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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am shopping for something AWD, fun to drive that has a little more room than our mini and miata. Offroad performance isn't really my focus, but it needs to deal with snow, etc. I really need a WRX or a 3-series wagon that is just a little big bigger...

All signs have been pointing to the XT, but recently I started taking a look at the X3. I can do the math, I know it is about $10K more in sticker price so I am not comparing them new car to new car. (looking at a 07-8 or so) I am more concerned on comparing how they drive, performance, living with the car day-to-day, etc.

I am asking if anyone looked at them, drove them, etc? Since you are here, you most likely didn't BUY one, any reason why not?

Thanks!

-Jac
 

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2009 Forester XT Ltd
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46 Posts
Don't know if this helps, since you say that off-road isn't important. That was what killed both the x3 and x5 for me - lack of ground clearance/suspension travel. The XT is also a bit quicker, but probably only in a straight line Maintenance costs are likely to be higher on the BMW, as well. Nice cars, though.
 

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none none
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Honestly the X3 is a joke. It costs the same as a 5 series wagon, with worse performance, less interior room, and is horrendous to look at (I'd rather have a tribeca!).

I think the X3 is the absolute last CUV I'd look at. I'd rather take something like the acura RDX or mazda cx7/9, or even the cadillac SRX (the old boxy one) as they're all quite a bit better than the X3.
 

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2007 FSTI and X 6 MT
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22,252 Posts
Around here used 05-07 x3's cost what new XT's costs.

If $$$ were not an issue, I would have bought the X3 we looked at, with the M wheels and sport front. The interior quality is 100x better than our 07 XT or 10 premium. But its apples to oranges...30k vs 50k...you be the judge.

Performance the XT will own, both on and off road. Cost of ownership(maintaince) past bmw's covered package is $$$

If $$$ were no object....LOL
 

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2010 XT 4eat
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604 Posts
My father had an 07 x3. When he drove my 2010 xt he said it was a much nicer car. He was always complaining about electrical issues with the x3 like false seat belt alerts, blue tooth never worked and the fuse for the cigeratte lighter going out. In winter he could not roll down his windows. When you floored it, the engine took 3-4 seconds to react. The only thing nice about the x3 was the braking system, but the wheels got dirty quick. He never had a car then needed to be taken to the dealer so oftern. Traded for an rdx and is much happier.
 

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2009 Forester XT
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34 Posts
I think the XT compares pretty well to most of the "entry-level luxury" SUV's. I bought my '09 XT Ltd. price no object over an RDX--I didn't fit in the RDX as well and thought it rode like a coal cart. Better mpg from the Forester too, although neither one is great.

If you go for the X3, I wouldn't go back farther than an '09--there was a slight but useful redesign for that year and the engine was upgraded. The original X3's were junk.
 

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2012 Toyota Prius CVT
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185 Posts
Forgetting how expensive the X3 is to repair, the higher starting cost, the electrical issues they have, and the fact that they depreciate faster than every other BMW, they drive like crap. More specifically they ride very rough, especially when you consider that they are the only BMW that does not corner very well. I am the trade-in Director for my company and have taken many in trade, from disappointed former owners, who do not get another and complain about them. Not to mention that I have taken many trips in our old company X3 (the lease was so cheap the company got one, we did not get another) before I got the Forester, and had many complaints from my passengers about the rough ride and lack of comfortable rear seats.

Save your money and your comfort level and get the XT.
 

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2007 Forester XT manual
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1,452 Posts
I was looking at a new manual 2.5 X3 back in 2007 when I finally bought my XT. It was $43,000 v $75,000 here in Oz at the time but I had the cash for either and was really looking for something I could enjoy owning over the long term. The X3 definately drives better than the XT with fabulous handling, that 2.5 six sounds so smooth and the interior so classy & European style, but the service costs, reputation for things always going wrong, insurance costs & thought of taking something that expensive off road turned me off.

I originally didn't like the looks but it has grown more & more on me and I still look longingly at them. And haven't you noticed how the size, shape & proportions of the SH Foresters are based on the X3?
 

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I have the same dilemma, I have the option to choose between a 08 BMW X3 3.0si (272 hp) 6-speed manual and a Forester XT SH 5-speed manual , both have quite the same mileage and price almost the same, the X3 being a little cheaper ( I have an inside deal ) ... I like both cars , I like the turbo engine on the forester but not the too soft suspension, sound deadening and interior and I like the steering and firm suspension on the X3, built quality but it's not turbo , tough the inline 6 seems powerful enough ... still not sure what too choose
 

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2018 XT Touring CVT
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1,297 Posts
I did shop for both. The BMW handles better overall. If the snow is deep, the Forester is much better. Traction will depend mostly on your tires.

Both have good manuals, which I want. I got a 2006 FXT.

As far as auto trans goes, the BMW might have the best, 5 gears, very quick.
The Forester might have the worst auto trans on the market.
If I was going auto, I would get the BMW. I liked the 2.5 better than the 3.0 version of the X3
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
If the BMW's are anything like they used to be, people are happiest the day they buy it and the day they get rid of it, lol.

That being said, if money is no object and you don't mind a little more face time with the dealer, maybe the BMW is for you, especially if you want something a bit more refined because frankly, the Forester is not refined on the interior by any stretch of the imagination, not compared to luxury cars anyway.

I wouldn't let the 4EAT sway you however because I don't find it to be awful and sure, another gear or two would be nice but hey, it's not a luxury automobile, it's an AWD mini SUV and in that regard, especially in the XT version, it holds it's own quite nicely as far as I'm concerned.

Drive an XT and see, you may like it more than you think you will, I did.
 

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2018 XT Touring CVT
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1,297 Posts
The 4EAT is not awful, it still works, and it was great 10 years ago.

Everyone else, including Subaru for the Legacy Turbos, has come out with better ones. Newer trannys shift quicker, have better manual mode, and have lockup in more forward gears for better MPG. More gears help more than just MPG, you get less shock and strain on downshifts.

The 4EAT is now at the bottom.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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376 Posts
The 4EAT is not awful, it still works, and it was great 10 years ago.

Everyone else, including Subaru for the Legacy Turbos, has come out with better ones. Newer trannys shift quicker, have better manual mode, and have lockup in more forward gears for better MPG. More gears help more than just MPG, you get less shock and strain on downshifts.

The 4EAT is now at the bottom.
I don't disagree with that, my intent was simply to point out that the 4EAT is not all that bad and although it is certainly not at the top of the heap, it would by no means deter me from the XT and as far as transmissions go, I think specific gears are old hat and I can't wait until they make infinitely variable transmissions that still use gears instead of rubber bands.

 
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