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.
Just bought a 2012 MDX Tech CPO with 30k miles and am pretty darn happy with it. Tested the X5 and X3, the Q5, the ML 350 and the similarly sized Infinity; the MDX was hard to beat for overall driving, quality build and standard features. SH-AWD is in a class of its own for on-the-road traction and performance. Driving during a couple of heavy down pour is a breeze. Surprisingly it has decent ground clearance for logging roads and unimproved two-tracks yet felt lower in driving than the others. Noticed how low in the bonnet the engine sits, must be how Acura lowered it's center of gravity. Lastly, could not believe the deal I struck with Acura vs. the German cars - much better.
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!