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      04-24-2013, 03:53 AM   #1
Tallest
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Need some help picking next 4x4 BMW (take 2), pics inlcuded

My problem:
Hi all, having run for past 6 years or so with 2 E90s, I find that in my climate where winter starts early and ends late a 4wd is a must have. I am faced with poor driving conditions on highway, uncleaned at times city roads etc. It's bad enough that some days I'd leave the car at home. Also roads aren't in best condition. Also might as well get practical and ditch the sedan shape for that one time trip to IKEA, lol.

My options:
Looking between BMWs, I've narrowed my search down to three cars.
  • 330xd Touring
  • 525-530xd Touring
  • X3 E83 Face lift so MY 2007-9 with 2 - 3l diesel


My question

Which one do you think is the best overall car to get, given they cost the same?

Own thoughts

3er
I have known E90 for a long time, so having an E91 seems like an easy switch. My previous 2 cars have been super reliable as well so I hope the trend would continue. However I feel like may be I want something more relaxing and higher off the ground, but X model is higher off the ground. They seem to be most expensive for what you get.

5er
I drove the E61 few times and can't help but feel what a relaxed car it is, and 5 series is like S class for mercedes - it's what it does best. It's base models are loaded vs 3 series. The 530xd I'm looking at has all the options usually and it's just a matter of picking color and interior fabric/leather options. It's also bigger and nicer on a long drive. I love the looks of it as well especially on 18in wheels.

X3
The X3 is an ugly duckling but as with people, the more you see it the more you like it. So it's grown on me and I can't help but like its chunky looks. I also read a lot that this is from mechanic's point of view one of the most reliable newish BMWs especially the facelift. It's almost same size as first gen X5, but has metal suspension so it's much sturdier where X5 falls apart. It was slayed by many reviews yet others say it drives like a car and gives you a bit higher seating position. Which is great. Plus I've driven it and thought it was pretty nice especially when it has good option list.


So I'm torn between the choices. If someone has run those different models at one stage and can opine on pros and cons of 3 vs 5 or 5 vs X3 or X3 vs 3 etc I'll be very grateful!

Attached are pics of what I'm looking at currently.

I want to add that what confused me somewhat is that many reviews I read say stuff like "why buy X3 when for same money you can just get touring 4x4". Is it really same height of the ground like the 5er or 3er? The height thing is somewhat important when winter comes and there are some nasty ruts in the road with ice in between and sitting on those with low car isn't nice. It's not a huge problem but definately something I'm worried about. So for now the X3 is swaying it, but the older interior and not so smooth ride vs 5er is what holds me back.


TLDR: What's the best pick if price is same - 530xd Touring, 330xd Touring or X3 E83 LCI?
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Last edited by Tallest; 04-24-2013 at 04:02 AM.
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      04-24-2013, 05:25 AM   #2
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I would say the 5 series, the problem that always bugged me with x3 is that inside its e46 and that just made it look old. Also the refinement was nowhere near the E46 levels

The 5 will be a much nicer place to be in with as much if not more space, unless you really need teh 4x4 drive its the one to go for
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      04-24-2013, 06:25 AM   #3
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That generation of X3 is, by all accounts, disappointing. I wouldn't bother.

Got to be the 3 or the 5. The 3 looks nicer, but the 5 would be more refined.
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      04-24-2013, 06:26 AM   #4
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The only true 4x4 is the X3

I owned a E91 and loved it but it wasn't any better in the snow and ice compared to the E92.

I have no idea how the 5'er gets on as I've never driven one but i don't see it being much diffrent to the 3'er.

Have fun with the car hunt and good luck
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      04-24-2013, 07:35 AM   #5
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We had a 5 touring as a company car for 3 years. and they're a bit of a boat. Not saying the X3 wouldn't be. But coming from a 3 series. you might was to try one first.
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      04-24-2013, 07:42 AM   #6
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Your choice really depends on the main purpose... is it space you need? is it the climatic and road conditions?

If its space then 3 Touring is at the bottom of the list, it is pretty small when it comes to estates, however, you will be able to mod it as much as you like and coming from E90 you probably know all about them.

5-Series if space it what you are after, a boat like in the touring, however handles well and is a good reliable motor.

X3 - no personal experience of it but it doesn't have a positive reputation, and seems to be a poor mans X5.

If you can stretch your budget, I would go for an X5.

These are my personal opinions.

Best of luck!
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      04-24-2013, 07:45 AM   #7
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That generation of X3 sucks, big time. The 09 plate onwards looks better with 19inch wheels.
Manual transmission is a bit awkward on them so auto is best bet.
If you want a 4x4 get a real deal. (X3 in your case)

Source: Personal Experience.
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      04-25-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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You see, I like the 5er but Im afraid it\ll be too low for winter.

Mind, I'm only looking at the 4x4 versions of the estates, so I hope when you guys say that X3 is the only 4x4 you misread the title. I actually think that 4x4 5er or 3er could do the job...

I drove the 5er and I liked it. yes the 3er is nimble and stuff, but 5er has a refinement to it. X3 yes, it's poor man's X5 but I think many people who ran the X5 as used woudl never touch it again, it's very unreliable. X3 seems to be very reliable according to my mechanic (transfer casing, leaking seals - seem to be the only thing specific to X3 that go bad, and electronics is solid given it comes tried and tested - not like E61 which supposed to be most problematic).
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      04-25-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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You know I just cought on this are left drive as was thinking xd in e90 not possible. I got it now sorry.

The thing with x3 is the lack of refinement and fact its based on an e46 platform which is very old comparing to others. It just lacks IMO 5 series still wins. Having driven all 3 cars ok non 4x4 in terms of 3 and 5 I still always would go for 5 out of the 3 if size is the key and refinment.

Personally drive the 3 as needed a small car otherwise myself would be in a 530 as well.

You say e61 is problematic which is odd as from the number of people I know who run e61 in various flavours its not been any more problemantic than any other BMW model if anything better.

End of the day its what you prefer and find most comfortable. The X3 will give you more clearance and 4x4 capability than a 5 but then the 5 will give you more of the nice drive and comfort feeling.
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      08-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magic77
You know I just cought on this are left drive as was thinking xd in e90 not possible. I got it now sorry.

The thing with x3 is the lack of refinement and fact its based on an e46 platform which is very old comparing to others. It just lacks IMO 5 series still wins. Having driven all 3 cars ok non 4x4 in terms of 3 and 5 I still always would go for 5 out of the 3 if size is the key and refinment.

Personally drive the 3 as needed a small car otherwise myself would be in a 530 as well.

You say e61 is problematic which is odd as from the number of people I know who run e61 in various flavours its not been any more problemantic than any other BMW model if anything better.

End of the day its what you prefer and find most comfortable. The X3 will give you more clearance and 4x4 capability than a 5 but then the 5 will give you more of the nice drive and comfort feeling.
i think i should wrap the thread by saying i went totally another way with the z4 coupe, lol.
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      08-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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Wtf!? Congrats, I think!
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      08-27-2013, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shere
Wtf!? Congrats, I think!
yeah know. started working corp jobs from 19 and i guess mid life crisis hit early, lol. no but i love it, thanks. best bangle era car imho, the coupe that is,
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