Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
MDX'ers - need your advice concerning off-roading in the X.

Been a fan of the MDX since it came out. Lately, volunteer work has allowed me to do a lot of off-roading on the weekends. I need to get to a lot of places in the middle of nowhere up here in Northern Utah. Granted, the roads I go on are "jeep trails". But, it can get pretty rocky, steep and muddy sometimes.

I'm now torn between getting a couple year old Land Cruiser (great off-roading, but has a host of environmental no-no's) and getting an MDX. I have no idea what the MDX will handle off-road. Nevermind the sage brush scratching my pretty little MDX.....

Any of you have any experience with this? I love the MDX, but can't afford to get stuck in the middle of nowhere....

Thanks in advance,

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
I don't have experience with heavy off road in the MDX - the extent of my experience is what I read in Car and Driver a year ago. They said it was capable, but was pushed to the limit vs. some of the other truck-based SUVs.

Having seen in person what a Land Cruiser can do off road and having read about your 'jeep trails', I'd opt for a Land Cruiser, or even a 4Runner before thinking seriously about the MDX.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,282 Posts
I've done lots of off roading in my 4-Runner, but only a little with my MDX. I don't recommend the MDX (for off roading) for several reasons, a few of them are:

1) Although I like the width of the MDX because it lets you get lots of stuff into it, it is too likely to get scratched out on the trail.

2) With the wide stance of the MDX, you need even more ground clearance than you do with a narrower vehicle (to clear rocks, etc.), like the 4-Runner. I would want at least 10 inches of ground clearance for a vehicle as wide as the MDX.

3) It is useful to have a low-range gear box, especially going up and down steep hills - something that the MDX doesn't have.

4) The MDX is too nice (and expensive) to abuse by taking it off road on a regular basis.

5) I think that a vehicle with a regular truck frame would be better suited for off roading.

The MDX is fine if you want to drive down to the beach and go over some sand like I do on the beaches around Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It is also very good on slippery roads.

Get a used Jeep (if you can find a reliable one??) or something else (Land Cruiser ??) if you really want to go off road very much. It really depends on just how bad the roads are that you're referring to. If they're not all that bad then the MDX may be fine, if they are more like a "cat" trail, go with something else. Anyway, that's my 1 cent worth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
I would not recommend MDX for heavy off-road.

Right off the bet, you can see that there is not enough ground clearance. It is not a uniframe with solid axles; does not have a skid plate available to protect its front suspension, transfer case, fuel tank, etc. It is not a full time 4WD and has no low range mode.

If you must go off road, go for a Jeep. I have driven that car over logs, on the sand, through major crater and on steep incline. It is more than a supermarket SUV, but it is not as refine as the MDX. Each has its merits and limits, really depend on what you use the vehicle for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
off-roading in the X

To all that have/will reply to the original post on this off-road topic - THANKS! Gee, the dealer tells me it will do just fine in the heavy off-road situations. Will they come get me when I'm stuck?

The vehicle is just too nice to beat up!

But seriously, I appreciate all the feed back from the people who really know - you MDX owners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
PCMDX,
If you get stuck, I would have to leave my MDX home and pull you out with my Jeep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
Ground clearance and the mentioned lack of skid plates is the only problem. The oil pan is cast aluminum.
The MDX with the rear axle locked in 1st and 2nd up th 18mph has great traction.
Now if I can just get some more ground clearance?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
681 Posts
I Gotta Agree

I've had RoadRunner off road on some pretty challenging trails and found it to be a surprisingly competent vehicle BUT while the VTM-4 does a great job for what it's designed for - it does not replace low range for really heavy lifting and the ground clearance is not going to cross over boulders with impunity. And most important is that it is an mucho-expensive LUXURY vehicle. My cousin, a very experienced off-roader summed it up perfectly;
"the main difference between this and my old Scout is not in what it can do but that you would mind if I put a tree through the door"
If you are going for the Rubicon trail the X is not your vehicle. If, like me, you are mainly looking for a pavement yacht that is capable of getting me to a photo venue or secret fishing hole down a logging trail and across a field on occasion - then there is no finer vehicle!
Meep Meep
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
roadrunner
Love that image
Is that X stuck?
I was kidding, hell I would be worried about leaves rubbing up against my paint
Harry
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
681 Posts
Very Perceptive !

You do have sharp eyes there Harry. In point of fact, at the moment this picture was taken RoadRunner was stuck because I had broken though thick ice and put one wheel in a hole surrounded by about 18" of sheer ice.

Which is why I was out of the car and able to take the picture while checking on the situation. This is the ONLY time I ever had to engage the VTM-4 switch and that pulled her right out. This was my first try at serious off-roading and I didn't always pick the best path.
Meep Meep
PS - when she broke through the ice, it was hard enough to ALMOST set off the front air-bag so I had to go by the dealer the next day to have the sensor reset. Fortunately, that is the only damage I have ever sustained during my off-road adventures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Re: off-roading in the X

I don't think I would go by the dealer's advice. Remember their job is to sell you the car. The MDX, though a fine vehicle, was not really designed for real off-roading. You need to look for a vehicle with fulltime AWD, low-range, traction system that can handle power going to one wheel, and built around a frame.


PCMDX said:
To all that have/will reply to the original post on this off-road topic - THANKS! Gee, the dealer tells me it will do just fine in the heavy off-road situations. Will they come get me when I'm stuck?

The vehicle is just too nice to beat up!

But seriously, I appreciate all the feed back from the people who really know - you MDX owners.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top