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2006 BMW X3 vs Acura RDX



  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Agreed. Rather than going for luxurious, I think Acura opted to go high-tech with the interior. On paper that works for the target demographic (youngish urban males). However, I think it turns off the other buyers who just want a nicely put together, semi-sporty vehicle with some utility.
  • I can't say I fit the demographic stereotype living in a more rural area, a woman turning forty. But, while dealing with BMW (working out a lease.. not a purchase), I couldn't help but think what a ridiculous move I was making when I could afford to purchase the RDX. Clearly, In my mind, driving one right after the other, It was more vehicle for the money. I also felt it was MORE lux (but that's me) then the BMW inside, and the seats were more comfy. I liked the styling outside of the X3 better. I think in all, I almost leased it because of the stigma attached... and it has a pan sunroof! But it wasn't worth the price. I didn't get that "Wow" when I got in it.
    I've had the car now 2 months, and I'm still learning something new every day. I'm not "young" per say, but I still have that wild side, where I enjoy a sporty fun ride, with state of the art techno-candy. Maybe turning 60, I'll think about settling down into a refined quiet comfort, but until then, I'm spoolin ;)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "I'm not "young" per say"

    Forty is young. You're only as old as you drive! (ie. don't buy a Buick, or a Caddie)
  • You can't go wrong with either one, it's art, not science, deciding between the two. The price might not be as far apart as you think, what with the BMW 4 year / 50K maintenance, etc, but then again, I bet you don't get to know your Service Manager as well as I will :-(
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "'s art, not science, deciding between the two..."


    The X3 has a very definite RWD engine torque bias and also is available with a stick shift.

    If you have any expectation at all of often encountering wintertime adverse roadbed conditions the X3 will be the obvious choice of those with experience and knowledge of driving in those conditions.
  • >>If you have any expectation at all of often encountering wintertime adverse roadbed conditions the X3 will be the obvious choice of those with experience and knowledge of driving in those conditions<<

    It's hard to overstate how utterly silly this statement is. I've had a base RDX (no tech package) since October. I drove the car 25 miles over largely unplowed roads after a 12"+ snowstorm last week. No problems. Overall the best handling car I've owned. The car is phenomenal wet roads, snowy roads, dry roads. A bit stiff riding over some surfaces, but the handling is remarkable. Loving the car after 6500 miles.

    By the way, I got a tech package RDX as a loaner car and I greatly prefer my base car. The tech package was annoying. GPS screen is too small, too hard to read in bright daylight and is not a touch screen. The Nav in my 2004 TL is MUCH bigger, MUCH brighter, and MUCH easier to use. I'll stick with my little Garmin dashtop unit on those rare occasions when I need it. Works great. Fits in the center console of the RDX with my entire livingroom set.

    It is remarkable to me (and a real comment on how dopey many car buyers are) that the focus on the RDX is the tech package. IT's THE CAR STUPID. And the bluetooth, Nav, etc. are static compared to the core issues here. I have all those features on my TL. I don't use the bluetooth, voice commands, etc. Only the Nav. And I don't miss that at all with the Garmin at my disposal whenever I need it. Which is about 6x annually.
  • Well micckie, (and other looking at both an X3 and RDX) if those two last posts don't prove my point (deciding between the two is an art, not a science), then nothing does!

    I'm gonna go enjoy the drive......
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Oh, now I see, you're saying the decision process is an art form, I'll agree with that.

    I am a great admirer of the SH-AWD system and the break-through technology and outside-the-box thinking it represents, and I have said so many places. But when it comes to recommending, nay, REQUIRING, a patently UNSAFE use of tire chains I'll always vote for the competition.
  • The X3 is a nicer car. And pricier. If you're leasing, the money BMW throws @ lease programs combined with the car's high residual might well make you lean towards the X3. If you're BUYING the car, the X3 is very pricey. Nicer? Yeah, OK. $8K nicer? Not for me. The Acura will probably be cheaper to own for a driver like me with higher miles (15K+ annually) who plans to keep the car 10+ years.
  • micckiemicckie Posts: 9
    Bimmer isn't giving the buyer anything but a base model car. Any options are pricey. When the warrantee runs out, you'd better run away. If you're leasing it, and you don't mind borrowing the car at a high price, then yea, it's a good choice. There's a whole lot more folks leasing Bimmers then buying them. Any sales associate will tell you that (especially those who have the $ to purchase them).
    Personally, to bring the X3 up to a comparable buy (what you get for your $) then that would be a ridiculous price to pat for the logo. As far as winter driving goes, where are the bimmer drivers getting this notion of better handling with back wheel drive? I see Bimmers in the snow spinning their back tires, and going nowhere. That's one of the main things that steer me away. Even Bimer drivers will admit that's what they hate. They lease the Bimmer for the handling, service/maintenance plan and stigma, Not for the resale value that the salesmen keep throwing back at ya (It is leased far more then purchased).
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I priced, a lease, on a $46K Acura and a $48K BMW.

    MDX vs X3:

    MDX $865/mo
    X3 $613/mo

    Same term - 36 months, 45K miles.

    The BMW residual is much higher than the Acura's.

    The more attractive the residual, the more attractive the lease.

    If you are simply financing, even at low interest rates, there is no immediate benefit to the higher residual.

    I loved the MDX sport. There is no way it should be over $200 more per month than the Bimmer.

    I didn't cross shop the RDX I shopped MSRP and compared dollars instead. Perhaps the RDX would be less expensive per month -- but for over $9,000 less it should be.

    So an all optioned X3 drives like a dream, has older technology and performs like a champ, the Acura, not so much.

    But, the Acura costs more per month, so er. . . well you figure it out. Beats me why the Acura is $200+ more per month. It is nice, but not that nice.
  • mlb11mlb11 Posts: 31
    While residual is part of the story in leasing it doesn't tell all....the money factor is equally important. I haven't looked at the MF for the MDX, but it stands to reason it is significantly higher than the X3. BMW is very pro-lease, while Acura typically isn't, especially for a new model change (MDX). Acura currently has some of its lowest MFs that I have ever seen on the RDX, probably to reduce inventory at the dealers. I'm leasing one for slightly more ($20 a month) than I could've leased a CR-V EX-L because of the low Acura MF. The base RDX is still about $4k more than the CR-V at invoice and has a slightly lower resudual, but the MF is so competitive it keeps the monthly payments close.

    I don't want to get into a discussion of comparisons between the BMW X3 and either the RDX or MDX. I've owned hondas since 1986 and whenever I've strayed (once even owning a "german" car) I've regretted it. Where is the X3 made, BTW? The last time I looked at BMW (3-series) many were made in South Africa?? The interior looked like it.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Acura has an aversion to leases. They claim to be a company that builds cars people want to buy, not cars people will rent. Frankly, I think its silly, but that's what one of the upper management types said at an event.
  • x3driverx3driver Posts: 18
    They are made in Austria.
  • novicenovice Posts: 64
    For RDX owners who have logged some miles, can you speak to the ride and road noise? Not only Consumer Reports cites these as two negatives of the RDX, but I've read reviews in magazines that raise similar issues. One said passengers literally bounced off the rear seats at points. I know it's supposed to be a sportier ride. 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.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Well, I didn't like the ride...after a 20 minute test drive. But maybe it's something that you can get used to over time....?
  • mlb11mlb11 Posts: 31
    Wow, this is a tough question to answer because it is really a matter of taste. I was concerned about the ride as well after reading the reviews and posts, but now that I have close to 2k miles on it, I like it alot. The ride is firm and because of the short wheelbase, it can get somewhat bouncy in the backseat. I have driven it fast over some very rural (not even striped) backroads in Illinois and you definitely feel the road. However, I also feel the most confident driving this car - it is extremely stable and handles better than anything I've owned before.

    A test drive should give you a clue as to how it handles - if you're concerned drive something else and compare. I also drove a CR-V and it is more compliant, but not nearly as stable (especially at higher speeds and in corners).

    I also haven't found road noise to be an issue at all - not sure where CR got that info. It is very quiet inside and when cruising the engine is silent. In lower gears you will hear the turbo spooling up, but it is never instrusive. Besides, the stereo is so good (even in the base model) that you really don't hear anything anyways :)
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    You should compare two vehicles in the same class.
    MDX vs X5
    RDX vs X3

    The comparison you made with the MDX vs X3 just isn't reasonable. It would be like comparing an Acura TSX to a Mercedes E-Class.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    I test drove the RDX and didn't have an issue with the ride. It was a city drive so every stop and start called up a very loud turbocharger. Its annoying unless you want really loud music playing at all times. I'm still considering it though.
  • micckiemicckie Posts: 9
    yea, the turbo you can hear, but who cares? If I had kids, I might think twice about suspension. But for me and passanger, (which I can't say the X3 does much for either) it's OK. For the most part, we use this car is a one person show. It is primo! I've had it 3 months, and learning new tech stuff all the time. The car rocks in fun, and steering. Got kids and car seats, get the murano, or the pathfinder.
  • micckiemicckie Posts: 9
    what I ment to say, is the the back seat isn't much better then the Bimmer. but if you are looking for fold down seats, then you haveto give somewhere.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    Are you saying the back seat in an RDX is better than in the X3? Or that they are about the same?

    I find the back seat in our X3 somewhat roomy when considering the overall size of the vehicle.

    I've had one quick experience sitting in an RDX, both front and back seats, at a recent auto show and it was nice. My subjective impression is the RDX is a wee bit smaller inside than our X3.

  • budhbudh Posts: 109
    So on the base RDX, what is in place of the Navigation system on the dash? Anything other than the Navigation system missing on the base compared to the Technology version?

    Bud H
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    The vehicles were in the same price class.
  • johnny98johnny98 Posts: 88
    There's an interesting comparison of the RDX and X3 in BusinessWeek magazine:
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    One aspect of the article is the author is questioning why one would want an SUV, or SAV in BMW-speak, rather than a sedan or coupe. Its a good question, and the answer is dependent on individual priorities and preferences.

    We have both an X3 and a 330Xi, both '06 models, and the sedan has a folding rear seat. Based on our experience-

    He does acknowledge the greater carrying room in the X3. We can definitely carry larger, bulkier items in the X3 than we can in the sedan.

    But he missed two other attributes of a small, performance oriented SUV which we like:

    1)- The X3 has more room in the rear seat, especially leg room, and easier ingress and egress to the rear seat than our sedan.

    2)- My wife likes the higher seating position in the X3's driver's seat.

    I would also comment-
    - Although we don't do off-roading, we do venture onto rough, gravel roads exploring West Virginia mountain spots, for example, and the higher ground clearance of the X3 is an advantage.
    - Both our vehicles go well in the snow with the X-Drive, but the X3 is more versatile with it's higher ground clearance; e.g., unplowed roads.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Yeah, I think this character is a little nutty. I mean, take a look at this remark.

    "All-wheel drive is standard, but the X3 only has modest off-road capabilities."

    Like off-roading is the only reason you'd need AWD? For that matter, anyone who does any real off-roading knows that AWD is inferior to a true 4x4 system (for that single purpose).

    Then he suggests a coupe instead. Pretty much the only reason to buy a coupe instead of a sedan is styling and image. Coupes tend to look better.

    Well, half the reason why people purchase SUVs are because they like the rough-n-tumble outdoorsie image they project. For that matter, half the reason why people buy Bimmers is because of the brand's image. Image is a big part of the appeal. While a coupe and an SUV both project plenty of image, they provide different flavors.

    Ask this guy to pick between three brand's of chocolate ice cream and he'd tell you it doesn't matter because strawberry is better.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Is it going to have x-drive? IMO, the models that it would affect most are the Audi A3, VW GTI 4-door. It appears to be the car designed for people who have outgrown the Mini, both physically and financially.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,458
    Except that it is ugly.
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