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
#950 of 1084 Re: Volvo [safeperfsnowsu]
Jul 13, 2005 (6:28 pm)
The MDX is better than the X5 from 30-60 you are right, but 0-30 the X5 smokes the MDX(because the MDX, and Ody's Vtech engine really gets going with the higher revs) 0-30 and the 350 smokes them both.
Are you sure it's just not a perception? Even a conservative publication like Consumer Reports timed the 2003 MDX's 0-30 as 3.0 seconds, and the 2005 X3 3.0 at the same 3.0 seconds. The MDX was faster 0-60 and 45-65, as expected.
The new M-class is much improved but it's the first year, and first year models can be very dicey for any brand, especially Mercedes. If you do get it, make sure you get the Airmatic suspension as quite a few reviewers and test drivers have found the difference to be night and day.
The XC90 V8 won't handle as sharply as the M-class or X5 but it should give you plenty of low-end torque.
Jul 13, 2005 (8:05 pm)
Yes I saw that as I was doing research this evening and was surprised because in the MDX it really does not jump from a stand still like the X5 does and I could not safely enter traffic in the MDX that I could with confidence in the X5 or the M350 (here is another twist, the edmunds first drive review says the 2006 Merc is lacking low end torque so I am not sure what I am talking about when I am talking about performance from stand still now as he M350 jumped off the line even faster than the X5 does). Yes the airmatic is one of the options I would get.
The XC90 V* looks like it will fit the bill very nicely and while it doesn't have all the gadgets that the Merc does it seems just as safe and the seats very comfortable (I have found that Volvo's seats are the most comfortable), and visibility seems better too. I just hope it is quick off the line or I will have to pass on it and pay at least $10K more for the Merc. Look forward to test driving it tomorrow. Thanks again for the suggestion.
I agree with the 1st year worries with the new model but it may be my only option.
Jul 14, 2005 (10:51 am)
Tried the Volvo V8 and it was a nice car (certainly a nicer looker than the Merc which I still contend looks a little too similar to an explorer) but pick up was still not as good as the M350 or the X5 but slightly better than the MDX.
Braking not as good as the Merc and surprisingly the seat ws not as comfortable either and I did not feel that the seat gave me enough depth either and also visibility was not great as the top of the windshield was at my eye level even with the seat all the way down (great visibility if my eyes were 6 inches lower). The interior was very nicely laid out but didn't feel as luxurious as the Merc.
The worst part though was that it bounced around all over the place at the slightest yaw, when breaking and cornering (the Merc standard has quite small bounce but with the airmatic system virtually eliminated, X5 is very good in this regard) and felt like almost as bad as the older Landrover Discovery's were. I bet it is a very good off road car though but my needs are on road.
So I will be getting the Merc (unless there are other suggestions that people have that I should try) and will keep my fingers crossed that relaibility holds up. If it doesn't the new roomier X5 comes out fall of 06 and I will trade in the Merc and get one of those. I am taking the M500 out tomorrow and will post my impressions vs. the 350.
Thanks for the suggestions.
#953 of 1084 Re: Merc it is [safeperfsnowsu]
Jul 15, 2005 (3:51 am)
Sounds like you have convinced yourself that the Mercedes is your vehicle of choice.
Obviously, a lot of the attributes you are looking at are subjective, since I found the ML350 to be below both the X5 and XC90 V8 in terms of handling. We test drove both the X5 3.0 6-speed and Cayenne V6 6-speed because of our preference for manual transmissions. (The MDX is the first automatic that either my wife or I have owned in 28 and 30 years of drivien respectively). Unfortunately, as much as we liked the X5, it was just too small. And I found that the X5 3.0 needed a manual transmission to keep up with the MDX, so go figure your different impression of "off the line" speed. I admit I am used to and comfortable with the V-tech engine characteristics, having owned a Honda S2000 and Acura TL 6-speed.
The only other vehicles that I would suggest, with some reservation, are (1) GX470 w/ sport (KDSS) package. The 2005 is improved over the previous model, with a 270 hp (vs. 235) V8 and the sport package helps take some of the body roll out of the suspension. I doubt you would find it better than the ML in driving dynamics, but Lexus is far superior in reliability, build quality and resale value.
The other suggestion is off topic. Since you seem to want to use an SUV as a sporty commuter car, have you considered a new BMW 550i 6-speed sedan through European Delivery?? This is about the safest sedan you can buy and it will nearly match the old M5 in performance. The price you could get through discounted ED might not be that much more than the ML350. Obviously, you won't have the cargo capacity of a larger SUV, but the 550i damn near matches the X5 in "utility" and even the renowned Cayenne TT won't come close to it in "sport".
Sorry to get off topic, guess my recent shopping for a Boxster S has clouded my thinking.
P.S. I feel compelled to mention that, having bought two vehicles in the last year from a Mercedes/Acura dealer, the sales manager privately discouraged us from considering the ML 350 over the MDX purely because of reliability issues. Similarly, the Porsche sales manager who is a friend privately discouraged us from considering the Cayenne for similar reasons. I am now about to award him for his honesty by buying either a Boxster S or 911 Cabriolet. If you decide to roll the dice with the ML350, I stongly suggest you get an extended warranty and make sure they will take care of you in the event of problems (i.e. drive a loaner to you, etc.). Simply covering the cost of repairs under warranty doesn't make up for the extreme pain in the butt caused by a vehicle that has repeated problems. We know at least two friends whose ML is the last Mercedes they will ever buy. Ever.
#954 of 1084 Re: Merc it is [safeperfsnowsu]
Jul 15, 2005 (6:33 am)
I, my wife, and my father-in-law used to own MBs, we will never buy MB again. Same with my physician friends. Again good luck to you.
#955 of 1084 The warnings have sunk in
Jul 15, 2005 (6:39 am)
I have been reading about the M series and apparently even people with the 2006 are already complaining about reliability issues and the car has only been out 3 months! It is giving me pause as one of the things I read was tranny related.
I would much much prefer to drive a sedan than an SUV and the 550i is a great suggestion (my father traded his 7 series for one of these) and one of the three that would consider( the other two being the VW Phaeton and the Merc E AMG) but don't want to have two cars (or at least not two if one of them isn't a sports car, DB7 is on my shopping list once my child is a bit older) and need one that I can take the dog and the bikes around in and that will reliably have no problem with a Boston snow storm.
You have a lot of experience with cars and it surprises me that you feel that the MDX could pull in to traffic as quickly as the X5 auto (remember I am not talking about a highway on ramp but from a stop sign on a side street in to a rotary or from a side street in to 2 lane fast road with practically bumper to bumper with the odd break here and there, also I don't know if this makes a difference but I have the 2003 X5 haven't tried the new ones) . I haven't had the range of vehicles you have but I have been driving for 20 years mostly in European cities (London, Rome, Barcelona) and I just couldn't pull in to traffic with the MDX where I could with the X5 or the 350.
Didn't look at the cayenne because I surmised that it would be even stiffer than the X5 and not great for a commute, also had read the seats were not that comfortable and the MPG was not good.
Anyway I do appreciate your suggestions, and your warnings about the M series have sunk in (I was so taken by the 350 because it was the 1st car after test driving so many that impressed me with both its pick up and its comfort and safety and frankly just didn't want to have to do anymore "shopping"). I have decided to hold off for a few more months to give the new M's some time to get some more reviews from owners. Also, I have some extensive hiking and backpacking planned for the summer and frankly don't want to do it in my new car as it will get messy. The more I think about it it might just be worth keeping the minvan for that kid/bikes/hiking type stuff until I am ready to get the DB7 (the 1998 is my favorite year, a truly beautiful car).
I have a suggestion for you too: go for the 911 unless your wife will be driving it a lot, and congratulations, very nice car.
Jul 15, 2005 (6:44 am)
Thanks CT warnings have sunk in. My wife is an ER Doc which is why the ability to deal with the snow is so important.
#957 of 1084 Re: Merc it is [habitat1]
Jul 15, 2005 (8:07 am)
Obviously, a lot of the attributes you are looking at are subjective, since I found the ML350 to be below both the X5 and XC90 V8 in terms of handling.
Just out of curiousity, is that the old ML350, or the new 2006 one? Just curious in how you ranked it if it's the new one.
#958 of 1084 Re: The warnings have sunk in [safeperfsnowsu]
Jul 15, 2005 (8:12 am)
One plus for the ML (and the X5) is that it should handle Boston snow storms slightly better than the MDX and XC90. I think the latter two will be adequate, but the ML and X5 will inspire some more confidence. Since you seem to be looking for maximum levels, I thought it worth mentioning.
An odder possibility that you may or may not have already mentioned is the Infiniti FX45. It should have a decent amount of power and good handling, at the expense of some ride comfort and of course passenger and cargo room. Reliability should be impeccable, safety won't be as strong as an MB or Volvo, though.
#959 of 1084 Re: The warnings have sunk in [wmquan]
Jul 15, 2005 (12:04 pm)
Assuming you can get past the styling (of the FX).