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      09-30-2011, 09:36 AM   #1
jbinbi
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x3 vs. rx350

I did a search and was a bit surprised i didn't find anyone who was comparing the bmw and lexus suvs?

I had the original rx300 13 years ago, and it was a great car. my first suv. I then went to a honda pilot, which i still have and really love. those have gotten way too large, even my original one was beastly compared to the lexus (i needed a 3d row at the time).

My other car is a 128i, which is fun to drive, but not so hot in the winter in NE.

So I am back to needing a new suv and was wondering if anyone had looked at the x3 vs 350 and what impressions were regarding driving, fit, finish, reliability, etc.
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      09-30-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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i don't think there's much comparison aside from the general size of the cars. i tested the lexus and ended up with the X3.

it comes down to lexus = more comfy and soft, not really a driver's car. probably more reliable. don't know about fit/finish.

bmw = much better driving dynamics, faster, better handling.

if you loved the pilot, i would think the lexus is the natural choice. they are much more similar than the X3. i think 1 minute in the X3 will give you the answer you seek.
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      09-30-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
I did a search and was a bit surprised i didn't find anyone who was comparing the bmw and lexus suvs?

I had the original rx300 13 years ago, and it was a great car. my first suv. I then went to a honda pilot, which i still have and really love. those have gotten way too large, even my original one was beastly compared to the lexus (i needed a 3d row at the time).

My other car is a 128i, which is fun to drive, but not so hot in the winter in NE.

So I am back to needing a new suv and was wondering if anyone had looked at the x3 vs 350 and what impressions were regarding driving, fit, finish, reliability, etc.
I owned a new RX300 SE for the wife, she hated it, and called it a "Motorway Maintenance" vehicle I had to sell it quickly, it drove like a Dog as well.
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      09-30-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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RX is nice if you want a cushy, plush ride.
Not fun to drive at all.
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      09-30-2011, 11:37 AM   #5
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The one thing i am not happy about on my 128i, which i purchased used, is that it had sport seats (manual adjustable). They are great if you take a corner at .8gs. But if i drive 100 mi on the hwy, just not comfortable. And with manual adjustments, very hard to get setting i want. (however, my 20 yr old sons say they have no issues and just give us the key).

I sat in a x3 and the seats are not as 'sporty' so I don't think this will be an issue. Not sure about reliablility, see lots of issues here, but OTH, a forum is where you see people post their issues.
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      09-30-2011, 11:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
The one thing i am not happy about on my 128i, which i purchased used, is that it had sport seats (manual adjustable). They are great if you take a corner at .8gs. But if i drive 100 mi on the hwy, just not comfortable. And with manual adjustments, very hard to get setting i want. (however, my 20 yr old sons say they have no issues and just give us the key).

I sat in a x3 and the seats are not as 'sporty' so I don't think this will be an issue. Not sure about reliablility, see lots of issues here, but OTH, a forum is where you see people post their issues.
None of the X3's I test drove had sports seats so I can't comment first hand, but most people love them. I ordered them based on look at people's comments in the forums.

I sat in an X5 with sports seats which I thought were amazing, but later learned they were the multi-contour seats, so supposedly better than anything the X3 can get. The multi-contours are amazingly comfortable.
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      09-30-2011, 11:46 AM   #7
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took me about a week to get used to sport seats and find my spot. actually the key was the front end of the seat that slides in and out had 3 notches, in, middle, and out - once i found middle a few days after delivery i've been very comfortable. I could take or leave sports seats, but would not get my X3 w/o SAP though.
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      09-30-2011, 11:46 AM   #8
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Personally love sport seats!

If you don't like driving much, get the Lexus. If you are more involved when you drive, the Lexus will bore you, get the X3. Your call.
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      09-30-2011, 11:49 AM   #9
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Get SPORT seats, even if it would be the only option on the car. You will thank me later.

As for the RX - the moment I sat in it and touched the wood steering wheel I told myself I am not in their desired age group... yet. I took CT200h for a spin though. It is a nice vehicle, albeit in a different category and for a different reason...
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      09-30-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
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OP, I still drive an original RX300 and it's served me well all this time. It's a Lexus, and the reliability has been great. When doing my research for a new vehicle I test drove the 2011 RX350 and 450h. It's what I expected from Lexus, very plush, very well built, but as others have said compared to the X3 it's not a drivers vehicle. Though much more peppy then my 1999 the X3 handles much differently, as you can imagine. For me, the handling and the size is what turned me to the X3. The X3 is much closer to the dimensions of my RX300. Although I don't have the specs in front of me I'd say the RX350 is better compared to the X5 size wise and I'm not looking for a vehicle that big. The Lexus is still going strong and is allowing me to wait on the N20 to come out before I jump to my first BMW.
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      09-30-2011, 12:56 PM   #11
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Test drove the Lexus and HATED it. It was mushy like a marshmellow and felt like I was in a "grandparents" vehicle. I didn't like one thing about it and also thought the cargo area in the back was too small.
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      09-30-2011, 01:27 PM   #12
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Lexus is a much more "comfortable" vehicle. If you're doing long hauls, its likely better for you. The X3 is more of a performance vehicle so the suspension is tighter and the steering is tighter. It will handle better.

But if comfort outweighs driving dynamics, Lexus is the way to go. If driving dynamics is your thing, then an Audi Q5 or X3 28i will do the trick. If you're looking for strong performance, then the X3 35i is really your only bet.

Mercedez is really crappy right now and I'd stay away from those.
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      09-30-2011, 10:48 PM   #13
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I drove my friend's second gen Lexus RX, and I thought the driving position was kinda awkward despite adjusting various steering and seat positions. Just need a little getting used to I guess.
Ride comfort is good, it was at the time better than my W163 body-on-frame M-class (well of course, since the M-class ride is very truck-like)
Driving dynamic was soft, typical Toyota FWD cars. It wasn't bad, but wasn't "interesting" either. I had a Camry before and it felt just like driving a slightly raised Camry.

IMHO, Lexus RX is better suited for those who just need a comfortable and reliable luxury crossover to get them from point A to point B, where driving dynamic is not really a priority. Those who like to "play it safe" rather than a "risk taker".

The new 3rd gen Lexus RX270 was actually on my consideration list. It offers more standard features (navigation, electric tailgate, comfort access, adaptive headlight) for a slightly cheaper price than the X3, but at the end, I felt the X3 is a much better car.
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