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View Full Version : wife can't decide: between a 2007 X3 3.0si 6MT vs. 2008 535xit 6MT


sayemthree
02-04-2007, 03:59 PM
my wife can't decide: between a 2007 X3 3.0si 6MT vs. 2008 535xit 6MT
we have two kids and a 75 pound dog for tha cargo area. both seem to fit these needs/ our current S4 Avant 6MT is a little tight on room. A 6 speed manual is mandatory. we love fast and great handling cars (currently in a M3 and S4 Avant, both 6 MT)

535xit pros::thumbup:
more power 300 vs. 260:thumbup:
more torque 300 vs 220:thumbup:
more room especially rear seat width and cargo area
lower to ground (on road handling)
rear AC vents
better quality (leather, sound deadening, doors feel more solid etc)
more luxuery options: auto tailgate and comfort access etc.
better resale value(??) dealer says x3 market is swamped

cons::thumbdwn:
no sport suspension in sport package
i-drive is mandatory (we'd prefer not to have it - its optional in the x3)
costs more by about $12000 (could be used to remodel the house, new flooring)
low ground clearance (off road)
weak cupholders
x3 is better/more unique looking than 5 wagon (in our opinion)- no edna eyes headlights etc.

have we overlooked anything?

MJS
02-04-2007, 04:47 PM
Has she driven both? Which one does she like more?

Of course, I doubt you'll find a stick X3 or 535XiT to test drive.

sayemthree
02-04-2007, 05:10 PM
yes - we drove both in AT. we also drove the 335i 4-door in a stick to goet a feel for the 6MT and the 300 hp tt engine. we like both - the 5 feels less connected to the road but a better ride - it also doesnt lean much.
the x3 ride is more truckish but acceptable withthe 19 inch and sports- we dont mind a stiff ride.

MJS
02-04-2007, 05:56 PM
Well, if money is no object, the 5er wagon will be a more luxurious ride. I'm not sure how it handles as I haven't driven one in quite a while. I bet the 300 HP turbo engine really transforms it.

AzNMpower32
02-04-2007, 06:15 PM
Well, there's going to be a substantial price gap between the two........

I vote for the 535xiT. The 5-series looks much better as a sports wagon than a sedan. (The rear end flows better). Then again, the X3 is endearing to me cuz it's the last BMW that has anything related to the good ol' E46.

iversonm
02-04-2007, 07:23 PM
I think you choice will come down personal preference.

The 5 is one of the finest automobiles I've driven, but I find it lacks that "throw me around" agility that I find in my 330. From you description, this characteristic might appeal to you.

IMO, the X3, despite its relative heft, feels a little more like the 3 than to the 5. On the down side, it has a more truck-like ride, and has much more road noise compared to the 5.

You might really want to consider one of the 3 series touring models. You might find them to be a good compromise between the two.

sayemthree
02-04-2007, 09:40 PM
You might really want to consider one of the 3 series touring models.

I really like the 328it but the cargo space is TINY. :eek:

AlanLX3
02-04-2007, 10:15 PM
Sounds like a nice problem to have :D

Since this going to be your wife's wheels it would seem like her feelings about which one gives the most warm fuzzies is the final indicator of which way to tip the scales here.

It does seem interesting that the X3 stacks up this well against the 535 wagon.

Brent P
02-04-2007, 10:18 PM
One thing that nobody has mentioned is visibility. My wife absolutely refuses to drive a car anymore because she feels too low to the ground and can't see around all the SUV's on the road. Because she wanted SUV visibility, but didn't want truck handling, the solution was to get a performance SUV like the X3 (which in my opinion doesn't feel truck like at all compared to most cars on the road).

ffej
02-04-2007, 10:36 PM
The 535 every day and twice on Sundays

The 535 without sport package will drive circles around the X3 with sport package. "performance" and SUV don't belong in the same sentence. Sorry, just me ranting.

Think about this...how much off-roading is your wife planning on? Then think again. I bought a Volvo V70XC with the thought that we'd be taking it on road trips and ski trips and otherwise. It saw conditions where the AWD was useful a grand total of 5 (five) times in 5 years. Rethink that whole offroad thing VERY carefully. The 535 will perform admirably for you on ski vacations to Tahoe (or Mammoth, or wherever), probably better than the X3.

Brent - tell your wife that the feeling "too low to the ground" makes her car infinitely safer to drive in case of emergency maneuvers.

Brent P
02-05-2007, 02:52 AM
The 535 without sport package will drive circles around the X3 with sport package. "performance" and SUV don't belong in the same sentence.

Brent - tell your wife that the feeling "too low to the ground" makes her car infinitely safer to drive in case of emergency maneuvers.
Sounds like you've never driven an X3. It pulls 0.88 on the skid pad compared to 0.84 for the 535xit, 0.85 for the 330ci, and 0.87 for the M3 (highest ever tested for an SUV, and higher than most performance sedans), and there are members on this board that race them on the track and in autocrosses with great success against cars. My wife already claims she has been able to avoid a couple of accidents that would have been unavoidable before, due to the X3's handling.

Car and Driver - BMW's Ultimate Driving Machine mantra and the ceaseless quest for the intergalactic lap-time record at the N***252;rburgring are surely behind the X3's suspension. No question, the X3 handles twisties with Bavarian aplomb. The nose darts crisply and without the pushy understeer that plagues most four-wheel-drivers. It even rewards bold drivers with a little tail wagging and pulled a no-arguments 0.88 g on the skidpad, the highest grip we've ever measured for an SUV.

Nick325xiT 5spd
02-05-2007, 05:38 AM
If you get an X3 - lease it. BMW very heavily subsidizes the leases.

UncleJ
02-05-2007, 09:24 AM
I-Drive optional on the X3? I don't think it is available on the X3. I know you get it in the new X5 without a choice tho'.

sayemthree
02-05-2007, 09:40 AM
I-Drive optional on the X3? I don't think it is available on the X3. I know you get it in the new X5 without a choice tho'.

sorry - meant NAV is optional - and no i-drive.

adc
02-05-2007, 09:43 AM
If price was truly no object, I'd get the 535.

(Although I'm not so sure it would outhandle the X3, but think about the aftermarket possibilities for the 535...)

ffej
02-05-2007, 11:04 PM
Sounds like you've never driven an X3. It pulls 0.88 on the skid pad compared to 0.84 for the 535xit, 0.85 for the 330ci, and 0.87 for the M3 (highest ever tested for an SUV, and higher than most performance sedans), and there are members on this board that race them on the track and in autocrosses with great success against cars. My wife already claims she has been able to avoid a couple of accidents that would have been unavoidable before, due to the X3's handling.

Car and Driver - BMW's Ultimate Driving Machine mantra and the ceaseless quest for the intergalactic lap-time record at the N***252;rburgring are surely behind the X3's suspension. No question, the X3 handles twisties with Bavarian aplomb. The nose darts crisply and without the pushy understeer that plagues most four-wheel-drivers. It even rewards bold drivers with a little tail wagging and pulled a no-arguments 0.88 g on the skidpad, the highest grip we've ever measured for an SUV.

You're right, I've never driven an X3, only an X5, and it was a pig. I made the assumption that the X3 was simply less of one. As for racing them & autocrossing with success, I've also autocrossed a wagon to a championship in it's class (with 328is and other less bulky cars).

As for C & D, you actually believe all the drivel that they print?

Sounds like you've never driven an M3. Operated by drivers of equal skill, there is no way in the world that an X3 could outhandle one. The laws of physics simply won't allow it. Really.

I'm glad to hear that your wife appreciates the handling that her SUV gives her. But take the time to drive an M3 if you get the opportunity, and you will really appreciate what a good handling car can be. If you still think that the X3 will outhandle it after driving one, drive it again. Then let someone who knows how to drive it - not the editorial staff of C & D - take you for a few laps around a track somewhere.

adc
02-06-2007, 08:49 AM
Sounds like you've never driven an M3. Operated by drivers of equal skill, there is no way in the world that an X3 could outhandle one. The laws of physics simply won't allow it. Really.

Outhandle, absolutely not. (Because handling has little to do with lateral grip). But going faster around a wet track? Who knows? :dunno:

Or in the snow? (The things you can make it do...)



Actually I'm just pulling your leg here, as I have a (modified) ZHP and an X3 in the family and know exactly what the X3 can and cannot do compared to it. The X3 is very different in feel from the X5 - and there are 700lbs difference between the two (the same as between the ZHP and X3). The X3 has a center of gravity only 2" higher than that of a 3 AWD series wagon and this, coupled with a much stiffer suspension in the Sport Package, better tires (really) and a wider contact patch make it possible for the X3 to hang on with a surprising number of sporty cars in the twisty stuff.

And the X3 truly handles, in other words it communicates well what it's doing at the moment and keeps responding to commands at all times, allowing you to experiment and change the line just like you would in any other sports sedan. Just does it a little slower than something like an M3, with a little extra body roll etc. but entertaining nevertheless.

Would I swap my ZHP for the X3 for fun? No, but every time I get to drive it it gets a goofy smile on my face, and I leave it with the sentiment that I pulled a fast one on old Newton... :)

That's all these people are saying. :dunno:

smalldog
02-10-2007, 09:44 PM
Sayemthree,

Seems we may be like-minded... My wife currently drives an S4 Avant (automatic, though), and I used to drive a 328i, but now a Porsche 911 Targa (6-speed). We, too, have a toddler and a dog (hence the handle).

Anyway, we, too, are thinking the S4 Avant is a little too tight and ave been considering an X3 and have also looked at a 5-series wagon (530xi).

Having test driven a 2006 X3 3.0i Sport Pkg and a 2007 X3 3.0si w/o Sport Package, as well as a 530xi, I can say they are certainly different cars. While the 5-series wagon is a lot more luxurious, roomy, and "substantial" in its build, I didn't feel it was as sporty. Specifically, like you, I didn't like the iDrive one bit. I also hated the high dashboard caused by the large iDrive LCD screen binnacle.

The X3, on the other hand, had an interior I liked a lot better because of the lower beltline relative to your seating position. The X3 felt very tossable, too, and didn't lean in corners or feel heavy at all to me. The 5er did feel heavy, but I suppose the 535xi would feel less so with the better engine.

As an earlier poster said, BMWFS heavily subsidizes X3 leases, so beside the $12,000 sticker price difference, comparing the lease between these 2 cars would be more informative, as you could likely lease the X3 for almost HALF what it would cost to lease the 535xi. On the other hand, BMWFS has in the past from time to time heavily subsidized the 5-series, too, especially the wagon, which isn't much of a hot seller in the U.S.

I think an X3 3.0si with Sport Pkg and the optional 19" wheels would be awesome, especially in white with either the black/sand or terracotta interior and aluminum trim.


One last thought, if you like your Audi, maybe you should also consider the upcoming Audi Q5, which will be in the same league as the X3. It's based on the next A4 platform, which has a more BMW-like balance because the front wheels are moved forward and engine is finally not ahead of them. Word on the street is that it will be offered with 300hp engine and possibly even in Q5S trim with the same V8 as in current Audi S4, making about 350hp. Of course, Q5 won't be available until Sept. this year, with S-version, if at all, following in 2008.

sayemthree
02-10-2007, 10:59 PM
the 535xit with the 6MT wont be avail untl fall I hear now - so maybe we just wait.

vern
02-11-2007, 12:39 PM
You could almost say I have the two models at present, (no xit), your taking about and if money isn't a concern I would go for the 5. I have SP in both the 5 and the X3 and sure the X3 handles great but lets be honest it can't compare to the 5. Good luck in what ever you chose ,you can't go wrong there both BMW's.
cheers
vern

XFOS
03-12-2007, 03:15 PM
Easy, move over to the new X5.

AzNMpower32
03-12-2007, 03:57 PM
Easy, move over to the new X5.
1) X5 has no manual transmission
2) X5 costs big bundles of cash
3) X5 is quite big. Call it the American-sized BMW.

SilverX3
03-12-2007, 07:13 PM
I go for the 5 series Touring as

1. Much better built car
2. better economy
3. better handling due to lower gravity
4. If you don't do off road why buy off road
5. better resale

X3 is a good SUV but suffered by earky model built quality

adc
03-13-2007, 10:41 AM
2. better economy

Are you sure?

3. better handling due to lower gravity

I don't think it handles well enough to change the laws of physics.

JBasham
03-14-2007, 07:38 AM
One thing that nobody has mentioned is visibility. My wife absolutely refuses to drive a car anymore because she feels too low to the ground and can't see around all the SUV's on the road. Because she wanted SUV visibility, but didn't want truck handling, the solution was to get a performance SUV like the X3 (which in my opinion doesn't feel truck like at all compared to most cars on the road).

I'm with her. I love our 3 series, but the view kills me.

There's no way to "handle" your way out of being head to head with a minivan in the left turn cutouts of a six-lane road, totally unable to see whether you're about to cut into the path of a speeding car.

There's no way to "handle" your way out of backing out of a perpendicular parking spot with a minivan parked to your left, totally unable to see whether you're about to back into the path of a speeding car.

There's no way to watch three cars up in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway, to see if somebody just slammed on their brakes.

Maybe these problems only come up in dense metro areas like mine.

cbj
03-15-2007, 07:28 AM
Good point Jbasham and one of the reasons for me the X3 was the best choice as I do most of my driving in NYC or shall I say most of my time is spend setting in trafic.

ish
03-18-2007, 07:19 AM
I noticed you mentioned the ground clearance as an issue:
Just be aware if you plan to take the X3 off-road at all, beach, trails whatever, you my want to get the sport package with the 18's instead of 19's.
The 18's come with A/S tires and the smaller dia rims will allow you to air-down when needed without damage to rims and tires.
The 19's come with summer performance tires which don't even like snow!

For my wife the size of the X3 is perfect. She went from and Expedition to a Mini Cooper S to the X3. And since I fit 3 cars in my 2 car garage....I don't think the 5 would even fit.....lol

NateXTR
03-18-2007, 08:39 PM
A tough one for sure. I am attracted to the 5er because of its lines, and how nice it is inside. However, we just got our X3 redelivered, and after spending last night and today running errands, I think it might be the better (more practical) vehicle. The back seat is big enough w/o being huge, and the cargo area seems to be much larger than my 325xiT (e91) (roughly the same size cargo as an S4 avant?) I also like sitting higher, yet it doesn't feel typically "trucky."

The power is pretty good too. My wife said it best "man, this thing just wants to go!" I can imagine that the 5er is a kick also, but it is kind of fun to rail the X3 on an exit ramp and get right up on the back of somebody driving an Infinity or something that supposedly handles well... Not that I've done that in the wifes car:angel:

Know this: you are comparing two GREAT vehicles, you really can't go wrong!

sayemthree
03-21-2007, 01:06 AM
I disagree with this view advantage- I think my wife would too. just because you are in a slightly raised X3 you still can not see around all the suburbans, minivans, and other large and mid-size SUV's.

JG
03-23-2007, 06:26 PM
I disagree with this view advantage- I think my wife would too. just because you are in a slightly raised X3 you still can not see around all the suburbans, minivans, and other large and mid-size SUV's.

It's a view advantage without question over every 'car' on the road.

You can also see through the windows of higher SUV's minivans etc. unlike in a car where you are generally viewing the bodywork.

AlanLX3
03-23-2007, 07:24 PM
After spending the last 2 years looking at the world from the perspective of gazing up at everyone else's tailpipes in my Honda S2000, I feel like I am in a tall building when I drive my wife's X3 :D