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Just read Consumer Reports today and for the midsize SUVs, the MDX was ranked 4th overall behind BMW 4.4, Audi Allroad, and the Toyota Highlander. Only the Highlander and MDX were recommended though, I think because of the price. One interesting mark was a "half-black" for emergency handling. Don't really know what that means.
 

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Do a SEARCH on Cnsumer Reports

Consumer Reports opinions have been discussed in several other threads. Using Search can did them up.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The first thread was discussed before I was a member... But thanks for the heads up.
 

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In my humble opinion the ...

... Audi AllRoad is NOT a true SUV. It may be a fine car but not an SUV.
 

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MDXtrous said:
Just read Consumer Reports today and for the midsize SUVs, the MDX was ranked 4th overall behind BMW 4.4, Audi Allroad, and the Toyota Highlander. Only the Highlander and MDX were recommended though, I think because of the price. One interesting mark was a "half-black" for emergency handling. Don't really know what that means.
The "un"recommended cars are always based upon reliability - below average reliability does not get a "recommended", period.

The Highlander narrowly out-pointed it's sister the RX-300 b/c CR thought it was a better value (basically the same as the RX with slightly more cargo room and lower price) while the RX-300 and MDX are a virtual CR tie.

The half-black for emergency handling was related to CRs observation that in the high speed (?) lane change, they felt that the rear-end broke loose more than they would have liked (oversteer). Understand, CR believes that all cars should be dialed for substantial understeer b/c that condition is easier for novice drivers to control.
 

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Re: Re: Consumer Reports rates MDX 4th on SUVs

donsev said:


The "un"recommended cars are always based upon reliability - below average reliability does not get a "recommended", period.

The Highlander narrowly out-pointed it's sister the RX-300 b/c CR thought it was a better value (basically the same as the RX with slightly more cargo room and lower price) while the RX-300 and MDX are a virtual CR tie.

The half-black for emergency handling was related to CRs observation that in the high speed (?) lane change, they felt that the rear-end broke loose more than they would )have liked (oversteer). Understand, CR believes that all cars should be dialed for substantial understeer b/c that condition is easier for novice drivers to control.
Remember, that characteristic was pointed out by Motorweek also, including when heavy braking. They concluded it was not surprising for a relatively heavy vehicle. Many drivers just plop in and drive. They are not interested in what their car does under all conditions, in it's limitations. That's who CR is aiming their half black mark at. It reflects a wide readership from those who look at CR as gospel, to those like us, who have an interest any thing that reports on a product we have invested in, or plan to invest in.
Most of us read Car & Driver, etc. to get a real driver's perspective. We don't sweat a little stinkin' tail out when cornering. And when it happens we go "Wahoo!" not "Oh no, Ethel, I'm gonna lose 'er!" (You can replace 'Oh no, Ethel' with words of your choosing. Chidlren may be reading.)
 

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Wasn't it CR that reported the Isuzu Trooper as a roll-over danger. In fact, they said that if you don't own one, don't buy one; if you do own one, drive it only when you absolutely have to and drive it very carefully. I had a Tropper (dubbed the Tipper) at the time and couldn't roll it to save my ass! I live in Florida where there are (apparently) more roll-over accidents than any other state (even though it is by far the flattest state around) and the only, I repeat, the only, SUVs I've personally seen upside down or on their side is the Ford Explorer. I lost ALL confidence in CR at that point.

Right now I could give a rat's ass about CRs rating of the MDX - they do not live and work in reality.
 

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Let's face it, the MDX's emergency handling is a negative on an otherwise very fine vehicle. That said, it's about average for an SUV (though the mild fishtailing is a bit alarming, as most of its competitors do not have that characteristic when pushed hard). Then again, I would think most MDX owners expect more than just average.

Sure you can avoid what Motor Week and CR saw when they pushed it to the limit on dry pavement, by not driving that way on dry pavement. But what happens when you're driving home on a slicker road, and have to avoid something in front of you? That's when the fishtail tendency might just penalize you if it's severe enough for you to lose control.

The (mild) fishtailing is a result of the MDX's higher weight, its heavy front-end bias, and the lack of a well-implemented stability control system. The latter item is available in the MDX's direct competitors, as well as numerous vehicles "beneath" the MDX's class. Acura needs to add this in, perhaps as further differentiation from the Pilot.

And if Acura adds it in, I hope it's a well-implemented VSA (Acura's version of stability control). Not one that is overly aggressive (and thus kills driving fun), but one that is effective in preventing skids.
 

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I agree

The highlander is a good vehicle, especially a good value in the stripped models. But if you want 7 passenger capability, the X is the only choice.

The Bimmer and Audi are better appointed, but reliablity stinks on the Bimmer and the Audi's just a jacked up wagon.
 

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Re: I agree

MrPrescott said:
The highlander is a good vehicle, especially a good value in the stripped models. But if you want 7 passenger capability, the X is the only choice.
Agreed. The Highlander is a nice vehicle, but compared to a Pilot, its price tag is harder to justify. But if you don't need that much cargo room, it's not a bad buy at all.

For one thing, Toyota/Lexus has been really strong in quality (with an exception seeming to be the new model Camry, and of course the V6 sludge issue). I think they're a notch ahead of Honda/Acura right now, though Honda/Acura is certainly still well ahead of other manufacturers. Honda has struggled with Odyssey quality, and the MDX has been good but not necessarily what one might have expected after having had, say, an Accord. To be fair, the MDX is a much more complex vehicle than an Accord and it's hard to get quality to match, but that doesn't seem to stop the quality in Toyota's SUV's.

The big rub I have with Toyota nowadays is that their vehicles are definitely priced at a premium. So even with discounts, they can be kind of pricey. E.g. the new Camry which, optioned out, easily has a street price of mid-to-upper 20's, or the Sienna, which can also get quite expensive.

This all said, the VSC-equipped Highlander didn't do much better at the CR emergency handling test (though it didn't fishtail). I'd hate to think of what a non-VSC-equipped one might do!
 
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