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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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stuck between MDX and OB

I have a 2005 LLBean, and I love my car. It's at 95K miles, and I'm thinking of renewing it. (I know 100K miles is nothing for these cars, but it will lose value, and be harder to sell). I'll need a 3 row car eventually (1.5-2 years) and I looked at the Tribeca, and I can't consider it, because the 3rd row (even the 2nd row) seating is not satisfactory. Also it's pretty expensive for what it is. I came across Acura MDX, and it has the sh-AWD, and comes with heated seats, sunroof etc. The price isn't outrageous with the current rebates. I found one close to 37K before taxes.
My other option is getting a new Outback, and renewing it when I have to upsize. I test-drove the 2.5 limited today and it was my first time driving a CVT car. It's a totally different driving experience- I'm not saying better or worse, but totally different. It will take some time to get used to it after 4 years of driving a H6. (At this point I wasn't considering 3.6 limited, because I don't see this car as a long term keeper, and I would be happier to keep the price low).

From my brief research I found that while most people praise the shAWD, people who drove both the MDX and Subarus say that Subaru AWD is better. Also I understand that shAWD waits for slippage or a tire and then kicks in. I am not so much worried about how my car handles 40% grades, and rollers and slick iceskating rinks. I love my AWD because it's great in rain and snow and curves. I can go into a curve with slight gas, and my OB drives like it's on rails.

Now if you got this far, please help me with my decision making. I have limited my current options to 3.
-Keep the 2005 LLBean until the expansion is necessary.
-Buy the MDX and drive it for 6-7 years.
-Buy the 2013 OB and upgrade to a 3 row car in 2015. (maybe Subaru and Toyota will build something by then that can seat normal humans in their 3rd row)

Does anyone have experience with MDX or shAWD? How does it compare to your Subaru? Does Acuras have systematic issues? (I saw that there is some vibration issue with the 12-13 models)
Is the differential on the CVT different from previous Subarus? How does it handle in general? (can it be fun with the paddle shifters? how is it on highway merging / passing etc)

thanks
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bartimus View Post
I have a 2005 LLBean, and I love my car. It's at 95K miles, and I'm thinking of renewing it. (I know 100K miles is nothing for these cars, but it will lose value, and be harder to sell). I'll need a 3 row car eventually (1.5-2 years) and I looked at the Tribeca, and I can't consider it, because the 3rd row (even the 2nd row) seating is not satisfactory. Also it's pretty expensive for what it is. I came across Acura MDX, and it has the sh-AWD, and comes with heated seats, sunroof etc. The price isn't outrageous with the current rebates. I found one close to 37K before taxes.
My other option is getting a new Outback, and renewing it when I have to upsize. I test-drove the 2.5 limited today and it was my first time driving a CVT car. It's a totally different driving experience- I'm not saying better or worse, but totally different. It will take some time to get used to it after 4 years of driving a H6. (At this point I wasn't considering 3.6 limited, because I don't see this car as a long term keeper, and I would be happier to keep the price low).

From my brief research I found that while most people praise the shAWD, people who drove both the MDX and Subarus say that Subaru AWD is better. Also I understand that shAWD waits for slippage or a tire and then kicks in. I am not so much worried about how my car handles 40% grades, and rollers and slick iceskating rinks. I love my AWD because it's great in rain and snow and curves. I can go into a curve with slight gas, and my OB drives like it's on rails.

Now if you got this far, please help me with my decision making. I have limited my current options to 3.
-Keep the 2005 LLBean until the expansion is necessary.
-Buy the MDX and drive it for 6-7 years.
-Buy the 2013 OB and upgrade to a 3 row car in 2015. (maybe Subaru and Toyota will build something by then that can seat normal humans in their 3rd row)

Does anyone have experience with MDX or shAWD? How does it compare to your Subaru? Does Acuras have systematic issues? (I saw that there is some vibration issue with the 12-13 models)
Is the differential on the CVT different from previous Subarus? How does it handle in general? (can it be fun with the paddle shifters? how is it on highway merging / passing etc)

thanks

I know someone that recently bought an 05 or 06 MDX. I don't recall the mileage, but seem to think it was roughly 75k miles.

Well now that he's had it a few months he has run into a few issues with it. There is a problem with the door locking system. Something about one of the doors not always unlocking, unless done manually. The other is he as a couple of broken motor mounts. After doing some Google searches on that, it appears to be a fairly common problem with the MDX's. now it could be only certain years, but something to be aware of.

Ironically I went from a full size SUV to a 2012 Outback, and very happy. However I no longer have a need for 3 rows of seats.

My personal take is to keep what you have if its only going to be a couple years. Seems like the depreciation on buying a new one and getting rid of it in a couple years would be greater than the depreciation of your current OB with two more years of ownership.

Take a look at the new OB though, as they are pretty roomy. Maybe you won't need a third row?

Goog luck
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 08:41 AM
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My wife had a 2007 MDX and it was a great car. Currently she drives a 2012 Honda Pilot (Which should be on your list). We had a problem with the active suspension that was about $2,000 to fix and luckily had the extended warranty.
The SH-AWD was OK but my wife would complain about not being able to get up an inclined driveway in very icy conditions.

The third row was nice because it stowed into the floor and does not have to be up all the time. As an alternative take a look at the Pilot, you can save money, get more room inside, avoid using premium fuel (cost savings) and still have the AWD.

Your post is a bit confusing as you are looking at an entry level luxury SUV and still wanting to keep the price low.

Good luck, Paul

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 08:58 AM
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Bartimus:
I had both (MDX and Honda Pilot) on my shopping list , when I decided to get rid of my 2010 Forester XT, before I bought 2013 OB. I went for the stiffest suspension and reliability/safety record...I did a thoroughful research of those 3 cars, as I always do, before I buy a car. I have been buying/leasing cars for over 50 years now, both in Europe and on these shores!
I'd go for your option # 3 - considering your live in Chicago!
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 09:31 AM
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Bartimus:
I had both (MDX and Honda Pilot) on my shopping list , when I decided to get rid of my 2010 Forester XT, before I bought 2013 OB. I went for the stiffest suspension and reliability/safety record...I did a thoroughful research of those 3 cars, as I always do, before I buy a car. I have been buying/leasing cars for over 50 years now, both in Europe and on these shores!
I'd go for your option # 3 - considering your live in Chicago!
Funny.

Number 3 is the only option I would not do. If I was going to do option 3 (because I know I'm only keeping the car 2 years) I'd look at a lease.

Buying a car and keeping it for only 2 years and selling it you will loose a lot of money.

Keep the old OB till you need the other car.

As for sh-AWD, it's a good system and I doubt you would notice much difference between it and the Subaru. Honda's and Toyota's base systems are garbage though (IMO). I would get 2wd before paying extra for those systems. To my knowledge they both still shut down the AWD at 20 mph. So they are 2wd anyway while moving.

-Dave

Common sense, isn't common.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 09:38 AM
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"Buying a car and keeping it for only 2 years and selling it you will loose a lot of money" .... not necessarily. If you buy it for a real, real low price and do not put too many miles on it, you can still sell it with profit... I have done so in the past!
Addition: Most profit from those cars I made, when I sold it overseas...where they go for about 1/3 more than here!
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jogosub View Post
"Buying a car and keeping it for only 2 years and selling it you will loose a lot of money" .... not necessarily. If you buy it for a real, real low price and do not put too many miles on it, you can still sell it with profit... I have done so in the past!
Addition: Most profit from those cars I made, when I sold it overseas...where they go for about 1/3 more than here!
Okay I can see your point... but...

He has a 2005 with 95k on it. That means he might be putting around 12k a year on his car. Can you still make a profit on a 24k mile used car after 2 years?

Of course all this assuming privet sale and no trade (I'm guessing) and the used a Subaru's are high sought in his area.

If you can say yes then I'd say post a thread about that and share the wealth BROTHER! I truly mean that too!

-Dave

Common sense, isn't common.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 10:13 AM
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I can say "no" to that scenario... you are right.

I must say I have had luck with selling cars overseas. It's not that complicated as many people think. After you post it on Autorader, you will get inquiries from overseas potential buyers. Then, in most cases, you just drop the car at the Port (say Houston) - or have it shipped there by auto transporter, and there you go. I have built up solid record and get paid in advance (word by mouth reputation).
Most desirable makes (that I've sold and shipped) are Hummer H1 diesels and Jeep Grand Cherokees (into Russia), Lexus and Acura to former East Europe, Diesel pick-ups (GM, GMC, etc) to Scandinavia and Finland, large US station wagons from the 60' and 70's to Japan - just to name a few....

But, since I love my 2013 OB, I am still suggesting option # 3 for Bartimus....
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 10:31 AM
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value depreciation slope...

really?
the value depreciation slope of your 2005 will be a fraction of the slope on a new car over the next two years. if that's your main decision factor, you'd be much better off driving it a few more years until you get to the spot that the car's configuration doesn't meet your needs.

now... if your '05 feels like it's in need of maintenance/repairs (and only you and your mechanic would know that)... perhaps avoided maintenance costs will reduce that gap some (but most likely, that'll be reflected in car's value from it's "condition"). as part of the decision, go through it with an eye for wear and tear.

but... if you just have a case of the "I wants". go buy a new car, enjoy it, sell it, and don't get hung up because you spent some money for that enjoyment. If you do the OB 2 year turn around, it'll probably cost a bit more. If you go ahead and do an MDX now, it'll be good and broken in when your kid gets sticky stuff all over it (and you won't be as update with a kid trashing your spnking new entry level, luxury SUV).
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-13-2013, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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wow- lots of suggestions. Thanks a lot.
to elaborate on the need for 3rd row. We have a car seat now, and we are planning to add a infant seat in the near future.
On the engine mounts: I heard about the same issue on Oddysey and MDX, but I think it's for the years you mentioned. I haven't heard of it being a major issue on the recent models- but of course it takes some time for that problem to show up, so maybe in 3-4 years the 2012-13 models will have mount issues.
Why I'm thinking of renewing: I had extended warranty which expired in November. I had couple major issues (one being a valve issue- which would have cost 3K if the warranty didn't pay). I replaced brakes, tires and I'll need new shocks soon. So- while the car won't depreciate much in the next 2 years, I'll have to invest in the car.
Luxury level SUV for cheap: currently I can get a MDX for lower than a Tribeca with similar options. I would take the MDX over Tribeca. I wouldn't spend 45-50K, but at 36K (plus tax) it's considerable.
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