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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)


  2. #2
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    Yes | No

    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.

  3. #3
    325i
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    Yes | No

    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 !!

  4. #4
    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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    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**">

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    Yes | No

    Thanks for the opinions!


  7. #7
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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.

  8. #8
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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.

  10. #10
    Ash77
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    Yes | No

    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">

  12. #12
    PDK
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    Yes | No

    a little chewing gum&we\'ll have those keys duped

    for joyrides down to Essex for a wild Lieberman for Prez muster haahhaha...(we've friends in Deep River CT , so hip to the whole 'muster' (mustAH) thing).

    Yeah, the Touraeg reportedly handles more like a sea-going vessel than a nimble SUV, in terms of handling & drivetrain punch--giving away 1000 lbs. heft to the X3.

    The road test 0-60 mph figures I've read for V-6 toureg are all
    between 10 and 11 seconds--at least with the V-6, which unfortunately is all you'll get unless delving into
    the range of $45 Large for the V-8 motor. Admittedly the Touraeg is exquisite in appearance both outside and in, more elegant than X3...almost
    <i>too</i> nice for our 6month and 2year old crumb crunchers in the back seat.

  13. #13
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    Yes | No

    Was gonna list the VW, but price is $$$higher.


  14. #14
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    Yes | No

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


  15. #15
    JZ 02 325i w/SP
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    Yes | No

    much more toward the $36 if U want same power


  16. #16
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    I would give the FX35 a serious look

    It hasn't received such rave reviews for nothing. It's honestly my top choice in a crossover SUV but the wife prefers the styling and size of the X3. Test drove one for a day and it reminded me of my Porsche and is what I imagined the Touareg/Cayenne to be if they had done it right. Excellent engine and good compromise between luxury and sport.

  17. #17
    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.

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    I don\'t know about FX35

    It is a nice car, but the design stands out too much I think. In a few years the styling will be plain garish. I don't think it will "age" as well as the styling of an X3 will. Also, I don't think the interior quality is there.

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    Hardly garish

    I'll agree that the styling is not for everyone but we're not talking a Prowler here or even M-Coupe as far as "garish" designs. It hardly stands out here in Southern California and if you've followed auto design trends over the past few years the FX35 is fairly indicative of where cars are headed.

    The X3 will age better in the sense that it resembles most other SUVs on the road today including the RAV4 (which isn't necessarily a bad thing from a marketing/sales perspective).

    I think folks get too hung up on the Nissan/Infiniti roots when discussing the FX. Interior quality is excellent, IMO, for a $35K car with leather, real alumunim accents, etc. Folks should spend some time in one before jumping to conclusions. Besides, once you push that engine and toss it around a few corners you'll quickly forget the looks and interior and just enjoy the ride.

  20. #20
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    Re: Hardly garish

    I'm not jumping to conclusions, as I did test drive an FX35. The interior is definitely not up to BMW quality, but I'm not saying it was bad either. As the exterior styling goes, I really think it will get old fast. I don't think it is the "future" of styling. This is, however, my opinion. When I went on the test drive, I had the mindset that I really wanted to like the FX. It just didn't do it for me though. Therefore, I found myself right back in the bimmer showroom.

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