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



  • sduv: Have you had any other "quality problems" with your MDX or is it just your bum transmission?
  • sduvsduv Posts: 2
    So far only this transmission issue. It has been an excellent vehicle otherwise..
  • I have looked/driven at all the vehicles listed in the title of this discussion. I liked the BMW X5 the best all around but can't bring myself to pay a high price for unreliability and high maintenance costs on a depreciating asset. This would also rule out the MB M-Class SUV's. The only logical choices for me were the Acura MDX or Lexus RX300. The MDX is a great SUV and is the one that both my wife and I would have liked to purchase. The main reason why we won't pull the trigger is that we can't bring ourselves to pay an Acura dealer full MSRP for a vehicle even if the end cost is in line (somewhat - the Lexus, BMW and MB provide more luxury and quality inside than Acura) with other vehicles of this class. I have owned Acura's in the past and the dealer experiences I have had (at more than one Acura dealer in my area) have been terrible. Fortunately Acura makes reliable cars so I haven't had to deal with them very often. One thing is certain, paying full MSRP at an Acura dealer will only get me lousy customer service. Is a one-way shuttle from the Acura dealer to any location within 10 miles (provided if it is prearranged) when I have any problems under warranty really a strong selling point??? A Lexus RX300 is going now for $500 over invoice which is equivalent to the MSRP (selling price) for a MDX equally featured (minus marginal/questionable 3rd row seats). Going with Lexus get's me a free loaner car whenever in need of service plus top notch customer service all the way around. In addition, the initial residuals of the MDX will diminish quickly once Acura get's production up properly (and they will). The RX300 has proven to have the highest residuals, reliability and customer satisfaction of any SUV on the market (Consumer Reports). As much as I wanted the MDX to work, they will lose me to Lexus...
  • If you guys have not seen it yet, check out the new Volvo XC90 SUV. It wonder how it will stack up to the X5, ML-Series, RX300, QX4, and MDX. It is supposed to have more room than the X5 and ML, plus seat up to 7 people, forward facing.

    Volvo XC90 Pictures

  • I own an x5 and have been disappointed in the quality. I thought bmw would be more careful. But lots and lots of parts have had to be replaced. Bmw seems more concerned wtih getting the product out there, and getting their money, and letting us poor fools have to deal with the constant repairs. Latches, fans, belts, steering col., fuel senders, stalling , etc. etc.
    Avoid this one , for now.
  • I have done extensive research on these 4 vehicles, and nothing compares to the high performance capabilities of the M-Class.

    M-Class has the best turning radius, the best off-roading capabilities, the best ground clearance, the best passive and active safety features, tremendous cabin and cargo space, unparalleled driving comfort, a superb suspension system, and great creature comforts.

    In addition, recently dateline tried to roll the M-Class and found that absolutely weren't able to!

    If you have any questions about the M-Class, BMW X5, Acura MDX, or the RX300, feel free to write me and I will be able to provide you specific information.

  • From our families' point of view it all depends on one's personal taste. My sister, my mom, my cousin and myself all live within 5 miles of each other but our tastes in cars are worlds apart. My mom thinks Lexus is the greatest car and just picked up a 2002 RX300 over the weekend. My sister is a MB fan and loves her E320. My cousin is a BMW nut, has a M5, and 5 serie station wagon, and refuses to get an X5 due to the lack of cargo space, went to Germany a few times to attend BMW driving classes, now that's passion. And me, I'm ordering a MDX for the wife and looking for a few year-old NSX to keep the Miata company. Not much decisions here.
  • I'm in New Jersey, and I'm interested in buying a new RX 300 and was intrigued by "heartmiser1"'s comment that they could be had for just $500 over invoice. Is this really the case?
  • Well I see selling it for $500 over invoice for 08824 zip code! $37,158 w/nav & destination charge. MDX is $3,500 over MSRP at Carsdirect. Local dealer wanted $3k over MSRP. If you can get one MSRP that's a steal!
  • jfxmjrjfxmjr Posts: 2
    advise any info on best price in philadelphia area and will dealer take anything off list or add add'l options etc? advise. thanks,
  • Brooke,

    What about the quality problems on the previous MLs? I like the new looks on the 02 ML but just worried if it could compare and hold their value against an X5 or an Acura. I still bought the ML but I guess I just wanted to hear from someone else that the 02 is totally different.
  • Just started the examination process for the following vehicles: MDX, RX300, X5, ML320/430 and even the Toy Highlander. I've talked to co-workers who own some of these, read magazines/ ratings till my eyes blurred and now am as confused as ever. Heer are my introductory findings:
    The RX300 has all the creature comforts but doesn't have much punch - found it somewhat vanilla to drive (The NAV was nice, but the salesman kept barking out orders on how to use it to the point of totally annoying both of us). The ML shape (boxiness) was too much for me to overcome. Reliability "seems" to be an issue as well.
    X5 was a joy to drive, seems to have a little more status appeal (if that's a consideration) but seemed to be a 325 in an SUV body. Also, realibilty seems to be a weak spot with this as well.
    MDX - I have no idea. No dealers around here (SF East Bay Area - Walnut Creek) do not have a vehicle to drive. We have attempted to drive one, but all the dealers keep telling us this SUV is so "hot" each owner has to pre-order one with a $1k - $2.5k deposit and then wait 20 - 40 days for delivery. That deflated me enough to nearly rule this one out!
    Highlander looks like a great bargain, but have not test driven it yet - it was an afterthought after all the other contenders had some weakness about them. Still, not sure about its inclusion in this company.
    I already own a Land Cruiser, so I don't need another heavy, lumbering SUV (don't get me wrong, I love my LC, but its big and bulky).

    So, I'm looking for something with functionality, power, SAFETY and above all else, RELIABILITY.
    Additional comments from current owners of these vehicles would be appreciated.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Looks like you eliminated all of your choices. If you feel the RX300 lacks "punch" and is "Vanilla" to drive, then certainly the Highlander won't please you either...they're the same car.

    Since you already have a big SUV and you appear to be looking for something smaller and sportier, perhaps you should look at the AWD wagons. The Audi Quattro and Volvo V70, to name just two, offer similar all weather capabilities and cargo room of the MDX, RX, X5 crowd, but are sportier and more fun to drive.
  • I agree with fedlawman.

    take a look at the A4, A6, Passat 4Motion, Subaru Outback/Forester, Volvo ...

    If you already own a Landcruiser - one of the above may be the way to go for you? Many station wagons are safer (side and head curtain aribags, strucural integrety, crash zones, low center of gravity - not prone to roll-overs), cheaper, more fun to drive, and use less gasoline than SUVs.

    - D.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I considered these vehicles a few months ago and ended up with the X5 3.0 - it's driving dynamics won me over - it's my 4th BMW. A very close second was the MDX, if cargo room or seating capacity would have been more of a priority we would have an MDX instead.

    I read about the X5 teething problems when they first came out and have experienced similar issues in newly released vehicles before. We decided to take a chance on a late 2001 X5 with the hope that a lot of the first year kinks had been worked out. So far that has been the case, the X has performed flawlessly in 6k miles, no problems to report what-so-ever.
  • Good to know the X5 has made it through a significant breakthrough period without any problems. I have been concerned about reliability with the X. I'd appreciate continued postings of your experiences, if you have the time and inclination.
    I am leaning toward the X and the only thing holding me back is the reliability.
    The only other option (for me) is the MDX. I still haven't had a chance to drive the MDX, so I'll have to wait until the "lucky" day arrives when a dealer has one available.
    However, I think I'm looking for an excuse to decide on the X, and the Acura dealers are giving me a convenient one.
    Anyway, as you just purchased an X, I did have a couple of questions:
    1) Did you drive the 4.4? (Our dealer did not have one for testing). Does the performance difference justify the addition $8 - $10K. I only drove the 3.0 and that was a joy.
    2) Did you opt for the rear side airbags?
    3) Did you have some negotiating room on the sticker or is this another Acura-type experience?
    4) Your opinion of the X's Nav system vs. the MDX.

    Many thanks!
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I was able to drive an MDX, it was nice, but not up to the X5 in interior design and material quality plus the driving dynamics of the X are truly amazing, same for exterior styling, the X wins hands down. The X's crash test ratings are increadable, it's built like a tank.
    Answers to your questions:

    I did test drive a 4.4, I guess it had more power, you wouldn't really notice the difference in day to day driving - the 3.0 is just as responsive and actually a better engine IMO (double VANOS etc) not to mention the much better gas mileage. I'm averaging just under 20 mpg in everyday driving according to the on-board computer, the vast majority is stop and go city driving.

    I do not have the rear side airbag option, Mine has the luxury package, rear climate control package, Xenon's, automatic transmission, CD, on-board computer and a few other things I can't remember. Total MSRP was around $46K, I was able to get a little over $3k off after a little arm wrestling. Join the BMW club - I got an extra $1k rebate from the club.

    I didn't see an MDX or X5 with the Navigation system.
  • Many thanks for the answers - I really appreciate it. Sorry for my tardy thanks - I've been out of town most of last week. Anyway, I'm close to "pulling the trigger" on the X5. Still, I have not driven the M-class and I promised to drive all four (RX-300, MDX, X5 and M) before making my final choice. Drove the MDX (finally)over the weekend and it seemed very nice, and is now the official #1 challenger. Still, it didn't drive like the X5, but, within the class, what does?
    Anyway, I found your options selection dead-on with my considerations:
    Premium pkg. 3,900
    Rear Climate 600
    Steptronic AT 1,275
    Xenon HL 500

    However, I am considering one other goody (either NAV or Sport package), possibly neither, but NOT both.
    I didn't think the Sport Pkg was a very good value
    (IMHO). I'm only interested in the wheels and the suspension. The wheels? - I can buy these later separately. So, really my question is whether the suspension is worth the price. I don't think so, but wanted to hear your thoughts as you probably reviewed this package as well....
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    You are exactly where I was when I set my sights on the X5. I thought I wanted the Sport Package initially, when it came to sign on the dotted line I decided against it for the following reasons.

    Even though I'm leasing my X5, I have a history of purchasing my formerly leased BMW's. I'll be really suprised if I don't end up purchasing the X at the end of the lease - I really like it. With that I didn't want the rear self leveling rear suspension on the sport package. I had an M5 with a self leveling rear suspension that was increadably expensive to fix when it wore out - granted it wore out at 150k miles and I didn't end up fixing it, it was a major factor in ditching it. I didn't want that added complexity on my X5.
    I do want the Y spoke 19" wheels that come on the 4.4i sport package X5, I've found them on Ebay with tires for $1,300 to $1,500 - a steal. Apparently a lot of people that get the X 4.4 with sport package get after market wheels. I'm in the process of purchasing some Y spokes now. I also plan on getting the 4.6is bolt on body pieces (painted front and rear valences and rear wheel well moldings) these should be relatively cheap additions to my X. I may go so far as to replace the springs with H&R sport springs which will lower it an inch - I doubt I will do the springs, although I usually install after market springs and suspension pieces on my other cars.

    I did look at the ML but didn't like it at all, it doesn't handle well (it's ugly), I don't like the interior (it's ugly), you have to get a V8 for similar X5 3.0 performance (it's ugly), and it's oogly.
  • Noticed that the QX4 was missing from you consideration list. I am close to making my final decision between the MDX and the QX4, and I have a offer from the local dealer that expires tomorrow for $300 under invoice on a 39 months lease.

    Curious as to why you aren't considering the QX4, or if you did, why it is not in the running. Would like to hear anything positive/negative from anyone else as well.
  • Lakers Fan - I didn't consider the QX4, possibly a mistake on my part, but I'm too far down a different path now. The QX4 is a very good choice - high reliability and I heard more HP this year (240), which should help the responsiveness. I never drove the QX4, so I can't really comment about it, but I did drive the MDX and found it to be a decent challenger to the X5. However, the MDX lacked an electronic skid control safety feature that we really liked in the X5. Most importantly, the driving experience is totally different with an X5 compared to the MDX (and I would presume a QX4, although who am I to talk if I never drove it?!). Anyway, the X5 seemed to be a "wolf in sheep's clothing", and I liked that....a lot. I already own a large SUV so I didn't want to duplicate that "feel". I think the X5 is exactly what I'm after....and the QX4 or MDX are exactly what you're looking for. My final comment: I'm sure you've done enough background reading and research until you're dizzy. Both SUVs you mentioned are really nice choices. My humble advice: go with YOUR instincts, "pull the trigger" and don't look back. Enjoy.
  • i found your discussions very helpful. i am also an sav/suv seeker and am about to make a decision real soon. i have test drove an X5 3.0 and liked it a lot. i tried the MDX but the dash and interior feel too much like a honda. i am curious about the knocking the 3k off the msrp. was it a fairly good experience or was it an arm wrestling? also, please tell me more about the 1k rebate from joining thc club, thanks.
  • Rick - i would also like to get any details on the $1K rebate from the BMW club. Not sure I went to the appropriate website. Any assistance would be appreciated!
    sjbette - here are my recent experiences on the "negotiation front". We originally pursued one of those "no-haggle" discounts from a club (AAA, Cosco, etc.). This discount is a paltry $1K for the 3.0 and an insulting $500 for the 4.4.
    In retrospect, I don't think I would do this again since it creates a no-haggle expectation on their part. When I attempted to negotiate MORE (yesterday), the response was "it wouldn't be fair to my other discount customers since they just accept the price". (Good point / fair point)
    Still, I thought there was more wiggle room. After a 30-minute no-holds-barred session I negotiated an additional $500 off the MSRP. Simply not worth it!
    Although I'm now in the "consideration stage", I think I'll try another dealer in the area and start over (W/O the discount restriction).
    Other "facts" I learned from the last two days (take these with a GOS (grain of salt):
    1) As of Jan. 30, 90% of the 2002 X5 allocation has already been spoken for. (dealer said this)
    2) February's production order has already been filled and March's orders will be filled in the next 3 to 4 days. This means waiting to have the car MADE in March (delivered in mid-April)...and that's if you jump on this in the next few days, otherwise you may be waiting an additional month!!
    (dealer said this)
    3) An additional wait for the 2003 models does not seem so far-fetched right now.

    Hope you have better luck than me!
  • I believe you have to be a member of BMWCCA for at least 1 year on the date of purchase to qualify.

    I heard from people at message board that 4.4i is a little harder to get due to limited production of 4.4i cause the new range-rovers are using them also I think the 4.4i is being phased out cause of the new 4.5L V8. So the discount on 4.4i is less than 3.0i.
    If your area is supported by many BMW dealers just keep on shopping. I got around $1789 off with some goddies thrown in back in December when I pickup my 4.4i.
    Hope this helps.
  • That BMW dealer is referring to it's particular allocation of X5's, each dealer will be different. I'd check with other dealers, even in other states - I had to go to Flow BMW in North Carolina to get a 2000 Estoril Blue M Coupe a little over a year ago. They had exactly what I was looking for and I got an increadable deal.
  • Does anyone have any info regarding Performance Center Delivery for the '02 X5? Is there additional discounts given for picking up the car in S.C.? or is it just the free tour and airport pickup.

    Please help...
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    For a light Off-road Event in NJ.

    A Light off-road event in Southern New Jersey! Come enjoy the trails!


  • mjtianmjtian Posts: 48
    I first test drove the Acura MDX in October of 2001. I placed an order with them that day and it has been almost 4 months and I am still driving my Camry. Oh yeah, there was no room for negotiations I was pretty much forced to agree with the MSRP + $350 for the 2002 model.

    Because I wanted a reliable vehicle along with not wanting to spend over $40K, my search was limited. I ignored the RX300 because it is too ugly and pretty much a jacked up Camry and it costs more than the MDX. I thought the Toyota Highlander might be a good cheap substitute, but the Toyota dealer insisted on the $35K asking price. I looked at the Infinity QX4 and the Mercedes ML 300, they both looked too boxy for me. Also the reliability issue with the MB is questionable. My friend has had numerous problems with her ML 300 and it only has 15K miles!! The BMW also has a poor reliability record according to the Consumer Reports. So I am left with the MDX.

    Unfortunately I am still waiting. Although the dealer did called me twice; once for a 2001 MDX and the other time for a different color. But overall, I think its worth the wait. Even paying at MSRP it is still cheaper than the $40K Rx 300, the $42K BMW X5, the $38K MB with compariable options. The MDX is loaded with standard features. It drives and handles very well. I hope the cabin noise is minimized with the thicker windows in the 2002 model. I guess if you don't mind the wait the MDX is right for you.
  • pvr10pvr10 Posts: 3
    I have had the a problem just recently with the mdx. The dealer took my order and said he will call me when it came in, around may, if i did not want it he would just sell to some else. My price though 39k and change with the touring package (2000 dealer mark up over msrp, no neg). I just leased the lexus rx for alot less. 500 under msrp with a discount - 37,500 with premium plus package. Spending that much on the Acura when I could get the lexus for about $100 dollars less a month and i will have the car in 1-2 weeks.
    For an after thought, I agree with you on the toy highlander. Price 35k and no even close to the ride of the other suv's I test drove.(mb,bmw,lexus,mdx and qx4).
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