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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 12-11-2012, 11:10 AM
lair12 lair12 is offline
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X3 vs Q5 - quirky key decision

I've spent the better part of a week going back and forth between the Q5 and the X3. I've been leaning towards the Q5.I currently have a 2010 A3 TDI, and want something a little less pokey. (Hey where is the A3 when I need it?)

Q5 pros: more comforable seats, quieter, nicer lines, adjustable arm rest, nicer wheels, closer dealer, $1000 loyalty, USAA pricing, 19" wheels

Q5 cons: no radio buttons, 4 spoke wheel, armrest covers cupholders, bad all weather mats, no start/stop 2.0

X3 pros: 3 spoke wheel, nicer dash and layout, radio buttons, more horsepower, better gas mileage?, faster 0-60, lighter, 4 year maintenance, made in USA, passenger lumbar, larger rear opening, weathertech mats, larger nav screen, $1000 holiday cash, USAA pricing, Spartenburg delivery

X3 cons: less attractive exterior, black body cladding, further dealer, run flat tires, 18" tires

But, crazy as it seems, my BIGGEST HATE of the Q5 is that I cannot just simply and quick change between the two or three radio stations I listen to. It seems crazy that this should be a deciding element, but unless I get some sense that is will not be a five step process, I feel I will spend years being frustrated over this simple item, and should go to the X3.

I expect I may get the 3.0 on both, but I felt that the 2.0 on the Q5 was MUCH quieter and smoother than the 2.0 on the X3. Am I way off base here?

Any thoughts on whether to NOT get the 3.0 on either?

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:36 AM
sirgrotius sirgrotius is offline
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I don't know if this helps but when I read the "pros" list for the X3 I was smiling and nodding while for the Q5 I was like "ehh."
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:10 PM
gEEkChris gEEkChris is offline
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My 2 cents would be that this X3 is the best vehicle I have ever owned (my 4th BMW). I can't believe I get 23mpg with 300HP in an SUV and I have a lead foot. I would also add that while I hated the run flats in my 3 series cars, I don't mind them at all in an SUV. They don't don't punish you like they do with the low profile tires.
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:35 PM
zerovector zerovector is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lair12 View Post
I've spent the better part of a week going back and forth between the Q5 and the X3. I've been leaning towards the Q5.I currently have a 2010 A3 TDI, and want something a little less pokey. (Hey where is the A3 when I need it?)

Q5 pros: more comforable seats, quieter, nicer lines, adjustable arm rest, nicer wheels, closer dealer, $1000 loyalty, USAA pricing, 19" wheels

Q5 cons: no radio buttons, 4 spoke wheel, armrest covers cupholders, bad all weather mats, no start/stop 2.0

X3 pros: 3 spoke wheel, nicer dash and layout, radio buttons, more horsepower, better gas mileage?, faster 0-60, lighter, 4 year maintenance, made in USA, passenger lumbar, larger rear opening, weathertech mats, larger nav screen, $1000 holiday cash, USAA pricing, Spartenburg delivery

X3 cons: less attractive exterior, black body cladding, further dealer, run flat tires, 18" tires

But, crazy as it seems, my BIGGEST HATE of the Q5 is that I cannot just simply and quick change between the two or three radio stations I listen to. It seems crazy that this should be a deciding element, but unless I get some sense that is will not be a five step process, I feel I will spend years being frustrated over this simple item, and should go to the X3.

I expect I may get the 3.0 on both, but I felt that the 2.0 on the Q5 was MUCH quieter and smoother than the 2.0 on the X3. Am I way off base here?

Any thoughts on whether to NOT get the 3.0 on either?

Thanks in advance!
You didn't state your budget but the ghastly (IMO) black body cladding is removed when you get the M-Sport package. You also get the sports seats (as well as with the Sport Activity package) which are light-years better than the non-sport package/MSport seats (once again, just my opinion).
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  #5  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:36 PM
bcasper bcasper is offline
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If it helps, I'm trading my 2010 Q5 Prestige in tomorrow and heading to the PDC on the 20th for a new X3. I really thought the Q5 was cool when I bought it 3 years ago and it's pretty much loaded to the gills, but it's just feeling so ho-hum these days that I decided it was time for some change. That, and my warrantee is toast due to mileage...

Good luck with your decision.
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  #6  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:36 PM
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raleedy raleedy is offline
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Three radio stations? That's so 20th century! You could find one and stick with it. Or you could stream via bluetooth from a smartphone.

Or you could get the better car. The dealer may be less convenient, but you won't be there often.
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  #7  
Old 12-11-2012, 01:14 PM
nhman nhman is offline
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OP, take both vehicles out for an extended test drive and decide which is best for your needs. In general, both vehicles are very good with pros-n-cons. BMW is the better overall performer but Audi has strong points.

Regarding the maintenance plan, it is standard with BMW, optional with Audi with their AudiCare.

I was prepared to commit to ordering a Q5 (for my wife). Had some extra time two weekends ago and took at X3 28i for a test drive. Overall, my wife like it better. Still need to look at option packages (Sport Activity, Premium Sound and DHP) but otherwise planning for PCD in April.
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  #8  
Old 12-11-2012, 04:54 PM
lair12 lair12 is offline
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I cannot do anything with sports seats. Do to my wife's shoulder issue, anything with a bolster like that cause lots of pain. She does find the regular seats comfortable in both the Q5 and the X3.
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  #9  
Old 12-11-2012, 06:18 PM
Bmwlvr60 Bmwlvr60 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raleedy View Post
Three radio stations? That's so 20th century! You could find one and stick with it. Or you could stream via bluetooth from a smartphone.

Or you could get the better car. The dealer may be less convenient, but you won't be there often.
From your lips to god's ears. My only apprehension with buying the X3 was reliability. The Audis have a better reputation for reliability than the Bimmers, but compared to the Japanese vehicles they both are awful in comparison.

You need to know that I've been driving Japanese Bullet Proof vehicles for years. So, I decided to take a chance and buy a BMW which I've always found to be THE most fun vehicles to drive. I have many friend's that own and have owned various models.
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2012, 07:38 PM
iamthewalrus iamthewalrus is offline
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Road in a friend's Q5 3.2Quattro (fully loaded) last night for the first time and I was really impressed. For context, I have a 2006 BMW X3 (3.0i, manual, m-sport, etc. fully loaded). The Q5 is strikingly attractive, compared with the X3. The current X3 has always left me saying "meh" in terms of styling. It's fine, but... I have not driven either, but the Q5 is in my opinion a more coherent, put-together package.
I do agree with your gripe though: For the number of buttons in the Q5, why is the radio so difficult to manage??? It's like Audi had a Button Fiesta or found a huge, going-out-of-busienss sale at Discount Buttonville for the number of buttons in there! All of that said, if I had to buy a mid-size SUV today, I would take the Q5 over the X3. But since neither is available with a manual transmission, this is just an opinion.

-James
San Francisco, CA
2006 X3 3.0i (manual, m-sport, premium, xenons, premium stereo, PDC) (currently with 43K miles)
2006 BMW 330Cic (manual, m-sport, premium, xenons, HK stereo, PDC) (sold)
2006 Mini CooperS convertible (manual, sport, premium, xenons, HK stereo, PDC) (sold)
1998 Audi A4 2.8Q (tiptronic, premium, bose stereo) (sold)

Last edited by iamthewalrus; 12-11-2012 at 07:43 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:48 PM
prosgal73 prosgal73 is offline
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can't decide :(

love this thread! i started off thinking i wanted the Q5 but with time it lost it's appeal and i was still drawn to the BMW brand. X3 is a good alternative but the look of the Q5 is nicer. i actually now am seriously considering the X1 because i like the look of it better than the X3 proportionally.
any thoughts on the X1? don't really need something of SUV size so considering the smaller X1. thanks everyone, appreciate any insight you can give
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2012, 10:29 PM
glennk glennk is offline
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I was leaning heavily to the X1, then I drove the X3. The interior quality is night and day.
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  #13  
Old 12-12-2012, 02:07 AM
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cha777 cha777 is offline
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Owned an Audi and crashed it. There was no nice BMW Assist person to help coordinate the police and the ambulances. I loved my Audi but won't go back into them until they support telematics like OnStar, mBrace, or the like. Q5 is nice, nice interior and nice ride.
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2012, 04:46 AM
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lbjgh lbjgh is offline
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I recently had an x1 loaner and found it cramped and the steering felt overly heavy for a 7/8 sized x3. The x3 with the same n20 engine also felt more nimble which is counterintuitive given the larger dimensions. Neither car had enough power for my tastes as my car is a 35i.
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosgal73 View Post
love this thread! i started off thinking i wanted the Q5 but with time it lost it's appeal and i was still drawn to the BMW brand. X3 is a good alternative but the look of the Q5 is nicer. i actually now am seriously considering the X1 because i like the look of it better than the X3 proportionally.
any thoughts on the X1? don't really need something of SUV size so considering the smaller X1. thanks everyone, appreciate any insight you can give
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  #15  
Old 12-12-2012, 08:21 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Prosgal, take a look at the Infiniti EX37! Smaller (by a bit) than the X3 but a very nice car with great performance and exceptional reliability without the "bionic Cheeta" look of the FX series. For fuel economy the new MB GLK will be running a diesel next year. Again a smaller car than the BMW but very nicely appointed inside and a solid platform. There are others as well out there so look around -- while you are looking check out the Porsche Cayenne just to see how great these cars can really be -- a benchmark if you will. Good luck!
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  #16  
Old 12-12-2012, 08:35 AM
iamthewalrus iamthewalrus is offline
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Personally, living in San Francisco, the smaller size of the X1 is a huge benefit. But then I'm single without kids. The shorter length helps with parallel parking and the width helps in tight garages or supermarket parking lots. To my eye, the proportions of the X1 look just right where the X3 looks a little off. I drive a 2006 X3, so clearly quality of interior materials was never high on my list of criteria. The new X1 is a step up from my '06 X3.

James
San Francisco, CA (and Seattle, WA)
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  #17  
Old 12-12-2012, 09:16 AM
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edbiology edbiology is offline
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Start/stop function is crap, people hate it.
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  #18  
Old 12-12-2012, 07:29 PM
prosgal73 prosgal73 is offline
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thanks everyone

thank u for the great insight from everyone! so much to consider. wanted to take advantage of the december deals but don't know if i'll be able to decide in the next couple of weeks although i've been pondering for the last 6 months a tougher decision since i won't be leasing and want to buy, more of a long term commitment. leaning toward the X1 but that start/stop function is annoying...i'll ck out the infiniti ex and mercedes glk. porsche cayenne? nice! but out of the price range! thanks! happy holidays!
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  #19  
Old 12-12-2012, 07:40 PM
lair12 lair12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus View Post
Personally, living in San Francisco, the smaller size of the X1 is a huge benefit. But then I'm single without kids. The shorter length helps with parallel parking and the width helps in tight garages or supermarket parking lots. To my eye, the proportions of the X1 look just right where the X3 looks a little off. I drive a 2006 X3, so clearly quality of interior materials was never high on my list of criteria. The new X1 is a step up from my '06 X3.

James
San Francisco, CA (and Seattle, WA)
James, glad you like yours, but can't concur with styling. I too would love a short car (have 168" A3 TDI now), but find the X1 reminds me of M-roadster coupe which I never liked (I had the M-roadster convertible). Every time I walk up to my A3, I love the look, and don't know if I can get this same feeling for the X3...I keep seeing the Hyundai Tucson and Subaru outback with all that black trim. And the nicer chrome window trim disappeared after 2011. Why?
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2012, 03:43 AM
nhman nhman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prosgal73 View Post
thank u for the great insight from everyone! so much to consider. wanted to take advantage of the december deals but don't know if i'll be able to decide in the next couple of weeks although i've been pondering for the last 6 months a tougher decision since i won't be leasing and want to buy, more of a long term commitment. leaning toward the X1 but that start/stop function is annoying...i'll ck out the infiniti ex and mercedes glk. porsche cayenne? nice! but out of the price range! thanks! happy holidays!
Regarding the stop/start function, I thought that I read on the forum that it could be programmed to remember the last state/position. If so, have your CA agree to the program prior to taking delivery. I don't (yet) own a X3 but perhaps others can comment.
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  #21  
Old 12-13-2012, 07:07 PM
Big W Big W is offline
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I dont get the issue with the radio and stations, all you have to do is program in settings and it's less than a click away, ask your dealer to show you. the MMI on the Q5 is very different from the A3 nd it's a lot easier and more functional to scroll through. In my opinion and I own both an A4 which has a similar interior to the Q5 and an X3, and let me tell you the controls in MMI are more interesting than the idrive, the radio is easier to work it, the nav is better, you can actually control auto lamps delay were you have a lot of complaints in x3, in terms of sirius radio you can actually see song title and artist when you highlite station no need to select unlike the x3, and the audi is a lot easier to code if you like to change more advanced settings. The facelift on the Audi is really nice BMW's comingg very soon, the new 3.0T engine on the Audi is also one of ward's top ten. In terms of gadgets and electronics it's audi hands down, but I give the drive to BMW. but again I haven't tried the 3.0T engine with the 8 speed.
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  #22  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:18 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Wally, if you need a shorter/smaller car then why not look at the new Ford Focus ST! Only available in a stick and it is shorter and smaller than the '06 X3 -- probably the X1 too. Another choice for a stick is the Mini if you want to stay "foreign". Both would be great in the city, what with all the hills and all -- which by now you have mastered I am sure!
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  #23  
Old 12-14-2012, 09:09 PM
Bmwlvr60 Bmwlvr60 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prosgal73 View Post
love this thread! i started off thinking i wanted the Q5 but with time it lost it's appeal and i was still drawn to the BMW brand. X3 is a good alternative but the look of the Q5 is nicer. i actually now am seriously considering the X1 because i like the look of it better than the X3 proportionally.
any thoughts on the X1? don't really need something of SUV size so considering the smaller X1. thanks everyone, appreciate any insight you can give
I test drove the X1 a few times- it's a blast with the hydraulic steering; total driver's car. If you want a smaller car I totally recommend it. Fun, fun, fun.

My wife and I need a larger ride so we bought the X3.
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  #24  
Old 12-15-2012, 06:46 AM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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There are multiple ways to change radio stations on the X3, but my favorite when I know the exact station that I want is to use the voice command. Simple as saying 'FM 91.3'.
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  #25  
Old 12-15-2012, 06:49 AM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
Wally, if you need a shorter/smaller car then why not look at the new Ford Focus ST! Only available in a stick and it is shorter and smaller than the '06 X3 -- probably the X1 too. Another choice for a stick is the Mini if you want to stay "foreign". Both would be great in the city, what with all the hills and all -- which by now you have mastered I am sure!
UncleJ, You try your hardest to steer people away from the second generation X3. Have you actually taken one on an extended drive?
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