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Hey everyone, just wanted to share my experience just in case anyone is in the same boat that me and my wife were in.

About 3 weeks ago we traded in our 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500HD for a 2011 Acura MDX with Technology package. We had spent a few weeks researching before we made the trade and we had it narrowed down to a Honda Pilot or an Acura MDX. We went with the MDX simply because the dealer made the deal with us before the Pilot. In all our time comparing, we never really looked at the space side by side. I knew the Acura and Honda were built on the same platform so I really didn't think there would be a noticeable difference between the two. After a few weeks of driving the MDX, I realize that I was mistaken. We just had our first kid 2 months ago and we were having a hard time fitting all of her stuff plus groceries and stuff in the MDX. (Keep in mind we live in a very rural area so when we do grocery shopping, we go to Costco and really stock up on stuff so were aren't the average shoppers). When we realized how small the MDX was, we decided to go to the Honda dealer and park side by side with a Pilot and really compare the space. Once we did this, we were really surprised at how much more space the Pilot has. The front seats have a ton more storage than the MDX, from the center console, to the area above the glove box, there is just a lot more usable space. I don't even have a spot to put my phone in the MDX. The second row in the Pilot has more leg room, the second row seats slide back and forth, allowing for a more useable 3rd row when needed. The cargo area behind the second row is also larger, mostly because the shape of the Pilot vs the MDX.

Once we realized all of this, the hunt started again for a Pilot that we could just do a straight trade for our MDX, we need the practicality of the Pilot over the luxury of the MDX. After I started researching more about the Pilot, I kept coming across the vibration issue in eco mode. It seemed like more of a widespread problem than just an unlucky few. Now I was really torn, we wanted the extra space of the Pilot, but I didn't want to go to something that was going to be less reliable, or even just annoying to drive. My wife and I decided that we would just go look at a Pilot and take it on a very thorough test drive and decide from there. Well, the day that we were going to go do that, I came across a 2013 Traverse on Autotrader. I had never really given much thought to a Traverse because I thought they were out of my price range and I never really liked the look of them prior to 2013. Well this one was at the top of the price range so I started looking up reviews and forums on the Traverse to see what everyone was saying about it. To my surprise, it seemed like everyone really liked the new 2013 Traverse. So we decided to postpone the Pilot test drive and go straight to the dealer to look at the Traverse. I was astonished at how much I really liked the Traverse. The exterior look is much improved over the previous versions, and while I do not like it quite as much as the look of the Acura, I still really like it. Once I sat behind the wheel, my mind was made up. The look and feel of the interior is far better than the MDX in my opinion, I know this is subjective. Sitting in the driver seat it feels way roomier. There are plenty of storage areas in the front for anything I need. In the second row, with the front seats moved all the way back, I still have about 6 inches from my knees to the back of the front seats, I am 6'3" tall. The second row also slides back and forth like the pilot does. I can sit in the 3rd row with the 2nd row all the way back without my knees hitting it, which I was pretty surprised about. The Traverse has tons of cargo area. 70 cubic feet in Traverse compared to 43 cubic feet in Acura behind the second row.

Driving the Traverse felt excellent. Much smoother and more comfortable ride than the MDX (This was an AWD version). The MDX was a little snappier but the Traverse was definitely no slouch. The Traverse is very nimble and fun to drive for its size. Gas mileage is also much better in the Traverse. After our trip to town in the MDX, we averaged 15 MPG. Driving the same route with the same driving habits in the Traverse, I averaged 19 MPG.

Sorry this is so long, I just want to share my experience just in case it might help anyone. The MDX is a very nice car, but for someone like me and my wife, it was just too small. If you like the MDX but want a little more space, I would highly recommend looking into the Traverse or the GMC Acadia. We did a straight trade from our 2011 Acura MDX with 34000 miles to a 2013 Chevy Traverse with 15000 miles and couldn't be happier.
 

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Welcome! Hope everything works out for you!
 

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Check back in 150K miles and let us know how it is going! :)
 
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It's good you ended up with something you're happy with, but I think you also learned that you have to look very carefully at the offerings before pulling the trigger. In the mid '00's we were in the same situation as you - needed a SUV with enough cargo room to carry the kids and stuff in the back. Coming from Acura we put a deposit on the new MDX before it was even at the dealer. But once we saw one in person we realized it was too small and too focused on performance than utility. At the time (2001) there weren't any Pilots, so we went with a Chevy Tahoe since it was about the only vehicle that fit the bill at the time. After living for 3 years with the Tahoe we wanted something more appropriately sized and moved to a 2004 Pilot, and were happy with the balance of size, reliability, drivability, etc.

These days there are so many more options than even a decade ago that you get lost in the options. Every mfg has multiple SUV offerings, and they all compete one way or the other across the lines - even luxury/upscale vs more standard fare. The Traverse is a nice vehicle, and could be considered luxury if not for the GMC Acadia with its upscale flavor that is more like the Acura vs the Honda in the same genre. The net-net here is that you have something you like, and that's all that counts. But the path you took to get there was probably more adventurous than some of us would take...

andy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Check back in 150K miles and let us know how it is going! :)
My family business owns 6 Chevy right now. 5 Silverados and a tracker. Plus we have an escalade. All are over 100000 and half are nearing 200000. They are not easy miles. We own a cattle ranch so a lot of the miles are rough dirt roads or towing stock trailers. Haven't had a single problem with any of them.
 

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Good luck, I wouldn't trade my 2002 MDX for a Traverse straight up.

The Traverse is no Silverado, I think those are great trucks.
 

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It's good you finally got what you needed I guess. I bet this cost you quite a bit more than just buying the Traverse from the beginning, so doing due diligence would have saved you quite a bit.

We shopped the Acadia Denali as well. They're certainly a much larger vehicle with a lot more space behind the third row. They also drive drastically different for anyone that cares about performance. The average mom probably wouldn't notice or care. My wife drives fairly passively but she liked the feel of the MDX enough to give up some space. She's had GX470, Tahoe, and two minivans before this. The MDX was also slightly cheaper than the Denali and I'm sure with our 25k mile a year usage we'll get far more money back when we're ready to trade out.

I have no problem with GM on the reliability side either. I run a Suburban LTZ as my company vehicle and beat the crap out of it off-road with no issues.
 

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It's good you finally got what you needed I guess. I bet this cost you quite a bit more than just buying the Traverse from the beginning, so doing due diligence would have saved you quite a bit.

We shopped the Acadia Denali as well. They're certainly a much larger vehicle with a lot more space behind the third row. They also drive drastically different for anyone that cares about performance. The average mom probably wouldn't notice or care. My wife drives fairly passively but she liked the feel of the MDX enough to give up some space. She's had GX470, Tahoe, and two minivans before this. The MDX was also slightly cheaper than the Denali and I'm sure with our 25k mile a year usage we'll get far more money back when we're ready to trade out.

I have no problem with GM on the reliability side either. I run a Suburban LTZ as my company vehicle and beat the crap out of it off-road with no issues.
Yea I'm not saying we went about it the right way. Of course we would have been better off going straight to the Traverse but you live and learn. It ended up working out OK so next time we will be more careful.
 

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Good luck, I wouldn't trade my 2002 MDX for a Traverse straight up.

The Traverse is no Silverado, I think those are great trucks.
All I was trying to say is that I have years of experience with GM vehicles, Silverados and other models, so I'm not worried about reliability. I'm not saying everyone should go trade. I was just trying to lend a suggestion to someone who wants more space without sacrificing ride or luxury. The MDX is a great car. Just a little small for my needs.
 

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oh God, different strokes ...

I had a Traverse as a rental for a week in Miami, I hated every minute I drove the thing and couldn't wait to return it

you have to go with your needs and priorities-
it sounds like you need a ton of room, and prefer a cushy ride over sharp handling. The MDX is completely wrong for you, a Traverse is definitely a better fit for your needs
 

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Glad to hear things worked out. I agree the refreshing of the Traverse looks a lot better than the original version.
 
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