I have to agree with you on the looks without the molding. I originally wanted the BSM, until I saw an MDX with one. It just seemed like an afterthought. We keept looking at one with and without, and decided on without.
I certainly have reservations about the BSM. What are odds an adjacent door will strike only where the the molding is, it's not that wide.
A much wider molding matching the style of the vehicle (a la the 2002 Explorer, sorry!) would work much better.
But the looks of the MDX are so cool, maybe the magnetic add ons are the way to go. Forgot their name, but they are nice and wide and you drag them out and stick them to the sides while you are parked.
I had a Ford Windstar with moldings about 3 inches wide, and I still had a lot of door dings. The BSM for the MDX may stop some dings, but like you said, the chances are small. You still need to watch where you park.
I keep hearing about these magnetic add on moldings. I would be more worried about the moldings scratching the paint. Some grit of dirt could get caught under the molding and rub into the paint.
Yes, I had the same concern. I think if you only use them in a tight spot, keep the car well waxed and the stick-ons clean it's not a problem.
I talked to one person at the company a few months ago, and they said we never had them stolen either. ( They are not tethered to the doors in any way. )
You just stick them on. Refrigerator magnet stuff. It's not going to pull the steel through the paint.
I think it comes the closest to an ideal solution, hardly a perfect one. They are thick as well as wide, which means even more protection. The further out they contact a 'wayward door', the better.
FWIW in addition to the "heat" suggestion, which is an absolute must, you can use some dental floss and "saw motion" from behind -- makes removal easier. Same way you debadge. There will be excess adhesive residue. WD40 takes it off easily. Wash it afterwards, of course.
If you go one step further from side moldings to prevent dings, my dealer wanted to put what they call fender wheel wells, which was basically black stick on molding that goes around the fenders. They said it would prevent dents on the fenders and costly repairs. These are generic and can go on any car. I took one look and said no way. I rather take my chance on the dent. That was actually the same day I saw the white MDX with the BSM and decided against it.
If I parked next to the same car each day, (work or home), and that car's door was such that the BSM would prevent dings, then I would go for it.
My old minivan actually had at least 5 dings caused by my own family opening the door against someone elses side mirror. No side molding would have stopped that.
although i haven't removed the mouldings i know that with the mouldings still you have that big chance to get dings. being careful where you park is the best defense. thanks for the tips if i have time i will remove them this weekend.