Acura MDX vs Mazda CX-9



  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I'm surprised that more people aren't linking to mp3 files here and on Edmunds Answers. Guess you need a recording device, but a laptop should handle that issue.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    edited April 2010
    It is time to change to a new dealer.
    Read this to see if I lied.
    You need the kit mentioned when you intend to use the AUX input together with the Sat radio.
    Mazda was aware of this issue, but they fixed it in 2009 model.
    For earlier models, you need the switch box. Some owners have called MazdaUSA and got them to pay $100-200 for the extra cost. MazdaUSA is good in that sense. Try that with Toyota or Honda...
  • islandtractorislandtractor Member Posts: 14
    edited May 2010
    After coming across this thread while exploring the purchase of either a 2010 MDX Tech or ML350, I decided to go drive and price a CX-9. Glad I did but the choice is still a tough one except on economic grounds.

    The CX drives very much like the Mercedes ML which is to say not quite as sporty as the MDX but very controlled and tight. Pleasant drive with a more upright open drive position compared to the MDX which I see as more of a cockpit type position. Again, I liked driving all three and would be happy with any of them from that perspective. MDX has cushier seat, CX and ML are firmer and pretty similar. MDX has most luxurious feel with ML being typically teutonic and the CX just a notch behind either of the others but still very nice. ML seat was my personal favorite.

    Features on the CX Grand Touring AWD with moonroof/Bose/Nav are pretty similar to the MDX Tech. Nav is not as nice on the Mazda or the ML as the MDX. Mazda has the blind side proximity warning system which I found rather useful. All three have very similar rear camera functions and power lift gate.

    Cargo space on the CX is greater than either the ML or MDX. Folding is easy on all (much better than my current ML320). Third row seating similar on CX and MDX.

    Towing capacity sucks on the CX at 3500 with Class 2 (but aftermarket Class 3 hitch is at least available for bike racks etc). Unclear why the CX as the biggest of these SUVs has such a wimpy tow capacity. ML has best at 7000lbs (BlueTec) while MDX is exactly what I would expect at 5000. Flip side is that CX comes tow prepped standard (add aftermarket hitch for $200 and you're done). Acura seems very proud of their hitch at about $550 or so. Believe it or not you cannot get a dealer added hitch on an ML these days unless it comes from the factory. Must be a screw up somewhere in the Mercedes supply chain.

    Warranty is only 36/36K on the Mazda. 48 months on both the MDX and ML. However, extended warranty from Mazda/Ford is about $2000 for 7/100K which compares evenly to the Acura at about 2300 or so for 8/120K both of which are bargains compared to the Mercedes extended 7/100K at $4500. What does that say about the respective manufacturer's confidence in their vehicles?

    The thing that most clearly differentiates these three vehicles is the acquisition and maintenance costs. The ML at about $51K ($53 bluetec) is priciest out of the box and undoubtedly most expensive to maintain and repair even with extended warranty. (I'm on first name basis with my current ML320 service manager which is not a good thing). Best price I have found with a MDX Tech is about $500 over list which with roof rack and tow prep comes to about $45K. I'd imagine that being a Honda and all the MDX is likely the most reliable of the three but Acura service is priced more like Mercedes than Mazda so I'm thinking the MDX is probably the middle car in terms of maintenance costs at least under warranty period including extended warranty. What surprised me about the Mazda was the pricing/value. The Grand Touring AWD with Nav, Moonroof, tow, rack, remote start etc can be had for about 10-11% off MRSP or roughly $500-700 less than invoice or right about $36K. Mazda currently has 0% financing up to 60 months. Mercedes only has 2.9 as I recall and Acura is offering 1.9 this month.

    If price was not a consideration I'd probably choose the ML as I just like the German cars but including a factory extended warranty it is not worth $10K more than the MDX or nearly $20K more than the Mazda. I'd also say the MDX is a bit nicer all around (except for exterior styling) than the CX9 but I'm finding it hard to justify an extra 9K for that extra bit. All three are really nice driving vehicles and cost considerations aside I'd be happy with any of them. Leaning towards the CX9 at this point with the MDX still in the running. Taking operating costs and hassle into consideration I've ditched the ML this time around unless MB comes up with a $10K loyalty discount.
  • ozeyozey Member Posts: 18
    I did research for a year, and I decided the C9 is the best for the money. The trouble I am having with mine, I think, is not for all the CX9s. I am sure Mazda will take care of my problems.
  • sedmundsedmund Member Posts: 93
    edited August 2010
    Update: we had almost finalized the deal on getting the 2010 CX9 but we walked out because we couldn't agree on the final price (2 months left on the lease added some complexity etc). We then test drove the 2010 MDX and really liked the drive and the interior and long story short ended up getting the MDX with tech package. It's very comfortable and surprisingly nimble for its size making it fun to drive for a seven seater SUV. And the Nav and specifically the audio system are HUGE improvements over the CX9. Overall, we are glad we decided to get the MDX.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    >> because we couldn't agree on the final price

    OK. How much more did you paid for the MDX over CX9? ;)
  • sedmundsedmund Member Posts: 93
    It's the same exact question my Mazda dealer asked me when I told him I bought the MDX :) I paid around 6K more.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Member Posts: 3,159
    we had almost finalized the deal on getting the 2010 CX9 but we walked out because we couldn't agree on the final price

    What were you looking to pay and what was the dealers final price on the CX-9?
  • sedmundsedmund Member Posts: 93
    Our offer was 37K (GT + Nav+Bose), the dealer offer was like 800 more but more importantly the dealer wanted me pay the subsequent month's lease on top of it. So we decided that if we are going to anyway pay the subsequent month's lease why do the deal at that time, as there was no incentive for us to do that, and so we left. But soon after that we test drove the MDX and almost right away got interested in it and ended up buying it.
  • ozeyozey Member Posts: 18
    How is the service? I am not happy with my Mazda service, this is my first experience with Mazda.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    IMHO, service is heavily dealership-dependent.

    I love my local Mazda service, much more so that I did my local Toyota, Honda or BMW dealers. Again, service quality is different from one to another.
  • sedmundsedmund Member Posts: 93
    edited August 2010
    We weren't quite happy with the Mazda service department in either of the 2 dealerships we tried. In fact, on the CX9 the OEM tires were so bad and dangerous driving in snow, during the second winter we faced, that I actually started suspecting if the AWD on the CX9 was even working. When I contacted the service dept with this concern, they said it most probably the tires that they could check the system but if they don't find anything wrong with it they said they will have to charge me service charge(!) and they blamed it on Mazda saying that's what Mazda asks them to do - this was a car that had about 18K miles on it!
    I have heard many people say that the after-sales service experience really depends on the specific dealership and not the manufacturer, nevertheless, of all the dealerships that I've faced (including Toyota, Honda, even BMW) so far, I would have to say Mazda service has been the least user-friendly IMO.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    True. Bad tires. Same tires can be found on Highlanders and other brands.
    If you had/ve a 2007 AWD. You should have the transfer case checked out.
    A higher percentage (than normal) of them are defected. later models are great.
    I have taken mine OE tires for several skiing trips. No problem.
    Can't say anything on deep snow.

    If you like, I can refer you to a thread in which Toyota COMPANY denied warranty on the NAVIGATION screen that developed a crack all by itself with on a few thousands of miles on it. Repeated attempts have failed. Several thousands of dollars to replace it. Now, that is bad service if you ask me.... :mad:
  • sedmundsedmund Member Posts: 93
    I'm sure anyone can point to such a thread about any manufacturer, but there's something called personal experience and for me that was pretty good with Toyota. About 12 years back we bought a Toyota - back in the times when the drivers were able to stop those darn things (sorry couldn't resist ;) Camry which developed some vibration/shimmy at around 50-60 mph after about a year/12K miles. The dealer tried to address it by balancing and rotating the tires but couldn't really take care of this issue. I then called Toyota and complained and 2 days later I got a call from the dealer and they replaced my tires with brand new better/more expensive tires. I was thoroughly impressed with Toyota. May be things have changed with Toyota now, I don't know. But Compared to that how Mazda handled when I complained about the issue with CX9 was pretty unimpressive - especially considering the fact at that time both our cars were Mazda (we had the CX9 and the Mazda6 which we still own). Now was that so bad that I will never ever buy another Mazda again just based on that, I wouldn't go that far, but will that have an influence on me when I buy a car in the future, definitely yes.
  • cericceric Member Posts: 1,092
    I think your were comparing apple to orange. In your case with Toyota, you have a bad set of tires (couldn't be balanced). I am sure Toyota could press tire maker to replace them. In the case of Mazda, you simply do not like their performance on snow. As I said before, the problem is generic. There is no way to ask Mazda to replace tires whenever a customer complains about them. They have to look into the nature of complaints. Specific or generic. They made a bad choice of tire, IMHO. However, I don't think Mazda can afford to replace all tires on CX9s sold.
    Same case of all the Prius. Google to see how many customers complain about the "dangeous" Goodyear Integrity. If you don't believe me, check
    I have been a member there since 2005. Those tires are absolutely the WORST and DANERGOUS on snow.
    Did I see Toyota replacing them? No. Unless somehow I missed it. ;)
  • sedmundsedmund Member Posts: 93
    edited August 2010
    I do not "like" their performance on snow?! Please read my post again, it was utterly DANGEROUS to drive that thing on snow. I've been living in this region for 10 years now and we've had 4 different cars during that time including a minivan, and have driven a few other types of rental and friends' cars. I've NEVER driven something this unstable and dangerous on winter/snow conditions, I'm absolutely not exaggerating. You are conveniently making it appear like it was very easy for Toyota to address the issue. In fact, the way I look at it, for the nature of the problem I had with Toyota (a shimmy in the wheel) - they could have given any number of reasons for that and could have very easily avoided going to the extent of replacing the tires that were more than a year old.
    And in case of Mazda I wanted them to at least check what's wrong with the vehicle and they said it "must" be the tires and if they had to check the vehicle they will have to "charge" for it - this on a car that's a little over a year old? Give me a break!
  • citivascitivas Member Posts: 144
    We had exactly the opposite experience with Toyota. We’ve own several Toyota’s and Lexus vehicles and always liked them. But our latest, the Sienna, had tires fair after less than 3 years with light driving (less than 20K miles total). We have no pattern of early failure with previous tires that would suggest the driver was responsible. So we had to pay for all new tires. We didn’t want to deal with it again soon so we got the tires the Toyota dealer said were the best. 2.5 years and 17 miles later, they said they had to be replaced again. We were incredulous this time. We complained all the way up to the manager that these were the tires they recommended and they agreed it must have been a “lemon” set (Bridgestone BTW) because the wear was not typical. They also acknowledged we had a perfect service record for having the tires rotated. But they said that tires have “no warranty” from mile one and they wouldn’t even give a discount on replacement tires. They also said that they didn’t stock any brand of tires they would warranty from the first mile. I complained up to Toyota and they said it was a local dealer issue since they sold and serviced the tires and would do nothing. Their integrity has gone way downhill in the last decade, with this being only one example of several for us.
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