I traded my 2011 QX56 for the 2012 MDX. Why? Well, I am looking to downsize my life while not giving up everything. Then MDX offers all I need and what I want. Versatility, sportiness, comfort, performance, and better MPG. Thought about LEXUS, MERCEDES, and found the pricing too high. The Range Rover does not provide the reliability and resale of ACURA.
Looked at all models from Mercedes (GL), Lexus (GX), Toyota, Land Rover. Our needs were to fit full size cello in the back, 3 kids, 7 sitting capability occasionally for a car pool. Drivability and passenger comfort with technology to protect them. Acura MDX won at the end with the Advance and Entertainment features and space. Mercedes GL was close, had good room but much more expensive if decked out and the reliability history was not as good if reading feed back from internet. Did not drive as easy as Lexus GX and Acura. Lexus GX was best liked by driver sitting but not by the passengers (kids) secondary to cramped 2nd sitting and incredibly cramped 3rd row even for kids.
I never thought I would own a "gas guzzling SUV” until taking a long test drive in an MDX. I had planned to buy a smaller 4x4 such as the Acura RDX or Honda CRV, but the MDX has the road manners of a smaller, sporty vehicle along with every convenience and safety feature I wanted. Gas mileage was a concern until it returned over 21 mpg on 1,000 mile round trip while fully loaded that mostly exceeded legal Interstate speeds. I expect better when it is broken in. The ability to control so many vehicle functions by voice is amazing and the Acura navigation system (reputedly the best on the planet) even knows its way around the back woods of South Carolina!
Only few negatives to get out of the way... Coming from the German SUVs including the last one being a Cayenne, I would say the handling is on the "comfort" side. And the center cluster is just way too cluttered for any standard. Nevertheless, MDX makes up with enough grunt for such a heavy car and an exceptional value, especially w tech/ent that was by far the best deal compared with any comps, including JX. Very comfortable cruiser with ample room and storage and awesome audio too. We will continue to monitor if the Acura reliability is what people say it is....