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Discussion Starter #1
My 2011 MDX is nearing the 100k Mile mark .Its in its 6th year and has served us extremely well.I am thinking of finding a replacement for it and cant seem to find one. I live in the North East and need a vehicle with very good AWD.Winter can be brutal near the lakes.Something reliable would help as the closest dealers are 1-2 hrs away.Its going to be the car taking a lot of miles and harsh weather.No towing required but plan to carry our bikes on the bike rack .We need a large trunk space like the MDX so need a 7 seater[ not for the seats though]
I have been on the hunt for the past 6 months and have come up empty.It just amazes me how all the companies failed to have the jack of all trade in this segment.

When it comes to AWD, I am thinking of Subaru and Audi.I Wish Subaru had a larger SUV than the Forrester.I was eagerly waiting for the MDX but IMO the present gen MDX is messed up at multiple levels.I just cant throw 55k on such a shabby vehicle.The Pilot with its 9 speed Tr and the VCM bothers me.I am not very sure about the Highlanders AWD system.

The XC 90 is nice but I cant overlook its Engine.Its just a shame.If I were to touch the 60-70K range I would rahter go for the Q7 despite its looks.Lexus doesn't seem to have a proper SUV with good AWD[the GX and LX are just way too thirsty for my taste].

I just wanted to know what the other owners are cross shopping.
 

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I'd give the Infiniti Q60 a look since it's one you didn't mention. The hybrid would give decent gas mileage with all the miles you mentioned you'll be driving. I had a G37x and it handled snow very well. I can appreciate the cold NE snow as I live near Lake Michigan and travel near Lake Superior often. Good luck in your search.
 

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The '14+ Highlander is a reasonable choice. No it's not as impressive dynamically as the MDX but it's really not that big of a difference in the real world. In terms of excitement behind the wheel, to me the MDX is a 5/10 and the Highlander is a 4/10. Not exactly ground breaking. The AWD system is not as sophisticated as the MDX but it's more than adequate for typical on-road foul weather conditions and with the low-speed lock feature you shouldn't have any issues. Proper tires would be a far better investment than getting hung-up on the AWD system nuances. I've had FWD's with winter tires that would embarrass a Subaru on all-seasons. Particularly for important things like stopping and turning. The Highlander Hybrid has some merit although I'm not sure the $5k premium would ever pay for itself given the amount of highway miles we drive. We might save $2k over 100k miles and the resale may or may not make up the difference in a few years. Hard to say. If you drove considerably more city it might make sense.

The Highlander is probably the only other vehicle we've really considered at this point. I won't buy a Euro car for driving 20k-25k miles a year so the MDX and QX60 are about the only reasonable choices beyond the plebeian brands.

The MDX is pretty hard to top though in terms of what you get for the money, the performance, and economy. The Ford Explorer Sport/Platinum models are priced similar to MDX and will run with (or ahead of in some specs) the MDX from a performance standpoint, but is 3-4mpg shy at the pump. That's probably the closest competitor really in terms of price/performance/value. The Euro brands all add another $5k-$10k for a similarly equipped model, but they do have nicer interiors.
 

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I feel your pain. I had zero issues with the 07-13 MDX or 07-12 RDX. I just can't wrap my head around the latest versions as an possible replacement. The newer versions have more; but, at the same time the feel like less (if that makes any sense). The only thing that looks like similar driving dynamics to my current MDX (without costing +$60k) is the 16 Mazda CX-9. I might have give that a test drive once they hit the dealerships.

Link to CX-9: http://www.2016mazdacx9.com/?semid=408-534-43-42461-60144524392&providertag=MazdaSEM&servicetag=408-534-43-42461-60144524392&t=1&k_clickid=4c006cdb-1a1f-4acb-b1d4-fbb93eb42e22&gclid=COqH04bC4cwCFYeUfgod_4wFPw#overview

Maybe you need to check out a short term lease until +2020. I call it getting a "gap" vehicle until something worth buying to support your lifestyle hits the road.
 

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I have a 2011 MDX Advance with 109,000 miles. Though since my 2011 MDX is still going strong and looking still new, I am going to see if I can keep it to 200K miles.

But I have been thinking for the future and what is available now.

The current MDX model, unluckily, is not for me. It does not have a sport look (they nuttered the 2011 MDX semi-sport look) and lacks various key options.

I have been keeping an eye on the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Infinity QX60, Audi Q7, etc. in that order.

It will be nice to have nice 9", 10", 11" wide wheels, V8 engine, reliable dynamic suspension, sporty transmission that if you down-shift the vehicle will drop to the most optimal gear, 360 degree camera, modern large GPS navigation screen, nice sport package, towing, low-range if possible, etc.

Let us know what you find.. Many of us are in the same boat or will be in the same boat soon..

Acura dropped the ball with the current MDX model. It is very utilitarian, no V8 engines, no sport concept or even options (NONE), transmission can't drop to optimal gear automatically like most modern transmissions, obsolete GPS system, etc.

What a sad story of Acura.. good company, great engines, but a complete corporate myopic view of the sport vehicle needs, V8 engine needs, sport looks, and driver sport feeling, which made it become a financial loser when compared to Lexus, Infinity, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, etc.

They should fire all those obsoleted Acura corporate CEO and related management and renew it with some younger/creative blood that can take the company in the profitable/winning direction. So many lost opportunities already..

The 2011 models were in the right direction and suddenly they regressed to the stone age.. wtf..
 

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OP you nailed it. And honestly the 2007-2009 are dynamically superior to the 2010-2013s in terms of steering feel and effort. So 2010 forward began the descent. The 2014 design was an all out whiff.

Since I'm blanketed with nearby BMW dealerships and are good with the CPO warranty we added a 3-row X5 Xdrive50i to the stable. The torque is amazing and being an E70, it still has that former trademark BMW steering feel and dynamics. (The 2014 X5s have zero steering feel and lost the original magic just as most new BMWs have so you might want to cross that off the list if it were on there). Supposedly the new Q7 still has the nice Germanic feel to it but I think the styling took a step back.




Once my MDX hits 150-200k miles I'll probably grab a low mileage X5 as well. I'm good with paying for the repairs or getting a warranty as I enjoy the fun spirited chassis. (Pay to play)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At this point I am leaning towards a Q7 but will wait an year.Its not a looker but hopefully should suffice for our needs.I just never bought into the idea of owning a" LUXURY "suv. I always used the SUV as the " HAULER" do it all vehicle and stuck to a Luxury car.My 7 comes off lease in 6 months and time is ticking on the MDX.It feels like all manufacturers decided to drop the ball together.Every new car from every manufacturer that came out in the last 2 years has one glaringly obvious problem.The only ones that seem to be improving are the Korean brands.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I feel your pain. I had zero issues with the 07-13 MDX or 07-12 RDX. I just can't wrap my head around the latest versions as an possible replacement. The newer versions have more; but, at the same time the feel like less (if that makes any sense). The only thing that looks like similar driving dynamics to my current MDX (without costing +$60k) is the 16 Mazda CX-9. I might have give that a test drive once they hit the dealerships.

Link to CX-9: 2016 Mazda CX-9 7-Passenger SUV - 3 Row Family Car | Mazda USA

Maybe you need to check out a short term lease until +2020. I call it getting a "gap" vehicle until something worth buying to support your lifestyle hits the road.
This is going to be a sibling of the XC90 with its 4 cylinder engine.This is what i meant..everything else fits well except that engine.80% of our driving happens on Highways and I have a feeling that a 4 cylinder on such a big vehicle is going to be working at its threshold all the time.
 

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My MDX and RDX feel different on the hwy and they both get about the same mpgs. My driving conditions are usually 5000ft-7500ft, hwy speeds 80-85 mph, steep elevations at times, and traveling 3-8hrs on average.

Hwy driving Pros for RDX:
- rpms already up and instant tq for inclines or passing, RDX can stay in 5th 90% of the time while I need to single/double tap paddles to 4th/5th gear to maintain the same speed in the MDX on hills during passing
- less downshifting because of extra tq
- just an I-4 on flat ground if turbo isn't needed, usually zero spool for hours on flat ground
- more power at the higher altitudes with forced induction, driven as high as 11,000ft on I-70 in Colorado and my RDX would dust my MDX

Hwy driving Cons for RDX:
- mpgs is about 1-2 lower than MDX on avg on same trip (can't get away from the elevation/hills).
- sensitive to winds, turbo will spool 10%-25% for hours in windy conditions dropping mpgs


Hwy driving Pros for MDX:
- quiet
- much better mpgs on flat ground

Hwy driving Cons for MDX:
- runs out of power for inclines and passing at +80 mph
- really feel the altitude at +7000ft
- requires more single/double-taps of paddles to maintain speed or accelerate faster (makes more noise that speed)
- mpgs can be worst in MDX in high altitudes and hilly terrain that requires frequent downshifts
- mpgs are worst in MDX in windy conditions. Seen as low as 14 mpgs where my RDX can get at-least 17 mpgs in same hwy head wind.


If I really wanted my perfect engine for an SUV, it would be something with a V-6 supercharger or V-6 Turbo. It would give me the low speed off the line power around town, mid-range punch for emergency/passing/inclines, and high altitude tq in the mountains.

I like the force induction power of the F-Pace, Q7, Macan/Cayenne, BMW, and MB; but, I need the long-term reliability of an Honda/Acura for 10yrs/150,000 miles. Acura still comes out on top when I check all the want/need boxes. I wish there was an aftermarket S/C kit for Honda/Acura V-6 engines!
 

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Why not just keep it? It sounds like you don't have a reason to get rid of it. At nearly 100,000 miles it is just broken in. You could easily get another couple of years out of it without too much expense and then see what the landscape looks like.
 

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My wife has the previous generation Q7 and I absolutely love it. Compared to my MDX, steering feel is better, handling is better, brakes are 6 pot Brembos so they can stop and provide great feel, the seats are a lot more supportive (my MDX gave me a sore neck and back for weeks after a long road trip where I felt fine in the Q7 on the same trip a year later), the torque is on the low end of the RPMs whereas you have to get close to 5500rpms with the the MDX which causes the MDX to downshift often whereas the Q7 will rarely ever need to downshift if at all above 45 mph. The reliability has been about the same but the German driving experience is tough to beat. The cargo area is larger in the MDX and the 2nd row seat has better legroom in the Q7. I agree with you on the looks of the new Q7 but IMO, I think it looks better than the new MDX.
 

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Looks-wise, the 2016 Pathfinder also isn't bad - better than the QX60 imo. I don't know much else about the car though, I just know the engine choices are limited. Plus it being a Nissan, it's not exactly a luxury brand.
 

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I have an 11 Advance as well. It is my third MDX and only has 60k miles. In 2012 we bought my wife a Lexus ES300h (mpg 39-40), so we are putting many more miles on that vehicle than the MDX, which is a change for us. At any rate, I am beginning to look as well, with my plan on buying something at the end of the year. While I have had no serious issues with any of the MDXs, I am just ready for something else. My list includes many mentioned above, Cayenne, X5, Q70, XC90, and Lexus RX350.

From everything I had read, the RX350 was moving to the top of the list. It is a total redesign and larger than prior years, at nearly the exterior size of an MDX. Yesterday I drove an RX350 as a loaner while my wife's 300h was in for servicing and, while on the plus side for me, golf clubs fit across the cargo area, it was not all that I expected. It had the Premium Package and not the Luxury Package, and was not AWD so that may make a difference when I get serious.

I generally keep vehicles about 5 yrs so I have typically purchased them. However, I am strongly considering leasing this time, particularly if Porsche, BMW, or Audi.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Why not just keep it? It sounds like you don't have a reason to get rid of it. At nearly 100,000 miles it is just broken in. You could easily get another couple of years out of it without too much expense and then see what the landscape looks like.
I agree,I usually don't keep a vehicle after an accident.Other wise the vehicle seems to be still doing its job well.Its sad that none of the newer vehicles can emulate the experience this vehicle gives.I understand the CAFE standards but i have a feeling that the industry just moved in a different direction.If we cant find anything I might just keep it for an year or two.

My wife has the previous generation Q7 and I absolutely love it. Compared to my MDX, steering feel is better, handling is better, brakes are 6 pot Brembos so they can stop and provide great feel, the seats are a lot more supportive (my MDX gave me a sore neck and back for weeks after a long road trip where I felt fine in the Q7 on the same trip a year later), the torque is on the low end of the RPMs whereas you have to get close to 5500rpms with the the MDX which causes the MDX to downshift often whereas the Q7 will rarely ever need to downshift if at all above 45 mph. The reliability has been about the same but the German driving experience is tough to beat. The cargo area is larger in the MDX and the 2nd row seat has better legroom in the Q7. I agree with you on the looks of the new Q7 but IMO, I think it looks better than the new MDX.
We looked at the new q7 as a replacement for our 7.It looks much better in person than in the photos.It drove well too.I just wish they made a leather dash available.It just makes the car look much better.If I had to get it,I would wait for an year and see if they can release an S line .

Looks-wise, the 2016 Pathfinder also isn't bad - better than the QX60 imo. I don't know much else about the car though, I just know the engine choices are limited. Plus it being a Nissan, it's not exactly a luxury brand.
The Nissan with its CVT is a no go. I feel that outback would be a better vehicle with its AWD though you loose in the space.

I have an 11 Advance as well. It is my third MDX and only has 60k miles. In 2012 we bought my wife a Lexus ES300h (mpg 39-40), so we are putting many more miles on that vehicle than the MDX, which is a change for us. At any rate, I am beginning to look as well, with my plan on buying something at the end of the year. While I have had no serious issues with any of the MDXs, I am just ready for something else. My list includes many mentioned above, Cayenne, X5, Q70, XC90, and Lexus RX350.

From everything I had read, the RX350 was moving to the top of the list. It is a total redesign and larger than prior years, at nearly the exterior size of an MDX. Yesterday I drove an RX350 as a loaner while my wife's 300h was in for servicing and, while on the plus side for me, golf clubs fit across the cargo area, it was not all that I expected. It had the Premium Package and not the Luxury Package, and was not AWD so that may make a difference when I get serious.

I generally keep vehicles about 5 yrs so I have typically purchased them. However, I am strongly considering leasing this time, particularly if Porsche, BMW, or Audi.
I think ,you will great lease deals on a BMW.AUDI and Porsche lease deals aren't worth considering unless you can write the expense off.Again if you don't plan to drive a lot ,leasing makes sense sometimes.I am at the other extreme.I usually lease and this business of searching for a new vehicle every 3 yrs gets tiring very fast,especially if the closest dealers are far away.Let us know what you will end up with.The RX again has an OK AWD system.As someone said the tires make a huge difference too.My wife liked it but it was just way too soft in the corners still.It drives completely different than the way it looks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My MDX and RDX feel different on the hwy and they both get about the same mpgs. My driving conditions are usually 5000ft-7500ft, hwy speeds 80-85 mph, steep elevations at times, and traveling 3-8hrs on average.

Hwy driving Pros for RDX:
- rpms already up and instant tq for inclines or passing, RDX can stay in 5th 90% of the time while I need to single/double tap paddles to 4th/5th gear to maintain the same speed in the MDX on hills during passing
- less downshifting because of extra tq
- just an I-4 on flat ground if turbo isn't needed, usually zero spool for hours on flat ground
- more power at the higher altitudes with forced induction, driven as high as 11,000ft on I-70 in Colorado and my RDX would dust my MDX

Hwy driving Cons for RDX:
- mpgs is about 1-2 lower than MDX on avg on same trip (can't get away from the elevation/hills).
- sensitive to winds, turbo will spool 10%-25% for hours in windy conditions dropping mpgs


Hwy driving Pros for MDX:
- quiet
- much better mpgs on flat ground

Hwy driving Cons for MDX:
- runs out of power for inclines and passing at +80 mph
- really feel the altitude at +7000ft
- requires more single/double-taps of paddles to maintain speed or accelerate faster (makes more noise that speed)
- mpgs can be worst in MDX in high altitudes and hilly terrain that requires frequent downshifts
- mpgs are worst in MDX in windy conditions. Seen as low as 14 mpgs where my RDX can get at-least 17 mpgs in same hwy head wind.


If I really wanted my perfect engine for an SUV, it would be something with a V-6 supercharger or V-6 Turbo. It would give me the low speed off the line power around town, mid-range punch for emergency/passing/inclines, and high altitude tq in the mountains.

I like the force induction power of the F-Pace, Q7, Macan/Cayenne, BMW, and MB; but, I need the long-term reliability of an Honda/Acura for 10yrs/150,000 miles. Acura still comes out on top when I check all the want/need boxes. I wish there was an aftermarket S/C kit for Honda/Acura V-6 engines!
I was hoping that Acura would be smart enough to fix the present MDX in the update but I guess as long as sheep keep buying they go for what appeals to the sheep,IMO the 2017 is even worse looking than the 2014.They never bothered to fix the real issues like that horrid Infotainment system.
 

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We looked at the new q7 as a replacement for our 7.It looks much better in person than in the photos.It drove well too.I just wish they made a leather dash available.It just makes the car look much better.If I had to get it,I would wait for an year and see if they can release an Sline.
You are able to order a leather dash through the Audi Exclusive program although it is not listed on their website. Waiting for my new Q7 order with Audi Exclusive (First Audi Exclusive Q7 in the US) - AudiWorld Forums
 

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The Nissan with its CVT is a no go. I feel that outback would be a better vehicle with its AWD though you loose in the space.
Ooh, yea. Didn't know it had a CVT, and after reading up on that a bit, it seems to be notoriously unreliable and prolematic..

Also, rumor is that Subaru is planning a larger 7 seat SUV, bigger than the Tribeca was, for the US market. Though that doesn't help you now.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The '14+ Highlander is a reasonable choice. No it's not as impressive dynamically as the MDX but it's really not that big of a difference in the real world. In terms of excitement behind the wheel, to me the MDX is a 5/10 and the Highlander is a 4/10. Not exactly ground breaking. The AWD system is not as sophisticated as the MDX but it's more than adequate for typical on-road foul weather conditions and with the low-speed lock feature you shouldn't have any issues. Proper tires would be a far better investment than getting hung-up on the AWD system nuances. I've had FWD's with winter tires that would embarrass a Subaru on all-seasons. Particularly for important things like stopping and turning. The Highlander Hybrid has some merit although I'm not sure the $5k premium would ever pay for itself given the amount of highway miles we drive. We might save $2k over 100k miles and the resale may or may not make up the difference in a few years. Hard to say. If you drove considerably more city it might make sense.

The Highlander is probably the only other vehicle we've really considered at this point. I won't buy a Euro car for driving 20k-25k miles a year so the MDX and QX60 are about the only reasonable choices beyond the plebeian brands.

The MDX is pretty hard to top though in terms of what you get for the money, the performance, and economy. The Ford Explorer Sport/Platinum models are priced similar to MDX and will run with (or ahead of in some specs) the MDX from a performance standpoint, but is 3-4mpg shy at the pump. That's probably the closest competitor really in terms of price/performance/value. The Euro brands all add another $5k-$10k for a similarly equipped model, but they do have nicer interiors.
Between the Pilot and the Highlander...which do you think would be better? I have a feeling the the pilot might win here.I am not sure with regarding the build quality though. I have a feeling that Honda has ruined itself by going the cheaper nicer looking parts route
 

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Between the Pilot and the Highlander...which do you think would be better? I have a feeling the the pilot might win here.I am not sure with regarding the build quality though. I have a feeling that Honda has ruined itself by going the cheaper nicer looking parts route
OFF TOPIC (kind of...;) )

everytime I see the 2016 Honda Pilot, I conjure up images of Ricky Hsu (original designer of the heralded 2nd generation MDX: 2007-2009) having re-incarnated the 2nd gen MDX by way of the evolution of the 2016 Honda Pilot

2016 Honda Pilot
<img src=http://images.dealer.com/ddc/vehicles/2016/Honda/Pilot/SUV/trim_Touring_a1df8e/color/White%20Diamond%20Pearl-WB-224,222,197-640-en_US.jpg>

2007-2009 Acura MDX
<img src=http://images.gtcarlot.com/gtgallery/2543909-640.jpg>

Ricky Hsu (2007 Acura MDX chief designer)

and of course, cannot forget the man who single handed-ly destroyed the Acura MDX by evolution/design of the 3rd generation MDX- Jim Keller (2014 MDX chief destroyer)....thanks Jim for cheapening the MDX into a KIA/FORD type eyesore and for trying to turn the instrumentation panel into a (big, cumbersome, inefficient) iPad!...you are the reason why my 2009 MDX remains my daily driver, while my SUV and sedan have been upgraded to Mercedes and Audi respectively!...all you newbies considering a 3rd generation MDX, save yourself the headache and bear in mind that Acura 3rd gen. MDX sales stats can be deceiving- never (IMHO) has a particular car model relied so heavily upon the success of it's given predecessor generations (MDX generations 1st & 2nd) as the 3rd generation MDX sales are cleary the after residual after product of the overall success and compelling innovation achieved by both the 1st & 2nd generation MDX's!!..Jim you officially brought down the bar of MDX with your cheap shortcuts- congrats!...try using one or two of those approximate THREE total brain cells in your melon, to buy some Proactiv to treat that huge ZIT on your left cheek!!!....*sigh*...okay, I feel better now...:
 

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When I was shopping for a SUV, it came down to the MDX or a 4Runner. The pilot and highlander both felt like minivans. I know the MDX shares the pilots platform, but it could also be the layout. The 4Runner is one of the last true SUV's around so it will ride rougher, but it is a true SUV unlike the rest which are actually crossovers. The wife didn't care for the 4Runner and the MDX won out. We did look at the Q7 but when the salesmen are saying you don't buy an Audi you lease them and then get a new one three years later. I asked, why is that? And the reply, because they cost way to much to maintain and the problems start at 100k miles.
 
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