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



  • kumarikumari Posts: 72
    I can't believe you get as much as 27 MPG from the XT!!!! I'd be thrilled with 20 MPG!!! I only do city driving - primarily w/in 5 miles from my house, so I'll probably get 18 and be thrilled with that! I just want the extra power for those times when I'm on the freeway or want to go to the mountains. I wouldn't feel safe in an automatic 4 cyl car w/o the turbo. I like knowing the power is there if and when I need to use it. The BMW X3, being a 6 cyl, gets less gas mileage - I think the sticker may have said 17 or 18 city and it's usually a few miles less than that. The XT said 21/27, I think, and that was for the auto. The stick didn't get as good mileage according to the brochure.

    BTW, where are you guys doing all this fun test track driving? I've never heard of these things.

  • kumarikumari Posts: 72
    You piqued my interest with the Acura RDX, so I googled it and saw a preliminary pic. It reminds me of the Toyota Prius, more like a car than a wagon or SUV. I really need the height in the cargo area to accomodate dog crates and home repair supplies (lumber, tools, etc.), so that's why I need something different.

    Right now I have a Mazda Navaho 4X4 which is on a truck chassis and has a lot of hauling room and can handle weight. I bought an armoire on eBay last year and schlepped it home in the back of my car!! Won't be doing that with any of these. Heh, heh, heh.

    You know, I actually started a conversation with someone in a parking lot today because they were driving a Toyota Prius - and she was so proud of it - said it gets 42 MPG average! And, it does have a lot of cargo room with the fold-down seats. But, unfortunately, not enough for me, which is too bad, because I can pick up a certified one used at the Toyota lot.

    Thanks guys, for all the tips,

  • leo2633leo2633 Posts: 589
    Regarding the cargo area of a Forester: I have carried a full size top freezer refrigerator, a full size dishwasher in its shipping crate and several low dressers in the back of my 2001 (not all at the same time of course!). I can also stand several full size garbage cans up in back at the same time. I think juice said he has carried a washer (or dryer) in his as well. It may not fit an tall armoire (but then again, it just might, depending on how you load it in), but it does fit an amazing amount of stuff.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The BMW X3, being a 6 cyl, gets less gas mileage"

    Not necessarily, the BMW has a 5th gear overdrive so the engine revs much lower than the XT at highway speeds.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Subaru Forester is one of only 6 SUVs and the only small SUV to earn a good rating for protection against whiplash injuries in rear-end crashes.

    Excerpts from article:

    ARLINGTON, VA — Only 6 of the seat/head restraint combinations in 44 current model SUVs are rated good for protection against whiplash injuries in rear-end crashes. None of the seat/head restraint designs in 15 pickup truck models earns a good rating. Overall 4 out of 5 SUV and pickup seat/head restraints recently evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are rated marginal or poor for whiplash protection. This is the first time the Institute has tested SUV and pickup seats using a dummy that can measure forces on the neck during a simulated rear-end crash.

    Only the seats in the Ford Freestyle, Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Land Rover LR3, Subaru Forester, and Volvo XC90 models earn good overall ratings.

    "Manufacturer advertising often emphasizes the rugged image of SUVs and pickups," says Institute president Adrian Lund. "However, the Institute's evaluations show seats and head restraints in many models wouldn't do a good job of protecting most people in a typical rear impact in everyday commuter traffic."

    Seat/head restraints in the Volvo XC90 and Subaru Forester earn good overall ratings, in part because of their advanced designs that help keep the head and torso moving together in a crash. As an occupant's torso sinks into the Subaru seat during a rear crash, a mechanism in the seatback is designed to push the head restraint up and toward the back of the head.

    Full article is here:

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Good news indeed Frank. I wished the WRX and WRX Limited had those good head rests. The WRX TR does, however.

  • kumarikumari Posts: 72
    Len, RE: the cargo area. I'm amazed you got a refrigerator in there. It barely had the clearance height to accept an airline type XL dog crate and it took up the ENTIRE back area. And this was with the rear seats folded down. I schlepped the damn crate down there to make sure it would fit before deciding on the car. I'm wondering if the 2001 you mention had a higher clearance. Right now, I'm glad I still have my huge, gas-guzzling SUV because I have to schlep a twin sized bed and frame to my mother's house. I'm really gonna miss all that space, but not the lousy gas mileage. And, if I really need the help, my cousin drives a Suburban. LOL
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    FYI, I have one of those airline type extra large dog kennels and it fits in the back of my 04 Forester with the rear seats up (it's tight but it fits). Maybe the brand you have is just that little bit larger?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The boxy shape means it's more useful than you might think, mine fit an oversized clothes dryer, box and all, on its side (pic below).

    The hatch even closed.

  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    The squarer cargo area definitely comes in handy. The bulkiest item I've loaded back of my boxy Forester was one of those 95-gallon rolling garbage bins, the kind the city gives residence for solid waste collection. Also the same ones you probably have around your office for confidential documents that will go to be shredded. Like this:


    Anyway, plenty of room on the sides but from ceiling to floor was a little snug (the fact that it was stuffed with probably 130 lbs of assorted junk didn't help). The hatch still closed, barely though. If it had been any more angled it wouldn't have shut.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I hope it was new/empty! :D

  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    Actually it was full of a little bit of everything. We were completely remodeling a room that hadn't been updated in almost 15 years, so there was all kinds of unwanted knick-knacks and home-improvement trash inside the bin. Stuffed so full the lid had to be wedged off and on. :surprise:

    Yay for the easy-clean cargo mat. My rubber mat is actually the excuse my brother used for not wanting to load it into his Pathfinder (it was mostly HIS stuff) when taking it to a dumpster - "But yours will clean out easier!" Fortunately nothing spilled!
  • I am a girl and I really don't know too much about cars... but I've gotta start somewhere and hopefully someone here can shed some light on these 2 vehicles for me. I am looking into buying a crossover that I can drive up to the skiing resorts during the winter season. I've researched some and shortlisted my choices down to these 2. What are some of the pros and cons of these 2 vehicles and which would you prefer? I tried reading the other threads and have a general idea but would like to see if someone can assess these 2 specifically for me. I am considering 2006 and 2007 models depending on price. Any comments would be appreciated.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Aside from any technical specifications, I would observe that the X3 is manufactured in snow country (Bavaria) while the Infiniti is not. I'm sure others will have more to say. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Either one will do the job.

    Tell us more about how you will use it.

    Do you need lots of cargo space? How long is your commute, and is it city or highway? How many passengers ride with you typically? Do you drive hard and hit the apex at every turn, or leisurely and prefer quiet isolation?

    Both of your choices fall on the sporty/compact side of the segment. They should be fine for up to 3-4 people and not too much luggage. You may find the ride stiff if you commute on city streets with lots of pot holes, so choose the wheel size carefully. You can get 20" rims on the Infiniti but that may be overkill.

    Have you driven either one yet?
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Do you drive hard and hit the apex at every turn

    Yo Juice, I'm pretty sure that someone who states that "I really don't know too much about cars" is probably not going to know what you're talkin about :P

    Personally, I don't care for the beetle-like looks of the FX and the resulting lack of usable interior space. The X3 is a nice vehicle but the Lexus RX 330/350 is worth a serious look.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The X3 does a great imitation of sports sedan, while the RX 330 does a great imitation of a crossover.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's why I asked. ;)
  • I have yet to test drive either one of them but I just wanted to research more and see if they're even worth my time.

    I live alone so it would typically be just me, my commute to work is about 20mins, 1/2 city 1/2 highway. However, during the winter season, I do like to drive about 3-4hrs to the skiing resort. Typically, my friends would car pool with me so I would like to have a little bit more cargo room for 4-5 people's weekend bags. Both of these cars' cargo space would be bigger than my A4 now. Mild driver, unless I'm running late but I don't typically break hard.

    Would you mind sharing more on the difference between 18 and 20" wheels? Also, do these cars require a lot of maintenance? My A4 is about 10yrs old and it's getting expensive for me to fix. WIth the FX35, what are your views on the blind spot that people talked about? Is it serious enough to cause accidents?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    When I sit in an FX I feel that visibility is not good. The rear most side windows are tiny so for me there is a blind spot. I was driving a Forester, which has excellent visibility from big windows, so the difference was rather pronounced.

    Consider a backup camera or rear sonar parking assist, those should help.

    The X3 is better in that regard, boxier shape plus bigger windows.

    As for the rims, 20" rims seem to be in fashion nowadays, but what happens is the tire sidewalls get shorter, so there isn't a lot to absorb an impact. Bumps feel stiffer and noisier. On smooth roads this is OK, but on broken roads and speed bumps this may become annoying to you.

    Just make sure you get a long enough test drive, turn off the radio, drive in the conditions you will encounter every day. Ask yourself if the ride is too stiff? Do the same for any test drive, come to think of it.

    I'll make another suggestion - since it's auto show season, head to one of those, if there is one locally. You can check out both cars and some competitors in a non-pressure environment, without pushy salesmen.

    I took my family to the DC auto show last year, and we "test fit" several vehicles, and narrowed our choices down quite a bit. Then we only had to test drive those few vehicles.
  • The post below says it all, nothing on the road could compete with the performance, features and style of the FX; not to mention that it's Black with a graphite interior and the contrast with all that chromo, gives it a touch of elegance above all other colors. I just picked it up a couple of days ago and love it.

    Yeah my ego is real bruised by the XT. I don't own an infinti because of the name shoot infiniti is the bottom of the luxo barrel. If I was really into prestige I would own a c230k just so I could say I had a benz.

    In my mind nothing on the road has the performance, features and style of the FX. I guess that is why you don't see us on this thread trying to "justify" our purchase. Are there better alternatives sure but to me they costs tons more.

    The same reason you bought your XT is the reason I bought my FX. I couldn't justify spending 4k more on the V8 or 8k more on the X5 or 15k more on the cayenne. Because the FX35 met all my needs at a price point I was comfortable with.

    I can understand the appeal of the x3 3.0 (the 2.5 is ludicrous just lke a cayenne v6) I have driven one and it is a delight. I however find the interior tacky and it costs the same as my car while lacking many of the features.

    Therefore I am very happy with my purchase. If speed and cargo carrying capability is your thing go for the XT no bones about it it is a good ride but it doesn't have the features or style I was looking for.

    Style is a lot different than prestige. Target sells stylish stuff that has no prestige and there are plenty of prestigous stuff to me that has no style. I just hope you guys enjoy your XT's and X3's a quarter of the amount I enjoy my FX.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Style, just like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Something that I consider stylish you quite possibly might view as being plain ugly and vice versa. Style is also historically fickle, what is "hot" right now more often than not is completely out-of-date before you know it. Sure some styles become classics but most do not age well.

    And while style may be one of your top priorities, for others it may be performance, fuel efficiency, towing capacity, off-road ability, cargo capacity, etc.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Style is a lot different than prestige. Target sells stylish stuff that has no prestige and there are plenty of prestigous stuff to me that has no style. I just hope you guys enjoy your XT's and X3's a quarter of the amount I enjoy my FX. "

    In two words, "I do".
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    What, so my mullet and Members Only jacket from the 80s are outdated now? ;)
  • mugwompmugwomp Posts: 21
    I cannot WAIT to take on a 2002 WRX (0-60 in 7.x sec) with my '04 F-XT (0-60 in 5.2 sec) at a green lite one of these days... Maybe the WRX owners should pump themselves up a bit acknowledging the lineage and similarities...

    Good luck, edunnett.

    0-60 in a 2002 WRX is @ 5.7 seconds.

    2004 Forester XT @ 8 seconds.

    Nevermind how differently a Forester and a WRX handle - regardless, you would not have a chance...
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    2004 Forester XT 8 seconds.

    Actually it depends on who's doing the testing (along with a host of environmental factors). Car & Driver (Aug 2003) clocked a 5-speed 2004 Forester XT doing 0-60 in 5.3 sec. For comparison purposes, that's a tenth of a second faster than the 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i (C&D Jan 2003) ;)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Who got 8 seconds? Grandma?

    Even Consumer Reports, the slow pokes of the industry, was quicker than that. I've never seen anything that wasn't in the 5-6-7 range, even for the automatic.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    "... now that the X-3 is now a part of this discussion, it gives you a legit excuse to do so. And... knowing you, your report back would be most entertaining."

    Especially in view of the automatic transmission hesitation problem.
  • Hey guys im also looking at a used car right now. The two ive narrowed it down to now are the BMW x3 and Infiniti FX. I did BMW driving school which was awesomee, so i kinda wanted to stay loyal to BMW, but i know theyre expensive to maintain and i was thinking the fx would be a little more reliable. Ive driven both, and the bmw seems to be more of an suv (atleast the driving position) whereas the infiniti feels like a jacked up sports car when youre sitting in it (which is pretty cool, ive never been in a car like that). What i cant figure out is which one handles better...I drove both pretty hard, and the fx35 was a little peppier. But in terms of handling, they were both AWESOME for suvs. Which one do you guys think is a better handler on road? and i can assume the x3 is better offroad as well. Any opinions or help would be great!
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