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Discussion Starter #1
After giving up on finding an MDX earlier in the year, I am again looking around. By some miracle, my local dealer has a Black/Ebony 02-Touring model on the lot now (I test drove it today), and three others coming in before Christmas. Prices are fair too (MSRP). Right now, I am inclined to wait for one of the Redrock models, as the Black/Ebony combo seemed to be warm even on this 70F day. It would probably be crazy hot in the 95F days we get in the summer.

After a thorough test drive, I came away somewhat disappointed, and would like to get some feedback on a few issues from current MDX owners. I really like the MDX, but have a few nagging doubts. Here are my concerns:

1) Wind noise still seems to be a problem even on the 02 model. Overall, the car is quieter than my current ride (00 Subaru Outback), but the wind noise really stuck out on the MDX.

2) Roof racks seems to be there for show -- I can't imagine a more useless configuration. What's more, the antenna is really in the way (why hasn't Acura gone to an in-glass antenna on the MDX?). I know I could install my own racks (requiring some drilling), but that seems like a cruel joke when I am paying $38K for a vehicle.

3) Bose Stereo -- is it my imagination, or is this not very good? It actually sounded worse than my Subaru radio, which was shocking to me. I brought a few CDs along for the test drive, and was very underwhelmed. One of the CDs was even mastered with higher sound levels and enhanced equalization (for testing purposes) and usually makes any stereo sound good. The MDX stereo was kind of flat. Nowhere near as good as the unit I had in a recent model Honda Prelude, by the way. If there was a subwoofer in the MDX, I couldn't really tell.

Overall I like the MDX. It rides and drives great, and the engine/transmission combo is just about perfect. But these issues make me question the vehicle's "value". It just seems overpriced at $38K. I have no problem spending the $$, but I am starting to wonder if it may be better spent on something else. I would really appreciate the comments of other owners and shoppers.

Thanks for your help,
Craig
 

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1) As for wind noise, I still cannot figure out what everyone is yalking about???

2) I agree about the roof rack, it is pretty much useless.

3) I have a base model and I think the sound from my system is adequate. I burn my own CD's and they sound much better thru my 6-Disc Alpine CHM-620 than the standard radio stations. I do however agree that Acura should include better sound in both the base and premium model.

Overall it would be hard to find a better vehicle for the money, especially the power, economy, and overall ride. I bought only the base model because I do not need navigation and I could not see paying $2600 for the touring package. I will have my MDX one year on 12/14/2001 and if I had to do it over again I would still by the MDX!!!
 

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C_hunter:

You hit the weak points in MDX on the nail. Other than those, it's an excellent vehicle. Also, remember, you will be driving a SUV, not a luxry sedan. So, wind noise should be expected.

Color: go for the Redrock. It's awesome.
 

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1) My 2002 is quiet. I don't hear the wind noise at all.

2) You're right. This is the weakest point on the vehicle. Really stupid design.

3) I think the Touring Bose stereo system is excellent. I was wondering about the bass myself when I first got in the vehicle, but after playing with the bass control -- realized that the bass was set all the way down. I turned it up, and the system rocked. I have been a consumer electronics journalist for the past 22 years, and believe me, the system in my X is very, very good.

Dawn
 

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2002 Owner

1. I hear some wind-noise in my 2002 MDX, but it's not objectionable. However, the moon-roof (in either open position) is too loud at any speed over 40 mph. I think the wind-noise generated by the MDX is created by the shape of the car, not a lack of insulation.

2. The fact that the roof rack doesn't adjust in its tracks makes it a barely useful ornament, which is too bad. Acura should rethink this one.
The antenna placement is dictated by the optional GPS Navigation system, so even if your car is Nav-less, the antenna is up there.

3. Car stereo is a very subjective thing (kinda like wind-noise levels), but I'm inclinded to agree that the Acura Bose system is only slightly above average. There is a subwoofer, but I find the system kinda muddy sounding. Overall, I think it sounds fine, but it's not the best car stereo I've ever had ('92 Lexus SC-400 was amazing!).

For the money the MDX still offers the best combination of size, power, extras, and looks in its category. I don't think it really has a serious direct competitor - all the others have specific shortcomings in side-by-side comparisons. I'm very happy with my MDX purchase.
 

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1. I agree that the wind noise is a problem and I came up with a "screen spline" patch...(you can 'search' it) but it is obviously only a 'patch' which helps, but does not FIX the problem in the 'O1's. I think this is a combo problem. If you pop the hood you can see how the air flow is forced up near the pillars...etc. Otherwise, wind vibration centers on the upper window seal and some of this can be eliminated by tightening the seal, as in screen spline. Additionally, some of the moon roofs are not properly set. I had to readjust mine...finding 3 spacers on one side and one spacer on the other.

2. I probably won't use the roof rack...but agree that the lack of adjustment makes it pretty useless. Fortunately we have a VAN w/rack for hauling.

3. Bose is muddy, IMO. My CD's seem to sound better than my FM and I've heard opposite complaints in the forum. I will probably change out my speakers as others have done.

All in all I'm happy with my purchase. All of them have a little "something" that's undesirable. The MDX has more pluses than minuses, IMO. :)
 

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I AM A NEW 2002 MDX OWNER IN THE NORTHEAST AND WOULD DEFINETLY RECCOMMEND IT STRONGLY. WE UP HEAR ARE OVER MSRP AND STILL HAPPY AND WILLING TO PAY. IF YOU LOOK AT THE COMPETITION YOU WILL SEE IT'S AHEAD IN ALL MANNERS. MINE IS TOURING WITH NAV AND ALL OPTIONS SIDE STEPS ALL WOOD OPTIONS. AFTER LOOKING AT MERCEDES, BMW AND DENALI, I THINK IT'S FAR AHEAD AND GAS WISE CAN'T COMPARE. THE NAVATION FROM ACURA SURPASSES ALL OTHER NAV'S IN MARKET VERY USER FRIENDLY AND ACCURATE. THE 2002 IS MUCH QUIETER AND FIXED THE MINOR QUIRKS IN THE 2001. GAS TANK NOISE GONE WEEPING MIRRORS GONE, THICKER GLASS AND MORE INSULATION FOR A QUIETER DRIVE. EVEN BETTER THAN LEXES RX300 AND NOW JUST AS QUIET. BEST FEATURE IS WIDTH OF THE MONSTER TRUCKS, WITHOUT THE 5 MILES TO A GALLON GAS MILEAGE. SOUND SYSTEM I FELL IS EXCELLENT, BUT I DO NOTICE A DIFFERENCE FROM MY 2000 MAXIMA SE BOSE DOES SOUND A LITTLE BETTER WITH MORE PUNCH. I BELEIVE THIS IS DUE TO THE AREA IN A SUV VERSUS A CAR'S INTERIOR WHICH IS SET UP EASIER FOR SOUND THAN A SUV. I'VE HEARD OF UPGRADES ON THE SPEAKERS FROM DIFFERENT COMPANIES LIKE INFINITY TO INCREASE THE PUCH BUT PLENTY FOR ME AT THIS POINT. I WISH UP HEAR WE COULD GET FOR MSRP, THAT WOULD BE EVEN A BETTER REASON TO BUY. THE IS GREAT QUIET AND SMOOTH. I WOULD ADVISE TEST DRIVE THE OTHERS LIKE I DID AND YOU WILL SEE YOURSELF. GOOD LUCK!!!! REGARDING WIND NOISE I WOULD RECCOMMEND THE VISOR WOULD MAKE IT QUIETER BUT I CHOSE NOT TO HAVE. I HAVE IT ON MY 2000 MAXIMA SE AND WIND NOISE IS ALMOST GONE, BUT DON'T LIKE THE LOOK AND NOT BEING ABLE TO FULLY WAX AROUND THE SUNROOF TAKE CARE
c_hunter said:
After giving up on finding an MDX earlier in the year, I am again looking around. By some miracle, my local dealer has a Black/Ebony 02-Touring model on the lot now (I test drove it today), and three others coming in before Christmas. Prices are fair too (MSRP). Right now, I am inclined to wait for one of the Redrock models, as the Black/Ebony combo seemed to be warm even on this 70F day. It would probably be crazy hot in the 95F days we get in the summer.

After a thorough test drive, I came away somewhat disappointed, and would like to get some feedback on a few issues from current MDX owners. I really like the MDX, but have a few nagging doubts. Here are my concerns:

1) Wind noise still seems to be a problem even on the 02 model. Overall, the car is quieter than my current ride (00 Subaru Outback), but the wind noise really stuck out on the MDX.

2) Roof racks seems to be there for show -- I can't imagine a more useless configuration. What's more, the antenna is really in the way (why hasn't Acura gone to an in-glass antenna on the MDX?). I know I could install my own racks (requiring some drilling), but that seems like a cruel joke when I am paying $38K for a vehicle.

3) Bose Stereo -- is it my imagination, or is this not very good? It actually sounded worse than my Subaru radio, which was shocking to me. I brought a few CDs along for the test drive, and was very underwhelmed. One of the CDs was even mastered with higher sound levels and enhanced equalization (for testing purposes) and usually makes any stereo sound good. The MDX stereo was kind of flat. Nowhere near as good as the unit I had in a recent model Honda Prelude, by the way. If there was a subwoofer in the MDX, I couldn't really tell.

Overall I like the MDX. It rides and drives great, and the engine/transmission combo is just about perfect. But these issues make me question the vehicle's "value". It just seems overpriced at $38K. I have no problem spending the $$, but I am starting to wonder if it may be better spent on something else. I would really appreciate the comments of other owners and shoppers.

Thanks for your help,
Craig
 

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rvehock,
I have a few questions about your cd changer. What adapter did you use with your alpine changer? Honil? Also, did you install it yourself? If you did, any buy/install tips?

I did do a search and it seams most ppl have the 10 disk from Kenwood.
 

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Red Rocks

get the Redrock Pearl. it is the best color IMO. windnoise: it is a SUV afterall. forget the touring and nav; go for the base. get a portable nav if you need one. that way, you can use it in different vehicles and save about $1000.

also, the only thing worthwile on the touring is memory seats and a power passenger seat; definitely not worth $2600 IMO. if you want a cd changer, have the alpine installed under the drivers seat. upgrade the speakers on the base and you should be ok.

we did an objective analysis on all suvs that seat 7 and cost under $38000. we narrowed it down to the x and land rover discovery, but they have too many problems and rear door ingress/egress was too limited.
 

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"overpriced at 38,000"
Try buying an American made SUV for almost the same amount of money and then two years later be worth less than half what you paid for it. Or pay 7-10k more for a Mercedes or BMW.
 

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C_hunter,
I think you struck a nerve with goking55... but I do understand his point.

The only regret I have with getting the MDX is why I didn't get two of them instead of the ML. Don't get me wrong, the ML is not bad, but with the MDX, I just feel like I got a lot more car for the money.
 

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Interior is Very Disappointing

I was considering an MDX, but I was disappointed in the fit and finish of the MDX as compared to the Mercedes, Lexus and BMW. It certainly does not look like the interior of a $38K vehicle. I think that Honda has the MDX overpriced for what you get. I confirmed this again at the local Car Show in which it was easy to directly compare the MDX with other makes. It really reminded me of a low end Honda inside. Kinda the same thing as Cadillac when they were using Chevy parts on the interior in the mid-80s

I had taken one for a test drive, (2001) and I two other items (aside from the interior) stood out.

1. The engine seemed to rev alot to get up to speed. Someone told me that Vtec engines are high reving.

2. The wind noise at highway speeds. Again I think a $38K car should do better. Maybe the 2002 is better. I have heard the put heavier glass to dampen some of the noise. The Lexus, BMW and Mercedes. (for that matter the Envoy and Trailblazer) don't have this problem.
 

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I have to disagree with buddy82. The very fact that demand exceeds supply is a good enough reason that MDX is a value even as sticker price. Given the price to value ratio, MDX beats the rest by long.
 

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I disagree with buddy too.

1. Engine rev issue:
My MDX does seem to rev more when I press the gas more... and what "speed" are trying to get up to? speed in the 3 digit range or highway cruising speed?

2. Wind issue:
I have wind nose in the ML too but it's harder to hear on that car over the transmission...

3. Fit and finish being modest... I do agree, it does not come close to spectacular nor does it finish below par either... I'm curious, what cars/suv.s have you had or seen that does impress?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanks

Thanks to all who replied, this was a good discussion. After much deliberation, I ended up getting an LL Bean Outback for about $28K ($200 over invoice). The car just felt more "right" for me, though I will continue to recommend the MDX for anyone who definitely wants an SUV. I will post some comments comparing the two vehicles in the "Comparisons" forum later on.

On the topic of fit and finish, the MDX I test drove on Saturday had some glaring flaws that I thought were very un-Honda like, and certainly something I would not expect on an Acura. The headliner trim around the driver's side door was all messed up (the headliner was not tucked into the trim) and the driver's door speaker grill was loose. Makes me wonder if the Canadian plant is not up to the same standards I have come to expect from previous Hondas and Acuras I have owned. Never mind that, you would think the dealer would spot and fix problems like this!!

Craig
 
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