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Discussion Starter #1
MDX vs RX300 - long post

I have been asked by a few people to post a comparison of the RX vs MDX since I own the 2001 model year of both. I have one week of experience with the MDX but can make some comparisons.

Advantage MDX:
Seats are more comfortable for me - no backaches, no adjusting after 2, 240mile trips this week.
Turning radius:D
Much bigger, feels more stable on highway. Drove in 20 -30moh headwinds and crosswinds - MDX felt rock-solid
Radio is easier to use vs awkward buttons on RX
Memory seats that adjust the mirrors from remote - I love it
NAVI - very neat and I can see where it can make you stupid:cool:
2 map lights vs one in RX
3rd row seats (for small passengers only)
AWD

Advantage RX300
Quieter
nicer interior - wood & leather much better quality
one touch up/down for all windows & sunroof
HIDs
Feels easier to steer around the city - steering is not as "heavy" feeling
Have not had ONE problem since delivery 1/2/01 - no weeping mirrors
Better gas mileage in city 19 mpg vs 12 in MDX. HWY mileage the same 22.6 MDX vs 23 RX

SO - which one is "better"? Really it depends - both vehicles have something the other doesn't. So far I like them both - but time will tell if the MDX has no problems after 10 months like the RX. I already discovered I have the weeping mirrors and have an appointment to have that fixed this Tuesday.

I view the RX as a car that has more room than a trunk to haul items. I view the MDX as more of a SUV - with much more room. Wife will be driving the RX mostly - but she loves the NAVI - so that may change since she hates to read maps & no NAVI in RX.

Hope this helps
 

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Thanks for responding. I'm really having a tough time making up my mind. My biggest concerns with the MDX are the seats (especially for long trips) and the stereo. Based on my test drive last weekend of both vehicles, my opinion is as follows:

Advantages RX-300:

Comfort of seats
Better brakes
Much better stereo
HIDs
VSC
Full size spare

Advantages MDX:

Sorage space
Styling (Looks more like a SUV)
Third row seats (but I don't really need these)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
TD - interesting you thought the seats were more comfortable in the RX. I have to constantly adjust them to keep my back from aching. I was very pleasantly surprised with the MDX. One thing the RX does have is a power lumbar vs manual lumbar on the MDX.
Stereo sounds the same to me. I have the standard stereo the RX with 6 disc CD vs Bose & can't tell any diff.

I forgot about the full size spare in the RX and it's on an Alloy wheel too.

VSC is ok - MDX has VTM4 so I think that is equivalent in skid control to some extent, plus VTM4 gives you full 4WD at under 18 mph.

Take a look at the radio controls (non Navi) on the RX - they are cumbersome and if you get NAVI in the RX the radio controls are on the NAVI screen - too wierd for me.

Another irritating thing about the RX - if you drive at night and you or your passenger need a map light - you don't have one - just a very bright dome light by the windshield.

Also no sunshade extenders in the RX to catch those blind spots.
Turning radius is terrible in RX - you can barely make a U-turn in 4 lanes - it's 42' I think.

Having said that - those are the only things that bug me about the car.
 

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texrb,

Can you comment on the brakes? Also, does the RX have a moonroof? This is a GREAT comparison and owning both vehicles offers all the advantages. I'm directing a friend to this thread for some comparison shopping!

Thanks!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
DMor,

RX has a moonroof - it isn't standard, but come with a premium plus package which includes a 6 disc changer (in the glove box), memory seats (but not mirrors), leather, electro-chromatic inside mirror w/compass, & homelink. You can also order it alone, but this pkg is the best value. I also added heated seats, HIDs wood wheel & shifter, cargo mat, roof rack & wheel locks. Sticker was $38,571 - but Lexus will discount. All other items are standard. Equipped like I have it is very comparable to a touring MDX. All items I have are factory installed except Gold trim that I had dealer add for free ($695 dealer price).

Brakes are very good - actually extremely good. I feel they stop the RX faster than the MDX, but again - I haven't pushed the MDX until I get over 600 miles. RX brakes power assist is very high so only slight pressure is needed - it takes a little getting used to.

RX also has a micron airfilter behind the glovebox - but it is very easy to get to - unlike the MDX. The micron filter is part of the premium plus pkg.

I'll try to scan a decent copy of the Window Sticker & post
 

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Discussion Starter #6
2001 RX 300 sticker

Here is a scan of the sticker - hope you can read it
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If anyone wants the larger scanned file - that you can READ, pm or email me & I'll email it to you. It's too big to post here - 399k.
 

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Texrb....thanks for all your work in putting together the comparisons. I am sure you have helped a lot of people who are either trying to decide....or trying to justify their purchase of one over another.

I know I made the right choice.....I was actually hoping for a new RX300 in 2002, being a looooong time Toyota/Lexus owner, but the MDX won me over for many of the reasons you stated, plus my wife loves her Ody. So I decided to stay in the Honda family.
 

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texrb said:
I have been asked by a few people to post a comparison of the RX vs MDX since I own the 2001 model year of both. I have one week of experience with the MDX but can make some comparisons.

Advantage MDX:
Seats are more comfortable for me - no backaches, no adjusting after 2, 240mile trips this week.
Turning radius:D
Much bigger, feels more stable on highway. Drove in 20 -30moh headwinds and crosswinds - MDX felt rock-solid
Radio is easier to use vs awkward buttons on RX
Memory seats that adjust the mirrors from remote - I love it
NAVI - very neat and I can see where it can make you stupid:cool:
2 map lights vs one in RX
3rd row seats (for small passengers only)
AWD



Advantage RX300
Quieter
nicer interior - wood & leather much better quality
one touch up/down for all windows & sunroof
HIDs
Feels easier to steer around the city - steering is not as "heavy" feeling
Have not had ONE problem since delivery 1/2/01 - no weeping mirrors
Better gas mileage in city 19 mpg vs 12 in MDX. HWY mileage the same 22.6 MDX vs 23 RX

SO - which one is "better"? Really it depends - both vehicles have something the other doesn't. So far I like them both - but time will tell if the MDX has no problems after 10 months like the RX. I already discovered I have the weeping mirrors and have an appointment to have that fixed this Tuesday.

I view the RX as a car that has more room than a trunk to haul items. I view the MDX as more of a SUV - with much more room. Wife will be driving the RX mostly - but she loves the NAVI - so that may change since she hates to read maps & no NAVI in RX.

Hope this helps
Very nice post. A few comments though, with an MDX bias from me:

I am surprised about your gas miliage differences in the city! 19 vs 12. I get about 17-18 w/my MDX and I am impressed if you get 19 for the Lexus. WOW yup, I'm doubting both numbers a bit, but I admit you have no reason to "adjust them" I wonder why the big diff with city driving though.

Your comment about the RX with more room than a trunk says alot. It seems that one can get some fairly large trunks- check the Avalon for example and get alot of luxury and better ride. Stats on Cubic feet include stacking items to the roof.

Seems that the RX has a more cramped interior. Just didn't feel large- I don't know of the top of my head how it stacks up with actual measurements. And since these are about priced about the same - I know- a few grand more for the MDX, why give up the room? (although AWD was a major factor for us living in Michigan)

And Finally, If you had to pick one- Which wins??

Good post regardless. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Redwing,

Thanks for the nice comments. I am at a little disadvantage for evaluating the MDX since it is such a short time to compare.

I suspect the city mileage was bad because it was for the first 45 miles I drove the MDX and that is what showed on the trip screen. It was all city - 2 - 3 mile trips - so I suspect it wasn't really a true comparison to the RX. My "city" for the RX is more a combination, so I imagine the mileage will improve to about 17 or so combined for the MDX once I fill up again.

I really do love the MDX and if I had to pick a winner after only a week, it would be the MDX because of overall package & it was my first choice before I bought the MDX - just couldn't get one at the time. I prefer the styling too - looks more like an SUV.

You are quite correct re: cars that have large trunks. When I made the comment about the RX & "trunk" space - I was trying to relate the thought process we followed when we bought it. We wanted to switch to a SUV type vehicle, but keep all the car characteristics re: handling, ride, luxury, etc etc & the RX fills that role very nicely.

I think the MDX fills the role of SUV better - because it doesn't feel like a car when I drive it - rather it feels "bigger" - yet handles way better than an explorer or 4runner.

It boils down to a lot of subjective things as to why one is "better" than the other. Both are very nice:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
BorisWort,

Moonroof isn't standard - you have to pay extra for it. It could be that dealers in your area didn't order any without moonroofs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mileage & noise update

Two items to update on comparison.

Mileage for the MDX after 1600 miles......18.7 city avg & 21.8 hwy avg. City being defined as 50/50. SO RX & MDX are nearly identical based on same driving habits.

Noise level - both cars are similiar under 50 mph, but the MDX is definately louder above that. I really think the Michelins make the noise difference. I have Goodyear Integritys on the RX - which are the same tires as the Base MDX.

Note - the noise level is about = to my accord, so not unbearable, just louder. I don't have a db meter so it's tough to describe the difference except to say I have to turn the radio up in the MDX when I get over 50 moph & do not need to adjust the volume in the RX.

Hope all this helps - I still like the MDX better overall.
 

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First of all, thanks very much for posting, texrb. These two are so similar it may be tough for some of us (myself included :) to choose between them.

Here are my own impressions, based on one (very brief) visit to an Acura and a Lexus dealership (moved over from the other thread, which I have deleted since it was a duplication):

Points in favor of MDX (in no particular order):
Larger engine
More horsepower
Better CD changer/audio system
Third row of seats
More cargo room (important for my dog!)
ULEV

Points in favor of RX 300:
Slightly better looking (the contrasting color lower side panels and the neat-o spoiler really do it for me)
Better front seats/interior
And last but not least, I can get one without waiting 6 months :)

Not an easy choice by any means... Pity I can't buy both! :)
 

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No offense to any RX owners out there, but here's my two cents, the RX has a feminine look- the MDX is more masculine looking, So MDX wins if you are a man MDX still wins if you are a woman (Just Because). Furthermore, the RX looks like an egg on wheels.:)
 

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I drove both two RX300s . . .

both new and used this week, as well as an MDX. I was impressed with how smooth and quiet the new RX was. The interior was plush, comfortable, and quiet. The ride was very nice, clearly luxury-grade.

The used RX300 (a '99) was nice, too, but bumps were just noticeably rough(er) than in the new car...not bad, but not like new.

But when I drove the MDX, something clicked - it had character, personality - something that to me the RXs didn't. It was clearly roomier inside. The ride was firm, even rougher over bumps than the RX, yet it wasn't annoying. Most of all I felt connected to the road; I felt there was more feedback. Subjectively a much more enjoyable driving experience.
 

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nea....good observations I, a loyal Lexus owner, share with you. The MDX felt much LIKE a Lexus, interior wise, and the handling and the interior room were some of the things which "connected" me to it....it just felt right.

Not that there is anythng WRONG with the RX (to paraphrase an epsiode from "Seinfeld") mind you.....:D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One other thing - if this is an issue to those that are considering the RX vs MDX.......... everyone has one! I very seldom see any MDXes, but see RXes all over the place.

Who knows though, maybe by the '03 model year there will be MDXes all over too.........
 

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Chose MDX but ...

We selected the MDX over the RX and have no regrets at all. The only hesitations we had about the MDX were:

...RX is noticably quieter.

...RX ride is smoother.

...MDX seats could be a little softer [I like firmer, wife likes softer, MDX is mainly driven by my wife]. We may have our seats "adjusted", waiting to see what they are like when they break in. Understand that the process is minor [replace some foam with softer foam].

...RX track record appears to be stellar. We EXPECT same from MDX; howerver, it is a new vehicle . Therefore, some wrinkles could show up when they start getting older [drive train and electronics are the 2 areas that could prove costly]. Example is that MDX appears to be having some sensor challenges [ours was in the shop for a week!]. Good news is that Acura is taking this seriously. I understand from dealer that ALL sensor problems must be reported to Techline!!

No 2 buyers are the same; thus a vehicle can't win in each and every factor for each and every buyer. The RX and MDX are both awesome SUVs. Overall, we liked the MDX better and still do.
 
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