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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone take a close look at this vehicle? My wife has an MDX - 13 months old and 20k miles. Loves it.

We are looking for a second vehicle. I am getting rid of a BMW sedan and looking for something to haul 3 kids in. I'm going to be Mr. Mom for the next year or so, so I need something more practical than my bimmer. Would rather not get a 2nd car the same as my wifes, so I'm looking at the Highlander

Thoughts anyone?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Markedoc,

Check out the "MDX vs. Highlander" thread in the "Comparisons" forum. Several members have given their opinions there.

I checked out the Highlander recently and it is a good vehicle, but I think the Highlander is a good choice if you do not want all the goodies that are included in the MDX.

And, just today the IIHS gave the MDX (also BMW X5, Ford Explorer, Lexus RX300, and Mercedes Mxxx) "best pick" rating in their offest crash tests. The Highlander got a relatively lower "good" rating.

Hope this helps.:)
 

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Welcome Mikedoc,

You asked for thoughts, so here's mine. The only thing better than an MDX in the family? 2 MDX's in the family! Your wife probably has the '01, so yours would be a different color and have a few differences...

OTHERWISE, I'd definitely consider the Highlander. It's great if your primary intention is to haul kids, unless you want to haul > 3 kids...if you want to haul more--hmm..how about the MDX??! :D

FWIW, #2 in line behind the MDX for me was the RX, and I definitely appreciate Toyota's refinements and quality.

Keep us updated,
Rob :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hear what you are saying! I spoke to my Acura dealer, and he said since I bought there before, I could have dibs on cancelled orders - and there's a sliver/black base model coming up possibly in the next few days! Good, except I have silver/black now!

I can get a Highlander for at least a grand under sticker also, which helps.

Not sure which front seat is more comfortable - neither have the lond seat cushion that I like, and the MDX is annoying in that there is no place for the left foot. I'll have to take the Highlander for another spin, I guess!
 

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What about the BMW 325iT? They're also available in all-wheel drive. W/ an MDX and a Highlander, you'd have two very similar vehicles...of course, I'm partial to BMW's!:D
 

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Hi Markedoc

Hmm this sounds familian. Ahh, that's right, that's because my wife has a highlander a i have the MDX. :D . Highlander is a good choice next to the RX300 and MDX. BUt honestly we almost always use the MDX. I like the Highlander, only thing is it does not come with a navigation. My wife bought it 2000 below msrp which she could not refuse. The most thing that Highlander impressed me is the VSC, Traction control, and that 1st row seat you can fully recline back. sit in the back and voila! instant lazy boy. Better sound system too. But overall i like the MDX better. ML are also getting more impressive. It was my 2nd choice from the MDX.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mocking-DX said:
Hi Markedoc

Hmm this sounds familian. Ahh, that's right, that's because my wife has a highlander a i have the MDX. :D . Highlander is a good choice next to the RX300 and MDX. BUt honestly we almost always use the MDX. I like the Highlander, only thing is it does not come with a navigation. My wife bought it 2000 below msrp which she could not refuse. The most thing that Highlander impressed me is the VSC, Traction control, and that 1st row seat you can fully recline back. sit in the back and voila! instant lazy boy. Better sound system too. But overall i like the MDX better. ML are also getting more impressive. It was my 2nd choice from the MDX.
I wouldn't buy the NAV anyways. Do you find that the Highlander is more sure-footed with the VSC, traction contorl etc? Sound system is better than the Bose (which isn't all that impressive)? I'll have to beat up my Toyota dealer for a better price - what part of the country are you in?

Re: 325 bmw - too small. I have a 540i :)
 

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Did you consider Honda Odyssey? We were debating between the MDX and Odyssey . Finally got the MDX, but when we get to buy our next one, we will buy the Odyssey. It's a good practical minivan.
 

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I did look at the Highlander, but wanted the 3rd row seat. Plus, but the time you nicely equip the Highlander, you're near the cost of the MDX. The RX is a great alternative too.

If you need to haul 3 kids, then something with the third row will come in very handy. I like the Oddessy idea, if you can stand doing the van thing.

Or, here's a radical idea . . . why don't you steal the wife's MDX and go get her a TL type S?!:D

Bottom line, can't go wrong with any of the above. Variety is the spice of life, but the MDX is a great ride!
 

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Highlander

The Highlander is an excellent choice for a second vehicle. I actually placed a down payment on one prior to getting the MDX. The HL and the RX share the same platform and have similar performance as well as interior layout. The HL does have a bit better fuel milage and about $3K cheaper in price.

The thing that bother me the most about the HL is the lack of center console and poor right driver's elbow support. The ladies like this more than the men since is a nice place to put their purse.
Here in Texas, I have Toyota dealers tripping over themselves to sell me the HL Limited for $300 ofer invoice. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Two possible solutions:

1. Buy an Odyssey, give it to the Mrs., and take the MDX.
2. Go ahead and buy the Highlander is a very good choice... but getting another MDX is a gooder choice. :cool:

Having two MDX is a good thing. At few months ago when we were considering getting two cars. I feel that the cars we chose were a very good decision, but now, I can't help wonder why I didn't consider getting two MDXs.

A misc. thing to consider: How big is the garage, will it accommodate two MDX's?
 

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proskunetes, you had a very nice comparison of the reliability of domestic and Japanese vehicles you owned. You mentioned the few minor quality control issue of your MDX. If you don't mind, I would like to hear your comparison of the quality issues of your 2001 ML versus the MDX. Was the MB quality as good as the MDX and was it up to your expectation?
 

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I'm going to the Benz dealer this Friday to fix the driver's side window... It's been over a month that I couldn't use it. But as you may know my MDX also had to go to the dealer several times for a cruise control problem.

At this point, I don't know what to think about German car quality... I think of "quality" as the care and precision that goes into something but the thoughtlessness of the ergonomics are seemingly overwhelming in the ML and I don't know if bad ergonomice falls under the category of quality. I have read that MB has changed quite a few things on the 2002 so I will check it out Friday when I'm there.

As for noises and problems, it seems par with the MDX. The ML has some whirly noise when I press the gas, the bumper gaps are a bit wide especially compared to the MDX, the doors never close on the first push (I almost always have to reclose with more force as if I was mad), the main radio control lever doesn't like to FF tracks...

In all honestly, I'm still so esctatic about the MDX that I don't care about the quality in the ML so much...

Here is a comparison I did
2001 ML320 vs. 2001 MDX comparison
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, to answer a few questions in no particular order:

1) Neither of us want a mini-van so the Odyssey is out.

2) Wife won't part with her MDX for a sedan

3) 2 MDX's WILL fit in the garage

I guess it's going to come down to price. Highlander dealer will wheel and deal more. Comparably equipped I guess you're talking about a loaded Highlander for about $35k and a MDX Touring for about $38k. Acura won't budge off of MSRP and Toyota will, so I guess it comes down to how far I cane get Toyota to come off of sticker. If her come $2k down from MSRP, then the difference is $5k. Granted the MDX has features the Highlander doesn't, too.
 

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Another thought

We just bought a new 2002 Honda CRV yesterday -- very nice -- awesome car, and great engine -- 165hp intelligent vtec. It is MUCH bigger than the 2001s, and a great car -- plus, you could get it for 20,440 including 4wd and a bunch of stuff.

I would take a serious look at it if you haven't.
 

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Markedoc said:
I guess it's going to come down to price. Highlander dealer will wheel and deal more. Comparably equipped I guess you're talking about a loaded Highlander for about $35k and a MDX Touring for about $38k. Acura won't budge off of MSRP and Toyota will, so I guess it comes down to how far I cane get Toyota to come off of sticker. If her come $2k down from MSRP, then the difference is $5k. Granted the MDX has features the Highlander doesn't, too.
Markedoc,

If it's a second car, why not get the MDX w/o touring and save $3K?? I am not sure if you can fit 3 kids comfortably in the second row of the HL (MDX is a bit wider). If you need it for 3 kids, the MDX makes more sense to me and cutting the touring package will bring you closer to the HL price. This was my strategy after I initially planned on getting the HL (although mine was a "first" car not a second).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, that is an option, but the standard radio in the non-touring package is woefully inadequate IMHO. So if I did do the non-touring, I would have to upgrade the stereo. What else does the Touring have that the non-touring doesn't have?
 

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roof fack

it also adds:

Roofrack -- not and expensive option to add
michellin instead of goodyear tires
slightly different alloy wheels
power passenger seat
memory on the driver's seat.
 

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silver/black base MDX--where is it

If you are not going to buy the silver/black base MDX that you mentioned, can youtell me who the delaer was? Of course, if you are not somewhat near New England, it will not matter--I live in Boston and cannot get one until June.

Thanks
 
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