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Old 12-19-2012, 04:06 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 9,160
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
A 3 series Touring (wagon) or e39 Touring would work great. And don't fret about the snow...just have a set of dedicated winter tires. With proper winter tires...your son's driving experience will be better than most SUV owners that are running with all season tires. If mountain passes will be part of his driving experience...then also supply a set of chains.

I'm sure he'd appreciate the utility for all the stuff you mentioned about carrying...and he'd get better gas mileage if you went with any of the I6 models *3 or 5 series). In fact, the e34 & e39 Touring has more cargo space than the e53 X5. I've driven through blizzards, ice storms, freezing rain...everything a winter living in the Great Lakes area can throw at you...and I've never gotten stuck or slid off the road using dedicated winter tires (all 4 corners). AWD is nice, but a RWD mounted with proper winter tires is amazingly more capable than you can imagine. Being able to stop as well as turn is just as important as acceleration...and dedicated winter tires excel with all three of those criteria.

Plus the Tourings also have the roof rails that uses the same cross bars like the X5 if additional carriage is required. Again, an e39 528iT or 525iT should seriously be considered...I loved my e34 & e39 Tourings. And also give the 3 series Tourings a look...again, mounted with dedicated winters makes them almost unstoppable...and if the newer models are within the budget range...they have multiple models with AWD/x-Drive just like the X3 & X5 models.

Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)
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