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  1. #1
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    Any opinions re: X3 vs the following competitors?

    (which are similar in price)

    ACURA MDX - $36-$39 *
    INFINITI FX35 - $34-$44 *
    LEXUS RX330 - $35-$36 **
    NISSAN MURANO - $28-$31
    VOLVO XC90 - $35-$41

    BMW X3 - $30-$36

    * RECOMMENDED BY CONSUMER REPORTS
    ** TOP PICK BY CONSUMER REPORTS

    Any test drive comparisions would be greatly appreciated as I begin my search for an upscale replacement for my wife's 02 Honda CRV.

    Thanks for any "input".

    Larry, Albany, NY
    94 740i
    02 Honda CRV
    71 Volvo 1800 (summer only car)

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    Just my take

    That's a great list of SUVs. It all boils down to personal tastes and needs. I chose the X3 for its exceptional handling and superior all wheel drive system. For myself once I did my test drive of the X3 it ruled out all of the other SAVs. Coming from driving a 3 series for the last 10 years, it was the closest thing to the exceptional handling of the 3 series that I've found in a SUV. Another consideration was the indoor bike rack option available in the X3. My wife and I are avid cyclists and this is a very useful option for us. My Sister in Law, has the Lexus 330 and loves it (would probably hate the X3) due to the soft ride and cushy interior. I cut my test drive of the Lexus short after a few blocks becuase I hated the way it handled. It seemed sloppy with no road feel. We both got the best car for our needs and are both happy with our choices.

    Nobody can answer this one for you. 30-40K is a large investment and I would suggest you spend a Saturday testing each one back to back. Some on your list are bigger, have more creature comforts or a softer ride.

    I always take Comsumers Reports reviews with a grain of salt. They tend to like cushy soft vehicles. I remember their initial review of the Mazda Miata. They slamed it for having a small trunk, firm ride and low ride height! I think that if they designed a sprots car it would turn out to be a 70s Buick LaSaber :). So for SUVs they like the soft sloppy suspension of the Lexus better than cars that handle better.

    Iím sorry I canít help more.

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    LEXUS RX330 - $35-$36 ** = my road test

    ......back to back in Georga at X3 intro =
    The Lexus is SOFT , round, lady like, sluggish, poor handling, plush, nice figure, does everything w e l l . Not a thrill, no passion.
    <img src="http://LEXUS%20RX330%20-%20$35-$36%20**">

  4. #4
    jinara
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    This \"lady\" picked the X3 over the RX330

    Please...I don't think the RX330 is just for ladies as I see a lot of men driving them. If you like softy and cushy, go for the RX330, but if you like sporty and fun, the X3 is the better choice. Mine's on order with sport suspension. Besides, it's low enough for me to climb into the X3 gracefully in a tight skirt...can't do than with most of the others.

  5. #5
    Marion
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    Re: BMW X3 versus Lexus RX330

    I am having a dilemma choosing between the BMW X3 and Lexus RX330 as well. I took the RX330 out for a test drive during a Canadian blizzard and had no sense of whether I had control or not - felt like floating rather than "feeling the road". I'm leaning toward the X3 even though it is a new model and maybe a bit of an unknown compared to the history and reputation of the Lexus.
    By the way, the new VW is pronounced "Twaa-reg" not "Tour-egg".
    Thanks for the useful information - pros and cons.
    Marion

  6. #6
    Rex
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    Re: BMW X3 versus Lexus RX330

    Marion,

    I had a similar impression. I found the RX330 to be a quality suv, but I felt completely removed and isolated from the road. I had no idea if I was getting traction or not. From a passangers standpoint, I'm sure that it's a wonderfully comfortable ride, but from the drivers perspective it's improtant to be "connected" to the road.

    Many publications like the floating isolation and have trashed the X3 on ride quality. For me it's a matter of safty! The more I'm connected to the road, the better I can judge my responce to adverse conditions.

  7. #7
    Lekaslex
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    Re: BMW X3 versus Lexus RX330

    Are you kidding me? A more fair comparison would be the X5 3.0 Inline 6 to the RX330. The X3 is a failed project if you ask me. It's a low end BMW for an individual who yearn for a German car and money is an issue. X3 is a slow boring tiny SUV; a V-6 RAV-4 sport is more fun to drive.

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    some guys wear plaid yellow pants w/pink shirts;-)

    I'm sure it's a fine vehicle...

    330RX for some intangible reason just one of those vehicles that seem to be driven predominantly by women--not exclusively of course--but vast majority I would wager...
    same was true of the 1990's Volkswagen Cabrio..90% female drivers, uncanny I agree....just a demographic peculiarity, means absolutely nothing in terms of reflection on the person driving it, but it's just human nature to make a loose association/connotation based upon repetitive observations.

    I love Roadfly for just these types of discussions!

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    Ya know, when I drive my wife's Honda CRV..

    I wear a blond wig and blouse and skirt; cause I never see men driving them (gee, this feels good!).

    Larry, Albany, NY

    94 740i (when driving, leather jacket, BMW hat, shades, and an Escort Passport.

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    hahahahehe...point taken

    I miss those old E32 7 series'...my sister just sold hers last fall
    (black/black 740i also '94) .
    Did ya have to get the engine replaced..the NIkasil thing?

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    Yes | No

    You've been a big help. Thanks.


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    agree w/Rex -- determine what is important to you.

    Since you are coming out of the CRV, identify your likes and dislikes about it. What are the characteristics, features, etc. that you want in the new vehicle. I agree with Rex and I also was looking for the best driving experience/ performance so I went with the X3 over any of the others I looked at.

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    Yes | No

    No "class", but terrific responsiveness 4 a 4!


  14. #14
    325i
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    Keep the CR-V (more)

    None of the listed can beat the rear leg space and cargo space of the CR-V. Not to mention reliablity...

    Our 98 CR-V has only one warranty repeair (noisy seat back !) , but 01 325i has multiple !!

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    I certainly agree re: reliability; and rear leg.

    room is top notch.

    It's just - like - I'm considering an upscale SUV.
    Larry.

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    CRV=boring and underpowered thank god its not mine

    Downshifts all the time to accelerate and had a vary hard time keeping speed on the highway in the mountains on PA turnpike. Thank god its my girlfriends car and not mine. (2003 model)

  17. #17
    PDK
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    Re: Any opinions re: X3 vs the following competitors?

    ACURA MDX - $36-$39 * Nice, very nice, larger and wider than we wanted. A tad <i>too</i> cushy/elegant as far as suspension/detachment from road feel when compared with X3.

    INFINITI FX35 - $34-$44 * Great 280hp V-6 engine but Cartoonish styling, styling looks ballsy now--suspect it will look garish in a year or two once the novelty's worn off.

    LEXUS RX330 - $35-$36 ** Too feminine for a guy to drive, center console plastic/faux stainless looked cheap to me when viewing the RX330 at Detroit auto show a month ago.

    NISSAN MURANO - $28-$31 Nice enough and same sweet Nissan V-6 as FX35 (but detuned to 260hp I think?)...but for some reason doesn't stir my soul..in dark colors Murano looks OK, but
    light colors strike a little too much AMC Pacer/ NASA Lunar Lander for me.

    VOLVO XC90 - $35-$41 This was our 2nd choice to the X3; the reason we didn't go with the Volvo is that everything is <i>a la carte</i> with regard to equipment, including 4 Wheel drive option. The
    version we would've ordered included 4WD and third row seat, grand total MSRP around $40.5K---we are getting our X3 2.5i for around
    $36.5. Bimmer scores higher in the panache/ panoramic sunroof department,too.

    Another clincher was BMW 4/50 free maintenance and free BMW loaner--always a treat to get a crack at a 5-series or 330i as loaner.

    You asked for opinions, you got 'em. 8>)
    Life is short, get an X3.

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    Yes | No

    Thanks for the opinions!


  19. #19
    Ash77
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    Re: Any opinions re: X3 vs the following competitors?

    Also, why not the VW Tuareg? I like the FX35's handling and power and would consider it anyday if you are looking at a 2.5 X3.

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    opion : X3 vs Tour-Egg

    Yes , based on my back to back driving in Georga during the X3 dealer intro =
    the VW ( say like TourEgg )

    poor , poor accelaration

    sloppy handling,

    difficult to work interior seats and compartments for max loading inside,

    fit and finish excellent,

    HEAVY weight ! ,

    interior seating and space seemed 'close',

    quality build,



    <img src="http://www.roadfly.org/bmw/gallery/photos/photos-09-2003/10-2959477.JPG">

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