found! not lost blog

“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

And my new car is…

Drum roll please…

{My new 2012 Acura MDX with Tech Package, in polished metal metallic}

Tuesday this week I put to rest my search for a new car.  I surprised even myself with how much I loved the Acura MDX!  If you missed it, you can see my previous post about what led me to the realization that it was time for a new car after nine years in my Volvo S60.

The process was a lot longer than I’d anticipated, because shortly after my last post I had pretty much decided to get the Audi Q7.  I was in love with the design of the car as well as the luxury inside, the driving performance, and had negotiated a very fair price with the dealer.  But just as I was reviewing the order document I had second thoughts.  After owning a Saab and a Volvo I had some experience with finicky European cars and their expensive repairs and began to question if I was ready to re-up for a similar, or fearfully, even worse, experience.  A little research online brought up in short order enough reviews to throw cold water on my enthusiasm for the Q7.

Why wouldn’t I have researched this long before setting foot in the showroom, or at least before having the salesman draft the order?  I think because I knew I wanted that car and was trying to ignore whatever reservations might come up that would prevent me from getting it!

So, when I didn’t get the Audi, I was at a loss.  This kicked off a month long search, in a nutshell here are they luxury SUVs/crossovers that I test drove and what I concluded:

  • Infiniti JX – best third row configuration, but very large car and the drive felt much more like a minivan to me. I prefer tighter steering. Price started out good, but really climbed with addition of the features I’d want.
  • BMW X5 – sharp looking, awesome to drive (there’s truth in “the ultimate driving machine”) but the third row was so teeny and flimsy it was like the jump seats flight attendants use on planes.
  • Toyota Highlander – because friends of ours have one and love it, and the Limited model has every bell and whistle you could want, for a great value. But ultimately, I felt the driving performance and design was just a little too bland.
  • Volvo XC90 – the drive was clunky and after seeing so many of the other SUVs, it was literally shocking to see how little technology and luxury was in this vehicle.
  • I never looked at the Mercedes (GL too expensive) or the Lexus (brand felt too stodgy to me).

Finally, I went to the Acura dealer. My husband loved his old Honda and had been urging me to consider the MDX for a while. Honestly, I just didn’t feel any love for the brand nor any affinity for the exterior design of the thing. It is “OK” looking to me, but not really that distinctive on the road.

But, I’m happy to report once I drove it, I was convinced. The MDX felt more similar to driving the Audi than to the Infiniti or Toyota.  Very well-connected to the road, plenty of oomph, and handled more like a car than a big SUV.  It was as luxurious inside as I’d want, and had more tech features than I even knew existed!  The reviews on this car for safety, performance, and reliability are great, these videos were educational and definitely influenced my decision:

So, after much research, test-driving, and deliberation I find myself quite happy with my choice.  It may be just a few steps away from a minivan, but believe you me, that distinction is critical!  And as a nice side note, my kids approve. My six-year-old already claimed the third row as they like to sit in the “trunk” (that’s what they think it is!) and my four-year-old promptly did this:

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This entry was posted on July 5, 2012 by in kids/family, learn and tagged , , , , , , .
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