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  1. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    400
    #41
    the ML is more a true SUV than the X5 because of longer stroke suspension and a real low-range mode.

  2. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    83
    #42
    i want...

  3. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    10,604
    #43
    Macky,

    Peace bro. Magazine, site, whatever, Edmunds, IMHO is better off reviewing cars. Yes, the Humvee has independent suspension..... But have you seen how high the friggin thing stands. And yes tanks have independent suspension... DUH! Tanks have tracks! Can you imagine putting axle on those? :roll:

    Pare, do you know why solid axles are considered an advantage in offroading? Same reason as the stabilizer bar, except that its not for handling... its for traction. Have you seen a freelander or any other vehicle with independent suspension take on a mogul? The fourth wheel comes OFF the ground dude If a wheel is off the ground, then obviously it cant do its job, right? Independent suspension is not suited for cross country driving! But i'll make an exception for the new Range Rover. Pucha, 13" ang wheel travel!!!! Thats how you compensate for independent suspension.... adequate wheel travel. something not present in any of the cars you mentioned. Thats also the reason why a lot of people buy LC70s over the newer more high-tech LC100s. Of course the LC100 has all the electronic doodads to make up for its mechanical shortcomings. The fact is, if you really want to go offroad, youre less likely to go wrong with a solid axle. Have you ever gone offroad if i may ask? I mean REAL offroad?

    Liberty better than the Pajero? Of course im biased coz i dont have a liberty, but Im not gonna force the issue. If you think so then...cheers to you my boy :D FYI, the Paj (V Series) has been at the forefront of Offroad innovation and technology for the past decade. It introduced a lot of new systems which are only now starting to appear in newer SUVs. Pare check out offroading articles from Asia and Australia.... look at how many Libertys are being used...... wow..... at ang konti ng Pajero :lol:

    Oh and dont try to bash me on the Gen 3 pajero/montero having independent suspension. They look cool, have nice engines but IMHO think they suck in offroading!

  4. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    10,620
    #44
    bottomline if i have an X5 (wish) hanggang alikabok lang ang dadapo dun...

    pajerokid is right i rather souped up a raggedy LC40 than those used those high tech 4x4's/SUV on OFFROAD

    problem is we have our own definition of offroad eh

    buti pa sumama na lang kayo sa OCTOBER 27, see parking lot sub forum
    o di ba ok ba OTEP chicker!

  5. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    22,658
    #45
    mang kim, bakit may chicker na naman na nakadikit sa pangalan ko? :mrgreen:

    http://docotep.multiply.com/
    Need an Ambulance? We sell Zic Brand Oils and Lubricants. Please PM me.

  6. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    1,107
    #46
    I'm posting this mainly because someone else might be in the market for a practical vehicle and would be interested in hearing what someone else had to say about them. I respect pajerokids view on offroading but I only rely on info and test drives as I have mentioned earlier. If hardcore offroading fits you then I'm more than happy for you. TO EACH HIS OWN! As I've said, I only share infos that I come across the net and thru personal test drives. BTW, tanks and hummers have independent suspensions no matter what you say.

    I've been looking around for the better part of the year now, and I've made up my decision and here's my homework though hopefully it will benefit someone who hasn't made up their mind:

    Websites used:

    General info and ratings:

    http://carpoint.msn.com
    http://www.edmunds.com
    http://www.kbb.com
    http://www.consumerreports.com (requires subscription)
    http://www.carreview.com
    http://www.epinions.com
    http://www.europeanhonda.demon.nl/acura_mdx_test.htm
    http://thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=3310&n=157
    http://www.nctd.com/01/suv/01acuramdx.cfm
    http://automotive-review.com/mdx.htm
    http://cars.about.com/autos/cars/library/testdrive/blcolin022001.htm
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/columns/healey/0029.htm
    http://www.nsxsc.com/n***citement/mdx.html
    http://www.caranddriver.com/xp/Caranddriver/comparisontests/2000/December/200012_comparisontest_designerutes.xml


    Safety test ratings:

    http://www.iihs.org
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov

    Pricing engines (for invoice and retail costs)
    http://www.carsdirect.com

    General impressions:

    1. X5

    The X5 is a nice vehicle, no doubt about it. It rides and handles very nicely, has very good acceleration, and smooth cornering. My one question to the designers of this car would be - who is the target audience? I doubt it's the family, because it has the same cargo space as a sedan.

    2. ML-320

    Also a very nice vehicle, but a few questions about reliability and the appearance (hello? it's a MINIVAN). Drives heavy, typical of a MB wagon.

    3. 2002 Ford Explorer EB

    Why is Jacques Nasser still running that company? After the whole fiasco around the Explorer, you'd think ole' Jacques would have found the best guys in the business and hired them to work on the new Expy. Instead - the quality of materials has gone down yet another level, and the design is not very impressive (interior, it's not anywhere near as roomy as the MDX).

    4. MDX

    Jack of all trades, master of none. For luxury, the interior lags (albeit not that much) behind the X5 and ML-320. For performance even with a more powerful engine (260hp with 250lb-ft of torque), the X5 (atleast 4.4i) will eat it for lunch (but at $10k more). ML-320 without the third row will take more cargo (after all - it's a MINIVAN). Still, a solid handling and performing car.

    Main categories:

    A. Safety

    The X5 and MDX wins here. The X5 and MDX was tested incredibly well in the IIHS tests. Now that the MDX has a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) on it's list of features, I bet it will score higher now than the X5. The ML-320 runs at third, with the Explorer a distant 4th. Please explain to me why Ford goes on and on about the side airbags, and then makes them optional?

    The tendency of a vehicle to roll over in an accident is called the SSF (static stability factor), which is directly related to the track and height. Thanks to a very wide wheelbase (courtesy of it's Odyssey cousin), the SSF is pretty low for the MDX.

    Braking and CR's emergency handling tests for the 2002 MDX really knocked the MDX, taking it to task for fishtailing. I'm sure that the new Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), drive-by-wire throttle system derived from the system on the NSX, improved VTM4 and an all-new compact 5-speed automatic transmission it now has on the 2003 model would improve the scores, if not improve the handling

    B. Reliability

    Going solely on CR reports for reliability (I checked JD Power, and for some reason, didn't like their data. Durango?!). Here's what I got from that:

    1. BMW
    2. Acura
    3. MB
    4. Ford

    Needless to say, I expect that the reliability on an MDX should be excellent, as I've seen nothing but good comments from Acura owners on Internet based forums and CR. BMW gets 1 because they throw in maintenance for 3/36.

    C. Usability/Utility.

    Here's where the MDX beat the others silly, as far as I was concerned. Decent ground clearance, yet not hard to get into. Good sized rear seats, yet not cramped for cargo when they're open and no extra vehicle length.

    The dash is very nicely laid out, and the ergonomics of the vehicle are astounding. I liked the X5 as well - MB, while impressive with the quality of the amenities was not as pleasing as the X5 and MDX, and that third row seat is a joke.

    Visibility was the MDX's great feat, IMHO - you can see forever on a clear day out of that vehicle. Cargo space was also good, although not as big a factor as you might think (without that silly third seat, the MB would win there).

    The new Acura DVD Entertainment System on the 2003 MDX is a huge plus for my 5 year old daughter who says “are we there yet” every 5 minutes in interstate travels.

    D. 4WD.

    Sorry to say it, but the MDX even with the very capable (from the perspective of traction) and improved VTM4 system and the new VSA system that provides a limited-slip differential effect by applying braking force to a slipping front wheel thereby directing driving force to the wheel with more grip trails here. That's fine by my parameters - I'm looking for a family vehicle to be used in different cities that work may take us, with occasional AWD use for safety (snow and rain). But if you're looking for serious 4WD, the ML and Ford would probably win, hands down. The lack of a transfer case and skid plates, and the inability to force 4WD above 18 MPH just let me down. But hey, Acura claimed that the MDX has medium-duty off road capability. The MDX with the rear axle locked in 1st and 2nd up to 18mph has great traction. Waterproofing was even added to support the MDX’s ability to traverse up to 18-inch-deep bodies of water and the result speaks for themselves – the MDX will climb a 31-degree (60-percent) paved slope with a two-passenger load. It has eight inches of ground clearance, a 28-degree approach angle, a 21-degree departure angle, and a 21-degree breakover angle for negotiating rough terrain. It can claw up a 28-degree (53-percent) dirt slope from a dead stop.

    IMO, ML's 4ETS is the winner here although this system has widely been criticized by the offroading crowd as being weak and crappy. It has three open differentials and will brake slipping wheels. It doesn't actually "clamp down" on a wheel, as much as it modulates the spin of the wheel through braking (basically pulsing braking force through). Thus, power does not bleed out of the open differential and any wheel with grip gets power. This works well on the ML because it has power being sent to all four wheels, rather than waiting for slippage to occur. Now for the offroading negatives. If traction control system is activated, it will shut down engine power therefore, if you are in sand or mud, the ML may get stuck because of too much engine braking. In other systems (including those in Toyota), you can disable this "cut-engine-power" feature. Also, the ML system allows for TOO much wheelspin before it engages. By that time, you have lost momentum. In contrast, the Land Rover system is very quick to react. Toyota system is somewhere between ML and Land Rover. The upgraded version of ML’s 4ETS (rightfully named as 4ETS+) which is specifically meant to address the aforementioned offroading issues works better (as certified by this year’s Fourwheeler magazine when it rated it a little bit better than the old system). 4ETS+ now features a 2-feet something that allows you to creep over a big rock slowly. Basically, you are able to put one feet on gas pedal and one on brake pedal and have the ML still move slowly forward. In addition, Mercedes quicken the response time of the traction control system. It did improve in mild off-roading. However, according to Fourwheeler, the ML system got totally confused in deep sand and was stuck. As for the Montero, pajerokid can explain Mitsu’s 4WD system better.

    E. Acceleration/Performance.

    If you had your hands on an atleast an X5 4.4i, then you'd win in a footrace. Unfortunately, that would partially be because your pockets would be much lighter. At 3.0L, the X5 couldn't muster enough oomph to beat the MDX. Ford actually fared well here, placing a close 3rd to BMW. MB - the heavy ride hurts you here.

    Cornering was impressive on the X5, with the MDX performing capably and the Explorer actually doing just as nicely (and much better than it's predecessor).

    F. Luxury.

    I hate to say it, but the MDX disappointed me here a bit. This was another close call, with MB taking the top in the ladder and the X5 right behind it (and practically tied with the MDX). But - why all the fake wood? Would a wood shifter have cost Acura that much? And those plastic snaps on the center console? C'mon - this thing costs $40k, gimme a break Honda!

    The fake wood really bugged me, but even worse was the dealer offering up an option to put more fake wood trim around the dash instrumentation. Really - $5 worth of plastic wood, and you offer it as an option?

    The leather was nicest in the MB, but the MDX and X5 were virtually tied for second, and close to the MB. Ford's leather is more like very nice vinyl.

    Acura - you went through the trouble of cutting a hole in the roof. Why is the sunroof so damn SMALL?

    G. Comfort.

    The most comfortable vehicle for me was the MDX. Roomy and w-i-d-e. Those extra inches paid off, and the seating was excellent. The single gripe on the car is the lack of a dead pedal for a footrest.

    Controls were ergonomically placed within the MDX. BMW did a nice job with that too. The auxiliary controls for the MDX's rear seating air conditioning were remarkable - on a really muggy (90% humidity) day in AR, the AC in this baby was KICKIN'.

    MB was very nice too - I keep saying that. Honestly - if you're in the market for a vehicle with 5 seats, 4WD, and don't mind it looking like a minivan, then I think the MB is not a bad buy. Add that third seat, though, and you're asking for trouble. That swing-out-of-the-way mechanism is ridiculous.

    The MDX and Explorer both had easily retractable third row seating. Both were difficult to get in to - this is just a side effect of not having a bigger 3rd row - but my experience with my old MDX tells me that you'll need a much bigger vehicle to get around that (Expedition, Sequoia or Yukon XL).

    One thing I couldn't figure - the lumbar support on the MDX. Was it just me, or was it just a little off somewhere?


    H. Looks

    I liked the Explorer in this department, but you know what they say about looks - beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The MDX is also a very handsome vehicle, but without adding a bunch of dealer add-ons (like mouldings - again, a $40k vehicle, and Acura can't throw in a set of fender flares?), it looks a little plain.

    Plain vulnerable is what I'd call the doors in a parking lot. I used to park the farthest with my old MDX until the dealer did offer some door side mouldings - $225 installed. What a bargain L

    The MB looks (to me) like a minivan. The X5 looks like someone distorted a 325 and turned it into a truck. I'm not fond of the typical BMW look, so I didn't think too highly of the X5, but that's me.

    Inside, all of the vehicles looked nice (as well an almost $40k new car should), with the MB leading the way, and X5 and MDX a close second (tied). Ford - your interior looks like a rental car - cheap and used.

    My decision:

    I needed a mix between a wagon (my family is getting bigger) and an SUV. Something that would protect my family (very important here in the US where cars travel much faster than the Philippines), would offer 4WD for the rough weather we usually get 3 months out of the year, and would give me some height to enjoy those potholes without the wear and tear on my bumpers. Cargo space was a must, with 7 passenger seating a definite plus. The engine had to be tough enough to make merging on the highways simple.

    My best performer was the X5. It was disqualified because it was too small inside, and expensive when you added the 4.4 engine.

    My best value was the MDX - it handled all of the tasks very capably, is one of the safest SUV currently in the market, and I'm sure the reliability will be excellent.

    Ford was the winner for 'if that's all you could spend, you'd get it'. Sorry, but the lack of luxury (even at a $35k EB edition and 5.4L engine) was disappointing, and the performance despite being a gas guzzler was not very enlightening.

    MB – Major reliability issues here.

  7. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    400
    #47
    Thats also the reason why a lot of people buy LC70s over the newer more high-tech LC100s. Of course the LC100 has all the electronic doodads to make up for its mechanical shortcomings.
    actually, toyota is still producing the LC70. the current LC lineup is LC70, LC90 Prado and LC100.

    aside from the huge stroke, the range rover is able to extend its independent suspension when one side is compressed, giving it the same capability as a normal solid axle system while preserving on-road handling. the best of both worlds? well, let's wait for the world to decide :roll:

  8. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    139
    #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Macky
    I'm posting this mainly because someone else might be in the market for a practical vehicle and would be interested in hearing what someone else had to say about them. I respect pajerokids view on offroading but I only rely on info and test drives as I have mentioned earlier. If hardcore offroading fits you then I'm more than happy for you. TO EACH HIS OWN! As I've said, I only share infos that I come across the net and thru personal test drives. BTW, tanks and hummers have independent suspensions no matter what you say.

    I've been looking around for the better part of the year now, and I've made up my decision and here's my homework though hopefully it will benefit someone who hasn't made up their mind:

    Websites used:

    General info and ratings:

    http://carpoint.msn.com
    http://www.edmunds.com
    http://www.kbb.com
    http://www.consumerreports.com (requires subscription)
    http://www.carreview.com
    http://www.epinions.com
    http://www.europeanhonda.demon.nl/acura_mdx_test.htm
    http://thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=3310&n=157
    http://www.nctd.com/01/suv/01acuramdx.cfm
    http://automotive-review.com/mdx.htm
    http://cars.about.com/autos/cars/library/testdrive/blcolin022001.htm
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/columns/healey/0029.htm
    http://www.nsxsc.com/n***citement/mdx.html
    http://www.caranddriver.com/xp/Caranddriver/comparisontests/2000/December/200012_comparisontest_designerutes.xml


    Safety test ratings:

    http://www.iihs.org
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov

    Pricing engines (for invoice and retail costs)
    http://www.carsdirect.com

    General impressions:

    1. X5

    The X5 is a nice vehicle, no doubt about it. It rides and handles very nicely, has very good acceleration, and smooth cornering. My one question to the designers of this car would be - who is the target audience? I doubt it's the family, because it has the same cargo space as a sedan.

    2. ML-320

    Also a very nice vehicle, but a few questions about reliability and the appearance (hello? it's a MINIVAN). Drives heavy, typical of a MB wagon.

    3. 2002 Ford Explorer EB

    Why is Jacques Nasser still running that company? After the whole fiasco around the Explorer, you'd think ole' Jacques would have found the best guys in the business and hired them to work on the new Expy. Instead - the quality of materials has gone down yet another level, and the design is not very impressive (interior, it's not anywhere near as roomy as the MDX).

    4. MDX

    Jack of all trades, master of none. For luxury, the interior lags (albeit not that much) behind the X5 and ML-320. For performance even with a more powerful engine (260hp with 250lb-ft of torque), the X5 (atleast 4.4i) will eat it for lunch (but at $10k more). ML-320 without the third row will take more cargo (after all - it's a MINIVAN). Still, a solid handling and performing car.

    Main categories:

    A. Safety

    The X5 and MDX wins here. The X5 and MDX was tested incredibly well in the IIHS tests. Now that the MDX has a Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) on it's list of features, I bet it will score higher now than the X5. The ML-320 runs at third, with the Explorer a distant 4th. Please explain to me why Ford goes on and on about the side airbags, and then makes them optional?

    The tendency of a vehicle to roll over in an accident is called the SSF (static stability factor), which is directly related to the track and height. Thanks to a very wide wheelbase (courtesy of it's Odyssey cousin), the SSF is pretty low for the MDX.

    Braking and CR's emergency handling tests for the 2002 MDX really knocked the MDX, taking it to task for fishtailing. I'm sure that the new Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), drive-by-wire throttle system derived from the system on the NSX, improved VTM4 and an all-new compact 5-speed automatic transmission it now has on the 2003 model would improve the scores, if not improve the handling

    B. Reliability

    Going solely on CR reports for reliability (I checked JD Power, and for some reason, didn't like their data. Durango?!). Here's what I got from that:

    1. BMW
    2. Acura
    3. MB
    4. Ford

    Needless to say, I expect that the reliability on an MDX should be excellent, as I've seen nothing but good comments from Acura owners on Internet based forums and CR. BMW gets 1 because they throw in maintenance for 3/36.

    C. Usability/Utility.

    Here's where the MDX beat the others silly, as far as I was concerned. Decent ground clearance, yet not hard to get into. Good sized rear seats, yet not cramped for cargo when they're open and no extra vehicle length.

    The dash is very nicely laid out, and the ergonomics of the vehicle are astounding. I liked the X5 as well - MB, while impressive with the quality of the amenities was not as pleasing as the X5 and MDX, and that third row seat is a joke.

    Visibility was the MDX's great feat, IMHO - you can see forever on a clear day out of that vehicle. Cargo space was also good, although not as big a factor as you might think (without that silly third seat, the MB would win there).

    The new Acura DVD Entertainment System on the 2003 MDX is a huge plus for my 5 year old daughter who says "are we there yet" every 5 minutes in interstate travels.

    D. 4WD.

    Sorry to say it, but the MDX even with the very capable (from the perspective of traction) and improved VTM4 system and the new VSA system that provides a limited-slip differential effect by applying braking force to a slipping front wheel thereby directing driving force to the wheel with more grip trails here. That's fine by my parameters - I'm looking for a family vehicle to be used in different cities that work may take us, with occasional AWD use for safety (snow and rain). But if you're looking for serious 4WD, the ML and Ford would probably win, hands down. The lack of a transfer case and skid plates, and the inability to force 4WD above 18 MPH just let me down. But hey, Acura claimed that the MDX has medium-duty off road capability. The MDX with the rear axle locked in 1st and 2nd up to 18mph has great traction. Waterproofing was even added to support the MDX's ability to traverse up to 18-inch-deep bodies of water and the result speaks for themselves - the MDX will climb a 31-degree (60-percent) paved slope with a two-passenger load. It has eight inches of ground clearance, a 28-degree approach angle, a 21-degree departure angle, and a 21-degree breakover angle for negotiating rough terrain. It can claw up a 28-degree (53-percent) dirt slope from a dead stop.

    IMO, ML's 4ETS is the winner here although this system has widely been criticized by the offroading crowd as being weak and crappy. It has three open differentials and will brake slipping wheels. It doesn't actually "clamp down" on a wheel, as much as it modulates the spin of the wheel through braking (basically pulsing braking force through). Thus, power does not bleed out of the open differential and any wheel with grip gets power. This works well on the ML because it has power being sent to all four wheels, rather than waiting for slippage to occur. Now for the offroading negatives. If traction control system is activated, it will shut down engine power therefore, if you are in sand or mud, the ML may get stuck because of too much engine braking. In other systems (including those in Toyota), you can disable this "cut-engine-power" feature. Also, the ML system allows for TOO much wheelspin before it engages. By that time, you have lost momentum. In contrast, the Land Rover system is very quick to react. Toyota system is somewhere between ML and Land Rover. The upgraded version of ML's 4ETS (rightfully named as 4ETS+) which is specifically meant to address the aforementioned offroading issues works better (as certified by this year's Fourwheeler magazine when it rated it a little bit better than the old system). 4ETS+ now features a 2-feet something that allows you to creep over a big rock slowly. Basically, you are able to put one feet on gas pedal and one on brake pedal and have the ML still move slowly forward. In addition, Mercedes quicken the response time of the traction control system. It did improve in mild off-roading. However, according to Fourwheeler, the ML system got totally confused in deep sand and was stuck. As for the Montero, pajerokid can explain Mitsu's 4WD system better.

    E. Acceleration/Performance.

    If you had your hands on an atleast an X5 4.4i, then you'd win in a footrace. Unfortunately, that would partially be because your pockets would be much lighter. At 3.0L, the X5 couldn't muster enough oomph to beat the MDX. Ford actually fared well here, placing a close 3rd to BMW. MB - the heavy ride hurts you here.

    Cornering was impressive on the X5, with the MDX performing capably and the Explorer actually doing just as nicely (and much better than it's predecessor).

    F. Luxury.

    I hate to say it, but the MDX disappointed me here a bit. This was another close call, with MB taking the top in the ladder and the X5 right behind it (and practically tied with the MDX). But - why all the fake wood? Would a wood shifter have cost Acura that much? And those plastic snaps on the center console? C'mon - this thing costs $40k, gimme a break Honda!

    The fake wood really bugged me, but even worse was the dealer offering up an option to put more fake wood trim around the dash instrumentation. Really - $5 worth of plastic wood, and you offer it as an option?

    The leather was nicest in the MB, but the MDX and X5 were virtually tied for second, and close to the MB. Ford's leather is more like very nice vinyl.

    Acura - you went through the trouble of cutting a hole in the roof. Why is the sunroof so damn SMALL?

    G. Comfort.

    The most comfortable vehicle for me was the MDX. Roomy and w-i-d-e. Those extra inches paid off, and the seating was excellent. The single gripe on the car is the lack of a dead pedal for a footrest.

    Controls were ergonomically placed within the MDX. BMW did a nice job with that too. The auxiliary controls for the MDX's rear seating air conditioning were remarkable - on a really muggy (90% humidity) day in AR, the AC in this baby was KICKIN'.

    MB was very nice too - I keep saying that. Honestly - if you're in the market for a vehicle with 5 seats, 4WD, and don't mind it looking like a minivan, then I think the MB is not a bad buy. Add that third seat, though, and you're asking for trouble. That swing-out-of-the-way mechanism is ridiculous.

    The MDX and Explorer both had easily retractable third row seating. Both were difficult to get in to - this is just a side effect of not having a bigger 3rd row - but my experience with my old MDX tells me that you'll need a much bigger vehicle to get around that (Expedition, Sequoia or Yukon XL).

    One thing I couldn't figure - the lumbar support on the MDX. Was it just me, or was it just a little off somewhere?


    H. Looks

    I liked the Explorer in this department, but you know what they say about looks - beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The MDX is also a very handsome vehicle, but without adding a bunch of dealer add-ons (like mouldings - again, a $40k vehicle, and Acura can't throw in a set of fender flares?), it looks a little plain.

    Plain vulnerable is what I'd call the doors in a parking lot. I used to park the farthest with my old MDX until the dealer did offer some door side mouldings - $225 installed. What a bargain L

    The MB looks (to me) like a minivan. The X5 looks like someone distorted a 325 and turned it into a truck. I'm not fond of the typical BMW look, so I didn't think too highly of the X5, but that's me.

    Inside, all of the vehicles looked nice (as well an almost $40k new car should), with the MB leading the way, and X5 and MDX a close second (tied). Ford - your interior looks like a rental car - cheap and used.

    My decision:

    I needed a mix between a wagon (my family is getting bigger) and an SUV. Something that would protect my family (very important here in the US where cars travel much faster than the Philippines), would offer 4WD for the rough weather we usually get 3 months out of the year, and would give me some height to enjoy those potholes without the wear and tear on my bumpers. Cargo space was a must, with 7 passenger seating a definite plus. The engine had to be tough enough to make merging on the highways simple.

    My best performer was the X5. It was disqualified because it was too small inside, and expensive when you added the 4.4 engine.

    My best value was the MDX - it handled all of the tasks very capably, is one of the safest SUV currently in the market, and I'm sure the reliability will be excellent.

    Ford was the winner for 'if that's all you could spend, you'd get it'. Sorry, but the lack of luxury (even at a $35k EB edition and 5.4L engine) was disappointing, and the performance despite being a gas guzzler was not very enlightening.

    MB - Major reliability issues here.
    Macky, Excellent post.

    Cheers.

  9. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    1,107
    #49
    This one is according to TRUCKtrend..... here's their final score:

    Buyers in this market tend to be demanding, and all these vehicles should meet realistic expectations in every aspect of ownership. The new Range Rover is a high-tech piece worthy of Windows masters, delightful on the road, and sold in low volumes. The LX 470 remains faithful to those qualities Lexus buyers prefer: conservative, reliable, capable, luxurious, and utterly quiet. The Navigator gets our vote for most improved, and the people responsible should get a gold star. It's a versatile, roomy, comfortable bus with great road manners and a decent buy at $10/pound. And the exclusive G500 goes well, laughs at rocky roads. A hard look at your own needs and requirements will ultimately make the choice, but for our money, the new Range Rover sets the pace.

    I guess the G500 is really those who have the moolah but has nothing in between their ears.

  10. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,616
    #50
    here's my take...

    granted that live axles are superior off-road (tanks DO NOT count and Hummers DON'T quite too), i find the idea of a competent pavement cruiser with good off-roadability appealing. off-road and on-road competence is NOT a mutually exclusive proposition imo... i think a vehicle that feels good on the road while being excellent off it can certainly exist, and we're beginning to see it in vehicles like the LC100 and new Range Rover. i'd rather evaluate the overall performance of the vehicle for my needs (which can change over time) than to dismiss it prematurely because it doesn't have "the proper hardcore hardware", the potential of which i likely won't need anyway.

    after all, i believe that an SUV stands for a vehicle that is the best of both worlds -- on-road and off-road -- and not only a master of one while lacking in the other.

    that said, i'm still wondering when i can get my own nissan patrol turbodiesel :lol:

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Who says X5 doesn't go offroad?