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



  • I see a problem with your logic. If he does lease the X5, how many times will he use the cargo space in the back, once a month the most. Therefore he should stay with his 318XI or maybe trade the 318 in for a mini cooper, no wasted cargo space in that car because there is no cargo space.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Is legroom quoted as simultaneous or rear legroom max only if front seats are all the way forward?
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    If you decided to look at it from that angle, that's fine. The answer would be yes. But if Shadowbox wants a SUV because he/she wants to have a higher seating position than the minicooper won't do. However, by the way you wrote, it looks like you wanted to start an argument with me.
  • I am not trying to start an argument with you, sorry if it sounded that way. I am trying to say people dont just buy SUV for higher sitting position, if that was the case, then you can get the same from a pick up truck, cargo van, matrix, PT cruiser or a minivan. Most people buy SUV for cargo space and traction. I just didnt agree with you when you say space dont matter. Although there is this strange trend of making SUV perform like roasters, still dont understand that one yet.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Shadowbox asked the question and I gave my opion. If that extra cargo space is absolutely neccesary I guess Shadowbox wouldn't have asked the question. So I am guessing Shadowbox would like to have the X5 for his/her day to day drivng but want the MDX's extra cargo space for the "just in case" how many times in a year that "just in case" situation happens should determine what to buy. Agree?
  • Since you like the 3 series, you'll like the X5 but for the cargo space. I Agree with tomtomtom's logic. Shadowbox - what exactly are you planning to do with the cargo space? If you're planning to move large volumes of items on a regular basis, I think you're actually better off with something with more cargo space than either the X or the MDX. If you were thinking of transporting a washer or dryer or big screen TV, you probably would want to pay the $50 to have them deliver it to you.

    You may want to visit both dealerships again just to check out the cargo spaces of both vehicles and visualize how you're going to use the space.
  • shadowboxshadowbox Posts: 22
    Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it. It's a tough decision. I probably wouldn't need the cargo space more than once or twice a month. If that. it's just nice to know you ahve it when you need it. My Brother in-law has the 5-series wagon, and has said he wished on more than one occasion that he had more cargo room. And the X5 doesn't even have as much as the 525. My latest thinking is that I don't really care for the acura styling that much. At least its not a factor in choosing it. So maybe I should look at the Honda Pilot. Basically the same car. This I could probably lease for mid 500s. About 100 less than BMW. That may be worth it. Maybe I will check out the Toyota Highlander also. My preference for the X5 is not its luxury status but the way it drives. I liked the way the Acura drove as well. So if the pilot feels the same, that may be the way to go. Thanks.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The Datsun 510 isn't a classic?

    Now I know why you consider the MDX "sporty."
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    Hey, that was very first new car ever - a 1972 Gold beauty that cost me all of $2,400 brand new. I'll never forget driving it home from the dealer that first evening, proud as can be, when the lights started to fade and the blinkers would no longer function, and my pride quickly turned into major embarrassment and then anger, as my wife said, "I knew we should have bought the Pinto." Turns out the battery was draining because they didn't tighten the alternator pulley at the factory, which was quickly fixed the next day in the driveway when we could see what we were doing. Not too long after that it developed this recurring problem of not wanting to start on rainy/foggy/misty days, and more than once I needed a push in order to "pop the clutch." Despite many tries to fix the carberator, nobody could ever get it to work reliably, so I always used to pray that it wouldn't rain so I knew I wouldn't get stranded.

    Anyway when it did start on sunny days, it was a pretty good driving car, for its day and for the money it cost anyway, but it must be said that the bodies on those things were just terrible. Mine got very rusty, with major holes in the fenders and at the bottom of the doors, before it hit its fifth birthday. After completely wasting $500 on some body work (the holes reappeared in about 6 months) we finally sold it and bought the Pinto (just kidding).

    P.S. My first car ever (used) was a '67 BMW 1600 which I bought at 72,000 miles - paid $900 for it and drove it until the odometer hit 120,000. Somewhere in there the entire exhaust system went out, and it cost more to replace it all then I had paid for the car. Let's just say that both BMW and Datsun (Nissan) have come a LONG ways since those days!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Great story! They sure don't build cars like that anymore.

    Back in 1989, I competed at Solo II events with my '86 CR-X Si (modified D, thanks to Jackson Racing cam, headers, and exhaust). There was a guy who ran a moderately tuned 510 with racing slicks who consistently ran the fastest, or second fastest times of the course. He was a heck of a driver and his Datsun was sweet!
  • kaitsukaitsu Posts: 41

    I noticed that you had considered both X5 and XC90 before choosing MDX and I was curious about your opinion on the BMW and Volvo. I have narrowed my pick between those two, by either getting the X5 slightly used (2000 or up) or a new T6 XC90.

    My biggest concern with X5 is the reliability, as I drive the car daily in my business, sometimes for hundreds of miles per day. I can't have the car in the shop all the time.

    The XC90 seems to be an overall good choice (safety, space, speed, comfort, quality etc.). I am hesitant to pay $45,000 for a car, though (just a personal thing...).

    I am not considering MDX as it does not fall under the accelerated depreciation tax break.

    Thanks for your input.
  • A brand new X5 is about the same price as the T6 XC90, I would stay away from used X5. The early X5 had alot of problems. In the recent years, BMW had rectify alot of those early problem and it is a much better SUV now than say 2 or 3 years ago.
    Both SUV had very nice interior, the X5 felt more sure footed and corners better. I drove the 2.5T XC90 didnt get a chance to drive the T6. The 2.5T was slow off the line, like many turbos, acceleration got better at higher RPM. The X5 had a much better acceleration curve, BTW, I am not a big fan of turbo charge.
    Reliability is not what these SUV excels in, but both are pretty reliable considering they are both European cars. Volvo markets its cars for best in safety, but the X5 is not far behind as far as safety is concern, both very safe cars. I haven't drove the T6 XC90, but it hard to out perform the X5 when it comes to handling, BTW the 2.5T didnt even come close in performance. You may want to recheck the cargo space again visually, the XC90 has alot of cargo space on paper, but when I was looking at them in person, the XC90's cargo space didnt look twice as big as it claims in the specs.

    Good luck
  • shadowboxshadowbox Posts: 22
    It really depends on what type of feel you prefer. To me the X5 is the best "feeling" SUV. That's because I love the way BMWs drive and it feels like a BMW through and through. The XC90 felt like a big car. The steering was way over assisted. It felt like I was driving a Lincoln Town Car. Ok, not that bad. But, it was a very smooth luxurious drive, where as the X5 is more sporty. There is no doubt that it has a lot more cargo room than the X5. Maybe not double, but more. If you prefer a smoother luxurious ride, than the Volvo may be your SUV.
  • Oh kaitsu, I forgot to mention that the 2.5T is suppose to handle better than the T6 XC90. The T6 is also suppose to get a 5 speed transmission in the 2004 model and hopefully improve handling, but MSRP for both trims are expected to go up in 2004.
    I am sure you have read this link before comparing the two SUV among a bunch of others, but just in case you havent, here it is. january/0301_comparo_bradsher.xml
  • kaitsukaitsu Posts: 41
    Thanks for your comments. I took both Volvo models (T6 and 2.5T) out for an extended spin (about 45 mins each) driving in familiar territory with stop-and-go traffic, hills, interstate etc. I liked the T6 more, mainly due to its definitive power advantage. The smaller engine seemed to struggle more, especially when accelerating at interstate speeds (55-65 mph). First time I tested the T6, I also felt that the steering was way too light, but on the above, longer, test I hardly noticed it any more. So I guess I could get used to the steering.
    Next I'll try the X5 on that same route.

    Friday, thanks for the link. I had read it before, but had forgot about the Touareg. I probably wait until I try the VW before making my final decision. It's a great time to look for a new SUV, with so many good choices!
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Which car dealer let you test drive a car for 45mins?
  • While it seems most dealers allow a very short test drive we have found there are a significant number that do allow extended test drives. Before we bought our MDX we test drove one for 30 miles and another for 20 miles. The Cadillac dealer and the Jaguar dealer let us test drive without a salesman. If I am really interest in a vehicle, once I am behind the wheel on a test drive, I test it where I want, not necessarily where the salesman wants.
  • kaitsukaitsu Posts: 41
    The dealership is in the Atlanta area and the test drive was mid-week during the afternoon. It also helped that we had bought our current Volvo from the same salesperson. It was actually very nice to be given the keys and sent away without a salesperson present. We drove the car back to our house using the same roads we would normally drive giving us a good idea how the XC90 responded compared to our two other cars. If there are any dealers reading this, I strongly recommend this sales strategy. It made us feel empowered customers and we would give our business to this salesperson in a heartbeat.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    After all these years, only once the dealer (Toyota) let us went out without the sales tagging along. We drove the car for 15 mins. We did buy the car afterward. I don't drive the same way when the sales sits next to me or behind me.
  • adp3adp3 Posts: 446
    I have had a similar ex[periecne (Murano test drive, SF Bay Area) - we were shocked. Didn't buy the car, but the experience should be copied by other dealers. Really gave us a sense of empowerment, I agree.
  • onelgsonelgs Posts: 38
    I must say I'm very surprised to read that some of you are surprised that a dealer would let someone take a car alone or for an extended time.

    Prior to purchasing my MDX last month, I did most of my test driving on Saturday's. The BMW X5 dealer told me to take it for as long as I wanted... I drove it home and back (about 45 minutes). The MDX dealer asked if I could have it back in 30 minutes because it was the only test drive model on the grounds... The Lexus dealer, practically begged me to take the RX300 overnight but I only kept it for 2 hours.

    Personally, when we're planning to spend $40K on a vehicle, we should be entitled to take it for an extended drive... minimum 30 minutes and definitely, ALONE.

  • The first time I took my Highalnder for a test drive, I had to ask that the salesperson to come with me because I didn't know the neighborhood. He seemed a bit surprised and I kind of felt like it was an imposition. Then, I went to the Volvo dealership and looked for a while and asked to take it for a quick turn around the block because I needed to pick me son up from one of his activities. "Take it to go pick up our son, drive it for as long as you like." When I took a Pilot out, it was the only one on the lot. When I was sitting in it waiting for the keys, another couple started going through the car with their salesperson. I was handed the keys and sent off. I offered to have it back quickly. "The response was "Take your time." Same thing when I wanted to take a Murano.

    When I went back to Toyota two after my first test drive and told the salesperson that I just wanted anouther drive as I had just tested out some other makes, he wanted me to run all of my Saturday errands with it. "Keep it for 3 or 4 hours."

    Maybe it just depends on the area you are in.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    It totally depends on the dealership. Usually a hotter-selling model with few demos might lead to the salesperson coming along, and/or a shorter test drive. But a lot of it is just the dealer policy and the salesperson. The MB, Lexus, Volvo, Acura, etc. salespeople seem to tag along on test drives in my area. The local Subaru/VW dealership (Chaplin Subaru/VW) lets us drive their vehicles alone for as long as we want, though. Very low-pressure.

    Come to think about it, the last time we were at MB, Volvo, and Acura, not only did the salesperson come along, they claimed they had to drive us off the lot "for insurance reasons." They'd take us to a public lot or park somewhere and then we'd switch! Strange.
  • I think you have hit the nail on the head, it may depend on what kind of insurance they have for their test drive cars. The terms and condidtions of their policy itself. When I went for test drives, the BMW and MB dealer let me test drive the car by myself and the Volvo and Acura dealer wanted to come along.
  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    Leaning heavily towards purchasing an X5 but want to check out the MDX before I commit. Can anyone make any rec's on salesman in the Houston area? Thanks

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    We frown on posting names (or links or phone #'s, etc.) of salespeople on Town Hall - it incites soliciting, bird dog fee posts, blatant ads, etc.

    But it's ok for people to name the dealer/city or email you privately. Thanks!

    Steve, Host
  • chile96chile96 Posts: 330
    OK - can anyone recommend a dealer in Houston or relate their experiences w/ different dealers in Houston. Sorry to "cross the line" earlier.

  • andrewtran71andrewtran71 Posts: 840
    On the outside, I think the X5 is the best looking of the bunch. But on the inside, I think the MDX is the best looking as it looks more like a sedan on the inside. The NAV on the MDX is definitely the best. The NAV on the X5 and M-series look too small. Car & Driver rank the MDX number 1 and over the X5. So it must be the best, right:-)
  • andrewtran71andrewtran71 Posts: 840
    I agree. It's has roughly the same dimensions as the MDX. I still like the MDX better because the inside of the MDX looks so good like a sedan. The GX470 looks like a heavy-duty, tough-looking, true-SUV as opposed to the "Cross-over" SUVs. But the price difference between the GX470 and the MDX is about $10K!
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