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Acura MDX (pre-2007)



  • Funny there is recent talk about the Montero. The non Sport version has been catching my eye lately. Originally, I thought the styling (especially the front fenders) was too weird for my taste. However, I had the opportunity to take a closer look at a Limited the other day and I was really impressed with the interior and overall appearance. That moonroof is nice 'n big. After looking at the specs vs. the money, however, I still think the MDX is a better value. The 13/18 mpg for the Montero and lower HP is a turn-off. I really want the navigation system and expect to get a lot of use out of it in the Boston area.

    William has a lot of good points regarding making a decision. One really has to weigh everything in according to one's own needs.

    My personal opinion is that if something goes wrong with my MDX order, I'm going to very seriously consider the Montero at this point. I've tried the ML320 and wasn't impressed. I haven't tested the RX300 or Montero yet. I *did* rent a Montero Sport for a week and thought the engine was too weak. I wasn't impressed with the interior of the Sport.

    I think I'll test drive a Montero Ltd. for curiosity sake. If anything interesting comes out of it, you can bet I'll post comments.
  • To get insurance on your MDX, you will have to contact your lienholder(your financing institution) and have them fax a copy of your title to the insurance company. This should be sufficient to get insurance.

    After you have your insurance, your lienholder will have to fax a copy of your title to the DMV. This should allow you to license your vehicle.

    Does your title show the car being in Florida or in Mass? If it says Florida, your lienholder will have to send the actual title to be changed by your local DMV. A problem sometimes with this is the issue of sales tax. Some states require you to pay your states sales tax for out of state purchases.

    Basically you have to go through your lienholder and hope that they are prompt in getting the title out. Especially since you have your MDX coming in! I hope this helps.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    They will most likely test it since it has won so many accolades (shades of ML320, RX300, and X5). It will also get good viewership.
    What will be interesting is if you folks hear of a "fix" made to give it better results. This was done to the X5 (2001 models have more reinforcements) and ML320 (a mod was made to the 1999.5 model as a result of some German crash tests).
  • railrrailr Posts: 36

    If you don't mind driving, then I'd suggest you give the dealership in Termecula a call... they don't move too many units and they had one available a couple of weeks ago... and the dealer was very nice on the 'phone. MSRP I believe -- but I never got that far into the conversation with him, 'cause I'd already bought one when he called me.

    I just picked mine (Mahogany, Touring w/Nav) up from Valencia Acura tonight -- once again MSRP (plus a couple of options I decided to add myself). I ordered mine Sept. 30th

    The dealership in Cerritos were also very friendly on the 'phone and even sent me to another dealer who had the package I was looking for in stock. (This was before my VIN number came in).

    Good luck.

  • Just an FYI on the "rules" as I know them for out of state purchases/leases. You can purchase/lease your vehicle out of state and you won't pay any sales tax to the state you are purchasing in. However, when you register your vehicle in your state, you will have to pay your state sales tax.

    Even if you lease out of state, you will have to pay sales tax on the price of the vehicle in the state you are a resident of. In Illinois (where I live), that means paying sales tax on the full price of the vehicle -- which really stinks (for lack of a better term). And, if you purchase the vehicle at the end of the lease, you will pay sales tax on the purchase price!!!!

    So, there are no advantages for those of us in Illinois (at least none that I am aware of) to lease/purchase out of state. I purchased my Silver with Touring MDX in Ohio (I have family there and found one available) and I will be going to the DMV next week to pay this great state my sales tax :)

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    foobarguy, the Montero Sport is quite a different animal than the Montero. Unfortunately, the Montero is also somewhat underpowered (200hp in a 4800 lb. vehicle, only gets 13/18 mpg). However, it is attractively priced and seems to do a nice job of fulfilling classic truck requirements -- torquey engine, 5,000 lb towing capacity, excellent off-road capability.

    Obviously not a car-like SUV for those who would prefer such, but a true truck-like SUV.

    Reliability, as with the MDX, is an unknown (perhaps more so with the Montero given Mitsu's history with quality).

    You'll find lots of differences between the feel of an RX300 and a Montero! It'll come down to what you prefer in your vehicle. FYI, RX300 discounts are becoming larger, probably due to Lexus increasing production, and possibly because of fresh competition. A poster on the RX board who I consider knowledgeable and who does his homework says that more aggressive discounting now makes the 2001 model the same price as the 2000 he bought with discounts. This despite Lexus's 2001 price increase and the addition of features like VSC, a form of BrakeAssist, and optional Xenons. (Lexus dealers have a lot of room to discount because of the RX's large delta between invoice and MSRP.)

    Ken, was the 99.5's crash-test-inspired enhancements also some more reinforcements? While some may criticize these additions, I sure don't mind, it beats the alternative.

    railr, congratulations on your new MDX, and finding a fair deal in CA.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    Yes, reinforcements were added to the front frame area; it was substantial enough that the side steps needed new brackets. The crash test results never mentioned this, however.
    If Acura does this, people who bought the first ones will wonder if theirs is safe...
  • rxcurerxcure Posts: 33
    So, IF MDX doesn't crash-test very well, and IF Acura makes changes, people may wonder IF their early MDX isn't safe? I wouldn't worry about this unlikely set of conditional probabilities -- all the evidence suggests the MDX is an extremely safe vehicle. Indeed, IMHO the MDX, ML, RX, and X5 are all extremely safe, and rather than worry about the tiny nuances differentiating one from another people should focus on what meets their needs best.
  • We also considered the Montero limited. We chose the MDX because it handled much better on road, had better gas mileage, better acceleration, more practical third row seat design (Montero can't split 50/50), slightly more cargo behind third row, and wider 2nd row seat (can put 2 baby seats and an adult comfortably). Other things I didn't like about the Montero: the swing out hatch which swings out towards the curb (right side) instead of away, and the 2nd row 60/40 split which has the 60 split on the right side instead of the left. Design was definitely re-used from Japanese version since they drive on the left side of road. The only feature I wish the MDX had (from the Montero) was a flip and tumble 2nd row seat for easier access to the third row.

    Safety was also a concern after seeing the report on SUV rollovers. I believe the MDX would be safer in this area since it has a 5" wider track and is 4.4" lower in height than the Montero. The Montero is definitely a better off road vehichle with its high ground clearance and better 4wd system, but since we don't plan on using this vehicle off road the MDX was the better vehicle for the family. Even at 2K more than the Montero, we consider the MDX a better value for meeting our needs.
  • epoeepoe Posts: 56
    I don't understand the need to consider off-road capabilities for a suv. Isn't it obvious that you can go anywhere you'll ever need to in ANY suv? If you want a specialized vehicle, wouldn't you get such? Do people consider the Ninja's off-road capability or look at the KX/RM/CR etc dirt bikes for such? geez...
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543

    I think your focusing your comments too much on crash tests results but I guess that is the most important selection criteria for you.

    I think you might be confusing the crash test of the Montero Sport, I saw recent results with the Montero (I think in consumer guide or something, I will dig it out again if I can find it) and the Montero 01 did rate as "good" I believe.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    By the way, the Montero has reinforced doors and side air bags.
  • kenyeekenyee Posts: 738
    I only brought it up because ML and X5 owners have griped in the past about it. So, I guess if Acura adds more reinforcements to make them do better in the off-center crash tests, you won't be one of those doing the griping, right? :-)
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    The MDX was 40K in my area, no reduction accepted. The Montero LTD with rear air was 34,500. Not a 2K difference.

    The Montero will be better off road but I am not saying that everyone should put this criteria first.

    I dont think the difference in true safty will differ much between the two in real world driving.

    SUV's dont roll unless the driver does not know how to drive them properly.

    The 2nd seat is every bit as good as the MDX. I too can fit 2 baby seats and a third person. The fact that the seat is 60/40 instead of 50/50 is a matter of personal preference. I think it is better just in case you need a little more opening than 50% will allow.

    Agree with you on the swing out. The GJC has the best door. Door goes up but so does window in case you are close to a wall.

    The small differece in stance is not as important as roll center or the tires used and more importantly the driver.

    The MDX does not handle that much better. A GSR will handle that much better. I drove both SUV back to back. The MDX had a little less roll, higher noise level, rougher ride. If I were to push the MDX to the level needed to see the difference then you would in fact be driving unsafe and safty has been mentioned in this site on numerous occasions. You cant have you cake and eat it too comes to mind.

    Dont get me wrong, the MDX is a better choice for some but the reviews are comparing apples to oranges, using criteria that are more appropriate for cars and the consumer is not getting all the information needed to make well informed decisions.

    Thats why sites like these are so important.
  • Thanks VERY much for the explanation, jarjar44! We are making headway -- finally got Del Ray Acura to agree to FedEx the paperwork yesterday, so as soon as it gets here we're off to the insurance co. and the registry. With any luck we'll have everything pulled together before the car gets here tonight. Definitely has been a huge hassle, and Del Ray Acura has not been especially helpful. Although they certainly cashed our check fast enough. Once we get the car and can see whether it's "as advertised," we'll summarize our experience on the dealer rating area of

    Boston Auto Transport has been very helpful. The driver trucking our MDX up here is going home for Thanksgiving and hadn't planned to get us the car until Friday, but depending on the mileage he makes today, he's willing to meet us quite close to our house and make the drop-off. We're keeping our fingers crossed we can take our new MDX for a spin tonight!

    I commute into Boston or Cambridge through monstrous traffic every day and have seen only two MDXes on the road -- they're awfully scarce in these parts. I think we're going to attract a lot of attention! :-0

    HONDA ACURA WORLD -- By the way, Tim of Honda Acura World got completely snowed in by Buffalo's big storm yesterday and is essentially "closed" for a few days whie he shovels out! He asked that somebody pass that along to the forums.

  • DimaDima Posts: 14
    Attended the show on Saturday, $10 worth spent. Wonderful chance to see all cars together in one day! Surgically examined all the competition and came away reassured in my decision to buy MDX. The perfect combination of practicality, comfort and status statement.

    Lexus was the only car hooked up to the external power and I liked the way the instrument panel looks and the radio was nice too.

    Unsolicited comment out of topic - coming from Europe I still can't get it - what is it that made Americans put VW's, Volvos and Heinekens into the luxurious category?! Is it one man's trash another ones treasure thing or the belief that more $$$ = better? Anyway, the point is many items considered blue collar/mass production ordinary thing in Europe are sold here as the luxury items.

    I've seen highways full of MB, Volvo, VW trailer trucks, taxi cab fleets consisting of 99.9% of Mercedeses and raws of Heinekens, Carlsbergs or Tuborgs cheaper then almost any other beer in the store. I'll tell you this much - you would turn much more eyes driving MDX in Europe than here! Paradox...

    Of course, this doesn't matter much here since no one cares what they think or live like anyway.

    Also saw 2002 Ch.Blazer (looks very nice but the limited version will be more $$ than MDX!!!), saw new Buick SUV (Aztek platphorm, so-so) and some other good stuff.

    The pockets on the MDX doors were stuffed with QX4 advertisement (can they go any lower than that?)
  • vip9vip9 Posts: 30
    I could swear, I hit the "Post" button, but I do not see it, so, here again are a few questions I have...

    Did anyone install (or plan to do so) a front protective grill? Is there one fitted for the MDX? What was the price (with installation?) How does it look? Any pictures?

    Any MDX stories from around Buffalo, now that you got 2' of snow?

  • alingaling Posts: 598
    The IIHS results for the ML did mention that a few structural changes were made for MLs built from March 1999 onwards. They didn't, however, mention the (apparently quite substantial) structural changes for MY2K. There are no structural changes between the MY2K and the MY01 ML.

    I don't think the IIHS will be testing the MDX anytime soon. Look how long it took them to supplement their mid-size SUV report (X5, Montero, etc.). Based on what we know about the Odyssey though, it should do quite well. As for the NHTSA tests, I don't really even bother too much with those anymore (except the side impact tests). The '99.5 and newer Nissan Pfs received four and five stars, but yet only a marginal result for the IIHS test.

    Townhall Community Leader/Vans Conference
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I think your focusing your comments too much on crash tests results but I guess that is the most important selection criteria for you.

    Not the most important selection criteria, but I would no longer knowingly buy a vehicle that didn't rate or was fairly certain to score an overall "good" in the IIHS ratings. That's one of my personal criteria, it isn't everybody's.

    There are too many SUV's now with IIHS "good" ratings to have to accept one where the manufacturer didn't invest in making it "good."

    (Again, the MDX is expected to be good, and yes, I will freak if it won't be. And again, for those whose requirement is to actually know the test result, I would advise waiting or looking to the X5, ML320, and RX300).

    Folks here like Drew and probably Ken add more to their personal requirements, and also mandate safety items like stability control. I suspect that stability control will be a requirement for my next vehicle as well.

    I think you might be confusing the crash test of the Montero Sport, I saw recent results with the Montero (I think in consumer guide or something, I will dig it out again if I can find it) and the Montero 01 did rate as "good" I believe.

    I'm afraid I'm not confusing it; NHTSA isn't scheduled to release crash test results for the Montero until January 2001. IIHS's tests for the 2001 Montero (not the sport) resulted in an "acceptable" rating (they have four levels -- poor, marginal, acceptable, and good). The URL for the rating on IIHS's web site, which I included in my original message to you, is:

    The Montero Sport rates a "poor", its IIHS report is at:

    I hope that the Montero is a good vehicle. However, for me, personally, just seeing the less-than-ideal crash test results makes me wonder about how serious Mitsubishi is about safety. This after it was revealed this year that Mitsubishi had been covering up serious defects in its vehicles for over two decades (!), and criminal charges were filed against its management.

    Hopefully DaimlerChrysler will be able to set them right, as Daimler now owns 34% of Mitsubishi and has the option, and I believe intent, to purchase it 100%.

    P.S. Say Drew, since you're probably watching, there's a doppleganger for you in the Montero forum ... people are asking him the Healy-type questions ...
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    Guys. Oddessey has earned 5 start all around score from Feds. MDX is based on Oddy with better structure. MDX WILL receive 5 start rating form the Govt.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    The problem here is we dont know the real world difference between acceptable and good.

    You loose just one arm instead of two, your body in intact but your head is down the road.

    Guys....dont get hung up on this too much. Hopefully the great majority of you are defensive drivers that wont have to find out what "good" actually means.

    Remember, a deceleration injury (tearing you aorta) can occur during crashes in which the "dummy" looks good and there was no interior penetration.

    Again, unless you know the real world difference I would hesitate to read too much into these ratings.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Crash tests are down to a science now, and they do indeed factor in various types of injury. Crash test dummies cost upwards of $150,000 apiece, and can register injuries to various portions of the body. E.g. the IIHS test uses a Hybrid III dummy that registers, among many other items, triaxial accelerations (there's the aorta you mentioned) and rib compressions. Also A-P shear force, axial force, and A-P movements

    Safety-focused manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz spend millions in building their own internal labs to conduct safety testing, not just relying on outside agencies, which may not respond quickly enough in the design of a vehicle.

    Both NHTSA and IIHS have documentation on their web sites that discuss their statistical factors and derivations. E.g. 5 stars in the NHTSA frontal crash represents a 10% or less chance of serious injury, 4 stars is 11% to 20% chance of serious injury, 3 stars is 21% to 35% chance of serious injury, etc. They define serious injury as "one requiring immediate hospitalization and may be life threatening."

    The NHTSA star rating system, and the IIHS poor-marginal-acceptable-good rating are meant to show relative differences. Acceptable is better than marginal, good is better than acceptable.

    They also document the actual differences between what constitutes acceptable versus good. E.g. for dummy kinematics and restraint performance, observed behaviors like bottoming out of the airbag, movement of most of the dummy's head through the original plane of the side window, excessive rearward or upward movement (> 100mm) of the steer column, etc. result in a downgrade from "good" to "acceptable" for that test. Each IIHS test, such as the one I sent you a link to, documents which one of those factors led to a downgraded rating, if any.

    Whenever I hear someone poo-poo a crash test because it isn't "real world," it's usually because they aren't aware of how sophisticated these tests are (there is a LOT of documentation on them), or someone whose vehicle didn't fare too well in the tests. It isn't usually from someone who has a true scientific invalidation of the result.

    Obviously the crash test can't predict every circumstance (and IIHS and NHTSA take great pains to explain these factors). However, it is, overall, a good indicator of how well engineered a vehicle is for safety. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to look at the photos in the IIHS test and see compression of various areas of the vehicle, deforming of key zones, etc.

    I would agree that differences between one overall "good" vs. another "good" in the same class of vehicle are probably not as statistically meaningful; that may be as much for bragging rights (e.g. X5 vs. ML320, which differ only in one score).

    However, there are meaningful differences between "acceptable" and "good." It's up to the individual to decide how important that difference is. I'm not sure if these results were available to you when you purchased your vehicle, so you either decided that it wasn't important or were not aware of it.

    Either way, that's your right, and I'm not criticizing you for it; please don't take it personally. My main point is, for those for whom crashworthiness as demonstrated by independent testing is important, these are real ratings, and can be a major factor in one's purchasing decision.

    For example, in my own case, as I've documented in a much earlier post, I agonized long and hard over whether or not the ML320 had enough incremental safety advantages over the MDX to justify buying it. And I was confused between certain circumstances -- e.g. at the time, child-proof door locks were not available for any M-class (supposedly there is now a retrofit), the 2000 model I would have bought didn't have child seat tether anchors (there should eventually be a retrofit but I'm not sure when, and the M-class doesn't have a door-ajar light. On the other hand, it has really tough construction, features like BrakeAssist, 4-wheel traction control, and stability control.

    As rxcure implied, and IIHS said (and NHTSA similarly says with their own system), once you're in the "good" rating class, differences are much less pronounced. So in the end I decided to go with the MDX and I think it's safe.

    Standards for safety do change, however. In several years vehicles will be even safer. Today, I will not buy another vehicle that doesn't carry the highest crash test rating or is expected to do so if it hasn't been tested yet. The competition out there is just too good.
  • We considered a few candidates including Montero before deciding on MDX:

    1. ML320/430: Very nice and solid. Would have bought it if there's no MDX.
    2. Volvo V70 XC: Another great performer. But the 3rd seat is useless(we need 7 seater) and the space is smaller than ML and MDX.
    3. Montero: Also a solid machine. Good price. But the interior is less flexible than MDX's.

    Many factors for deciding the right vehicle for you are subjective(style, space, #of seats, price...). I agree with brillmtb that real life driving is not the same as crash test and don't always depend on IIHS' report. As for price, Montero is around $4K lower than MDX's(especially in SF bay area). We simply decided to put in more bucks for MDX. I love the forums as I can hear others' opinions/experiences and filter them to help me make decision and have benefited a lot(thanks to wmquan, aling...). Hope everyone makes his/her best purchase and enjoy it w/o regrets...
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Has anyone found a good third-party front air deflector, and/or a good third-party tailgate deflector?

    The Acura models are backordered through at least January, plus they're a bit expensive (especially the tailgate deflector). Some of us would like to get some kind of front air deflector installed before the weather gets worse in our respective areas, and the potential for chips in the hood becomes larger.

    Has anyone tried to see if a third-party deflector made for the Odyssey would fit?

    Any information appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    The MDX was 5500 more here, no deals on the MDX.

    Agree that the seats are firmer as in the ML but as a guy with a bad back (at too young an age) the firmer seats work better for me.

    See......there is another example of how small differences can tilt it one way or another.
  • brillmtbbrillmtb Posts: 543
    Hey, I dont know if everyone can see your comments but they are worth posting "unhidden". I can see them but dont know if this is because you are responding to my message?

    Would rec you not "hide" them.

    With respect to the technical details on crash tests that you seem to be very well versed at what would be the difference between acceptable and good in real world injuries. Do the testers put these differences into objective physcial damage to our bodies so we can see what they would expect?

    I still dont know if there is a statistical difference but no bilologic significance (oops there goes by sats class 101). If you understand statistics, and it seems you might, you will see my point.

    Also, the scales are important. You can break things down so fine and multiple out the small difference as to make it look like it is significant.

    I will look to the site if you have it to see if they explain the differences.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Sounds kind of weird, but it apparently fixed at least one owner's instance of second row seat rattle, according to the poster (mvu_99, who posted info about the original problem here) on

    (He also had a tailgate rattle which was the tailgate striker and latch contacting while driving. Service department fixed it quickly.)
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I usually hide messages that are somewhat off-topic, and/or very long. I put the subject line there, so if anyone is interested all they have to do is the click on the "Hidden Response" prompt (as you did, they see the same as you do), and they can see the message.

    Not everyone wants to read on the subject, and/or wants to see a message anywhere near as long as what I wrote, plus some folks are still connecting via dial-up. Would rather not inflict the long download time on them.

    I also do this for messages that focus more on non-MDX issues, since this is an MDX forum. The reader can decide whether or not to view the hidden message.

    To answer your question, yes, there are correlations to biological injuries. For example, NHTSA maps incidences of physical injury to their probabilities and thus their star ratings. IIHS is relatively similar; being sponsored by the insurance industry, they obviously have access to all sorts of actuarial data!

    The dummies are constructed to register the type of forces that would cause biological injury. They can predict if it's likely that, say, a femur will be broken, or a skull fractured. (I hate even typing the last line.)

    You're correct that in the end, statistics are what are compiled from these tests, and that statistics can be manipulated. However, I think the IIHS (and NHTSA) don't play games with these numbers, and they are meant to map to real-world scenarios. It is impossible for them to make it foolproof, of course, as there are many variables. But when you look at photos of how different vehicles respond in the tests, you get a very good idea of how real world things can become.

    This information is documented in the web sites; I sure didn't learn this through osmosis. I also watched an excellent PBS special on car safety and its evolution (had a lot of nice clips of cars before safety glass - wait those were NOT nice at all, they were gruesome! - the Volvo engineer who pioneered the 3-point seat belt - the fancy MB test center and their introduction of airbags). Unfortunately, the information is quite a bore to read and is voluminous. is IIHS's web site. is NHTSA's.

    The IIHS crash test of the Montero can be found at:

    Again, I'm not saying the Montero is a bad vehicle, and I'm not even saying that it is an unsafe one. However, the crash tests do indicate a higher probability of physical injuries (serious and perhaps fatal) for this specific case, compared to one with a higher rating. Obviously "acceptable" is much better than being rated "poor" or "marginal," but "good" is better. It's up to each buyer to decide what that means. But I'd certainly hope no one would buy one that rates "poor!"

    Good luck, and thanks for listening.
  • It might be old news to some but I just caught this on the Acura of Mission Viejo website:

    Acura Sales Soar - November 9, 2000
    The Acura Division of American Honda Motor Company is going strong surpassing their 1999 year-to-date new vehicle sales! With sales of 118,291, they are on track to exceed their all-time record year sales of 143,708 set in 1991.

    To date, TL sales of 57,733 are up 26%; CL of 21,560 are up 19%; RL of 12,219 are up 9%; Integra of 23,357 are up 2%; MDX/SLX of 3,216 are up 542%; and Total Vehicle sales are up 19%. The MDX with first month sales of 2,456 units will surely provide the additional momentum to beat our all-time record!

    I'm assuming that the above reflects sales in USA and Canada. Is the MDX available in any other countries yet? Do you think these are actual deliveries or does it include orders?
  • wde00wde00 Posts: 4
    I bought beige base + NAV MDX from Stevens Creek
    Acura for MSRP + $260 and got 4 mud flaps + wheel locks Nov. 11. I had deposit down since Sept. 10 and was on page 2 of wait list but 5 others before me skipped. I had a verbal when I put down deposit that I could buy for MSRP without [non-permissible content removed] accessories. I went in after the Oct. 11 open house and got them to confirm this. All in all a great experience - salesman Peter Chu.
    'Nother subject - re premium gas. The Odyssey has 9.4 to 1 compression and mine likes MBTE 87 just fine but the MDX has 10.0 to one so this is probably Acura's reason for premium requirement.
This discussion has been closed.