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



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 2005 Outback is more similar to the Volvo XC70 and Audi allroad quattro 2.7T. They all have turbo engines.

    I've driven the Volvo XC70, and compared to the Forester XT there is a lot more lag and the tranny is slower to shift. The auto Forester is quicker but the 5 speed manual Forester absolutely blows the XC70 away, no contest.

    Given the OB XT will have more power, more boost, I fully expect it will show the Volvo and Audi its taillights. Even in the twisties.

    I think we'll see sub 6 second 0-60 times, about 7 seconds with automatic.

    The Outback suspension will probably be dialed in for more comfort than the X3 or FX, but the Legacy GT (also available with a turbo) should even have a better ride/handling balance than the heavier SUVs.

  • bgsintthbgsintth Posts: 16
    Good Points, but the main reason I think the OBXT is more comparable is interior space. I could never consider the FXT because it has very limited legroom in the rear seat, which is why I'm looking to replace my WRX wagon. The X3 has a lot of room in the rear seat, significantly more that the FXT. Agreed that I have special needs.

    Both the Audi and the Volvo are way out of my price range. I believe the 4.2 Allroad is now in the $50K's? Though I do think the OBXT will match-up very well in terms of room, comfort, and performance.

    Oh, and I have not ruled out a GT limited wagon, though I'm waiting to see if it is somehow possible to get leather w/out a sunroof.
  • pon1pon1 Posts: 196
    No question the OBXT will steal sales from the FXT if the prices are close, which is maybe one reason why we in Canada will only be getting the OBXT in Limited form for 05. OBXT will offer similar performance, upscale packaging, maybe a bit less fun, a bit more grown up.

    More importantly for Subaru, they will also steal sales from Volvo, VW and Audi and the car based mid range and lux SUV world with both the OBXT and new revised 3.0R. Dont think the outgoing model was quite in that ballpark.

    I am cross shopping the MT FXT with the 3.0R auto, as in Canada the latter is going to be the "base" model for those wanting a bit more than the N/A 4 cyl 2.5i. Once we get to drive the cars should be easy decision because they are going to be very different (I have never driven the current H6). I'd say it is tougher in the US where a loaded FXT and base OBXT will be much closer in price.

    Getting further off topic, but wonder how many folks will be torn between the OB 3.0R and OBXT??
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nope - Limited package gives you both leather and a moonroof.

    Have you seen the moonroof, though? It's massive, and now it's no longer split like it used to be. The front tilts up, the rear open all the way, leaving a gaping hole.

    Headroom on all Legacys is much better for 2005. Ramana Lageman, the US SCCA Rally driver for Subaru, is 6'4" and had room to spare over his head in a moonroof-equipped sedan. I'm 6" and even in the rear of that sedan I had a few inches to spare.

    If you don't want the moonroof for other reasons, what about aftermarket leather? Katskins or similar.

    The H6 is about luxury - it's quiet and smooth. At idle my wife didn't realize it was on and reached for the ignition. It's geared very tall for relaxed, efficient cruising.

    The turbo is geared short and will blow the doors off of anything in its class. It's not as quiet and not nearly as fuel efficient as the H6. I also think its character will be substantially different - all performance.

    Drive both and you'll have a clear preference.

  • scotth6scotth6 Posts: 43
    Readers choice Best Small SUV in the May issue of Automobile Magazine was not a Subaru it was the BMW X3. No Subaru named in all 14 catagories, Yawn. Best Mid Size was the VW Touareg.
    BMW sales are trending up through Feb and increasing through March. The ir was little or no 5 Series available in Jan and the X3 was not available. You Subaru guys can't stand it can you, just go ahead and admit that that the X3 is a success as well as the Z4 and even the new 5 Series. Yes, the 7 Series has a problem with electronics and a trunk but the looks are being changed for 2005. BMW says their brand sales will definitely be up for 2004 and I believe them a lot more than a couple of Subaru owners.
    And quit calling your station wagon an SUV. Probably the number one reason for buying a SUV is a high seating position and your station wagon does not have it.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    Ok I went to the houston auto show and sat in the Subie to see what the fuss was about. I swore off this board about 700 posts ago but had to give my .02 now.

    The subie is not in the same class as the other vehicles here. First of all it is small and very uncomfortable. All you subie nuts say how much more utilty and visibility it has than an FX but what good is that if I don't fit.

    Second the interior and leather are nice for what it is and that is a 20k vehicle.

    Finally you know how many people were looking at the FXT NONE compare that to lines looking at the FX and X3. Yeah the subie is fast but so is the neon srt-4 don't mean you should compare it to a m3 or g35.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Which is kind of ironic when you consider who's driving the X3. Oh wait, there's a psychological term for that. Something to do with the male psychoses... Okay I'll behave ;-)

    Kudos to BMW for doing well with the reader's choice awards but personally I'd rather own a vehicle voted best by knowledgeable car reviewers (C&D and CR) than be chosen by the slave-to-fashion brand-conscious masses. But honestly, if a vehicle truly suits your needs, does it really matter if it wins any awards?

    And of course the FXT is really just a tall station wagon, as are the X3 and FX. All three are built on car platforms and none have a low-range transmission, both common litmus tests for being a real "SUV".

    -Frank P.
  • ballisticballistic Posts: 1,687
    Do you have to work really hard at being such a bore, or does it come naturally?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Let's play nice and stick to the topic - which is not each other! :-)

    tidester, host
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    tidester, I am playing nice. It would appear that something or someone has touched a nerve here.

    Frank P. points out correctly that all three vehicles in this comparison are car-based vehicles. Whether you call them cars, tall wagons, SUVs, or hedgehogs isn't relevant. What is relevant is whether the vehicles in question meet the owners' needs. In this case those needs may not all carry the same weight.

    I must admit I seldom post here but that's because I'm still waiting to read about someone testing these vehicles back-to-back. I suppose I should do that myself.

  • subewannabesubewannabe Posts: 403
    Gives me another idea for a new vanity plate, Ed. My curent choices are "FUBARU", "WASH ME" and now "SONIC".....
  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Well, maybe "SUBSONIC" (if your state allows 8 characters, which NC does IIRC) would be more accurate. You get the Subaru reference plus acknowledge that the XT doesn't quite break the sound barrier.

  • corkfishcorkfish Posts: 537
    How did Automobile magazine name the BMW the best small SUV when they never tested the Forester XT? I have to laugh when I see friends who make nowhere near what I do driving premium brands. I've found that it's quite satisfying smoking $40,000 cars in my $20,000 station wagon.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    and thinks it is too small, you better lay off the biscuits!
  • corkfishcorkfish Posts: 537
    Not sure if I can post links, but thought this license plate holder was clever. You have to enlarge it. 2
  • mamgtmamgt Posts: 67
    "I have to laugh when I see friends who make nowhere near what I do driving premium brands. I've found that it's quite satisfying smoking $40,000 cars in my $20,000 station wagon."

    Some people don't necessarily drive premium brands to "smoke" other cars but because they prefer a more refined driving experence. Speed alone does not equate to a great driving experience.
  • atlgaxtatlgaxt Posts: 487
    Subaru Forester XT - Its not just speed:

    Good cargo room and passenger capacity in a tidy package with excellent visibility.

    Tops in class safety.

    Better than average reliability (according to sources such as Consumer Reports) and an expectation of excellent durability, based upon the % of ten year old Subaru's still on the road.

    Attractive interior, with excellent features (In dash cd changer, auto climate control, heated seats, big sunroof available, etc. etc.)

    Good balance between ride and handling (vs. the X3 which has better handling at the expense of ride).

    While there are not a lot of fancy gadgets, it has a capable AWD system with good ground clearance (yet low center of gravity) and a LSD.

    Plus excellent acceleration and a top ten rated engine by Ward's Autoworld (the BMW inline six is on that list also).

    Winner of Car and Driver and Consumer Reports best Small SUV.

    All at a good price.

    There are a lot of good, logical reasons to buy a Forester. All the reasons to pay $10k to $15k more for the BMW end up being touchy-feely and based upon emotional reasons such as status (but ummm... the BMW just has to be better. I paid so much more for it as compared to a Subaru)

    BTW, when I went to the auto show, I was disappointed in the interior of the X3. Looked cheap and plasticky for such an expensive vehicle.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Oh yeah, I see soooo many X3s off road. All the time. Right.

    Thanks for the comic relief, though.

  • mamgtmamgt Posts: 67
    "There are a lot of good, logical reasons to buy a Forester. All the reasons to pay $10k to $15k more for the BMW end up being touchy-feely and based upon emotional reasons such as status."

    No one needs to convince me that the Forester is a decent car. I like the Forester. I’ve owned one for the past 4 years and it has served us well....even though it needed transmission work after 10,000 miles (under warranty) and a new clutch at 41,000 miles (my friend had one replaced at 60,000).
    I did take the Forester XT out for a test drive. It was just as noisy as my Forester and though it had more pick-up, it seemed to have a delayed pick-up compared to the X3 w/step. Yes, there are many "good, logical" reasons to buy a Forester. But if you think the only reason to buy an X3 is because of status, you probably haven’t driven one. The X3 has a more quite ride, superior handling (not at the expense of ride if you have the right tire pressure!), fantastic braking system, great AWD system, great safety features like front and rear head protection system, and free maintenance through 50,000 miles. The overall driving experience of the X3 (including giant sun roof and superb power adjustable seats with memory), is just in a different league, plain and simple. So yes, the X3 is more expensive, but in my opinion worth every penny.
This discussion has been closed.