Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Welcome to the Edmunds forums! Sign-in process in our forums has changed. Click here to learn more.

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



  • susanw6susanw6 Posts: 32
    Just a couple of more things...

    Regarding the MDX, has anyone noticed that the adjustable steering wheel does not come down enough? I like to pull the wheel directly in front of me, but I found the MDX does not do this. It stays in a somewhat angled-up position,

    We also drove the Lexus GX470, but that had a strange low console that cut my husbands right mid calf when he drove it.
  • susanw6susanw6 Posts: 32
    I checked out both the Volvo XC and Lexus RX. My husband found the leg room in the Volvo uncomfortable when he drove it. The gas pedal is too far to the right and his knee was smashed up against the console.
    The Lexus is really nice, but I also have 2 kids and would find the 3rd row helpful when carting around neighborhood friends.
    I am leaning toward the Cadillac SRX. It has the 3rd row, is comfortable and luxurious inside and the rear liftgate is remote. How great is that when you are loading packages!! Also, the third row goes up and down electrically. I know it kind of looks like a hearse, but for the price it kind of has everything you need.
  • Your biggest problem is that the RX does not have a third row--like you are looking for "occasionally".

    How much research have you been able to do?

    If you are looking for vehicles with a third row, here are some of your best choices--based on reviews in the press:

    Volvo XC90
    Image Hosted by

    GMC Acadia
    Image Hosted by

    Mazda CX-9
    Image Hosted by

    Saturn Outlook
    Image Hosted by

    Acura MDX
    Image Hosted by

    There are more.
    The Volvo third row is not likely to be comfortable for very long for anyone, but you could probably manage.
    It is very safe.
    You might also want to wait for the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot--all due to be refreshed this year.
    If you are in a rush and want the best right now, there is no question that the Saturn and the GMC are the very best. They are all the rage in the automotive press right now (and incidentally, hey have the biggest third row).

    Two more to consider:

    BMW X5 (small)
    Image Hosted by

    Mercedes-Benz R-Class(cavernous)
    Image Hosted by
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    Volvo says their 3rd row is recommended for people under 5ft-3". My wife is that size and she is very comfortable back there for 2-3 hours drives. We do not use the 3rd row very often, maybe twice a year. You are right, the Volvo third row is very safe, as safe as any other seat in the XC90.
  • I am debating between the Cadillac SRX and the Volvo XC90, does anyone have any suggestions?
  • Drive them both and see which one you like better.
    It is very crucial that you find loaded examples of each and drive them.
  • hi, new to these forums, does anyone actually have the srx with the 3rd row, i feel it wont fit 2 adults but how about 2 pre-teen kids.
  • minime5minime5 Posts: 41
    I have been an owner of a SRX for three years now, and have had many pre-teen kids in the 3rd row. No problem there...I've also put two adults ( 5'5" & 5'7") back there on a one hour drive. They didn't mind at all.
  • I'm a sophomore, and am trying to decide between the Mercedes ML320 or the Acura MDX for my first car(Years 2001-2004). I prefer the Mercedes, just for the name, but the Acura is good too. They both seem pretty reliable but what do I know. Thank You.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Of those vehicles and model years, your best bet for reliability would be a 2003-2004 MDX. 2001-2002 MDX's have a transmission design that has been problematic. ML320's don't have a good reliability record by most accounts.
  • suvhuntsuvhunt Posts: 27
    I just got the MDX after comparing to XC90 and RX350. The MDX is best value for the money by far, here's some pros and cons:

    MDX (tech/ent)
    1. Well integrated audio and video and navigation
    2. Excellent voice recognition
    3. Great handling
    4. Very techy with lots of gadgets and toys
    5. 3rd row
    6. Lots of "small things" included like xenon lights, backup camera, bluetooth, aux input on the tech/ent package.
    1. May be too techy for some folks. If you think a blackberry or treo is too complicated, don't look at this car. Must read manual to maximize all the tools.
    2. 3rd row is smaller than Volvo.
    3. Roof rack, trailer hitch, and side boards are all optional (if you care for them)
    4. Ugly grille.

    Volvo XC90
    1. Safe, high crash ratings.
    2. Large roomy 3rd row
    3. Nice factory headrest DVD setup
    4. Nice conservative appearance (my wife likes it)
    1. The 6cyl is very weak.
    2. Poor reliability history ( and thus higher maintenance)
    3. Navigation is really really bad and not worth its weight in paper.
    4. No backup camera, just an optional radar buzzing thing.
    5. Ends up 4-5k more than MDX comparably equipped.

    Lexus RX350
    1. Nice finish
    2. Smooth drive
    3. Nav is pretty good and easy to use.
    4. Lexus customer service
    1. No 3rd row if you need it.
    2. Very boat like to drive. Handling worse than Acura of Volvo. Could be a good thing if you like driving a boat, though.
    3. Its really a glorified highlander. All the interior setup is identical, shift gear box and all.
    4. Hard to find the factory DVD and aftermarket doesn't look so hot.
    5. Costs a little more than MDX even without the DVD.

    Hope that helps someone.
  • kaistringkaistring Posts: 2
    From my SUV hunt, I eliminated BMW X5 (too many friends got lemons or service problems)& Porsche (best looking but poor dealer attitude with too limited warranty for a fuzzy car):

    Benz ML 350 vs Acura MDX Technology

    1. Benz drives with a more solid & safe feel
    2. Benz has a much better exterior front nose.
    3. Surprisingly Benz holds better resale value when I checked from year to year going back to 2000. Plus I bought my premium 2007 Benz for much less than the MDX Technology
    4. Better voice activated Navigation & traffic report in MDX
    5. Much better looking gauges in MDX.
    6. Bigger & roomier interior in MDX

    ;) I would have bought the MDX if I could tolerate the funky looking front nose from the side and from the front. Driving the Infinity FX35 actually gave me a german car feel- much better than the MDX, but the FX appearance and blind spots are even worse than the MDX.
  • i am looking into buying an suv... i don't know whether the bmw x5 or the lexus rx350 is better. can someone please help me out as to which is the better vehicle... thanks
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    It all depends on how you define "better" - what are your most important criteria?
  • i basically want to know the ups and downs of each... i like the bmw, but i also like the lexus
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    My suggestion would be to first do some research (you can start here) on each of the vehicles that you are attracted to. Read some reviews, do side-by-side comparisons to narrow it down to 2 or 3. Then go out and test drive those on a variety of roads, and get a feel for the dealers and what kind of pricing is available in your area. Do not "fall in love" and buy until you have driven all of the models that you are interested in.

    By the way, the BMW and the Lexus are not alike and appeal to different target audiences. You need to figure out which one you fall into.
  • Hi everyone:

    Has anyone shopped the MB M-Class in relation to the MDX? What did you find notably different between the two? In your opinion, which would you prefer?

    I am looking at both vehicles right now, and wanted to see if other shoppers/buyers compared these two vehicles in their research.

  • Hi. I am trying to make a final decision and having a hard time.

    I have two kids so interior room is HUGE factor to me so the Lexus appears too small, is that what the rest of you think?

    I love the ride and feel and gadgets on the MDX, but I think the BMW looks better outside.

    The Mercedes is actually the LEAST expensive of them all I have found, can you believe it. I will be LEASING and they are running a Lease special for $525 a month so it's $125 less a month than the MDX so it's hard to decide.

    Help please!
  • prazpraz Posts: 163
    I will also have the same dilemma when I plan to buy this year end, waiting for 2010 RX.
  • storostoro Posts: 1

    I faced a similar decision recently and went with the 2008 X5 (w 3rd row seats) after owning the RX300 for 8 years.

    The previous generation RX (Japanese made) was incredibly reliable - not a single problem in 88,000 miles and had adequate space for family with 3 kids and dog. Unless you are doing any offroad driving, the performance differences are not significant between X5 3.0, RX 350 and MDX. MDX has horsepower advantage and has better 0-60 but for most daily driving I guess you would not notice. Looked at XC90 also but have heard reports of reliability issues and found the V6 underpowered.

    RX and X5 felt more luxurious than MDX and as a former owner of an earlier Acura car, I spent most of my time with that wishing that I had bought something else
  • bmlexusbmlexus Posts: 755
    I think ur decision was good. is it the 4.8?
    Can you tell your experience how it has been till now.
    I have the same problem choosing well off course i am in no hurry for a purchase.
    I like the x5 but since hearing reliability issues i dont know what to choose anymore
    I ldo like the rx but well the design is old and guys don't really drive it much
    mdx well not for me volvo dont consider.

    I am hoping lexus bring a much better rx or a new suv to compete with x5 cayenne and ml
  • jwoodiejwoodie Posts: 16
    As a new car, the SRX takes a tremendous depreciation hit; however, a used '07-'09 SRX (especially CPO) is probably the best automotive bargain in America.
  • Has anyone else compared these two vehicles? We drove the Cadillac last week and really liked the ride and the looks of it. You can get most of the perks of the MDX's advance/ent in the premium for about $5000 less. From what I can tell the only thing we would be giving up would be the third row seat. If we purchased the MDX, the most we could afford would be the tech/ent. For a $1000 more for the Caddy we would get ventilated seats, front/rear park assist, passive lock/push button start, onstar, the ability to fill up with regular gas and two entertainment screens vs one.

    The Caddy could be purchased and serviced locally where as the closest Acura dealer is more than an hour away. They also claim that the new 2010's are selling faster than they can get them in so no discount off MSRP.

    We have an 01 MDX with 145,000 miles that the tranny is giving us problems, so have to do something in the next week or two.

    Would love to hear your thoughts if you've compared the two.
  • cal_92cal_92 Posts: 23
    I'd go for the 2010 SRX. Not only is it a better looking vehicle, but it's also a better bang for the buck suv. Better gas mileage, better gadgets, etc. The only negative would be if you need the 3rd row seat, which the MDX would have. However, the 3rd row on the MDX is really only suited for kids, and you would give up most, if not all, of the trunk space. The SRX would only seat 5, but has generous room in the trunk. Did I mention how much better looking the SRX is?

    We also have an 02 Acura TL with about 140K miles, and the tranny is already slipping. So much for Acura reliability...We are also looking into dumping it for a new car.
  • Yes - I would agree - we have a 2007 MDX with Tech/Ent package and when my wife's XC-90 needed to be replaced recently - we ended up choosing the 2010 SRX over the XC-60, MDX, and RX-350. There were aspects of all of them that we liked. The Volvo is a nice car - and a pretty good value in that you should be able to get decent deals on them - but she was looking for something a bit different. We decided we didn't want two MDX's and didn' t need to have 2 cars with a 3rd row since we already have the MDX.

    I would recommend you test drive the SRX with / without the 20" wheels. Some folks like the softer ride that you get with the 18" wheels - the 20" wheels definitely give a firmer ride and there is no sense in paying extra for that if you are not going to be happy with the change in firmness.

    We ended up going with the 2.8 Turbo AWD Premium - which for that model is pretty close in price to what you would pay for an MDX with all 3 packages. If you are someone who is sensitive to power at takeoff - you should drive both the turbo and non-turbo versions to get a feel for whether the difference is worth it to you. One warning though - the Turbo not only adds several thousand to the cost of the vehicle - it also requires premium gas - so that is another cost issue to consider when going with that model.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Turbo would also mean a detuned/derated base engine resulting in poor hwy FE.
  • After months and months and months of shopping for a new SUV, I finally bought the RX450h. I looked at every SUV on the market. And I do mean every single one. Some we drove three, four and five times over. To the point where I had to go to different dealerships for the same car because I was embarrassed with how many test drives I took. That doesn't include the countless magazine articles, blogs, owners I spoke with, etc. I could spend pages talking about all the ones I considered (and I have the stacks of papers to prove it!), but in a nutshell here's the reasons I went with the RX and didn't go with the competition:

    1. 450h = Lexus reliability (we hate spending time at the shop, causing one or both of us to miss work and such a hassle to rearrange schedules), really liked the new exterior design, interior layout was very nice, rich leather, ample space, velvety ride, ultra quiet, expecially the hybrid version along with 30 mpg gas mileage, remote touch navigation is better than the others I tried, and just an overall upscale feel inside and out. It would have been nice to have a 3rd row option to use in a pinch and ports shouldn't be so hard to get to in the arm rest, but otherwise this car fit the bill in every way. IMO, it's perfect for a family who needs an all-purpose luxury car to commute to work, run daily errands, take the kids to school, take the family on a 1,000-mile road trip for the weekend, and then show up to a black-tie dinner.

    2. Acura MDX/RDX - great reliability. However, while the handling was a touch better than the RX, the ride is not nearly as refined, there's more noticeable road noise, and the transmission is not as smooth. I didn't like the "bagel slicer" front grill and the controls were a bit too busy looking. This was tied as our 3rd place car.

    3. Audi Q series - really nice handling, but that's about where it ended. Reliability was a major issue for us, and although Audi's record in that department has improved somewhat over the past few years, it's not reached Lexus reliability. Interior was not quite to the level of the Lexus. This was tied for our 2nd place car.

    4. BMW X series = on par with Audi in terms of handling, but road noise was pretty loud and interior was not even close to the other brands. Ride was on the harsh side. 3rd row option was nice though. Reliability is better than Audi and MB, but still not a Lexus or Acura. We liked the exterior design, but overall, it was never really in the running.

    5. Cadillac Escalade/SRX - we test drove the Escalade once, and once was enough to know it wasn't what we wanted. Way too big, bulky, and pretty gaudy all around. The SRX was better, but we weren't at all impressed with the quality of the interior, the fit and finish, or the ride comfort. The exterior was a bit edgy as compared to the others, and we liked it.

    6. Infiniti Fx/Qx - As with the escalade, the Qx was just too bulky for us, but it drove a lot smaller than the Caddy. As for the Fx, the design didn't really do anything for us, although we liked the interior and the ride quality. This was tied for our 3rd place with the Acura.

    7. Land Rover - different, but that was about it. Reliability? 'nuff said.

    8. Mercedes GL and GLK -- We really liked both of these. Alot. The GL's exterior is really striking, has an aggressive stance, although the interior could be nicer. Navigation needs to be improved big time. The M B Tex a.k.a. pleather, also was a turn off at this price point. But, unlike the other larger SUVs, this one drove really small for its size. This was our 2nd place car, and we probably would have bought it but for reliability history for the GL (not good, to say the least), and the poor gas mileage. If both of these improve in the next five years, we're getting this car. As for the GLK, if we went with MB, we would have gotten the GL over the GLK.

    9. Porsche Cayenne -- test drove it once, was not impressed with the ride quality, then came back again in a month and confirmed it was not for us. Bouncy ride (better not put any hot coffee in those cup holders), jerky accelleration, just overall not a comfortable ride. I couldn't imaging taking it on a road trip of any significant duration.

    10. Volvo XC series - a few years ago these would be high on my list. Since then, every other car on my list has equaled Volvo in the one category that Volvo used to be the leader in - safety. Who feels unsafe in any of the cars above? Once you get past the safety advantage, there wasn't much the XCs offered that wasn't surpassed by the other cars. Plus, the reliability has dropped off over the last few years.

    11. Other cars never in the running -- Hummer, Lincoln, Hyundai.
  • jac17jac17 Posts: 1

    This is our first adventure into the luxury vehicle market and have narrowed our choices down to the BMW x5 and the Lexus RX350. In truth, we like the X5 better, but do have concerns about overall maintenance charges after the initial warranties. We tend to keep our cars for 10+ years, so interested in any insight regarding past experiences comparing these 2 on what we can expect from charges. Because of past biases, I must admit we are leaning towards the RX350 because we feel that it will be cheaper down the road from a maintenance perspective. Welcome your views and appreciate the input.
Sign In or Register to comment.