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-   -   X3 35i vs xc60 R-Design. Please help me decide?! (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=669911)

ChrisT.O.pher 01-13-2013 08:47 PM

X3 35i vs xc60 R-Design. Please help me decide?!
 
Hi everyone. First post to this forum.

My wife and I are seriously considering an X3 35i M Sport but I'm leaning ever so slightly toward the XC60 R-Design we drove yesterday. What are the awesome little features you think I should know about the X3 that'll help me tip the scales back?

I really appreciate your help!

edbiology 01-14-2013 01:00 AM

I have to say that BMW sucks at little things compare to other luxury brands. Well, I like that I can open the windows and moonroof using my remote key. Can you share what things of the xc60 impress you?

ChrisT.O.pher 01-14-2013 04:14 AM

First and foremost, the XC60 exterior style has more of a cool factor while the X3 is a bit more reserved. I was impressed by the performance of the Haldex AWD (during the 20 minute test drive), and it seems the vehicle is very programmable and can be tailored to fit like a glove. Things that concern me slightly are the navi (cumbersome) and the interior finishes aren't particularly interesting. Fuel consumption isn't great either.

While the X3 style is more conservative, it's not a deal-breaker. The interior is very slick, the seats in the M Sport are amazing and the overall power is great.

I didn't experience the XDrive to any real degree and while I have zero plans to take this offroad, I want to know how it performs on dirt roads and in slippery weather. What about the audio? That's important to me. And iDrive? People seem 50/50 on that.

Anything else I should know or think about?

lbjgh 01-14-2013 06:22 AM

Chris the XC60T6 was runner-up on my X3 purchase.

I drove both cars several times and always gravitated to the BMW's better (in my opinion) driving dynamics. I also liked the idea of a 8spd automatic in the BMW as opposed to the Volvo's 6spd.

The seats in the Volvo fit me like a glove but the waterfall dash made the interior feel claustrophobic. The BMW felt more spacious especially the rear seats.

The R-design came with the Polestar tuned 325hp engine but to be honest in did not pull as strong as the bimmer's 300hp.

I still prefer the exterior styling of the XC60 but I bought my car because I like to be behind the driver's wheel where I can't see the somewhat ugly lines of my X3. ;)

ChrisT.O.pher 01-14-2013 06:45 AM

Thank you. All very good points.

One thing I did leave out of this thread were details related to terrible service from the local Volvo dealership. It was cleared up but only after a complaint to the head office. The vehicle might be solid but after purchase support could be an issue.

Anyone have details on routine maintenance costs beyond the four years, 80k? I can't seem to find a definitive answer.

UncleJ 01-14-2013 08:36 AM

Chris -- all BMW dealers are not stars either so that might not be a fair comparo to make. You will (probably) find more BMW stores around than Volvo outlets though -- at least that is the case down here. Both my daughters have Volvos, an XC70 and XC90. Both have been remarkably trouble free and are very solid. Son in law has a 5 series and lately it has become a money pit. My X3 is approaching 90K and shows all the signs of following the 5er into money pit land. My personal opinion is "it depends on the individual car you get" -- some are problematic from the get go -- others not so much. All of them do need work as they age and pass the warranty period. If you get one, get the extended warranty -- I didn't and I regret it. I would go with the Volvo.:angel:

ChrisT.O.pher 01-14-2013 09:17 AM

Thanks for the advice. An extended warranty is probably worth a second look. I'm not interested in having my wallet become life support for any vehicle.

As an aside, I currently drive an '09 VW Rabbit and I'm continually blown away by the cost for routine dealership maintenance (it's a lease so not much flexibility). $145 for an oil change and fluid top up is insane for this type of car. I know BMW is a whole other class of vehicle but as far as I'm told, maintenance is reasonable. I've got more research to do.

BruceOmega 01-14-2013 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisT.O.pher (Post 7311667)
..... I was impressed by the performance of the Haldex AWD ..... I didn't experience the XDrive to any real degree

..... What about the audio? That's important to me. And iDrive? .....

Anything else I should know or think about?

I'm curious by what you mean when you say you were impressed by the Volvo's AWD but did not experience BMW's AWD. Can you please elaborate?

I have not driven the Volvo, but we own a 2011 (F25) X3 35i and the AWD is transparent in normal driving. Our X3 drives like a tall, sporty sedan, not like an SUV.

Regarding the audio, we have the optional, upgraded audio system and really really like it. It is noticeably better and more enjoyable than the standard audio that came in our previous 2006 X3.

On the iDrive, I would not leave home without it. I like iDrive and find it very easy and intuitive to use.

Regarding anything else- we liked our previous 2006 X3 but the ride was on the stiff side and the 5 speed AT was reliable and trouble free, but the gearing was too widely spaced for the power band of it's engine. Our new X3 has a much better ride quality, a much more responsive drive train, and in my opinion handles better than our '06. The new X3 has dynamic handling, sport AT, and sport steering while the '06 had optional 18" wheels but did not have the sport package.

Bruce

ChrisT.O.pher 01-14-2013 10:53 AM

Thanks, Bruce.

To clarify my point about the Volvo and BMW AWD experiences, I really didn't have a chance to push the X3 in a way that demonstrated its capabilities. When I drove the XC60 however, I parked with the passenger side in sand/gravel and the driver's side on semi-wet pavement. Then, I put the accelerator through the floor and experienced almost no wheel spin. Within 20-30 yards, I was able to effortlessly merge onto pavement without having to let up and did so with full traction.

Admittedly, this isn't the best way to test either vehicle but when you're on city streets and you've got the sales guy in the back seat, you're bet to keep the lid on.

Maybe there's a better way?

colson79 01-14-2013 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisT.O.pher (Post 7312317)
Thanks, Bruce.

To clarify my point about the Volvo and BMW AWD experiences, I really didn't have a chance to push the X3 in a way that demonstrated its capabilities. When I drove the XC60 however, I parked with the passenger side in sand/gravel and the driver's side on semi-wet pavement. Then, I put the accelerator through the floor and experienced almost no wheel spin. Within 20-30 yards, I was able to effortlessly merge onto pavement without having to let up and did so with full traction.

Admittedly, this isn't the best way to test either vehicle but when you're on city streets and you've got the sales guy in the back seat, you're bet to keep the lid on.

Maybe there's a better way?

During my test drive of the X3 and the Q5 both dealers actually had me pull over on sand/gravel and to the same test as you describe. The X3 and Q5 both performed great on this test as I'm sure the Volvo does as well. The more impressive test was when I picked up my X3 at the performance center. On their off road course I had an X3 balanced on just two wheels and was able to drive right through. I'd never do some of the things BMW does in the off road course in my own X3 but it did show me Xdrive is pretty good.

I liked the look of the Volvo as well, except from the back. Those supper long curvy tail lights just look hideous to me.

car-fan 01-14-2013 12:32 PM

Money Matters: I think the F25 X3 will stand the test of time better than the XC90. Additionally, I believe resale value of the X3 will prove to be stronger as well. On paper the Volvo R Design boasts 325 hp vs. the "stated" 300 for the X3. Note to self the N55 in the 35i is underrated by the factory - that along with the 8speed transmission allows the X3 to pull harder "acceleration wise" than the XC 60 R Design.

The Volvo's seats are comfortable but why is it that in the year 2013 Volvo still has a "turn knob" for lumbar adjustment. Dynaaudio in the Volvo sounds really nice. I personally haven't driven the XC 60 but from what I have read/heard the X3 handles a bit better.

Depening on the options you choose the chassis/drivetrain is configurable in the X3 as well. Drive both, pick them both apart: interior, storage, design/style, performance, and make the decision that suits you best - good luck and have fun with the selection process:)

noka 01-14-2013 01:03 PM

"why is it that in the year 2013 Volvo still has a "turn knob" for lumbar adjustment(?)"
-> I could ask the same question about manual tilt/telescoping steering wheel adjustment about the X3.
:)

ChrisT.O.pher 01-14-2013 01:26 PM

Funny. I wondered the same thing about the 99 cent lumbar knob and when I watched my wife adjust the steering wheel, I thought she'd have something to say about it. Maybe she was just being polite!

I've seen footage of people putting X3s through their paces. Maybe I can work something like that into the deal.

Thanks again for all the great advice!

lbjgh 01-14-2013 03:20 PM

Typically cars are driven primarily by one person so most controls (seats/steering wheel) are set it and forget it.

It is too bad you live North of the 48th. Our friends to the South get a free performance delivery centre delivery experience... as usually we don't get that option. :confused:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisT.O.pher (Post 7312723)
Funny. I wondered the same thing about the 99 cent lumbar knob and when I watched my wife adjust the steering wheel, I thought she'd have something to say about it. Maybe she was just being polite!

I've seen footage of people putting X3s through their paces. Maybe I can work something like that into the deal.

Thanks again for all the great advice!


ChrisT.O.pher 01-14-2013 05:42 PM

Anyone have any experiences with the lighter colour leather seats? I imagine they're no different from any other manufacturer but just thought I'd ask.

Also, I checked for local performance driving courses in Canada. The closest seems to be Mirabel, Quebec, which is far and the course itself isn't cheap.

glennk 01-14-2013 10:52 PM

XC60 likes:
-front seats (awesome Swedish glove-like fit)
-front wheel drive biased mechanical Haldex AWD system (good on the wet and snow)
-warranty and maintenance coverage at 5 Years/60,000 Miles (in the USA)
-second row seats are high enough to support adult legs
-some parts still sourced/shared with Ford (keeps $$$ down)

XC60 dislikes:
-limited dealer network in my area
-limited loan vehicles at my local Volvo dealer
-ride seemed stiffer to me than the X3
-during spirited driving, the XC60 seemed to "heave" over on its sidewalls
-difficulty with the "on-center" feel of the steering
-gets worse fuel economy than the X3 (but, it also uses Regular...so cost should wash out, unless we head back up to $5/gallon)
-what is up with the shifter with the clear plastic? looks cheap...need to bring back the leather shifter from the 2012 model

colson79 01-15-2013 08:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisT.O.pher (Post 7313373)
Anyone have any experiences with the lighter colour leather seats? I imagine they're no different from any other manufacturer but just thought I'd ask.

Also, I checked for local performance driving courses in Canada. The closest seems to be Mirabel, Quebec, which is far and the course itself isn't cheap.

I have the Oyster leather seats and I like the color a lot. I believe it is the lightest color offered in the X3. I was concerned they may be difficult to keep clean but that hasn't been a problem.

BruceOmega 01-15-2013 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChrisT.O.pher (Post 7312317)
Thanks, Bruce.

To clarify my point about the Volvo and BMW AWD experiences, I really didn't have a chance to push the X3 in a way that demonstrated its capabilities. When I drove the XC60 however, I parked with the passenger side in sand/gravel and the driver's side on semi-wet pavement. Then, I put the accelerator through the floor and experienced almost no wheel spin. Within 20-30 yards, I was able to effortlessly merge onto pavement without having to let up and did so with full traction.

Admittedly, this isn't the best way to test either vehicle but when you're on city streets and you've got the sales guy in the back seat, you're bet to keep the lid on.

Maybe there's a better way?

Thank you, I was curious.

That test was not offered to us and we never thought of it when we test drove the X3 last summer.

We did drive an X5 on the off road course at the Performance Center and that was quite an experience.

Bruce

mark_12345 01-15-2013 10:16 PM

Go with X3...better handling/performance, better resale, and is not a bad looking medium size CUV

UncleJ 01-16-2013 08:57 AM

Chris, one problem that has been reported with light colored seats is the blue denim dye transfer -- if you wear blue jeans. Apparently a new pair of jeans -- even if washed once or twice -- will/can transfer the indigo dye to your seat covers.:mad: Very hard to get off I am informed, but personally I have never experienced this myself. My jeans are all old, well washed, and my car seats are not that light (although in summer I wish they were). Just something to keep in mind.
Car-Fan, the F25 X3 is really a totally different vehicle than the XC90 which is a three rower -- more comparable to the X5. The XC60 and XC70 are really closer to the X3.:angel:

cblandin 01-17-2013 04:36 PM

My XC60 RD vs Q5 vs X3 comparison: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=47

ski2moro 01-17-2013 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glennk (Post 7314032)
XC60 likes:
-front seats (awesome Swedish glove-like fit)
-front wheel drive biased mechanical Haldex AWD system (good on the wet and snow)
-warranty and maintenance coverage at 5 Years/60,000 Miles (in the USA)
-second row seats are high enough to support adult legs
-some parts still sourced/shared with Ford (keeps $$$ down)

XC60 dislikes:
-limited dealer network in my area
-limited loan vehicles at my local Volvo dealer
-ride seemed stiffer to me than the X3
-during spirited driving, the XC60 seemed to "heave" over on its sidewalls
-difficulty with the "on-center" feel of the steering
-gets worse fuel economy than the X3 (but, it also uses Regular...so cost should wash out, unless we head back up to $5/gallon)
-what is up with the shifter with the clear plastic? looks cheap...need to bring back the leather shifter from the 2012 model

You know Volvo changed their 5 year 60,000 mile warranty at the end of 2012. Maintenance is now only till 30,000. IIRC.

car-fan 01-18-2013 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UncleJ (Post 7317419)
Chris, one problem that has been reported with light colored seats is the blue denim dye transfer -- if you wear blue jeans. Apparently a new pair of jeans -- even if washed once or twice -- will/can transfer the indigo dye to your seat covers.:mad: Very hard to get off I am informed, but personally I have never experienced this myself. My jeans are all old, well washed, and my car seats are not that light (although in summer I wish they were). Just something to keep in mind.
Car-Fan, the F25 X3 is really a totally different vehicle than the XC90 which is a three rower -- more comparable to the X5. The XC60 and XC70 are really closer to the X3.:angel:

I typed XC "90" in error. Very much aware of the differences between the models - that was a typo on my part. My inference was the XC60 vs. F25 X3:)

Chris90 03-24-2013 07:23 AM

Did you make a decision?

I was reading about Volvo Euro Delivery, which on the XC60 only saves about 4%, and is hard to negotiate unlike BMW ED. On the plus side, you can choose options a la carte, so you can get the stereo upgrade without a package, or heated seats etc. You still have to choose model level though, so if you want an R Design, you have to pick that option package, standard moonroof etc.

volvo ED also offers 2 airline tickets and 3-5 nights hotel room, for like $1000, it's not free.

2014 XC60s also get new options, like comfort/sport modes (dunno if it's throttle only or suspension), new sport seats, exterior refresh etc.

The X3 M Sport comes out to $53k, about $5k more than the Volvo, not too bad, but unfortunately I don't like the styling.

kjboyd 03-24-2013 09:06 AM

Correction. Volvo ED gets two flights free. The extra nights are for special travel deals that cost more. Similar to MB's tours.


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