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



  • HID look cool, but they are a safety hazard for other drivers, it is what I call a anti-safety feature. I could have bought a after market but decided against it. The MDX is mostly FWD, but it goes into 4WD mode during accelaration when traction is needed the most and the 4WD mode can also be lock in during tough going unlike the RX300 and the XC90. I wouldnt say the X5 is at the top of the SUV heap, well maybe only in price. I personally would not want 4WD all the time because gas mileage would go to hell, most of these crossovers will not perform as well as as truth 4WD in the snow or off road conditions. The MDX and XC90 has similar climate control system as the RX300. The MDX had a front rear system compare to XC90 and the RX300's front left right system, but you know what, if i had a choice, I would stick with a manual system anyday. I have a automatic climate control system and I run it in manual.
  • overtime1overtime1 Posts: 134
    After looking very carefully at the MDX and GX I can't help but think that the MDX is what the GX should have been (with Lexus interior/badging and at the GX pricepoint it would have unbelievable appeal). The GX is way too funky in many ways.

    As for the RX, I like that vehicle a lot but without a 3rd row seat it really isn't comparable. And what is going on with the interior dimension specs at Toyota/Lexus? First they get caught with shenanigans involving their listed specs with the Sequoia and now they have the RX330 with more cargospace than the MDX and the same as the XC90? doesn't take a rocket scientist to sit in those cars and realize that the MDX has the most space, followed closely by XC90 with the RX way way behind. Come on...its like comparing a VW bug to a Passat wagon and saying the VW has more cargo space. It just obviously does not.

    Also, what is up with the really thrashy/harsh engine in the new RX330. Not what I expect from Lexus (the V8 on the GX is niiiiicccceeeeeee!).

    wwest, as long as the AWD system as good software behind it I could care less what the split of power is under normal driving conditions. These things react so quickly just doesn't matter.

  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "The RX300 is not roomy, its not fast, it doesn't drive sporty, its not the safest SUV, its not the cheapest luxury SUV, it doesn't come with the most options and it doesn't have a good 4 wheel drive system. "

    Well, The INstitute for Highway Safety lists the RX300 and MDX as both "Best Picks".

    "It's not the cheapest SUV". No duh. Cheapest=Hyundai Sante Fe. Is the MDX "the cheapest"?

    Does the MDX come with the most options? I don't think so. I think that honor would fall on the X5.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    And how do you find out if it has "good" software?

    And I would be willing to bet that being predominantly FWD the RX330 doesn't. I KNOW the RX300 doesn't.
  • wwest: A good software makes a bit of difference, but you need a good mechanical system too. How fast can the power be transfer to the rear wheels mechanically. The problem with AWD that is predominantly FWD system is that it has to actually detect a slippage before it shifts power. Those transfer time may be just a fraction of a second, but in a skid situation, those fraction of a second will becomes very important. The X5 sends a percentage of engine power to all the wheels all the time. The MDX goes into 4WD mode every time you accelerate and has a 4WD lock mode. These systems will help alot in the slippery going, but if traction is what you are really after, stick with the old fashion 4WD system that you can pull a lever to engage. Jeep has one of the best system in my opinion, one can select RWD mode, AWD and 4WD mode.

    maxhonda99: May I suggest you look at the X5 and the MDX's standard equipment list. Lets compare both vehicle's base model which are price around $36,000. The X5's base vehicle doesn't even come with auto transmission or leather seats. Other standard equipments the MDX has which the X5 doesn't are: Moon roof, heated seats, side impact air bags, auto headlights, climate control, dual zone HVAC system and other misc. items.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The whole thing about AWD is its simplicity, ease of use, no action whatever required of the driver. Go drive a Sequoia or an ML, both of these have brake torque apportioning, and neither is predominantly FWD.

    While I like, and actually prefer, the new 4runner style AWD/4WD, the wave of the future is clearly electronically controlled torque distribution using brake modulation.
  • Yes I agree, the best set up is a AWD system that one can engage to 4WD.
  • chavis10chavis10 Posts: 166
    Personally, I don't really see the point of most of these "light duty" all wheel drive systems. They provide no handling benefits. If they operate in FWD mode most of the time, than basically they just add weight. Let's be honest, how often do we find ourselves in situations when we really need 4wd? Meanwhile a system that's truly full time can provide handling benefits and isn't just dead weight. Since the X5 and SRX are based on longitudinal engine/rwd platforms, their AWD systems are always active yielding constant 4 wheel traction. This is a true benefit because as stated by many, FWD is "safer" in bad weather than RWD alone. My point is this: vehicles based on transverse engine/FWD drivelines(RX, MDX, XC-90, etc) won't suffer from the same lose of traction as their RWD competition. Therefore, their AWD systems seem more like a marketing tool than a true benefit. Think about it, let's assume most of these vehicles have a front weight bias and are front wheel driven. In a panic situation, brakes are usually applied and even more weight transfers forward. This adds even more traction to the driven and steered front wheels. What advantage would driven rear wheels provide? None. However, in a RWD vehicle, that same situation could spell disaster. I think most of the part time whimpy systems are a waste of time. If you car is front wheel drive, that's all 95% of us need in my opinion.
  • A month ago the Denver area received a record breaking snowfall; some areas received several FEET of heavy, wet snow. I successfully made it home while my neigbors were getting stuck (yes, I helped dig them out) and made it to work and back each day. (It was quite pleasant being one of the few vehicles on the road). Most impressive to me was the feature known as Dynamic Stability Control. Once you read past the marketing hype what this feature does is keep the vehicle moving in a straight line. I noticed 4WD and FWD vehicles getting sideways on the same streets where the X5's nose stayed straight. A local journalist happened to be reviewing an X5 during the same storm, his thoughts can be found here: - 4
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Gives me the extra "comfort" I need to go snow skiing in the mountains, or visiting relatives over on the dry side in the wintertime.

    I would even go so far as to say AWD is needless 99.99% of the time. But its certain availibility that .01% of the time gives me the driving flexibility I desire in the wintertime.

    Never used a parachute while flying in the USAF, but it was always close by if not actually strapped to my bod.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    YOu need to get your information straight about the X5's standard information. You are soo far off the mark.
  • It all in here, in the Edmunds site. I will even find the link for you. The standard equipment list is public information, so there is really no disputes about it. I actually almost bought a X5 six months ago, did a lot of research on its pricing and equipment list among other things, I finally decided I couldn't or shouldn't afford one. To get a X5 with just the very basis options, I was looking at about $44,000 not including tax. d=edmunds.n.prices.leftsidenav..7.BMW* =edmunds.n.standard.leftsidenav..2.BMW*
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    According to BMW's own website, automatic climate control is standard as are side airbags. What it says is that rear side airbags are optional. And don't forget, the X5 comes with standard HPS airbags for the front, which the MDX can't come close to.
  • Care to provide the link to your statements, since its so hard to find anything in the BMW site. I couldn't find anywhere that list climate control as standard equipment on the base X5, but I do stand corrected that the base X5 does come with side impact airbags. Not sure what HPC airbags are but Acura just redesign all their air bag hardware and software in 03, so what ever technology BMW has, its already lagging behind.
    The debate was which SUV has more standard equipments. You tried to debate 2 piece of standard equipment out of the 8 that I have mentioned. I think its pretty clear that the MDX comes with much more standard equipment than the X5.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    The point is you continuously provide false information. ANd you really don't have 8 things. Who is really going to base their decision on a car purchase on something so little as auto headlights and heated seats? what do heated seats cost on the X5? $500?

    The X5 offers many things, the MDX doesn't, some of which are things that are not readily noticeable. For one, I would feel safer in a X5 as opposed to the MDX(not saying the MDX is unsafe), for seconds, for those looking for it, the X5 handles exceptionally well. In fact it would probably outhandle the Acura 3.2TL & 3.5RL.

    You don't what HPS Airbags are? Try head protection airbags. They are the tube-like airbags that protect the heads of the front seat occupants. These are additional to the door mounted side impact bags. Does Acura offer these?
    Software updates don't really make up for actual safety equipment such as additional bags which the X5 and the RX330 have.

    Oh yeah, and let's not forget, BMW charges extra for the badge on the hood. I wouldn't pay for it(personally I think you made the right decision as I would buy the MDX also).
  • If we both agree that the MDX is a better value and has more standard equipments than the X5, then why are we even talking about this.
    BTW, the MDX does have HPS airbags that comes out from the front seats.
    The debate was which SUV has more standard equipments not which SUV people will buy based on these equipments. Although, it may be $500 here or $1000 there, they will add up fast. To buy a X5 that is comparable in equipment to a MDX base, we are talking at least $46000 as compare to the MDX at $36000. Of course with the higher price tag, the BMW will handle better, but the MDX offers many things, the X5 doesn't as well. The MDX has more cargo room, more people room, better gas mileage, lower emission engine and it is much much more reliable.
    PS, If safety is high on your priority list, the XC90 is the way to go, not the X5.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    Okay, let's get real. The MDX does not have HPS airbags. Why? Because the BMW X5's come out from the A-pillar and the over the top of the door frame. The Acura's merely is a enlarged version of the standard side seat mounted bag.

    If the X5 is soo much more, why even compare them? obviously they are in 2 totally different price classes.

    The MDX also has a cheap-o interior compared to the X5. And as I said before, let's not forget the BMW is more expensive, because people are willing to pay more for a BMW.

    So are you saying the X5 isn't safe? Many of the SUVs are on the top rung of the safety ladder, among them the XC90, MDX, X5, ML, RX330 and I'm sure some others.

    For $46,000 the X5 will also have features the MDX won't even have standard or optional-like I said before Head Airbags heated steering wheel, 18" wheels, auto up down windows all around, and more.

    check out standard and optional features at
  • Hate to correct you once again. The heated steering wheel and the 18" wheels are optional equipment on the X5 and the auto up / down window is standard equipment on the MDX. The head air bags may be different types, but its function is the same, but as I mention before, If you want a SUV with lots of air bags, the XC90 has 11 of them. The X5 does have a nicer interior but at a very hefty price, there is also some material issues with the X5's interior.
    I agree that most SUV in this price range is pretty safe, thats one of the reason why I didnt buy a XC90.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the MDX has more standard features and better reliability than the X5, and although it doesn't offer quite the same degree of sportiness, luxury, or safety, the $10,000 price savings more than makes up for the MDX's subtle shortcomings.
  • I won't say that the MDX has any short coming when compare to the X5. While the X5 is more sporty and luxurious, the MDX had more space, better gas mailage, better reliability and I think the MDX is safer because its a bigger SUV.
    With the same equipment installed, the X5 is about $10k more. I personally dont think the X5 is worth $10k more than the MDX. Perhaps they can get rid of that BMW brand name and the car will be at least $5000 cheaper.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Doesn't the X5 come standard with a more sophisticated stability and traction control system, cornering brake control, dynamic brake control, Hill-Descent plus steptronic on the auto tranny? Those must account at least for part of the price difference.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    That the X5 is the best of the lot, the VERY best!

    RWD biased, stability control, HID, etc.

    Just a real shame it's made by BMW and not Toyota and costs too much.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Did Acura really add head-protection air bags to the 2003's (in the form of an enlarged side airbag, ala the Rendezvous, Forester, etc.)? Is there a link to this information? The only picture I could find on the Acura website makes it look like the side airbags are still the old-fashioned ones that only cushion your abdomen, and not your head.

    The MDX probably won't get side-curtain airbags until the 2004 or 2005 model year. Honda finally has the technology now, starting with the 2003 Accord and 2004 TSX.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    wwest - Hi Willard, long time no see! Actually the MDX now has stability control which was added in an attempt to correct for severe oversteer at the limit and also to catch up to marketing trends established by BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus. No doubt, however, that on any road, the X5 is dynamically superior to the MDX.

    wmquan - You're right, the MDX's side airbags still offer no head protection. Of course, now that the market leaders have them, Honda/Acura will no doubt follow suit, as usual.

    hopeitsfriday - I priced out a BMW X5 3.0 with automatic and moonroof and got a TMV of $41,800. The TMV I got for an Acura MDX Touring is $39,800...that's only a $2000 difference.
  • I didnt go by TMV, instead I use the MSRP. I think we all know that the TMV is not always right. I know for a fact that there is very little negotiation room on both SUV and I dont think anyone is still paying a premium over MSRP for the MDX.
    I price out an X5 with the premium package, dakota Leather Upholstery, auto transmission, cold weather and climate package. The MSRP for X5 with the equipment mentioned above is: $48,170, and $38,800 for the MDX touring.
    As you can see, still about a $10,000 difference.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    Re: Post #455.

    "the MDX had more space, better gas mailage, better reliability and I think the MDX is safer because its a bigger SUV."

    Flawed thinking my friend. Bigger doesn't necessarily mean safer. Also, I'm sure the BMW is heavier, which matters more. You know about a little thing called Momentum? Also if I was buying a SUV with safety being the one and only criteria, I would jump on a X5 since despite what you say, the X5 does have head airbags and the MDX surely does not.

    So, what happens if somebody doesn't need all the space the MDX offers? Is the MDX still a better SUV? Or what if one values handling in a SUV over space? Is the MDX still the better SUV? How about someone who want's more safety equipment? is the MDX still the better SUV?
  • Yes, I do know about Momentum, but in this case, weight is not really an issue. The MDX's curb weight is 4473, while the X5 comes in at 4533. A difference of 60 pounds, all things considered, it weights the same. If one SUV is safer than another, it not by much, they are both safe SUVs.
    If I was buying a SUV with safety being the one and only criteria, the XC90 is prabably safer than both of these SUV.
    If you doesn't need all the space and values handling over space? Then you should consider a 318XI, its got the same 4WD system as the X5 and its a bit sportier and also a bit cheaper.
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    how will the SRX compare to the X5? It won't be as light or nimble as a 318xi, but it should be lighter than an X5

    probably lighter than an XC90

    Will it handle better?

    How has Cadillac reliability been? As good as BMW? As good as the MDX?

    I could buy a Rendezvous with the new engine, and just a buy a new one when I got tired of it or the handles started falling off, and STILL not spend what an X5 costs.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The Premium package costs $4000! Does anyone really need power rear seatbacks, poplar wood trim, and power passenger seat?

    Instead, get an X5 with leatherette (the MDX seats are mostly vinyl, after all) and get the specific options you want a la carte.
  • overtime1overtime1 Posts: 134
    Or what if one values handling in a SUV over space?

    Then you buy a wagon that handles well - WRX comes to mind. Half the price of the 3.0 X5, same (or more) cargo space, and demolishes the X5 in speed and handling (and mileage). Downsides - not as lux and ride height isn't there. If you want lux go Audi S4 for a lot more money and then you are only trading off ride height and a nice looking emblem (not that Audi's isn't nice).

    Interesting tradeoffs if handling is your thing.

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