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Old 02-23-2013, 11:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Toronto, Canada
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Former 2001 Odyssey owner considering MDX

Our insurance company declared our 2001 Odyssey EX a total loss after a minor fender bender where nobody was injured. We got 12 years and about 330,000 kms out of it, and the insurance cheque will be about 10% of what we paid for it new, so I'm thinking that's not too bad. The only major issue we had was the infamous transmission, which started acting up at 180,000 kms, and was partially covered under good will warranty. Other than that, all I've ever had to pay for is regular maintenance. So since the wife no longer wants to be a "soccer mom in a minivan", the Honda Pilot and Acura MDX are the two front runners for its replacement.

I'm hoping to hear from MDX'ers that have previously (or simultaneously) owned a 1999-2001 Odyssey that can compare the fuel consumption of these two vehicles. My brother has a 2007 MDX and loves it, but he complains about the the mileage. He said he has three other friends who feel the same, and he's actually recommending I get the Pilot instead. I got used to the poor mileage of my Odyssey with its 4-speed transmission, so I'm thinking the MDX must be at least as good/bad (depending on how you look at it). The only other thing stopping us from getting an MDX is that we actually will use the third row seats, and the middle seats do not slide forward to make more legroom for the third row passengers like the Pilot.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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While I have not owned an Odyssey, we do have an '07 Pilot & a '10 Mdx. Fuel economy is pretty much identical, the Pilot has the cylinder deactivation feature and the older less powerful engine than the Mdx. Both vehicles are inefficient in stop & go driving.

The main difference between the two is the handling and comfort; the Pilot is 'floaty' but very comfortable while the Mdx is much tighter and corners much flatter than the Pilot, but at the cost of a little bit harsher ride over rough road surfaces.

The Pilot has been bulletproof, hauling a motorcycle inside an enclosed trailer from FL to NH and back at 80-90 with the only complaint being 11 mpg fuel consumption. It's been through white out conditions on the Virginia Turnpike without even coming close to sliding around (fwd model).

Either one would be a great choice, but if you are using the third row regularly, the leather interior on the Mdx might not hold up against scuff marks as well as a Pilot (without leather).
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Went from a 2001 Ody EX to a 2012 MDX Tech ( mid model, Canadian ).

I never really kept good mpg records but my take would be that the highway mpgs are similar but the in-town mpg is much thirstier on the MDX. Add the premium gas requirement and the MDX is more expensive to run than the 4AT V6 in the Ody.

I miss the extra room in the van - the MDX is not a van replacement and the third row is good in a pinch, but not great for long trips or for adults. Getting in and out of the third row is not as convenient as a van.

The Ody had a bit of a cushier ride - but I like the MDX ride.

I also considered a Pilot but I found it more truck-like than the MDX. I don't know that the mileage is any better than the MDX, even with the ECO mode, other than it doesn't sip premium. I also got the feeling that the Pilot drove like a much heavier and larger vehicle - perhaps this was the braking performance...

I would suggest taking the Pilot and MDX into a grocery store parking lot and try parking in a tight space. Also when taking it for test run try some aggressive braking - the MDX's brakes and handling are quite impressive.

BTW my Ody also developed the dreaded transmission problems at less than 160K km and 11 years. Otherwise I'd still be driving it.

Good luck, your mileage may vary as they say. I'm sure the Pilot would be a good choice too...
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am sorry to hear about your Odyssey. Hope nobody was hurt. Shame it did not retain more of it's original values as I presume you may have paid a premium price back in 2001 when the Odyssey was in high demand and supply was limited. (I waited 7 months for our 2002 EX-L)

I currently have a 2002 Odyssey EX-L with the 5sp transmission and a 2006 MDX Touring. Prior to having the 2002, I had a 1999 Odyssey LX with the 4sp. I'm in the States and with US gallons, with the 2002 Odyssey EX-L, I get about 20mpg combined city/ highway. With the MDX, I get about 16 combined city/highway. On the highway, with a fully loaded down Odyssey, I can get 22mpg. With the MDX, I can get 19mpg. The MDX carries extra weight because of the AWD components. I recall our 1999 LX getting about 20mpg combined city/highway and as much as 24mph highway. I think on long trips I used to use premium gas in the 1999. The 2002 used regular.

I think the Pilot or MDX would be an excellent choice whatever you decide, but you should expect less MPG. The previous member makes a good point that the MDX uses premium gas. I saw regular unleaded for $1.45liter in Montreal. I forget what premium was, but at the end of the day, it all adds up.

Good luck with your decision making
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's taken a while, but I finally found the right combination of condition/price/colour and picked up a silver 2007 MDX Elite yesterday with 150,000 kms, good service history, and an original owner who traded it in on another Acura. It all came down to the interior. In my price range, the Pilot and Acadia had the best third row leg room, but their interiors (especially the dash) just couldn't compare and seemed dated in comparison. All the electronics included with the Elite won me over, and in the end what actually tipped the scale was the heated second row seats for the kids. Also, it's icing on the cake that the 2014 redesign isn't drastic, so hopefully this will continue to age gracefully. And yes, we realize we will be paying more for fuel, but this is something we seriously considered and decided it was worth it. Hey, nothing's perfect!

So thanks for everyone's input. Your comments, and those of other in this forum, really helped in making the final decision. And after driving it around for a full day, it seems it was absolutely the right one.
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