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Hi guys,

I currently drive a '02 Acura TL Type S w/Navi which I bought in April. I love this car to death, but I'm looking to sell it and buy an SUV in about 6 months...conditions are harsh in LA and I'm looking for something more rugged.

I am considering the MDX and Infiniti QX4.

I have a few concerns with the MDX:

Styling - Some people have referred to it as a "mommy mobile"!!!! It does not look much like a minivan to me and I hate to get into the whole "image" thing but I'm single and 27 years old - do not exactly want to be seen driving something that is going to be percieved as a soccer bus! Any thoughts on this?

Wind noise - I test drove the 01 model about a year ago and there was tremendous amount of wind noise. How much quieter is the '02 model?

Xenons - after experiencing the HIDs on my TLS its hard to accept a vehicle without one? Any news if this is going to happen??

Side curtain airbags - I know the MDX was an IIHS best pick and rollover is minimal but any news on the side curtain airbags? Safety is of ultimate importance to me as I intend to keep the vehicle for the long term.

Off road capability - I'm not going to be traversing the Rubicon trail but on car & driver television they mentioned that its off road capability is similar to the RX300...
"can't handle anything more than a gravel road because it essentially is just an AWD minivan masquerading as an SUV"
Acura claims its medium duty capable. Who is telling the truth??

BOSE audio - my TLS is pretty average. Do the 3 additional speakers make any difference. How would you rate the audio??

Thanks very much for any info :)
 

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The most sporty, stylish SUV out there..

I am in y early twenties, and have ordered the MDX. I plan to be doing quite a bit of outside sales, and feel that this vehicle will fit the bill in terms of the "image issue", as I would not consider my self at all old fashioned. More on the urban side. Also, the QX4 is simply a redone Pathfinder that is quite small inside and especially for the driver. I would go for the MDX. Plus it has a dual exhaust sytem!! Makes it look really sporty!! IMHO.

Let us know what you think!!

MDXDRIVER:D
 

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As a young'un myself, I can say that I don't perceive the MDX as a mommymobile. I reserve that judgement for the RX300, ML series, and all but the biggest, most obnoxious of the American SUVs. The MDX, like the X5, looks serious. Unlike the X5, it also looks sleek and sporty (for a rather huge vehicle).

Why are you dumping the TL-S so soon? You KNOW that you're going to take a bath on the residual, right? I agree with you that Acura needs to put xenon HIDs on the MDX. And as for off-road capabilities, someone posted a video clip here a couple of weeks ago that showed one of those TV car shows putting the MDX through a pretty severe off-road course and they raved about its performance. I think it should be suitable for the mean streets of L.A.! ;)
 

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csxpert,

Yes, consider the MDX. For its off-road capability, take a look at this video,
http://www.theautochannel.com/search/?404; click on search, enter mdx video, click on show 121, then click on streaming video. There must be an easier way!

The li'l bugger will GO! Sound system? I think the Bose only adds one rear tweeter, otherwise the speaker count is the same. I think the standard system sounds fine, at least with the kinds of music I listen to (I don't try to bow the doors out with excessive bass, or shatter the glass with high volume).

Styling is in the eye of the beholder. I like it as-is, but you can always customize it -- there are several pictures around this site.
 

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I picked the MDX over the QX4 for several reasons.
- the back seat is much larger and easier to get in an out of.
- third row seat there if you need to be the designated driver for a bunch drunken friends
- styling, the Q is outdated
- gas milage
- ride is smooth, but still quite able to go off road
- wider and more stable
- . . . let's see, there must be more.

I'd by a Patherfinder LE before I got the Q. But, I'd get a Lexus or a MB before either of those. Bottom line. Get some side steps and other add ons to kill the minivan image. Plus, since the MDX is so rare, you're sure to stand out more than some schmuck in a Q.

It's a better car, better value, and more fun to drive day-in and out. Just do it - Go MDX!:D
 

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MDX vs. QX4 in L.A.

You already know you're going to take a big hit when you sell your '02 TL so soon...whatever you do, DON'T trade it in - sell it yourself.
I don't know your definition of "harsh conditions," but if you think L.A. is harsh, you should try Michigan this time of year. :D
I am a new MDX owner. We just got ours three weeks ago. I would agree that the X does look a little "minivan-ish" in certain colors. However, in the darker colors I think it looks less Odyssey-like. The QX4 is definitely more macho-looking, if that's a major concern. Additionally, there are a number of physical modifications you can make to the MDX (wheels, running boards, etc.) to pump up its testosterone.
Wind noise on the 2002 model is not a problem (exception = the moonroof).
I think Acura left the HIDs and side-curtain airbags off the MDX to keep the sticker around $40. You can't have it all at that price.
Let's be honest about the off-road capability of this vehicle...it's not a stump-jumper. This is an urban "gear hauler" with a fair amount of creature comforts. It will do just fine in snow, but I wouldn't take it too far off-road. It's not a Jeep. Nor was it designed to be one.
And I would agree with you on the Acura Bose stereo. On my MDX the sound system is good, but not great.
The differences between Hondas (Acura) and Nissans (Infiniti) are pretty huge. One important thing you didn't mention is that the MDX is considerably bigger in and out than the QX4. If perception is important to you, the QX4 is probably perceived as a "cooler" car than the MDX. However, those who know, understand that the MDX is probably a much better car overall.
Hope that helps. Remember, it's just my opinion. But, hey, I'm a pretty smart guy!;)
 

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QX4

A good friend have a 2001 QX4 and I must say, it has a nicer interior woodtrim than the MDX. I also like the analog clock. But just sitting in the QX4 should convince you the difference. Anyone over 5'10 will find the headroom inadequate.
The rear seat is also very cramp even for a small adult. To fold the second row seats down (not to mention no third row seats), you need to remove the headrests, which is more trouble than you deserve when spending over $35K. After folding the second row seats, you'll find that it doesn't really fold that flat at all.
Moving on to driving performance, the QX4 is really truck based and doesn't handle as well as the MDX. My friend wishes he got the MDX instead every time he's in my MDX.
Those xenon lights are nice though. The navigation system is a bit too small and not as user-friendly. If you do decide on a QX4, you can get $1K below invoice by some dealers. Its been rumored that Infinity is considering discontinuing the QX4. However, I have not seen any concrete evidence to this rumor.
 

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MrPrescott said:
... Get some side steps and other add ons to kill the minivan image. Plus, since the MDX is so rare, you're sure to stand out more than some schmuck in a Q.
...D
The image rumor is probably produced by the Car and Driver review even though the MDX got #1 among others. I cannot say the MDX is like a minivan at all since you don't even get to see one at most places you go. Consider youself a lucky one if you can finally buy one and drive home. If you want to hear the rumor (or truth) .. how about that we start to hear Lexus RX300 is for women since it does attract many women (for being so attractive for them.. again in my view Lexus is a fine car too).. and I don't like to buy an RX for that personally. The Lexus look is getting dated.. Other strong MDX reason.. so much utility space that I would otherwise miss when buying other luxary SUV. After all the image things been talked about, I love to able to use my MDX for all the things the family wants to do.

Talking about having fun and feel good AFTER the purchase is made.


;) ;)
 

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I rented the QX4 for a week last year to feel the car. The ride is very bumpy and rocking side to side on road cracks and pot holes. The handling is not much inferior comparing to the MDX. Basically, it is an luxurious upscale truck. Unless you plan on heavy off-roading in deep water or rock climbing, the QX4 heavier duty off-roading has not much value comparing to the MDX. On the other hand, if you only go to logging roads (dirt road with lost of pot holes) and in snow covered roads or dirt/muddy roads,the MDX do fine. However on paved road, the MDX rides smoothly and handles more closely to sedans. I would not buy the QX4. Strongly recommend you to consider the MDX, but the wait is long though.
 

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Leader says ......


I think Acura left the HIDs and side-curtain airbags off the MDX to keep the sticker around $40. You can't have it all at that price.
Wow! Acura does sell them for cheap in LA :)

I chose MDX over Odyssey due to it's styling. I believe it's real good looking. Just make sure you have the roof rack. This makes a lot of difference.
 

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RE: Harsh Conditions in LA

Michigan has basically two seasons; cold and colder. Here in LA we have four seasons: riot, earthquake, flood, and drive-by-shooting...

And today, I was coming home and on the 60 freeway, right around the 710 interchange (for those who are not familiar with this area, this is less than 10 minutes east of downtown LA) it was HAILING big time. The road was covered with hail... It felt like my windshield was being sandblasted with golfballs. And to think, it was a typical mid-60's sunny afternoon.
 

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Re: MDX vs. QX4 in L.A.

Originally posted by Leader(in L.A.) I think Acura left the HIDs and side-curtain airbags off the MDX to keep the sticker around $40. You can't have it all at that price.
[/B]
Not necessarily true. The '02 ML320 can be had with both (and it's Bi-Xenon, not just regular Xenon) around that price range, and that includes rear side impact airbags and stability control as well. Note that Acura's flagship RL sedan does not have a head protection system either. I seriously doubt that Acura will give the MDX a head protection system without their flagship getting this first. Imagine how those RL owners would feel! ;)
 

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Sorry fellas but THE MDX/RX/Navigator/ML are all "Mommy mobiles", no hard feelings but if your concerned with image they are.

If your really concerned with image you'd get a BMW, Lex or Benz.

The QX4 offers no major reason to buy over the Pathfinder except styling I guess.

I do not think the RX is dated at all, quite frankly it looks like the MDX did a job of copying it. Same profile, window scheme, c-pillar.
 

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1SICKLEX,

That's a pretty bold general statement... (By the way, the RX is a Lex.)

So, what makes BMW and MB better image vehicles? Smaller cargo space?
 

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Well, we do take the X to soccer, but we've also had it up on the Grand Portage trail, deep into logging country, and, of course, on the ice (click on first link below). See also Gator's and Roadrunner's off road pix, you can get yourself in as much trouble as you want to...

Leave the mud on for that off-road look :)
 

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csxpert said:
Off road capability - I'm not going to be traversing the Rubicon trail but on car & driver television they mentioned that its off road capability is similar to the RX300... Acura claims its medium duty capable. Who is telling the truth??
Acura!
 

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Image is in the eye of the beholder. It may be that the only "masculine" SUV is a Hummer. Just kidding.

But seriously. Some folks think the RX is too effeminate or an egg, and not a real truck. Some think the X5 is a BMW wagon, and that with its cargo room can't be called an SUV. Some think the MDX a minivan, and/or that it's certainly not a truck. Or they saw the MDX commercial with the henpecked guy and think it's a wimpmobile. Some think the M-class looks more like a minivan, or saw Annette Benning driving one in "American Beauty" and thus think it's a suburban homemakermobile. Or they think of that spoiled daughter who ran over those partygoers with her daddy-bought ML55 out in the Hamptons. I'm sure someone's thought of something for the QX4 too (e.g. dressed up Pathfinder for sissies).

You're never going to find 100% consensus on what someone thinks of your vehicle, why even bother? Buy what you like, to heck with the contrarian opinions.

P.S. Actually now I do remember someone saying once that some guys who buy Hummers are making up for other inadequacies. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
wmquan said:

You're never going to find 100% consensus on what someone thinks of your vehicle, why even bother? Buy what you
Thank you all for your valuable input.

William, I definitely agree with you, impressing others at my cost is not on my agenda. I really love Honda products very much - I've owned two Accords before this Type S... and I have loved owning all of them.

Actually in December I was on the waiting list for the MDX but it never came... I got so frustrated with the wait that I bought an AWD RX300. I hated the RX300 so much - ergonomics are ridiculous - the cup holders are above the storage bins!!! Luckily my cousin's wife fell in love with it and bought it from me for no loss... I tried one more time to buy an MDX in April but after 5 weeks of waiting I just said "forget it" and I bought a Type S, what can I say I am an impatient type :)

I think I am going to wait a while, enjoy my Type S for now and when I get a chance to sell it without losing too much I will surely look at the MDX.
 

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CSexpert: I am pretty surprised that you can not get an 'X in a reasonable time in S. Cal. I had an easy time locating a vehicle there. I could pretty much get anything I wanted in a reasonable time (within 2 months).
 

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I don't know how far away you live from Torrance, but the last time I was at South Bay Acura they had ten or so MDX's on the lot. You should be able to find SOMETHING pretty close to the color/trim combination you want!
 
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