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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I've been a member of this forum for quite sometimes now and have been on here quite often so I've read what issues some of you ran into. I almost bought the Advance model but the dealer called it off. I finally decided to purchase the 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited version. I'm here just to list out some of the functions that seem to concern and upset some of you MDX owners. I'm not here to bash the MDX in anyway but just to inform some who might still be on the fence of what to buy or decided they just have enough of the MDX.

- Infotainment system is quite responsive compare to the MDX
- Hard buttons for cool/heat seats control. Taking directly from the Lexus
- Captain chairs in 2nd row
- Engine is carryover from previous generation so it's better for the most part
- To me the interior, especially the dash area is much nicer than MDX and feels more luxurious to me
- Backup camera is very bright at night time. I remember quite a few people complained about this on the MDX
- Brand new style. MDX looks very much like previous generation which is 7-8 years old? Though I do like the MDX style more, but it feels very outdated
- I can wear my polarized sunglasses and have no problem seeing the infotainment screen
- There's air vent for 3rd row
- Fog lights are standard
- The best part is I saved almost 20k over the Advanced model
 

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was in the same boat

Hi All,

I've been a member of this forum for quite sometimes now and have been on here quite often so I've read what issues some of you ran into. I almost bought the Advance model but the dealer called it off. I finally decided to purchase the 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited version. I'm here just to list out some of the functions that seem to concern and upset some of you MDX owners. I'm not here to bash the MDX in anyway but just to inform some who might still be on the fence of what to buy or decided they just have enough of the MDX.

- Infotainment system is quite responsive compare to the MDX
- Hard buttons for cool/heat seats control. Taking directly from the Lexus
- Captain chairs in 2nd row
- Engine is carryover from previous generation so it's better for the most part
- To me the interior, especially the dash area is much nicer than MDX and feels more luxurious to me
- Backup camera is very bright at night time. I remember quite a few people complained about this on the MDX
- Brand new style. MDX looks very much like previous generation which is 7-8 years old? Though I do like the MDX style more, but it feels very outdated
- I can wear my polarized sunglasses and have no problem seeing the infotainment screen
- There's air vent for 3rd row
- Fog lights are standard
- The best part is I saved almost 20k over the Advanced model
Congrats on your purchase. I was in the same boat as you a couple of weeks back and ended up purchasing the MDX (FWD)with the Tech package which is at approx the same price point as the Highlander limited FWD.

I drove both the vehicles on the same day with my family ( drove the highlander first) and decision to go with MDX was almost unanimous !

I also wanted a vehicle with cooled seats, adaptive cruise control and parking sensors all of which were absent in the MDX with Tech package,however the performance(acceleration) , plush(quite) ride and handling were important factors for me on all of which the highlander couldn't match up to the MDX.

For me the other let downs in the highlander were

1) Captains seats in the second row where I really needed a bench
2) Brand experience Acura over Toyota
3) Tighter 3rd row especially for the middle passenger who would have difficulty spreading legs due to a bump between 2nd row captains seats
4) Lower luggage vol behind 3rd row.

Both are good vehicles no doubt and appeal to different set of buyers.

~A
 

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I traded a Highlander Hybrid Limited in for an advanced. The Highlander was a bit less costly (when it was new) over the Acura, but did not have as many luxury features. A LOT of friends liked my Highlander better than the new Acura. I agree with many of your comments and wanted to add a few others.

1. The Highlander never had to go into the shop except for oil changes or tires. Never. I did not even take in for their silly floor mat recalls. My Acura is in the shop as I write this.

2. The Highlander HVAC was great with multiple condensers meant it cooled all three rows extremely well. This is in stark contrast to the single condenser in the Acura that others complain does not heat/cool as well.

3. The Highlander (at least the year I had) was missing a LOT of features that should have been present given the cost. The Acura had these features, plus a lot others and that is why I bought it:

* Memory Seats
* AC Ventilated Seats
* Electric Tilt Telescopic column
* Being able to lock and unlock the doors using the rear door handles.
* Auto window up on all four windows.
* Auto Dim on all three mirrors
* ACC
* The remote start works as one would expect on the Acura, unlike the Toyota which was very quirky.

4. The mileage of my HH was very close to the MDX which is pretty impressive for Acura given that the HH was a Hybrid and the Acura a gas engine.

5. There are quite a few things I miss from my HH:

* The HH had a REAL full size spare tire, and the spare had a TPMS built in. The Acura FWD does not even come with a spare.
* I loved the handles near the hatch in the rear that allowed one to remotely fold the middle row of seat when you needed extra cargo space loading something big in from the hatch.

As I said before, the major dissatisfier for me was that Acura should equip the MDX with fog lights and a spare and folding power mirrors as standard. What would that add, $300-$400 to the price of the car when done on the assembly line?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Flame Red

The 2014 HL is totally different than previous generations. It's much more upscale and high tech. I do like the ride on the MDX more, but the HL has plenty of power. The top of the line non hybrid HL is price about the same as the base MDX with features equivalent to Advance model. To me Acura is not a luxury vehicle brand. It's more a between Toyota and Lexus. A few things I forgot to include
- HL does not require premium gasoline
- For people with two kids or more, there's no way to get to 3rd row on the X with baby carseats installed in 2nd row. You can squeeze through between the captain chairs in HL.
- The entertainment system can play Blu-ray discs instead of just regular DVDs
- And for those that are in love with the LED strip lights(not me). It came standard on my model.
- The wood trim looks like real wood, better than the X. Don't know if it's real or not.
- It got better color options and combinations
 

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- For people with two kids or more, there's no way to get to 3rd row on the X with baby carseats installed in 2nd row.
I've got two carseats in the second row (middle and driver side) and I can get passengers to the third row just fine.
 

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I just bought a '14 Highlander XLE for an employee last week. She picked it out and I didn't even see it until she drove it into the office. I was quite impressed with the interior and can certainly see this being a great option for buyer. We had shopped a Highlander a few years back and the new one appears to have a lot more room. The big neg on the previous model was the absolutely useless cargo space with the 3rd row. The new one appears better than the MDX in that regard.
 

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I've owned two Highlanders and three MDX's, and both are great vehicles. However, I have to disagree when you say Acura is not a luxury brand. That's crazy! I personally don't care for the styling inside or outside of the new Highlander, and in driving both, agree that there's no comparison. I pick up my new MDX this week. That being said, again, I think both are fine vehicles, and they just appeal to different types of buyers. Enjoy!!
 

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Historically, I've never looked at Acura as a luxury brand either. I always considered it Honda's sport/luxury cousin. I think they're clearly trying to raise the bar as their vehicles move closer to typical "luxury-ish" vehicles...more features, quieter, better ride, etc. But they're still just marginally breaking into that category. The MDX is a great vehicle but it's not the vault-like environment of many other vehicles and frankly that's to be expected as the entry-price is quite a bit lower. There are Jeeps and GMC's priced in the same ballpark as the MDX.

Honestly, one of the things I like about having Acuras is that most people DON'T tend to look at them as a true luxury brand. I've had comments from clients when I owned MB, BMW, Lexus...but never heard a peep from anyone when I was in an Acura. It just doesn't come across as pretentious at all and I like that.
 

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Flame Red

The 2014 HL is totally different than previous generations. It's much more upscale and high tech. I do like the ride on the MDX more, but the HL has plenty of power. The top of the line non hybrid HL is price about the same as the base MDX with features equivalent to Advance model. To me Acura is not a luxury vehicle brand. It's more a between Toyota and Lexus. A few things I forgot to include
- HL does not require premium gasoline
* Premium gas is recommended for the 2014 MDX.

- For people with two kids or more, there's no way to get to 3rd row on the X with baby carseats installed in 2nd row. You can squeeze through between the captain chairs in HL.
* I was able to fit a front facing and rear facing car seats in the 2nd row and can access the 3rd row easily, without any adjusting.

- The entertainment system can play Blu-ray discs instead of just regular DVDs
* This is true but I only have the Tech Package and find the RES overpriced in any car that has it. An extra $2k for a dvd player and monitor? I'd just buy 2 ipads/tablets and head rest mounts.

- And for those that are in love with the LED strip lights(not me). It came standard on my model.
* I really now find the LED strip lights tacky for most cars/suv. It seems like they just added it just to say they them. The LED lights in the 2014 MDX is standard and is one of the nicest, if not the best, use of LEDs in the market. And the beauty of the LEDs in the MDX is that also serves as the headlight, not just an ornament. On daytime, all 5 LED (per headlight) lights up as the DRL. And on night time, 3 of the LED lights up as your low beam, and 5 of them lights up for high beam.

- The wood trim looks like real wood, better than the X. Don't know if it's real or not.
* Subjective. But I have to see the interior of the new HL.

- It got better color options and combinations
* Subjective. I think Honda/Acura is a bit conservative on this area and tend to lean on the classic color combos. But one thing is for sure, the color combos they put out won't look really tacky once you get past the novelty of the paint. I really don't care what the available color combos of the other car have if I already like the color combo of the car I'm interested in.
HL is a nice reliable car/crossover/suv. But after the acceleration recall issue that Toyota once had, we're staying away from any Toyota for awhile. Lexus? Overpriced.
 

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The highlander would compare to the Honda Pilot or Nissan Pathfinder. The MDX would compare to the Lexus RX or GX series or the QX60. I must say that I was also impressed with the interior look of the highlander. For its price point, the highlander is a nice ride though my preference would have been the Pathfinder.
 

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The highlander would compare to the Honda Pilot or Nissan Pathfinder. The MDX would compare to the Lexus RX or GX series or the QX60. I must say that I was also impressed with the interior look of the highlander. For its price point, the highlander is a nice ride though my preference would have been the Pathfinder.
:29:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've got two carseats in the second row (middle and driver side) and I can get passengers to the third row just fine.
Ah, I meant both carseats installed on the sides.
I like the MDX but it seems like Acura just rushed this one out and took a big step backward in term of finished, even though it's a first year vehicle. The HL is also first year too. I'm pretty sure I will run into imperfections if I try to find them. Atleast the HL raised the bar and maybe the new Pilot and next year X will include Blu-ray instead of the crappy DVD :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The highlander would compare to the Honda Pilot or Nissan Pathfinder. The MDX would compare to the Lexus RX or GX series or the QX60. I must say that I was also impressed with the interior look of the highlander. For its price point, the highlander is a nice ride though my preference would have been the Pathfinder.
Yep, price wise they are. I looked at all of them. Boy, I'm glad I didn't purchase a Pathfinder. It got a big transmission issue. Pilot is no comparison in term of finish and quality. QX has the issue as the Pathfinder since they share the same engine. I wish the RX is a seven seater. GX is way too expensive.
 

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The highlander would compare to the Honda Pilot or Nissan Pathfinder. The MDX would compare to the Lexus RX or GX series or the QX60. I must say that I was also impressed with the interior look of the highlander. For its price point, the highlander is a nice ride though my preference would have been the Pathfinder.
The MDX would never compare to the GX. Completely different animals.

The GX is expensive, and is appealing to a different market than the MDX. Now if you don't load it up as I did, and go with a base plus comfort and Nav, it is on price par with the Advance MDX. However it is not a direct comparison for anything build or design wise.

I paid in the low $60s and ordered mine. It has every option. It's a truck though. And there's no doubt about it from the moment you start it up.

Randy B

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The MDX would never compare to the GX. Completely different animals.

The GX is expensive, and is appealing to a different market than the MDX. Now if you don't load it up as I did, and go with a base plus comfort and Nav, it is on price par with the Advance MDX. However it is not a direct comparison for anything build or design wise.

I paid in the low $60s and ordered mine. It has every option. It's a truck though. And there's no doubt about it from the moment you start it up.

Randy B

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Agreed....I'm not wild about the GX styling this year. But, that's just my taste....
 

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Yep, price wise they are. I looked at all of them. Boy, I'm glad I didn't purchase a Pathfinder. It got a big transmission issue. Pilot is no comparison in term of finish and quality. QX has the issue as the Pathfinder since they share the same engine. I wish the RX is a seven seater. GX is way too expensive.
I guess you probably mean the CVT transmission. I am quite familiar with it. I do have it in my 09 Muranno. Zero problems so far going onto the 6th year. I do love it in the Muranno. I did test drive it in the JX35 and it was just sluggish. That was a deal breaker for me. Agreed with the GX. I would probably go BMW or Mercedes instead of that.
 

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I appreciate this thread a lot but it leaves me with a feeling of frustration as I enter the market to replace my (still going strong) 2003 MDX. I, like many of you, love the size and handling, and moderate utility of the MDX in all 3 gens. I certainly will check out the new MDX, but I will wait until at least the 2nd year of the new gen to see if some of the bugs discussed here might be worked out...one can hope...right? I'm also waiting patiently for the new Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 to see if there is legit competition to be had in the mid sized, 3 row SUV, luxury, semi luxury segment.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I guess you probably mean the CVT transmission. I am quite familiar with it. I do have it in my 09 Muranno. Zero problems so far going onto the 6th year. I do love it in the Muranno. I did test drive it in the JX35 and it was just sluggish. That was a deal breaker for me. Agreed with the GX. I would probably go BMW or Mercedes instead of that.
Yeah, their new CVT(not the same as the one in your Murano) which are in both the Pathfinder and QX60 have serious issue. I've been following both their forums for over a year, and seen many owners already forced the dealers to buy back their vehicles or claimed the Lemon Law. Nissan still have not admitted their fault yet. Shame on them. The Pathfinder would've been a great deal especially with their 360 camera view and rare 2nd row seats that allow passage to 3rd row EVEN WITH carseats installed.
 

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I am still upset that I will have to wade through FWD MDX's when I start looking at used ones in 4-5 years. I think they diluted the brand with them.
 
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