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X1 E84 (2011 - current)
The new to the US BMW X1 will arrive at BMW dealers in the fall of 2012 as a 2013 model year. Get your X1 28i with either sDrive (RWD) or xDrive (AWD) or get the US exclusive I6 N55 powered X1 35i dDrive.

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  #1  
Old 03-03-2013, 12:40 PM
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3ismagic# 3ismagic# is offline
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X1 vs Mini Countryman vs Audi A3?

Beginning to contemplate a replacement for my wife's Mazda. Would love to get a 328i wagon but I think that is probably more than we will want to spend.

What we are looking for:
Wagon/small SUV
Decent kid hauler yet not massive
Reasonably economical
Fun to drive
ED a bonus

So for those of you who bought an X1 did you cross shop either the Countryman or the A3?

What did you think?
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2013, 03:17 PM
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SilverX3 SilverX3 is offline
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I go for X1

Countryman is a bit ugly and very tight inside

A3.... it's an Audi..... Reliability is not the best
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2013, 04:02 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Haven't yet but plan to -- also am going to look at the EX37, new Escape and Hyundai as well. The X1 is interesting (to me) because it does not only 4WD -- but can be had with RWD, thus saving lots of extra junk to haul around and break. Since I never drive in the snow I have no need for 4WD and would rather have the extra miles per gallon. The new 28t is also one of the most economical of the cute utes too and that is a big plus. Unfortunately (like Porsche) the option list can grow you right into serious X3 territory. If you are prudent and get only what you really need (it is fairly well equipped after all) it can be a very economical purchase (for a BMW). BTW, have had much better luck with our Audi's than we have had reliability wise with the Bimmers. Just goes to show, it really depends on the luck of the draw in many cases.

Last edited by UncleJ; 03-03-2013 at 04:03 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-03-2013, 10:34 PM
Wolfex Wolfex is offline
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My A3 sucked. It was in the shop every other month. The X1 is roomier inside, has more power, has faster acceleration, gets better gas mileage and looks a lot better IMHO.
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  #5  
Old 03-04-2013, 12:26 AM
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+1
Say away from Audi
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2013, 12:40 AM
Adamo99 Adamo99 is online now
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^^ my ex-gf has an A3 that has been nothing but bullet-proof for the last four years, needing only a tune-up (plugs, filters, fluids), and a set of brakes all around. I don't think the newer Audis are as unreliable as most people claim.

I certainly wouldn't hesitate to pick up a newer A4/S4 or A6. Their interiors are way nicer than anything put out by BMW until the newest models, too.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:12 AM
johanness johanness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamo99 View Post
I certainly wouldn't hesitate to pick up a newer A4/S4 or A6.
That wasn't the question. OP was specifically asking about the A3 compared to the X1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfex View Post
The X1 is roomier inside, has more power, has faster acceleration, gets better gas mileage and looks a lot better IMHO.
This
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  #8  
Old 03-04-2013, 01:31 AM
Adamo99 Adamo99 is online now
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Originally Posted by johanness View Post
That wasn't the question. OP was specifically asking about the A3 compared to the X1
Did you read the first half of my post?
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  #9  
Old 03-04-2013, 05:10 AM
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How about the countryman? Anyone cross shop that against the X1?
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  #10  
Old 03-04-2013, 05:11 AM
HotRodW HotRodW is offline
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I've always like the A3 and considered one myself. Despite its age, I might have actually purchased one if I could have gotten the TDI with AWD. I really would have preferred the Q3, but Audi kept delaying its release here in the US and I simply tired of waiting for it.

My wife and I both drove the Countryman before she made her last purchase, and it was the most disappointing test drive either of us have ever had. We really wanted to like it, but it was buzzy with a harsh ride, rock-hard seats, and seriously disappointing materials. It would have been a fun rental car, but there's no way I could live with one on a daily basis. It scares me that the next gen X1 will share a platform with the Countryman.
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  #11  
Old 03-04-2013, 05:12 AM
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3ismagic# 3ismagic# is offline
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For Audi it looks like the real X1 competition will be the Q3. Why it is taking them so long to launch in NA is beyond me. Apparently India is a more important market than the US?
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2013, 05:56 AM
dmegeath dmegeath is offline
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Well we have both a Countryman and an X1.

Wife was pining for the Mini - we picked up a used 2011 Countryman-S (turbo) (dealer demo) early 2012 and she loves it. It actually has enough room for me (6'-2") and I don't have to wear clown clothes inside (my joke, I think they look like clown cars). I wanted this model as it was new and built under contract by BMW. Thankfully it had the 4 year warranty, as an oil leak caused some $3000 worth of damage including the main computer which was saturated with oil. I'm pretty sure we will buy the extended warranty if we keep it.

Late last year I bailed out of my MBZ E-350; looking for smaller engine, better economy, and the utility of the format of the "SAV" (sports activity vehicle). Test drove one, then ordered what I wanted. Now driving the RWD, 4 cylinder turbo-charged i series and am happy with my decision.

The two cars are different - depends on your style and what you want. The Mini has a 6 speed Gertrag manual and can spin the rubber off the front wheels in the first few gears. The X1 is 8 speed automatic and rear wheel drive; it too can get up and go when you need it.

Hope this helps.
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2013, 07:57 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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dme - Slightly off topic but what sort of real world mileage are you getting out of your X1?
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2013, 08:40 AM
Farkled Farkled is offline
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Didn't cross shop the Mini, do not want front wheel drive or fwd biased awd and it had poor cargo space. Already had an A3 (3.2 quattro)in the past and although in that case after reprogramming it was more rear wheel biased then before I didn't want to go down that path again. Bottom line the X1 35i proved to be the best handling fun to drive practical package for us at this time.

Last edited by Farkled; 03-04-2013 at 10:59 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2013, 09:09 AM
mullini mullini is offline
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I cross shopped the Countryman. The interior was busy for me and the packages even more confusing to me than those for the X1, which aren't all that simple. The ride was harsher and noisier, neither of which were qualities I was looking for. But it was fun to drive and looked cool. Plus would have been less money. I was closer to buying the 2013 Acura RDX before deciding on X1.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:14 PM
iamthewalrus iamthewalrus is offline
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Love the Audi A3. Loved it since the day it came out. That said, Audi never brought the right drivetrain to the US. You couldn't get an A3 with both Quattro and a manual transmission. As a result, I spent considerably more on a BMW X3 3.0i (manual, m-sport, xenons, parking sensors). Again, it's all anecdotal, but my friends with A3 have a comparable number of issues as I've had with my X3. Haven't heard of any real problems.

-James
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Last edited by iamthewalrus; 03-18-2013 at 07:46 AM.
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  #17  
Old 03-10-2013, 08:45 PM
markjenn markjenn is offline
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I'd look at a Mazda CX-5 also. I like A3's, but they are VERY small inside, smaller than most subcompact cars.

- Mark
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  #18  
Old 03-10-2013, 09:35 PM
Peter123 Peter123 is offline
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Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
I'd look at a Mazda CX-5 also. I like A3's, but they are VERY small inside, smaller than most subcompact cars.

- Mark
For me, the Mazda CX-5 was the best drive of the moderately priced small SUVs, but I found the engine noise to be intrusive and the shifts harsh (even with the new 2.5 L engine). The X1 was an unbeatable driving experience in comparison (mine's on order!). I drove an A3 rental all through Spain last summer - a very nice car, a nice drive (I **like** manual transmissions), but I agree, too cramped for long term satisfaction.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:51 AM
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SilverX3 SilverX3 is offline
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Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
How about the countryman? Anyone cross shop that against the X1?
Countryman is a front wd car 90% of the time

It's tight inside, a bit slow and looks ugly

Mini reliability is almost bottom of Jdpower list
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:16 PM
adc adc is offline
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Originally Posted by 3ismagic# View Post
How about the countryman? Anyone cross shop that against the X1?
I did. To be more exact, at the time we did our lease we looked at remaining 2011 E90 328xi, 2012 F30 328i and the Countryman. Audis were out because they are expensive and drive like Buicks. Surprisingly, so did the F30 of which the ony outstanding item was the engine.

We ended up with the Countryman S All4, which combined a taut chassis with low price and relative frugality. It handles well, with an incredibly sharp turn-in. In Sport mode the engine is super responsive and the electric steering weighs up very well. The ride quality is about on par with the E90 cars, meaning a little bit skittish on rough pavement or expansion joints. Those who say its not roomy inside have got it completely wrong, as we put it side by side with both my E90 and an X1 at the dealer, and to my eye it has a tiny bit more leg room. The trunk is smaller though, or at least more oddly shaped (short and deep). Does Costco just fine despite that.

The turn offs are few, but there. For instance, we should have gotten the auto climate because the manual AC is driving us nuts. We should have also ordered the leather/cloth combo because the leatherette is horrible IMO. There is no option for power seats which we miss more than we thought we would, given we switch the cars every other day. And finally, the level of refinement is simply not in the same class as a BMW. Any BMW, going back 20 years.

The overall defining quality of the car is eagerness/responsiveness. Always willing to play, which is sadly absent from almost all new BMW offerings.

Almost but not completely, because in the X1 we've found an old school chassis with the new turbo engine and incredible 8 speed auto. So we're switching from the Countryman to an X1 28xi Sport, via Euro Delivery (our fourth ).

I hope that answers your question, and if you want to take over our Countryman lease please PM me.
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:23 AM
jng7000 jng7000 is offline
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You and I sort of exchanged some conversations on the X1 in another thread, but not sure we discussed the A3. Wish I could give you my opinion on a countrymen but never tested one.

As a very long time Audi guy there were a few reasons I'm going with the X1 instead of the A3. 1) There is much more ground clearance with the X1 and sits higher than the A3. So if you will be in deep snow, rough dirt roads, etc you will really appreciate the X1 "sort of SUV" design. 2) As far as i know and last I heard the A3 will no longer be available in the USA as the sport back (hatchback) model, only a newer sedan version. And, as you already know, to add salt to the USA wound, where the hell is the USA version of the Q3??? 3) I think others have stated the following already but...if you want the A3 quattro awd it's only available in the gas model, thus no TDI so the X1 xdrive gets better MPG

I can't really give a first person account of the back seat space of the A3 vs X1 but that might be something to look into also. I would presume the X1 has more room but not sure. . Good luck! I think any of those cars would be super fun to own, just finding what fits you best is the tough part...What the hell, why not just get all three?
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:40 AM
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In order

X1
A3
Countryman.... (sorry but I don't trust British built cars even though Mini owned by BMW but cars are built in England... england car industry went burst with reasons)
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:13 AM
Xeraphim Xeraphim is offline
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As somebody that has recently test drove all of these cars I am personally going with the X1.

The Countryman was not bad, but the handling could not touch the X1 IMO. It does feel slightly cramped on the inside in the back (even more so than the X1) but was a bit mor spacious up front. The trunk was honestly a tad smaller than the X1

The A3 was a bit more spacious and the TDI was amazing to drive. It was a real toss up between the X1 and the A3 for a bit but the ground clearance and maintenance was a dividing factor. I looked at the Q5 series and everything that I wanted in the X1 cost so much more on the Q5 line so that eliminated it.

The only other vehicle that came close to the X1 in terms of space/ performance/ price was the Acura RDX. But the interiour and technology that came with the car eventually turned me off of it. That and the handling was bit softer than the X1 for me which I did not like.
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  #24  
Old 03-18-2013, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
Haven't yet but plan to -- also am going to look at the EX37, new Escape and Hyundai as well. The X1 is interesting (to me) because it does not only 4WD -- but can be had with RWD, thus saving lots of extra junk to haul around and break. Since I never drive in the snow I have no need for 4WD and would rather have the extra miles per gallon. The new 28t is also one of the most economical of the cute utes too and that is a big plus. Unfortunately (like Porsche) the option list can grow you right into serious X3 territory. If you are prudent and get only what you really need (it is fairly well equipped after all) it can be a very economical purchase (for a BMW). BTW, have had much better luck with our Audi's than we have had reliability wise with the Bimmers. Just goes to show, it really depends on the luck of the draw in many cases.
I just bought the wife a '14 Mazda CX5. Its not bad and worth taking a look at. She's happy and more $$ for my next car.



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Old 03-19-2013, 07:51 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The CX5 was on my radar -- especially since they are bringing it over with a diesel! Supposed to be soon, but who knows. BMW is supposed to be bringing a diesel X1 & X3 but no info other than vague "sometime in '14" or later. Well, its "MY'14" now so where it is? The manufacturers can designate a MY only in the next calendar year -- so in "13 you can have a '14 sold -- but not a '14 in '12. There is a hurry to "get out of MY '13" because some folks just will not buy a '13 car under any circumstances.
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