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2013 OB Limited 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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2016 Outback: 2.5i Limited with Eyesight
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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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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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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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'14 3.6R Outback
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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.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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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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"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! :29: I truly mean that too!
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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3rd row mdx, pilot toyota highlanders. Lexus gx 470, land cruiser all had the same issue. 3rd row for these works for temporary short rides. The larger car seats and leg room becomes an issue for longer rides. We sold our fantastic landcruiser this summer and replaced it with a Sequoia which our 3.5yr old rides passenger side 3rd row the rear door is huge I can lift her into her seat from the door. The second row door size and shape is a big deal! Something I did not think of when we bought the sequoia. I leave half the 3rd row out which gives us lots of space for gear. The 3rd row is also a full 3 seats which can ad have sat three adults. We get nearly identical mileage with the 4.7L V8 as our two friends do with the mdx and pilot. We also got it for 22k with 64,000 miles in mint single owner condition. Not possible with the mdx or pilot.

Go look at the sequoia. We took two grand parents two kids and mom and dad out to fit test the sequioa the decision was easy after loading everyone up.
 

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As someone work for Toyota corporate, I will give you my honest opinion: MDX is one of the nicest SUVs I have ever been in, and I would NEVER buy an OUTBACK over and MDX - though you should really also consider the fully loaded Toyota Highlander and the Lexus RX.

We have a 2013 4Runner and an 06 Outback; my inlaws have a brand new outback, and my sister has and MDX, so I can say with confidence that I am familiar with the lot - You cant go wrong with the MDX - it competes in a larger segment, so you will have a better residual value, and a much larger market of folks to sell it to when that day comes.

We get the luxury of changing toyotas every 3 months. We have driven primarily Highlander and 4Runner, and I gotta say they are simply incredible vehicles. drive a Toyota Highlander, which will be quite a bit cheaper than the MDX, yet just as luxurious if you get the Sport or even limited.

Good luck,

Rodney
 

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2013 2.5i Limited, Special Appearance Package, Brilliant Brown Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather, HK Audio, Moonroof, Navigation
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I ditched my Lincoln Navigator for an Outback---have had 2 of them in last 18th months (2012 2.5i Premium and 2013 2.5i Limited SAP). I also have a Porsche C4 993 and 77 Bronco Sport so my range of vehicles suits my my mood and completely satisfied with my 2013 for what I use it for. I dont know much about the MDX but I been an SUV owner for 15 years and the MDX made the short list (early short list before I bought my Outback but I was set pretty much on another Outback) but wasnt my cup of tea. If I were going to go MDX, I would have jumped over to another Explorer.
 

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Rod06OB - Rodney - a lot of folks, who work for Toyota/Lexus corporate, are ditching their fully loaded Highlanders for Priuses... you forgot to mention that! Just look around in one of those Torrance employee parking lots!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
thanks for all the responses. I drove the MDX last Saturday, and all in all it drives like a car, the interior is very nice, outside- it's kind of big (fat), however the deal breaker for us was the 3rd row. I assumed the 3rd row was quite adequate, however it's not much bigger than the Tribeca (as subiesailor mentioned). Actually now that I think about it, Tribeca is much better because the 2nd rows can be slided back and front, offering more space on 3rd row if needed. (this would make sense if you put toddlers in car seats in 2nd row, and adults in 3rd row). MDX 2nd row is fixed, and access to 3rd row is only on the right side.

Obviously I didn't have any chance to test the SH-AWD but the dashboard looked cool which shows how much power is transferred to each wheel. Luxury-wise the only plus MDX offered I could see was the memory seats (which is available in a package I'm not getting on Subaru). I'd still take Subaru's AWD - because I know it works.

The decision between 2.5 and 3.6 is quite hard. The opinions on CVT is all over the place, some say it's good enough, some say it's weak. I guess it depends on what you are expecting from the car. When I drove the CVT I didn't feel a shortage of power (I drove around the block- maxing at 35mph), however the feeling of CVT is quite funny. It would take getting used to. We are leaning towards the 3.6 limited, yet another dilemma comes into play. The price for OB 3.6 Limited is the same as Tribeca 3.6 limited (the only version of Tribeca). Now I could get 3 rows, on a car that will be discontinued in a year or two, and the resale value will be way less than the OB. Also the agility is not like the OB.

I have eliminated MDX from my list- but my list just grew bigger :( I want to use the 0.9% financing, which is available until the 31st. Still have 48 hours to make up our minds..
 

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In the past, it seemed to me a new 0.9% deal would start as soon as the current one ended.

I suspect if you have good credit, the financing guys can work some magic to get you 0.9% regardless.
 

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thanks for all the responses. I drove the MDX last Saturday, and all in all it drives like a car, the interior is very nice, outside- it's kind of big (fat), however the deal breaker for us was the 3rd row. I assumed the 3rd row was quite adequate, however it's not much bigger than the Tribeca (as subiesailor mentioned). Actually now that I think about it, Tribeca is much better because the 2nd rows can be slided back and front, offering more space on 3rd row if needed. (this would make sense if you put toddlers in car seats in 2nd row, and adults in 3rd row). MDX 2nd row is fixed, and access to 3rd row is only on the right side.

Obviously I didn't have any chance to test the SH-AWD but the dashboard looked cool which shows how much power is transferred to each wheel. Luxury-wise the only plus MDX offered I could see was the memory seats (which is available in a package I'm not getting on Subaru). I'd still take Subaru's AWD - because I know it works.

The decision between 2.5 and 3.6 is quite hard. The opinions on CVT is all over the place, some say it's good enough, some say it's weak. I guess it depends on what you are expecting from the car. When I drove the CVT I didn't feel a shortage of power (I drove around the block- maxing at 35mph), however the feeling of CVT is quite funny. It would take getting used to. We are leaning towards the 3.6 limited, yet another dilemma comes into play. The price for OB 3.6 Limited is the same as Tribeca 3.6 limited (the only version of Tribeca). Now I could get 3 rows, on a car that will be discontinued in a year or two, and the resale value will be way less than the OB. Also the agility is not like the OB.

I have eliminated MDX from my list- but my list just grew bigger :( I want to use the 0.9% financing, which is available until the 31st. Still have 48 hours to make up our minds..
The time to purchase the Tribeca was back in early 2010 when Subaru was dumping inventory on the Tribeca. We almost bought one but after messing with the 2nd row and trying to find a use for the 3rd row that is USELESS!!! EVEN more so than the MDX which is larger than the Tribeca we scratched it off the list. We bought the OB with the plan of keeping our Land Cruiser which this last summer we decided was too short 3rd row was too tight and luggage space not enough. That is how we ended up with the Sequoia which we use on the weekends with a grand parent who almost always is with us. Funny thing the Sequoia is nearly the same foot print as the Land Cruiser which is really not much different than the MDX.

If you plan on using 3rd row full time you need a real 3rd row. Our standard set up is half the 3rd row set up with car seat passenger side. Second child is center seat 2nd row, the flip seat section in the second row on passenger side is the 40% the driver side of the 2nd row is the 60%. Your kid riding center in 2nd row is on the 60% section which stays put. The 40% flips so you can access the 3rd row.

Vehicles like the MDX - Pilot - Highlander the smaller Tribeca - the 3rd row seat is only used as temporary by all the folks who have them. Even the folks who have three kids they bought a minivan when the 3rd showed up. Oddly enough the seating in the Sequoia is nearly identical to the seating found in the Sienna. Only I have the 4.7L v8 4x4 which gets nearly the same mileage that many of our Sienna owning friends get. I know which one I enjoy having LOL. Along with the full size spare tire ;-)

If you plan on using the 3rd row get a proper 3rd row not a 3rd row designed to be over flow parking in a pinch.
 

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The previous owner of this 2005 OBXT sold it to buy a 1st-gen Sequoia.

I test-drove one when they were introduced in 2001. Seemed very expensive and the sales guy was very pushy. Wound up buying a Durango.

Functionally I could probably combine my 2003 Tundra w/topper, 2004 Astro Cargo, and 2005 Outback XT into a single Sequoia.

Except that the MPG (13 city / 16 hwy / 14 combined) kind of scares me.
 
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