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Acura MDX vs BMW X5



  • clemboclembo Posts: 253
    You and I have similar garages. I have a 2001 330Cic, I just got a 2008 MDX Sport for my wife to replace her 2003 MDX, the new one is terrific, we shopped everything and it was the best. I am also thinking about a 750 to replace my A8 lease. Do you drive the 750 in snow? I am worried about that as the Audi has been gtreat in snow and ice.
  • "You and I have similar garages. I have a 2001 330Cic, I just got a 2008 MDX Sport for my wife to replace her 2003 MDX, the new one is terrific, we shopped everything and it was the best. I am also thinking about a 750 to replace my A8 lease. Do you drive the 750 in snow? I am worried about that as the Audi has been gtreat in snow and ice. "

    Interesting. I had a 2002 MDX until late 2004 when we bought the Sienna. The MDX was too small for our needs then, car pooling, scouting, biking... It was a pain to get to the 3rd row too so we bought the minivan. We passed that stage now and I think getting a MDX to replace both the Sienna and the Lexus RX is a good compromise.

    I drove the 750i only once in very very light snow. It was fine. We haven't had much snow (but lots of rain) in our part of Maryland. If there is more than one inch of snow on the ground and the streets haven't been plowed, I would not take the 750i out. Being RWD, it WILL have trouble going up the incline near my house. I have "all season performance tires" on it. BTW, the next generation of the 7 will come out maybe in a year.
  • mdx2008mdx2008 Posts: 13
    Just bought my wife a 2008 MDX Tech/Ent and we love it. I have owned BMW's over the past 12 years including my current 2003 M3 convertible BLK/RED interior and I truly think that the MDX drives like a European car/suv. It is indeed a fair comparison to the X5, we bought the MDX b/c of price and repairs down the road. And the fact that the cargo space is far superior to the X5. Plus it drives just as well or better than a BMW, I don't know how they did it? Yes it does not have the BMW badge but with age (i;m now 36 years old) this is becoming a little less important to me.
  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    My wife and I took the MDX Sport on a test drive this weekend. As stated in earlier posts, we are looking for a replacement to our leased 06 Volvo XC90 V8. As a whole, I really liked the MDX. My short list dislikes or areas of improvements would include the following.

    • The plastic wood trim is reflects a lot of sun light back to the driver. I would rather pay a bit more for real wood.

    • The trim pieces on the center console and door areas appear to be prone to chipping and scratches. The one on the showroom floor had a lot of wear on the door handles.

    • The engine, while powerful for a V6, requires a lot of pedal travel to make good speed. While unfair to compare it to a V8, I do like the feel of torque being built up at a lower rpm.

    • The two rear windows should be one touch up/down.

    • Add Smart Key Access

    • Add power lift gate and AFS lighting on technology option. The power lift gate should not be part of the Sport pkg.

    • Ventilated seats on the Sport model would be nice.

    • A slightly more aggressive suspension setup on the Sport model. I can see this one issue varying from driver to driver. My wife liked the Comfort setup.

    • If backup sensors are going to be a dealer add-on, a grid on the backup camera showing a distance up to 5 feet from the rear bumper would be helpful.

    • Clean-up the center console. A lot of buttons for my liking. Yes, voice control can help but it is not my preferred method.

    I’m sure there are other items as well but this was the bulk of it. I realize that buying a car while maintaining a certain budget I will need to comprise on features. The question for me is at (roughly) $44k, does the MDX offer enough for wife and me to be happy for the next 5-6 years. Perhaps, only time will tell. A decision will be made by the end of this week.

  • NHman, your wish list mirrors mine. For me, the X5's deal breakers are the min. cargo space, 3rd rows seats that are only big enough for my puppy, and the run flat tires if you order 3rd row seat. I am not getting the sports package in the MDX, I think the base suspension in more than good enough for my wife (coming from a Lexus RX330). I don't see her playing around with the "sport" and "comfort" bottoms. We will likely keep the MDX for 3 or 4 years, then trade it for the next generation of the Lexus RX (rumor has it that it will have a long wheel-based version with 3rd row seats), or the next generation of the Caddy SRX. Caddy has some interesting offerings these days.
  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    bimmerguy288, while I can notice a difference between the comfort and sport settings, my wife believe it is a waste of $$$. I like it for the additional items like the auto leveling xenon lights, perforated seats and rims. So this is more my addition and request. Aside from dealer add-ons (rails, cross bar and side moldings), color combination is the only remaining choice. It is down to black or nimbus grey.

    I was at the Lexus dealership last week and the salesperson showed me a picture of the next RX. It is going to have 3 row seating. However the slope of rear might make for very limited cargo and/or passenger space. Hard to stay without looking at actual vehicle but it looks like design is the key factor vs. functionality.

    The X5 would still be my top choice but again a 10k difference is a bit much. I even looked at a 2007 CPO with 7-15k miles. There are a few choices in the area; however the asking price ranges from $53-56k for the 3.0 liter version. I would rather buy a new MDX for $9k less.

  • NHman, the Lexus salesperson showed you a picture of the next generation of the RX? Was it an official picture or just one of those spy shots from the internet? I took the RX330 to the dealership for service about 10 days ago and they gave me the brochure for the 2009 RX350, which changes little from the 2008 model. The next generation is expected to be 2010 MY. I think we will just get the MDX for now.

    Good luck with your search.
  • chrism124chrism124 Posts: 134
    bimmerguy288, the picture was for the upcoming MY2010. It was from a Lexus publication but I do not remember which one.

    I have asked the dealer to submit to me their sell price for the MDX Sport/Ent. Hopefully I can complete this deal within the next few days. If not, I will move on.

  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    I probably shouldn't waste time replying to your response to one of my very old posts, but here goes....

    1) The V-6 MDX doesn't beat a V-8 BMW.

    2) I questioned whether it's worth a $10,000 premium to buy the V-8 X5 needed to out perform a 300 hp V-6 japanese or american suv.

    3) Since you asked, I live the county with the highest median household income in the nation, so the MDX is the mini-van of this area and I just don't identify with the soccer mom image of the MDX.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    I'm very partial to BMW, but I have to admit that the MDX is an extremely competitive vehicle, especially when cost is factored into the equation. If you look only at the numbers, it's probably a superior vehicle and I certainly understand why someone would choose an MDX over an X5.

    I have always been willing to pay the BMW premium to get superior performance and BMW's particular brand of ride and handling dynamics. But BMW's performance lead is closing and I'm seriously questioning my continued loyalty to BMW when a fully loaded 535xi station wagon now costs over $70,000, a fully loaded X5 is approaching $80,000 and the new X6 will have a sticker of well over $80,000 fully loaded with the twin turbo V-8. I probably couldn't actually go through with switching to another manufacturer, but I recognize that several other vehicles are closing the performance gap and the BMW premium is getting more expensive by the day.
  • So... I pose a question to those of you that have carefully compared the MDX and the X5... which is more fun to drive?
  • love2driveinct, I have test driven the X5 3.0si without the sport pkg and an MDX Sport. Based on this comparison, overall I like the drive of the BMW. This was based on the overall experience including brake feel, steering, body roll and driver comfort.

    If driving and styling were the only two factors, the X5 would be my first choice. However I need an SUV that can carry 2 adults, 2 children and 1 dog plus cargo. Now other factors such as cargo space, 3rd row seat access and price become a factor.

    I like the overall design and materials used in the X5 over the MDX. However it is worth another $8k for this? For some it may but I need the cargo space which the X5 simply doesn’t have.

  • Thanks NHman.

    We need space for 3 children and no dogs. (We do have 2 dogs, but we don't really bring them anywhere.) If my hubby ends up with another Pilot, then we would still have a vehicle with a bit more cargo space. He implied that he was willing to "sacrifice" and get another Pilot (great deals right now), if our family vehicle was a bit more fun than the MDX we currently have. My top choices are the X5, XC90, and another MDX when our lease is up. And of those, I think the X5 is the only one he'd consider fun to drive. The question is, is it $8K+++ worth of fun?? :confuse:
  • Compared and test drove both car last week.
    Tested it hard in the freeway and curves.
    Went with MDX because comparably equipped is $14K cheaper and 2.9% financing and has better handling IMHO.

    I also assume that Honda/Acura has much better resale value and far more reliable than BMW.
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    Your assumption that Honda and Acura have better resale value than BMW is incorrect. Several surveys over the past few years, including JD Powers and Kelly Blue Book have ranked BMW at, or near, the top of the list for resale value. It depends on who conducted the survey and how they group vehicles into categories. But generally, BMW ranks higher than Honda/Acura for resale value. Recently, Infiniti has been hitting the number one position.

    As for being "far more reliable" check out the MDX discussions in this forum to see the long, long list of complaints about the new MDX's reliability. Even Consumer Reports does not give the MDX its top reliability rating.

    Look to the right of this posting under "LEARN MORE" and read the reviews of the MDX. Note the most recent post (2/15/08) about the MDX that says, "Bought this car two months ago, sport model with ent-package and other bells and whistles. Supposed to enjoy this luxury vehicle, but having nothing but troubles." Also note that consumer reviews in this forum rate the X5 higher than the MDX in 2007 and 2008.

    In my personal experience as someone who has owned 5 X5s and 14 BMWs, I have had no significant reliability issues with any of my X5s (with the possible exception of the very first model year in 2000 when the E53 X5 was brand new to BMW.) After a year of driving the second generation E70 X5, it never went back to the shop except for scheduled maintenance, which of course was free. Not a single defect.

    Compare that with the one Acura that I owned, which had 8 visits to the shop in the first year and several problems that could not be repaired except by trading it in. That vehicle was a nightmare and it's the reason why I switched to German cars and never looked back.

    These forums are loaded with discussion about reliability, both good and bad, so I judge by my personal experience (which is considerable with BMW). My experience with BMW reliability has been overwhelmingly positive. You'll have to judge the MDX based on your particular experience. Hopefully, it will live up to your expectations.
  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    In my personal experience as someone who has owned 5 X5s and 14 BMWs, I have had no significant reliability issues with any of my X5s (with the possible exception of the very first model year in 2000 when the E53 X5 was brand new to BMW.) After a year of driving the second generation E70 X5, it never went back to the shop except for scheduled maintenance, which of course was free. Not a single defect.

    Wow thats a lot of experience with 14 bmw.

    but u did get rid of ur current x5 rite?

    U had no significant reliability issues means there were some issues?

    Since u owned so many bmw never tried getting a lexus?

    lately i heard that lexus electronic is better than bmw and much more refreshing

    any comments?
  • anon3anon3 Posts: 147
    As I said in my post, "After a year of driving the second generation E70 X5, it never went back to the shop except for scheduled maintenance, which of course was free. Not a single defect."

    I traded out of my most recent X5 after one year because I get a new vehicle every year and I wanted to try something different. I did not trade it because I was unhappy with it.

    I have driven many Lexus vehicles over the years and hated the driving experience, suspension, seats, and the steering column made of rubber. I also fundamentally object to paying luxury vehicle prices for a car that was built from parts that are designed to be cost effective in a $25,000 Camry. I would never, ever buy a Lexus even though the Mark Levinson stereo is superior and Toyota electronics are easier to use.
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I agree with Anon that parts on Lexus are from Camry but not all parts. Also, not all Lexus vehicles are built on Camry, some are. For discussion purpose, let us consider 2007 Camry and 2007 ES. Apart from engine and transmission, I don't see many parts being common including the sheet metal and design. Seriously, how many of you will check the materials on parts? All that matters is reliability, comfort ride, luxury and fuel economy. People buy Lexus because they can afford extra money for prestige and at the same time have the advantage of replacing parts that are not expensive which means less maintenance costs. Going by numbers, RX (6th year model) sold more than 100,000 units last year and ES sold close to 85,000 units and these numbers are high for luxury vehicles that are built on $25,000 cost effective platform. Lexus, Acura, Infiniti, BMW, Audi, Benz and other manufacturers build good vehicles but all depends on one's taste.
  • bcb1bcb1 Posts: 149
    Sorry but there isn't much activity on the "regular" X5 forum (not since last December!), so I thought I might get an answer here. I've always owned large SUV's. My current one is a Yukon that I bought new in 2000 and has been very reliable and trouble-free, even with 150K miles on it.

    I'm itchy to buy a new (used) SUV and the X5 intrigues me. My wife drove one at Carmax and fell in love with it. I had been leaning towards a Toyota Land Cruiser or Sequoia, but now I'm wondering about the X5.

    So I'd be interested in hearing from anyone that owns an X5, mostly about their reliability, annoyances, positive features, etc. If it makes any difference, I'd probably go with the 2003 model year, 3.0 engine.
  • kkelly2kkelly2 Posts: 5
    In December we traded in our 2000 Landcruiser for a 2008 X5 3.0. If it were not for the > $70k price tag and the 3rd row that doesn't fold flat, I would have definitely gone for another Landcruiser. In the 8 years we had it, we never had one problem. But I wanted to upgrade safety features, get a nav and sat. radio and especially increase the mpg. Our search was limited b/c we need a 3rd row for carpooling the kids. As it turns out, I absolutely love my X5. Handling is great. The one-knob technology system (nav, audio, etc) is significantly better than the competition (my husband has an Acura and it's terrible). The 3rd row is tight, but works for the kids. And so far I'm getting over 17mpg with virtually no highway driving (Landcruiser was closer to 11). So no complaints - it's great. Can't speak to the '03, but I'd go for '08 if you can swing it.
  • bcb1bcb1 Posts: 149
    Thanks for your advice. I drove a Sequoia and LC on the same day at Carmax just to get a good side by side comparison. I liked both, but thought the Sequoia might be just a little smoother. But ugh...I've already owned a Yukon for 8 years now and was just ready to try something a little different. And the BMW X5 is definitely a little different. I just hope I don't end up regretting my decision when I go to haul 20 or 30 bags of wood pellets or mulch :) The X5 has a lot of sport, very little utility.

    Re: the '08 vs. '03. Cost is definitely an issue. We try to pay cash for our car purchases (actually we usually end up financing about 20% of the purchase). So we can easily do that on an '03 X5. On an '08....not so much. I just don't like owing a pile of money on a depreciating asset.
  • thstonethstone Posts: 6
    You can ALWAYS pay less to get less. Either you want the best driving SUV (the BMW X5) or you don't. Money is not the primary concern.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Except the X5 doesn't really drive any better than the MDX. At least, not from an overall performance perspective. You can nitpick about the MDX not braking well, but the MDX fans can counter with faster acceleration times (0-60, 1/4 mile, rolling start, etc.). At the end of the day, each has their strong points, but the overall differences between the two are minor.

    If you want to take the approach that the X5 offers more amenities, or a more luxurious package, I could take your point. You pay more and you get more by going with the X5. But from the driver's seat, the MDX delivers equivalent performance for fewer dollars.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,301
    The MDX has much more interior space behind the front seats than the X5. The MDX is a more practical vehicle. I can put my road bike in the MDX. It won't fit in the X5.

    In a C&D comparo, the 2007 MDX crushed the V6 X5, as it did all the other V6 SUV's in the comparo.

    The MDX totally rocks! :shades:
  • seawolf21seawolf21 Posts: 11
    Really loved the styling on the X5 and wife even okayed the X5...but there's been complains about the X5 camera at night on bimmerfest. That was more of a deal breaker than the $11K premium. I do miss the parking distance control function and the turning grid lines on the rearview camera during the day. :(
  • sloperbsloperb Posts: 2
    I owned an '07 MDX (Tech+Entertainment) and recently traded in for an '09 BMW X5 4.8i. Here are my thoughts on both.

    First, I'll say I loved my MDX and it was hard to trade it in. Unfortunately, I had an issue where smoke started coming out of the center console. Two Acura dealerships and the regional engineers looked at it and declared the car was fine, but the poor customer service we got from the dealership and from Acura headquarters killed any loyalty I might have had to Acura and instead of reassuring my wife that the car was safe, convinced her we needed a new car.

    From a handling standpoint, the X5 in "Sport" handling mode and the MDX (I didn't have the sport suspension on the MDX) seem to handle almost identically to me. I have a steep switch-backed stretch of road near my house and both handled it great. The X5 without sport handling enabled seemed to have a little more tail drift and took a little more micro-adjustments steering at speed to keep it tracking than the MDX.

    The MDX had *a lot* more room in the cargo area. This is the hardest thing to give up as we tend to put stroller+groceries+new plants in the back a couple times a month and it has become a packing challenge with the X5. The rear gate on the MDX will remotely close, is a full gate rather than two pieces, could be closed manually easily, and did the "slow close" for the last 2 inches, protecting things you might have in the back (plants, etc) from damage. I had both in 7-seats, and the 3rd row in the MDX was noticably roomier.

    The MDX was also 2 inches wider than the X5, which given how wide both are in general, that 2 inches actually makes a difference squeezing into parking spots and getting out without banging your door.

    The 2nd-row doors also opened wider on the MDX. The X5's open plenty-wide, but that extra ~4 inches of travel helps when you're loading in a baby like we are.

    The rubber mats in the MDX were also of higher quality and fit cleanly over the carpet mats.

    Finally, the navigation system and entertainments/environment controls were far easier to use on the MDX. iDrive is just painful. The map showed colored traffic speeds in the MDX whereas the triangles on the BMW are ok, they're not as helpful. I also miss being able to just have the map up all the time automatically (I get this in the BMW only if the map is on the smaller right-hand screen) and being able to just move the cursor, click and set as a destination. I found this helpful when trying to figure out how to get on a highway. I'd just scroll down, find any old spot down the highway and let the nav-system tell me how to navigate to the onramp.

    Gas mileage on the MDX averaged a good 3mpg better than the X5 so far. I like the little tire pressure display on the MDX and haven't been able to figure out how to see the actual tire pressure on the X5, though I know it is measuring them.

    The MDX's ceiling-mounted DVD player with built-in wireless speakers and wireless remote were great. Our daughter isn't old enough to enjoy them, so we rarely used them, but they certainly beat the X5's center-mounted screen the blocks access to the center-console compartment and lack of wireless headphones.

    The cup-holders in the side-pockets on the doors are really convenient.

    Ok, so what do I like better about the X5?

    The X5 V8 accelerates a bit faster than the MDX, but not noticeably at the low range. Presumably the increased weight offsets the additional horsepower a bit. That said X5 really jumps much better than the MDX when driving at highway speeds. Zoom, it just goes!

    Fit and finish on the body panels, etc feel much much better on the BMW. The Acura really felt like an upgraded Honda, not a ground-up luxury vehicle when it came to things like the rubber seals around the doors which would pop out sometimes.

    Visibility is better in the X5. The side-mirrors are bigger and the far-back windows are bigger. The bigger sun-roof is also nice. Comfort-access is better than the big switch-blade key that the MDX gave.

    The bluetooth integration is much better on the X5. I had problems between the iPhone and the MDX when it came to initiating calls with the iPhone or switching between iPhone and car speaker on an active call. Further, the X5 pulls in your full addressbook for dialing through iDrive or voice-based, whereas the voice-based addressbook and scrollable addressbook in the MDX both had to be programmed separately.

    The X5 has iPhone integration and the MDX didn't. The iPhone integration works great. I'm finding Sirius reception to be worse than XM, but I may have an antenna problem that I need the dealership to look at.

    I love the 6 programmable buttons on the X5. Setting a button to speed-dial my wife is far more convenient than doing voice-based access.

    The X5's built-in side-window shades are handy with a baby.

    The turning lines and parking radar for the parking camera in the X5 are really great. I didn't realize how much I'd like them. I do, however, hate the little message that says "do not rely on camera alone" because it creates a blind-spot right where a crazy driver doing 50mph in a parking lot would appear first. I like to see those folks coming.

    I found the front and middle-row seats to be similarly comfortable and spacious in both cars. Both cars seemed similar wrt to road-noise. Cruise control is similar. Garage door access and gate openers both worked fine on both cars.

    Overall, the MDX set a really high bar, but aside from the lack of cargo-space I'm really happy with my X5. That said, I paid a lot more for the X5. Some of that will be made up by the zero BMW maintenance costs in the first 50,000 miles, but not nearly enough to justify the difference.

    So in conclusion... in my experience both are great cars and perform very similarly. I give the edge to the MDX on roominess and accessibility of back seats. I give the edge on fit+finish to the X5. I find the X5 easier to park. The improved iPhone/Bluetooth is offset by the frustrating nav+iDrive. Price goes to the MDX. Thus far, customer-care and service go to BMW.

    Ultimately, the question likely comes down to brand -- do you want an Acura or do you want a BMW?
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    "Ultimately, the question likely comes down to brand -- do you want an Acura or do you want a BMW?"

    As you point out price is also a consideration, especially if you're looking at the 4.8i instead of the base engine.

    One point you did not touch on is the sound systems - which do you think sounds better and which is more convenient to work with?
  • magbarnmagbarn Posts: 35
    Did you consider the diesel engine? That's the X5 I'd get
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    Great write up, sloperb. :)

    No smoke coming from our center stack (was it smoke or steam?).
    Our '07 sport/ent has been fairly bulletproof like our '04 MDX, not real pleased with getting 25k miles out of the OEM Michelins but the Mich's in "sport" mode was a blast, much like the handling on my '05 TL.
  • I have always put a great deal of research into buying a new vehicle and I always end up going back to consumer reports, they are pretty much the bench mark when road testing new vehicle's and reliability, what I have found however is that if you find a car that looks good on paper you still have to test drive it and like it, now getting back to what vehicle is better? it all depends on your preference, I personally have driven both vehicles and in a perfect world if the x5 came with the same track record as far as reliability, and if the two were priced equally it would make my decision an easy one, the people I know that buy the bimmer dump in after the 3 year free maint, according to them your basic oil change , brake pads if you stick with them after the 3 years they will get their money back from you on the exuberant maintenance cost.

    My recommendation is to check with consumer reports first, see what they have to say first and then test drive and compare yourself, but in the newest report the MDX comes out on top, and by quite a margin.
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