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Discussion Starter #1
After much research and deliberation I am almost ready to pull the trigger on a Metris as my next family car.

I'm a car enthusiast and customizer, and I love the "blank slate" the Metris offers combined with reliability, space, and style.

My budget is low $30k range. I am considering a slightly used, loaded Metris passenger which I would reverse the second row and replace the head unit and sound system (possibly with the Tesla-like unit in the other thread), maybe add sound deadening.

My other top choice is a 2012 Infiniti QX56. Also intrigued by 2018 Honda Odyssey EX. Having a hard time deciding.

Other contenders I love but I'm leaning against due to reliability reasons:
- 2007 Mercedes R63
- 2012 Escalade Platinum
- 2012 BMW X5 M

Let me know your thoughts....
 

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Which have you test driven?
 

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Yeah, Those other cars will give you a totally different experience. The Metris is many wonderful things, but a luxury vehicle is not one of them.
 

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Get the R63 for less than 10k, add 10-15k worth of maintenance, have decent vehicle.

In all seriousness, get the Honda Odyssey. For a Honda minivan, its pretty luxurious. Its a Honda, so maintenance shouldn't be too bad.
I'm not at all an Infiniti fan (I've worked on them at an independent a few years ago. Just don't like how they're put together. BMW's too for that matter)
 

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I loved the R class and was sad to learn it was being discontinued, but that's when I found the Metris. It depends what you want. If you can do wiht a 5-seater SUV then go for the X5. But if you need lots of space while having 7-8 usable seats then Metris is the answer. If you want to have the second row facing back, I guess you have to buy it new, since this was not an option and there are some threads here why it's not a good idea to modify existing seats.


IMHO no minivan is close to the metris when it comes to true space. If money is tight now, I'd buy a new passenger Metris so you can have the seats facing back, and then save up for a nie conversion. Then no minivan would be even close ;)
 

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I think the R Class has a trunk, but it will be the size of a large glove box. As a family car it should be fine if you don't have a family.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for the responses and input.

There are certainly some tradeoffs... after all, if an almost-new Metris came with the luxury of the QX or R it certainly wouldn't be within my budget!

The way I see it, I can "add" a lot of luxury to the Metris over time (face 2nd row rearward, add Tesla-like dash unit, rear entertainment, custom sound system, conversion-like interior features and finishes) through DIY efforts. But I'll never be able to "add" Metris' great qualities (e.g. space, turning radius, reliability) to the other vehicles. I have too much going on in my life right now to deal with car problems all the time so having something almost new with a warranty is a huge advantage in and of itself.

It looks like the new Odyssey EX is the closest one that is hard to wrap my head around the actual pros and cons. I know it's supposed to be great, but the thing is I hate the idea of driving a minivan... I know it sounds silly, but there's a cool factor that the Metris has to me over any minivan. I'm avoiding driving an Odyssey because I DON'T want to put myself in a position where I'll persuade myself to get one. ;)

Any other thoughts on Metris vs. older QX?
 

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I think the R Class has a trunk, but it will be the size of a large glove box. As a family car it should be fine if you don't have a family.
You are deeply confused. An R-class is based off the ML/GL second gen SUV platform, is absolutely huge, and can sit six in considerable comfort, and is a large MPV in the style of a sporty Renault Espace. The mystery of the R63 is why they stuffed that dream of a race engine in that vehcile. The seats all fold and the cargo space as such is enormous.

The reason I bought a Metris instead of an R63 and a large repair budget is that I have inadequate impulse control to own a 500bhp vehicle.

As to the QX- pre Renault Nissan vehicles are awesomely reliable durable workhorses. Post Renault, junky is a better descriptor. They have a lot of Euro think in their design, resulting in Euro style reliability and intensive maintenance. Nissan/Infiniti is no longer a Japanese manufacturer- it is largely French.

Have you considered a Land Cruiser or LX470? That's probably a lot closer to what you think the QX is.
 

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I am often confused, but apparently not about this. A 2007 "absolutely huge" R63 has all of 14 ft/3 cargo space or about 50% less than that in a Ford Taurus, which I consider a 2-3 person car.
 

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Honda Odyssey

Hi. I had the Odyssey and thought it was great. Leather like seats, rear entertainment system, the back row of seats folds into the floor in seconds...drives like a dream. I put 120,000 miles on it without a single problem. I removed the first row of seats, takes less than a minute, as I liked the cargo area when folding down the rear seats. When I would give folks a ride, they would sit in the back row and it felt like a limousine with all the room. I sold it as I needed a full time time cargo van for hauling all my windsurf gear. I don't know the other vans and suvs you are looking at, but I can say the Odyssey was excellent.
 

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.... As to the QX- pre Renault Nissan vehicles are awesomely reliable durable workhorses. Post Renault, junky is a better descriptor. They have a lot of Euro think in their design, resulting in Euro style reliability and intensive maintenance. Nissan/Infiniti is no longer a Japanese manufacturer- it is largely French.

That's what happens when you combine European Engineering with Cheap Japanese Manufacturing. You can have one but not both. To have true state-of-the-art engineering means going over the edge which will sometimes come with higher replacement/maintenance costs, or you can have cheap mega-mass production of a set of components that have been used for years, just improved a little bit which turn very reliable due to statistical magic.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Drove a Metris and Odyssey EX back to back today... observations:

Metris - loved the high seating position, visibility, ease of access to the third row when one of the 2nd row is removed. Huge sliding doors and high roofline made it comfortable getting in and out. Dashboard and door panels are unobtrusive giving a great sense of space around you. Also love the foot space under seats, adds "real" legroom but not on paper. Head unit a joke compared to the Odyssey but that's actually a plus to me - I can put any great aftermarket setup I want in the Metris. Handling and quietness were impressive overall. Ride quality was not quite as good as I expected - has a bit "trucky" feel on potholes and such. Definitely excited about flipping the second row to face backwards, that is a game changer for me. Vehicle overall looks very easy to upgrade / modify as if it was made for that. Huge potential. Did not like non folding 3rd row but seems easy enough to remove.

2018 Odyssey EX - I was underwhelmed after reading glowing reviews. The finishes were a bit nicer but nothing special - clearly not a true luxury car at least in this affordable trim level. Absolutely love the Magic Seats and folding 3rd row - biggest advantages over the Metris IMO. But can't see myself moving the 2nd row much once it's in the right position... so what's the point? Seating position and visibility didn't seem as good as the Metris. Door panels and consoles and cupgolders "hug" you in the Odyssey a bit making it seem less spacious. One big thing I loved was Odyssey has rear A.C. controls in the back for passengers to self adjust. Head unit very nice but cannot ever be changed - negative for me. Ride quality a bit better than Metris. Noise isolation from outside better too, but more road noise from itself. Styling too soccer mom for me compared with Metris.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One last thing I forgot to mention when comparing these two, the Odyssey of course has rear windows that open about 80% of the way vs not at all on metris. Also Odyssey has pull up rear window sunshades, a nice feature I suppose but they felt awful and flimsy to operate like a cheap aftermarket accessory.

BTW Metris interior though simpler felt more durable where the Odyssey seemed to get scuffed easier. Odyssey A pillar panels were already showing a little wear on the demo one I drove.
 

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One last thing I forgot to mention when comparing these two, the Odyssey of course has rear windows that open about 80% of the way vs not at all on metris. Also Odyssey has pull up rear window sunshades, a nice feature I suppose but they felt awful and flimsy to operate like a cheap aftermarket accessory.

BTW Metris interior though simpler felt more durable where the Odyssey seemed to get scuffed easier. Odyssey A pillar panels were already showing a little wear on the demo one I drove.
So??? Which one are you getting??
 

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The Metris isn't a minivan, and the Odyssey is not best in class for minivans. Their products are junk but it really is Chrysler who has the minivan design right. Check out a Pacifica- stow and Go is redemption for Fiat quality- a true feat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Was pretty much set on the Metris but showed the wife and she hates the way it looks "like a bus". Probably a deal breaker... this is getting complicated!

Looked at some other vehicles today:

Test drove 2011 QX56 - superb ride and refinement and interior - definitely a league above the O and M. Love Around view too. However 2nd row is impossible with two car seats - could never get to third row! Kind of defeats the point. Maybe remove console but still would be very difficult.

Test drove 2014 Q7 Prestige S-line - Best looking. Great interior features, love the panoramic roof with electric shade, ride and handling was very nice. Power not as good as expected. Massive road noise - wow what a disappointment there. Also things seemed fragile and begging to break at some point...

2014 BMW X5 - everything creaking and rattling despite 40k miles. Build quality seemed poor. Didn't like visibility and seating position. Dash intrusive. No 3rd row but large cargo space was surprising good. Didn't bother to test drive but X5M still a contender for me....

2014 Lexus GX - wow interior quality blew me away. Very simple but seemed extremely SOLID and durable. Not fragile like the others. Tech was awful, backup cam view was Atari resolution. Weird tailgate opens sideways with window separate. Really liked it overall but didn't have time to drive it.

At this point leaning toward a Lexus GX due to the quality feel and reliability.. Infiniti QX close second. X5M close third.
 

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My 2 cents.


I'd never consider a luxed up cheap car. Infinity, Acura, Lexus, Cadillac, Lincoln, etc. Everything that it's based on a mass-produced car but its sold under a "Premium" brand. The only exception would be Audi/Porsche and VW*. Reason being is that when they design the vast majority of components that they share they design them with the cheap vehicle on mind. And it make sense. Would you rather design an expensive part and put it in all the cheap cars or the opposite? Exactly. So basically you're getting a pimped-up cheap-built car. I have worked at many plantsa where they produce both the economic and permium lines and everything other than the looks is the exact same, same quality and else. Truth be told, the Japanese are great for reliability and durability but those come at a cost.


As far as the BMW X5, it might be that the previous owner(s) abused it, I'm working at that plant right now and can attest they do care about their quality. I'd check out others.


Now for MB, MB designs it's vehicles for it's final purpose. Premium cars are designed with premium buyers needs, commercial vehicles with commercial users. The Metris is a commercial-based vehicle and as such it's not the prettiest or the most luxurious (like the V Class) but it will give you a great bang for the buck. And like discussed above it offers great upgrade options.




*VW share parts with Audi and in some cases (Touareg) with Porsche. But they do design everything to meet the higher expetation of the luxury brand, hence the hefty price on some VW's compared to others.
 

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showed the wife and she hates the way it looks "like a bus".
Wow :surprise: really? Never heard anythiing remotely close to a bus comparison.
 
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