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So my mom has been in the market for a new car to replace her Subaru Outback w/ 100k. She's never been much of a car person and is an avowed SUV hater. Anyway, she wants a wagon w/ AWD and decent ground clearance. As it tunrs out there's basicallly 2 choices: the Outback or the Volvo XC70. She likes her Outback but finds it uncomfortable on longer drives. She test drove the Volvo and found it to be too slow (her OUtback has the turbo). So, I urged her to consider some of the more car-like SUVS such as the X3 and the Toyota Highlander. She called me today after test driving the X3 and I don't I've heard her be this excited over someting in a long time. She absolutely loves the car and was gushing about how well it drove, how comfortable it was and how "sexy" it looks (um, ok mom). The cargo capacty isn't quite as good as her Outback (she measured them), but she desont' seem to care (and that was one of her top criteria). Her Outback is pretty basic, but with the X3 she's suddenly interested in ordering stuff like bluetooth, heated steering wheel, nav system, etc. I found myself telling her to slow down a little... My dad's not enjoying the pressure of tyring to negotiate for the car w/ my mom telling him how much she loves this car and w/ the upcoming price increase.

ONly problem with this for me is that being the token car and BMW-nut in the family, she will somehow blame me if anything goes wrong with it. I'm eyeing those automatic transmission posts with trepidation. Still, it's pretty amazing how good a job BMW does of winning people over. Hopefully they'll do as good a job at keeping her as a customer.
 

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It's a great feel of responsiveness that wins many people over and then keeps them in a BMW. Just drove a Z4 today as part of the Susan Komen BMW sponsored drive. Exactly as I expected - total BMW feel, can be driven easy or can be driven hard, but begs to be driven in any event. I drove it hard . . . and loved it. Special treat for me - it was a stick!! :drive: :bigpimp:
 

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The X3 feels like it wants you to really have fun driving it hard whereas the competitors I tested all felt numb and were designed to isolate you from the action. As long as BMW stays true to building the ultimate driving machine, I won't hesitate to stay with the brand.
 

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Get your Mom to the Subaru dealer and have her drive the new '09 Forester. It is larger and better than the old one and still gets great milage and has a very decent ride. If your Mom still wants the X3 then please make sure she takes it for a LONG test drive that includes sections of potholed, nasty pavement so she will get to appreciate fully the stiff ride. Good luck!
 

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The X3 is one of few BMWs that are still exciting to drive. But I'll warn you, make sure y'all like the ride. Even after a few revisions, it's still firm. However, the X3 works great in NYC because it's just the right size. It can fit into any space that an ordinary midsize sedan could, which makes a difference in street parking. The overhangs in the front and back are short, so you can back up right until you think you're gonna hit someone else, and then some! The turning circle is also very tight, and all in all, it's a nimble and agile package that's never "too big" in an urban environment. I've driven my X3 in NYC and have no issues darting around like a taxi driver. PDC will also help, and isn't that expensive for front and rear bumpers.

You dont have to buy from local dealers if you don't think they give you a good price ($700-1100 over invoice, not msrp). I can help locate one from a local dealer if you wish like I did for another fellow. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=283282
 

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Get your Mom to the Subaru dealer and have her drive the new '09 Forester. It is larger and better than the old one and still gets great milage and has a very decent ride. If your Mom still wants the X3 then please make sure she takes it for a LONG test drive that includes sections of potholed, nasty pavement so she will get to appreciate fully the stiff ride. Good luck!
+1 on the new Forester. That's my intention when my lease is up on my X3 in Feb of 2009.
 

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I get the feeling some folks here are thinking this is a bad choice for her. What's the deal with that? She's driven an Outback for 100k miles, drove the Volvo and the BMW and it was the X3 that excited her. What else does she need to know? I say she go's for it! My other half has been driving my 05 X3 for the last 2 months and I've been driving her 08 Outback and now she doesn't want her car back. My X3 has tires that are ready to be replaced and the ride is gettnig stiffer than ever (even for me) and she still prefers it over her brand new Outback. It's just an absolute sense of control that overtakes the "cushyness" of most vehicles and that's what wins you over. Although, I also do agree that she take a look at all her options, including the Forester or maybe even an LR2 but if she's that excited about the X3 then why sway her? I think those AT problems are in the past so I wouldn't worry about that. Also, make sure you tell her that she won't have to worry about oil changes (free and less frequent) with a BMW along with other things such as brakes, wipers, etc, etc...
 

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well said, Rob V. i believe the lady will love the X3 stiff ride and all. the first time she has to stop quickly or sharply maneuver the X3 she will understand there is more to a nice car than a cushy ride.

your photography is outstanding!
 

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Hey, if she likes the X3 great! It would be a shame to have her love the ride and crisp handling on smooth roads then find out the thing rides like a farm truck over the nasty washboarded stuff that is all too frequently encountered. After owning mine for almost 30Kmiles the worst thing about it is the harsh ride over bad roads. Its bad enough for the driver but the rear seaters look like "bobbleheads" back there going over the washboarded stuff. Rant ended, you can tell the ride was not one of the finest features I found in the car and I don't even have a sport pkg! It does haul a lot of stuff and has been very useful in spite of the lousy ride. I will probably look at a hybrid Highlander next time around, only because I need the 7 seats. Otherwise I would consider the Forester which really impressed me.
 

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Hey, if she likes the X3 great! It would be a shame to have her love the ride and crisp handling on smooth roads then find out the thing rides like a farm truck over the nasty washboarded stuff that is all too frequently encountered. After owning mine for almost 30Kmiles the worst thing about it is the harsh ride over bad roads. Its bad enough for the driver but the rear seaters look like "bobbleheads" back there going over the washboarded stuff.
UncleJ, I'm starting to think there is something wrong with your vehicle, or maybe just that the roads were you live are VERY bad. A post 2004 should not drive like a "farm truck", as you put it. It may be firm, but it is not harsh. Have you had the opportunity to drive another X3? If the opportunity presents itself, go for it.;)
 

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The tires make a difference too. Our X3 is wearing Kumhos which are softer. Thus, the ride is noticeably better over minor imperfections because the tire absorbs a bit more of the shock. The tradeoff is less feel thru the steering, particularly at higher cornering speeds.
 

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double, I wondered that myself and had it into the dealer right after we bought it. No problem was the verdict. On smooth roads it is just fine. The problem, as stated, is on the nasty, under construction, potholed, raised expansion jointed roads. I have driven the '07 X3 and the current model and have found little difference under these conditions. I have gotten used to it now but my wife (and anyone who has to sit in the back) never fail to comment on the stiffness of the ride. Bluntly my wife just hates the car and wants it gone. She drives an A4 now and a 325 before so is no stranger to "european handling". If I were to keep the car I would try the Kumhos which I like and had good luck with on a 530 and my Tahoe. Thanks for your comments! UJ.
 

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I would suggest that she test drives it again and make sure the route includes a few hills. And make sure she has to slow down or come to a stop on it and turn into a side street. Even the best ATs exhibit hill behavior that some people just don't care for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update... I spoke to her last night and it sounds like they went ahead and ordered one (to beat the price increase). Of course, ntohing is really set in stone till they pay for it, and I told her that the ride is going to be firm over bumpy roads and maybe she shoudl go back and test drive it..she said "i don't like mushy feeling cars" and "but the seats are sooo comfortable". Clearly, it's an emotional decision and nothing is going to sway her from the X3. And that's really what BMw does best--selling you on emotion while giving you just enough stuff to rationalize with (like free oil changes, safety etc). Which is cool. Just weird to hear my mom so excited about a car.

But I'd hate for her to have a bad experiecen with a relaitvely expensive car cause she didn't realize somehting that a longer test drive would uncover. My dad is rightfully concerned aout cargo room (they tend to actually haul around lots of random stuff) but at the end of the day he wants her to be happy. And I think part of it is that she's never really had an upscale car yet my dad and myself have BMWs. So when we say "check out the Forrester" i thik she takes it the wrong way. She probably feels like "I'm 66 years old and its time for something nice". Did my best to give her an unbiased opinion though... Glad she's happy (for now).
 

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I thought the seats were incredible too ... until I sat in the Volvo I finally bought to replace both fresh-squeeze lemons I bought.
 

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Agreed on the Volvo seats. We almost got an S60 before we decided on the Outback. Actually, everything about the S60 was better than the Outback but in the end the Subaru was the better deal.

BMW325, I'm sure your mom will be happy with it. I know it's all subjective but as I stated before I have an 05 which means it's the harshest ride of the bunch, with the exception of the 04, and I've never had anyone complain about the ride. And I live in Pot-Hole Heaven Colorado where roads freeze, thaw, crack and fall apart on a daily basis.
 
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