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Discussion Starter #1
I spent the past few days with some friends on a ski trip in their brand-new 2003 Land Cruiser. Just thought I would pass along some observations....all are relative to my '03X

1. The Land Cruiser is a very nice, well built vehicle. Its attractive too.
2. It is generally quieter than the MDX. There is less road noise, less engine noise and less wind noise.
3. Controls on the steering wheel are better/more complete on the Land Cruiser. You can control seek/scan functions on the radio, and the controls are lighted (or glow in the dark).
4. Radio and A/C integration on the NAV screen is cool.
5. The NAV system generally sucks, in my opinion.
Here's why:
a. The biggest reason is that you cannot change destinations, search for anything (i.e. you can't do much at all) with the vehicle in motion. It was a constant irritation for us all, and is a major limitation that renders the unit almost useless (again, in my opinion).
b. The NAV screen does not change background colors like the MDX does for nighttime display. That white screen at night is blinding and very annoying.
c. My friend was far from an expert user, but, the NAV sure seemed much more difficult to use than the X's. There was no search by distance to travel or any of those neat options. He was always having to enter the city we were in to find anything. Plus, canceling a route/destination seemed cumbersome. He had to go and delete it from his destination list instead of the "Cancel Current Route" option in the MDX.
d. One nice thing about the NAV on the LC is the voice talks over the stereo instead of interrupts it.

Another point that may be important to some... His trip computer showed 14.1 mpg for the all highway part of his trip. Ouch.

There may be more, and I'll post 'em as I remember 'em. Also, there may have been some things that he did not know, or used correctly, so some of the items above may not be totally accurate (it was a new vehicle to him too).

Enjoy.....
 

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mystic said:
I spent the past few days with some friends on a ski trip in their brand-new 2003 Land Cruiser. Just thought I would pass along some observations....all are relative to my '03X
. . . d. One nice thing about the NAV on the LC is the voice talks over the stereo instead of interrupts it .....
I believe on my '02 X, the NAV lady talks over the stereo rather than interrupts it :4:
 

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Hey all,

Interesting observations. I don't think your friend knows how to use the navigation system very well.

My brother's navi system in his 2001 Lexus LX470 is simpler to use than what you are describing.

The navi screen DOES change the background lighting, IF you set your headlights to AUTO (if dark) or ON. Your friend probably had the headlights OFF...probably because he thought the headlights were on due to DRLs.

Cancelling a route is quite easy...i've done it many times.

Yes, Toyota navis do not let you play with it while the car is moving. But, you can cancel, do point-of-interest, emergency, etc. WHILE moving.

Thanks.
 

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mystic said:

Another point that may be important to some... His trip computer showed 14.1 mpg for the all highway part of his trip. Ouch.
There is no way I could live with that type of highway MPG, did you happen to notice what the city MPG was?? I am almost afraid to ask:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek::eek: :eek:
 

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Was this guy's TLC past the break-in period??

'03 TLC gets 13mpg city and 17mpg highway.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
tigmd99 said:
Hey all,

Interesting observations. I don't think your friend knows how to use the navigation system very well.

My brother's navi system in his 2001 Lexus LX470 is simpler to use than what you are describing.

The navi screen DOES change the background lighting, IF you set your headlights to AUTO (if dark) or ON. Your friend probably had the headlights OFF...probably because he thought the headlights were on due to DRLs.

Cancelling a route is quite easy...i've done it many times.

Yes, Toyota navis do not let you play with it while the car is moving. But, you can cancel, do point-of-interest, emergency, etc. WHILE moving.

Thanks.
I'm sure he doesn't know how to use it very well, but it sure was frustrating watching him struggle through it. Noone had to teach me a thing about the X's NAV system, and I can work through it without any trouble.

Since your point of reference is a 2001 TLC, I wonder how different the 2003 model is.

and...it was night when I saw the NAV screen (lights were definitely on). There may be a setting in there to change the background, but we couldn't find it. That is automatic on the X - never had to set anything to get it to change background when the lights come on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
tigmd99 said:
Was this guy's TLC past the break-in period??

'03 TLC gets 13mpg city and 17mpg highway.
I don't know what Toyota quotes as break in, but it had about 2K miles on it. He probably was doing pretty close to 80 for alot of that highway time, so that lowered his mileage some.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Re: 2003 Land Cruiser Observations

greatscot said:

I believe on my '02 X, the NAV lady talks over the stereo rather than interrupts it :4:
My '03 definitely interrupts. I hate that!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
...and another thing

Just remembered another bad thing about Toyota's NAV system...

The map of the US isn't available all at once - you have to select regions.

This works fine for local travel, but, as in our case, we were driving from one state to another, my buddy couldn't get one continuous route. He had to change regions in the middle of the trip.

Even HE didn't like that!
 

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The 03 Nav does interrupt, but to me that only makes sense. With road noise and the radio turned up, it seems that it would be a challenge to understand at times. It can be annoying, however; that's why I don't use the Nav for fun anymore as I run errands. :D
 

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Mystic,

Your friend does NOT know how to use the system! It is a really simple system to program and use. I have done the continuous routing myself on my brother's system...it is quite easy. TELL HIM TO READ THE FREAKING MANUAL! Geez!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tigmd99 said:
Mystic,

Your friend does NOT know how to use the system! It is a really simple system to program and use. I have done the continuous routing myself on my brother's system...it is quite easy. TELL HIM TO READ THE FREAKING MANUAL! Geez!
You, sir, need to read my ORIGINAL post. I said, pretty clearly there that it was a new system to him. This is the second post you've made, restating a simple fact that I made clear from the start. Pay attention!

That being said, however, I was able to find my way around the Acura NAV system without reading anything, and didn't fumble at all. Its simple. The Toyota system is not as user friendly (which isn't to say that it isn't as capable). If it was easy, and if it had the capability, I could've found where to turn the auto-background on. We couldn't on the Toyota...found it in about 30 secs on my X, and the X's was on by DEFAULT. Maybe you need some 2003 Toyota NAV experience, as your 2001 version descriptions do not seem to match what I saw with my own eyes on the 2003.

My review stands, Toyota NAV leaves ALOT to be disired.

PS: If the Toyota system is so great, why didn't you get one?
 

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Mystic,

First off, i have an '02 4Runner, which did NOT come with a navi option...i wish it did! Trust me, i would love to have it! The '03 4Runner is a totally new design that has the navi as an option. I wanted the '02 for off-roading purposes.

I am stating that the Toyota navi DOES provide continuous routing...a counterpoint to your statement. And it is just a matter of knowing how to use the system. It is pretty clear and simple. I didn't read the manual either for my brother's Lexus and i found the way.

The '03 navi is very similar. I have used it on the GX470 and LS430.

The backlighting change is the DEFAULT setting! Someone screwed with your friend's navi system before he got it!

Thanks.

P.S: Read the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
tigmd99 said:
Mystic,

First off, i have an '02 4Runner, which did NOT come with a navi option...i wish it did! Trust me, i would love to have it! The '03 4Runner is a totally new design that has the navi as an option. I wanted the '02 for off-roading purposes.

I am stating that the Toyota navi DOES provide continuous routing...a counterpoint to your statement. And it is just a matter of knowing how to use the system. It is pretty clear and simple. I didn't read the manual either for my brother's Lexus and i found the way.

The '03 navi is very similar. I have used it on the GX470 and LS430.

The backlighting change is the DEFAULT setting! Someone screwed with your friend's navi system before he got it!

Thanks.

P.S: Read the manual.
You seem to have a reading comprehension issue. My main gripe about the Toyota NAV systems is not capability, its USABILITY. It has its nice features, but it is overall less user friendly than the MDX system. As a brand new user to the Acura system, I was functional in getting from place to place without reading the manual - the same for my wife. On the Toyota, after having several months of experience with the Acura NAV system, I was unable to help my friend much at all with his system. Of course the manual will explain it, but we were on vacation, and just wanted to use the basic functionality, and we found it difficult.

Additionally I never said that it did not provide continuous routing. I said that you could not see the map all at once. On the MDX, you can see the entire US on a single map, and zoom into any area you like. On the Toyota, you must select a region, and if what you want to see is in a different region, you must change regions. Pain the the behind.

The Acura system is just as capable of a system(maybe more capable) that is much easier to use, and simply doesn't have the annoying bad habits that the Toyota system has.

PS: I don't need to read the manual - I would never buy a Land Cruiser! Plus, I have an X and reading the manual isn't all that necessary!

PPS: After realizing that you had an '02 4Runner, I understand why the Land Cruiser seems so nice to you. If you had an MDX, you might look upon things a little differently.
 

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Mystic,

Ouch! Do you know the saying, "people who live in glass house shouldn't throw rocks"?? :D Sorry, i will never buy a minivan-derived wannabe SUV. :rolleyes:

Wait, is the MDX a minivan-wannabe or a SUV-wannabe?? Can't decide! It is not as roomy as a minivan, yet not as capable as a real SUV.

BTW, my 4Runner is no less capable than the TLC. I bet you cannot even name me one thing that the TLC has over the 3rd gen 4Runner. It is not the engine, because power/weight ratio is similar. The TLC has more creature comforts...but no more capability. In fact, approach/departure angles on the 4Runner is far better. Ground clearance is same. Both have armor protection underneath. In fact, in mud, the 4runner has a distinct advantage because it is lighter and does not sink. Sorry, i did have the opportunity to buy the TLC (and GX470), but decided against it for my needs.

I am not sure who has a comprehension problem. Let's see, i can operate the Toyota navi withOUT reading the manual (basic functions)...and you and your friend cannot. Hmmm...interesting, isn't it?? Who has a problem again??

No, Mystic, after owning a REAL SUV, you will NEVER go back to a minivan-wannabe!

Thanks.
 

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You guys are quite entertaining. Mind if I chime in, as the owner of an Acura (Alpine unit) and Lexus (same as Toyota, Denso unit) navs?

IMO the Lexus unit is *ever so slightly* more intuitive to use than the Acura, in pretty much every regard. The Lexus unit IMO is significantly better than the Acura w/r/t points of interest selection (tho I'm sure Vic would comment that the Acura has more POIs, the Lexus makes them much easier and logical to find and select for routing).

The Acura benefits because it's usable while the car's moving. Big plus for Acura there.

Overall, I give the Acura a *slight* edge over the Lexus unit because of that.

FWIW, the "region" selection on the Lexus unit does not prohibit selecting addresses or POIs outside of the region, nor does it cease functioning at those boundaries. It is used to accellerate the search/location of streetnames, addresses and POIs during the data entry process. Unless they've changed it for the worse in the past year.

As much as it pains me to do this, I have to agree with Thai. (gasp). Your friend needs to RTFM if he can't figure it out without it. You might clue him in that he can also stop searching for the "any" key on his computer keyboard. :D
 

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TheWorm,

Shocking!!:D Wow, at first, when i saw your post, i thought you were gonna tell me shut up and delete my post...whew! :D Ok, i know, i still should shut up.

Have a good weekend everyone.
 

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Back to a comparison of the vehicles...

Getting back to the original topic (before the Nav wars), I just wanted to weigh in with a couple comments on my driving experiences with the TLC.

First, it has the performance of a slug. It's nearly a thousand pounds heavier than the MDX with less horsepower (25hp down from 2003, 5hp less than 2002/1 models). Even though it has more peak torque, the torque band is much narrower than the MDX V-TEC engine and you can feel it. Also, there is a definite lag in accelerator response, you punch the gas and kind of wait for something to happen.

The ride was very smooth and quiet on good highways, but very ponderous. Lots of lean and float on tight winding roads where the MDX really excels.

On bumpy roads you get alot of input from the rear axle, particularly if the right edge of the road is broken up. The lack of an independent rear axle is very noticeable. The ride on rough roads reminded me of my old 1999 Ford Expedition (and that's not a complement). Note: The new Expo with rear indy handles rough roads better than the TLC.

Overall, I was not impressed. For a vehicle that stickered out at about $54K it is severely lacking in power and handling is way too soft.
 

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Here we go again...

0-60 on the TLC is about 9.5 seconds.

Torque band narrow?? The Torque curve on the TLC is similar to that of a diesel engine...80% of torque as low 1000 rpm. Please do NOT compare the MDX's torque curve to TLC...you're setting yourself up for an embarrassment! TLC engine is HIGHLY regarded by the world!

For SUVs and truck, Torque is king. In off-roading, HP is worthless. In towing, HP is not needed...just look at diesel engines!

You're comparing a minivan/car suspension to an off-roader suspension. Yeah, the on-road ride may be less "sporty", but NO ONE has ever complained that the TLC does not give a good on-road ride. In off-roading, well, TLC kicks butt!

Let me ask you this, why are you concerned about sporty handing on a 4400 lbs, high-center of gravity, SUV?? If you take a corner fast, then it is your funeral in ANY SUV. That is what CARS are made for.

Actually, the TLC can pull 0.72g. MDX is not that much better. TLC is also infinitely quieter on the road and has a better sound system. It also has better braking!!! Yeah, it is pretty embarrassing how a 5500 lbs gorrilla can stop significantly better than a 4400 lbs minivan!

I don't think Toyota ever meant for TLC to be a speed demon or sporty car. It is what it is...the best on-road and off-road vehicle on the planet, bar none (including Range Rover).

Heck, if i want to blow the MDX off the line, i can easily get Infiniti FX35. But, that is NOT the point of an SUV!!

Thanks.
 

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>> Wait, is the MDX a minivan-wannabe or a SUV-wannabe?? Can't decide! It is not as roomy as a minivan, yet not as capable as a real SUV.

>> No, Mystic, after owning a REAL SUV, you will NEVER go back to a
minivan-wannabe!


I have do disagree with you in several points:

1. MDX is not a "SUV or minivan wannabe". It is an SUV for majority people and sales and success of it is a proof.

2. No offense, but IMO MDX is much better in handling than 2002 4Runner. I test drove it and found choppy, uncomfortable and old-fashioned in terms of internal design. That is my opinion. I also think that 2003 4-Runner is plain ugly!

3. I own a "real" SUV -2001 Montero - that won the most number "Paris-Dakar" competitions, including #3 this year (and BTW, you are wrong - the bottom skid plate is not plastic). And, I love driving my OTHER SUV, MDX and many times I like driving it around the town more than Montero.

4. Now you can argue that 4Runner is frame-based and it is a real SUV and Montero and MDX are not, but the fact is that Mitsu wins most of the off-road competitions, while Toyota does not. But that is beside the point.

5. This said, I LOVE TLC and I do think that TLC (LLX) and Range Rover are the ultimate SUV choices that offer the best combination of off-roading capabilities, luxury and style.

But, wait a minute! If you are of such a low opinion of MDX, that "minivan wannabe", what are you doing in this forum?
 
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