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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 04-23-2011, 04:47 PM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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Question 2011 X3 35i or 2012 X5 35i?

Help! My X3 is scheduled to be built the second week of May. When I checked out the 2012 X5 pricing online, it doesn't appear to be much more unless you pick the premium version of the X5. I initially thought that the gas milage was better on the X3 but it only appears to be a few mpg more. Can anyone tell me the advantages of one over the other? One advantage to me is that I can only get the Blue Water metallic on the X3, but that's something I could live without. My current car is a Ford Explorer, so I am losing a lot of storage capacity with the X3 and am thinking that the X5 would be closer in size to what I am used to. With the X5, I'd be getting a newer year, but I also read that it may be redesigned in 2013 or 2014 while the X3 has just been redesigned. Decisions, decisions. Thank you.

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Last edited by mibmwx3; 04-25-2011 at 01:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:29 PM
socfan12 socfan12 is offline
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Hi mibmwx3, I was in a very similar dilemma. I have not ordered an X3 yet like you, but was deciding between the X3 and the X5. I originally looked at the X5 to replace my RX400H. I wanted something with more cargo space and definitely a lot more fun to drive. Anyway, the dealerships I have gone to seem to be pushing the X3 quite a bit. So I test drove one. The X3 was fun and handled well. But my family preferred the larger size of the X5, and I really liked the steering feel from it as well. Also, my daughter is always a different temperature from the rest of us, so the 4 zone climate control is awfully nice (I didn't see it as an option on the X3). So for now, I'm leaning towards the X5. But as you see, I'm on an X3 forum, so decision's not final yet.

Anyway, good luck with your choice! Let us know what you ultimately decide.

btw, this is my first post here as I do my research on my very first bimmer.
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:36 PM
Glen E Glen E is offline
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There is no advantages or disadvantages to either car - they play to diff needs and wants. The X5 is a bigger truck that you can't flick around -If you are into handling, the X3 is the choice. The X5 is bigger with 3rd seat avail, so if you need more room or want more car around you, go the X5. To me the X5 is more truck, the X3 is more 3 series.

It's really that simple - the X3 has more SPORTS in it's chromosomes, the X5 is a Xdrive touring machine...your choice.

PS I have owned both.

But they both have the BMW "Balance" -how it handles due to equal weight distribution.

Last edited by Glen E; 04-23-2011 at 05:52 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:43 PM
No12 No12 is offline
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Nothing wrong with the X5, but for me, the X3 is a better (ie. smaller) size with the amount of carrying capacity I need, it's less expensive to buy and run, it's easier to handle around tight urban areas, the new X3 is longer away from a new design than the X5 is (coming in 2013 Model, IIRC). Also, the X3 is almost a 1000# less weight to lug around. If you need the larger size, go for the X5. Not for me, tho.
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:54 PM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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Normally I will be the only one in the car. In the summer, I use the back of my Explorer to transport yard waste to my parent's compost pile, but I could mulch instead of bagging which would greatly reduce the volume. Might also consider a small trailer.

I decided on the X3 after my first visit to the BMW dealership. They were holding the X3 event that day and so I drove the X3 and loved it. I have not driven the X5.

Last edited by mibmwx3; 04-23-2011 at 05:58 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:57 PM
donkeyjote donkeyjote is offline
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I faced the same dilemma and went with the X3. Why? Better mileage, faster to 60mph, and $10k cheaper. May get the X5 next time if space proves inadequate.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:24 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Don't know how the new X3 will be, but he X5 has very poor reliability reviews. Something to think about.
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  #8  
Old 04-23-2011, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Want the Thrill View Post
Don't know how the new X3 will be, but he X5 has very poor reliability reviews. Something to think about.
Although I don't hold much stock in Consumer Reports they just tanked the new X5. Very low low low grading.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2011, 08:18 PM
socfan12 socfan12 is offline
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Yes, read that CR issue (I'm a subscriber). My experience differs than what they report. For example, my wife drives a GL450, supposed to be lower reliability than my Lexus RX. But I had more unscheduled maintenance on my RX than our GL (only 2 minor ones in 3 yrs of leasing). A friend of mine also has leased an X5d and he loves it. No issues thus far. Am I worried? A bit, but I guess I'm willing to tolerate a bit of pain for some of that bimmer magic...
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2011, 09:03 PM
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My dad has a 2010 X5 diesel. Does a few things well, but the reliability on it is poor. My dad has sworn off American-built cars as a result. I'm not as extreme, but it's by far the worst BMW we have.

The X5 drives like a truck unless you fit the Adaptive Drive. The interior isn't that great and looks dated compared to the new X3. I also don't like the E70 looks.

The jury is still out on the new X3's reliability (it ain't looking good though) but at least it drives better than the X5. The new X3 drives like a crossover SUV as opposed to a full size SUV like the X5. The interior feels nicer and the instruments are superb. The design is also more pleasing to the eye.

Which one would I buy? Neither. But for the sake of comparison, I'd prefer the X3 (again) over the X5.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2011, 09:25 PM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
My dad has a 2010 X5 diesel. Does a few things well, but the reliability on it is poor. My dad has sworn off American-built cars as a result. I'm not as extreme, but it's by far the worst BMW we have.

The X5 drives like a truck unless you fit the Adaptive Drive. The interior isn't that great and looks dated compared to the new X3. I also don't like the E70 looks.

The jury is still out on the new X3's reliability (it ain't looking good though) but at least it drives better than the X5. The new X3 drives like a crossover SUV as opposed to a full size SUV like the X5. The interior feels nicer and the instruments are superb. The design is also more pleasing to the eye.

Which one would I buy? Neither. But for the sake of comparison, I'd prefer the X3 (again) over the X5.

Why do you say the X3's reliability "ain't looking good"? Do you have data to back this up?
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:34 PM
Glen E Glen E is offline
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Originally Posted by mibmwx3 View Post
Why do you say the X3's reliability "ain't looking good"? Do you have data to back this up?
yeah this seems like a pretty off base statement seeing as the car has been on the ground in dealers for about all of 3 months. So far no recalls and serious service actions.
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2011, 09:50 PM
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For starters: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=518206

Then just scroll down thru the first 3-4 pages of the F25 forum.

In Europe the X3 has been out since late 2010:

http://www.motor-talk.de/forum/probl...-t3029750.html
http://www.motor-talk.de/forum/stark...-t3108253.html

Granted all of this stuff is to be expected as first year teething problems and bigs and isn't unique to the X3. The X3 got a new factory, new technology, and a redesign, so some first year glitches are pretty normal.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:51 PM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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I checked Google and see that there have been some issues with sensors - mostly because this is a new model. Didn't see any reports of anything major.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:55 PM
Glen E Glen E is offline
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sorry, don't think anything you posted shows that the reliability is "not looking good".....

it certainly could later but.....
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Old 04-23-2011, 10:45 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
Although I don't hold much stock in Consumer Reports they just tanked the new X5. Very low low low grading.
I just read that too! They have never given it high praise in the reliability areas.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:05 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
For starters: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=518206

Then just scroll down thru the first 3-4 pages of the F25 forum.

In Europe the X3 has been out since late 2010:

http://www.motor-talk.de/forum/probl...-t3029750.html
http://www.motor-talk.de/forum/stark...-t3108253.html

Granted all of this stuff is to be expected as first year teething problems and bigs and isn't unique to the X3. The X3 got a new factory, new technology, and a redesign, so some first year glitches are pretty normal.
Can't read the second two links so don't even know what they are saying.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:37 AM
PotOdds PotOdds is offline
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I'm in the same boat. I was all set to buy a loaded x3 sans HUD but decided to try other vehicles including used and new x5s.

Pricing the x3 and x5, I was looking to configure Navigation, Panoramic Moonroof and Heated front seats.

Amex/Zag
2012 x5 xDrive35i Base with Oyster Leather, Nav, Conv Package (panny moonroof, ambience lighting, autodim mirrors, dark burl walnut trim) and Heated Front Seats comes out to $50,795.
2011 x3 x35i with Tech, Sport Activity, DHP, Cold Weather, Premium, M Sport, Comfort Access comes out to about the same, $50,990.
2012 x5 xDrive35i Premium with Nav, Comfort Access, BMW Apps (6NR) comes out to about $55, 240.

- Would really have like Comfort Access but x5 Base doesn't offer it.
- Y spoke wheels are nicer looking but not offered on the x5 Base.
- Could bypass leather but decided it was worthwhile.

I'm not seeing how the x35i Premium is worth more than $4.5k more x35i Base. The difference in standard features between the 2 trims (not including the options I picked for the Base).

- Rim (209 vs 334)
- tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- 4 way lumbar support
- power adjustable steering column
- power tailgate
- park distance control
- privacy glass

x35i Premium comes standard with moonroof, heated front seats, leather, wood trim, ambiance lights, autodim mirrors which I added to the x35i Base. It basically seems like u are paying $4.5k for power tailgate and park distance control plus the chance to add more options.

They both have the same N55 engine. But since the x5 is 750lbs heavier, it's only rated for 16/23 vs x3 19/26. x5 has more space.

Haven't test drove the x5 yet but will do so. Btw, if you can configure an 2011 x5 Base, it's even cheaper but you won't be able to get leather at all.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:31 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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There are also some other interesting SUV/SAV's out there too. The ML, Q5, Q7, T-egg, XC60, XC70, XC90, new Outback, and of course the Cayenne. Lots to choose from now! Saw a Subie outback with paper plates (new car) that looked great. I looked straight across at the driver from my X3 so the driver's height (a big screen out for me) was the same and it was a very handsome (IMHO) ride in executive Black. The new Outbacks are larger with more leg room which was a problem in the past. They also have more cargo room with the seats folded too. If you are going to be hauling garden clippings etc. that might be a car to get (can you even imagine hauling leaves in your Cayenne?). I know I am going to take a closer look at one when I am ready to trade.

Last edited by UncleJ; 04-24-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:20 AM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
There are also some other interesting SUV/SAV's out there too. The ML, Q5, Q7, T-egg, XC60, XC70, XC90, new Outback, and of course the Cayenne. Lots to choose from now! Saw a Subie outback with paper plates (new car) that looked great. I looked straight across at the driver from my X3 so the driver's height (a big screen out for me) was the same and it was a very handsome (IMHO) ride in executive Black. The new Outbacks are larger with more leg room which was a problem in the past. They also have more cargo room with the seats folded too. If you are going to be hauling garden clippings etc. that might be a car to get (can you even imagine hauling leaves in your Cayenne?). I know I am going to take a closer look at one when I am ready to trade.
The only one of the cars that you listed that I took on a test drive was the Q5. Not bad but I didn't like the front wheel drive feel. I don't care for the looks of the Outback, XC60 or XC70. The XC90 isn't bad looking. I'm a woman and not a car buff, so I don't know what a ML or T-egg is. I'm already spending 20K more than I've ever spent on a car, so the Cayenne is too rich for my blood.

Last edited by mibmwx3; 04-24-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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  #21  
Old 04-24-2011, 09:24 AM
Glen E Glen E is offline
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Thee are two things to research when looking at the competition. How much of the weight is on the front axle vs rear - some load the front axle with as much as 580 lbs on the front - (Lexus) and also when on dry pavement, what pct of the power is going up front vs rear. Sports cars are rear wheel drive and handle better that way. The X3 is one of the AWD cars that is rear wheel drive biased (60% of power on thru rear on dry). Most still put most of it thru the front.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:01 AM
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harplayr harplayr is offline
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Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
There are also some other interesting SUV/SAV's out there too. The ML, Q5, Q7, T-egg, XC60, XC70, XC90, new Outback, and of course the Cayenne. Lots to choose from now! Saw a Subie outback with paper plates (new car) that looked great. I looked straight across at the driver from my X3 so the driver's height (a big screen out for me) was the same and it was a very handsome (IMHO) ride in executive Black. The new Outbacks are larger with more leg room which was a problem in the past. They also have more cargo room with the seats folded too. If you are going to be hauling garden clippings etc. that might be a car to get (can you even imagine hauling leaves in your Cayenne?). I know I am going to take a closer look at one when I am ready to trade.
On paper the Outback does look good. Good enough for me to buy one last year.
It was an absolute nightmare and for the first time in my life I had to resort to the lemon laws because Subaru couldn't fix it. I was never happier to dump a car than I was the Outback.

It doesn't compare in real driving experience to the old X3 let alone the new X3 in any respect.
The steering is disjointed, very sensitive to cross winds, sloppy wobbly handling, and poor engine performance among other things. It's just not in the same class.

To anybody looking at getting an Outback, do yourself a favor and read this forum section dedicated to it shaking at highway speeds.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...-shake-issues/
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:58 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Mib, the "ML" is the Mercedes "M" Class SUV - a little smaller than the X5 but a bit larger than the X3. The "T-egg" is the VW Touareg which is the same platform as the Cayenne and Q7 -- although the latter platform has been stretched to allow for a third row. All are rear drive biased except the Q7 I think. The VW TDI version is the cheapest diesel SUV currently available in the US. The Mercedes is a very comfortable ride, not floaty like the Lexus RX but much better than the X3 and X5 IMHO. My daughter has a XC90 (three kids) and loves it. She drives a lot of miles and has had no problems in nearly 90K miles. The other daughter (2 kids) has a XC70 and loves that -- now it has 140K SoCal miles on it and still going strong.
Harp, thanks for the info on the Outback -- I had not heard anything about those problems. Reading that thread it appears the problem may be resolved with the newly built cars, but like the X3 '07 A/T you never know! I knew that subies might develop head gasket problems from time to time but that was about it as far as chronic ills went. Will check further. Thanks again!

Last edited by UncleJ; 04-24-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:53 PM
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Harp, thanks for the info on the Outback -- I had not heard anything about those problems. Reading that thread it appears the problem may be resolved with the newly built cars, but like the X3 '07 A/T you never know! I knew that subies might develop head gasket problems from time to time but that was about it as far as chronic ills went. Will check further. Thanks again!
Actually the Outback shake problems are still ongoing (now well into its second model year for this generation). If looking at an Outback, I'd suggest a 2009, or wait for the refresh to see if they make suspension changes.

While they have come out with TSB's to try to mask the problem, they are still selling shakers (a couple of new ones reported this week), and the results of the TSB's actually fixing the problem are mixed. Part of the fix is a special road force balance and a few of the people that have had the TSB fix have reported the return of the shakes when tires are rotated, when it gets warm or after a few thousand miles. It's really touchy.

I wouldn't be too concerned if there was a real fix for this problem, but to-date they have not publically identified the cause and their corrective measures have only been in the 50% range. If the TSB doesn't fix it, then your only recourse is to fight for a buyback or lemon law suit as I had to do.
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Last edited by harplayr; 04-24-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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  #25  
Old 04-24-2011, 06:45 PM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
Mib, the "ML" is the Mercedes "M" Class SUV - a little smaller than the X5 but a bit larger than the X3. The "T-egg" is the VW Touareg which is the same platform as the Cayenne and Q7 -- although the latter platform has been stretched to allow for a third row. All are rear drive biased except the Q7 I think. The VW TDI version is the cheapest diesel SUV currently available in the US. The Mercedes is a very comfortable ride, not floaty like the Lexus RX but much better than the X3 and X5 IMHO. My daughter has a XC90 (three kids) and loves it. She drives a lot of miles and has had no problems in nearly 90K miles. The other daughter (2 kids) has a XC70 and loves that -- now it has 140K SoCal miles on it and still going strong.
Harp, thanks for the info on the Outback -- I had not heard anything about those problems. Reading that thread it appears the problem may be resolved with the newly built cars, but like the X3 '07 A/T you never know! I knew that subies might develop head gasket problems from time to time but that was about it as far as chronic ills went. Will check further. Thanks again!

I like the looks of the Mercedes ML350 and it's also available in light blue, but it is more money up front and in maintenance plus the gas mileage isn't great, so it looks like I'll be sticking with the X3.
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