535GT or 535xiT
Hello. It's been over a year since I've been on this forum. Briefly, I've owned 7 BMWs, from 2002s to a 635 to a couple of 540s. Nearly 2 years ago I got rid of my company's 23k GVRW UD diesel box van and my 99 540iT and bought a cargo trailer and VW Touareg V8. I occasionally haul laser display equipment, and we upgraded our heavy old water-cooled lasers to new diode lasers. The Touareg made sense, as it and a 12 foot trailer could haul the equivalent of 15k lbs. of the old equipment.
The Touareg is a pretty nice ride but it gets dismal fuel mileage: ~14 on the road unloaded, and 9.5 hauling a trailer that is 2k lbs. loaded. It has been fairly reliable, but now has 88k miles and is not under warranty. I'm now frequently working on a music tour based in Nashville and commute there from Atlanta ~ 3 times per month. I rarely haul the laser equipment as it travels on a semi, but occasionally I haul it between Atlanta and Nashville. We also tow a 3500 lb. ski boat & trailer. Every time I veer from driving a BMW I wind up going back. I try to buy a 2-3-year old CPO vehicle. I prefer wagons. Frankly, I just don't care for SUVs. I loved my 540iT and I loved my Audi Allroad until it needed $ 10k worth of repairs at 80k miles. My wife drives an A6 Avant.
At this point, I'd like something a little newer and more efficient for my Nashville commute. BTW, we also haul around an aging Golden Muttreiver, and I sometimes haul sails for our sailboat that won't fit in a sedan. My ideal ride would be an '09 or 10 535xiT. Unfortunately its towing capacity is Class I at best. I guess my choices are a 535GT or keep the Touareg and also get an '09 or 10 wagon. The cost of either decision would be roughly the same. To me, the GT may be too close to an SUV. The X5 diesel would make sense, but it's a full-blown SUV. I would prefer the 8-speed xmission in the newer models. too bad BMW only puts the diesel into 3 Series sedans, X3s and X5s.
Any advise regarding the GT X-Drive vs. the wagon? Either way, I want basic options such as premium audio, premium and sport packages. Navigation is also desired, as long as BMW's nav is good. The Touareg's CD-based nav truly sucks. It is usually lost (offroad) and takes 3 CDs for the drive from Atlanta to 30 miles west of Nashville. Any other suggested options? From what I've read, the 19" wheels may be prone to cracking, so I'm ok with 18"
'05 VW Touareg V8, '01 Audi A6 Avant, '06 Jetta
'99 540iT'01 Audi allroad, '97 540i, '93 Lexus SC300 m, '89 535i, '83 635i, '85 Alfa GTV6, '79 320i, '71 & 69 2002, '69 Alfa Spider
Last edited by MERTON; 10-22-2012 at 09:06 PM.
Reason: added X-Drive as requirement