind. This second gen MDX will surely have superior reliability compared to those two. Well I guess there's three things, price. The MDX will be 5-7k less when comparably equipped.
  • cason1cason1 Posts: 65
    I really like the way the XC90 looks too, but it seems like when I see an XC90 on a pre-owned lot, there is always a lot of wear obvious on both the interior and exterior of the vehicle. It has left me with the perception that they just simply don't hold up as well as some others in the class. Of course, it could just mean that the ones that I've seen were just abused. :cry: It is one beautiful vehicle though. I particularly like the dash and console design.
  • FWIW: I just went through the process myself - 2000 Landcruiser needed an upgrade. Because I need a 3rd row for carpooling choices were narrowed to MDX, XC90, Mercedes GL, X5 and Audi Q7. I would have gotten another Landcruiser in a second if it didn't cost $75k and look like a Highlander. Friends with the Volvo had the car in the shop all the time (3 actually turned in before end of lease!). Didn't like Mercedes - DVD changer was under back seat, awful interior door material, bad nav.

    We narrowed our choices down to MDX, X5 and Q7 and then started thinking about gas mileage and eliminated Q7 (I really did like it but 12/17 is a buzzkill). I thought that the MDX and the X5 both handled really well. Neither has a spacious 3rd row, but it's only for kids and they fit just fine. My husband has the Acrua RL and I have to say that the nav stinks compared to the BMW. I liked the one knob that controls all on the BMW. Acrua you have to hit a diff button for ac, nav, audio and there isn't a split screen like BMW where you can have nav on and music details up at the same time.

    I'm a little embarassed to say that in the end, it came down to looks for me. I chose the X5 because I think the MDX looks like a Transformer. So I paid an extra $9k got the better nav with the better looks.

    I've had the X5 now for a month and I LOVE IT! Best decision for us. Best of luck!
  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    We considered another XC90 but kept it as a fourth choice behind the MDX, X5 and Q7. Do not misunderstand me; the XC90 is a good vehicle. In my opinion, it has a classic exterior design, great V8 engine, good cargo capacity, and the general sense that if you were in an accident, you and your passengers would survive. It also has been very reliable. While others have had problems, mine has never been in the shop except for an inspection sticker and oil changes. The Volvo is an old design. I believe the first model year was 2003. The vehicles that we are looking at are newer but not first year run (which can be problematic). My wife and I made a list of options that we wanted on the next vehicle. This included Bluetooth, Rear Camera, Nav, 3 rows of seats and iPod connectivity. Volvo does offer most of these options but their implementation is a bit poor. We have only two kids and need the 3rd row for, believe it or not, the dog. He wears a harness and is seat-belted in.

    The XC90 is a good “family hauler”. However I would not want to put a teenager in the 3rd row. It might be a bit tight. The 4-year old should not have a problem. I also found the front leg space to be a bit tight. Noticeable on longer car rides.

    The X5 would be my first choice but the 9k difference is a bit much. I agree the MDX doesn’t look as clean as the X5 but the 9k can be use elsewhere. If I was leasing the vehicle, I would go with the X5. But I am jumping off the leasing merry-go-round.

    For the argument of reliability of Asian built vehicles over others, we had a 04 MDX for 2-years. It was in the shop 6 times for warranty related work. My 07 Lexus has been in the shop 5 times. Both of my prior BMW’s and the current Volvo never had warranty related work done. It could be luck or another reason but just my .02.

  • Chris,
    So did you end up going with the '08 MDX? I think the 2nd gen MDX is sharp. Not too many of them around here but when I see one coming towards me from the other direction I say "Hey that's a sharp looking vehicle". The X5 and XC90 look like their sedan counterparts, only higher. I like the transformer look, it's futuristic.
  • Just have to comment on this... I had to LOL about the transformer comment -- that is so true!

    I'm not really sure if I like the new style...I can't quite figure out if it's actually the design that I can't get used to, or just the fact that it's such a big change from the '06...

    I also have to say, and I hope this is okay to say here, that my hubby and I, and some friends of ours, all think the dashboard set-up reminds us a lot of female reproductive organs, and thus it has been deemed a "chick car". :P

    Hope I didn't ruin it for anyone... hahaha
  • Thank you for your input, much appreciated...

    I try not to get overly caught up in the reliability thing -- everyone seems to have a different story in regards to that. We will lease a brand-new vehicle for 3 years, so in some ways I think it probably doesn't matter as much. ??? (Not that I want to frequently end up in the waiting area at my local dealer, free or not.)

    But I know you are right about the spaciousness -- it was one of the reasons we leaned toward the MDX in the first place. Our last new vehicle decision was a choice made between the XC90, Ody, and MDX. We were also coming from an 04 Ody, so we weren't sure how much we could handle in terms of downgrading in size, lol. But looking to a year from now, when I'll be down to one booster seat (as opposed to one booster & one car seat right now), I feel like I have more choices in the space category. And any vehicle that has a built-in booster seat is going to be on my list. :)
  • Ah yes, I remember now that the 06 XC90 did not have bluetooth and that was another deterring factor for me... Does it finally have it now??

    Thank you so much for your response; all of the things you have said are things to consider. It is interesting how there are so many horror stories about Volvos needing constant repairs, but then it seems there are just as many stories about happy owners. And yes, I have a good friend whose Volvo literally saved her life in a rollover crash.

    Interesting you mention leasing, since that is what we are doing, also. When we shopped in Feb 06, Volvo gave us no incentive to lease with them -- the RV wasn't great, the MF stunk, and they weren't selling at any kind of discount. Maybe things will be different next time around...

    But getting back to the topic of this forum -- the biggest thing that will change the next time around is the addition of the X5 in our choices. With the new third row seat, we can actually consider this vehicle for our family. My late father was a big-time BMW enthusiast, so I feel like I have a predisposition to the bimmers... especially when I remember the way fellow BMW owners would give a little "beep" when they saw one another on the road, back in the early 80's before they became so mainstream. :)
  • I am a bimmer fan (as you could tell by my sreen name) but not a fanboy. I am also a BMW club member and receive their monthly magazine "Roundel". In April 2007's issue, they did a comparison test X5 (not the V8) vs. MDX (with sports package). The author, whom I assume is a BMW fan since he writes for the magazine, says there is NO reason to justify the extra $14000 for a similarly equipped X5 except for the badge.... The MDX performed equally as the X5, and better than the X5 in some areas. The 3rd row seat in the X5 is an option and you will only get those infamous run flat tires (no spare) with the 3rd row in the X5.

    Now I wish Acura would put some real wood in the MDX and the plastic door handles look really cheap. The MDX is WIDE (88" with side mirrors I believe). If you have a narrow garage, that will be a pain. I think they should have power folding side mirrors. The MDX has its own share of problems too but I think it's the best bang for the buck if you could get over the style and if you don't need to be seen driving a BMW.
  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    upstatedoc, My wife and I haven't decided yet. We have looked at it but didn't have the time for a test drive. We have scheduled time for this coming weekend to drive a Sport model. Our current lease doesn't expire until June 08 but still may buy a replacement vehicle before June.

    I am starting to see more of the newer MDX's but it is still an uncommon vehicle around my area.

    The front could use a redesign but I have seen worse (and certainly better). However the design is starting to grow on me.

    Just think of the added bonus, besides getting a good SUV, you would also have a robot protector!

  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    love2driveinct, Bluetooth is available in the 06 and newer XC90's but only as a dealer add-on. A very large and unattractive button is installed along with the communications module. I would rather have a system integrated into the vehicle from the factory. In my opinion, this feature was an afterthought.

    When we leased our Volvo, summer 2006, the m.f. was .00001 with a good residual. Our payment is $500 per month. The only $$$ required was first and the $650 acq fee. This was for a fully loaded (minus Nav) XC90 V8. I believe the MSRP was $52.6k. There was an incentive on the V8 models, which was the model that we wanted. Leasing can be attractive if the right combination of m.f. and residual is available. When looking at the lease deals from Audi and BMW, I found the financing interest rate to be better.

    I am also a BMW enthusiast but I just can not justify spending the extra $$$ for the X5. Perhaps after test driving the MDX I might have a different opinion. Stay tuned!

  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    bimmerguy288, I am also a fan of the BMW brand and like you I am a BMW Club member. I remember reading the article comparing the MDX vs. X5 3.0si. I believe they also compared the RDX and X3 in the same publication. They did rave about the MDX and didn't like the RDX. Their argument is the same as mine now, why should I spend the extra $$$ if I get the same or similar performance (not the 4.8 model).

    If I was to nit pick the MDX, I would want real wood instead of the (very) shiny plastic trim. The center stack could/should be simplified. For the price tag I would want Smart Key Access ($1k adder in BMW) and AFS lights. But none of these are deal breakers. I have all of the options in my current car and while nice to have, I can live without.

    I must confess, if my wife and I like the MDX. I would be able to sell or trade-in my car for a 08 BMW 335Ci (convertible). Plus being a BMW CCA member, I could use the rebate for my car instead of hers. This is my hope. We'll see what happens.

  • NHman, I had a 2004 BMW 330 convertible and almost bought the new 335i convertible when it came out last spring but ended up with a 750i, an entirely different animal.

    In my opinion, in the entire Acura lineup, the MDX is the only one that comes close or equal to a BMW in the same class in terms of balance of comfort and driving dynamics. The MDX's 3rd row seat is also more "spacious" than the X5's. I agree, I am still not warming up to the front design of the MDX but nothing is perfect.
  • NHman, that is frustrating about the bluetooth, what is wrong with Volvo? Reminds me of the add-on CD changers with the little gizmos that you velcroed to your dashboard, lol... I can't believe that Volvo would totally overlook such an important feature, especially when it's not just a convenience but a safety matter, at least IMHO, lol...

    Sounds like you got a good deal in summer 06. When we looked at the pretty-well-loaded V6 (leather, ent sys, 3rd row seat) in winter 06, I think the payment was around $720! Needless to say, when compared to $610 for the Ody and $588 for the MDX, it wasn't even in the running when you factored in the features we'd be giving up (bluetooth, for one).

    Alas, we will likely not end up with an X5, and probably not an XC90, either. But we may find that the MDX's are out of our league as well, if there aren't any good incentives at that time. Then we'll be forced to look at the Acadia and some others that we hadn't previously considered. We would look at the Pilot, but I think my hubby will be trading in his 05 Pilot for an 08 Pilot soon -- they are leasing locally at $361 a month for 36m/12K/$500 down. It was weird deciding to have both a Pilot and an MDX, but having two Pilots would be just a little TOO weird... lol

    PS: My Dad was also a member of the BMW club, and enjoyed the one time he got to show off his 2002 540 at a local show in Mass. My Mom still has this vehicle sitting in her garage, but is just about ready to part with it and list it for sale (he passed away a year ago). He put so much time and energy into his vehicles, something that I think only BMW people can appreciate. :)
  • love2driveinct, the new Buick Enclave is very nice inside out with a decent 3rd row. I think Buick is pretty good in terms of reliability these days. I am not one of those who automatically rule out a domestic make. But the Enclave is too big for our needs (two kids) and underpowered for its weight.

    I am getting the MDX with tech/entertainment package. For our needs, it's not too big, not too small. It has comfortable ride & handling, good resale value, nice navigation/stereo. It's replacing our 2005 Toyota Sienna and the 2004 Lexus RX330. I can't find anything better for the price. But there is still a list of features/improvements I wish the MDX had...

    For those who really need the space, practicality and utilty, nothing beats a minivan. I really don't mind being seen driving a minivan and I am a GUY.
  • I know, I know, a minivan is always the practical choice! My hubby really liked driving our Ody, too... :)

    But now that I've gone from minivan to suv, I can't imagine ever going back.
  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    love2driveinct, for a fully loaded MDX I would expect the price point to be (roughly) $44.4k. This is based on a few hundred dollars above invoice. If leasing remember to negotiate the buy price first and check to be sure the dealer doesn't markup the m.f.. Honda Financial is offering a good financing interest rate, 2.9 up to 3 years adn 4.9 up to 5 years.

    You may want to look at the Mazda CX9 in addition to the Acadia. While I haven't looked at it, it seems to be a similar vehicle to the MDX. I know there is another topic comparing the two.

    If your Dad had an 03 540i Sport, I would be very interested. BMW made enough changes in the last year model that made it an attractive alternative to the M5.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    You may want to look at the Mazda CX9 in addition to the Acadia.

    I'll ditto that. The CX9 has style, utility, and good performance. Personally, I'd rather have the MDX, but that Mazda is a fine machine.
  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    NHman, I had a 2004 BMW 330 convertible and almost bought the new 335i convertible when it came out last spring but ended up with a 750i, an entirely different animal.

    I think the 750i is 1of the most comfortable car and very safe is that the reason u got the 750i? I went to check out the 5 series for a friend few months back checked out the other bmw's 7seri was great and the x5 is my favo car after checking it out the very first time,very nice driving position and great interior. dont know much abt the volvo or the mdx but strange to compare the q7 with the x5, q7 is sooo big and the back is really not nice. dont really consider the x5 such a big car its only a little bigger in length than the 5 series.
  • Sorry to be off the topic. To answer bmlexus' question, here is a bit history: up until April last year, I had a 04 BMW 330cic convertible (my toy), wife had (still has) a 04 Lexus RX330, we also had a 05 Sienna Ltd for car pooling, Home Depot trips, long trips and stuff. Whenever we went out to dinner, mall, we either drove the Lexus RX or the Sienna because the two-door BMW was not comfortable for four. When the new BMW 335 hardtop vert came out last spring I almost ordered one.

    I test drove a 750i for fun and fell in love with it. I knew the controversal styling and the infamous iDrive stuff, but the thing is quiet, smooth, comfortable, has excellent balance of ride and handling for its size, solid as a tank, last but not the least, the V8 engine is Sooooooooooooo smooth and powerful, it just pulls and pulls. I was sold. Now I have something nice to drive when I take my family out.

    We sold the Sienna recently since it sat on the driveway most of the time. We do want to get something a bit bigger than the wife's Lexus RX and that something needs to have 3rd row seats for occasional use. We looked at the MB GL450, MB R350, Mazda CX-9, BMW X5, Buick Enclave, and the Acura MDX. The MDX is far from perfect but it meets most of our needs, has nice ride/handling balance, priced reasonally for what it is. We ordered a MDX with tech/entertainment package ( the only reason we want the entertainment package is the power rear hatch, we don't need the DVD player, our two teenage kids have other forms of entertainment). It has silver exterior, and taupe interior, black interior is too depressing for our taste. BTW, I really regret getting my 750i in black color (exterior), it looks real classy when it's just washed but a few days and some rain later, it looks like cr#p. Dark color also hides the curves of the car. Unless you enjoy washing cars, avoid black.
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