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2006 BMW X3 vs Acura RDX

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  • bbydadbbydad Posts: 58
    Great post. Very thorough and helpful to this undecided buyer. I didn't realize the 2007 X3 was already out. I will have to compare. I don't drive manual, so I will be interested in seeing how the X3 automatic compares with the RDX.
  • Much as I complain about autos (the Audi and BMW 5 speed autos in particular), the newest gen of German automatics from Audi and BMW are very easy to like and almost able to be loved.

    The 5 speed Acura transmission isn't bad -- it needs another gear to be able to marry its somewhat strange (for a turbo) torque curve to its final drive ratio.

    I would think a 2007 X3 6spd Steptronic would be much more impressive.

    I have come to really respect, like and darn near want to praise my Audi 6speed tiptronic. I have no reason to believe BMW's would be anything less.

    I would still consider the stick, but there is now no longer any price reason and the performance difference is hardly worth mentioning at 2/10ths of a second.

    The step has a sport mode which I assume does the same as the Audi's tip sport mode and that is to pretty much stamp out transmission lag.

    The RDX is not to be dismissed entirely out of hand, that is. Of course, just when the RDX cranks up the performance quotient, you can rest assured BMW will come up with the next gen X3 and up the ante again.

    The price point does deserve some thought though -- personally the voice command is impressive. Moreso than the voice control in my Audi.

    BMW has voice and voice dialing, etc etc etc -- hopefully it can be had in the X3.

    That being said, the controls in the X3 ARE easier to use since they have for the moment avoided going to iDrive. The Acura has a bit of an iDrive or MMI or COMMAND like system and although I am certain it will not require a rocket surgeon to use, it isn't as easy to use first time as the Bimmer's "traditional" control set up.

    Check out the 2007 X3 if the aesthetics are of concern, that new interior and new engine and new transmission in the '07 X3 are not simply a fresh coat of paint.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,984
    Thanks Mark...your comments are much appreciated.
    I'd like to see the 07 X3 and then test drive an RDX.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,577
    Has anybody mentioned that they are test driving the 2 vehicles (X3 & RDX) to the dealer they are working with? Did the Acura dealer have some trash to talk about the BMW? The only reason I ask is (and again, EVERY dealership & salesperson are DIFFERENT) because a few years ago when I was test driving an Acura MDX (Comparing it to a BMW X5), the Acura salesman asked me what else I was looking at. Before I could get the W in BMW out he kinda got this defensive tone in his voice he blurted out "How could you even compare the X5 to our MDX, they are problematic and ALWAYS in the shop." I then went ahead to explain to him how BMW includes scheduled maintenance for the duration of the warranty period. He replied with "I think umm they're stopping that next year."

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • We did tell the Acura dealer we also had an X3. The salesrep said part of his training was to learn about the X3 AND the RDX since the RDX's target was the X3 customer -- or something that led me to believe he did have some ammo.

    His only comment was that the RDX was stiffer than the X3 and that it would handle and ride better. He wouldn't really badmouth the X3 (at that time.) So, perhaps he would have turned up the X3 criticism as we progressed.

    He seemed to want to tell us about the RDX, NOT defend it or attack the Bimmer.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,540
    2007 Acura RDX Road Test -- Going After BMW, Again (Karl on Cars)

    Keep reading for the rest of the quote. :shades:

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    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • timmbojtimmboj Posts: 123
    Good article. I have a sinking feeling that most buyers in this particular vehicle segment are going to opt for the RDX over the X3 -- if they're comparing the two. I am one that prefers the BMW "drive" and that super sweet 6-speed manual.

    Sheesh, but that big $10K difference is haunting me... could I get used to looks of the RDX exterior and its automatic? Yikes! Though what I'm really hoping is that BMW will be forced into lowering their price on the X3, or offering deals that no one could pass up. Then there'd be no question at all. The X3 wins!
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,984
    2007 Acura RDX Road Test -- Going After BMW, Again (Karl on Cars)

    That is scary! :cry:

    I'd like to try one, but I sure do have to get used to the looks.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • Hmm, yep, I again ask "Did I mention that the RDX is $10,000 LESS than the X3?"

    Frankly, it kindof boils down to the lease deals (for the BMW) at this price point.

    My wife's $47K BMW is $581/mo (including tax) 36 mo/15K no money down.

    A CR-V from Honda for 42 months TODAY was $399/mo. If the RDX is even close to being similarly priced, the RDX would be what $499 or more per month, same term?

    MSRP doesn't always tell the tale.

    Real or artificial, the residual of the BMW does tend to make it (them) "within reach," far more than the MSRP might suggest.

    Besides, I do think the BMW X3 is a better total package AND actually is worth more from an asking price perspective.

    I guess from THAT perspective, it is that it is $10,000 more than the RDX that is most troublesome (unless there's a few thou hidden in the BMW's glove box.)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "I then went ahead to explain to him how BMW includes scheduled maintenance for the duration of the warranty period"

    But it wouldn't actually reduce the frequency of service visits, free or otherwise, would it? I assume your time is of some value to you. And I think that was the point the Acura salesman was trying to make.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,984
    But it wouldn't actually reduce the frequency of service visits, free or otherwise, would it?

    Good point, and to many people time is money. I like the X3 but if it had problems I wouldn't keep it, I just don't have the time to have it sit in a garage and be tied up. Our 2003 Mercedes C Class and my 2004 X3 have not been to the shop very often so I am not sure if the "unreliable" factor is an issue. I sometimes wonder if the way the car is driven and cared for are a factor. I don't think any of my approximately 12 GM,s, 2 Jeeps, 1 Chrysler, 1 Ford were really "unreliable".

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • @ nearly 25K miles, we've had one oil change and two wiper blade changes -- three visits to the dealer in about 18 months. The wiper blade visits were on a Saturday, unscheduled, we were in the neighborhood kind of thing and pulled in to vist the BMW Starbucks and coffee cake spread and get the blades replaced and a free vacuum, wash and tire pressure and fluid level check to boot.

    I have added one pint of oil (in the first 15K miles, in response to an oil light on the dash.)

    The BMW dealer even kept the washer fluid level full at our three visits.

    This car is like a Bic lighter -- if the darn thing wouldn't run outta gas, I bet it would just keep on firing up!

    Of course, my slightly younger Audi has been pretty trouble free if you overlook the first four pushbutton starter replacements over the first four months of ownership.

    These two Germans if they prove to be on a forward basis "normal" seem to be at least as drive it and forget it as any Japanese vehicle I know about.

    I have been so impressed with these two Germans, I actually don't have any "itch" whatsoever -- a first for both my wife and me.

    Of course, we are looking forward to the upgraded X3 -- as a 2008 model!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I do agree that reliability ratings may be over-rated. I made a point on another thread that the modern automobile has improved so much that even a car rated as "unreliable" may not be that bad. I was trying to make an analogy to the Bell Curve Grading System where someone has to come in first and someone has to come in last. So, for example, a car ranked 25th most reliable may only have statistical, and not practical, significance.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,984
    an analogy to the Bell Curve Grading System

    That is probably a good analogy. IMO the reliability grading system is of some significance though. I considered a Freelander and Range Rover but reliability seems to be a major issue. Also, if I was looking for a real econo-car I would consider a Hyundai way before a Kia, which always rates very poor, even though it is the same company.
    But probably if you are in the top 70 percentile, it is all pretty close. And who knows what the repairs really are, Mercedes was low there for awhile but they say it is mostly because they use new technology and have to perfect it. They also get hit for brake dust, but it is a case of them using better brake pads. My wife's 2003 C-Class has been fine at about 20,000 miles. The surveys do seem to have limited value. Maybe the bottom 10 or 25% of the Bell Curve should be bought with caution! :lemon:

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • timmbojtimmboj Posts: 123
    Mark,

    Acura's website shows them offering the base model RDX for 36-Months at $399 with $4500 due at signing.
  • I'm actually interested in both the RDX and 07 X3, I've looked at the RDX and testdriven but so far have only looked at the 06 X3. Anyone know when the 07s will actually be on lots?

    the $10k difference is huge as all the 06 X3's we saw started around $42 and ended up closer to $47 while a loaded RDX was around $38.

    I really do love the lushness or luxuriousness of the X3 so far and I'm itching to test drive one. From the discussion so far it appears people are leaning towards the X3 in this comparison.
  • Anyone have an idea of what a realistic 07 X3 lease would look like? Prefer a 24 month lease with around 3500-5000 down. Thanks!
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,540
    Car_man should be able to help over in the BMW X3: Lease Questions discussion.

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    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Don't put down any money as a CAP COST reduction. Instead put it down as multiple security deposits which serve the purpose of lowering the money factor and the monthly payment.

    You get the deposit back.

    If you wreck the car even with GAP protection you get back so to speak the cost of the car MINUS your downpayment.

    If you have that much money to burn, please send a certified funds check to me or to your favorite charity.

    Our $47K 15K per year 2005 X3 term 36 months was $250 cash down and $581 per month including tax. Plate fees were on top of this and we added two BMW accessories outside of the lease: in arm rest phone adaptor for bluetooth phone and Kleen Wheels for all four sport rims. Total accessory cost including labor under $500.

    Could we have put money down? Yes.

    Why?

    :confuse:
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I just saw photos of the new X5 on BMW site. Both the RDX and '07 X3 are ugly ducklings next to the new X5. :sick:
  • The new X5 to my eye looks like a bigger X3.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    The new X5 (as does the current X5) has a brawnier look. More SUVish proportions whereas the X3 and the RDX have a more tall-wagon look. Not as much as, say, the Subaru Forester, but in that general theme.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I agree about the size issue. Aside from the cost, the other factor that would be a strike against the new X5 (for me) would be the bulkier exterior dimensions. But it does look sweet!
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,984
    I just saw photos of the new X5 on BMW site. Both the RDX and '07 X3 are ugly ducklings next to the new X5.

    Looks very nice and seems to be a nice improvement on the old model. But I like the idea of a smaller SUV so I am happy to keep mine. Hope the redesign looks like the new X5 though.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • Eye of beholder -- the X5 looks porky, bloated and out of proportion. Tall wagon? Wow!

    Like I said: eye of beholder. :shades:
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,115
    Let me preface this by saying that I have a case of advanced BMW nuttiness. I believe that all German cars have a unique feel to them that has not been duplicated by any other manufacturer, but BMWs best exemplify this feel.

    I'll also add that I can't get that excited about the Acura TSX or TL. Maybe I drove them on the wrong roads, or didn't give them enough of a chance, but to me the TL felt like an Accord with Bluetooth and a slightly nicer interior, and the TSX handled well but was lacking in torque.

    I own a 2006 3-series (the E90 model). I spent a little over a week with a loaner X3 this summer. I haven't compared dimensions, but the X3 felt like it was within spitting distance of the E90 in length and width. The X3 felt very narrow to be so tall, and the tall greenhouse only amplifies this look. I find it to be a little odd-looking. The interior had some cheap touches, and it used BMW's last-generation flexible-service system (like the E46). It also didn't have the triple turn signal activation of other recent BMW models. My loaner was a non-sport-package model with an automatic. The ride and handling were good, even without the sport package. The engine was not as smooth and quiet as the one in the E90. The leatherette and other interior plastics appeared to be a lower grade than in the E90. I haven't yet seen or driven a 2007 X3, but it is supposed to have the next-generation inline-six engine (with its NVH refinements), as well as an upgraded interior. These improvements should address my main concerns about the X3, but I haven't seen or experienced them yet.

    I drove a 2007 Acura RDX a couple of days ago. I will try to attack the issues in a similar order as I did with the X3. The RDX was a comfortable size--I understand its dimensions are nearly identical to the 2007 Honda CRV, which is about the same as the X3. The RDX did not share the same tall-but-narrow feeling I got in the X3. I think I prefer its styling to the X3. There are a ton of steering wheel controls, but if you get the technology package, you only need one or two of them (the voice command buttons). (The X3 I drove was a base model, so I can't really compare the integration of technology between the two.) The instrumentation is similarly busy, with a boost gauge and a graphic that shows you the torque split between the four wheels. I pretty much ignored the satnav, boost gauge, and other gizmos and concentrated on driving the car. I was impressed. Ride and handling were good, as was acceleration. The engine was smooth, although you can tell from its note that it is a four-cylinder, and there is little turbo lag. I did notice transmission lag when I went from about 30% throttle to about 80% throttle--it took a moment before the transmission kicked down two gears. Perhaps this trait would improve as the car's brain adapted to one's driving style. I couldn't believe it, but the RDX was truly fun to drive. Then there is the interior. As I noted, the steering wheel controls (as well as the center stack) are busy, but the dash materials are of a higher quality than the X3. The RDX lacks a memory driver's seat, power passenger seat, and rear A/C ducts. These are things that I could live without, but other buyers may not be so forgiving.

    I prefer the 2007 RDX to the 2006 X3. I may prefer the 2007 X3 to the 2007 RDX, but probably not at the price difference it will command.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Very good writeup.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,984
    Great review, much appreciated.

    My X3 is exactly 2 years old and I love it. If it is a little high and narrow I don't care...I love the big windows and command seating position. I also like the styling and although the interior could be a little jazzier, it is extremely comfortable and well thought out.

    The RDX is certainly worth a test drive though. I wouldn't hesitate to try one out when the time comes, based on reviews and comments like yours.

    Thanks, that was very helpful.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,984
    I see big full page ads for the RDX in the newspapers today. IMO it would look a lot better without the second upper grill - just leave the one grill on the bottom. Then it looks more like a Cayanne!!!!

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "Then it looks more like a Cayanne!!!!"

    Good Lord, hope not!! :surprise:
This discussion has been closed.