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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 07-19-2011, 08:11 AM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is online now
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3,000 miles done. Impressions on X5d (versus Q7)

Finally hit 3k miles on the car this past weekend. Decided to do a quick review against the old Audi

The cars:

2007 Audi Q7 3.6 Premium Quattro
3.6L VR6/6 speed Tiptroinc
280hp/260 ft/lb torque



vs

2011 BMW X5 xDrive 35d
3.0L I6 twin turbo/6 speed Steptronic
265hp/425 ft/lb torque



Looks/Exterior:

Always felt the Q7 was always more distinctive on the road. Not very common at all. The X5, though, I see everywhere. Just not in red or in diesel form :laugh: I think they're both one of the best looking cars in their segment of German SUVs. The ML is quite bland compared to them. The Touareg is decent too.

BMW has updated the X5 to have LED Coronas and they look sick on the red exterior. Q7 also just got LEDs, but they look like christmas lights. Audi went overboard on the Q7 IMO.

Winner: tie

Engine:

Not even worth comparing. BMW in every possible situation. Even though it sounds a little diesely and has that gravely noise at low speeds, there is no competition. The M57 outshines the VR6 in every possible situation, while getting 10+ more mpg. I always thought the VR6 wasn't well watched to the large Q7 and on highway passing, it struggles. (I was too cheap to spend the extra coin on the 4.2 V8 and get even worse MPG). However, due to its 26 gallon tank, a 450 mile range was easy. The X5 has only a 21 mile tank and I can go well over 500 without even trying. The VR6 was strong low down, but the diesel is faster all thru the rpm range. Step on the gas at 65 and the diesel takes off. The VR6 doesn't. The X5 is almost 2 seconds faster to 60. (mid to high 6s for X5 and 8.5s for Q7). The diesel has a great V8-like growl on the highway, but I wouldn't say the VR6 didn't sound good. It was a good sounding engine, it just didn't have much power to back it up. I can't think of even one situation where the X5 wouldn't walk the Q7. I always thought the Q7's VR6 needed more gears or a FI engine and Audi finally has put in the 3.0T. Obviously apples to oranges. Diesel vs petrol. Torque FTW

Winner: BMW hands down

Interior:

Exactly what Audi does best. No one beats them at this price point. Everything was soft touch, leather clad, and felt like a more quality product. The X5 retails for $10k more, but the inside doesn't feel $10k better. Audi was clearly a bargain. Everything felt more solid. I'm not saying the BMW is horrible, but it does feel a lot more low rent. BMW does have soft touch, etc, but the leather, dash, everything else felt better on the Q7. All the switches on the Audi felt of higher quality. It is hard to argue this. BMW clearly didn't spend the money on the insides, yet charge $1900 for a leather covered dash and charge crazy amounts of money to add more lux touches.

However, the BMW's interior feels more down to business. Everything is more logically placed and easier to use. Audi's climate control is needlessly complicated (seat heaters, for example, require a press of a button, then you turn the knob to select setting, then press the button to select). BMW is much more direct. One press and the seat heater is on. The Steptronic joystick controller thing falls right into your hand when you rest your arm on the armrest. The iDrive knob is right next to it. Cupholders are in front of the transmission joystick. Much more logical than the Q7's. The Q7s were in the center armrest and always felt like you were going to spill something on the MMI controls. I was not a fan of the 4 spoke Audi wheel (Sline gave you 3 spoke). BMW's 3 spoke is better, thicker, feels better in the hand.

BMW's gauges are clean and simple, but I can't help but think the Audis just looked more expensive and cooler. I wish they'd update them, like they did on the F10 5er.

I'm not a huge fan of the BMW keyfob though. I liked the old Audi switchblade. It was just cooler

Winner: Audi by a long shot

On the road:

Both of the cars have two distinct personalities. The Q7 has a more supple, luxurious ride. It was much more of an autobahn/highway cruiser, then a mountain country road SUV. It did feel sporty with good steering feel, but sporty is what BMW does best. The X5's ride is a lot harder, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Thankfully, I didn't get the sport package and huge wheels on the X5 (Q7 had 20s) because New England roads suck and these run flats are already overpriced as it is. The Q7 was light steering in low speed situations, which made it easy to park etc, while the BMW is always hard and heavy. Audi was gracious to include speed-sensative steering, but for BMW, Active Steering is an option that isn't available on the X5d. I don't miss it. I've always like heavy steering. The X5 is great on the highway too. The engine shines here obviously. It's right in the powerband at highway cruising speed and can get you into a lot of trouble. (speeding ticket has already happened :laugh

Back roads, country roads is where the BMW shines obviously. It transmits every possible road imperfection, but it's not bad at all. Stock suspension is good. Audi is much more of a highway cruiser. It's more wider, heavier, and likes cruising on the highway. The d likes it too, but it's also great on the side roads. Can't say the same about the heavy BMW.

The Q7 drives like a larger A4, but the X5 is more sharper, akin to a 3 series.

Winner: Tie. diff't strings for diff't people. Want a lux ride, get the Audi. Want a sporty ride, BMW for you.

Tech:

I like my tech toys and this car delivers. BMW all the way. The new iDrive is much more logical than the old MMI. (MMI Touch fixes most of these issues.) 2 USB Ports, HDD to rip music to, HD Radio, Google Earth, I can send POIs to the car from my iPhone and Google Maps. BMW Assist is great. A2DP bluetooth streaming. Everything seems much easier to use than the Audi. Most everything can be done on Voice Commands. Audi's VC barely worked. It was a waste of money. BMW has an electric parking brake, auto hold, electric power steering adjustment, joystick transmission controller, and everything is very easy to use. iDrive displays album art when you plug in a USB drive or iPod. It has traffic in the NAV. 3D buildings. The NAV is head and shoulders above the old MMI. The Split Screen iDrive screen is much more logical than MMI IMO. You can have two diff't things on the screen. It works great

I can set a timer for when I want the fan to turn on if I leave the car in the sun. I can open the windows with my key. (You need a VCDS to do that on the Audi) I can check maintence, brake pads, etc thru the iDrive. If the car needs service, I can request it thru iDrive, and then my dealer will call me because the BMW called them.

Audi has no BMW Assist rival. They are great.

However, BMW can't do audio systems for their life. The sound system blows. I miss my old Bose Surround System. It had much more punch and sounded more clearer.

The backup camera and the top view cameras in the side mirrors are a godsend for parallel parking. They work great. Kudos to BMW for this

Regrets? I wish I had gotten the Heads Up display. Audi's MFI display between the gauges is simply better and provides much more info. I dont have to look at the MMI screen for NAV. I do have to for iDrive. Audi has blind spot detection. BMW doesn't offer it.

Winner: BMW.

Space:

It's much more compact than the Q7 and it feels it. Easier to park. The Q7 was a pain in the ass in tight parking lots. However, I do miss the space. The back seats in the X5 have noticeably less room than the Q7. The Q7's seats reclined, moved back and forth. X5 has a bench seat that can't be moved. Cargo space is MUCH larger on the Q7.

Winner: Audi

Service:

BMW hands down. The dealer will come to my house and pick up the car while leaving the loaner. They have new 328s, 335s, and a couple 5ers. My Audi dealer was crap. They have a couple C5 A6s with 100k miles on it. Not a good way to treat Audi owners IMO. BMW's showroom, even though its smaller, is nicer inside. To top it off, free maintenance has always been a BMW forté. Most important is that they cover brakes. If I had kept the Q7, I was only a couple thousand miles away from a $1,500 brake job. With the BMW warranty, it's covered. Don't have to worry about it. They also top off urea, if I come in. Audi would charge me.

Winner: BMW

Issues:

The one recurring issue that I got sick of on the Audi was the creaking panoramic sunroof. The dealer considered it normal and said that every Q7 they've been in does it Guess what Morong Audi, my BMW's pano roof doesn't do it. I was in NJ once with the Q7 and the dealer there adjusted something and it went away. Comes right back after a couple days. Local dealer said it wouldn't be covered under warranty and I'd have to pay for the adjustment of the glass. Are you joking? Besides that, I had no CELs, no electrical problems. The car was perfect. Apparently they fixed the pano roof issue on later production Q7s. I had an early production Q7 built in June 06. So I had one of the earliest Q7s when they came out.

Nothing major to report on the X5 so far.

Would I do it again?:

Of course I would, but I would get a couple more options on the X5, more specifically the Sports Seats, BMW Apps (pandora integration into the iDrive), and the Heads Up Display. When I was buying, I was considering the Touareg and X5d and the BMW was only $500 more for a loaded one, next to a mid lvl Touareg TDI. It was a no brainer. However, if I had not owned a Q7 before this, I would have had a Q7 TDI in my garage. The Audi was a great car. 4 years. No major problems to report. It was a solid car that also held its value REALLY WELL (the X5 and Q7 have the best residuals in their segment)

Being such a huge VW/Audi fan, I was reluctant to make the jump to BMW, but I'm glad I did. The dealership is great. My CA emails or calls me every so often to see how I'm liking the car and if I have any issues with the iDrive. Gold star for him.

Cliffnotes:

Q7 vs X5. Very different SUVs. X5 is sportier. Q7 is more of a luxo cruiser. Q7 is much larger. Diesel torque FTW! VR6 engine FTL.

Last edited by AutoUnion; 07-19-2011 at 08:21 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-19-2011, 01:29 PM
marauder73 marauder73 is offline
2012 X5 xDrive35i
Location: Frankfurt
 
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Mein Auto: 2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i
Outstanding comparitive review.

One note on the seats however. If you get the 3rd row on the X5, then you can move the 2nd row back and forth, as well as recline. You don't lose any storage either because they fold completely into the floor and all you lose is the spare tire. This is a worthwhile option even if you rarely ever use the 3rd row at all, just to be able to get that extra 2nd row space.
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  #3  
Old 07-19-2011, 02:36 PM
laperacfo laperacfo is offline
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Good comparison. Love your color.
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2011, 02:39 PM
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ckm1515 ckm1515 is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
Finally hit 3k miles on the car this past weekend. Decided to do a quick review against the old Audi

The cars:

2007 Audi Q7 3.6 Premium Quattro
3.6L VR6/6 speed Tiptroinc
280hp/260 ft/lb torque



vs

2011 BMW X5 xDrive 35d
3.0L I6 twin turbo/6 speed Steptronic
265hp/425 ft/lb torque



Looks/Exterior:

Always felt the Q7 was always more distinctive on the road. Not very common at all. The X5, though, I see everywhere. Just not in red or in diesel form :laugh: I think they're both one of the best looking cars in their segment of German SUVs. The ML is quite bland compared to them. The Touareg is decent too.

BMW has updated the X5 to have LED Coronas and they look sick on the red exterior. Q7 also just got LEDs, but they look like christmas lights. Audi went overboard on the Q7 IMO.

Winner: tie

Engine:

Not even worth comparing. BMW in every possible situation. Even though it sounds a little diesely and has that gravely noise at low speeds, there is no competition. The M57 outshines the VR6 in every possible situation, while getting 10+ more mpg. I always thought the VR6 wasn't well watched to the large Q7 and on highway passing, it struggles. (I was too cheap to spend the extra coin on the 4.2 V8 and get even worse MPG). However, due to its 26 gallon tank, a 450 mile range was easy. The X5 has only a 21 mile tank and I can go well over 500 without even trying. The VR6 was strong low down, but the diesel is faster all thru the rpm range. Step on the gas at 65 and the diesel takes off. The VR6 doesn't. The X5 is almost 2 seconds faster to 60. (mid to high 6s for X5 and 8.5s for Q7). The diesel has a great V8-like growl on the highway, but I wouldn't say the VR6 didn't sound good. It was a good sounding engine, it just didn't have much power to back it up. I can't think of even one situation where the X5 wouldn't walk the Q7. I always thought the Q7's VR6 needed more gears or a FI engine and Audi finally has put in the 3.0T. Obviously apples to oranges. Diesel vs petrol. Torque FTW

Winner: BMW hands down

Interior:

Exactly what Audi does best. No one beats them at this price point. Everything was soft touch, leather clad, and felt like a more quality product. The X5 retails for $10k more, but the inside doesn't feel $10k better. Audi was clearly a bargain. Everything felt more solid. I'm not saying the BMW is horrible, but it does feel a lot more low rent. BMW does have soft touch, etc, but the leather, dash, everything else felt better on the Q7. All the switches on the Audi felt of higher quality. It is hard to argue this. BMW clearly didn't spend the money on the insides, yet charge $1900 for a leather covered dash and charge crazy amounts of money to add more lux touches.

However, the BMW's interior feels more down to business. Everything is more logically placed and easier to use. Audi's climate control is needlessly complicated (seat heaters, for example, require a press of a button, then you turn the knob to select setting, then press the button to select). BMW is much more direct. One press and the seat heater is on. The Steptronic joystick controller thing falls right into your hand when you rest your arm on the armrest. The iDrive knob is right next to it. Cupholders are in front of the transmission joystick. Much more logical than the Q7's. The Q7s were in the center armrest and always felt like you were going to spill something on the MMI controls. I was not a fan of the 4 spoke Audi wheel (Sline gave you 3 spoke). BMW's 3 spoke is better, thicker, feels better in the hand.

BMW's gauges are clean and simple, but I can't help but think the Audis just looked more expensive and cooler. I wish they'd update them, like they did on the F10 5er.

I'm not a huge fan of the BMW keyfob though. I liked the old Audi switchblade. It was just cooler

Winner: Audi by a long shot

On the road:

Both of the cars have two distinct personalities. The Q7 has a more supple, luxurious ride. It was much more of an autobahn/highway cruiser, then a mountain country road SUV. It did feel sporty with good steering feel, but sporty is what BMW does best. The X5's ride is a lot harder, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. Thankfully, I didn't get the sport package and huge wheels on the X5 (Q7 had 20s) because New England roads suck and these run flats are already overpriced as it is. The Q7 was light steering in low speed situations, which made it easy to park etc, while the BMW is always hard and heavy. Audi was gracious to include speed-sensative steering, but for BMW, Active Steering is an option that isn't available on the X5d. I don't miss it. I've always like heavy steering. The X5 is great on the highway too. The engine shines here obviously. It's right in the powerband at highway cruising speed and can get you into a lot of trouble. (speeding ticket has already happened :laugh

Back roads, country roads is where the BMW shines obviously. It transmits every possible road imperfection, but it's not bad at all. Stock suspension is good. Audi is much more of a highway cruiser. It's more wider, heavier, and likes cruising on the highway. The d likes it too, but it's also great on the side roads. Can't say the same about the heavy BMW.

The Q7 drives like a larger A4, but the X5 is more sharper, akin to a 3 series.

Winner: Tie. diff't strings for diff't people. Want a lux ride, get the Audi. Want a sporty ride, BMW for you.

Tech:

I like my tech toys and this car delivers. BMW all the way. The new iDrive is much more logical than the old MMI. (MMI Touch fixes most of these issues.) 2 USB Ports, HDD to rip music to, HD Radio, Google Earth, I can send POIs to the car from my iPhone and Google Maps. BMW Assist is great. A2DP bluetooth streaming. Everything seems much easier to use than the Audi. Most everything can be done on Voice Commands. Audi's VC barely worked. It was a waste of money. BMW has an electric parking brake, auto hold, electric power steering adjustment, joystick transmission controller, and everything is very easy to use. iDrive displays album art when you plug in a USB drive or iPod. It has traffic in the NAV. 3D buildings. The NAV is head and shoulders above the old MMI. The Split Screen iDrive screen is much more logical than MMI IMO. You can have two diff't things on the screen. It works great

I can set a timer for when I want the fan to turn on if I leave the car in the sun. I can open the windows with my key. (You need a VCDS to do that on the Audi) I can check maintence, brake pads, etc thru the iDrive. If the car needs service, I can request it thru iDrive, and then my dealer will call me because the BMW called them.

Audi has no BMW Assist rival. They are great.

However, BMW can't do audio systems for their life. The sound system blows. I miss my old Bose Surround System. It had much more punch and sounded more clearer.

The backup camera and the top view cameras in the side mirrors are a godsend for parallel parking. They work great. Kudos to BMW for this

Regrets? I wish I had gotten the Heads Up display. Audi's MFI display between the gauges is simply better and provides much more info. I dont have to look at the MMI screen for NAV. I do have to for iDrive. Audi has blind spot detection. BMW doesn't offer it.

Winner: BMW.

Space:

It's much more compact than the Q7 and it feels it. Easier to park. The Q7 was a pain in the ass in tight parking lots. However, I do miss the space. The back seats in the X5 have noticeably less room than the Q7. The Q7's seats reclined, moved back and forth. X5 has a bench seat that can't be moved. Cargo space is MUCH larger on the Q7.

Winner: Audi

Service:

BMW hands down. The dealer will come to my house and pick up the car while leaving the loaner. They have new 328s, 335s, and a couple 5ers. My Audi dealer was crap. They have a couple C5 A6s with 100k miles on it. Not a good way to treat Audi owners IMO. BMW's showroom, even though its smaller, is nicer inside. To top it off, free maintenance has always been a BMW forté. Most important is that they cover brakes. If I had kept the Q7, I was only a couple thousand miles away from a $1,500 brake job. With the BMW warranty, it's covered. Don't have to worry about it. They also top off urea, if I come in. Audi would charge me.

Winner: BMW

Issues:

The one recurring issue that I got sick of on the Audi was the creaking panoramic sunroof. The dealer considered it normal and said that every Q7 they've been in does it Guess what Morong Audi, my BMW's pano roof doesn't do it. I was in NJ once with the Q7 and the dealer there adjusted something and it went away. Comes right back after a couple days. Local dealer said it wouldn't be covered under warranty and I'd have to pay for the adjustment of the glass. Are you joking? Besides that, I had no CELs, no electrical problems. The car was perfect. Apparently they fixed the pano roof issue on later production Q7s. I had an early production Q7 built in June 06. So I had one of the earliest Q7s when they came out.

Nothing major to report on the X5 so far.

Would I do it again?:

Of course I would, but I would get a couple more options on the X5, more specifically the Sports Seats, BMW Apps (pandora integration into the iDrive), and the Heads Up Display. When I was buying, I was considering the Touareg and X5d and the BMW was only $500 more for a loaded one, next to a mid lvl Touareg TDI. It was a no brainer. However, if I had not owned a Q7 before this, I would have had a Q7 TDI in my garage. The Audi was a great car. 4 years. No major problems to report. It was a solid car that also held its value REALLY WELL (the X5 and Q7 have the best residuals in their segment)

Being such a huge VW/Audi fan, I was reluctant to make the jump to BMW, but I'm glad I did. The dealership is great. My CA emails or calls me every so often to see how I'm liking the car and if I have any issues with the iDrive. Gold star for him.

Cliffnotes:

Q7 vs X5. Very different SUVs. X5 is sportier. Q7 is more of a luxo cruiser. Q7 is much larger. Diesel torque FTW! VR6 engine FTL.
I'm sure it is a well written review but like a resume, if you don't get my attention in first three lines, you lost me.
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2011, 05:56 PM
c230mike c230mike is offline
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Great review!
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  #6  
Old 07-19-2011, 06:31 PM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckm1515 View Post
I'm sure it is a well written review but like a resume, if you don't get my attention in first three lines, you lost me.
That's why I put the cliffnotes on the bottom
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  #7  
Old 07-20-2011, 08:39 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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You got my attention -- so I finished reading it! Good comparo of two cars that I am seriously considering. I really like the Q7 and have had great luck with Audi's. Our local dealer will pick up and deliver or provide a loaner. Excellent service experience (wife's A4) so how you are treated really depends on players involved. My problem is that BMW X5's are thick on the ground out here and you see them coming around every corner. Audi Q7's not so much. The BMW stores here do deal and have large inventories, but it is harder to get the right price from Audi as they seem to sell eveything they get their hands on, and there are fewer stores.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:47 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Great review.

I just had the new '12 Audi Q7 3.0T (S4 engine) which addresses the power issue... but it drinks fuel and drives... um, big. My review comes out next month.

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  #9  
Old 07-20-2011, 06:27 PM
CAFleming CAFleming is offline
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Thanks for the review! I think your Audi vs BMW service experience is the same as mine. Although dealerships are independent to some extent, my impression is that BMW maintains a higher overall standard than Audi, especially in the loaner car department.

I find it hard to avoid the "upgrade paradox" as I call it, when I get a new car. The new car has far fewer miles on it, newer technology, and the little things that can start to irritate you after a while haven't raised their heads yet. And of course the new car is, well, newer.
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  #10  
Old 07-20-2011, 07:53 PM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
You got my attention -- so I finished reading it! Good comparo of two cars that I am seriously considering. I really like the Q7 and have had great luck with Audi's. Our local dealer will pick up and deliver or provide a loaner. Excellent service experience (wife's A4) so how you are treated really depends on players involved. My problem is that BMW X5's are thick on the ground out here and you see them coming around every corner. Audi Q7's not so much. The BMW stores here do deal and have large inventories, but it is harder to get the right price from Audi as they seem to sell eveything they get their hands on, and there are fewer stores.
I agree on the popularity. The X5 is everywhere. Never in red though. I'm happy I got it in a diff't color I only see black, dark blue, and beige here.


The Q7 is still a rarity around here. I see a couple every so often. Since Audis are selling like hotcakes now, the dealers are playing hardball and aren't negotiating. They know that if you won't buy it, someone else is ready to. Especially on Q5s and Q7s. My dealer has sold every Q5/7 they're going to be getting for the next 3-4 months for MSRP or something like $500 off. It's ridiculous.


Interesting note on dealers actually. I see Q5s everywhere in Maine. I was looking at dealers and its interesting to note that we only have 2 MB, 1 Lexus, No Acura, and 1 BMW dealer in the whole state of Maine. Guess how many Audi dealers we have? 3.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:31 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Competition is a wonderful thing! I love it when the dealers have to bid against their own brands to get your business! FYI in our immediate area we have no less than 5 BMW stores -- all within 30 minutes driving time of each other.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:43 AM
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PurPlazur PurPlazur is offline
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Thanks for your review. Very well written. I think your description is dead on. We have an A4 for smooth riding and the X5 for spirited driving. The Audi is definitely cushier riding. I consider myself having the best of both worlds
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  #13  
Old 07-23-2011, 10:52 AM
PaceBMW of Mamaroneck PaceBMW of Mamaroneck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurPlazur View Post
Thanks for your review. Very well written. I think your description is dead on. We have an A4 for smooth riding and the X5 for spirited driving. The Audi is definitely cushier riding. I consider myself having the best of both worlds
Awesome review.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:24 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurPlazur View Post
Thanks for your review. Very well written. I think your description is dead on. We have an A4 for smooth riding and the X5 for spirited driving. The Audi is definitely cushier riding. I consider myself having the best of both worlds
Okay, how funny is this... I will have the exact same cars in my "fleet" as you!

'11 BMW X5 35d
'10 Audi A4

Great taste!

- Mike
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'13 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro 8AT
'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2011, 06:52 PM
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PurPlazur PurPlazur is offline
is what life is ..
Location: Montreal
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 111
Mein Auto: 2011 X5 3.5d
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaceBMW of Mamaroneck View Post
Awesome review.
Yup. Great taste!
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Present: 2011 BMW X5 3.5d (luxury Grp / Executive Grp / Premium Sound / Navigation Grp) /Roof rack / Running boards
Present: 2010 Audi A4 2.0T
Present: 2001 Honda VFR 800 Interceptor
Present: 2002 Kawasaki ZX-6
Present: 1998 Suzuki GSX-R 750 (Track)
Retired: 2007 Subaru Outback H6
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