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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Obviously new to this forum. I see lots of good advice on this forum, hoping that you can also help me.

I have a 2003 MDX Touring with Navigation/DVD with almost 39K miles. I've become increasingly disenchanted with my Acura dealers service. They are always nice, but never any loaner cars unless you schedule months in advance, 20 miles away from me, etc. The MDX has been a pretty good vehicle for me, but has had a few issues.

My wife drives a 2004 Pilot, and I've come to the conclusion that we don't need two 7+ passenger vehicles in our small family (2 kids and 2 big dogs).

I'm looking hard at the FX35 and the Infinity dealer is two miles from my work which is a big plus.

Questions:

1. Trade in - I may trade the Pilot (and give the wife the X as Pilot lacks DVD and Navi) or the MDX. Are the Infiniti dealers typically fair? Where do you think they get their numbers from? The good think about the MDX is that it's held lots of value.

2. Should I consider a 2004 FX35? I'm having a hard time figuring out what changed from 04 to 05. I would want to the Technology and Touring packages but not the Performance package.

3. GPS system - The Acura has a terrific system made by Alpine. I have read less than favorable things about the FX Navigation, true? Touchscreen?

4. Price - Typically in the middle of invoice and list? I paid list for the MDX two years ago when they were hot. Nobody is paying that now. Any feel for my out of pocket given the MDX as a trade and the options I want? Looks like $12K to $14K to me plus tax.

Appreciate any assistance and advice!
 

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1. try not to trade to the dealer. if you have a carmax they are a good bet to put several thousand bucks in your pocket on trade (or at least ease your negative equity)

2. if you are looking for graphite int., i would go 05. the seats are re-designed and i think they will hold up better. also there are some other new changes you can get like changed lights, aluminum trim, etc.

3. well.. the GPS is subjective. the birdview is the best thing IMO. yet the "joystick" is hard to use when programming destinations and the POI DB isnt as good. all in all, im still really glad i have it every day i use the car just to know where iam.

4. check for VPP pricing at your dealer and see if you are eligible by going to http://insideinfiniti.com/. any which way, you can say that you know about VPP pricing and get the car for about 400-600 bucks over invoice when all is said and done (minus taxes).

i had an 03 FX35 and just bought a new 05 FX45 at 2.9% fianance and VPP.
 

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First of all, welcome to the org. This is the place to answer all your FX-related questions (and some none-related as welll)... :wink:

Answers:
1. Infiniti makes most of their money through service. This is what my sales guy told me. Historically, Infiniti has not kept its value as well as BMWs or Lexus however it is slowly changing...

2. The only changes between 04 and 05 are interior trim, leather seats (graphite), and tail/headlights. Additionally, Tech. package got new feature called Lane Departure Warning System (good if you spend a lot of time on a highway)... 05 might also be more expensive (it being a new car) however you will be able to get a better deal on 04 (if you can find one)

3. After switching from Acura to Infiniti, you will be disappointed with the Nav. No touch-screen. On the other hand, bird-view is far better than flat-view.

4. 04 model = way below invoice. 05 = around invoice

Good luck.
 

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krzys4 said:
Additionally, Tech. package got new feature called Lane Departure Warning System
Just to clarify; you have to buy the Technology ($4200) and the Mobile Entertainment ($1750) packages to get Lane Departure.
 

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krzys4, made a good point about looking first for a great deal on an '04'. Even back in December dealers were willing to sell '04's well below invoice. I was driving from Califorina to Phoenix today on I-10 and passed a transport full of brand new '04' FX35's (red tail lights) and G35's. They still had all the protective wrap. I don't know where they were headed but, clearly there are still brand new '04' models to be had. Your dealer will be able to locate anywhere in the country and probably get want you want. From what I have seen there are not enough improvements in '05' to justify the extra if you can find what you want in an '04'.

I have the LDW on my '05' FX45 and found it very helpful on the highway. But I wouldn't have missed it if I could have found an '04' with my specs. BTW, the LDW is only available in '05' with the DVD package (you have to have Tech to get Premium).

This is my first vehicle with Navigation and I'm very happy with the Infiniti version. I used it several times on this weeks 500 mile trip and it worked flawlessly. I think touch screen is over-rated (I've never seen a clean one, finger prints and wear patterns abound).

As for dealer trade-in I can't think of a better way to throw away thousands of dollars. Sell your MDX yourself first, then buy what you want, even if you have to borrow or rent for a few days. 8)
 

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We traded in our 2004 MDX touring, NAVI for our 2005 FX35 AWD,Tech, 20" wheels, etc.

First the trade-in was more beneficial to us that a private sale becuase we also had a tax credit of over $2,600 on the Trade in. Meaning that we would have had to sell the MDX for $35,100 to get a better deal than the dealer was giving us. Bottom line, get a trade in value from the dealer and determine any tax savings by going that route.

Next, the MDX vs the FX35.

1) Just about the only thing we liked more on the MDX is the touch screen NAV and that it could be programmed while you drive.

2) The FX35 is far more fun to drive, it is much faster, much better handling, gets way more compliments especially the Liquid Copper

3) The interior appointments are higher quallity on the FX, even nicer now that I installed the wood kit

4) Much more comfortable seats in the FX

5) Look Bad Ass from any angle
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the quick feedback! A few more questions....

1. Navigation system - You can't program it while the car is in motion?! Who makes the system?

2. Trade in vs. selling - Good advice from BirdMan, as I'm in a 8.25% sales tax area it can add up fast. I'm going to go to the Infiniti dealer this weekend anc get some trade numbers. Although, I'm reasonably sure the MDX or Pilot would be quick sellers to a private party and would give me more negotiating power to not have to work in the trade.

3. Price - BirdMan, could you share what your out of pocket was to upgrade? Sounds like we had the same model MDX, yours one year newer. The FX you have is close to what I'm looking for, I wasn't planning on the 20" wheels. Also, you indicated that the FX is much faster than the MDX... Is it really?! I was thinking it would be pretty close, the MDX is no slouch.

I don't work for one of the companies listed on insideinfiniti.com. Sounds like though that a vehicle can be had for $500 over invoice and maybe lower?!
 

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Teledatageek said:
I'm going to go to the Infiniti dealer this weekend anc get some trade numbers. Although, I'm reasonably sure the MDX or Pilot would be quick sellers to a private party and would give me more negotiating power to not have to work in the trade.
If I were you, I would go to CarMax first to get a quote. Then use that quote against the dealers.
 

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1. Search the forum. There is a detailed procedure on how to do that yourself...

2. I would say try Carmax first. They will give you a price that is good for a week/300 miles. This way you'll know how much you can sell the car to Carmax for. If a dealer gives you more, then the choice is clear where to sell your car. Ideally you would want to sell to a private seller but that sometimes can be problematic (spending time on ads, talking on the phone with potential buyers, letting people drive your car at times that might not be the best for you, etc...)

That's it I guess...
Kris
 

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Teledatageek

The MDX has pretty good thrust from a standing start, which shows it has a lot of low end torque, just like the FX. But where the MDX acceleration is very linear. The FX acceleration is much more Bat-Out-Of-**** very much like my Acura TL where at higher RPM's it really kicks in to another level. The roar of the FX exhaust is very sweet

The FX is far more agile and manuverable as well. We were not looking at the Sport Pkg, but the dealer offered us 20" wheels at no extra cost. We ended up at about $200 over invoice.

Work out the price of the vehicle first, if they ask you if you will be trading in a car say "No". Once the price for the FX has been negotiated and you have reached a final price, then and only then do you tell them you would like a trade. You may have to shop around to not only get the best FX price but also the best trade-in quote. We got 3 quotes with the range between the lowest-highest being $1,500.

I read someplace here that some have re-wired the NAVI (looked pretty easy) to override the on-the-fly programming. The Birdseye view is a great feature.

Out of pocket to upgrade ?We gave them nothing other than the MDX. We reduced our Loan Interest rate from 4.9% (MDX) to 2.9%(FX) APR. We got a 1yr never car with 18k less miles.

Remember it is a buyers market, you are more valuable to a dealer now that ever before, make them earn your business
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
BirdMan

Thanks for doing some of the legwork for me.

I'll be sure to utilize the search feature more going forward. That mod on the Navi looks like it does the trick!
 

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Re: MDX owner contemplating switch to FX35 - Appreciate advi

Teledatageek said:
I have a 2003 MDX Touring with Navigation/DVD with almost 39K miles. I've become increasingly disenchanted with my Acura dealers service. They are always nice, but never any loaner cars unless you schedule months in advance, 20 miles away from me, etc. The MDX has been a pretty good vehicle for me, but has had a few issues.

My wife drives a 2004 Pilot, and I've come to the conclusion that we don't need two 7+ passenger vehicles in our small family (2 kids and 2 big dogs).

I'm looking hard at the FX35 and the Infinity dealer is two miles from my work which is a big plus.

Questions:

1. Trade in - I may trade the Pilot (and give the wife the X as Pilot lacks DVD and Navi) or the MDX. Are the Infiniti dealers typically fair? Where do you think they get their numbers from? The good think about the MDX is that it's held lots of value.

2. Should I consider a 2004 FX35? I'm having a hard time figuring out what changed from 04 to 05. I would want to the Technology and Touring packages but not the Performance package.

3. GPS system - The Acura has a terrific system made by Alpine. I have read less than favorable things about the FX Navigation, true? Touchscreen?

4. Price - Typically in the middle of invoice and list? I paid list for the MDX two years ago when they were hot. Nobody is paying that now. Any feel for my out of pocket given the MDX as a trade and the options I want? Looks like $12K to $14K to me plus tax.

Appreciate any assistance and advice!
Hope I can help; I own both and am a major contributer over at http://www.acuramdx.org

First its too bad that you've had poor experience with Acura service. I would not bet on Infiniti being significantly better unless you have actual knowledge of the Infiniti dealership in question. In my opinion this issue is not a valid reason to trade. I do concede your point about having two 7-seaters and desiring an FX.

1) Regarding trade-in your question is too general - you'll have to actually see what they'll offer you. Or try Carmax, or private party, etc. Go visit http://www.acurmdx.org for ideas about your MDX's value. If it were me I'd trade the Pilot and keep the MDX.

2) If you can get an '04 for a great price I recommend it. I do not think the differences are significant enough - BUT it needs to be a very good price, the '05s have been out about half a year now.

3) Acura Navagation is Superior - period!! However my FX is adequate, I really like the Birdseye View option. FX does not have a touchsreen nor can you program it while driving (w/o mods).

4) RE: Price - hard to say. You'll have to play the two possible trades (Pilot vs MDX) against two possible FX's ('04 vs '05). Again let me emphasize I'd go with an '05 FX UNLESS they make you a great deal on an '04 (it a value issue NOT an issue with the '04 itself).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
msu79gt82

Thanks for the tips.

I think that moving the Pilot makes sense. Still has 4 years x 60K left on the 6x100K warranty I purchased. Wife gets GPS, DVD, and MDX upgrade. It'll still be in warranty in 4 years. I spoke to the Honda dealer, just about exactly the same for the MDX or Pilot from a trade in or private sale standpoint.

I spoke to an Infiniti dealer, ballparked that a 2004 would sell for @$4K less than a comprable 2005. Said they sell their cars between invoice and list. Of course, I was just a phone call out of the blue. I'm sure it would get better.

I'm not eligible for the VPP programs. Are there any other oddball membership affiliations? e.g. Ford has one with American Quarter Horse and I think EAA that provides X-Plan pricing for just being a member.
 

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You can search for '04's on Infiniti's web site in your area to get an idea of what they have available, then send an e-mail asking for pricing. A lot of legwork can be done from your keyboard
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I hope you all don't mind that I keep posting my experiences and updates here.

Last night I test drove a FX35. It was bit snowy out and the FX35 handled as good or better than my MDX. Of course my MDX has tires that have 39K miles on them. Navigation found my office which is on a n obscure street that is not on my MDX navagation (circa 2003). The FX felt very refined. I felt more confined as in a sports car sense than the MDX, I liked the feeling. Acceleration seemed slow off the line but oh boy did it catch up quickly as the tach did. Liked it alot! I can't believe that with all the great tech toys that they left bluetooth off, that is a bummer for me.

So - I start talking price with the dealer. Didn't budge much off of MSRP, in fact price at the moment is almost $2K over invoice. I have sent off several quote requests, primarily to dealers in the NYC area. Easy to fly to and drive home if necessary. I have noticed that the e-mail replies I'm getting all want me to call them (I didn't supply my phone number) and none of them seem to know the specs that I want even though I sent the request from the exact vehicle I'm looking for. Either Infiniti leaves that info out or they want to hear it from me.

Sounds like $500.00 over invoice is the magic number for a 2005 based on what I've read on the this forum. We'll see. I'm in a good position as I could care less when I do this, can be next week or next fall.
 

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I suggest finding the internet sales emails for the dealerships you want quotes from and send in your requirements directly to them.

Make them an offer on the vehicle you want and let them respond. I wouldn't step foot into the dealership until the price is agreed upon.

All good internet sales dealers can quote and deal thru email. Once you get within striking distance of the deal you want (500?) call them and talk to the person you have been emailing with and make your final offers that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
fxer,

I hadn't, but I just submitted inquiries via the dealer website. We'll see, I haven't gotten any quotes yet out of nine inquiries sent since about 1PM. Maybe by Monday I'll have more activity.

This would all be so much easier if I could buy through the special plan.....
 
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