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      11-30-2010, 04:54 PM   #1
kaishang
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SUV or Estate

For anyone with kids or a frequent need to transport a lot of junk around: what is more useful, an estate like a 5-series touring or an SUV like an X3/X5?

Which is more fun to drive?

Last edited by kaishang; 11-30-2010 at 05:10 PM.
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      11-30-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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Very different beasts - test drive?
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      11-30-2010, 05:13 PM   #3
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I had the same dilema!!!

I bought a EstUV!!
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      11-30-2010, 05:48 PM   #4
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We have both - sort of.

E91 335d (Touring)
110 Land Rover Defender XS.

Both have plenty of space, one is pretty quick and handles well, the other is very good off road!

A decent 5 series (530d or above if diesel, 530i or above if petrol) would probably be more "fun" overall - and probably has the biggest boot.
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      11-30-2010, 06:17 PM   #5
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I changed from an E90 to an X3 so some kind of experience but not regarding an estate.

The extra space is obviously a huge plus point. Just being able to launch virtually everything you need into the boot is great. No need to think in advance about what your wife is packing but suppose that's no different with an estate.

By all accounts an E91 drives virtually identically to an E90 so you should already have a good idea what that's like. I wouldn't personally put an X3 into the 'sporty' camp. Ours is an M Sport on 19s which firms everything up (too much in my opinion) but I tend to loose my bottle way before the car would; being high up makes you worry about tipping the damn thing over even though you'd have to be trying damn hard I'd imagine to do that. You can cover ground very quickly in an X3 but there's no hiding it's weight & height. I tend to drive it completely differently to my car so I wouldn't personally focus on the 'family wagon' being too sporty - in hindsight I'd go for comfort & economy.

Try an X3 but don't think there is too much between it and an E91.
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      11-30-2010, 06:21 PM   #6
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      12-01-2010, 03:49 AM   #7
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We have had an E91 as a family car, then an X3, then an E53 X5 and now an E70 X5. Before the E91 we had a couple of Honda CRVs.

The E91 only lasted about 6 months for family use then we got the X3 for wife and kids and the E91 became my daily driver. Depends a lot on what age the kids are, if you are lifting them in and out of car seats then the SUV route is so much easier as they are on a level so you are just really setting them in rather than leaning down into a car and lifting them back out. May sound a bit simple but really on a daily basis the SUV is so much easier.
Also boot space is an issue, E91 does noot have a big boot and once you start loading in buggies or bikes you can forget about anything else. With an SUV you don't even think about it, you know the boot will swallow it all.

Think my succession of cars really gives my reply, one car for a short time in between 5 SUVs. For us its the answer and driving experience with any decent SUV is not that much of a compromise. My new X5 has the adaptive drive option fitted, 2500 option that I would never spec if buying new but the car was used and its great, in normal mode its very comfortable and hit the sport button if you want to firm things up.
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      12-01-2010, 04:20 AM   #8
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Mmm, there is one newborn and if I have my way there will be another scheduled for about a year from now. I like to do driving holidays.

There seems to be so much baby stuff to go away for a few days: travel cot, pram, steraliser etc etc plus luggage for two people. It all fits inside an E90 saloon but it requires careful packing. I think long trips could all go out the window if another baby comes along.

If I go the estate route, I try a F11 5-series and really make sure there is a big increase in space over an E90 saloon. I did a text drive of an X5 in about 2006 and thought a 3-series, the 325i I eventually bought instead was a lot more fun to drive. So if an estate drives similar to a saloon I'd like that to work. OTOH maybe I should just accept I'll be in SUV land for the next 20 years...

Changing car is a little way off though. First I need to upsize the flat
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      12-01-2010, 06:39 AM   #9
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Yeah, with one, you can easily get away with an estate. I just filled the boot (in my E90) and stuck the suitcases/bags onto the back seat, next to the little one, with the seatbelt round them to secure them. Also, put half the back seat down (I had split/fold seats) which made life easy.

With two I'd imagine you'd struggle. That said, plenty of people get by OK, it's just that I'm now spoilt with the space in the X3, you'd just need a little more planning that's all.
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      12-01-2010, 06:47 AM   #10
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Is an X3/any SUV actually bigger inside than an estate? I can see they are higher up off the ground but is the load volume actually different? I thought estates (esp 5-series) were actually longer=bigger load area than an SUV?
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      12-02-2010, 02:37 AM   #11
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Had hands on experience with both an X3 and an e91.

If the way they drive is a priority don;t even look at the X3 (the old one at least). As for space, I have 2 kids and a golden retriever and it's impossible to fit all they require in either the X3 or the e91. As soon as a buggy goes in there is really no space for the dog.

Since you don't have a dog though, I'd say the X3 gives the impression of a much larger load area primarily due to height. As long as you don't mind pulling up the cargo net in the e91 and having all your things showing, it;s a matter of personal preference. Otherwise, the X3 wins for space.
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      12-02-2010, 05:17 AM   #12
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The load capacity of the old shape X3 is 480/1560 litres.
(just found)
New X3 - 550/1600 litres
X5 - 620/1750 litres
E91 - 460/1385 litres
New 5 Touring - 560/1670 litres
New 5 Saloon - 520/???? litres


Struggling to find the figures for the new X3, E91 & 5 Series...

...can only seem to be able to digitally download the price list; the brochure has to be posted which seems stupid. The figures aren't in the 'facts & figures' section either .
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      12-02-2010, 05:28 AM   #13
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E91 460/1385
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      12-02-2010, 05:55 AM   #14
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F10 saloon 520 litres.
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      12-02-2010, 06:08 AM   #15
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Anyone know how much volume the F11 estate is?
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      12-02-2010, 06:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerxp View Post
New 5 Touring - 560/1670 litres
See above mate...
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      12-02-2010, 06:55 AM   #17
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Oops, thanks
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      12-02-2010, 07:29 AM   #18
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I've never had an SUV - but whenever I've looked at them compared to various "Sport Tourers" and Estates I've had, the extra height of the boot floor must be an issue with loading/unloading?

One of the biggest things with kids is the pushchair - if you can get it in the boot lengthwise it's significantly easier than across the boot.

Also, the volume of stuff associated with kids is best seen to be beleived - you're asking the right questions though. Definitely go big.

I would've thought F11 Touring, TBH.
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      12-02-2010, 04:14 PM   #19
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Get an M5, with a roofbox
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      12-02-2010, 04:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne71 View Post
Get an M5, with a roofbox
M5 estate
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      12-02-2010, 04:29 PM   #21
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I would love an X5
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      12-02-2010, 04:45 PM   #22
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I've had several X5s and currently have an E91.

I'm currently thinking of swapping it for a 7 seat X5 - principally for the extra seats & space.

X5s are surprisingly good to drive. Its not the same handling as a lower sitting 3/5 series of course - but a great drive nevertheless. Try one.
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