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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone here ever compared the MDX to a QX4? Would appreciate hearing what this well-informed crowd thinks of this car. What I've heard to date:

Cons:
- nothing more than a glorified Pathfinder
- rear wheel drum brakes -- what's up with that??
- back doors are tiny and weird

Pros:
- drum brakes work fine -- quit your whining
- back seats are fine; the doors are a design feature to give it character
- much better 4WD for traction in snow
- more comfortable interior
- a little smaller, but a good size overall
- better engine (the new ones, that is...)
- better handling

What do you folks think?
 

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Its a Pathfinder with Aftermarket parts

its a Pathfinder....and Infinity doesnt even do a good job of hiding it. At least Lexy did a good job of hiding the Toyota LandCruiser.
 

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yoitsme,

I was in the same boat as yourself up until about 4 hours ago. I just got back from the LA auto show and was able to sit in all the SUVs we were comparing. They included the QX4 (Pathfinder), Highlander, and of course the MDX. Before going to the show my wife and I were very biased towards the QX4.

When we got there we were very suprised at how identical the QX4 and Pathfinder are. The leg room in the back of the QX4 was much less than that of the MDX (a full 6"), the interrior just didn't feel as nice as the MDX, and I am not sure but I don't think the QX4 has independent rear suspension.

We thought the Highlander was a nice vehicle, but it doesn't have a 3rd row or GPS. If you are not interested in these features, this is proabably the car for you. We thought the approx. $5K was worth the 3rd row, GPS, and the Acura nameplate.

After our visit my wife and I plan on placing our order in the next month. The only issue we have now is what color....

By the way, I believe Kiplinger gave the MDX best projected resale value. Has anyone else seen this, or am I just thinking of something else?
 

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While I agree that the QX is undeniably a Pfinder (and so will Nissan/Inf), I don't think you can overlook the fact that the interior is very well refined. It really does feel like a luxury vehicle from the cockpit, in fact moreso in some respects than the MDX. I really like the way the guages light up and have just a general luxurious feel to them, and the birdseye maple is beautiful. Definitely a more truck like feel when driving, and same hp so relatively same power.

That said, it's just a pathfinder with refinements. ;) Can't beat the X!!

Rob :cool:
 

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I've only been in a QX4 once, about 2 years ago. I am only 5'4'' and I distinctly remember being surprised at the lack of headroom while sitting in the back. My head felt so close to the roof. And again, I'm not what you would call tall. Things may have changed in later models, I don't know. That's just what I always think of.
 

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If considering QX4, Pathfinder is a much better value

Originally, Pathfinder (same as QX4) was our first choice SUV. I researched and test drove most of the SUVs on the market (including QX4) and the Pathfinder certainly offered a lot of "bang for the buck". 2001 Pathfinder was praised by the automotive press, and was selected by Edmunds as the winner of the comparison test among the 8 mid-sized SUVs. Pathfinder is virtually identical to the QX4 (with the only additional QX4 features being: slightly revised sheetmetal, available HID headlights, heated rear seats, and an analog clock). In my opinion, Pathfinder is a much better value than the QX4.

As far as QX4 vs. MDX comparison, while these two luxury SUV are similar on paper, in real life, the Acura is a clear winner. After test driving the MDX there was no question in my mind that the MDX is a much better vehicle as well as a much better value than the QX4.

The primary advantages that the MDX has over the QX4 are:

- better ride and handling
- more interior space
- more rear legroom
- more cargo space
- 7 passenger capacity
- better gas mileage
- much better looks

In my opinion, Acura MDX is the only SUV currently for sale in the United States that offers so much utility, capability, refinement, and style for such a reasonable price.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
First things first -- lots of praise goes to this chat board. You folks prove the value of the internet. within hours of a question I get useful info I can use to help guide my purchase of a $35K+ vehicle.

On to the topic at hand....

I guess you are confirming what I already have heard about the various vehicles. After lots of thinking, the choices have come down to either the MDX, the RX300 or the QX4. My wife and I will go out this weekend and try them all (for me, the third time...) and put our $$ down. Looks like anything we get will be a compromise, since the MDX is a little bigger (and noisier) than we are comfortable with, the RX300/Highlander is smaller than we want and doesn't have real 4WD, and the QX4 has too-small back seats. Funny, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee we now have (on lease) is the perfect combo of size and functionality, I just don't trust this brand to last (after 3 years and only 36K miles it is already falling apart in small, annoying ways), and I value reliability above all.

Any last minute advice from you mavens before I spend my dough?
 

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Hey Yo,

OK, you've picked 3 great SUVs and since reliability is a big factor for you, I think you'll be safe with any of the 3. So here's the thing...

There's a reason why we were all willing to wait (the majority of us had to) and suffer for the MDX while our neighbors came home with their new QXs, RXs, MLs, etc. The MDX is really the best value of the bunch. It's equally refined, very roomy, handles incredibly well, has all the 4-wheel drive most of us will ever need, and there's just something about driving the MDX compared to the competitors that I can't explain. Every drive truly is a pleasure, and I think you'll find the same is true especially between the QX and the MDX. The QX to me drove alot like a truck--the MDX drives like a refined truck, just the right balance of tightness and cushion.

Just my thoughts--putting everything together, I don't think you can spend your money more wisely than to put it into an MDX. Let us know what you decide!

Rob :cool:
 

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The decision is purely yours, but for me, I wouldn't get an QX4 simply because of its crash test results. They're not the worse, but they're what modern SUV's should have.

http://www.iihs.org/vehicle_ratings/ce/html/97002.htm

You can't go wrong with the RX300 or MDX. I guess an ML320 is no longer in your consideration because of the power? Its size is in-between (capacity closer to the MDX) and it has a permanent 4WD system, as you know.

I think depreciation on the QX4 may not be too good, if that's an issue.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good point re the crash tests -- I hadn't paid enough attention to those....

The ML320 seemed too under-powered to me. Accelerating to highway speeds really made the engine groan. Maybe I'll give it another chance, though, since it does meet most of my other criteria (as far as I can tell, they've solved most of the reliability problems they've had in the past). Either that, or pony up the big bux for an ML500.
 

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If only the MDX have the QX4's DVD-based entertainment system, HIDs, rear heated seats, genuine wood, and ICC (intelligent Cruise Control). But I still would choose the MDX if given a chance.
 

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I was seriously looking at the Qx4, but was turned off by the poor head room in the rear--about 2 inches less than the mds. Sitting in the normal position, my head touched the roof in the back seat--and that is just unacceptable! Too bad, because other than that , I liked it!
 

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QX4 has as much plastic wood as the MDX.

Save yourself the money and get the Path if dealers mean nothing to you. The cars are the SAME.
Qx4 looks rugged but is really compact.
 

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Hey I agree with Robyjo. You have picked 3 great vehicles and I bet you will be happy with whatever you pick. This board might be a little biased :)

With the other vehicles you will probably get them sooner and should be able to deal to a better price. Please let us know what you choose and why.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
AND THE WINNER IS.....!!

Tired of dithering around, I went and tested a few vehicles side-by-side, determined to finally make a decision. At a friend's urging I included the Land Cruiser (or, as my wife calls it, the "Land Bruiser") in my trials. Results....

Land Cruiser: Damn, is that thing big. It drives nicely, and I like the real 4wd it provides, but what's left of my environmental sensibilities wouldn't let me go for something like that. I could even handle the extra $$, but it just wasn't for me.

QX4: Didn't even take it out for a ride. That back seat is just unusable, as far as I can tell. My 8 yr. old son is not getting any smaller, and he already kicks the back of our seats when driving. I sat back there for a few minutes and walked out of the showroom.

RX300: The more I looked at it the less I liked it. Sure is comfy inside, and drives nicely but the lack of real 4wd in any mode, combined with an egg shape and not much room for those times you want to haul stuff from pt. A to pt. B made it too much of a compromise.

MDX: As compromises go, this was starting to look better and better. We went for a ride, and I really liked the handling and smooth power delivery (note: the salesman kept trying to convince me that it handled as well as the BMW X5. Nice try buddy, but I've borrowed my inlaw's X5 for a weekend, and nothing compares to that machine -- as long as you don't care about actually carrying stuff with you, as I do. So he didn't have to make that particular sale, and he was getting annoying trying to convince me of it...). The lockable differential at low speeds should satisfy my 4wd needs in Tahoe and, though it may be a little bigger than I need, I intend to keep this for many years and I figure my space needs will only get larger, not smaller.

So, and this will come as no surprise to this board, I decided to go with the MDX! The dealer said it would take 4-6 months for delivery, but when I told him that I didn't care about color (we'll see if the wife agrees... :)) he said he could get me one in a few weeks. Hopefully it will get here in time for our next Tahoe trip!

Many, many thanks to all on this board who provided invaluable advice as I went through this process.
 

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Woohoo! Great choice Yo. I would be very surprised if you regret your decision. I agree with you on the X5, but I think I'd almost rather a 540 wagon (more space?!) for the $$.

Let us know how the color choice goes with the wife...I said the same thing to our dealer and then mentioned it to my wife. Let's just say I had to revise my order with the dealer...;)

Keep us updated, and welcome to the family!
Rob :cool:

btw, where are you located near Tahoe? I'm in the Roseville area--you from Northern CA?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I live in Los Altos, and have a place in North Tahoe (Northstar). The only place to go for those of us with kids -- their ski school is phenomenal (esp. when compared to the Gestapo-like ski school at Squaw Valley).
 

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One last thought, the Qx4 offers many more features than the MDX and as far as interior luxury is concerned, IMHO the MDX doesn't come close to the Q. If your looking for more luxury on a budget you can't beat the Qx4.

I test drove the Qx4 and the MDX and while I was very pro MDX before the test, I came away a little disappointed afterwards. My wife who has never read this board went into the test drive with a open mind and came away unimpressed with the MDX too. Compared the Qx4, the Acura felt more like a Honda and the ride didn't sway us as much as I thought it would. Hey maybe we're just not as refined as some folks.

Still the MDX wins big in safety and the bottom line is that I'd rather have two functioning lower limbs after a crash more than HID's and other fun but ultimately ancillary amenities.

The bottom line is we like the MDX and may end up owning own(unless of course the wait becomes too much to bear, 6 mo.s so far!), but we're sure annoyed that Infiniti offers a more luxurious vehicle at a lower price that is ultimately plagued by bad safety design. <sigh>
 
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