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Hello all. First, let me say that I am a very happy owner of an MDX Advance. It honestly is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I came from Honda and Lexus, so my experiences are limited. But, I still love driving it every day.

That being said, it is going to be my wife's car soon and I have to get something else. Her 2003 Pilot has about 85,000 miles and we are told to sell it before it hits $100k to get the most $$$ out of it. So, as soon as it sells, she gets my MDX with about 80,000 miles on it and I have to replace it.

I have been window shopping for the past 6 months and I have to say that, unfortunately I am just not feeling the 2015 or 2016. I have to lease so it's new or nothing. My only, and I mean ONLY complaint about my MDX is gas mileage. I drive a lot. I also use my vehicle for the bulk of my business deliveries and it has served me well, whether plowing through 3' of snow, or through ice covered roads with my trusty Blizzaks on, it has never failed.

But 16-17 mpg just isn't cutting it, especially as we expanded our territory and I expect to be driving about 30-40% more.

So I am looking for something in the 30-35+ mpg range but I don't really want to scale back, unless there is some compelling reason to do so, more on that later. I love the feature set of the Advance and I just don't see it in the same price range with other vehicles. I am also looking for reliability.

I am down to the following:

Audi Q5 TDI - (600+ miles of range on a single tank. I have also been told that people can get is much as 35 mpg, if not more. (Don't know much about the brand though, or true reliability)

BMW X3 Diesel - Again, 30+mpg (I always heard that they struggle with reliability. In fact I was on the way to purchase an X5d when I came across my MDX in an Acura showroom down the street from the BMW dealership.)

Tesla Model S 70D - 240 miles on a single charge and a super charger within 10 minutes of my house and office. It's quite a bit more, but I would consider scaling back the features for never buying gas again, and it is CRAZY fun to drive. Almost like being in a strata coaster when you hit the accelerator.

I recently came from a Lexus RX, but didn't really like how it drove. Very nice vehicle, just a little too bland or sterile for my tastes.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. I don't need a 3rd row anymore, or as much space as the MDX, but I would need some room for our deliveries. The Tesla is on the small side, but actually was big enough to work (58 cu ft with seats down). Just need to be in the 50+ cu ft range)

I don't really think a domestic would work for me because of their deprecation, but if there are other options I am open. Thanks!
 

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When I sold my MDX I went to a GMC Acadia Denali. Wish I had of changed sooner. A true 7 seater with all of the bells and whistles. Does not get the mpg you want. I see about 22 on the road driving 75mph on the interstates.

More comfortable than the MDX and just "feels" better. Much more storage space behind the third seat. Full width (48") tail gate at floor level. The only thing I miss is the hand hold above the drivers door.

George
 

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Thanks for the info. I do like the Acadia and even looked at them before. Very roomy and comfortable, it is just going in the wrong direction MPG wise with a sub 20 combined avg. Kind of reminds me of the Lexus GX which we also almost purchased, but again the MPG would kill me at 40k+ miles per year.

We estimated anything getting less than 25 mpg is going to cost us around $9k+ per yr, or about $4k-5k more per yr vs something that gets 32 mpg+. But I still need the space so I think I am pretty much limited to a very small group of options.

Thanks again.
 

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Why do you "have to lease" if you are putting 40,000+ miles on the vehicle in 1-year?

Does this not work out to be more expensive than purchasing the car and selling it after 2-3 years?

Being you don't need a SUV, since your are looking at a Model S to use for deliveries, why don't you look at:
- Subaru Outback (mid 20s)
- Volvo XC70 (mid 20s)
- Volvo V60 (high 20s, low 30s)
- BMW 328d xDrive Wagon (mid 30s)
- Audi A7 TDI (low 30s...mid 20s with the base 3.0T engine)
- Lexus CT 200h (low 40s)

Must be nice to make deliveries in a "luxury" vehicle.
 

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I don't know much about it but I think in the Fall the 2016 X5 will have an electric model of some sort. I test drove a 2015 yesterday and in the computer system the dealer had some "2016 x40e" models on order.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why do you "have to lease" if you are putting 40,000+ miles on the vehicle in 1-year?

Does this not work out to be more expensive than purchasing the car and selling it after 2-3 years?

Being you don't need a SUV, since your are looking at a Model S to use for deliveries, why don't you look at:
- Subaru Outback (mid 20s)
- Volvo XC70 (mid 20s)
- Volvo V60 (high 20s, low 30s)
- BMW 328d xDrive Wagon (mid 30s)
- Audi A7 TDI (low 30s...mid 20s with the base 3.0T engine)
- Lexus CT 200h (low 40s)

Must be nice to make deliveries in a "luxury" vehicle.
Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, according to my accountant I definitely have to lease. I believe it has to do with where it needs to be in my financials. It is a budgeted expense. I am not a CPA and he has been a good accountant so I just take his advice.

I also have to partially wrap the vehicle with marketing material. Yes, due to the amount of driving and the fact that it is a multi use vehicle some of the luxury vehicles have been better fits. I do my deliveries, meet with clients, travel with clients and colleagues to conferences, etc.

My MDX has been bullet proof as was my Lexus RX, and due to the low depreciation they both leased MUCH better than a lesser expensive domestic. Oddly enough when I got the MDX, the BMW leased the best but I was concerned about reliability and pulling up to a customer in a vehicle with the blue and white propeller logo. But as it is more about budget and MPG's now a BMW may make sense.

I did take a look at the BMW wagon and really liked it. That is actually on the top of my list right now. With the incentives they are offering and the discounting on them, the lease is incredibly low for what you get. Plus, 40+ mpg is very nice in a vehicle with 53 cu ft of storage. Technically, I don't need an SUV but I do need to have 50 cu ft+ for storage. So, the sport wagon, even though it isn't an SUV,would fit, as would the Tesla with it's hatch back and 63 cu Ft of storage.


I don't know much about it but I think in the Fall the 2016 X5 will have an electric model of some sort. I test drove a 2015 yesterday and in the computer system the dealer had some "2016 x40e" models on order.
This would be a great fit. I am only worried that they will sell for MSRP +, which would probably push it out of our budget. But given that fuel costs are also part of the budget, it may work.

Thanks again for all of the info and suggestions. Right now the BMW all wheel drive diesel sport wagon seems to be the best fit. The demand on the Q5d has jumped a little and is currently fetching a premium locally so it may be pushing the budget now.

I looked at numerous domestics, and for the ones that would be a good fit MPG and size wise and how they are equipped, leasing is very poor right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I checked out the Audi, VW, Lexus and BMW options and while there were all nice, none of them evoked the same emotion as when my wife both first saw the MDX Advance in the showroom.

Had Acura gone the same route as Audi, VW, Infiniti, and BMW and added a 30+ mpg Diesel or Hybrid option I would just get another MDX.
 

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I'd get a Tesla.

I looked at them before buying the MDX and it was a LOT more $$$ and the AWD model wasn't out yet but if I had to do it again I'd get one ... AWD with the rear-facing 3rd row option for occasional use with the kids. We don't even drive the MDX that much yet it's costing us about $100/week in gas .. GRRRRR ... I hate wasting all this money in gas and our next car will probably be electric. Here in Quebec we have close to the most expensive gas in North America, and close to the cheapest electricity. Tesla would cost next to nothing to run here, saving us probably $450/ month
 

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My brother in law just ordered a Tesla 85 (NOT the one with insane mode).

I drove a loaner 70 that they gave him. Its pretty ridiculous. Its like driving a space ship AND everything "just works". If Apple made a car, the Tesla would be it.

And yeah, its expensive, but when looking at 53K for an MDX, the 70K base price of a Tesla isnt as far off as you would think. And even a base Tesla could probably give the quality and features of a 53K MDX a run for its money.
 

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Have you considered the Touareg TDI?
Yes, I looked at one last week. Very nice vehicle, and efficient, but a little bland for my tastes. Seemed solid though. Dealer said it has the same engine as the Porsche Cayenne, so that is a plus. But, it came in around $67,000 when equipped like my MDX and leased for almost $1,000 per month.

I was recently suggested to look at a RR Discovery Sport (26 mpg) or the Evoque (30mpg), but I am concerned about their reliability and there isn't a dealer within 100 miles of me. At least with my Acura I can take it to the local Honda dealer for oil changes, etc.
 

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I'd get a Tesla.

I looked at them before buying the MDX and it was a LOT more $$$ and the AWD model wasn't out yet but if I had to do it again I'd get one ... AWD with the rear-facing 3rd row option for occasional use with the kids. We don't even drive the MDX that much yet it's costing us about $100/week in gas .. GRRRRR ... I hate wasting all this money in gas and our next car will probably be electric. Here in Quebec we have close to the most expensive gas in North America, and close to the cheapest electricity. Tesla would cost next to nothing to run here, saving us probably $450/ month
My brother in law just ordered a Tesla 85 (NOT the one with insane mode).

I drove a loaner 70 that they gave him. Its pretty ridiculous. Its like driving a space ship AND everything "just works". If Apple made a car, the Tesla would be it.

And yeah, its expensive, but when looking at 53K for an MDX, the 70K base price of a Tesla isnt as far off as you would think. And even a base Tesla could probably give the quality and features of a 53K MDX a run for its money.
Good points. I may actually hold out for the Tesla X, or at least see it before I do anything. I loved the Tesla. I ALMOST put a deposit on one when we test drove an S85 (2WD) last year knowing that my MDX lease would mature before I could even get my hands on one. I agree, that car is ridiculously amazing. My wife said out of every car we have test driven, and I have test driven too many to count, or even owned, the Tesla is on a level of its own... and it was just a base S85 with tech. I agree. My lease, had I gone with the 85, would have been $1100 per month, but given that I am now spending about $600+ per month on fuel, that almost seems like a bargain.

The only thing that kind of concerns me about Tesla is the aggressive regenerative braking on icy/slick roads. I have heard that it can get away from you when you take your foot off the accelerator and it decelerates quickly.
 

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By the way, if I were in a warmer climate, I would be all over a Tesla pre-owned. Pre-owned 2013-2014 P85's are going for around $70-$75k, some even less. A Signature 2012 P85 is listed right now in Chicago for $69,700 with only 14,000 miles on it. I guess people are unloading the 2WD models and picking up the D's, especially in the colder climate areas.
 

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How do you know your accountant has been good to you? That's something that's very difficult to confirm unless you get a second opinion of your finances. I'm a CPA (inactive since I left public accounting) and I've met some of the most ignorant people that have that license that I don't give it much merit. Regardless, it would be a rare situation that a 40k mile per year lease would make any sense.

The biggest problem with high mileage leases is that the metrics from the banks (Honda Finance, etc.) are not capable of handing that type of use. I would be very surprised if any would agree to that many miles in the first place and if they did the cost would be astronomically out of whack. Most manufacturer programs cap out around 20k miles a year, which means you'd be on the hook for mileage penalties above that or being forced to buy out the car on the tail end. If you buy out the car on the tail end, you're not getting the correct tax deduction throughout the lease because you're expensing the miles based on the lease contract (20k or whatever) but using it twice that amount.

My financial advice is to make sure your accountant understands how much your driving before you go this route. If he still recommends leasing, have him show you the numbers comparing to a purchase and all the other options for expensing the vehicle (mileage rates, 179 deduction, etc). If he's earning his keep, he would already have all that data available. If he say's he'll need to calculate it, that means he just blew you off and gave you an uneducated guess. Happens all the time. The proper way to calculate a lease vs buy is to spend a solid couple hours looking at the numbers and present a full comparison to the client. To just default to "leasing is better" is horse poopie.

To answer your car question, be wary of the diesels. I'm a fan of diesels but haven't bought any for my business (over 200 trucks/cars/suvs) in many years. The up-front cost, premium for diesel fuel, and additional maintenance just rarely makes sense these days. Just recently the fuel prices have come closer but I get the feeling it's temporary.

You might consider the new Pilot. It will be high 20's for hwy mpg and a really gives the MDX a run for its money in terms of features/value. I'd much rather put 40k miles a year on a Honda vs an Acura/Audi/etc. Also, the depreciation on the Audi will be very high compared to the Japanese brands. The Germans have strong resale for normal use mileage, but when you have a 2-3 year old model with 120k miles, the value is MUCH lower.
 

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How do you know your accountant has been good to you? That's something that's very difficult to confirm unless you get a second opinion of your finances. I'm a CPA (inactive since I left public accounting) and I've met some of the most ignorant people that have that license that I don't give it much merit. Regardless, it would be a rare situation that a 40k mile per year lease would make any sense.

The biggest problem with high mileage leases is that the metrics from the banks (Honda Finance, etc.) are not capable of handing that type of use. I would be very surprised if any would agree to that many miles in the first place and if they did the cost would be astronomically out of whack. Most manufacturer programs cap out around 20k miles a year, which means you'd be on the hook for mileage penalties above that or being forced to buy out the car on the tail end. If you buy out the car on the tail end, you're not getting the correct tax deduction throughout the lease because you're expensing the miles based on the lease contract (20k or whatever) but using it twice that amount.

My financial advice is to make sure your accountant understands how much your driving before you go this route. If he still recommends leasing, have him show you the numbers comparing to a purchase and all the other options for expensing the vehicle (mileage rates, 179 deduction, etc). If he's earning his keep, he would already have all that data available. If he say's he'll need to calculate it, that means he just blew you off and gave you an uneducated guess. Happens all the time. The proper way to calculate a lease vs buy is to spend a solid couple hours looking at the numbers and present a full comparison to the client. To just default to "leasing is better" is horse poopie.

To answer your car question, be wary of the diesels. I'm a fan of diesels but haven't bought any for my business (over 200 trucks/cars/suvs) in many years. The up-front cost, premium for diesel fuel, and additional maintenance just rarely makes sense these days. Just recently the fuel prices have come closer but I get the feeling it's temporary.

You might consider the new Pilot. It will be high 20's for hwy mpg and a really gives the MDX a run for its money in terms of features/value. I'd much rather put 40k miles a year on a Honda vs an Acura/Audi/etc. Also, the depreciation on the Audi will be very high compared to the Japanese brands. The Germans have strong resale for normal use mileage, but when you have a 2-3 year old model with 120k miles, the value is MUCH lower.
Thank you very much for the information. I appreciate the accounting feedback specifically as I have always been a little apprehensive about leasing. I can't say for sure if his advice has been sound on the leasing side. I only say that he has been good to me because from what I have experienced, he has always steered me right. One reason, is that in 2012 I was audited. In the end I had to pay 0. Actually the state owed me money because one of my vendors had me paying tax on items that we resell. Not that I got anything back, but I was just happy he kept me in the clear with the state and feds.

On the lease explanation, I was also an anti lease guy and wanted to purchase my vehicles, preferably a couple years old so I didn't have to eat the depreciation. I usually purchased imports, specifically Honda or Toyota so I was always able to put 150k+ miles on them then sell them. Maybe I misunderstood him, but part of the reason is because we are currently in the process of buying or possibly building a new building for my company, last time I leased we were in the process of buying a very expensive piece of equipment that we had to finance. I was told by him and another fellow franchisee accountant as well that it would be advisable to lease any new pieces of equipment, including a vehicle because of where the amount shows up on my financials. One is on the income statement, which is where they want it, and the other, if I purchase, is on the balance sheet which is where I don't want it.

Again, I don't know if that is 100% accurate but that is my understanding. Also, I am not set in stone on this. If I learn, or could be convinced that it would be better to purchase, I would be happy to go that route, specifically if I go with the Tesla so I could get the $7,500 tax credit , which I understand is only available if you purchase.

As to miles on my lease, the last two vehicles I leased had very high miles but in the end I made out OK. My Lexus RX350 was actually worth about $6k more than I owed at lease end, so I just bought it out and sold it. Lexus Finance would have killed me with the penalty for all of the miles, but it didn't matter. I just sold it and put the extra money down on my current MDX. I was actually in the same boat with my MDX. At lease end, Acura/Honda Finance would have killed me on the miles, but I just bought it out personally. Instead of selling it and pocketing the additional money since I only owed about $17k on it, I just kept it. When I come across a replacement, wife gets the MDX which will be our personal vehicle, we sell her '03 Pilot and I will drive the new one.

Also, thanks for the diesel info. When I first started looking, I was looking at the BMW 328d x Sport Wagon which I have been told can get 45-50 mpg. So, I was really just focusing on fuels costs more than anything. I am not in a hurry to do anything since I own the MDX now, I am just trying to do my due diligence.
 

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I was told by him and another fellow franchisee accountant as well that it would be advisable to lease any new pieces of equipment, including a vehicle because of where the amount shows up on my financials. One is on the income statement, which is where they want it, and the other, if I purchase, is on the balance sheet which is where I don't want it.
Those are valid points. The problem isn't putting the vehicle on the balance sheet (that's a good thing) but if you have to take out a loan to buy the vehicle then that liability on the balance sheet could be a problem for certain debt agreements.

I don't know how you're organized, but you might consider buying the vehicle personally and taking a mileage deduction from the company. For very high mileage driving, sometimes this can work out because you're keeping the vehicle and loan off the books, but the company can expense the mileage reimbursement to you personally. Right now the rate is $0.575/mile and my experience with my MDX is that the first 60k miles has averaged about $0.50/mile to own. That includes fuel, depreciation, maintenance, insurance, etc. If you were to buy a slightly used low mileage example, that per mile cost would come down drastically. Also, future miles for me are going to be much less because of the drastic depreciation during the first couple years.

So if you can operate a vehicle at $0.50/mile and pay yourself $0.575/mile, that's tax free money into your pocket and a bigger deduction on the company books than the lease. Win/win.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So if you can operate a vehicle at $0.50/mile and pay yourself $0.575/mile, that's tax free money into your pocket and a bigger deduction on the company books than the lease. Win/win.
Interesting points about the operating costs per mile. I didn't realize that the MDX costs so little to operate, that actually seems really low for a 7 passenger luxury SUV.

You are correct, that is exactly his reasoning, he wants to keep it out of my liabilities on the balance sheet. I do recall that being mentioned. Thanks again for the input.
 

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Interesting points about the operating costs per mile. I didn't realize that the MDX costs so little to operate, that actually seems really low for a 7 passenger luxury SUV.

You are correct, that is exactly his reasoning, he wants to keep it out of my liabilities on the balance sheet. I do recall that being mentioned. Thanks again for the input.
We run our family car upwards of 25k miles a year so i'm pretty careful about what I buy. The MDX is fairly reasonable to operate and the cost per mile will continue to go down assuming we don't have any unexpected repairs in the next few years. The cost of a '14+ should be even lower due to the better fuel economy. I would expect a $0.02-$0.04 advantage for fuel cost there. I normally would have traded by now, but we're pretty happy with this one and the big depreciation hit I'll take from a new one won't make up for the fuel.
 

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Yes, I looked at one last week. Very nice vehicle, and efficient, but a little bland for my tastes. Seemed solid though. Dealer said it has the same engine as the Porsche Cayenne, so that is a plus. But, it came in around $67,000 when equipped like my MDX and leased for almost $1,000 per month.

I was recently suggested to look at a RR Discovery Sport (26 mpg) or the Evoque (30mpg), but I am concerned about their reliability and there isn't a dealer within 100 miles of me. At least with my Acura I can take it to the local Honda dealer for oil changes, etc.
Have heard good things about the Discovery Sport but may be too small for your liking? I am actually considering the Range Rover Sport as my next vehicle, and reliability is on the forefront of my mind. It does seem though that Land Rover has improved from the 90's/00's when it was really bad. There is a Diesel option for the RRS this year at only a $1500 premium. But not having a dealer for 100 miles is likely a deal breaker, although maybe you drive that way often enough to swing by the dealer for service :).

Would also say maybe an Audi A7 TDI (decent cargo room due to the hatchback but dunno if enough) but both Land Rover and Audi are notorious for having poor lease offers.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
We run our family car upwards of 25k miles a year so i'm pretty careful about what I buy. The MDX is fairly reasonable to operate and the cost per mile will continue to go down assuming we don't have any unexpected repairs in the next few years. The cost of a '14+ should be even lower due to the better fuel economy. I would expect a $0.02-$0.04 advantage for fuel cost there. I normally would have traded by now, but we're pretty happy with this one and the big depreciation hit I'll take from a new one won't make up for the fuel.
If I go MDX again, I am going to hold out for the 2017. I just saw the 2016 Honda Pilot and I couldn't believe it. Pretty nice and very MDXish. I expect the next MDX design will have to be a pretty big change to separate it from the Pilot.

Have heard good things about the Discovery Sport but may be too small for your liking? I am actually considering the Range Rover Sport as my next vehicle, and reliability is on the forefront of my mind. It does seem though that Land Rover has improved from the 90's/00's when it was really bad. There is a Diesel option for the RRS this year at only a $1500 premium. But not having a dealer for 100 miles is likely a deal breaker, although maybe you drive that way often enough to swing by the dealer for service :).

Would also say maybe an Audi A7 TDI (decent cargo room due to the hatchback but dunno if enough) but both Land Rover and Audi are notorious for having poor lease offers.
No, LR dealers anywhere close to me. Only Chicago and Indy, both about 2 hrs away.

You are definitely right about the Audi lease prices, nothing like what Acura or BMW was offering. Even a $50k Q5d leased for about $300 more per month than a $55k BMW 328 Diesel Sport Wagon or $50k MDX.
 
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