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2006 BMW X3 vs Acura RDX

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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "Like off-roading is the only reason..."

    Industry wide marketing has created, intentionally, a belief among the general public that AWD, like 4WD/4X4, equates to off-roading capability.

    Apparently this reporter is just another victom.
  • ubercheapubercheap Posts: 9
    But are any of you unhappy with it after driving it for some time? Or, is the ride saisfactory? What about road noise in the cabin?

    I really like the car and am thinking about a 2008. But I want a comfortable ride--not a back breaker.


    To me, the ride is comfy enough, but I'm coming from a 2nd gen Integra. Everything is comfy :)

    As for the noise, I have heard a few weird things in my first 200 miles. I'll have to get back to you on whether it's stock or weirdness as I'm working with the dealer on them.
  • saab2saab2 Posts: 6
    My impressions after 2 years and 57,000 miles with the X3, had 2 MDXs prior to that. Living in the snow belt outside of Buffalo both vehicles are incredible in heavy snow, but the Acura has an engineering problem with the wiper/windshield configuration in disposing of heavy snow buildup. In English that means it's hard to see out of the Acuras in blizzards. We make a long West Virginia trip frequently, the MDXs had to slow down to 75 on curvy interstates as they started to lean a little too much, the X3 holds the road like, well, a BMW. I live in a rural area so all trips are long, MPG on the X3 is 21 all day long, 24 on the trips. The MDX was a heavier vehicle and therefore got a little less MPG, but was still better than EPA numbers. Service from Acura and BMW has always been great, right now the X3 is on it's 4th day! in the shop because they can't figure out the code. They've had BMW tech support involved, but promise that they're picking up the entire cost as it's close to being under warranty (57,000), meanwhile I'm driving their 2007 328 which isn't near as nice as the X3. The last MDX had a transmission replacement at 65,000 under a recall (1 day service), but the rebuilt they installed was just starting to slip when I dumped it at only 70,000.
    We love both the MDX and the X3, my wife would get another MDX, I'd vote for the X3.
  • johnny98johnny98 Posts: 88
    Motor Trend magazine compares 2007 Acura RDX vs. 2007 BMW X3 vs. 2008 Land Rover LR2 vs. 2007 Lincoln MKX

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/112_0708_midsize_luxury_crossover _comparison

    The report is also printed in the current issue of the magazine.
  • carlitos92carlitos92 Posts: 458
    For those too lazy or eager to read the whole thing: MT ranking (in descending order) is RDX, LR2, X3, MKX.

    Car&Driver's ranking in a similar article was X3, RDX, LR2. "Different strokes for different folks," I guess...
  • Anyone who equates the X3 with a luxobarge hasn't driven the X3. In fact, the aspect of the X3 that has even sports car magazines complaining is its stiff ride.

    I recently compared both the X3 and the RDX (not to mention the new GLK and the surprisingly capable Subaru Forester) and found the X3 to have the firmest ride of the bunch. The X3 that I drove (and bought) is the base model, without the sport suspension or larger wheels, making it about the cushiest X3 available.

    There are many areas where the other vehicles were better, but none were more stiffly suspended or less luxobargish.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Its not that the X3 fits the luxobarge term, it's the X3's price that puts it in that category for comparison purposes. "Class" wise it belows down there with the Honda, Toyota, etc.
  • Except for gelling issues with the Rx engine in time past, the X3 is not in the same league as the Hondas and Toyotas.

    I think that BMW, as unresponsive to its customers as it is, will see its market share eroded on one side by other, better Euro imports with more stuff for less money and by the Asian manufacturers for reliability and high tech.

    I see no reason to ever buy another BMW ever again. That is sad to say but after 20 years I am DONE. :lemon:
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    While I do not much care for the BMW marque their approach to AWD, R/awd, will likely keep them ahead of the F/awd pak for some years to come.
  • What differences do you see in driving between the two methodologies?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    On a slippery roadbed surface, exactly the place and time for which you THOUGHT you bought the "proper" vehicle, FWD & F/awd vehicles are just plain PATENTLY UNSAFE.

    With FWD & F/awd vehicle inadvertent/unavoidable engine compression braking, or "regenerative" braking for hybrids, even at the slightest level, can result in virtually INSTANT loss of directional control in those conditions.

    To that end the Ford Escape hybrid significantly reduces the level of regen braking used to simulate engine compression braking as the OAT approaches freezing. Ford also disables, regardless of road condition, regen braking the very instant there is an indication of the need to activate the anti-lock braking system to prevent interference with ABS.

    VW now has a technique wherein the engine of their FWD vehicles with stick shift is automatically up-revved should the driver inadvertently downshift to a level that produces so much engine braking that front wheelslip results.
  • My understanding is that the vast majority of cars these days are FWD. RWD is a rarity. IIRC 70%/30%.

    Are you saying that loss of speed during slippage causes loss of directional control or are you saying that the mechanism that causes the engine braking also causes lack of directional control regardless of any loss of speed.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    There's no plain, clear or obvious evidence that FWD cars are inherently unsafe.

    Willard and I have had this discussion before. :)

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  • What was the upshot? Why a rear wheel oddity when everyone else is going FWD?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    Wwest makes some good points about FWD in snow country where you can have a downshift situation and cause the rear end to come around. He can explain it better than me though.

    Of course, I've had my FWD minivan up at the local ski hill some and never had trouble (usually I'm in my AWD wagon though). Not to mention 20 winters driving only FWD when I lived in Anchorage, but the storms there weren't like his experiences in Montana.

    But if FWD was inherently unsafe, where's the carnage on the highways?

    The AWD/FWD/4WD wars will go on and on, but ultimately it's the tires that make the real difference anyway.

    In my opinion anyway. :)

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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Let's talk about ABS and why/how it works for a moment.

    During panic/HARD braking on a tractive surface there is a very REAL danger of losing directional control if your front wheels begin to skid/slip due to the braking friction overcoming the tire-roadbed traction coefficient. With the tires skidding across the roadbed you have NO LATERAL control with which to deviate from the path set by the vehicle's momentum/inertia, nor the ability to hold the direction if the vehicle begins to "drift" in an undesired direction.

    The same circumstance will exist if the roadbed happens to become an "ice rink", except now it is entirely possible that even the slightest level of engine compression braking, or "regen" braking, can result in an adverse effect. Engine braking that (today) ABS CANNOT abate/alleviate in order to allow you to maintain directional control.

    With RWD engine compression braking occurs at the REAR WHEELS and therefore does NOT INTERFERE with the lateral traction at the front wheels. Back in my days in NH or MT (and more rarely Anchorage/Fairbanks), BEFORE ABS, if I were driving a stick shift I would often downshift and then use the clutch to moderate the level of engine braking at the rear. With an automatic I often used a very slight application of the e-brake to add a slight "drag" anchor to both slow the car going down a SLIPPERY roadbed section and to hold the car "in line".

    If you should ever find yourself travelling down a fairly steep incline, SLIPPERY incline, with, as recommended, tire chains ONLY on the front wheels of a FWD or F/awd vehicle you will know, INSTANTLY, of which I speak.

    If you are driving a FWD or F/awd vehicle on a wintertime adverse condition, SLIPPERY, roadbed, keep this advice from the AAA in mind. Be prepared to QUICKLY shift the transaxle into neutral the INSTANT you begin to feel the onset of loss of directional control. The advice also applies to RWD and R/awd with automatics.

    Anyone driving a stick shift doesn't need to be, SHOULDN'T need to be, told what to do.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...downshift situation..." "..rear end to come around.."

    No, the rear end coming around is really a result, "after effect", of having lost traction at the front tires, and therefore directional control, "control of direction". If lateral traction remained at the front, as would happen with the new VW technique, you could simply "stear into the skid" and thereby quickly recover.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    What's funny is that most of the wrecks I've seen going to my local ski hill have involved 4WD rigs and when the first snows hit Anchorage or Colorado, it's SUVs that are most prevelent in the ditches.

    Maybe us FWD guys just know the limits of our vehicles better. :shades:

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  • One of the more remarkable videos of driving when you shouldn't.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMzeiMJQrvk&feature=related
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The TL with manual transmission is NOT available with FWD, only SH-AWD.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Too many cowboys in AWD rigs and SUVs! Let's face it, most of them are too "cool' for their own good!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...it's SUVs that are the most prevelent in the ditches...."

    Maybe because these days MOST SUV's are FWD, patently UNSAFE FWD...??

    Or at best F/awd...??
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    No, it's mostly the driver. People think they are better drivers than they really are, and when you have a 4WD or AWD you think you have another layer of invincibility and wind up driving too fast for conditions.

    People first, tires second, drivetrain third.

    Look at skiers. The good ones could put on a pair of sharpened 2x4s and outski me on fancy new shape skis (actually had an instructor do that to me one year at Donner Pass). Equipment isn't a substitute for skill.

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