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Acura MDX (pre-2007)



  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The most significant advantage (in terms of size) when compared with the XC is going to be width. The MDX is a wide beast. When you're 8 and 10 years olds become 12 and 14, they will appreciate that extra space in back. But with most of them in car seats or boosters, I'm not sure it will make a big difference today.

    Of course, you might appreciate it if you find yourself installing and removing those seats on a regular basis.
  • Also, Check out the 07 X5. It will come with a 3rd row seat. With the ages of your children, you will probably need a full size SUV. The other option is an Odyssey Touring with NAV and DVD. Then put the savings toward their college fund. ;)
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Our 2002, I don't think the 2006 offers more space? Is fine for kids or small adults. For a lot of in and is better for kids for agility reasons because it is easier to climb over the seats or through the back for entry than to actually slide the seat back. Our 7 year old does great back there with a booster seat. I think if you are looking to fit adults on a regular basis, perhaps pass...but for occassional trips, it is very easy to open/close the seats, one or both of them and is great. I like the fold flat feature for the normal 95% of the time when we have no one else with us...but when my parents visited us on vacation, it was nice to take everyone to dinner in one car. I don't think I could go on vacation with someone in the 3rd row, but once unloaded, the seats work great.
  • lmgkeyslmgkeys Posts: 20
    How does the MDX compare to the XC with legroom? The kids loved the XC90 but I know once they ride in it awhile and as their legs grow the novelty will definitely wear off so if the MDX can offer more space it may be the way to go. Also, the MDX looks like it has more cargo space with the 3rd row up, does it? I need some cargo space with the 3rd row up for when all 6 of us are in the car so I'm curious as to what the MDX has. I've done the minivan thing and it's not me so I'm avoiding going that route. I know that a fullsize SUV is what would make sense for a family of our size but with gas prices rising I'm tired of being a slave to a gas guzzler and ready to downsize and make concessions to get better gas mileage. I'm trying to find the best compromise and it's difficult so thanks for any feedback.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    An MDX does have more cargo room with the 3rd row seat up, than an XC90.

    However, there isn't much of it. This is where a minivan or a full-size SUV will beat an MDX.

    You could put three kids in the second row, and just one in the third row. The third row splits so you could put some packages next to the child in the third row.

    But it's still going to be tight, and not enough space for trips in the vehicle. You can add a roof-mounted cargo carrier, or a hitch-mounted one for such occasions.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    It's been a while since I've compared the MDX and XC90 side by side. Based on what I can recall, Wmquan's description is about right. The MDX has more space behind the 3rd row, but neither vehicle is very generous back there.

    Legroom? Same story. Do you prefer 'very cramped' or 'extremely cramped'? You're picking between the lesser of two evils. Though, while we're on that subject, I just took six adults and one critter to dinner last week. Much easier to find street parking for one vehicle than two. That third row does come in handy for occasional use.

    I like William's suggestion regarding the use of an aftermarket carrier to add to the cargo capacity. However, be aware that external cargo boxes are going to decrease fuel economy - perhaps to the point where you're not doing much better than you were with the full-size SUV. So, be aware that those options are perhaps not the best solutions for full-time use.
  • Do some calculation on fuel use and price. The MDX uses Premium while most if not all full size SUVs and minivans use regular.

    You may find it very close in cost to operate, especially if it is a minivan. All will fit nice and comfortable while getting good gas mileage.

  • I have the same question as this earlier post regarding adjusting the roof rack. Anyone have the answere?
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    I have a Thule Summit carrier and it did not fit. I drilled 3/8" holes one section in and about 4" back on both sides. It fits great now. I covered the old holes with electrical tape.
  • wdubswdubs Posts: 27
    Does anyone have 3 children in carseats? I'm close to purchasing a 2006 MDX and would like some real world advice. I have 2 children in booster seats and a newborn in an infant carrier. I would like to put all 3 seats in the 2nd row. I tried the seats at the dealer and they fit. Any advice from someone in the same situation? BTW don't suggest a minivan, my wife won't drive one. Thanks!

    Also, any good experiences with dealers in the Tampa, FL area?
  • I read that the 07 MDX requires premium gas. Does anyone know if that means it is really "required" or really recommended? Was that the case for the 06 and earlier models? Does it cost a lot more to run on premium, or is the gas mileage higher using premium vs. regular for close to a wash in total cost? Just trying to understand the implications here and if it really needs premium. As I recall, when we bought our minivan they also said premium is recommended, but we never used premium and it runs fine. Thanks.
  • I have read that the new MDX will require premium gas. Unlike other manufacturers, whose cars are designed to be able to run on regular and lose a little HP, Acura's tend to lose mpg on lower octane fuel. I drive an '02 MDX and put 45,000 miles on per year. I like the MDX, with the exception of excessive road noise and premium fuel requirement. Last week in Massachusetts, I was forced to pay .45 more per gallon for premium fuel. It is an issue with me. Does anyone know if the new MDX will address the road noise issue?
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The Acura web site says that the 2007 MDX has premium as the "recommended fuel." Same as the previous model.

    Using regular gas is possible. There will be some loss in peak performance, and gas mileage will likely dip slightly.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Regarding road noise, Acura did make some improvements with the 2003 or 2004 MDX (forgot which one). Acuras/Hondas do tend to be noiser than Lexuses/Toyotas so they didn't work miracles. Supposedly the new vehicle will have additional improvements.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    If I recall correctly, they gave the MDX a thicker windshield early in the model cycle.

    Personally, I have no problem with the premium requirement. Complaining about premium fuel with a vehicle like this seems like putting the cart before the horse. But that's just me.

    Based on memory, I believe the recommendation for the 2007 model said something about allowing use of regular fuel for short periods. It was not worded the same as what we see for the current MDX.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    If I recall correctly, they gave the MDX a thicker windshield early in the model cycle.

    In the third or fourth model year (I forget which and am too lazy to look it up), Honda also added some "heat melt" sheets to the floor and added some sound insulation. So, supposedly, the newer ones are quieter. There's some general tech info that the new MDX has MVH improvements.

    Personally, I have no problem with the premium requirement. Complaining about premium fuel with a vehicle like this seems like putting the cart before the horse. But that's just me.

    I used to think the same way, and I still only use premium in both my vehicles that specify it. But I guess one reasoning I could apply is ... sometimes we drive a few blocks (burning a small amount of additional fuel) to save 3-10 cents to fuel up at a Safeway Gas or Costco. Or, rather than gas up in the neighborhood on the way home, I figure, "well, I'm going to Costco tomorrow to load up on mass quantities, so I'll wait on the lonnnggg line there and lose part of my Saturday, and gas up there to save a little." If I do that sometimes to save several cents a gallon, I can't begrudge folks who are curious about saving about 20 cents or so by not using premium. Especially if they think there's no harm done.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    If you do the math...10 cents a gallon (mid grade vs. premium) over 12,500 miles a really doesn't add up to much...(For me the spread between gas grades is not more than 20 cents, not 45 as mentioned before)

    Flat out apples to apples...If you figure 16 mpg average, that is 781.25 gallons of gas a year. Multiply that by .1 and you get under $100 dollars a year. Double the mileage or the cost and you are still not really much over $150.

    So if you do a good job shopping for your car and you get a good deal you are probably making up the cost...You can probably figure that over the life of the car it is probably under $1000.

    Another point that has been discussed in the past...I imagine you get slightly worse gas mileage on lower octane fuel, so you will probably be cutting into any $$ savings by using less expensive fuel by requiring more of it. So if your mileage is 2 mpg worse over the course of a year, you now need 891 gallons to cover the same distance (about 100 gallons more) so your net out of pocket cost is even higer. Theoretically it is more expensive at $3.00 a gallon? I doubt the difference is that drastic in mpg, but do the math...I don't think there is a huge $$$ win to regular/mid over premium (maybe even a loss). At a 0.5 mpg worse...I think you are almost break even.

    This is a old topic re: MDX's and has been discussed many times. The MDX runs better on premium, for the minor expense over the cost of a year it is really nothing significant in my opinion. People complain about the $2.00 a tankful cost, however if you take a macro view of me it is minor.

    2002 is when they fixed the leaky side mirrors and added thicker glass I believe.

    (For me the spread between gas grades is not more than 20 cents regular to premium, not 45 as mentioned in an earlier post)
  • I think $.20 is the typical difference between regular(87 Octane) and premium (93 Octane) grades of gasoline. If someone is driving 50,000 miles per year (I assume a lot of that is highway) and getting 20 mpg...then the $500 or so a year in extra fuel cost could be "real money" and perhaps they should try and find a comparable vehicle with an engine the is designed for regular gasoline. As for the average owner, the yearly cost should be one-quarter of that -- in the same range as other truck ownership costs spread over several years, such as: regularly scheduled maintenance, insurance, batteries, tires, etc.

    I think that drivers sensitive to the road noise should be more concerned with using premium fuel. There are several good write-ups on octane rating on the web. To summarize:
    Using a fuel with a higher octane lets an engine run at a higher compression without having problems with knock. Knocking (also called pinging) occurs when the fuel/air mixture in the cylinder has been ignites from the high compression pressure before it can be fully ignited by the spark plug. The resulting shockwave reverberates in the combustion chamber and pressures increase catastrophically, creating a characteristic metallic "pinging" sound.
    Compression is directly related to power, so engines that require higher octane usually deliver more power. High-performance engines are designed to operate with a high maximum compression and thus need a high quality (high energy) fuel usually associated with high octane numbers and thus demand high-octane premium gasoline.
    A common myth amongst gasoline consumers is that adding a higher octane fuel to a vehicle's engine will increase its performance and/or lessen its fuel consumption; this is mostly false—engines perform best when using fuel with the octane rating they were designed for and any increase in performance by using a fuel with a different octane rating is minimal.
    If a fuel with below recommended octane is used, then the engine will knock. Modern engines have anti-knock provisions built into the control systems and this is usually achieved by dynamically de-tuning the engine while under load by increasing the fuel-air mixture and retarding the spark.

    -- source: Wikipedia
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Oh, I don't begrudge anyone trying to shave a few bucks off their gas bills. I didn't get the point where I can afford an MDX by wasting money left and right.

    I just think the methods some folks will chose can be a bit odd. It's like a professor I had in college who drank a diet Coke at lunch, then finished with a twinkie.

    Lighten up on the throttle and be smart about not using your MDX for short trips and you can get 21 mpg. I average 21.4 in mixed driving. A 1 mpg improvement over the course of 15,000 miles will net you just as much in savings as switching to regular gas.
  • I can't understand why someone would spend $35000+ for a vehicle then stinge out on the gas to save a few bucks. The money is just not worth the risk of damaging your vehicle over time. Besides, you do get better mileage with premium gas! Seems like a no-brainer to me.
  • sbcookesbcooke Posts: 2,297
    Sorry for dragging this on one more post and I appreciate you are not suggesting regular over premium...but the example and savings are not necessarily real.

    Ok, take the 50K miles and 20 cent price if you say 20 MPG at 93 octane - that is 2500 gallons a year, paying .20 more --> $500 more in apples to apples cost.

    However, if you drive 50K miles at 87 octane, I think you would get more like 18 MPG (factor in applying more gas to get expected performance maybe less?)...which means 2777.78 at $3.00 a gallon, you are paying $833 dollars in additional gas costs subtract the $500 savings and you are at a net loss of $333 per year.

    If consumers are interested in saving gas costs, premium vs. regular isn't necessarily the posted, a vehicle with better gas mileage and that uses regular would be the choice. My Isuzu uses 87 octane, but at 11 mpg the MDX is cheaper to operate.
  • Different gasoline octane ratings are manifested in engine knock. Engine knock only occurs in great amounts when the engine is under highest loads. Therefore, it only makes a difference in a small percentage of time the engine is operating. Hence, you will not see significant improvements in fuel efficiency with higher octane fuel (maybe 0.2 but certainly not 2 mpg).

    If you use the MDX to tow heavy loads or if you are sensitive to engine should probably not deviate from using high octane. The long-term health of the engine will not be improved by years of pre-mature combustion and knock experienced using 87 octane rated fuel. :D
  • On my very first free tank of gas from the dealer, I averaged 16.7mpg. Ever since I've been averaging 19 to 20mpg. It gets even better on long trips. I suspect that the difference was bcos my first tank of gas was regular gas. If anyone is averaging better gas mileage using regular gas I'd sure like to hear about it. I will do a test using regular gas on my next tank and see what mileage I get.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I'm in the middle of an experiment of that nature. Though, I'm trying my best to use a larger data set. I've been calculating fuel economy for each fill-up as well as over the long run. So far, I've got 8 months of data while using premium and an overall fuel economy average of 21.4 mpg.

    My first experiment was to see how accurate the trip computer is with its calculations. I compared the computed average with the average I got dividing distance travelled by gallons to refill. After 9-10 fill-ups, I came to the conclusion that the Trip Computer is optimistic by about .1 mpg.
  • pcsdpcsd Posts: 5
    I am curious about the cruise control button and hope that someone can help out.

    I normally turn it on only when I need it. Then use the steering wheel controls to set and cancel.

    However, is it harmful to drive with the cruise control button continuously on?
  • Yes, it can be done!

    We have a Britax Roundabout (convertible car seat), and two Graco TurboBoosters. They all fit in the 2nd row, although I will admit that the 5-yr-old has trouble getting his seat belt buckled sometimes, but it's not a huge deal.

    I must confess, however, that I usually like to separate my two oldest (LOL), so one usually rides in the 3rd row if all 3 kids are with me. I keep the other half of the 3rd row folded flat (that's where I put the stroller). There is still plenty of room for groceries, etc, although if I end up doing more shopping than I planned, it only takes a minute to fold that seat back down and relocate the booster to the 2nd row.

    And as far as the minivan goes, I can tell you that I used to drive an 04 Ody and before that, a 98 Chrysler T&C. This is BY FAR my favorite vehicle I have ever owned (with my pre-motherhood Nissan Altima a close second LOL) and I really love it. I spent a lot of time thinking about an 06 Ody and I have NO regrets about picking the MDX instead.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Is now posted on Acura's site,

    (Base): $39,995
    w/Tech Package: $43,495
    w/Tech & Ent Packages: $45,695
    w/Sport & Tech Packages: $45,595
    w/Sport, Tech, and Ent Packages: $47,795
    Destination and handling charge: $670

    So that would mean (excluding destination charge):

    - Base is up $2,870
    - A model with all packages is up $3,595

    2006 MSRP's:

    Premium: $37,125
    Touring: $39,950
    Touring+RES: $41,450
    Touring+Nav: $42,700
    Tour+Nav+RES: $44,200
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    So, more horses, more torque, more towing, more dollars?

    Movin' On Up: Acura Announces Price Increase on '07 MDX (Inside Line)
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Along with more features, more luxury, more comfort, more performance, and more choices. So, yeah, more dollars.
This discussion has been closed.