Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have been posting here gathering information about the MDX (that's what this forum is called, isn't it? ;)). So I am finally ready to pull the plug and I drove the Acura MDX 2015, Infiniti QX60 2014 and GMC Arcadia 2015.

Here are my findings:

Inifiniti
Currently I am driving a FX35 but with 2 young children I need a 7 seater. The Infiniti dealership was very friendly, professional and treated me well. Not pushy and took their time explaining the vehicle.

Personally I am not a big fan of the QX60 looks but my wife likes it. The car is very nice on the inside with high quality materials and the controls work well. I do not like the CVT and the ride itself was smooth but nothing special. They gave me the highest trade-in by far, and the lowest lease price of all 3.

GMC
Wow, what a difference. I felt that I walked into a Walmart. Pushy, sleazy sales people all fighting to get my attention. They did not have a Denali ready for a test drive. The sales rep was nice but I felt she was a bit clueless.

The GMC Arcadia looks nice on the outside, but this was the first time I actually have been inside of the Arcadia. What a disappointment. Not only does the car look and feel totally dated, but the materials are definitely one or two steps below the Infiniti and Acura. The car badly needs a redesign.

Acura
Where to start? I made an appointment for a test drive a few days ago and I had to ask for Jay, the manager upon arrival. When I arrived I was told Jay wasn't in today. Okay, no problem. So I got hooked up with an Asian gentleman who asked me 'how can I help you?'. I told him we have an Acura MDX test drive appointment. I was hoping he would explain some highlights of the vehicle before the test drive, but he brought me straight to the lot for a 10 minute test drive.

Highlights of the test drive: "Put the car in reverse, so I can show you the rear view camera" and "It is a touch screen!". When we got back, we were kind of standing in the showroom waiting for him to ask us what's next. Awkward. So I asked him if he could give us a ballpark quote for a lease and he answered "okay". We are still standing in the showroom. I had to ask if I could sit somewhere, so he guided us to a generic area with coffee and bagels. He said he would 'work on the numbers' and get us (finally!) at his desk. 15 Minutes later he came over and basically gave us a quote based on MSRP (no discount) telling us the MDX sells well. I asked for a printout of the quote, and what did he do? Handed me a piece of paper and his pen to write it down. Kid you not. Hey, it's not we are not ready to purchase a $50,000 car?

Anyway, we walked out of the dealership highly disappointed.

The car itself: I love the look of the car, it drives very nice and it has high quality materials. The car is smaller than the other two, and I found the dual screen a bit confusing. I don't know who designed the rear of the car, but the rear reflectors instead of exhausts are just simply ugly.

Anyway, hope this helps someone. We probably end up with a 3 year lease on the Infiniti, so in 3 years we can re-evaluate. By then the MDX will be up for a redesign, and the QX and Acura will most likely also be redesigned. The MDX is a great car but the dealership (Acura Roslyn, NY) really blew any chance they had. I was ready to convince the wife to go get an Acura. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
237 Posts
Sounds like a heavy weight on the sales people, less so on the actual car.......I guess some people need to "be sold".

That said, the 3 local Acura dealers I visited when I was shopping, were all a notch above the competition, and my final choice was the closest dealer, and also the best experience from a level of professionalism and customer service, bonus.

Pretty subjective or fluffy content in your post imo, not really anything a potential buyer can sink their teeth in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
I highly suggest not making your choice based on the dealership experience alone. Every franchise is managed differently. I am sure there are some poorly run Infiniti dealers out there. But, thanks for your detailed write up. Interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The fact of the matter is that I was highly biased towards the Acura, but I just needed to convince my wife. The dealership totally destroyed the opportunity. Also - the Infiniti and Acura are really similar in a lot of ways (although I personally like the Acura better).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Sounds like a heavy weight on the sales people, less so on the actual car.......I guess some people need to "be sold".

That said, the 3 local Acura dealers I visited when I was shopping, were all a notch above the competition, and my final choice was the closest dealer, and also the best experience from a level of professionalism and customer service, bonus.

Pretty subjective or fluffy content in your post imo, not really anything a potential buyer can sink their teeth in.
Yes, a lot of stuff is subjective but if you read carefully, I was heavily leaning Acura but my wife needed to be convinced. Sure, it was one bad "experience" but that did cost Acura one sale.

I have stated my opinions about the various cars, and I feel none of the cars are bad but I am amazed Acura has sales people this bad.

Also - as a generic note to Infiniti and Acura: can't you have some more exciting exterior colors to choose from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,547 Posts
It's a shame you chose a lesser car because of the dealer. One time I test drove a Nissan. The salesman gave me a car with the fuel gauge on E. He told me not to leave the lot. I did not buy the Nissan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
The fact of the matter is that I was highly biased towards the Acura, but I just needed to convince my wife. The dealership totally destroyed the opportunity. Also - the Infiniti and Acura are really similar in a lot of ways (although I personally like the Acura better).
I went through a similar dilemma about 2 months ago when shopping to replace my 2004 MDX. I was debating between a used 2014 MDX or new 2014 MDX. Wife didn't like either and we ended up not getting a new car for my wife instead (a QX60). I think women tend to lean toward the Infiniti. I think My wife also didn't like the fact that there are MDX everywhere in my area. She wanted something different.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,634 Posts
I highly suggest not making your choice based on the dealership experience alone. Every franchise is managed differently. I am sure there are some poorly run Infiniti dealers out there. But, thanks for your detailed write up. Interesting.
Well if they're that inept with sales, I'm sure they'll be a bundle of joy for service. I wouldn't have bought from that dealer either, but if there's another nearby it might be worth a second look. My dealer is on-par with Lexus both in sales and service. I think the Infiniti is a nice vehicle though if you're not looking for athletic performance and it's not like most people buying this size of vehicle really care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,107 Posts
I bought my MDX pver the phone and email and went with the local dealer with the best price. The dealer I ended up with, i.e. the best price, isn't the closest one to me but that's not relevant to me. I've done the same thing with the last several vehicles (different manufacturers - not Acura/Honda) and in many cases only visited the dealership a single time to pick up the vehicle. I take it to the closest dealership for warranty service - i.e. buy where it's the cheapest and service where it's the most convenient.

Frankly, car salespeople are about the same at any dealership I've been to. Some of the individuals are decent, some are awful, most roam from employment at one dealership to another and they usually have a fair number of new people. I've always known more about the vehicle than any salesperson I've talked to since I research first. There's usually a certain randomness as to who you'll actually get as the salesperson when you walk on the lot which can make the experience go from decent to awful depending on that randomness.

Before making the MDX purchase decision I did go to some dealerships to sit in the vehicle, drive, etc. One of the salespeople (maybe the same one you ran into) was clueless, incompetent, and rude - to the point where I told some of the people inside I'd never buy a vehicle from that person. I ran into salespeople at other Acura dealerships, and even at the same dealership, that were 'normal' salespeople who were reasonably pleasant, still didn't know as much about the vehicle as me, but were what I've come to expect out of a salesperson.

I think there's a certain random chance here. For all you know that same Acura salesperson could be selling Infinitis at the dealership you went to next week.

There was another related discussion thread on here about how posh the Lexus dealership was compared to the Acura dealership and apparently that matters to some people.

Really - concentrate on the vehicle and not the dealership and especially not the salesperson. You'll likely never deal with that salesperson again and they probably won't be employed there for long anyway. The dealership service department is important but you'll likely not know much about that until after the sale and even then it'll tend to come down to the individuals you deal with. Sure, some dealerships are run better than others and more selective of their employees and provide more training but these salespeople are just 'front people' to just make a sale and then they're done with you.

I suggest doing what I do - figure out the basic type of vehicle you want, narrow it down to a few choices based on criteria that's important to you, research them well to be sure you really understand the features/functions (at which point you'll know more than the salesperson), do some good extensive test drives, figure out exactly what you want and figure out which dealers have what you want (easily done online), then deal with internet sales departments of the dealerships in your are to get the best price/deal. After that it's just a matter of picking it up.

I certainly wouldn't choose a particular vehicle based on simplistic and somewhat random experiences with individuals at dealerships.

Have you checked other Acura dealerships in your area? You could also let the sales manager at that dealership know about your experience and even state you'd like to meet him/her specifically to check out the vehicle.

Note - just reading reviews of the acceleration and handling attributes of the Infiniti vs the MDX was enough for me to eliminate the Infiniti. The fact that it has a CVT was icing on the cake for that decision - I didn't want a CVT. Of course, some people care less about driving characteristics and more about things like interior appointments and their decision might be different on the face of that. I was really hoping to like the JX when it was first announced but was disappointed. But that's just me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
It's a shame you chose a lesser car because of the dealer. One time I test drove a Nissan. The salesman gave me a car with the fuel gauge on E. He told me not to leave the lot. I did not buy the Nissan.
:D:D:D:road trip: sit in the car and pretend lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
I hate the car sales experience, to be honest. Who has time for all that crap?!
I've purchased or leased 6 Acuras and 1 Honda from the same dealership and after the first couple they realized that No, I dont want spray on protectors. No, I dont want wheel ding insurance. No, i dont want to sit for here for an hour while you program my electronics for me.

I'm not a fun customer - I am informed and know what i want to pay. I give THEM a worksheet with the numbers I want. They know I am not going to play a numbers game with them and I know they want a little profit (which is given on my worksheet :) )

I'm not a hardass or anything, I jsut want to go buy the car I want - and god forbid they ride along for the test drive!

I know, I really sound terrible, but the point is that we all have different ways to shop and it's a shame that Acura dealer could not adapt to you and make the experience better.

I too drove the QX60 (and since the dealerhip didnt know me, I hate the experience) but ended up with another Acura.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
I have yet to meet anyone that states they "just love the car buying experience". It amazes me that the industry continues to make the purchase of a major investment so intentionally painful. You'd think they'd want people to buy more frequently. I, and many I've talked to, actually put off buying a new car due to the painful process. Clearly they must have crunched the numbers and make more money this way but it's still amazing they're OK with people's perception of a painful experience.

Anyway, regarding competing products and "test drive experience". I recently rented a car and was given an new Tahoe. I thought it'll be fun to drive a brand new 3 row vehicle. I was surprised they gave me one with what must have been every bell/whistle. Navi, blind spot monitoring, rearview camera, keyless entry/start, leather, etc. The controls were no less confusing than the MDX two/screen, the pause at initial acceleration was borderline dangerous but the truck seemed to drive nice at the time. Upon getting home and a few days later I drove our MDX and it was light years better at handling. I never realized how well it really drove until having driven a different SUV (Tahoe) for 3 days. Clearly I'm biased and the Tahoe was competent enough over bumps and rough roads. The MDX is clearly superior, IMHO, in driving experience (excluding 4 wheeling which I didn't have the opportunity to try :)). And yes, the Tahoe Navi does lock out user input when the car was in drive.

Anyway, I'm not trying to bash the Tahoe. I'm sure it has towing, ground clearance and other attributes that are important to people. When it comes to driving agility and responsiveness, however, it just doesn't even compare to the MDX. Just my 2cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Infiniti has the better interior, but that's about it.

the ride quality and smoothness of the transmission in the Acura is superior, also the quietness.

I also test drove both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
I have yet to meet anyone that states they "just love the car buying experience". It amazes me that the industry continues to make the purchase of a major investment so intentionally painful. You'd think they'd want people to buy more frequently. I, and many I've talked to, actually put off buying a new car due to the painful process. Clearly they must have crunched the numbers and make more money this way but it's still amazing they're OK with people's perception of a painful experience.
I recently listened to a Planet Money podcast on this issue. They covered it because of Tesla's recent failure to set up their own dealerships because of state laws prohibiting them from doing it. They interviewed some folks who lead an on-line car sales site (they have to team with local dealers) and a retired lobbyist for a state level dealership association. Turns out if you buy a new car it will be through a franchise because every state has a franchise law protecting them. They did a nice job showing how much the dealer associations spend on state polititions, as well. Bottom line, dealerships are an weird sort of business carefully protected, among other things, from the car manufacturers by state dealership franchise laws.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Wow, some great responses here!

I agree that you shouldn't rule out a car because of one bad salesperson. However, it becomes problematic if:
- The wifey REALLY like the fact that the Infiniti's 3rd row is accessible without removing the car seat
- She doesn't really care for the Acura ("they all feel and look the same")
- The Acura dealership was really a bad one, and the Infiniti one the opposite
- The Acura is $180 more a month to lease ($800 vs $620), and the Acura dealer offered $8,000 instead of $11,000 trade-in

I really, really wished the Acura would work out. Guess my secret plan is a 39mo Infiniti lease and then hopefully switch to the MDX in 2017.

On a side note: both the salesguy called back this morning "Any questions?" and I politely said no. His manager called back in the afternoon asking me why I didn't show up for my appointment (...), and I kindly summarized the story for him. I told him if he could give me a much better deal to please call me back to reconsider. Don't have high hopes here...

As far as Infiniti is concerned: I contacted 4 dealers requesting their best lease offers (also using the Edmunds forums which has some great information for Infiniti and Acura) and see how low I can go. I rather negotiate by email at this point after my initial visit, so the dreaded "let me talk to my manager" show can be avoided.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,107 Posts
It sounds as if the financials are currently coming down on the side of the Infiniti but I think you said your 'deal' with Acura was basically full price MSRP (the lease equivalent of it) which is a lousy price and certainly one that can easily be beat. You definitely can get an MDX for well below MSRP - many posters here have including me and I bought mine when they were truly in scarce supply (very early one), especially with the color option I required. Telling you the model is selling fast and using it for justification for a higher price is one of the first lies taught to salespeople in salespeople school.

If you don't feel comfortable dealing with sales people, and who does, and don't want to go on your own through the internet sales department, you can use Costco, AAA, a credit union, or other buying services to get you a no haggle price that's likely to be at least reasonable (but cross check the offers).

I don't know how the prices would compare but it seemed to me that the MDX and the JX (or Q...whatever) were very similarly priced when optioned similarly.

Don't hesitate to go to another dealer in your area either, assuming you have one. For me it's no big deal to drive 100 miles if warranted to pick up a new expensive vehicle since you'll likely never need to ever go back there but I have multiple dealers within 25 miles of me.

But it's your wife's car apparently and she likes the Infiniti better so that's likely the decision. Just make sure 'she' really test drives it and anything else you're considering and looks at all the attributes. OTOH if she doesn't really care so much about driving attributes but you do and you'll end up driving it quite a bit then maybe you should have a bit more say in the decision.

I don't really get the 'they all look the same' comment - does she mean Acuras in general or the MDX and other SUVs? Does the weird rear wiggle sheet metal treatment on the D pillar on the Infiniti bother her or you? I like the looks of the 14 MDX but that's a very subjective item.

Since you're looking at the Infiniti have you cross-shopped the Pathfinder since it's essentially the same vehicle but with some different sheet metal (nicer looking sheet metal than the Infiniti IMO) and a different interior? It might be a better deal.

If Infiniti ever drops the CVT and puts more emphasis on handling and acceleration then I'd be willing to consider it in the future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
666 Posts
Definitely have a look at the Pathfinder if you are not looking for a loaded QX60. A fully loaded Pathfinder is a much better value compared to the base QX60 and you are not giving up much.

The only negative I've read about the Pathfinder is that most of the early CVT problem were more on the Pathfinder than the JX35. Not sure if that is true.

As for the QX60 pricing. You should be able to get around 5K off MSRP.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
We've also test drove the QX60 before making a decision of purchasing the MDX. It's not bigger inside - it's slightly longer, but narrower. So if you have two child car seats installed on the 2nd row (as I do) - the wife can hardly fit between them in the QX. It's better in the MDX.
Talking about ride - test drive the QX one more time, preferably just after MDX and you'll see huge difference. QX's CVT and soft suspension are really boring compare to MDX sporty feel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Yeah don't you love the 'they all look the same' statement? I am not sure how to handle that when the differences are so obvious. The Acura looks much, much better on the outside while the Infiniti looks better on the inside (personal opinion at least).

I've looked at the Pathfinder. A similarly compared model (pretty much fully loaded) is $7k less or so compared to the QX60AWD Premium Plus. However... It is a Pathfinder. Boring looking, dime a dozen, I feel the materials are definitely a step below and I am not sure if I can get the same trade-in.

Some of my friends recommended the Highlander but I just can't believe what they did with the redesign. That car is ugly.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top