Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. Have been snooping around on this great forum for more than a year, but this is my first post. I have learnt an incredible amount of useful knowledge about the MDX by spending time with you guys.

I am planning to buy an SUV this fall and MDX is absolutely on the top of my list, right now. I wasn't even considering another SUV until a few days ago till I learnt of the Volvo XC90. Now, after it's official launch in Detroit Auto show and seeing pictures/specs, I have to say that I am facing a dilemma.

I have made a list of Pros and Cons for both cars in order to decide, but I need help from everybody else and find out what they think.


MDX Pros:
* 7 seats (important to me)
* 240 hp
* Nav
* automatic AWD (i know how VTM works)
* price, price, price (even at MSRP, very attractive)
* Front styling
* Third model year of production (by the time I am ready to buy)
* Rumored increase in power/output for 2003
* elegant interior styling
**********************************************

Volvo XC90 Pros:
* 7 seats
* 270 hp!!! (top of the line T6 model)
*NAV
*Night vision (works on IR - a small screen pops out behind instrument cluster. Volvo claims it lets you see 5 times farther in the dark. ?? gimmicky or useful)
*Front-end styling - I think XC90 front-end looks better than MDX front-end (personal opinion so don't kill me) - Aggressive yet stylish, I love it.
* Skid control
* looks like it rides on bigger/better tires than the MDX (18 inches available as a factory option)
* Roll over protection system, side curtain air-bag, history of building safe cars
* Middle seat in second row moves forward to allow the child to sit close to the parents
* 305 watt 13 speaker Dolby Prologic II sound system with 8" 140 watt subwoofer. In-dash 4/6 disc changer
* Available 7" DVD player with contrls for both second and third row seats and wireless headphones
* Manu-matic tranny - althogh I think it's only 4 speed.
* split tail-gate
* Electronic brake distribution and brake assistance - not available in MDX
* Roof rack runs along the length of the car unlike the MDX and looks more useful. Volvo claims that aluminum cross-bars will be available to carry cargo
* Will come out in 9 colors in the first model year. No idea about interios colors/choices
* A/C vents in B and C pillars
************************************************

MDX Cons:
* Back-end styling (my wife insists it looks like a minivan from the back - much to my chagrin)
* No split tail-gate (what were they thinking?? Even explorer has that!)
* No skid control
* Bad stereo - judging from numerous posts at mdx.org
* No HIDs (maybe 2003??) XC90 is advertised as having bi-xenon headlights - are those the same as HIDs????
* No manumatic shift control
* Foot brake (I hate those)
* Requires premium gas - No idea about the XC90
* Noise - ?better on 2002
* Most dealers are scum judging by the posts. No idea about Volvo dealers
* limited interior/exterior color choices/combos available
*********************************************

Volvo XC90 Cons:
* Back-end styling - a little controversial but I think I still like it more than the MDX back-end
* seems like it also has a foot-brake (s*it)
* Price - A fully loaded top of the line model will be at least 5-6K more than MDX w/ Tour/Nav, I am guessing. Also only 32000 units will be imported to the US, giving the dealers freedom to gouge
* First year model - ? reliability issues. I have no idea about the reliability histroy of other Volvos in the past. Any Volvo owners out there???
* No idea about noise/seat comfort/ergonomics/quality of materials and workmanship
* Traditional dorky image associated with volvo.
************************************************

I had decided that I would place an order for the 2003 MDX this summer after my move to Rhode Island but now I am tempted to wait till the XC90 comes out so I can drive both and make a final decision. I don't want to feel bad after buying either car about my decision because right now I am driving a "POS" Mazda 626 for the last 7 years and want to move up to a better/sportier car and not regret my decision.

MSN detriot show coverage web-site has a cool interior/exterior 360 spin for the volvo XC under the "multimedia" tab.

Also check-out http://www.volvoxc90.com/intro.html and
http://volvoxc90.vcc.volvocars.se/default.htm
for manufacturer specs, pictures, videos on the XC90

Thoughts please????
sorry for the long post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,053 Posts
MDXC90 said:
MDX Cons:
* Back-end styling (my wife insists it looks like a minivan from the back - much to my chagrin)
* No split tail-gate (what were they thinking?? Even explorer has that!)
* No skid control
* Bad stereo - judging from numerous posts at mdx.org
* No HIDs (maybe 2003??) XC90 is advertised as having bi-xenon headlights - are those the same as HIDs????
* No manumatic shift control
* Foot brake (I hate those)
* Requires premium gas - No idea about the XC90
* Noise - ?better on 2002
* Most dealers are scum judging by the posts. No idea about Volvo dealers
* limited interior/exterior color choices/combos available
Tough to compare at this point. I would guess that the XC will handle quite well and have good power but who knows. From the pics, the MDX appears much roomier but as discussed in a similar thread, the numbers seem to indicate similar cargo space. Keep in mind that many of the MDX cons may be addressed in the '03 (rumors of HP increase, HIDs, VSC, etc. MDX is likely to be a bit louder but maybe a bit more reliable. Funny, I always liked the back of the MDX and thought it was the best exterior view (most SUV-like) but opinions may vary. I think it's unlikely to get a stereo overhaul so the XC likely has the advantage in sound. I liked GG w/ Ebony so color wasn't really an issue. Finally, I think the one-piece tailgate, while not as convenient, may achieve some safety/crash benefits (shouldn't be an issue with the Volvo). Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
No HIDs (maybe 2003??) XC90 is advertised as having bi-xenon headlights - are those the same as HIDs????
Bi-Xenon's are HID Xenon lights for both the low beam and high beam. This is basically a step above regular Xenon HID which is only for low beam.

Seems like it also has a foot-brake (s*it)
Yes, as of right now I am pretty sure that the XC90 has a foot brake. I think Volvo choose to have a foot brake because the XC90 will probably never come to the US with a manual transmission.

Traditional dorky image associated with Volvo.
That could be a good thing right. ;) But seriously though, I think 'image' is at the bottom of my list as far as SUVs are concerned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,218 Posts
What you can do is to place a fully-refundable (in writing!!!) deposit on the 2003 MDX. The dealer won't be able to fulfill it right away, and during that time there should be more info on the XC90 to help make up your mind. As well as more information on exactly what enhancements Acura will make in the 2003 MDX.

This way, should you decide for whatever reason you want the MDX instead, you won't have to wait all over again on a list. If you decide you want the XC90, then you get your money back, the only thing you lose is the interest on $500-$1,000.

Another difference that remains to be proven -- I would expect the XC90 to have tighter handling than the MDX. The V70XC has excellent slalom handling, very precise and well controlled. Of course, the tradeoff could be ride comfort, as the V70XC is quite stiff and a lot of reviews have commented on a rough ride. It remains to be seen if this all carries over to the XC90. I've always thought the MDX is an almost ideal balance between good handling and ride comfort, though of course this is highly subjective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, WMQuan for the advice. Considering how hot the MDX still is, I definitely plan to put a refundable deposit on 2003 model as soon as I move to RI.

I see you are in Redmond. Maybe I have seen you around driving around town. I am seeing a lot more MDX's in Seattle. No org sticker sightings yet. Also, haven't seen RR in person yet.

I really like what I have seen of the XC90 so far. I am hoping that I would be able to drive one before I buy my next car in order to compare handling etc. with the MDX. I am also hoping that a fully loaded XC90 stays around 45K (my psychological barrier for price).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,218 Posts
And to think that a while ago everyone was moving to Seattle, and now it's time for lots of folk to leave! (.com layoffs, massive Boeing cuts, etc.)

I'm pessimistic in nature, and I'm afraid XC90 pricing is going to be higher than some of the more hopeful estimates. Simple logic in comparing with other models can apply:

One way to look at potential XC90 pricing is to look at V70XC pricing. The base MSRP+destination is only $37,125 (at least according to carsdirect.com). But once you add leather, premium package (which has an upgraded stereo and leather), versatility package (includes third row), touring package (autodimming mirror, homelink, etc.), cold weather package (heated seats, heated headlamp washers), the total becomes $41,450! Add $1,020 for the in-dash CD Changer. So a super-loaded V70XC MSRP's for $42.5k!!! And discounts aren't huge because there's less than $3k difference between invoice and sticker.

Obviously not everyone will get these options, but figure that the XC90 is more substantial and costly than the V70XC, just for starters (more powerful base engine, larger size, etc.). Throw in potentially costly XC90 options like the night vision system, the bi-xenon option, etc. and I'm worried about what the cost would get to. Thus I think $45k or slightly more may only buy a loaded or well-loaded version with the smaller engine. At that price, it's quite competitive with an X5 though with potentially lower performance (then again the base engine is quite torquey).

On the other hand, perhaps the 2003 MDX will have a big price increment in order to add some of the demanded options, making the difference less.

Nevertheless, I find the XC90 a really attractive, exciting option in the ever-more competitive SUV market. This is probably the first SUV that, at least on paper, I've found that really appeals to me more than the MDX -- except for the potential price and quality.

Here's a link to swedespeed.com's XC90 forum, and a picture of the nightvision option. The screen pops up from the dash. That alone will get a lot of folks excited!

http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/Forum27/HTML/000019.html

Interior options (including the graphite aluminum interior):

http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/Forum27/HTML/000018.html

Here's a nice compilation of stuff on the XC90:

http://www.swedespeed.com/main_news/01_07_02.html

Everyone's level of risk tolerance is going to be different. Personally, I would NOT buy the first-year XC90. And I probably would skip the second as well. Hey, like around when the MDX warranty expires and we think about trading in :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
616 Posts
wmquan said:

Another difference that remains to be proven -- I would expect the XC90 to have tighter handling than the MDX. The V70XC has excellent slalom handling, very precise and well controlled. Of course, the tradeoff could be ride comfort, as the V70XC is quite stiff and a lot of reviews have commented on a rough ride. It remains to be seen if this all carries over to the XC90.
William,

I know that you know this already but, a major contributor to the slalom hanlding of the V70XC is it's much lower C.G. than most true SUVs. I would expect that the XC90's C.G. would be higher but *perhaps* Volvo will compensate without resorting to a single purpose "beast" like the X5.

(Speaking of which, does anyone else notice the side shot looks very similiar to the X5 - maybe its the BMW *signature* dog-leg at the D-pillar)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,218 Posts
Don, you're absolutely correct. Drew had been kind enough to send me a link to some video (which I don't have handy at the moment, it's at home) that shows some comparative handling tests (slalom runs) between a V70XC, an Audi allroad, and a 4-cylinder Subaru Outback (!). I would have expected the Audi to win, especially with its suspension lowered. But the V70XC was amazing, it was like a sports car racing through, it clearly beat the allroad though the allroad did well.

The Subaru, with a softer suspension and not even the H6 VDC (guess it wasn't available at the time of the test?), had the testers hanging on for dear life.

Volvo has been putting quite stiff suspensions in their vehicles (too stiff for a lot of folks). It's helped handling. The XC90 is only 3.5" higher than the V70XC! It remains to be seen if the center of gravity is significantly higher; it could be, but I guess we'll see. The XC90 front seats are supposedly 6.5" higher than the V70XC despite the smaller increase in overall height (maybe it's for shorter people :D ).

Yes, one reason I like the XC90 so much is that it looks X5-ish, yet it also really looks like a Volvo. Very nice styling, without mangling the concept of "Utility" in an SUV. Oh, it probably won't handle quite as well as the X5 but that's okay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Actually I am moving because of a job, but it has nothing to do with the .com layoffs. I am in the medical field.

I agree with you about pricing. My own "optimistic" estimate is 45K for a loaded XC90 with the bigger engine. I would hate for the car to be around 50K loaded (X5 territory - as you said). Out of all the options, I am probably willing to forgo night vision. It does have a huge wow factor but I am not sure of its utility.

I understand also the concern about first year reliability. Unfortunately waiting 2-3 yrs is not an option for me. I am really tired of my crappy Mazda with 90K miles, and want to dump it at the first opportunity. So its either 2003 MDX or the XC90 for me. I briefly considered the Honda Pilot based on the concept photos. But now that I have seen the real thing, I am totally turned off. It looks like a ugly, beefed-up CRV. The concept rendition looked so much better than the real thing. I am disappointed in Honda. And column shifter??? Yuck. I may as well buy the Odyssey.

I am wondering what the traditional reliability of newer Volvo models have been in the last 4-5 years. I read on swedespeed.org that the first year S80 had some problems, that were later fixed. THe XC90 is based on the S80 chassis, so hopefully they have ironed out the problems by now. I would hate to be stuck with a 50K lemon. Buying a first year model is always risky. Hell, even the MDX went through the thud and the mirrors.

Nevertheless, I find the XC90 a really attractive, exciting option in the ever-more competitive SUV market. This is probably the first SUV that, at least on paper, I've found that really appeals to me more than the MDX -- except for the potential price and quality.
I totally agree. I am only considering the MDX and the XC90 right now. My wife likes the XC90 styling a lot better than the MDX styling. I just hope I can afford it!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
The XC90 is only 3.5" higher than the V70XC! It remains to be seen if the center of gravity is significantly higher; it could be, but I guess we'll see. The XC90 front seats are supposedly 6.5" higher than the V70XC despite the smaller increase in overall height (maybe it's for shorter people).
This is true, and Volvo says that they have the lowest C.G. of most vehicles in this class, which is good for handling characteristics. In fact, Volvo says that they had to actually raise the seats in each of the rows of the XC90, to make it feel like a traditional SUV, since the chassis has such a low C.G.

The allroad vs. XC90 comparison is very interesting. I too would have thought that the allroad would out-handle the V70XC, but the opposite is true. The Volvo does extremely well in the handling department. Here is a link to that video, great to watch!

allroad vs. V70XC vs. OutBack

Note: Works best with Internet Explorer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Just found this on vvspy.com

*****************************
The RTI (Road and Traffic Information) navigation system (option) is an important part of the infotainment unit in the Volvo XC90. The crystal-clear 6.5-inch widescreen display is recessed into the upper face of the instrument panel, from where it pops up at the touch of a button in the steering wheel. The navigation system’s screen also serves as part of the Volvo Interactive functions in the Volvo XC90. Via the integrated GSM telephone, the driver can log onto the Internet and read and send E-mail. The Volvo Interactive functions also includes a voice recorder, whereby the driver uses the mobile phone’s handsfree microphone to record and listen to brief memos. The Volvo Interactive functions will initially only be available on the European market. All infotainment communication in the Volvo XC90 takes place in a digital, optical high-speed network, that is to say a network of broadband type.
******************************

here's the link: http://www.vvspy.com/spy/suv/suv.php

sure would be cool to have this in the US!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Well, my "eligible vehicles" list continues to grow. Now it's the TL Type-S, GS430, MDX, GX470, or the XC90 T6!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Volvo experience for what it's worth

First time here, just took delivery of my Redrock on Saturday 1/26. I have my fingers crossed on reliability of the MDX and service experience with the Acura dealer (haven't ventured to see what experiences are shared here in this forum yet). I traded in a volvo s80 for the MDX (partially because I wanted to go back to an SUV). Just in case it helps anyone's decision I can share my volvo dealership experience. There was a lot I liked about the vehicle, can't beat the headrest design, but I have to say the service experience was the absolute worst I ever had. Everytime I had service they broke something. There are only 2 dealers in town and the other is not any better since I have a friend in the process of getting rid of his C70 so he never has to deal with volvo again, he used the other dealer. I also like the XC90 from what I've seen but would not buy a volvo as long as I live here. Perhaps volvo dealerships in other places are better. I suggest asking around and make sure you know what the people think is good or bad. It's amazing what some people will tolerate even at the price points we're talking about for these vehicles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Congrats on your new MDX! I agree with you; it seems so simple to make a fortune in the car business today. Just build an attractive, high-quality product, sell it in clean showrooms with knowledgable, courteous staff, provide adequate, speedy maintenance/service, and do it all for a reasonable (not cheap!) price. Acura is pretty close, although the dealer network is inconsistent. From what I've heard and seen, Lexus has it all except the pricing. In the past I haven't been impressed with Volvo's styling or performance, but it's disappointing to hear that their service departments are so poor!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
Am selling my Honda S2000 to buy the XC90. Now I can have an SUV from each side of the world. One from Europe and one from the Orient...Well Actually its from Canada. HAHAHA

I guess since my wife takes the MDX ALL the time...I want one of my own. I just cant see two MDX in our garage though. Besides the XC90 looks GREAT!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
Lots of toys

Hey fireblade -- seems like you've got a lot of toys -- MDX, S2000, that motorcycle....

What else you got hiding in the garage you could let us check out????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
Re: Lots of toys

davegood said:
Hey fireblade -- seems like you've got a lot of toys -- MDX, S2000, that motorcycle....

What else you got hiding in the garage you could let us check out????
Let see...I have a cool lawn mower that I can show ya. A HedgHog trimmer, My AGV leather racing suit with Carbon fibre armour. My Shoei helmet and my Arai RX4RR racing helmet, My cool wall flushed mounted cabinet to put my detailing stuff for my MDX, my Secret pull down stairs to access my hide away attic. Hmmm what else...hehehe Oh my cool Hempa filtered Central Honeywell AIR Filtration for my house. My Carbon Fibre racing gloves....

No but seriously...That is it...I really dont have any else cool to show other than that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
I got the MDX, but before that bought a 2001 Volvo V70 wagon with the non-turbo motor... I think the XC90 will be alot more than the MDX. Especially with those options. The XC was too much more for me. Although it is interesting that the high pressure turbo is only 270 hp. Wonder what the MDX's 3.8 V6 will bring...

Anways, my expereince with volvo so far has been great. The service is good, they give loaner vehicles. (mainly s/v40's - although they do have some s60's and Jag's) They seem to treat me like gold, get the job done, etc... I do drive a distance (40 miles) and pass another volvo dealer with a not as good service reputation.

I actually like the smooth ride of the non-xc and I get great gas mileage. 30 mpg on highway, whereas I get 20 mpg on the MDX. It does not have all of the gadgets and AWD, but I'm still happy with it. Not much snow here in Florida.

Hope this helps your dilema.. Ohh, so far reliability has been great on the volvo. Although I only have 6k miles and it is 7 months old. My mothers 1987 volvo lasted 10 years and 150k miles before she sold it because of problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
thanks darkster

i agree. I think a T6 with Nav/night vision/premium audio will be 45K plus. Although you can buy TDS (pick up the car in Sweden) and save about 4K off that. So close to MDX with maybe a few extras thrown in.

i always thought Volvos were solid as tanks. However, after visiting the different volvo forums on the web, I am not so sure. People have had horrendous, recurrent, (electrical, geartronic, transmission, ECU) problems that the dealers could not/were unwilling to fix. And these are all mostly newer models (1999 plus). The older model Volvos seem to last and last.

So I am not so sure if buying a first year model is such a good idea. Most of the problems the first year S80 faced were later addressed by VCNA.

BTW, who/where is your Volvo dealer who has given you such great service??

I am waiting for the 2003 MDX to make up my mind one way or the other. I love the Xc. but am afraid to spend so much money and be stuck with a car with less than stellar reliability.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
About this Discussion
21 Replies
11 Participants
wmquan
Acura MDX SUV Forums
Acura MDXers Forum - a community where enthusiasts discuss engines, tires, service and everything you need to know about the MDX!
Full Forum Listing
Top