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Hmmm...
Actually 0-60 in 9.1 is pretty much the norm for the ML. MB is usually quite conservative when they publish those numbers.
The ML is hardly underpowered for its job, safe family transportation through all terrain.
It amuses me to think people actually consider SUV's sporty. The ML and MDX are both nice, but both handle like pigs compared to any modern sedan...like an Audi, or Acura TL. Simply a matter of high center of mass, and more weight.
Sorry to say, you DON"T buy an SUV for acceleration and handling...thats what sedans or sports cars are for. SUV's are for all weather,all terrain ability to haul large amounts of cargo or people. Of course, there are always those poseurs who feel driving an SUV is "cool" or "Macho".
Bottom line. You choose a vehicle based on how well it does what its meant to do. I submit the ML seems to be better in this catagory.
ML gives you CHOICES on the engines. For those practical people amongst us, we don't get into stoplight drags, and appreciate the safety, and handling factors more, thus the ML320. If you need more power...get the ML500. If you need to smoke RSX's at the stoplight...get the ML55.
However, the main appeal of the ML is it has a build quality and solidity that no Japanese car can come close to. Unlike the MDX, there's nothing fake about the ML. I've driven both. Have you?
 

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proteus said:
However, the main appeal of the ML is it has a build quality and solidity that no Japanese car can come close to.
proteus,

Please, put down the crack pipe and step away from the keyboard. We all know that MLs have suffered from below-average build quality through 2000, and are expected to be only average for 2001.
  • 01 JD Power best initial quality LuxSUV: Lexus RX300. Japanese. 2nd place: Lexus LX470. Japanese. 3rd place: QX4. Japanese.
  • 00 JD Power best initial quality LuxSUV: Lexus LX470. Japanese. 2nd place: QX4. Japanese. 3rd place: RX300. Japanese.
  • 99 JD Power best initial quality LuxSUV: Lexus LX470. Japanese. 2nd place: QX4. Japanese. 3rd place: RX300. Japanese.
  • 01 JD Power Initial Quality stats: M-class = average or below average, all categories; 01 MDX = average or above average, all categories.
  • 01 JD Power Midterm Ratings (00 MY or older): ML is average or below average in all categories.
  • 00 Vehicle Dependability winner: Lexus. 6th consecutive year. Japanese.
 

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TheWorm

Do you mean the JD Power initial scores (which are consistent with what you put in the above post)? I don't see the midterm results yet for the 2001's on their website, but was curious if you had any advance info. (Though I think CR's numbers are ultimately more reliable than JD Power's, even if it takes forever to get them out.)

The last IQS study I saw had the MDX only very slightly ahead of the same-year M-class (several places ahead out of a couple of hundred vehicles or so). But the IQS numbers now on JD Power show a definite difference between the two. I wonder if they got more IQS numbers in?

For those interested, see:

http://www.jdpower.com/auto/jdpa_ratings/FindJdAwardsResults.jsp

Then select vehicles and view results. There are three quality category ratings: mechanical, feature & accessory, and body & interior.
 

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William

Sorry, my bad. Midterms are for '99 and '00 cars only; therefore only the ML. I inadvertently combined the IQS and midterms; comments still apply (ML=avg or below; MDX=avg or above). I edited my post to reflect that confusing commentary.
 

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Greg

I was wondering if you actually did have to settle for a MDX. I say this because in many of your posts you mention the M-Class and Mercerdes, even when the post has nothing to do with either. And almost always it is in a negative manner. I would take this as a sign that you really wanted a Mercedes but for some reason was not able to purchase one.

GatorGreg said:


Okay Vip, I'll just go for a drive and chill in my MDX and try to get over the fact that I had to "settle" :p for MT's "SUV of the Year" and the winner of Car & Driver's "Designer-Ute Smackdown" :)
 

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TheWorm...
Sounds like you're a bit disconnected from reality here. What part of 2002 did you not understand?
The 2002 is a different beast than the 2000 model ML referred to in the JD power survey.
There have been over 1000 improvements in the 2002 model, almost all related to safety, reliability, and component quality.

NOBODY is argueing that the MDX is superior to the 2000 model ML.
However, the 2002 ML series is better in more than a few ways...as mentioned earlier.

As new MDX's start getting built in the new Alabama plant..I suspect similar quality issues may crop up...as they usually do in a new factory.

Yes..the 1998-2000 model ML's had serious quality issues, as US suppliers were not used to designing parts to the precision tolerances necessary in an MB vehicle. MB also was the first to put the monocoque frame design into production...thus had some issues there too. These have been completely resolved in the 2002 model.
 

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Proteus,

Uh, hang on a second, let me do a quick search of your prior post that I quoted.

Ok, back...I don't see 2002 mentioned anywhere in the post I referenced. I s'pose you're talking about the topic in general being the ML2002? (BTW you conveniently forgot the '01 ML initial quality according to JDP. Also average or below. All categories.)

So, you're espousing the reliability/quality superiority of an ML '02? The one that has barely hit the street, with NO reliability or quality data AT all. We may as well talk about the '05MDX vs. the '02ML for cryin out loud. How the hell do you know what the quality/reliability is GOING to be?

Did you get your crystal ball on the way to the dry cleaner, when you were picking up your skirt in your Oddy?

But you're right...the one thousand improvements in just 1 year is great news for future ML buyers. Because one thing that MB has managed to prove is that it can only get better.

btw, I'm not responding to any more flame bait, unless, of course, you manage to conveniently omit facts, or if you proactively ask me if your ass looks fat in that dress.

p.s. my "skirt" comments are tongue-in-cheek, so don't take it too personally. you got a good van...I noticed on odyclub.com (if you haven't found it yet) that they have many of the same nagging problems (thud, etc) that we do here. and now, back to regular programming.
 

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proteus said:
... There have been over 1000 improvements in the 2002 [M-class] model, almost all related to safety, reliability, and component quality.

...

As new MDX's start getting built in the new Alabama plant..I suspect similar quality issues may crop up...as they usually do in a new factory. ...
Regarding the M-class, a vehicle that has been troubled with quality problems for so long, I'd wonder if making over 1,100 changes is really going to make things better, or will it make things worse. Or, perhaps it's a combination of the two -- it'll be worse at first, and then it'll get better? I hope so, as five years is a long time to get a vehicle's quality up to consistently average or above average. No Honda/Acura-produced vehicle will take that long.

So only time will tell if the 2002's beat the quality of previous model years. Realistically, one doesn't buy the M-class because they expect very high build quality -- one buys it because he/she values some of its positive attributes, and how those attributes meet one's priorities in a vehicle. Just like how one buys an MDX because it meets their priorities.

Point of info -- the new MDX's are not being built at the new Alabama plant. They continue to be manufactured at the Ontario plant, where their quality will likely improve from average/above-average as some of the design bugs are fixed and the plant gains more experience.

What's being built at the new Alabama plant are Odysseys -- for reasons you suggested, I'd rather not be one of the first to get a 'Bama Odyssey. No insult to Alabama the state and its people intended. But the Odyssey also went through its teething problems at the Ontario plant too, though its quality never dipped below average.
 

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QUOTE]Originally posted by proteus
Actually 0-60 in 9.1 is pretty much the norm for the ML. MB is usually quite conservative when they publish those numbers.
The ML is hardly underpowered for its job, safe family transportation through all terrain.

However, the main appeal of the ML is it has a build quality and solidity that no Japanese car can come close to. Unlike the MDX, there's nothing fake about the ML. I've driven both. Have you?
[/QUOTE]

So you go by MB's published numbers, most amusing :p I prefer to go by impartial reviews and the seat of my own pants. I drove not only the ML 320, but also the RX300, X5 3.0, and Disco II before "settliing" :p for C&D's 5 Best Truck / Luxury SUV of the year winner. FWIW, my personal over-all ranking was as follows: 1st MDX, 2nd RX300, 3rd X5, 4th Disco II, 5th ML 320. ML 320 came in last due to it's poor styling, lack of power, and poor reputation for quality as discussed by william and the worm above. Despite it's even worse quality record and horrendous mileage, the Disco II actually appealed to me slightly more than the MB cuz of it's quirkiness. However, the MDX was the OBVIOUS choice of the bunch for far too many reasons to list. Based on my last Acura which I drove for over 8 years and 175,000 miles, as well as my old CR-V, I knew it would be of high quality and built to last. As I mentioned earlier, I also got to drive the Oddy at a GM comparo thing down at Disney. Very nice minivan. Yawn :eek:
 

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zzdawg said:
Greg

I was wondering if you actually did have to settle for a MDX. I say this because in many of your posts you mention the M-Class and Mercerdes, even when the post has nothing to do with either. And almost always it is in a negative manner. I would take this as a sign that you really wanted a Mercedes but for some reason was not able to purchase one.

Actually, I wouldn't mind having a G Wagon for a dedicated off-roader, or an S Class if I didn't need the flexibility of an SUV, but from the first day I saw the M Class I thought it looked dumb. Looks like a cross between a paddy wagon and a minivan to my eyes. The MDX on the other hand made my heart skip a beat, especially in black :) Oh, and I wouldn't mind having one of those old gull wings either :)
 

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proteus said:

MB also was the first to put the monocoque frame design into production...thus had some issues there too. These have been completely resolved in the 2002 model.

Monocoque: A design of a vehicle's body where a single shell has the engine and suspension attached to it in various places to spread the load evenly over the whole shell. Holes are cut only to install the engine and allow the driver to get into it. Otherwise it is completely closed. Also called "unit" or "unitized construction."



The Jeep Cherokee was the first SUV to use unit-body construction - starting back in 1984. MANY other SUVs since then have adopted this approach. The ML uses a combination of unit-body ON TOP OF a more conventional ladder-frame chassis (kind of a belt and suspenders approach). This hybrid approach has never met the design objective that Mercedes hoped (the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages) and will be DROPPED for the upcoming 2004-2005 replacement for the M-Class. In fact, Mercedes has "seen the light" to such as degree that even the G-Class may be based on the same unit-body platform:

2005 - Mercedes will introduce their all-new M-Class — a ... unibody ute. Still later and sharing the same platform, Mercedes will introduce the (G-Class) Geländewagon replacement, currently referred to as the MLG-Class. Platform sharing may even go further: rumors of Jeep and Mitsubishi products on the same platform will likely become a reality.
So much for the argument that an SUV needs to have a ladder- frame chassis to be considered a true off-road vehicle (try telling Mercedes that their G-Class won't be a true off-roader!)
 

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TheWorm
Funny...looks like you forgot to read the topic heading..I believe it says "2002 ML320 vs 2001 MDX"??
The 2001 models are already significantly improved over 2000. Most major problems, even on the older cars have been either minor electrical glitches, or trim and glue issues.

The MDX problems, while fewer in number are far more serious, as they point to fundamental engineering flaws.
Suspension design problems (The THUD)
Rusting brake parts (already!)
weeping mirrors...I could go on.
Again..its personal preference. Most MB engine/Trannies can last well over 300K miles if properly maintained. Can't say that about ANY of the newer Hondas....

Sure. Honda/Acura does have quality control down to a science.
MB has engineering and durability down to a science. I'll take the latter any day, and put up with a few minor glitches. I won't even mention the DISMAL dealer experience at most Acura dealers...their excellent service departments (cough).
Bah..I'm done. I've made my point. Flame away, I've said my last word.
 

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Promises, promises, promises.
 

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Hey Proteus

If you like the MB engineering and durability so much, why didn't you buy the MB MINIVAN?

THE ML 320!!!:D :D :D
 

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Proteus,

I do not understand your motivation for continuing to harangue this forum with half truths and self selected data.

When you first joined this forum and posted your question comparing the ML and MDX we responded pleasantly and objectively. When you later asked for feedback comparing the MDX 3rd row seat to others we again pleasantly and objectively gave you our opinions and observations (which you acknowledged - posted by proteus
Some good points here. I did take another look at the MDX, and while the third row does have less room in the back, it looks like it will work for short distances
I, as well as several others, sincerely recommended that, based upon YOUR needs, a minivan (Odyssey) WAS the better choice for you (this on an MDX site!).

But your research showed, and what you seem to be unable to come to terms with, is it that OUR needs are not YOUR needs. You yourself were comparing the MDX to BOTH the ML and the Odyssey. That is EXACTLY why many of us chose the MDX, for those whose combination of needs it fits, we CAN have the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS (the best attributes of an SUV and the temporary accommodations of a minivan).
I am truly sorry that your current needs preclude you from having the one vehicle that can serve both needs (just remember, it is not long before the kids outgrow car seats and that 3rd row begins looking very inviting ;) )

What we object to is that after we politely assist you in making a very important financial decision, you come back to the board and ask the same questions in an even more insolent tone
- posted by proteus
I'm sure I made the right decision...So...what am I missing people?
(We unfortunately do not have an emoticon for a stab in the back!)

To compound your transgression, you fluff your posts with inaccuracies and distorted statements:

proteus said:
The 2001 models are already significantly improved over 2000. Most major problems, even on the older cars have been either minor electrical glitches, or trim and glue issues.

The MDX problems, while fewer in number are far more serious, as they point to fundamental engineering flaws.
Suspension design problems (The THUD)
Rusting brake parts (already!)
weeping mirrors...I could go on.
I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you mistyped - it is the ML that has had the serious flaws while the MDX has had minor cosmetic issues:
Rusting brake parts - purely cosmetic, and quite normal
weeping mirrors - purely cosmetic
The thud issue appears to have been traced to a bad batch of coil springs traced to a third party supplier (oddly enough,your favorite excuse for quality failings in the ML) which is easily correctable with a plastic spacer.

Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but one would have thought that given the assistance we attempted to provide you, that you would have given us our due consideration by at least doing your homework before attempting to resurrect the ML vs MDX debate.
 

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Truly hope this does not happen. But...

if you and your family are in a trip somewhere you are not to familiar with and for some reason you got lost or made a wrong turn. You are now STUCK in MUD while you made that U-turn. You are out in the middle of nowhere and your cellphone does not have any signal. Remember your comment/question, "I'm sure I made the right decision...So...what am I missing people?". I sure hope that extra $ for that AWD will not be needed in your future trips.

Good Luck with your decision..
 

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proteus said:
The 2001 models are already significantly improved over 2000.
Well, I guess if you're measuring by the number of recalls, that's true. 4 for the 2000 and only 2 for the 2001 (ML320's). But (and although you clearly don't like empirical data) JD Power reported WORSE initial quality on the 2001s vs the 2000s.
Most major problems, even on the older cars have been either minor electrical glitches, or trim and glue issues.
Except those safety recalls, of course. And replacing the "All Activity Module". And the design-flaw in the window switches (replaced in 2002). Maybe you inadvertently used the word "minor" instead of "repetitive"?. Nice try to conveniently categorize stuff as "minor" when it suits you to.
The MDX problems, while fewer in number are far more serious, as they point to fundamental engineering flaws.
Suspension design problems (The THUD) - limited VINs, supplier part defect (not an engineering issue), fixed. Oh yea, MB had this problem, too, in its initial MY.
Rusting brake parts (already!) Cast iron part; all cast iron has surface rust. Totally inconsequential.
weeping mirrors...I could go on. Annoying? Yes. Fixed? Yes. "Far more serious"?? Uh, right.
Again..its personal preference. Most MB engine/Trannies can last well over 300K miles if properly maintained. Can't say that about ANY of the newer Hondas....
I won't even bother asking you for your point-of-reference on that one, since you haven't had any for your other "arguments".
Sure. Honda/Acura does have quality control down to a science. MB has engineering and durability down to a science. I'll take the latter any day, and put up with a few minor glitches.
Newsflash: a fundamental part of engineering is "design for manufacture", which includes QC. What good is the rocket science if it can't be assembled properly?
I won't even mention the DISMAL dealer experience at most Acura dealers...their excellent service departments (cough).
For a change, you're actually HALF right. MB buying process is rated higher than Acura. Opposite is true for service experience. Surprising.
Bah..I'm done. I've made my point.
The only point that's clear to me is the one on top of your head. Thanks for visiting.

Oh, and if you hang around here, I've attached a custom avatar for you.
 

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Thanks a lot Worm, I nearly banged my head into my credenza when I fell off my chair :D

Please don't be too hard on Proteus if he doesn't have a handle oo the facts, I think he's just a victim of MB's publicity department. I decided just for fun to run the comparo between the MDX and ML 320 on the MBUSA website in order to learn more about the engineering marvel :p that is the M Class. Here's some excerpts, see if you see anyting strange:



"Mercedes-Benz comparisons come from Automotive Information Center (AIC), a leading provider of objective information on new and used vehicles for both consumers and professionals. AIC collects and maintains the data independently of Mercedes-Benz.



MSRP* $ 36945 $ 35180

Total Equipped Price $ 46010 + DPI $ 35180

Passenger Multi-
Adjustable Power
Seat Order Code 107 Not Available



Navigational Aid Order Code #NAV Not Available


Not Available = Feature is not available as a manufacturer-installed item. It may, however, be available as a dealer-installed item."



Talk about misleading, not only did they add almost $10K worth of options to the M Class before they dared compare it to the base model MDX w/ no navi, but then they had the gall to actually claim that navi and power passenger seats are "not available" on the MDX :p

So much for "objective information" :D

Hey Proteus, I'm still anxiously waiting to see a pic of the M Class that "successfully handled" the Rubicon to use your words. I've been holding my breath for a couple days now, so please hurry :D
 

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Kudos to you DONSEV...

I feel Proteus has come into our home and insulted us.

He reminds me of a 10 year old I used to know, who was jealous
of what others had and was always degrading them or making
up stories, so his opinion always sounded the best...

I am not a "van person" and the ML does not appeal to my tastes,
but I am not going to send him messages degrading either vehicle. I would NEVER purchase a van!!!!
But, again, I am not going to downgrade vans, just because I don't have one. I truly
feel he is jealous because we own a "macho" vehicle and he does not...

I wish Proteus would just go away. He should go to a forum where someone cares what he has to say....

If he checks the home page to this forum, he will see the forum
was intended for MDX owners and enthusiasts and he most definitely is NEITHER... He owns a van, not a SUV. I don't care
how he wants to categorize it, the MDX is rated as a SUV.
See any car magazine and the vehicle is referred to as a SUV.
Not a van. A van is an Odyssey, the vehicle he owns.... He is jealous he does not own a SUV and he wants to try to make us
all dissatisfied with the very fine SUV WE have...
 

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Way to go Greg!

Wow, Greg, thanks. I decided to see for myself and wnet to MBUSA.com to do the comparo. Holly cow!

Let's be fair!!! (Something MB, or that "independent" AIC center is not). Let's take a touring with nav model for just under $40K. According to MB, their price is more than $46K PLUS Dealer-installed options (NAV is one of them) When all things considered, we are talking about $10K difference!!!

"Roadside Assistance" as not listed and other crap like that is just too funny (or pitiful) to read.

Of course, to be honest, we should not forget that warranty period scheduled maintenance is included (probably $2-3K), side curtains and rear side airbags (probably another $2K) a few other MINOR!!! things. So, we are talking at least $5K more!!!

Then, do not forget about a joke of a third seat in MB, 6 CD changer in the trunk, missing 25 or 30 horses under the hood, tank-like ride (my personal opinion after 30 minute test drive) and ugly (one again, IMO) exterior.

Anyway, if it were not for a horrible ride quality, chances are I'd be driving ML320 now. If it were not for a NORMAL dealership experience at Acura of Brooklyn, I'd be driving ML320. And you know what? - I would probably be a happy camper. Just like I am now, driving a comfortable, good looking car, and having $5K extra in my pocket to spend on fast Internet connection to enjoy this site as well as all the jokes on MBUSA.com! :D

As far as Proteus and Co. are concerned, arguing with him (not even owning an MB, but rather having to settle for a "low-quality poor-engineered Honda product" - not exact words, but close, I think)... Anyway, as I was saying, arguing with him is like explaining a beauty of a Picasso painting to a BLIND AND DEAF person. -- Hopeless situation.
 
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