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Acura MDX, Jeep Commander, SUV
#16 of 35 Commander is a classic
Oct 09, 2005 (4:45 pm)
In the spirit of the Edsel, Gremlin, and other American missteps. My prediction is it will be discontinued after 3 years of dissapointing sales or massively redesigned to compete. Your purchase probably bought Chrysler another 15 minutes before they plunge into inevitable bankruptcy.
Oct 09, 2005 (4:50 pm)
1. The Commander is just as bland as my MDX...it just looks like an old Jeep...PERIOD. Both look great, but aren't going to be awed over in Rodeo Drive.
2. Funny thing you mention fuel economy between the MDX and Commander. Despite using Premium 91+ octane compared to the Commander's Plus 89+ octane requirement, the MDX will still use less fuel in one year according to fueleconomy.gov.
3. Also, you imply that the MDX will break down mechanically after the warranty expires. Hmm, doesn't the MDX have a longer new car warranty and powertrain warranty than the Commander?
6 year/70,000 miles 3 year/36,000 miles
4 year/50,000 miles 3 year/36,000 miles
5 year/unlimited miles 5 year/100,000 miles
4. The 3.7L V6 used by DCX is as unrefined as it gets. But that's not all. The 4.7L and 5.7L are very unrefined too, though they are fun to drive. But if I want the smoothest ride, I'll stick with an OHC engine, or an OHV from GM.
5. The interior quality of the Commander is not up to Acura's standards. Push your thumb against the passenger side of the dashboard in the Commander and you can feel the plastic move. Try doing that in an MDX.
6. The MDX comes with more available cargo room - up to 81.5 cu ft to be exact. Compare that to the Commander's 68.7.
7. Just for those who want to know...interior dimensions between the two are pretty much on par---fairly comfortable, with a kids-ONLY 3rd-row.
38.4 in/39.0 in/36.1 in 42.1 / 40.2 / 35.7
41.5 in/37.8 in/29.3 in 41.7 / 36.1 / 28.9
56.9 in/56.3 in/48.5 in 55.6 / 54.0 / 57.4
61.2 in/61.1 in/58.6 in 59.0 / 58.5 / 50.4
8. Chrysler's new navigation system is wonderful, honestly it is. But it's still no match for Honda/Acura's DVD navigation system. ZAGAT-restaurant reviews, voice recognition, Bluetooth calling to all 7-million POIs, larger 7" touch screen, and a rearview camera. They've just had more years of experience with it.
9. Where's the side airbags that deploy from the front seats in the Commander? The IIHS has already proven to us that they are effective and useful, so why doesn't the Commander have them but the Acura does?
Both are great family haulers, but you need to rethink some of your arguments against the MDX. But in the end, I'd recommend a car-based SUV (MDX, RX, B9, SRX, etc.) to the average Joe American family.
Oct 09, 2005 (5:02 pm)
looks a lot better than this:
I know that's not the Commander Limited, but it's essentially the same minus the chrome door handles and the wood trim on the center stack and window switches.
While the Commander goes for the ultimate off-roading look, the MDX goes for the more sophisticated urbanite look. Since these pictures are relatively large, you can see some of the detailing (or lack thereof) in the Commander. Where's the padded leather door panels? Where's the padded leather center armrest? Where's the LED gauges? Where's the leather steering wheel spokes? Where's the digital climate control? Again, it's just a matter of opinion, but if I'm spending upwards of 35K, I don't want my family hauler looking cheap.
#19 of 35 Re: Commander is a classic [shopper8]
Oct 09, 2005 (7:18 pm)
" Your purchase just bought Chrysler another 15 minutes.........."
Umm. If Chrysler goes bankrupt, Mercedes goes along with it. Do you actually think the carmaker that everyone follows is willing to let that happen? I think not. And by the way, ALL of DC's SUV's perform well in sales. They often beat even DC's predictions. Can't say the same for Acura who has a 45 day supply of MDX's compared to the Commander's 11.
#21 of 35 Re: blkhemi [rctennis3811]
Oct 09, 2005 (7:35 pm)
First off, 89 octane is NOT a requirement. It is a recommendation. 91 is required in that soft-roader MDX. Put 87 or 89 in it and ruin the injectors, you've just void your warranty. I don't know where you got your sources from, but my Commander came with a 7/70000 mile warranty. As for the engines not being "refined", I'm sorry that Jeep decided to put some rumble with that punch. Both the 4.7L and 5.7L have gotten plenty of accolades for their "smoothness" and "seamless" power delivery.I take it that you're into car-based (minivan in the case of MDX), so you wouldn't recommend the Jeep Commander anyway. I get this as you mentioned the MDX,RX,B9(the ugliest car since the Pinto),SRX). These are for people who don't care to have a rugged vehicle like the Commander. But it is what it is. A nice competitve SUV for the "average Joe American family".
#22 of 35 Re: blkhemi [blkhemi]
Oct 09, 2005 (10:10 pm)
1. Considering that every 2006 Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep product is supposed to come with a 3 year/36,000 powertrain warranty, you must be an exception - either the dealer was lenient on you or you need to check your contract. 2005 models had the 7 year/70,000 powertrain warranty.
2. Also, I'm yet to see a review of a Chrysler engine that touts it's refinement. I never said anything about the 4.7 and 5.7 not having seamless power delivery nor punch; in fact, they're very fast, just not very smooth.
3. A true car aficionado would know the MDX and Pilot are based on Honda's "Global Midsize" platform, which underpins the Accord, TL, RL, and Odyssey. One could say it's based on a minivan platform, but then one would be incorrect.
4. Interesting how you bring up how rugged the Commander is. Tell me, out of the many people that are buying SUVs, how many go off-road?
5. Technically, 91 is "required" for the MDX, but you'll find many who use 87 and their MDXs have been running fine for quite some time, albeit with slower acceleration. Same goes for the HEMI; even though 89 is "recommended", you can use 87 but with slower results.
6. Obviously the Commander will have a shorter supply - it just came out! Yet despite being new, incentives are already being piled on it, whereas Acura's MDX is maintaining the number 2 best selling luxury SUV slot without incentives, "Employee Pricing Plus", nor rebates.
I also find it interesting how when I take in my MDX for an oil change, I get a free rental TSX or a free Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep vehicle since my dealer has an Advantage Rent-a-car built inside. I'll let you know how the Commander is once they loan me a Limited fully-loaded this week. I'm sure the resale will stay up on these things!
#23 of 35 Re: blkhemi [rctennis3811]
Oct 10, 2005 (8:52 am)
Checked the contract and my warranty is 7/70000 miles. It was being phased-out in mid '06. Check Ward's ten best engines, and you should see the 5.7L review. You're right. A true car aficionado would know that the MDX/Pilot is based off the '98-'02 Accord platform. But one would also know that when the MDX was marketed 5 years ago(pretty long time ago in the "luxury" field), it was touted as being based off the Odessey--not the Accord even though they all sprout from it. Up here in New England and in states where people live in rough terrain, we go off-road everyday technically. With snow typically 6-months around the year, car-based SUV's just don't cut it. And yes, both the Commander and the MDX will have a slight power lost when a lower grade fuel is used, however, the MDX's power lost is more significant than in the Commander . And when you do use a lesser octane than required-not recommended, You shorten engine life by quite a bit. And by the way, speaking of power, since this year's new SAE-ratings measuring horsepower, the MDX fell to 253hp. Seems that a lot of foreign makes were using the old method of measuring horsepower(ie: Toyota/Honda). Oh, and don't get me started on towing. The Jeep Commander tows a healthy 7200 pounds. HMMM. Wonder what the MDX tows? I got it, 3500 pounds. My horses tow more than that. So in essence, my(1) Commander can tow(2) of your MDX's. The only incentives that are being offered as I type this post is $1500 on the Commander. The MDX's around here are being discounted for up to $5000(READ: $5000 off an Acura). $2000 Honda cash, $1000 owner loyalty, $2000 dealership discount. Seems not even the prestigous Acura is immune to discounting. Interesting.
And for the record, Jeep's resale value has always been in the top 5% of ALL SUV's.
Check It out: I bought '98 JGC 5.9 Limited brand new:$36,783.98
In 2005 when I got it appraised at--
A HONDA DEALERSHIP, the vehicle was worth $13,745,
this on a vehicle 7-yr old vehicle(American at that)
So resale has never been a problem for Jeep.
Oh, and when I get my oil changed or any service, I always get a vehicle just like mine. So If I owned a MDX, why on Earth would I want a "lesser" car? Beats Me!!
#24 of 35 Re: blkhemi [blkhemi]
Oct 10, 2005 (8:07 pm)
1. What Ward's had to say for this year's 10 BEST regarding the 5.7L HEMI:
" Hip Hopping with Hemi
DaimlerChrysler 5.7L Hemi Magnum OHV V-8
Chrysler Group originally launched this engine in an '03 Dodge Ram pickup. Now Chrysler is at it again, flaunting its long-range planning acumen by designing the ground-breaking 300-Series sedan (and the husky Magnum station wagon on the same platform) to accept the Hemi.
The combination is a smash hit, both playing on the other's strengths: The 300C hit the market with immediate, hip-hop "street cred" and features the Hemi. Thanks in no small part to the Hemi, the 300C overshadowed virtually every other new vehicle launched in 2004. The 300-Series would have been cool without the Hemi. W it, it's a home run.
In every model that offers the Hemi - an expanding list - Chrysler gets customers to pay extra for an unabashedly in-your-face V-8. The company says the overall take rate is a giddy 46%.
Earning a spot on the Ward's 10 Best Engines list for a third consecutive year, the Hemi is a juggernaut, seemingly better in each new application."
Like I said, the HEMI has a lot of power and is a blast to drive, but there is no mention of refinement in their press release.
2. Despite the MDX being old, it's been continually updated year-to-year (not so much for 2006) and it still manages to have more convenience features than a Commander.
3. I have cousins in up in Boston that drive a 2004 RX330 - a car-based SUV. They get around fine, just like many of their friends do. I go up there every year and when it snows, it SNOWS. Apparently, the neighbors that do have car-based SUVs can also get out of their driveways fine.
4. The MDX's power loss is more significant how? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd like some proof first.
5. I know what my MDX can tow, it's just average. I knew that when I bought the vehicle, as the only thing I would ever need to tow would be our boat (the MDX can tow up to 4500lbs for a boat), but we keep that at the lake. But when comparing the 3.7L V6 to the 3.5L V6, trailer towing is equal. Obviously, an OHV V8 will be able to tow more than a SOHC V6, although gas mileage is a little higher.
6. Interesting how you state Jeep's resale value is so high. Compare a 2005 Grand Cherokee Limited 4WD fully-loaded except for the Off-Road Group to a 2005 Acura MDX Touring with Navigation. Both come in for around $42,500. Add 15,000 miles to both and tell me which one has the higher resale. The GC plunges down to $26,100 trade-in value while the MDX goes to $34,350. Quite a difference in resale for the GC despite it coming with a DVD entertainment system and rear sonars on the checked option list while the MDX not.
7. Owner loyalty cash applies to almost every make and model. Heck, I bought my wife a 2004 Lexus LS and it too had owner loyalty cash. I even purchased our first MDX (2004 Premium model) for $3000 off sticker since it was CLOSEOUT for MY04. Despite these "incentives", the value still seems to hold well.
8. I also sort of doubt that you got $14,000 for you 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.9 when most people are selling theirs on eBay Motors at around $7,000. Sure KBB's Suggested Retail Value is $13,760, but trade-in value is much lower at $8,700 and private seller value is lower tue. $13,760 is what you can expect to pay from a dealer if you were to buy one from them.
9. Interesting how you call your vehicle "lesser"...your words, not mine. Remember, I still get to choose from a loaded TSX (navigation and all) (you can special request an MDX, TL, RL, etc. but you must book ahead a couple of hours) or any fine Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep vehicle which is usually fully-loaded. I know last time they gave me a Durango Limited 4WD with navigation and that's what I'm basing my information on when talking about the Commander.
#25 of 35 Re: blkhemi [rctennis3811]
Oct 10, 2005 (10:28 pm)
So as far as the HEMI goes, you say they are releasing it on more Chrysler cars for the hip-hop crowd? I would be careful on how I word sentences as most people who buy HEMI-equipped vehicles are middle-to-upper class Surburbanites. I can assure that most people who are in their early 20's aren't driving off the lot in $30-$35,000 300C's or Magnum RT's It's not Chrysler's fault that most people want a little speed with their vehicle. I wouldn't call new front and rear fascia's "continuous updating". Oh, I forgot the dual exhaust tips. I'm glad to hear that your family in the NE are some of the few people who have no problems in their car-based 'utes. But let me assure you, when you come to Kennebunkport,Maine in the middle of December in 6ft drifts of snow, that RX300 or MDX want cut it. You can read about the MDX's power loss in this month's issue of Motor Trend ( it's the one that says truck/suv prices for '06, just for your proof.) And by the way, a 12 horsepower decrease is significant when the manufacturer is mis-leading in it's ad in stating that a vehicle has more power than it's rated at. I have to tell you that the MDX's tow rating is BELOW average. A Jeep Liberty with that same little V6 that is consistently being bashed tows a hefty 5000lbs. This from a compact utility.
I can also assure you that I don't have to make -up a story about the value of my '98. It was in mint condition and that was what Honda offered me at the time. It only had 42,000 miles on it, so that's probably what makes it so unbelievable that a Jeep can muster that form a Honda dealership. How did you come up with the trade-in values on the JGC? What's interesting is that I got $38k(new about $43k) back on mine when I got the Commander while I a collegue of mine who just got realistic and traded in his '04 MDX(death trap) with only 9600 miles on it because it was in service for half of ownership only got back $28k. Mint Condition and ended up buying a Lexus GX470 (a very good choice--oh and truck-based). Interesting how all of a sudden Acura is generous with "incentives". And in terms of lesser, I merely was stating that you'd rather drive a vehicle that in your opinion, is second rate to an MDX. So if the service is so great at Acura, why would you have to get a loaner car just to get an oil change. I've never waited more than an hour for an oil change. Well I just made my point exactly...........