>> Curious, how did you decide between the Merc and the BMW in this case? (I'm in the >> same boat but have always driven BMWs so haven't as much experience on the other end.)
I live in a hilly area in the north of England. Last winter was a bitch, and I had little/zero control of where that rear wheel drive / summer sport tyre combo wanted to go. Sometimes it was scary. Of course I could have gotten winter tyres, but my lease was up, so decided on the X3 with plenty of toys (I didn't have on the Merc).
Of course I'm still looking at the winter tyres on this thing, just to be sure, but that's another story.
Sorry to be off topic ...