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BMW X3 vs Subaru Forester XT vs Infiniti FX 35 vs Toyota RAV4

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Comments

  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    If Subaru can compete with BMW and charge a lot less, this is where it's at. If the XT is as good as the X3 and people are convinced, the word will get out and many will benefit. Forget about status, make the right decision for yourselves and be secure about it, whatever that may be.
  • akasrpakasrp Posts: 170
    nasty rear blind spot in Murano/FX35.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    I think the XT is an excellent package and if the FX didn't exist and I had to chose between the X3 and XT I would choose the XT.

    I bought the FX for it's performance, handling, features, expected reliability and dealer treatment. Let me know when subie starts offering DVD NAv and entertainment, ICC, VDC, EBD, BA, Preview Braking, 20" wheels, Style, Brick/cinamon like leather seat, Rear view camera, keyless go etc etc. Yeah I spent about 10k more than the XT but I think that bought me a lot of technology. (I am a techno geek)

    Plus free infiniti loaners for all warranty work and service. On one of my previous vehicle I spent over 700/yr for rental cars and the like while it was either in for service or repair.

    The X3 even though it is a brand new model didn't bring the technology or performance to the game so to me it is an also ran.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    that's why I have a rear view camera :)
  • akasrpakasrp Posts: 170
    that the Murano/FX35 is one sweet ride. If Nissan dealers here were as deal oriented (they all seemed stuck on MSRP) as the Subaru dealers, I'd have been hard pressed not to go Murano. No remorse mind you, but can see how one could love the M/FX. Adjustable pedals alone won me over (I'm 6', wife is 5'2). Nissan/Infinity inarguably rides the form/function wave better than the rest.
  • jjmanjjman Posts: 77
    Of course anyone can cross shop any one brand with another. Its a free country!
    But realisticly most people who consider a bmw would be thinking of luxury and prestige (look at the success of the x5). To get utility and some great unique features is what is turning me on to the x3 or else i would just buy a 330xi and not look back.
    Also for me the prestige of owning a BMW isn't the same as owning a Lexus or Mercedes. The BMW logo has always been a symbol of great handling, great engines and the pure driving experience. Nobody and I mean Nobody! has been able to duplicate the feel that you get at the steering wheel of a bmw. Sorry if I am being passionate here but to me the x3 is worth its price just for its pure abilities alone.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    the subie can not be told from the avg subie grocery getter

    Assuming this was about the Forester XT turbo, and about how it is nearly indistinguishable from its 'normal' Forester brethren, that is exactly what attracts many of its owners to it. We're not flash-and-glitz people. We like subtle. We like stealth. We don't like sky-high insurance premiums or extra scrutiny from da fuzz.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    I bought the FX for it's performance, handling, features, expected reliability and dealer treatment.

    I bought the XT for its performance, handling, features, expected reliability, dealer treatment, and $15,000 lower price tag.

    Let me know when subie starts offering DVD NAv and entertainment, ICC, VDC, EBD, BA, Preview Braking, 20" wheels, Style, Brick/cinamon like leather seat, Rear view camera, keyless go etc etc.(I am a techno geek)

    I wouldn't have bought the Forester XT if it had about 90% of those unnecessary items. The XT is for the KISS (keep it simple, etc) folks. I'm a techno geek, too - but not when it comes to overly complex cars.
  • akasrpakasrp Posts: 170
    that is exactly what attracts

    s(tealthy)rp
  • jjmanjjman Posts: 77
    But if I wanted to cross shop the XT with another brand I would do so with Honda or toyota. I can't really see the Subaru brand being upscale just like Volkswagon is trying to be. In the end I think that will be the downfall for VW because despite the Phaeton being a good car in the real world nobody's looking for the vw logo on their luxury car not with so many other choices out there. Subaru should learn from that and either create a new brand or just stay out.
  • vsromanvsroman Posts: 95
    for comparison to the FX and X3. As it stands now, it's not in the same class. The FX and X3 are examples of "fine" rolling stock, the Forester is something that civic and corolla owners yearn for...yes I know it is fast but that doesn't make it "fine."
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,694
    the XT lacks snob appeal, which is fine by me.

    Bob
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    The X and XS are more likely to be cross-shopped with the CR-V and RAV4 as they are comparable both in price and performance. While the XT is only a couple of thousand more, it's light years away in the performance dept. In fact there's nothing in the mini-SUV category that's even within 2 seconds 0-60 with most being 3 secs slower. Heck C&D clocked a manual XT at 5.3; which is only .3 slower than the $90k Porsche Cayenne Turbo! Having said that, there's no way the XT is going to compete in the prestige dept with the X-3 or FX so if someone wants to make a status statement with their vehicle, then the XT is out.

    Honestly, the XT really has no direct competition but for shoppers looking for a vehicle that can haul both a fair amount of cargo and A$$, the XT rates right up there with the FX and X-3.

    -Frank P.
  • akasrpakasrp Posts: 170
    an MD pal was checking out my new XT - he expressed disappointment that it has power ‘everything’. He just last week bought a strippy Saturn Vue with ‘crank’ windows. "Did you have to buy it so loaded?"

    Not everybody has to wear the badge...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,282
    upscale

    Anyone remember the thread somewhere around here about upscale cars? - some opined that Volvos were like VW's. Not upscale.

    So I asked my wife if she thought Volvos were upscale or luxury cars and she said yeah.

    I didn't bring up Saab.

    I have this own scale in my head:

    VW --> Audi --> Porsche
    Chevy --> Buick --> Caddy
    Nissan --> Infiniti
    Toyota --> Lexus
    Honda --> Acura (keep forgetting this tie-in)
    Ford --> Jag (ok, had to stretch to remember that connection)

    So continuing this ramble, BMW, MB, Infiniti, Lexus are top tier in the status ranking; Dodge, Ford, Mazda are second tier; the Kia and Hyundai are working their way into the middle class.

    Subaru --> practically a niche tier, rather like Jeeps (esp. Wranglers). In my scale, the Subaru in this discussion comparison seems a bit out of place. But that's just me, and I haven't driven any of them. :-)

    People certainly cross-shop tiers around here; depreciation may make you want to jump up a tier if you trade often too:

    A Mercedes at a Chevy price (MSN Money)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • mark_lpmark_lp Posts: 28
    I recently drove the FX, Murano, and X3. I bought X3. Here were my deciding issues. I live in the Midwest with lots of snow and cold. I am on construction sites during the winter in the cold for hours at a time. I haul many medium to large items around. And I also enjoy driving.

    FX35 loaded except dvd/nav system about 40k out the door
    - too hard of a ride
    - dealer stuck to sticker
    + nav system (if you need it)
    + loaner for service
    + long-term reliability
    - must pay for service on car during warranty
    - not alot of storage space
    - no heated steering wheel
    - bad blind spot
    - average motorized lumbar support
    - average interior layout

    Murano SE awd except technology about 36K out the door
    + great interior ergonomics
    + nice softer but controlled ride
    - no heated steering wheel
    - seat heater only does butt area and not back
    + good storage
    + same great nav as FX
    - can't aim air blowers at hands to warm
    - poor blind spot but better than FX
    - no loaner during service
    - maintanence not paid for during warranty
    + 10k longer warranty than BMW
    - average manual lumbar support
    - many rattle complaints
    - potential long-term problems with belt driven CVT
    + good interior rear storage
    + dealer very willing to move on price
    - regular oil

    X3 3.0 loaded except nav,pdc,power mirrors,psound 44k out the door
    + heated steering wheel
    + Xdrive
    + Xenon w/ adaptive light control
    + best overall driving experience
    + panoramic roof
    - poor interior layout compared to murano
    + good rear storage
    + 4 way elect. lumbar control
    - highest price
    + valet service to home/office w/ loaner
    + all maintenance paid for during warranty
    - costliest vehicle to maintain long-term
    + synthetic oil
    + hot/cold adjustment on face air vents
    + no blind spot
    + ABC,DBC,DSC,HDC,XYZ

    I'm sure I missed many other things but I'm sure others will chime in. I hope this helps others looking at these vehicles.
  • vsromanvsroman Posts: 95
    if your Infiniti dealer was offering the loaded FX35 (w/o DVD or Nav) for 37 instead of 40, how would that have impacted your decision?
  • zmanzman Posts: 200
    I concede the point: in comparison to the Subaru, the Infiniti and the BMW may well be "fine[r]" cars (as defined by whom, however, I should be so bold to ask). Case in point: my boss once suggested my career would most likely advance with greater celerity if I purchased a BMW--I'm not kidding; he really said that. I guess that's why he's my boss. His boss drives a VW. Go figure.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,282
    Bosses like you to buy fancy homes too. That way you get trapped into big monthly payments and can't afford to walk off the job.

    Time for a little Janis Joplin (and I don't mean the Mercedes tune either <g>).

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ulepulep Posts: 63
    I like subaru but i dont think it's rigth to compare it w/ the fx and x3. the forester in my opinion is in another playing field. I think it's better to compare it with mitsubishi and toyota. yes, it gives the most bang for the buck but so does mitsu and toyota..
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    I'm sorry you dealt with a dealer that was smoking something on the FX price. Good shoppers are getting them 500-700 over invoice. I paid 40.6k For my loaded FX35 RWD (I live in houston no need for awd) with the Tech package (that included the dvd video system they took that out and made it a seperate item for 04). an awd should be about 1k more. There is a dealer in boston selling new 03 FX45's with tech for 42.5k.

    Good luck with the beamer post impressions once you get it.
  • zmanzman Posts: 200
    Perhaps the FX should be out of the mix. As I've said before, any vehicle that is not offered in a manual transmission is clearly identified by the automaker as marketed to a specific audience and should be so identified by the consumer. This obviously includes most midsized and large SUVs. For whatever reason, however, BMW chose the X3 to be mated to a manny (the obligatory "Autobahn" image?). Hence, they are worthy of comparison. I plan to test both. I will not even consider the FX.

    Maybe there's a board devoted entirely to manual transmissions.

    Speaking of the image, have you noticed how many car ads show some enthusiast ripping through the gears in the manny? About 50% by my unoffical count. Suggests that people apparently are very much attracted by the image.

    Zman
  • mark_lpmark_lp Posts: 28
    I think the main detractor for the FX is the ride. The roads in my area are so rough that I dont think I could drive the FX with that firm of a suspension for very long. The overall FX experience is more sport and less luxury in that department. Moving a few grand around that price range would not have made a difference because other issues still exist that detract from the overall value. It would have been a nice offer though.
    At that price range, the heated steering wheel and the overall blend ride of sport and comfort won. I was actually closer to buying the Murano because of its interior layout and more storage.
    Everyone has been concentrating on the exterior looks and interior layouts/amenities of these vehicles. The one point that is overlooked is that with the BMW brand in general, the actual components and engineering that goes into the vehcile itself is much higher than most vehicles out there. The items I can repair myself are easy to locate, diagnose and repair myself. How easy is it to change filters, bulbs, oil, coolant, brakes etc after the warranty period expires? I can guarantee that the BMW is easier to do those things to. That is a value in a vehicle that cannot be touched or realized in a test drive.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Speaking of the image, have you noticed how many car ads show some enthusiast ripping through the gears in the manny? About 50% by my unoffical count. Suggests that people apparently are very much attracted by the image.

    zman- They may well be attracted to the image but when it comes to buy, they overwhelmingly go for the auto trans (90+%). Which just reinforces the image of the lazy American driver who wants as little involvement as possible with the actual driving experience.

    -Frank P.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    The handling is where the BMW and FX shines. Both equipped with sport packages are .88 g for the X3 and .87 for the FX. The base FX does .81 but since we don't have base skid numbers for the base X3 lets compare apples to apples again. The XT is High .7's here it brings up the rear where the FX and X3 tie.

    clpurnell- Regarding the XT's numbers, most of the difference is attributable to the XT's smaller shoes. If one were to spend $2,000 for a plus-one upgrade and a pair of beefier anti-sway bars, I'm willing to bet that the XT's handling numbers would be right up there in the mid to upper .8 range. And you'd still be $10,000 ahead! Of course you still won't have a heated steering wheel or 4-way electric lumbar support :-)

    Anybody else remember when the passenger side-view mirror was only available on upper-end cars?

    -Frank P.
  • zmanzman Posts: 200
    Frank, not only that, but the more "well appointed" cars are stripped of the MT--in the Subaru stable this means the Forester XT premium, the Outbacks with stronger engines. As for any American make or Infiniti, Volvo, Acura, Toyota, Lexus (you name it)...need I say more? It's as if to say, those of us who love to drive and feel the road don't want to do it unless we're sitting on cheesy cloth seats in a cramped cabin or buzzing a 4 cylinder engine to 4500 RPM.

    All of which leads me to my real question: has anyone done a "fly and buy" deal to Europe? You know, fly over, buy for example the VW Passat W8 Wagon in the 6-speed and ship it back. I hear MT's are much easier to get across the pond. Plusses and minuses? Is there a separate board for this?

    Zman
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Of course you still won't have a heated steering wheel

    That the presence or absence of this 'feature' might actually be the deciding difference between buying or not buying a particular car says something (and it's not good) about just how pampered we have to be these days.

    For those really cold days, how about a pair of gloves, for pete's sake?

    The KISS principle seems to have become a candidate for the endangered species list. <sigh>
  • akasrpakasrp Posts: 170
    of a heated steering wheel!
    Love the idea that it could run amok and leave the driver unable to steer, that is. Hot molten noxious plastic dripping onto his pants. New meaning to 'unsafe at any speed', nevermind the legendary cry &#147;I&#146;ve got blisters on my fingers&#148;.
    Is there any end to the list of goofy add-ons that continue to put stars in our eyes?

    s(anctimonius)rp
  • cmdpmcmdpm Posts: 9
    this comparo may make sense to some but not to others...
    the FXT 5M is very quick, feels great mechanically, has a low profile look, 4wd and solid reliability.BUT, it feels smaller inside than the FX35/45 (i have 3 young boys), interior looks/feels lower budget, and i just couldnt get past how ugly/awkward its exterior is, IMHO.
    the FX35/45 is nicer inside with a little more room, has avant garde styling, awesome grip, great handling,awd option,and solid reliability.BUT its a heavier suv so the v6 has to work harder to get about 4300 lbs moving. this is why i chose an '03 FX45 (with lease $$$ only about $100 more a month than the FXT 5M).
    the BMW X3 had not come out when i was looking but i drove an '04 BMW 530i 6M.it is nice in many ways but it has become less of a drivers car as the current technology seems to come between the car and the driver. also,i could not justify the extra $$$.

    have fun comparing!!!
  • mark_lpmark_lp Posts: 28
    It's 6 degrees Far. outside where I live right now. Instead of alternating holding my hands in front of the vents, I can grasp the wheel with both hands, sans gloves, properly... And at 40K a car should have a simple luxury like a piece of wire that gently heats the steering wheel. That's what a premium car is about. (BMW's steering wheel, when on,is synched with your seats as well. Seats off, highest heat. Seat settings 1,2 or 3, wheel at 1,2 or 3)
    BTW, I haven't heard of any butt burns from heated leather seats yet...
This discussion has been closed.