Last post on Jul 29, 2012 at 6:31 PM
You are in the Volvo XC90
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Acura MDX, Lexus RX 330, BMW X5, Cadillac SRX, Toyota Highlander, Volvo XC90, SUV
#764 of 1084 Sold ML, Bought MDX (What took me so long?)
Jul 20, 2003 (7:58 pm)
Last week, I traded-in my 2000 ML320 and bought a 2003 Acura MDX Touring with Navi and RES.
In the past year, my ML turned into a complete nightmare - first started with the air mass sensor failure (twice), then the in-line fuel filter, followed by the infamous/common power window switch failure, the moonroof (a trim fell off), the transmission valve stuck, mysterious noise from the AC center vent, the power steering hose clamp recall, and the last one - the glove box cover hinge broke! It was unbelievable.
With warranty expiration in sight (we put 47K miles on it), the local MB dealer in Omaha (which runs their newly acquired MB dealership like a Ford dealership) sent me a letter saying that they will provide "complimentary local transportation" (read "no loaner") for service after the warranty expires. After seeing the JD Power report, well, that's it for me. I opt out.
My wife and I both have high demanding jobs, with a little one year old. We have no time for stopping by the MB service department every now and then (they don't open on Saturday!) Plus they charge $90/labor hour! (A brake job at 25K mile costed me $900.)
With reliabiliy as the #1 requirement and a $40K-$45K budget, we shopped for the Japanese brands only (love X5 but it's just another ML in terms of quality and reliability; do not want to take the risk of trying the "recently improved" GM quality - may be in five years when they have a track record established.) We considered the Lexus GX but the third row seat is a joke. The RX is gimmicky (the power hatch is for physically challenged people IMHO.), pretentious (oh come-on it is a dressed up next gen Highlander) and overpriced like the GX. The dealer experience was so-so (they were not fair on the trade-in value).
Ended up I bought an MDX because that's a safe choice from a reliability standpoint, with a lot of nice features (DVD, Navi, third row seats, etc.), at a very reasonable price (I paid $40K). Also the dealer treated me well. In the past I owned a Honda Accord from 1995 to 2000 before I made the costly mistake of buying the ML. Over the five years I had no problem with the Accord. I trust Acura/Honda reliability.
Looking back, I have to say ML is a well-designed vehicle with great off-road capability. I drove that in severe weather (heavy rain, whte out snow, icy road) and survived. I took that off road too and it rocked! But the build quality and reliability is simply horrible - I worried about another failure coming from god-know-where every day in the last three months I owed the vehicle.
In conclusion, I have completed lost confidence in MB. Too bad the ML is our first and last Mercedes vehicle. We will never buy another Mercedes again.
Sep 06, 2003 (12:43 pm)
Is it me or does the RX330 have even uglier tails lights than the RX300. It looks like a cheap after market product that definitely do not belong on a car in this price range. That kind of tail lights might go well with other unsightly add ons such as a 4 inch tail pipe, chain link steering wheel or maybe even that Jesus Christ sticker on the head lights, but not with what is suppose to be a luxury car.
#766 of 1084 hopeitsfriday
Sep 06, 2003 (2:22 pm)
Some folks think the 2004 MDX's taillights are ugly too. I'm okay with them, though.
Sep 07, 2003 (6:16 am)
Well, obviously the luxury SUV buying crowd doesn't think the tailights are ugly, otherwise it wouldn't be crushing every other entry level luxury SUV!
#768 of 1084 'Dem be fightin' woids ...
Sep 07, 2003 (10:43 am)
"[The RX330] is a dressed up next gen Highlander" ... isn't the MDX just a dressed-up AWD Odyssey?
#769 of 1084 Ugly RX330 Taillights
Sep 07, 2003 (10:55 am)
Both my wife and I both feel that these lights are ugly and, in general, do not like any vehicles that are sporting these lamps today. Like you said, they look like some cheap aftermarket add-on.
I am waiting to see what they look like after a few years when they accumulate surface scratching and the nice clear plastic starts turning yellow like most of them seem to do. Knowing Lexus (Toyota's) tendancy for this type of lense to accumulate condensation, not only are they ugly new but they are certain to get uglier as time progresses.
Seems to me this type of lense only is popular with the under 25 group, not the 45+ group of a typical Lexus buyer.
Sep 07, 2003 (12:04 pm)
The 04 MDX's tail lights are different, but not ugly in my opinion. I personally prefer the tail lights on the 01 to 03 MDX. Some people actually like the 04 tail lights better, besides the dual exhaust more than makes up for it.
Getting back to the RX, I remember that the 03 and earlier RX300 had a clear tail light lenses with red reflectors. The clear lenses was very cheesy and on the outside part of tail lights, a part of the round brake lights is actually cutoff by the hatch to make it fit. Almost looks like a after thought. I figure they would improve on it for the 04, but I actually think they made it uglier. Like bobeberhardt said, lenses like that only appeals to the 20s crowd who like to add things to their cars, it does not appeal to the typical buyers of the RX330, middle age females who do not like to sup up cars. Luckily for Toyota, alot of people can look pass a set of ugly tail lights for other quality that the RX has, but its like every other things, there will be a few people who will actually like them.
#771 of 1084 Lucky?
Sep 07, 2003 (12:53 pm)
At between $40-45K a pop and with sales of over 10,000 a copy last month, luck ain't got nothing to do with it. No doubt, no two people are the same, and everyone will have their likes and dislikes, but in the marketplace sales determine winners, treaders, and losers. So, considering all the fine offerings in this segment of the market, it is pretty evident that quite a few folks disagree with your assessment of the tail lights.
Sep 07, 2003 (5:37 pm)
No , its just that quite a few folks can over look my correct assessment of the tail lights. How many people you know choose their car by how the tail lights looks?
#773 of 1084 hopeitsfriday
Sep 08, 2003 (5:16 am)
As my daughter would say, "it's just not that serious." But I must respond just on GP.
You stated, "my correct assessment of the tail lights." "Correct" by whose standards? Not by mine because I don't agree, and my wife really likes the look--not run of the mill. Has anyone taken a poll? What is your empirical data? Very little mention of the tail lights in the numerous magazines and newpapers that have reviewed the 330, positive or negative.
My problem with statements such as this is that they project personal opinions as ones shared by the majority of others. Personally, I have NO problem with you disliking the tail lights. That's what makes us individuals. However, in the absence of any other evidence, IMO my point about sales holds more validity concerning the general feeling about the tail lights than your personal view.