Last post on Jan 03, 2012 at 6:28 PM
You are in the Acura MDX
What is this discussion about?
Acura MDX, BMW X5, SUV
Dec 20, 2010 (5:38 am)
I own an 07 MDX with Sport and Ent Package and a Cayenne GTS (Manual). The MDX is our haul around the 3 kids car and the GTS is the fun driving Mom and Dad go to dinner car. If I could take the interior tech from the MDX and place it in the Cayenne GTS, I would have the perfect car. Our MDX now has 60k miles and is going strong. It still feels new (except for the smell of gold fish and cheese sticks from the car seats). I thought I would be ready for a new car by now but am sticking with it. I can't find a reason to swap it out. We had the car in for a 60k mile service and drove a 2011 MDX loaner for a weekend trip. Could not really tell the difference. My MDX still drives like it did in 07. No wonder why the resale value is so high. The only thing that really bugs me about the MDX vs the x5 is that the X5 (with all the cool options at least) looks so much better. The MDX is OK looking at best. Not sure who designed the grills for Acura, but they should be fired. Just looks wrong. My advice is if you are going to drive kids around, go with the MDX. If you are going to be "seen", go with the BMW with the fancy sport options.
#163 of 185 Honest Answer
Feb 22, 2011 (8:07 pm)
I have owned many high end vehicles and I think what everyone is forgetting on this forum is that the MDX and the BMW x5 are both SUVs. Most people are buying one of the two because they have a family.
I own a Porsche 911 and that has a fun factor to it, both these SUVs are designed to be safe family movers.
I have spent a lot of time behind the wheel of both these vehicles and anyone who says the BMW is a better or a more fun car to drive is being blinded by what they consider the presitge of the brand.
Anyone buying an SUV would most likely have a main goal of reliability and safety. Both these cars are extremely safe but lets be honest, BMW's are hit or miss in the reliability arena. For the first 3 or 4 years that doesnt matter but if anyone plans on keeing the vehicle past that point you may get into a dangerous gamble with the BMW.
I am not bashing BMW's, I love them and owned an M5 which i consider the greatest sports sedan ever made. But when I bought it I knew after 3 years I would get something else so reliability was never a factor.
I am going on record right now saying neither the MDX or the X5 are fun to drive vehicles, they are comfortable and easy to drive vehicles that are both enjoyable. They are very very similar in all aspects. One is extremely reliable and the other has that prestige factor for those who feel they need it. When you get past the point in your life when you dont need a badge to define you, things become clearer.
In the SUV world the honest answer is the Acura is the better choice. There is a huge price difference between the 2 vehicles when comp equiped and the Acura does most things better.
If you look at both these vehicles for what they are and put the badge aside I cant see how someone with any experience with both these vehicles could disagree.
Again, this is an unbiased review but thought that this forum deserved an honest answer.
AWD system much better
Stereo much Better
Real leather and not "leatherette" standard
standard third row
Navigation much better
Reliability Much better
Standard technology much better in Acura
Handling is a tie
Power is a tie
Safety is a tie
Acura has better resale value
#164 of 185 Re: Honest Answer [jtbazz]
Feb 22, 2011 (9:32 pm)
I've owned both and have to agree the mdx is better.
I would add the following in favor of the mdx:
Doors open wider
Bigger trunk area
More console area
Better tech/entertainment configuration
Actually has a spare tire
I just wish my mdx hadn't started smoking from the center console and that Acura hadn't told me it was nothing even though the fire department responded and confirmed the smoke smell. I'd still be happily driving the mdx if that hadnt happened.
#165 of 185 Re: Honest Answer [jtbazz]
Feb 23, 2011 (8:49 am)
"..AWD system much better.."
In your dreams...!
First, let me assure you that BMW was removed from my shopping list many years ago.
But BMW's R/awd system will ALWAYS outperform ANY F/awd system, even the best of the BEST, the SH-AWD system.
Since wheelspin/slip cannot be forecasted, predicted, the SH-AWD system MUST remove engine drive torque from the front wheels at anytime the engine torque level rises high enough than wheelspin/slip "might" result. Along with the high engine torque problem we have the threat of loss of directional control should to much engine torque, MODERATE engine torque, be applied to the front wheels when in a turn, especially a TIGHT turn.
In a turn the SH-AWD system operates inversely to the common knowlege existing for many years in the 4WD world. Any experienced 4WD owner/driver will tell you that it is UNWISE, in the extreme, to have engine drive to the front and rear on a highly traction surface, most especially so when turning.
But these F/awd systems such as the SH-AWD system have little choice. In order to reduce/alleviate some of the risk of loss of directional control when turning due to ALL the engine torque being routed to the front, some of that torque MUST be reapportioned to the rear.
4WD mode, "center diff'l" LOCKED, on a perfectly dry, highly tractive surface.
So, regardless of the level of roadbed traction the SH-AWD system MUST re-apportion engine torque to the rear in the above conditions.
You may have noticed the inordinant level of driveline component failures in the early MDX's with the VTM-4 F/awd system...??
Those clearly resulted from STRESS and HEAT of driveline components due to "AWD" mode engagement of the "center diff'l" even on the highest tractive roadbed surface you might encounter.
If I were to somehow find myself owning an MDX the first thing I would do is disable the rear drive clutches except if/when I expected to be driving on low traction conditions.
Bottom line: If you truly need "AWD" wintertime functionality then look to the 4runner or even the Lexus LX or GX, or any R/awd system.
#166 of 185 Re: Honest Answer [wwest]
Feb 23, 2011 (10:10 am)
From a tecnhical standpoint I am not nearly as knowlegable as you but I drove them both in the snow and the BMW was not anywhere near as sure footed in my opinion.
This is just my interpretation, I have been wrong before.
#167 of 185 Re: Honest Answer [jtbazz]
Feb 24, 2011 (7:27 am)
When you use too much power for conditions in the MDX you lose directional control, with the X5 you can still stear.
#168 of 185 My opinion
Mar 18, 2011 (1:15 pm)
Looking at a capable AWD suv and the X5 is at the top of my list. I currently have a 530XI and love the linear pull of the engine that is matched to a smooth 6 speed. The Bimmer has comfort seats that I would not do without, plus all powered options. For a person that is 6ft, 200+ lbs, the size of the seats, level of adjustment, telescoping steering make all the difference in the world. Iíve owned a few Volvos and thought the comfort in those vehicles was great until the 530.
Iíve also test driven Acura, Lexus, Mercedes and the best the domestics can offer and nothing can match those seats nor the sporty feel that my car gives me. I find the Japanese products have short, narrow seats in comparison and that does not suit me or support me. So, bottom line for me is comfort, great drive ability, additional options, MPG and customer service.
Iíd pick the BMW over the Acura. One thing I do note though is that the stack of the Acura is too cluttered with buttons. Not for me. BTW, tires are everything and not all respond the same on different vehicles.
#169 of 185 Re: mdx vs x5 [jdoria]
May 30, 2011 (12:58 pm)
This is a silly post. Who comes to pick you up when your car breaks down? And whose time and money are being lost? Not the "premium car store". You must have plenty of time and money to burn.
I've had three Acuras. They don't have the badge prestige that other brands do, but I don't pay thousands of dollars for badges. They are reliable and the dealer takes care of me as well as my Lexus dealer does. The '12 MDX will be my next purchase.
#170 of 185 Re: Honest Answer [jtbazz]
Jun 18, 2011 (2:12 pm)
This is an older post, but I'm going to reply anyway because most of this post is subjective, unsubstantiated misinformation. The claim that the MDX is "more reliable" is refutable. Reviewing recent JD Power 3-year reliability numbers, Acura had 1.4 defects per vehicle while BMW had 1.6. There is no significant difference between the two. You will not have 1.4 or 1.6 defects. Either way, you're likely to have a defect or two repaired under warranty.
7 of my 15 BMWs have been X5s and I haven't had a single problem with any of them except for the very first model in 2001. On the other hand, the Acura that I owned was a horrifically unreliable piece of junk that I traded after 8 consecutive monthly trips to the service bay. So objective information and my substantial personal experience tell me that that the reliability claim claim is faulty.
People who say the MDX gets better mpg than the X5 also are dead wrong. Comparing 2011 6 cyl models, the X5 gets better mpg according to fueleconomy.gov. That's even though the X5 is faster and heavier. Making a faster, heavier vehicle more fuel efficient is a nice feat of engineering. Then you also have the option for a diesel with better performance and significantly better mpg.
Then we have posters who whine about BMW prestige. What you will find is that polls of BMW owners put prestige at the bottom of the list. They put the driving experience at or near the top. BMW consistently has catered to buyers who want to be engaged in the driving experience. I'm sure there are many superficial, status-conscious BMW owners, but BMW ownership tends to be more about driving dynamics than prestige. And frankly, if it were about prestige, BMW is entry level prestige at best in wealthy regions, so it's not exactly worthy of envy.
For the assertion that the X5 and the MDX are pretty much the same vehicle sold to the same market (families), that also is incorrect. If you want to make that assertion, you have to say "which X5" because there are several. The reality is that BMW caters to a buyer that customizes the vehicle to his/her driving style. 80% of BMWs are custom ordered. Your X5 can be delivered in as little as 3 weeks from the factory extensively customized: 4 engine choices, 3 types of seats, suspension choices, multiple leather choices, electronics, trim packages, wheel packages, with/without roof racks, and on and on.
Acura sells the MDX to buyers who want to pick a color and then drive off the lot with a vehicle that looks like every other MDX on the road. The only choice Acura gives you is upgraded electronics/stereo. While it is true that the MDX is sold to families (it's the soccer mom minivan brat hauler in my region), how many families do you know who haul their kids around in a 555 hp SUV?
Readers should ignore posters who make statements like "In the SUV world the honest answer is the Acura is the better choice." That subjective statement was made by someone who doesn't distinguish subjectivity from objectivity. Whether something is "better" depends on the buyer's requirements.
If you're a buyer whose requirements are not generic, the MDX will be a disappointment. If you require an SUV that comfortably drives you to a parent-teacher conference while you hold your cell phone to your ear (because you can't figure out how to make a Bluetooth connection) and simultaneously change your kid's diaper, then the MDX would be a fine choice.
#171 of 185 Re: mdx vs x5 [pb13f8013]
Jun 18, 2011 (2:23 pm)
An old post, but whatever.
"And he was right in the case of body on frame vs crossover like SUVs (in which lexus was the first------you were wrong and get over it)".
The X5 is neither body on frame or cross-over. It's built on its own, unique platform. Not a dressed up truck or an over-weight sedan or a luxury SUV built on en economy car platform.
The X5 was was designed and optimized to be exactly what it is.