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View Full Version : 2006 X3 or 2004 325XIT wagon - which would you choose and why?


Chris C.
02-22-2008, 01:37 PM
Folks - I am contemplating buying either a 2004 325 XIT wagon or a 2006 X3. Want something for around town - to the mountains etc. I have a dog and 2 young kids/toddlers...

Both have very low mileage (325 has 30,000 miles & X3 has 16,000 miles), both in v. good shape and are for the most part fully loaded (leather, auto, etc.)...X3 will cost me approximately $3,000 more.

I am getting rid of my of my RX 300 - looking for something funner to drive. I am a bit concerned about the power of the 2004 325 versus the X3...?

Any thoughts or advice.

AzNMpower32
02-22-2008, 04:09 PM
If its mostly around town, the 325xiT is the better choice. In fact as a whole, the touring is a better vehicle. The X3 has more ground clearance, which makes it better for deep snow. It also has more cargo capacity and a higher roof, so you can carry taller items. Alas, the ride in the X3 can be a bit choppy, although it does handle terrifically too.

It depends on how much you intend to make use of the X3's extra clearance and cargo capacity. Keep in mind, the X3 does have higher fuel consumption.

Chris C.
02-22-2008, 04:30 PM
Both are in great shape and have similar options...

My concern is mostly with the horsepower/accelleration etc. of the 2004 325 xiT...compared to the horsepower/accelleration of the 2006 X3. Has anyone noticed or heard - was the 2004 325 xiT underpowered in their opinion (especially if I had the whole family in the car etc.)?

Ground clearance isn't a giant concern...mostly just used to driving SUV's so I like sitting up a little higher - but if I thought the 325 xiT had enough power I could be persuaded...

I have heard that the gas consumption isn't that different between the 2...18mpg with X3 and 19mpg with 325xiT...

Nickmitbm
02-22-2008, 05:00 PM
I would definitely choose the 325.I dont think it ll be underpowered for any reason..I think it has the 192 bhp 2,5 engine right?Which engine does the X3 have?2,5 or 3 liters?
Other than the power issue , i believe the 325 will handle much better than the SUV.It is sportier,more pretty,it has equivalent passenger room with the X3 and I believe that it s more reliable.Since you dont need a tall car why buy one?

Chris C.
02-22-2008, 05:16 PM
184 hp; 2.5L Auto for 325xiT

225 hp; 3.0 L for X3

LMC
02-22-2008, 09:33 PM
184 hp; 2.5L Auto for 325xiT

225 hp; 3.0 L for X3

I don't think complaints about power are in order for either vehicle. I find my 184 HP 325iT almost as much fun to drive as my 333 HP M3. Driving satisfaction (to me) is about much more than just power. (Granted my 325 is a couple of hundred pounds lighter than a 325xiT and does not have the automatic; still I don't think a 325 is by any means a slow car.)

So the 325xiT will be less expensive to buy and use less gas.

The X3 will be a bit more expensive and have a little more room. AzNM's comment about choppy ride (which some complain about in early X3s) might also sway your decision -- have you driven the X3 to evaluate the ride?

Shogun Sho
02-23-2008, 08:11 PM
I was just in a similar position trying to decide on a 2004 324xiT vs 2004 X3 3.0, test drove both vehicles twice just to get comfortable with my decision. Both were Auto equipped and otherwise had similar options pkgs. I went with the X3 which cost about $5000 more in my case, the greater power was significant and noticeable even though the X3 is a heavier vehicle. The biggest selling point since I'm in Canada and we have some REAL winters was the 2nd generation X-drive which allows for variable torque distribution vs the 1st gen version in the 325xiT. I test drove both vehicles in glare ice conditions at -40 degrees and the X3 out-performed the 325xiT hands down. Your need might differ of course.

Evlengr
02-23-2008, 11:19 PM
I would choose the 06 X3. With some exceptions the 06 X3 seems to be everything that the X3 AWD is supposed to be.

I have given some thought to the bmw wagon line in general and just can't bring myself to driving a wagon. Too low.

I have had the oppurtunity to drive several models of BMW over the past year and although I do like the smooth acceleration of the sedans the height with a litttle one makes a big difference since it much eaiser to get her in and out of the car seat.

The other interesting thng with the sedan types--gas mileage is better in the X3 for some reason that I can't pin point yet.

Without hijacking this thread if I was guaranteed an X3 with a good tranny I would go there.

And since the 06 model seems to be that vehicle....

Whatever you do take the vehicle home for the weekend or at least the day. You can't make a valid decision on just a 15 minute quick cruise.

Any legitimate dealer will not have the slightest problem with this request.

Good Luck

LMC
02-24-2008, 10:24 AM
Gas mileage better in the X3 than in the 3er sedans/wagons? No way!


The other interesting thng with the sedan types--gas mileage is better in the X3 for some reason that I can't pin point yet.

Mitch3672
02-24-2008, 10:29 AM
I don't think complaints about power are in order for either vehicle. I find my 184 HP 325iT almost as much fun to drive as my 333 HP M3. Driving satisfaction (to me) is about much more than just power. (Granted my 325 is a couple of hundred pounds lighter than a 325xiT and does not have the automatic; still I don't think a 325 is by any means a slow car.)

So the 325xiT will be less expensive to buy and use less gas.

The X3 will be a bit more expensive and have a little more room. AzNM's comment about choppy ride (which some complain about in early X3s) might also sway your decision -- have you driven the X3 to evaluate the ride?

+1

Since you are coming out of an RX300, a soft and spongy ride, better see how you like the X3 on your known "bad" roads espeically if it has sport pack and/or the larger wheel rims.

Other than that the 04 wagon is the older e46 so no xDrive. Big difference as was already pointed out on this thread.

Also if you are used to the space of the RX than only the X3 will compete. The wagon will feel very tight if you have kids and a dog to cart around.

Personal preferences too... as in I do not love the look of most wagons, but that may not apply to you. I do offer that the e90 (latest bodystyle) bimmer wagon looks better than the e46 (99-04) wagon but the e46 sedan has classic good looks (typical S. bavarian simplicity) whereas the e90 sedan look good from the front only and sometimes side depending on wheel size... but i digress

Mitch3672
02-24-2008, 10:34 AM
Gas mileage better in the X3 than in the 3er sedans/wagons? No way!

+1

X3 gets worse mileage overall no question especially if you compare a rear drive 3. The AWD 3 series may not be night and day better, but it is better.

brosher
02-24-2008, 10:45 AM
Gas mileage better in the X3 than in the 3er sedans/wagons? No way!

Maybe it is the slower corner speeds. :rofl:

I am actually going through the same debate for my wife's next car. I used to own a 323iT with sport and 5spd. That car was a blast to drive! I think the 325xiT is a much more practical car for a daily driver. The glass can be opened separately instead of the entire hatch which is nice. And it's low enough that heavy items are easier to get in/out. The cargo area is more uniform, I've read it has more storage than an X5. It will also handle better on those mountain roads. Better MPG is good as we will prob have $4 gas this summer.

The positives for the X3 is there is a slew of 04's on the market right now. It looks cooler being an SUV. I'm seeing CPO 2.5 X3's going for sub 20k which may be a deal too good to pass up. Especially with the 2.9 financing for 5 years.

iamthewalrus
02-24-2008, 12:02 PM
I went from a 2006 BMW 330Ci convertible to a 2006 BMW X3 3.0i. Both had manual, sport, premium, xenons. I made the switch because it was actually quite silly to have a rear-wheel drive convertible as my only car here in Seattle when my favorite weekend activities are skiing and backpacking! The X3 was the obvious car because it gave me enough ground clearance for the trailheads while still offering a really fun and engaging drive.

So, the thing that may tip the scales for you in favor of the X3 is the panoramic sunroof. I actually get much more light in from that than I ever did in the convertible, because you can use it 365 days a year. Maybe it's that I'm an east-coast transplant, but with these grey winters, I really appreciate the extra light.

Oh, and the 3.0 is intoxicating. It revs so smoothly and offers so much torque that the X3, particularly with the manual transmission is just a blast to drive!

-James
Seattle, WA

Mitch3672
02-24-2008, 12:34 PM
I went from a 2006 BMW 330Ci convertible to a 2006 BMW X3 3.0i. Both had manual, sport, premium, xenons. I made the switch because it was actually quite silly to have a rear-wheel drive convertible as my only car here in Seattle when my favorite weekend activities are skiing and backpacking! The X3 was the obvious car because it gave me enough ground clearance for the trailheads while still offering a really fun and engaging drive.

So, the thing that may tip the scales for you in favor of the X3 is the panoramic sunroof. I actually get much more light in from that than I ever did in the convertible, because you can use it 365 days a year. Maybe it's that I'm an east-coast transplant, but with these grey winters, I really appreciate the extra light.
-James Seattle, WA


+1. I get that and agree.




Oh, and the 3.0 is intoxicating. It revs so smoothly and offers so much torque that the X3, particularly with the manual transmission is just a blast to drive!

-James
Seattle, WA


:dunno: This part not so much. Are saying the 3.0 in the convertible was that much more fun (the N52 engine) because it is in a lighter rear drive chassis?

AzNMpower32
02-24-2008, 05:53 PM
:dunno: This part not so much. Are saying the 3.0 in the convertible was that much more fun (the N52 engine) because it is in a lighter rear drive chassis?The '06 330cic was still the E46 chassis with the M54 engine, same as the X3 motor.

iamthewalrus
02-24-2008, 06:05 PM
:dunno: This part not so much. Are saying the 3.0 in the convertible was that much more fun (the N52 engine) because it is in a lighter rear drive chassis?

The comparison for me was the 3.0i in both the 330Cic and my X3 is so much more fun that the 2.8 V6 in my old Audi A4. The in-line six is just a more balanced engine that revs very easily and smoothly. Yes, the convertible was more fun than the X3, partly due to being rear-wheel drive, but the X3 is still great IMHO.

Mitch3672
02-24-2008, 10:41 PM
The '06 330cic was still the E46 chassis with the M54 engine, same as the X3 motor.

Oh right the e90 convertible was started in 07 (hence my n52 reference)

SilverX3
02-25-2008, 01:45 PM
If you keep the car beyond 2 years then buy a 3 series as

- current 3 series will go till 2013
- x3 will be replaced by end 2009

AzNMpower32
02-25-2008, 03:08 PM
If you keep the car beyond 2 years then buy a 3 series as

- current 3 series will go till 2013
- x3 will be replaced by end 2009
X3 replaced in 2010 as a Model Year 2011 model. BMW has 7-year model cycles.

Mystic1
02-25-2008, 07:46 PM
All depends on actual needs. Is the X3 a 3.0 or a 2.5? If it's a 2.5, both vehicles should be pretty comparable in acceleration. The 3.0 should feel a bit stronger.
Personally, I do not like the wagon's looks, and the X3 handles pretty darn well considering it is an SAV. The X will give you better cargo height, but you will lose a bit of the smoother ride as it can be a bit choppy over rougher roads. How big is your dog? If it's about the size of a Labrador, get the X3 as the dog will fit better in the back if that's where it would be riding.

sayemthree
02-25-2008, 07:51 PM
Wagons Rule - get the wagon.

Andrew*Debbie
02-25-2008, 08:29 PM
Folks - I am contemplating buying either a 2004 325 XIT wagon or a 2006 X3. Want something for around town - to the mountains etc. I have a dog and 2 young kids/toddlers...

Both have very low mileage (325 has 30,000 miles & X3 has 16,000 miles),
Any thoughts or advice.

Either car will meet your needs. The wagon will handle a bit better, but you aren't going to be tossing either car around with a dog and kids in the back. Overall the AWD x wagon feels a lot like the X3. They are based on same platform. -- The RWD wagon feels less X3-like.

I'd get the X3. It is two years younger and has half the mileage.

The 325 is either out of warranty or very close to the end of the warranty and full maintenance. It is also close to needing an inspection service and brakes aren't that far off either. When you add in the cost of getting that work done, the wagon isn't much cheaper than the X3.


Before pulling the trigger be sure to take the VIN to a dealer and have them pull the servicie history for you. You want to make certain the car you pick hasn't had issues.

If you decide on the Wagon, be sure to check how much brake is left. Also check how many miles before that inspecion service. It is just possible that they have already been done...

AzNMpower32
02-25-2008, 09:23 PM
Wagons Rule - get the wagon.
Wagons are more kewl :bigpimp:. Especially rear-wheel drive ones with manual transmissions :rofl:

I'm dead serious, if I could pick one car for cargo purposes that I would own, it would not be a Range Rover or an X5 or even a X3. It'd be a 550i sport wagon, with the M sport package and various other options (half of which we don't get in the States). Then I'd go around picking on kids with Nissan 350Zs and Porsche Boxsters. Alas, it is not possible :(

Andrew*Debbie
02-26-2008, 07:13 AM
Especially rear-wheel drive ones with manual transmissions :rofl:



+1

crazybelgian
02-26-2008, 08:28 AM
if gasmileage is very important to you get the Touring, if not get the X3. The 06 X3 is a great vehicle.

chull
02-28-2008, 11:43 AM
I have both a 2004 X3 2.5 and a 2001 325iT. While neither is the exact model you are considering, I would suggest the Touring. It is more nimble, quicker and has better gas mileage, and you do not lose much on space.

On the carrying capacity differences, I find that although the X3 is taller, the E46 wagon has a wider trunk, and the seats fold flatter. I have one child stroller that fits in the 325 that will not fit into the X3 unless it rests against the back of the rear seat. But I also can fit a 2-child bike trailer in the X3, but not in the 325iT, due to the height difference.

Front space is nearly the same, but rear passengers get more legroom with me sitting in front at the same distance away from the wheel. The rear seats are also slightly wider on the X3, if you need to seat 3 in the back for longer trips. With dual child seats in back, my wife has been able to ride in the middle of the X3, but not the 325iT - probably a 1-2 inch difference.

I do find that the quality of the 325iT is much better than the X3. The interior of the X3 has scratches all over the painted plastic (steering wheel, center console, dash storage bin, etc), while the 325iT still looks immaculate despite twice the age and twice the mileage. The leatherette seats in the 325iT are perfect, while the leather in the X3 has wrinkles and the vinyl (on the leather!) highlight stripes are cracking and discolored. The cupholder, ashtray and dash storage all have minor design flaws and refuse to sometimes open, or in the case of the non-smoker converted ashtray/power jack refuses to close. Coming from Lexus, I suspect you would happier in an older 325xiT.

Both of mine are manual sport packages, and I like the ride on both of them. The two cars you are considering even the performance playing field more than mine, as the 325xiT is slower and less nimble than my 325iT due to AWD. And the X3 3.0 is faster (but no different on the handling front) than my 2.5.