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If you were starting from scratch today...

  • I would wait and see the 2003 vehicles

    Votes: 17 48.6%
  • I would go ahead and buy the MDX again

    Votes: 18 51.4%

  • Total voters
    35
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Discussion Starter #1
Oh man... I almost wish I hadn't found this forum! Knowledge is a double edged sword and my sensible side is now starting to wonder if it might be prudent to wait before I purchase...This sucks. I am REALLY having second thoughts now... Somebody talk some sense into me! :D

For one thing, Acura is coming out with a new 2003 MDX very soon. Secondly, Toyota and Lexus are both coming out with "3rd seat" vehicles (Forerunner as an option and Lexus GX470). That Lexus GX470 is certainly within' the same price range for us ($45 to $50K) and we have been VERY happy with our experience with our current Lexus cars and the dealerships that service them. Not something I can say about Acura so far. To be honest, I am a little put off by Acura as a company after the greed and sleeaze factor that I've had to deal with... I just can't believe an upscale car company would allow such obvious gouging! Quite honestly it's made me a little leery and given me a slightly bad feeling about the company vs. Lexus. You can bet Lexus would never stand for their dealers doubling the price of "forced" accessories. That would never happen. They care WAY too much about getting good ratings and customer satisfaction. At any rate, I'm getting cold feet and would like some honest feedback as to what YOU would do if you were starting over TODAY. In case you haven't seen the new Lexus here is a link and some pix.





More Lexus GX470 Pics and Stats
 

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This has to depend on the buyers personal situation.

I went through the same decision process prior to my order 6 weeks ago (buying now or wait for 2003).

It was difficult then, and still is, to get any accurate info on changes for the 03. Anticipated is an increase in HP and price. If and how much is still not known.

What made me decide to buy now was the fact that we were planning quite a bit of travel this summer and needed new wheels. My wife's Volvo has over 190000 miles and my P/U has over 110000 miles on the odometer. Neither car is that great on long trips, the Volvo passenger seat is very uncomfortable for both of us. We also wanted something safer. The 93 Volvo, although safe for its day, does not have many of the modern safety improvements of the last 5 years. (Side air bags, etc).

I decided to buy because of above mentioned needs and the fact that an increase in HP would not be that important, the power is OK as is. I thought the value of the 02 at MSRP was good considering the competition.

Also, it may be November before the 03's are delivered.
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I for one decided not to hold off until 2003 MDX arrives although for me, it was more than 1/2 years wait and much less for you.

Considering price gauging, dealer treatment, perceived brand image, I would certainly buy a Lexus with the same vehicle at the same price (or even at $1500 more).

But lets look at your case for a second (my thought anyway):

price:
GX470 is $10K more, other price-related issue are issurance, repair cost (expect an inflated "estimate") and gas mileage, depreciation (shouldn't be a factor here).

function:
MDX has better engineered 3rd row seat. I bet very few will use it more than twice a month, but it is how easy to put it up and hide it that count. From the above photo, MDX wins hand down. Now if you have never used (or intend to use) them, then you might as well remove them fro GX470 and this won't be an issue for you.

others:
Leather, color, engine, brake, ride quality, noise and even navigation system are not really important. These things are just things you will appreciate why you choose an Acura/Lexus. But both companies are 2 of the best car engineering companies.

So what it comes down to is still $$$ :5: IMO. I bet you will buy the GX470 if their price are about the same, right?
 

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It really comes down to your personal situation, your priorities, and your gut feel.

From a financial perspective, it usually pays to put off a vehicle purchase. Exceptions are end-of-leases, or if you have a real need for a larger vehicle (e.g. addition to the family).

There is always going to be a better vehicle around the corner. Simple fact of life. It comes down to what you feel meets your needs, your finances, timing, emotions, etc.

By the way, I am quite skeptical that an equipped GX470 will really be $45k to $50k. Often when you hear pre-release estimates of ranges, the actual price on release tends to be on the high range, and without all the packages either!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
wmquan said:
By the way, I am quite skeptical that an equipped GX470 will really be $45k to $50k. Often when you hear pre-release estimates of ranges, the actual price on release tends to be on the high range, and without all the packages either!
I expect it will come in at around that price range as expected. Lexus has always been pretty dead on with pre-release estimates in the past. Lexus dealers also don't play games with the prices or force options. MSRP is as much as you will ever pay for a Lexus. I've never heard of forced options either and between myself and my family members we have purchased 5 Lexuses over the past 8 years or so. I expect one with a Mark Levinson Stereo and Navigation will probably near the $50K end of the spectrum but I doubt much higher. After all, this vehicles' sole purpose is to fill the niche between the $40k RX300 and the $62k LX470 (which comes with the navigation system as standard equipment). $50K for the GX splits that right down the middle.

Lexus vehicles don't normally have tons of available options since they tend to come standard with just about everything under the sun. In all the cars we have purchased the only big available options were premium stereo and Navigation system. Other items were mostly cosmetic things like gold emblem pkgs, wooden shift knobs and steering wheels, etc. Stuff we didn't want anyway. I'm figuring on it coming in at around $50k worst case scenario, and even at that, it's still going to be a very heavy contender in my book. If it's more in the $45k price range it will be a no brainer since most dealers in my area have jacked the price up to $42k on MDX's anyway (by the time you pay them their exorbitant add-on fees). I'm really leaning towards canceling my order on my MDX tomorrow... :confused:
 

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Originally posted by bareyb Oh man... I almost wish I hadn't found this forum! Knowledge is a double edged sword and my sensible side is now starting to wonder if it might be prudent to wait before I purchase...This sucks. I am REALLY having second thoughts now... Somebody talk some sense into me! :D

For one thing, Acura is coming out with a new 2003 MDX very soon. Secondly, Toyota and Lexus are both coming out with "3rd seat" vehicles (Forerunner as an option and Lexus GX470). That Lexus GX470 is certainly within' the same price range for us ($45 to $50K) and we have been VERY happy with our experience with our current Lexus cars and the dealerships that service them. Not something I can say about Acura so far. To be honest, I am a little put off by Acura as a company after the greed and sleeaze factor that I've had to deal with... I just can't believe an upscale car company would allow such obvious gouging! Quite honestly it's made me a little leery and given me a slightly bad feeling about the company vs. Lexus. You can bet Lexus would never stand for their dealers doubling the price of "forced" accessories. That would never happen. They care WAY too much about getting good ratings and customer satisfaction. At any rate, I'm getting cold feet and would like some honest feedback as to what YOU would do if you were starting over TODAY.


I would seriously consider both, but here are a few points to look at:
1. The Lexus doesn't have independant rear suspension, which may make it ride more like a truck than the MDX. The good point on the MDX is that it doesn't drive like a truck, more like a towncar lifted up high in an SUV. Big Point.
2. Pricing the lexus is slightly higher, but when you add options like I know I would load it up with everything the lexus may be like the BMW and Mercedes where the options can go over $10,000. The MDX comes set up with all options depending on model. Big point on the price side.
3. This will be the first year for the lexus and may require changes similiar to the MDX had from the 1st year to the second years. Increased insulation happen to be minor.
4. lexus customer service may be better from what I'm hearing, but I wouldn't make my decision only on customer service.

The big lexus truck is excellent but a little overpriced, but it has established a history of being excellent. Beware this new lexus copies alot of the big lexus but cuts corners to make the pricing better. I would try to drive both once out, and compare the spec's closely. It's a tough decision, you will have your work to do. I researched my 2002 MDX for 6 months on the web and all auto industry books before making my final decision. Best of luck!
Hope they hit the showrooms soon so you can get started on your homework.

P.S. - I think the independant rear suspension is a very important feature that you want. As long as your not planning alot of off-roading. It really makes a big difference. The new 2003 Land Rover is awesome but 70K.
 

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You sound like solid, long term Lexus people. Cancel the MDX. Wait til the 2003 X arrives and compare it side by side with the Lexus. I was at lease end with big summer driving plans so I bought my SS Touring/Navi. X in June. Didn't wand to wait. My main reason for buying X over competition was the 3d seat. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
bomo said:
My main reason for buying X over competition was the 3d seat. Good luck
Mine too. This whole thing started because we began looking for a vehicle that had a third seat. Started with Minivans and endedup with the MDX. The LX470 was out of the question at $62k. The GX Lexus if available now would probably be in our garage at this point if it truly came in under $50. Of course I haven't driven one yet either. If it's just a gutless pig and handles like a tank then forget it. I'll be back to the MDX in a heartbeat. My main sorrows about the MDX are:

MDX - Cons

1. Crappy dealers (and unfortunately guilt by association applies here) and a crappy company. Yes, I'm pissed off at Acura Inc. for the way I've been treated. The Acura dealers (except Hopkins Acura) in Silicon Valley are exactly why car sellers have such a horrible reputation. Truly shameful. Please don't tell me there is "nothing they can do" because Lexus managed to keep their all their dealers from gouging even with a one year waiting list on the new 430. Acura does nothing to stop the shoddy practices.

2. The peforated leather is a concern. For one thing, it only comes in black on the silver. Why not Gray too? Black gets VERY hot in the summer sun and the fact that the darn Navigation systems "nag screen" locks you out of the Air conditioner for 30 seconds only compounds the problem... The leather also doesn't appear to be of very high quality and perforated leather by it's very nature is flimsy stuff. I've read too many reports that even after one year it's showing some pretty severe wear. My Lexus leather looks practically new after four years...

3. Lousy stereo, no DVD entertainment system: For years I messed with aftermarket stereos and amplifiers and all the "engine noise" loose wires, dead batteries that go along with it. I vowed to never again buy any amplifiers or have any major after market electronics installed in any of my cars. The BOSE stereo "upgrade" sounds like crap. Period. It's bothersome that I would have to pay more money to have an aftermarket system installed when I paid that much for what is supposed to be at least a "very nice" stereo system. The sound systems are just barely passable and only at low volume. There doesn't appear to be any easy way to do any serious upgrade to the existing system without attaching more powerful outboard amps, new speakers and new subwoofer. I have heard the "infinity" upgrade and to me it still doesn't even come close to a high end stereo. They definitely need more powerful amps in the MDX. It also doesn't even have the option of a DVD entertainment system. Once again we are in the realm of having twenty something installers hacking away on my new car if I want my Kids to have Movies.

3. It's missing some of the nicer ammenities/conveniences such as auto on headlights, auto window up and down etc. but I could really live with that for the most part. Especially considering the price (see below).

4. No Cladding, fairly thin sheetmetal. Those doors are just begging for dings and the available side moulding just really looks like an afterthought to me. I'd probably not want to put that on an otherwise sexy looking vehicle. Still, gotta wonder why they didn't design in some better body protection.

5. It's a bit wide for my liking, but that is also a plus. It will make for a tight fit in the garage though.

6. I'd like to see it with a bit more power. This seems to have been addressed in the 2003 (or so it's rumored). It could also use just a tad more ground clearance if it really is only 7 inches from the bottom of the control arms. It would be nice if it had a skid plate as well. I've bottomed my Lexus RX a few times and I've been happy to know there is a skid plate under there...

7. I'd like it much better if the left half of the second row seats were not "fixed" in one position. It would be much more useful if the whole thing could slide forward and back, allowing ingress to the back seat from either side.

MDX - Pro's

1. The price is just right. Under $40k which excludes it from the Luxury Tax.

2. Sexy styling. It's one of the best looking SUV's on the road. Period.

3. NICE navigation system (barring the 30 second nag screen).

4. Great handling. Decent power. Smooth torque curve.

5. Interior design is just fantastic IMO. I love the styling inside and that third seat is by far the best design of them all. Pretty hard to beat folding flat. the extra width of the second row of seats is also great. You can easily fit two car seats and an adult there with no problem. Can't say that about our lexus RX300. Two car seats and one skinny adult or Kid at the most.

6. Did I mention it's one of the best looking SUVs on the road?

So. Do I wait or just go for it? Appears many of you might just go for it. Five months is a long time to wait. Especially when you have got the "new car" bug in full bloom as we do. It's pretty anticlimatic to do all these test drives, plunk down money on deposits, join forums, get super jazzed so much so that you can almost smell that "new car smell", and then...WAIT

The Kid in me wants what he wants and he wants it NOW. The Adult in me says we don't have any pressing need for a new car at this time. Heck, the new baby isn't even due to arrive til the end of August and will be in an infant seat for six months after that! Nope, I had my dreams dashed this weekend I'm afraid. And I blame this forum <Sniffle... Sob...>. Research can be a beeyotch if you don't like what you find and the information I found here clearly shows that not only are improved versions of the MDX due to arrive soon (which will drive down current prices on remaing 2002's) there are also at least 3 new vehicles due in 2003 that will have a third seat option.

How do I stop now that I've come this far? Try and curb my obsession for a new car and do something else for awhile? Bummer as that is, I'm sure it can be done and I'm sure it'll pass. My Wife doesn't seem to mind waiting... Ah Crap... I hate being an Adult. :(
 

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Re: MDX Cons

1) I love my dealer; they have treated me like a saint.

2) We have had no problems with the perforated leather; its on both our MDX and TL-S.

3) You get what you pay for. What I mean is, is that the MDX cost MUCH less than its Lexus counterpart. I think the Touring Bose is fine. Those who disagree take the cost savings over the Lexus, upgrade the sound and pocket the difference. For the difference in cost you can put in a fine DVD video system; search the threads.

3) Your second third point answers itself.

4) I do not like the look of the cladding; of course this is subjective and cladding over the wheel wells is an option. I like the looks of the BSM and our MDX has no dings (16 months old).

5) Its fits in our garage just fine; the extra width is a plus to me - more interior room.

6) Plenty of power for me; we do not take it off-road and I would not like it to sit any higher. The MDX excells in its handling and any higher would detract from handling.

7) Again not an issue for me; our old Expedition only had access from one side. We only occaisionally use the third seat; it is an easy limitation to live with.
 

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Love to have a Lexus but the 3rd seat is unusable.

If the 3rd seat is going to be frequently used, the Lexus is not a good choice. You have to go to Lexus to find out how bad the 3rd seat is: It's basically a seat cushion with a back sitting on a flat floor! We went to test drive a LX470. Love everything about it except the 3rd seat. My 9 year old couldn't even stand it ... I mean sit in it. Damn, we were really disappointed. It was a deal breaker for us. The GX470's 3rd seat is the same as the LX.
 

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re: MDX - Cons

1. IMHO, in over ten years of dealings with Los Gatos Acura including the purchase of my MDX and service on three vehicles, I have always been treated with courtesy, respect, and integrity. Tony, the sales manager, is fair minded and flexible while Vern, sales associate, is very honest about the pros and cons of competing models. Both are very low-key, low pressure.

The service has been outstanding. I have always gotten a loaner vehicle with my service, either a TL, RSX or an F150 (my kids love big trucks). But I'm sure the courtesy shuttle works fine too. Roger, my service rep., was a former mechanic and knows his way around my various Acuras. When I had a problem with the "weeping mirrors" (search the forum) after applying the TSB, he had the mirrors replaced with the 2003 model.

2. My seats have held up to my two sons and their various "thrones" for the past year and a half of daily commuting to and from school, baseball practices, piano lessons, etc. Currently, they are both between 40-60lbs are are sitting in booster seats.

3. Point taken. However, with my kids screaming in the back, I could have a Krell HiFi and not notice the difference. :)

4. Cladding would have changed the clean look of the vehicle. BSM is a better bet.

5. Fits fine in the garage along with my other Acura. Frankly, the width gives the vehicle more lateral stability and interior space (as you noted in your pros [sic].)

6. Although more power is always exhilarating, I found the MDX to be more than a match for most other comparable vehicles on the hwy. The MDX looks (and is) faster than most SUVs (The X5 is an SAV ;-). As for clearance, the last time we were in Tahoe, the vehicle was more that able to drive through up to a foot of snow and ice with little problem. But I'm not jumping stumps and crossing riverbeds, though.

7. That would be "nice to have" but moot if you have a child seat strapped in the center position.

I hope this helps.
 

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If 3rd row is important and you will be using it a lot, the MDX is the one for you. The GX470 has the "dangling" seats that fold to the side just like the LX470, taking up valuable space.

Just an example, yesterday morning, I had to drive 7 people in the morning. The 3rd row seats were up. Around noon, I had to help a friend move a mattress, the 3rd row seats came down in about 5 seconds and so did the left 2 seats of the 2nd row. The mattress fit well with the bed frame.

I quickly restored the MDX to it's 7 passenger configuration after I moved the mattress, and again it took me less than 1 minute to restore everything back. I went to a barbecue and later had to have a full load of 7 adults again when I offered to take them home. Can't do that with a GX470 and the convenience factor is hard to describe.

One more thing, the 6 passengers I took home also got to watch "Con Air" on the Navi screen and flip-down screen. Acura doesn't offer the DVD Entertainment, but a good installer can be just as good and sometimes better. My installer was featured on the Mobile Entertainment magazine.
 

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From the list of pros and cons it sounds like you have a lot of comparing to do. Review your pros & cons and determined which are most important to you in a SUV, and go with that one.

If you currently ordered a 2002 with Hopkins, no sweat. They can move you onto the 2003 list and you can still decide up to the day your car is on their lot. I share some of your thoughts about dealers as I'm on a waitlist for 2003 at Hopkins myself. I found Hopkins was the only dealership around the bay area that has maintained integrity, professionalism and treats you like you want to be treated from a dealer.

As far as this forum goes, it does make you think twice about buying when you read about problems owners are having, etc. But all in all I find this forum to be one of the best ways to learn more about the MDX. By reading all the tpoics you can get a better sense of how you feel about the SUV without even driving it. Who knows it may make you decide not to buy it and go with another manufacturer. That's why this forum is here, to help you decide if the MDX IS the SUV you really want.

If you don't need to have one right now, it would make sense to wait for the 2003, see what it will have to offer vs the Lexus and decide then which to go with.

Good Luck.
 

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If you wait, you might as well also check out the Volvo XC90. It can also come pretty loaded. 7 passenger seating, bi-level Xenons, night vision, navigation, forward sliding middle second-row seat...

Check it out:

http://www.volvoxc90.com/xc90/
 

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Everyone has their own agenda. So I say take your pick here as long as you love it and be happy with it. It is the total satisfaction. 3rd row seat is a must for my decision but I don't expect to use it in months ahead. Buying a car is more of a psychological issue than scientific one.

If you plan to keep it for a few years or more, forget about what's new next year or next month. There is always something new every year. I have 2002 MDX but even if I know 2002 fix a few problems in 2001 MDX, I would still buy 2001 MDX when it came out instead of waiting. I am sure every new model year MDX will be better.
 

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Choices

Based on the antecdotal evidence on this forum any my own personal experience, it is clear that many Acura dealers have behaved like total b*st*rds (EDITED by ACURA4LIFE) - but don't let that disuade you from buying the MDX. The simple reason they've behaved that way, with no apparent reigning in from Acura corporate, is because they can!

Let me explain: when we began shopping for what eventually became a 2002 MDX w/ NAV, we were looking at minivans. Chrysler minivans, no less. This led us to looking at the Durango which led us to an Acura dealer about 1 mile down the road stocking 1 MDX. (The MDX had just received the MotorTrend award). We got what is now the familiar story - put you name on a list, prepared to be fleeced, if you want add-ons they're going to cost you, be prepared to wait a long, long time (turned out to be over 9 months in the Boston area). You can get one sooner if you liked to pay 5 to 15K (yes 15K) over MSRP for 1 to 5K worth of options. We waited the 9 months and don't regret it. At the time, and to some extent, still true today, the MDX was the only SUV offering all of the following:

- a somewhat usable 3rd row seat
- fold flat 3rd and 2nd row seats
- 240 HP
- Beautiful styling
- a NAV system that is simply the best toy a gadget-lover could ever have (with real utility I might add)
- a price of about 37K (not much more than the AWD minivan we were considering, we opted not to get the touring package)

The MDX saved me from a minivan and for that I will be forever grateful. If the Lexus is 13K more than an 'X premium with the NAV (or the price of a Honda Civic LX), it would really have to blow away the 'X in every category to justifiy the differential.

As far as waiting for the 2003 and rest of the pack to catch up (see why dealers were and are bastards above), as a previous poster stated, you will always be waiting with this rationale. Consider: let's say the model cycle for a Japanese cars tends to run about 30 to 36 months before a total re-design:

First Year: First model year, possible defects still shaking out, wait for the second year of production

Second Year: Probably a good time to buy, except the real changes (more powerful engine, etc.) may come in the third year.

Third Year: Maybe big changes will be implemented to correct past problems, but look out, you're at the end of product cycle and about to be phased out. Nothing like plunking down many thousands only to be driving yesterday's design after having it less than a year. Beside the psychological trauma, you'll probably take a hit in resale (if that matters to you).

Also consider, that another successful Acura model, the last Integra, debuted in July of 1993 and was largely unchanged until it was replaced by the RSX last year - about an 8-year run! When Acura releases a highly successful model, it seems they don't fix what isn't broken.

Sorry about the rambling - good luck with your decision.
 

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For some reason, the thread was posted 3 times. Maybe a quirk that can be reported to admin, or mdxexpecting, you're really trying to get your point across:D
 

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PLEASE WATCH THE LANGUAGE.
Here, and in all Forums.

Thank you for your understanding and respect for others.

~Acura4Life
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well... I cancelled. I feel a little bummed about cancelling because I am 80 percent sure that the MDX is the right SUV for us, but I just could see no advantage (other than getting to drive it NOW) to jumping into the 2002 model when the 2003 is literally just around the corner. They are slated to be in the showrooms in October. That's two months, folks and I'm sure we will know for SURE what options will be standard some time before that. Once the new options are announced it could very well have the effect of driving down the price for the 2002 models. Add that to the fact that the Lexus is set to debut a month later and it only makes sense to put it off a little longer. My biggest regret was having to call Hopkins Acura and let them know. They were the one good thing about our new car buying experience and I hated to take the sale away from them. On the other hand, I'm sure a Silver MDX with Touring and Navigation won't be hard to unload! If anyone in the Bay Area wants it, it's up for grabs. Call Hopkins and ask for Michael Andrews @ (650)364-6771.
 
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