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Ok, if you are questioning the MDX because of premium fuel and having to drive 200 miles to a dealer, what would be your 2nd choice. I want these things on the vehicle. 1) 4wd or awd 2) 7 passenger seating 3) gas mileage comparable to the MDX, which seems to be about 21 mpg, and 4) burns regular fuel. I have been racking my brain to find a vehicle that fits this description but am unable to come up with anything. Maybe its because the like the looks of the MDX!!!
 

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Trade-Off

I always like it when buyers have their priorities set. Of course, whether or not you like the vehicle that hits those priorities may affect them somewhat.

The closest vehicle to those requirements outside of the MDX is probably the Buick Rendezvous. Hits all four, for that matter. Runs on regular gas, better mileage, 7-passenger seating, AWD.

Can be bought quite cheaply, and GM is offering 0% financing on some time periods. And there's probably a Buick dealership close to you (I wouldn't like having an MDX so far away from the dealership -- 200 miles is a LOT).

Downsides include its IIHS crash test score, while not too bad for a GM vehicle, don't match many other Japanese/German SUV's. Reliablity is an unknown but past GM efforts have left much to be desired (e.g. four recalls already on the Envoy). The vehicle is relatively underpowered.

Good luck.
 

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GMC Envoy XL?

I'm not so sure about gas mileage though.



"02 mahogany MDX w/ cargo net, trailer hitch.
"02 mesa biege MDX w/ cargo net, trailer hitch.
 

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Great question! This is NOT a recommendation, but the only other vehicle besides the Rendezvous (that I can think of) that matches all 4 of your criteria is the Suzuki XL-7, and it only matches the MDX's fuel economy in the city. Don't laugh, but I actually kind of like the styling of the Rendezvous, plus Orlando's most famous resident drives one, so how bad can it be? :p Seriously though, you could always take two trips in an RX 300 or get a pair of CR-Vs :p
 

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shaqdogg, in addition to the above mentioned vehicles, the new Ford Explorer may be worth a second look. It seats 7 and is redesigned to give a more car-like ride with a longer and wider wheelbase. Also, it will have available electronic traction and stability options along with a V8 option and over twice the MDX tow capacity.

However, if is only a matter of $100 or so per year difference in fuel cost, I personally prefer the styling, ride and build of a MDX. Two hundred miles from the dealer, on the other hand, is a bit much even for a driving enthusiast.
 

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GatorGreg said:
Great question! This is NOT a recommendation, but the only other vehicle besides the Rendezvous (that I can think of) that matches all 4 of your criteria is the Suzuki XL-7, and it only matches the MDX's fuel economy in the city. Don't laugh, but I actually kind of like the styling of the Rendezvous, plus Orlando's most famous resident drives one, so how bad can it be? :p Seriously though, you could always take two trips in an RX 300 or get a pair of CR-Vs :p
Mickey Mouse drives a Rendezous?!?! :D:D I always pictured him in a Ford...
 

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Shaqdogg,
The premium fuel criterion shouldn't be an issue. That amounts to $70-$100 per year extra and if you are considering a $35K-$40K vehicle you are being penny-wise and pound foolish. The mileage criterion is a tougher one since mileage is almost directly linked to vehicle weight. Not much if anything out there that is lighter than the MDX and still offers as much interior room. If you can live with less room you can get that mileage with a Subaru Outback wagon which is lighter than the MDX but don't know about the vehicles others have suggested. The distance to the dealer is the killer. If I lived 200 miles from the closest Acura dealer, I wouldn't buy it unless I was prepared to do all the routine maintenance myself which is something you could consider. However, warranty repairs would be a real pain. You might want to pm lmeans who lives about 120 miles from her dealer to investigate the inconvenience she has had to endure with trying to get some warranty repairs. My suggestion is the Oldsmobile Bravada or the Mercury Mountaineer with the V8. Both are AWD but I believe are heavier than the MDX so you may not get as good mileage and both have had recalls I believe also.
 
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