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Mercedes-Benz M-class vs Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer vs Buick Rendezvous vs Acura MDX



  • felizfeliz Posts: 32
    Makes sense. Unless it's a collector car all vehicles are eventually worth scrap.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Value notwithstanding, the ML has turned out to be a POS and has hurt MB and their rep at least on this continent severely. I'm a fan of Mercedes, and wish they would just scrap the M and try again, and NOT with the G-500!
  • I'm also a fan of Mercedes and BMW as well. I am afraid you are right, the ML has hurt MB and their rep on this continent severely. The X5 had its share of early production problem just like the ML, but the X5 was very well designed and engineered. The ML suffers from both production and design problems and it did not stand out in any particular area, it was a all around average suv. Mercedes in a way is very much like the new Cadillac, they built a very nice high end car but just dont know how to built a entry level car. The next ML will be redesign from the ground up, lets hope they learned a lesson from the first ML and spend a little more money on design and manufacturing engineering.
  • fndlyfmrflyrfndlyfmrflyr Posts: 668
    Chrysler will probably become Mercedes' entry level name. Slowly, Mercedes engineering is being added to Chrysler cars (Pacifica has some and the Crossfire is basically a two seat C-Class with a different body and interior).

    The ML competes against the Lexus small SUV in size and utility. It is an old design, long overdue for replacement. The bar has been raised substantially.

    Adding Mercedes engineering to the DC Jeep line may be a better investment than trying to one up Lexus and Infinity in the luxury 5 seat SUV arena.

    My entry level Mercedes, a Chrysler PT Cruiser GT, so far, has proven to be assembled better, more trouble free, and every bit as reliable as my MDX. Resale value may stink now, but I'm not planning on replacing it for years.
  • And Cadillac's entry level name is Buick.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    And Lincoln's entry level car is Ford, and BMW's entry level car is.........oh, the well respected 3 series, at least for now. I hear a 1 series is coming.

    So, if Chrysler is the entry level Mercedes, then why are they bringing over the A -Class? And what's with the C Class hatchback?
  • Still dont understand the logic behind the C Class Hatchback. You would think that Mercedes would have learned a lesson from the BMW 2 door hatchback that fail 4 or 5 years ago.
  • tmakogontmakogon Posts: 74
    Dollar-wise depreciation matters more to me than percentage-wise depreciation. Cash value depreciation is comparable for MDX and RDV.
    Also, with a more expensive vehicle you have a greater opportunity cost as more money is tied up in the car.

    Here's an example on depreciation costs using the used TMV method with comparable features and parameters:
    Back in 2002 I mainly compared a MDX Touring (no navigation) with a RDV CXL AWD, and bought the RDV for $10,000 less than the MDX.
    Although the features are not exactly same, they are very close in both trims, hence the choices.

    A 2002 MDX Touring cost new $38500 if you had the patience to wait for 5-10 months and pay MSRP. Now the excellent condition trade-in with 11K miles would bring $31642, a cash loss of $6858 (17.8%). The 2002 RDV cost me $28540 (MSRP 35150) and now would trade in for $21,004 in excellent condition with 11K miles. The cash loss is $7536 (26.4%).

    Although RDV has depreciated more than MDX in the first year in percent, it cost about the same in dollars, plus I had the remaining $10,000 for other purposes.

    My example with just 11000 miles and excellent condition for both vehicles may not apply to all cases. It is merely an illustration that the percentage-wise depreciation may be a misleading indicator as the actual loss is in the dollar value.

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    My nephew just came by hopping mad about the $700 brake job his M-class just got at the MB dealer, and that's only the rear brakes. I told him, you can't have Falstaff, and have him thin. It costs more to drive a MB than it does the domestics. Particularly the M & E class, evidently.....
  • rerenov8rrerenov8r Posts: 380
    In my neck of the woods, the stuff that one gets done at most EVERY dealership is vastly more expensive than that which gets done at a local shop or franchise type operation.

    For some service items it may be worthwhile to use the dealer, as the skills & equipment that they have may make the job get done better and/or more quickly. Oil changes and brakes generally don't fall into that category.

    I believe that MB, Acura, & BMW need not cost more to maintain than Ford or GM products IF you choose the service that you have done at the dealer wisely. Far too many folks drop their vehicles at the service department and accept whatever profit enhancing service/inspection the folks behind the counter will sell. Yes folks, they are SALESPEOPLE too! Just like a wise shopper wouldn't let a the new car saleperson soak 'em for mop n' glow or a can of fabric spray it is important that you authorize the SPECIFIC service you want done...
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You could make that case easily. But my experience could make the other as well. I find my Lincoln/Mercury dealer does not overcharge for brakes and routine service. They are high on things like belts, water pumps, alternators, that kind of thing but actually give the best deals on tires.

    My friends with Mercedes products are chronically bemoaning the cost of parts & labor for their machines, from the $700 brake job to the $1500 oil changes. Clearly, they should stay away from the dealers for routine stuff.
  • chaz12chaz12 Posts: 3
    The problem with not sticking to dealers for regular wear items, whether it's MB, BMW, AUDI, etc. is that warranties may then become void. I've heard alot of stories about dealers not covering warranty items if the car has not been routinely serviced by an authorized dealer.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ford has never done that to me in all my life.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Plus in the US, the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act forbids tying routine dealer maintenance to the warranty. Although sometimes it may take some nudging from the state's attorney general's office to get the dealer to figure that out.

    MB, as one example, covers most routine maintenance for the intial ownership period so they may balk if you take your ML320 to a quick oil change place and put some 30 weight dead dino in it.

    Steve, Host
  • rerenov8rrerenov8r Posts: 380
    You'd have the full weight of federal law, thousands of legal cases and all 50 state's Attorney Generals on your side. Plus the manufacturer. The recalcitrant dealer would have their "Service Advisor" with a pencil lost in his lower GI tract...

    'taint NO WAY that a warranty can be voided by not visting the dealer for service. Heck you could even take the new Ferrari Enzo that costs $650,000 anywhere you want for an oil change -- though I doubt that the 12 quarts of one-off 10W60 Shell Helix motor oil will be instock at many JiffyLube stores....
  • As long as you have reasonable records that required service was performed in a timely manner there should be no warranty problem no matter where the service was done, even DIY.
  • The other day I tried to sit in the '04 Toyota Highlander 3rd row. Was that a tight squeeze... Not that I'm tall - I'm 5 ft 9". No space left behind the 3rd row - would you put your kids' friends there?

    We should start a new 4+2 classification for the tight third rows made for the purpose of marketing as in the 2+2 convertibles that have the rear two seats for the insurance purposes.

    With the navigation and the trim the sticker price was over $35K. For this price MDX might be a better option. I feel that Rendezvous still has the best 3rd row among crossovers - leather, reclining, and good usable legroom.

  • I looked at a Highlander's third row a few days ago too (I was at the dealer for a Prius). Yep, sure is tight, but there is some room behind the the third row. The Buick does have more knee room than the MDX, but the room behind the 3rd row is less. BTW, the MDX third row reclines as does the middle row.

    I'd like to see the next MDX have a two inch stretch in wheelbase so that access to the third row would be easier and there could be a two inch increase in knee room too.

    I like your idea of using a +2 (or +3) to designate the third row. The Pilot has three seat belts in the same width seat as the MDX third row, which has only two belts.

    If you want to see a real third row joke take a look at the new SRX. Lots of knee room, but the cushion is on the floor which results in a chin high knee position.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,896
    explorer head 39 rdv 39, shoulder 52 rdv 49, hip 45 rdv 48, leg 35 rdv 35 (all rounded to nearest)
    would guess the rdv is a little easier to get in/out of.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • montreidmontreid Posts: 127
    The Buick has 18.1 ft behind the 3rd row and fits my Combi stroller, the MDXs 14.8 didn't fit it.

    Both have reclining 2nd and 3rd rows, which is nice to gain the extra inches behind the 3rd rows. I like the 60/40 partion in the MDX better than the 50/50 in the Buick, but only a single side entry on the MDX into the 3rd row and the headrests needed to be taken off too.

    Haven't seen the highlander's 3rd row. Interesting why the new 330 doesn't offer it if the highlander does.

    SRX: weird how low the seat cushion is, isn't it? Maybe something to do with the motor?
  • I looked extensively at both the MDX and the RDV. Really wanted the MDX badly, but ultimately had to admit the RDV was significantly better with the 3rd row and overall cargo room. The published numbers are just that, numbers. Usability is the key. Look at both vehicles and you will find the RDV is much easier to access the third row, and seating is surprisingly comfortable, even more than it would appear at a glance. Additionally, the MDX only looks like more room behind the 3rd row, because it has less vertical space. On the RDV, we put 2 adults in the 3rd row, and 2 childs carriages in the rear. Not strollers mind you, CARRIAGES. A Perego and a Snap & Go which are larger than most. Then we still have room for a few bags of groceries and other knick knacks.

    Again, I like the MDX better in terms of styling and handling, but if you're looking for a family vehicle that isn't a minivan, no other crossover beats the RDV. IMHO
  • chaser04chaser04 Posts: 3
    I just bought a brand new Buick Rendezvous "Ultra", Which is the top of the line model with a retial price of $53995 cdn. It has all the bells and whisles like the Acura MDX, and costs less. It has a 3.6L VVT 245hp V6, which is way better then the original 3.4 185hp V6. When i started looking for another SUV i wanted it to have a third row, and out of all the ones i looked at the RDV seemed to be the best. The Toyota 4runner that i looked at, which now comes with a third row seemed 2 low to the ground and was to squishy sorta like the SRX & Highlander, the only other suv that has comfortable third row is the dodge durango which is high up and roomy but it does have bad knee space. So to all the people looking for an SUV with 3rd row seating i would defenatly recomened the RDV which now has the power people were waiting for.
  • The new engine easily takes care of the main gripe many had against the RDV. We rejected the RDV (02) because of the weak performance and no nav unit available. Today, with my MDX the subject of both engine and transmission recalls I question Honda's reputation for long term reliability. Mine hasn't given me any mechanical problem, but other brands now look better by comparison to how they looked two years ago.

    However, with gasoline prices at about $2.50 and rising (expecting closer to $3 U.S. this summer) today's type SUV will not be among my choices for my next vehicle.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Towed a trailer to my cabin in the mountains with new Mountaineer yesterday, for the first time. Very impressed with performance. Plenty of power, never hit the floor with the gas pedal. Really like the decelleration feature of the speed control too, how it holds your downhill speed as well as your uphill speed. This performance, along with the fact that we haven't found even one defect in the car yet, may make this one a keeper.
  • alfaalfa Posts: 11
    I was trying to decide on which SUV to buy all last month. Used,new,large,small 4dr truck or what ever.
    I wanted a SUV with 3rd row ,4/4 and something that would could tow a trailer. And wanted a good quality vehicle. Also wanted it loaded.
    I'm in the auto business and I drive a lot of cars and see a lot of used ones with problems!
    Wanted a Expedition But just to big and a lot of relabilty problems with the newer models and some say the 5.4 is underpowered some say its ok?
    Liked the Titan 4dr truck . But very bumpy ride.
    Jeep cherokee ? they feel loose to me brand new. outdated design.
    Explorer /The very best size room price. inside a little cheap looking but well laid out. Can be bought for 5k under inv. Ok for short term lease. or if you dump in a few years
    I drove a new one (great vehicle)also drove one
    a year old with 25k.felt loose . Not what I want my 1 or 2 year old car to feel like!Drove a EB 1yr old and drove like new I guess the other one was beat?Also a fully loaded EB 4.6 not that cheap.
    I like gm suvs good power but reliability is not the highest and do not feel as tight a Asian makes. Also new loaded yukon high 30's
    MDX and Pilot great package. They do have some transmission problems I. may be wrong but I feel the unibody car frame is not a good design for towing a heavy trailer and not a beefy design. and no V/8 option And the paint,interior is not a good as toyota-lexus
    saw a 2yr old MDX leather looked very worn. Never liked honda leather. Lexus RX and Pilot/MDX? only 2 wheel unless there is wheel slip and no low range ?
    RX330 great vehicle,a little under powered (3.0 bumped to 3.3)and 40+ for 4/4 loaded model.
    Highlander drove so so.
    Pathfinder outdated!
    What the heck I drove a 4runner. V/6 with leather and feel in love.
    I bought a V/8 limited.(all wheel) (low range) (real frame) (very smooth V/8 5spd trans)(good towing package)38k God I almost bought a new explorer that was close!but they are so cheap 5k off msrp.
    Lexus 330 and 4runner are the highest quality in
    the 35-40k but are smaller in room.
    I asked a lady with a rx330 with 80k on the od.if it drove any different then when is was new and she said no.
    I'm sure the shocks a little softer but she says it drives great.
    If you think its bull from a toyota lover!
    Drive a 5 year old 4runner/yukon/explorer and see for yourself.
    There are a lot of great cars from all makes.
    Just drive them all before you buy.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    No one is shopping SUVs these days? :confuse:

    Steve, Host
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    This thread had a rather odd assortment :blush:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    People shop all sorts of rides, eh? May as well dust this one for another go 'round and see if anyone is cross-shopping them.

    Steve, Host
  • albookalbook Posts: 1,282
    i know this is a littie off subject, but where is Chrysler Pacifica in this comparison? im stumpt on whether to buy pacifica or mdx. Mdx: more cargo space. Pacifica: captains chairs. can someone help me? :confuse:
  • shaigshaig Posts: 14
    Are you going boating or do you want a car? ;)

    Seriously, the thread started before Pacificas had any real traction. We looked at one but decided to go with an MDX given the stronger crash test results for the 07/08 MDX vehicles and their excellent dynamic rear head support.

    From a handling perspective, 0.86 on the skidpad for an MDX sport beats the Pacifica's 0.76 and the gas mileage was better on the MDX. At the end of the day, you need to make the decision based upon your criteria.
This discussion has been closed.