2006 BMW X3 vs. 2009 Subaru Forester

smsoulesmsoule Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in BMW
I am trying to decide between a used 2006 BMW X3 or a used 2009 Subaru Forester X Prem or Limited. I currently have a full size SUV and am looking to downsize. I love the X3, but am not sure of the reliability compared to a Subaru. Help!


  • couragecourage Member Posts: 6
    I had 2 BMW X3 and a Subaru.
    Both cars are great, but Subaru it's very simple for my taste.

    On the other hand 2006 it's 3 years old, so go with 2009 Subaru Forester.
    It's a really good card and if it's 2.5 turbo it's incredible
  • palefirepalefire Member Posts: 9
    I found this thread because I am having the same debate with myself. What did you choose and how is it working out?

  • smsoulesmsoule Member Posts: 3

    I ended up with the BMW X3. It's nice, but I have kinda second-guessed my decision. It's very nice and handles great...but it feels ritsy. We had to go somewhere over the weekend where we had to park in grass and it was muddy. I felt like the car was too pretty to be muddy. I guess for my needs, the Subaru probably would have worked out well and felt a little less over the top. But I don't usually own higher end cars anyway. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions. :D
  • palefirepalefire Member Posts: 9
    That is really interesting to hear. I gather that the second guessing has not been in connection to the BMW starting to break down or anything. The ritzy issue is there for me, too. I live in New Orleans and... not that an x3 is that flashy but.

    Part of me wants to own a flash car that feels great, and I like it when a car is response and powerful, and part of me wants to say, get serious you don't have that kind of money, you need something practical and solid! Another factor for me is I have never bought i new car in my life. I am going to test drive both and take a deep breath.

    Thanks for your reply.

  • smsoulesmsoule Member Posts: 3
    I have had no problems with the car. It's great! Nice size and handles wonderfully. It has the German transmission that you have to get used to, but it gets up and goes. I got a certified used one from a BMW dealer, so I know that it has a warranty and it was inspected by them before I bought it. The only drawback is that it is a more fancy car than I am used to. But I'm sure that I will get used to that. Thanks for writing.
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    Never looked at the Subaru (which looks strange to me but gets great reviews) but it's funny as I see the X3 as a tough, mid-sized utilitarian car. Pricey in its range but not over the top so. It isn't a cream puff and pretty ascetic inside and out except for the amazing four piece pano roof.

    It is a zippy suburban car though and not meant to be taken off road to any degree , that said, I have heard it is excellent in snow and ice. Grass and mud, no problem.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    I have heard it is excellent in snow and ice. Grass and mud, no problem.

    That is strictly come from how good the 4 tires are. Snow tires are the best but need to keep extra set for other 3 seasons.
  • kenm6kenm6 Member Posts: 14
    My wife has a 2006 X3, there was the blue tooth transmitter failure at the beginning of this year. Other than this, the X3 has been very reliable since Dec of 2005. She loves the X3 more than the Forester.
    I have a 2009 Forester Prem, so far there is no problem at all, it has 30K miles on it now. By the way this is my third Forester, I had a 2002 and 2006 model. By far 2009 is the the best. 2002 model was the worst because of the wheel bearing and O2 sensors problems.
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    How does she find the ride between the two? Are they comparable?
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "... I like it when a car is response and powerful, and part of me wants to say, get serious you don't have that kind of money, you need something practical and solid!..."

    The Forester XT Limited is faster than the X3, with a better AWD, with the same level of equipment and finish, for almost $10,000 less.
  • palefirepalefire Member Posts: 9
    Thanks for this. On the good side, i just bought a Forester 2.5 limited. The bad news, reading this I realized I want a 2.5t. No T! I am besides myself. Why didn't I think of that?
  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    If this is a major issue you can trade the X back in on an XT, and the sooner and less miles on the X the better. You might do better with the dealer with few hundred miles on the car, than with a private seller. In order to make a second sale, the dealer has an incentive to allow you more for the X than you can get from a private buyer. The dealer might give you $3000 less than you paid, while a private buyer might give you $4000 less.

    In addition to that, the XT is about $2k more than the X, and you would also lose what you paid for tax.
  • tinycadontinycadon Member Posts: 287
    The tax issue is not necessarily true aatherton, losing what you paid already. Here in Maryland they changed the tax law a couple of years ago so that you only pay tax on the difference of the new vehicle vs. the amount you get in your trade. So if your new vehicle were, for example, $27,000; and you received $21,000 for your trade in, you would only pay tax on the $6,000. Hence, instead of paying $1,620 in sales tax (27k x .06), you would instead only pay $360 in sales tax (6k x .06). In Maryland it would make more sense to trade in the car asap to get the largest sales tax break, the longer you wait the more the value of the trade goes down, and the more you'd pay in sales tax.
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    So, let us consider trading in a *** X3 with a few hundred miles on it because its ride is so bad you will never, ever, ever buy another BMW again after owning them for years.

    Cost: 20% of the purchase price in less than 1 month of ownership.


    Dealer: difference between new and used to a prospective buyer because of BMW's current financing for NEW cars. So a NEW car that has more miles on it because it has been used as a loaner by the dealership is worth much more than your USED car because of the title transfer.

    No one ever needs to buy a new car ever again because the 'depreciation' for plunking down your cash is much worse than it used to be by dealer calculations.

  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    That 20% drop in the 'value' of a BMW to a dealership in less than a month's worth of ownership does not include tax and registration. With those it is even worse plus the profit goes back to the people who sold you the *** car in the first place which makes the pain and suffering of owning the BMW even worse.

  • aathertonaatherton Member Posts: 617
    "... So, let us consider trading in a *** X3 with a few hundred miles on it... Cost: 20% of the purchase price in less than 1 month of ownership..."

    But he wants to trade back a Forester with a few hundred miles on it, to the dealer that sold it, for another Forester. At least he can look at the deal. Maybe it will be 10%.
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Member Posts: 228
    Yes, that's a good point. They will provide more 'aggressive' pricing for another of the same make even if it is a different model. I suspect 'aggressive' pricing isn't anything to write home about. People's deals of course will vary depending on how badly dealerships are doing these days.

    Still, simply because of the transfer of title, the car will lose an amazing amount of value. Check out cars driven by the dealership personnel. They have never had transfer of title so they are considered 'new' even with hundreds of miles on them. At some point, the warranty clock may kick in (say 700 miles) but otherwise they are new.

    It is aggravating that it is really only in the paperwork.
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