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      03-29-2011, 05:38 PM   #1
twinsandgrifs
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help deciding between '10 535xi and X3

Hi all,
i'm in the throws of searching for new car. I have a 2002 525iT which has been great but want to upgrade to get bluetooth, nav, better safety and a little more room.

Liked the X3, but then one dealer turned me on to 2010 corporate 535xi station wagons (used with lo miles). like the wagon, although interior not as nice as X3. Safety is not all that great as I understand.

I have twin 2 yos and need to throw a big dog in the back occasionally (we have a suburban for our two dogs usually). So need extra space than just a sedan.

Anyone go through this same search, or upgraded to x3 from bmw sta way?

TIA
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      03-29-2011, 06:11 PM   #2
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I'm going to be a little bias here but I think you should get the new car instead of a used 5 series. I understand you need the extra room so a X3 is going to be even roomier than the station wagon, plus station wagons are kinda blah.
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      03-30-2011, 09:22 AM   #3
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Wagons are kinda cult, you either love them, or ehhh. I'm curious why do you think safety is not that great?
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      03-30-2011, 09:54 AM   #4
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My choice would be x3 in your situation
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      04-01-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
twinsandgrifs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsublime View Post
Wagons are kinda cult, you either love them, or ehhh. I'm curious why do you think safety is not that great?
Autotrader.com. The driver and passenger crash tests came back as average. Side impact was excellent.
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      04-01-2011, 01:45 PM   #6
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I was you (I know - terrible grammar) about 4 months ago:

I have three kids (6 years and two, 3 year old twins actually), and wanted to spend about $30,000 US on a 2008/2009 535xi wagon. wanted all the BMW good stuff and fly a little under radar.

I tried a used example and put simply, wasn't overly impressed. Yes, nice and powerful but not as much room as I thought and just it just didnt blow me away. I am sure the 2010 version will have the updated idrive but of course the newest version I have heard is much easier.

Then I drove the x3 28 and was floored. Then I drove the x3 35 and couldn't sleep at night.

Then i read this board all the time and made SURE I drove a 35i with the USA dynamic Handling Package and that is when I dipped into the savings and ordered the car of my dreams. Most options and the DHP and sport package as well.

What you get for the extra money is really two cars: one for you and twins and the dog as a comfy cruiser around town, to sports practice, etc...

and a race car when you are alone and you flick the SPORT setting and move the gearshift the left.

It is THAT much fun. I don't think the 535 wagon will be that much fun.

Im not sure how much more money the x3 is, but please do test drive them both back to back.

Curious what you think.
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      04-01-2011, 08:57 PM   #7
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      04-02-2011, 11:47 PM   #8
twinsandgrifs
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesmachine View Post
I was you (I know - terrible grammar) about 4 months ago:

I have three kids (6 years and two, 3 year old twins actually), and wanted to spend about $30,000 US on a 2008/2009 535xi wagon. wanted all the BMW good stuff and fly a little under radar.

I tried a used example and put simply, wasn't overly impressed. Yes, nice and powerful but not as much room as I thought and just it just didnt blow me away. I am sure the 2010 version will have the updated idrive but of course the newest version I have heard is much easier.

Then I drove the x3 28 and was floored. Then I drove the x3 35 and couldn't sleep at night.

Then i read this board all the time and made SURE I drove a 35i with the USA dynamic Handling Package and that is when I dipped into the savings and ordered the car of my dreams. Most options and the DHP and sport package as well.

What you get for the extra money is really two cars: one for you and twins and the dog as a comfy cruiser around town, to sports practice, etc...

and a race car when you are alone and you flick the SPORT setting and move the gearshift the left.

It is THAT much fun. I don't think the 535 wagon will be that much fun.

Im not sure how much more money the x3 is, but please do test drive them both back to back.

Curious what you think.
Bluesmachine, thanks for weighing in! I actually did drive them both back to back. I found the 535 suspension a little tight, but I was driving a sport version (and my current 525 is a sport). The acceleration was really really nice and it had kick (6 cyl turbo is standard) and I really felt the difference from my current car. The thing cornered amazingly well, and the offramps were pretty fun. I felt like it was just like driving a regular 535.

On my X3 drive after, I found the shifting to be pronounced (I drove the x35) and it drove less smoothly. It has less power, but much better mileage (535 gets combined around 18 probably, yikes!). It obviously doesn't corner as well, because it's an SUV, although it was still pretty fun to drive.

I'm not sure how much more the x3 is, probably 5K. That's not the issue for me really...it's more practicality, drivability, safety, and fun. I will drive it for the next 6-8 years, so pressures on the make the right choice!

So far, here are my pros cons:

X3 pros:
can order exactly what I want
mileage
better safety
better cabin (cupholders, stupid I know but come on, I need my coffee)


535 pros
arguably better performance
slimmer (garage size is an issue)
more cargo room
price

thoughts?
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      04-03-2011, 05:14 AM   #9
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I think I drove a 2008 535xi wagon vs a 2011 x3 35i so there is a bit difference there in that the 535 was a used example and i had the salesperson with me and I just took it out for a short spin actually.

Maybe it was the driving position, maybe the fact it was used, hmm I'm not sure but again, when you are spending 30-35,000 you sort of want to be wowed a little bit.

With the X3 I find the space more accomodating and I love the driving position. I have never owned an SUV before, so its not like I am used or wanted that position.

Maybe it was the engine, the newness of the car itself or that dynamic handling package and sport package, but i just fell for it and just didnt fall for the 535.

Trust me: I researched autotrader.com for weeks and was really set on the wagon.

Also, I like the new tech in the x3: idrive updated, bmw apps, great stereo and choosing the exact colors, etc... you want.

Again, just my thoughts.
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      04-03-2011, 07:52 AM   #10
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Who drives a "corporate" car? Are those the vehicles BMW provides to reporters who are reviewing the vehicle?
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      04-03-2011, 10:51 PM   #11
twinsandgrifs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelSNU View Post
Who drives a "corporate" car? Are those the vehicles BMW provides to reporters who are reviewing the vehicle?
These are the cars that the BMW executives drive for a year. They're called "brass hats". (A friend used to work with BMW as a consultant.) The ones coming off lease are 2008s I think.
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      04-03-2011, 11:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinsandgrifs View Post
These are the cars that the BMW executives drive for a year. They're called "brass hats". (A friend used to work with BMW as a consultant.) The ones coming off lease are 2008s I think.
So the BMW "brass hats" (someone added the "br" I guess) have been driving '08 BMW's for a year now? What were those '08 cars doing for the three years before that?
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      04-04-2011, 04:41 PM   #13
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twins-i'd go with the one that has the better drive. i think most people get bmws b/c they love how they drive, how they feel on the road, how they handle. go with the one that does this best.
as a mom i would generally pick the safest one but honestly, i can't imagine that the safety aspect between the 2 of these vehicles is that diff't.
good luck with a tough decision!
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      04-04-2011, 07:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinsandgrifs View Post
Hi all,
i'm in the throws of searching for new car. I have a 2002 525iT which has been great but want to upgrade to get bluetooth, nav, better safety and a little more room.

Liked the X3, but then one dealer turned me on to 2010 corporate 535xi station wagons (used with lo miles). like the wagon, although interior not as nice as X3. Safety is not all that great as I understand.

I have twin 2 yos and need to throw a big dog in the back occasionally (we have a suburban for our two dogs usually). So need extra space than just a sedan.

Anyone go through this same search, or upgraded to x3 from bmw sta way?

TIA
I absolutely LOVE my 35i, but if I had the opportunity to have a 535xi Sport Wagon, I would have taken that instead. Wagons are so so so awesome.
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