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Old 12-02-2010, 07:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2011 MDX: Base vs Technology

I'm looking for a SUV for my wife. In Canada here, the difference between the Base and Technology package is almost $5000.

We don't really use the DVDs, etc.

The only thing I see as being really nice would be the Multiview Rearview camera. But with the Base model having a rearview mirror with rearview camera, is it really necessary? Is the rearview mirror camera sufficient?
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have the Tech (for a week) and find myself depending more on the mirrors than the camera. Maybe that will change, but so far I think the camera view in the mirror might be better.

The biggest differences are the Navigation System and the upgraded radio. The leather is supposed to be a little better also. The Nav system can pretty much be replaced by a GPS and the standard radio still sounds darn good.

I really had fun "talking" to the car for the first few days, but again, it's no big deal for me.

The cars are the same, it's just a matter of whether or not your a gadget junkie.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We got a 2010 Base over the Tech just because the base has so much already. The Tech did not offer that much more for the price bump and jumping to Advance for all the goodies was too much.

The deal winner for us was the backup camera. If the base did NOT have it, we would have gone with the Tech. Having it on the mirror is sufficient... unless you're declared legally blind, then it might not be good enough. I actually find it more convenient as you're looking at the rear view and the "wide view" of the mirror at the same time. The night contast is not great however, especially if your vehicle is black.

If you don't need the NAV or the "upgraded" stereo, then save the $5K and get the base. You won't miss anything. We have a portable GPS that fits away perfectly into the flip opening storage bin in the dash.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I just purchased a 2011 with the tech package here in Canada. My Honda has the back up camera in the mirror, I find the backup display in the MDX Nav screen much better. The downward view is great for hooking up my trailer.

My previous MDX was the base model. I do not regret upgrading to the tech package. The upgraded stereo, HDD with auto ripping of CDs, USB access, better bluetooth integration, back seat heaters and NAV integration are great. The upgraded interior is not really noticable.

The way I looked at it is the tech package will increase the residual value and make it easier to sell and over the life of the car the incremental cost is not that high.

I was also able to negotiate a larger discount on the tech package model.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I contemplated the same thing and went with a base.

It depends on what $5,000 means to you, and whether or not you really need/want the features in the tech package.

If you're primarily interested in the back-up camera, I personally don't feel like its a feature that's worth the price premium alone. I test drove a lot of vehicles with back-up cameras, many of them better than what's used in the MDX, and it isn't anything that will eliminate the need to use your mirrors, or look over your shoulders (in fact most back-up camera systems will display a warning message telling you not to neglect your mirrors.) The back-up camera is useful for judging how close you are to an object directly behind you, which is useful, but still doesn't show you what's to the side/rear of your vehicle, like an approaching vehicle for instance.

The navigation in the MDX is very good, and worth the price premium if you utilize it a lot. If I still worked in outside sales the navigation would have been a must for me, but it certainly isn't anything I need now that I sit behind a desk all day.

The biggest draw of the tech package to me is the premium sound system, but I was less than impressed by it...esecially after hearing the Mark Levinson system in the Lexus. I'll probably install aftermarket speakers, but the I do like the fact that the tech's head unit can output in audio dolby prologic.

Those are the three main features of the tech package...again it depends on how much you feel you need them, and how much $5,000 means to you.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you travel a lot, you might consider the Navigation system. The system in the Acura is VERY good. Better than other manufacturers and even some aftermarket suppliers.

If you do not drive to unknown destinations that often, a portable navigation may serve you better.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Backup camera used incorrectly

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Originally Posted by Mystik610 View Post
.... I test drove a lot of vehicles with back-up cameras, many of them better than what's used in the MDX, and it isn't anything that will eliminate the need to use your mirrors, or look over your shoulders (in fact most back-up camera systems will display a warning message telling you not to neglect your mirrors.) The back-up camera is useful for judging how close you are to an object directly behind you, which is useful, but still doesn't show you what's to the side/rear of your vehicle, like an approaching vehicle for instance. ....
Exactly. The backup camera really should be used for 2 things:

1. see if any object is in the way that you can't immediately see by just turning around (i.e. baby/toddler, toy, small chair, etc.)

2. parallel parking to see how much room you have left to move back

a lot of people are incorrectly using it to back out a spot without looking at any other mirrors. Plus, the NHTSA I believe is thinking on mandating rear backup cameras to be standard on 2020 and on vehicles. I think the feature would lead to more accidents than less, because people just will not use it correctly.
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Teg2Xer View Post
Exactly. The backup camera really should be used for 2 things:

1. see if any object is in the way that you can't immediately see by just turning around (i.e. baby/toddler, toy, small chair, etc.)

2. parallel parking to see how much room you have left to move back

a lot of people are incorrectly using it to back out a spot without looking at any other mirrors. Plus, the NHTSA I believe is thinking on mandating rear backup cameras to be standard on 2020 and on vehicles. I think the feature would lead to more accidents than less, because people just will not use it correctly.
One of the more useful camera systems I got to play with was the 360 degree all view monitor in the infiniti fx. It gives you a birdseye view of the vehicle and shows everything around the vehicle. Very cool but still gives you a limited range of vision...a fast approaching object (like a car or kid on a bike) would be out of its field of vision. I still wouldn't rely on a system like that exclusively, but it is helpful in pulling off trickier parking maneuvers.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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...I agree..I have bae model 2011...and I decided for it rather than the Tech because of the usefullness of the ELS radio and the NAV system....do I need them?...it would be nice to have...for $3-$4k more?...ahhhhh...on second thought no!...so I got the base model for $39,900 instead of $43,890 for the teck...just my 2 cents...this is a very subjective matter...to each his/her own....
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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What is important...

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Originally Posted by svofan1 View Post
...so I got the base model for $39,900 instead of $43,890 for the teck...just my 2 cents...this is a very subjective matter...to each his/her own....
Yes. For me, the payments would have come out to $80 more or so per month for the Tech over Base, so it wasn't a wallet killer for us, but we just were not going to throw that $80 at Acura for things we didn't need more of. I honestly think that Acura put too much into the base and left the Tech open too much with a $4K hike for nothing that much more.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I like my removable navigation. Easier to update and all. I almost always have my wife with me when I'm using it so handsfree operation I can do without.
Sound system upgrade? 80% of the time I'm in the car listening to The Wiggles and Twinkle Twinkle little star. I have a hard enough time getting my kid to shut the TV off in the house, I don't need the same battle in the car.
The 360 view? Neat gimmick. I already find myself way too distracted by the rearview camera. Giving me a 360 view will cause me to completely ignore my actual visual checks. The side mirrors (1 at a time) have a setting to angle down on reverse if you need it, kinda useful for parrallel, but once you get used to the size it's no longer useful.

The base is a great deal. I would grab a Tech if they didn't have my color choice. It's not a big diff in price, much more reasonable than Lexus packages.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I made an interesting observation while changing out the speakers in my Base MDX.

The Base MDX uses the same 'ELS' component speakers as the technology package:



The speakers themselves are less than impressive too.

The tech package does have more speakers and audio channels, but it isn't necessarily better when it comes to the 2 channel audio that makes up just about all of the music we listen to. The Tech package does support discreet multi-channel audio, but is only advantageous when playing DVD-Audio, which is already a dead/dying format and I'm sure less than 5% of MDX drivers are taking advantage of.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I bought the Base rather than the Tech because I live/spend 95% of my time in downtown Chicago, which I know like the back of my hand (not to sound pompous or anything ). And on the rare occasion when I need to go somewhere I'm not familiar with, I'm the type that prefers to look up directions beforehand, memorize them, and then rely on my memory rather as I drive...hasn't failed me yet (too badly, at least).

The upgraded sound system was tempting, but we bought this car to cart around two newborns, so I figured I probably wouldn't be using the 2 extra speakers, 4 extra inches of subwoofer and more powerful amp to its fullest anyway.

However, the fact that the Tech package comes with USB iPod integration with voice control makes me regret my decision somewhat.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I bought the Base rather than the Tech because I live/spend 95% of my time in downtown Chicago, which I know like the back of my hand (not to sound pompous or anything ). And on the rare occasion when I need to go somewhere I'm not familiar with, I'm the type that prefers to look up directions beforehand, memorize them, and then rely on my memory rather as I drive...hasn't failed me yet (too badly, at least).

The upgraded sound system was tempting, but we bought this car to cart around two newborns, so I figured I probably wouldn't be using the 2 extra speakers, 4 extra inches of subwoofer and more powerful amp to its fullest anyway.

However, the fact that the Tech package comes with USB iPod integration with voice control makes me regret my decision somewhat.
The thing is unless you listen to a lot of DVD-audio, the 'upgraded' ELS sound system isn't much better than the stock system (if at all). You have a slightly better sub-woofer, and two extra mid-bass drivers. My feeling is that the two amplifier blocks are actually identical, with the only difference being the number of channels being pushed. The base model also uses an 'ELS' branded Amp made by Panasonic.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This is definitely a case where Acura put too much value into the base and most can justify upgrading to the Tech except to indulge... which most premium options are, but in this case, it's not that premium a premium, except for the price.
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