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Advice needed! ML320 v. MDX

4650 Views 33 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  MDXLuvr
I'm looking to replace a '99 Jeep GC. I've boiled my choices down to the ML320 ('01 or '02 model) or the MDX. I've read a bunch of the threads on the topic, but none of the posts seem to address my concerns directly -- I'm hoping someone here can help. Some questions:

- handling on ice and snow is very important to me. Thoughts on comparisons of the 4WD systems?

- I tested the '01 MDX and couldn't find a comfortable place for my left foot. have they fixed that yet? I imagined my foot getting very tired on a 4+ hour ride to Tahoe...

- Also, the wind noise in the MDX was disturbing. Fixed in '02?

- how is the quality? I think highly of Acura -- is the MDX up to their standards?

- be honest: how does this handle in the snow?

- handling on the ML seemed a little better. I'm aware of the quality issues in the ML, but what do people think from a pure driver's standpoint?

Anything else people think I should know?

Many thanks in advance for any advice....
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All -

Many thanks for the helpful input. I noticed that no one else seems to comment on the left footrest issue. has this been fixed in the MDX, or am I the only one bothered by this? I recognize that this may seem like a small problem, but doesn't it bother folks on anything other than a commute-length drive?

I assume/hope that Acura knows how to deal with the weeping mirrors and the Thud problems by now.
changing direction...

First, many thanks to all who have offered their insights. Much appreciated.

I used the long weekend to go and drive the cars back-to-back. Honestly, I ended up disappointed by both. The MDX remains bigger than I need, and I just couldn't get past the uncomfortable left foot issue. I keep cars for a long time, and can't see myself shifting position on my way to Tahoe constantly for the next 7 years. Also, I still think it's too noisy for my tastes.

As for the ML's, I thought the 320 was underpowered -- it really strained to accelerate and made a racket. The 420 (they still had a bunch of '01s on the lot) was better, but I couldn't see spending that kind of $$ for a Tahoe car. Also, it's a gas-guzzler, and I still have some environmental sensitivities....:)

Tried the Volvo XC -- underwhelmed. Boring interior, boring overall.

Finally, I passed the Lexus dealer on the way home (Bay Area by the way, not Yosemite) and decided to try the RX300 on a lark. REally liked it. Much peppier than either the MDX or 320, and more comfortable than both. I recognize it's a little smaller, but I think it's ok for my needs. The objectionable egg shape is offset somewhat by the spoiler they've added. So I'm leaning that way, unless one of the mavens on this board can enlighten me to the effect that I'd be crazy to do so?
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To clarify, I didn't mean to suggest that the RX was peppier than than the MDX; but it's definitely peppier than the ML320. The left foot and noise issues are peculiar to the MDX, though.

I'm leery of buying any new models, even a Lexus, so waiting for the new models means waiting for more than a year. And the lease is up on my wife's Jeep in two months, so I really don't have a choice. I think this will be big enough for our needs. Time will tell, I suppose....
What is it about the RX AWD system that you don't like? I don't intend to do any off-roading -- I just need something that will handle the snow in Tahoe (where I am at the moment....wish there were more snow and less rain at the moment...). Every review I have read indicates that the RX AWD works well in snow, kicking in when needed.

The Highlander is interesting, but I found that once it's loaded with even a moderate amount of options you might as well get the RX.
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