We traded our 2005 BMW X5 for this 2008 Acura MDX. The BMW was good, but the Acura is surprisingly better in many ways. Actually handles better, has a quieter ride and more power than the BMW. The interior is well-designed and matches up with our previous best in class, an Audi we owned a few years ago. The cost of ownership will be only slightly higher ($39 for an oil change where the BMW was covered while under warranty), but the eventual cost should be lower. The styling is what really caught my eye. More muscular stance and presence, but more interior space.
The all-wheel drive ability to transfer power side-to-side instead of just forward-to-rear; build quality; overall ride; styling; comfort; convenience features.
Body side moldings, roof rack and cargo cover need to be standard features - not options.