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Mr_325 01-22-2013 11:12 PM

Secondary vehicle help
Technically not e46 related but the other thread I posted in no one checks.
Looking to buy in the next week or so.

Currently I have an '05 BMW 325i and '01 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8.
Looking to get rid of my Jeep which is used as a secondary vehicle and also for winter.
I've found someone to purchase my jeep already just need to search for its replacement.

As poll shows I'm looking at 04 x5 4.4l, 04 ml500 (possibly amg) and Acura mdx touring.

Now keep in mind this vehicle will be used as a second vehicle and primary winter vehicle, our winters are random in regards to snow, sometimes tons or sometimes nothing at all.
I will most likely drive it quite often throughout the yr depending how much I end up liking it compared to my current 3-series (love it!)
My initial concern with mercedes and BMW is maintenance cost of course, I've been doing good with my E46 so far and it hasn't put me in debt so I'm comfortable owning a BMW still, I'd figure the Acura will be a little less costly on maintenance and more reliable being an apparent luxury Honda.
Next issue is I know nothing about the x5 and I've never drove a Mercedes ever and am clueless about them besides ppl love their power, in regards to the MDX I've read a lot about the '03s but very little on the '04s which were slightly changed.
I'd love to go with Mercedes or BMW for wow factor and all but if they aren't over dominate of the Acura I don't wanna push my luck with breaking my bank
That said I'm looking in the price range of 10-12gz and acuras sit about 10 so I could get one for 9-9500k, seen the x5s go for 12-14k and some amg ml500s between 12-14k

Can u guys way in on opinions
I also have 2 kids 3yrs and a brand new baby less then a week so room is something to factor in too

Appreciate the help

Mr_325 01-22-2013 11:14 PM

Seen a 03 range rover hse for like 13k but was not supercharged and I'm a little scared of their maintenance

MercForHire 01-22-2013 11:16 PM

x5 3.0i

afstud 01-22-2013 11:30 PM

alot of the range MDX's are known for tranny failures, the ML is not really the best looking IMO, The X5 will be pretty much the same if you get the 3.0 like MERCforhire mentioned... plus the X5 is the best looking out of all of those except maybe the the Range Rover however the Range has the 4.4 BMW engine in it and alot of BMW parts, but there air suspension is all thats worry some,

HacksawMark 01-23-2013 12:08 AM

Hmm, I've owned a couple of MDXs and this is the first I've heard of having tranny issues. The primary difference between the 04 vs 03 and older is the interior and a little more HP.

Mr_325 01-23-2013 04:17 AM

So u guys think x5 3.0 better then 4.4, I'd think more power and such would be better?
4.4l have more mech probs?

Patton323I 01-23-2013 04:31 AM

I have an 05 X5 with the 3.0 and I love it, I havent had really any issues with it. The colling system in the 3.0 is exactially the same as in the e46. I have taken the X5 off road in several different conditions and it never once let me down. And the cost of maintenance isnt that much if you source your parts correctly. And you still get to use real oem. And the MPG in the 3.0 is decent as well with good power. I would recomend it.

Edit** Also the 4.4 doesnt really have that much more power over the 3.0 and for its fuel consumption, I don't think it would really be worth it. Just my 2 cents.

DHK 01-23-2013 04:38 AM

I dont get why diesel SUVs never took off in the US. If i were ever to get an X5 it would have to be the 3.0d.

The thing is a beast on torque and gets better gas milage then my 325.

jayb328i 01-23-2013 04:56 AM

I am not big on the drive of the Mercedes so that knocks it out of consideration for me. Just not a performance car, although I am not talking extreme performance. As for cost, I run maybe $500 to $1000 a year in BMW maintenance/repair--mostly because I do the work. This cost may, or may not include the cost of tires depending on the year. So cost of ownership is not a big consideration compared to what you have and the drive. Got to agree that that BMW cost is probably 2 times cost of other non BMW cars I have owned.

trj 01-23-2013 11:15 AM

That merc you mentioned is a really good SUV.
Test drive the ml500 and x5.
For a family SUV, I'd definitely choose the merc over acura. ml5000 is more refined and composed than x5. I love 4.4i x5's but ml500 is just a touch above it. I have driven both and the ml just felt more smooth and safer. As it is for the family car, definitely the merc. Cant comment on the maintenance on those though.

Range rovers are really amazing cars too but the maintenance is scary on those.

Kubica 01-23-2013 11:43 AM


Originally Posted by MercForHire (Post 15087000)
x5 3.0i


You don't want to pay for the exhaust seals when they go out on a V8.

MercForHire 01-23-2013 11:56 AM

my dad has x5 3.0i

That sh1t doesn't break down. He treats it even more barnyard than I treat my 323.

Only problems are oil drinking, and battery goes flat in a week or two.

Redryan98 01-23-2013 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by Mr_325 (Post 15087401)
So u guys think x5 3.0 better then 4.4, I'd think more power and such would be better?
4.4l have more mech probs?

I'd imagine that since the 3.0 is used in a number of cars its parts will cost a bit less. IIRC the 4.4 was only put in the X5 and thus parts aren't as widely produced. Economies of scale yada yada yada..

Plus your already more or less familiar with the 3.0 and imagine not as familiar with the 4.4.

Mr_325 01-23-2013 01:05 PM

Thanks for the replies
Answered my question in regards to 3.0 and 4.4l too, I guess I was just wondering if the extra hp and bragging rights of a v8 were worth it
As for the range rover I can't even find a supercharged one out here anyways so in my opinion it's not worth getting one otherwise at this point
I personally like the performance stats of the ml500 and even seen and AMG version in my price range but everyone thinks they are ugly and I kinda agree but if the power and drivers good I'd like it
The mdx touring is kinda like the range rover supercharged for the fact I can't find any to purchase unless they are way over priced, seen 2 called and they were sold.
I'm going to try to test drive the vehicles next week as i should have free time then

MercForHire 01-23-2013 01:07 PM

Best to buy a manual X5 3.0i :)

lcoleman 01-23-2013 01:12 PM


Mr_325 01-23-2013 09:54 PM


Originally Posted by lcoleman (Post 15088696)

Never even thought of a 4runner
I guess if I was to look at one of those I'd have to vs it against the mdx to see the better choice

So far I'm a fan of the x5 but the wife's a fan of the mdx cuz she does t want to jeperodize a lot of our finances to car maintenance
She thinks we would be pushing our luck trying to own 2 BMWs haha

HacksawMark 01-23-2013 10:00 PM


Originally Posted by Mr_325 (Post 15090348)
So far I'm a fan of the x5 but the wife's a fan of the mdx cuz she does t want to jeperodize a lot of our finances to car maintenance
She thinks we would be pushing our luck trying to own 2 BMWs haha

The smart thing to do is to listen to the voices in her head. Go with the MDX and be satisfied that you own at least one BMW.

Alex323Ci 01-24-2013 01:00 AM

As much as I like the X5, I'd have to seriously agree a 4Runner is something to consider if you want a dependable car you won't have to upkeep.

Range Rovers are nightmares, not dependable and expensive to upkeep. my ex had/has one and it's a never ending cycle.

MJLavelle 01-24-2013 01:51 AM

Is there any way you can swing an 06' and up X5? Two of my neighbors have X5's, and their parking spaces are side by side. But the e70 just looks so much better compared to an e53, when you see them side by side. Even my wife, who only pays attention to cars when I make her look at one, has commented how much better the e70 looks. They just look so much more muscular. This particular e70 has that Tobaco Brown leather interior, which is awesome, and the e53 has a black interior, so that makes this particular e70 look even better. She has decided that the e70 x5 is the vehicle she wants when we move to the 'burbs.
The Merc looks too generic for me. It does not have the personality of the BMW. I realize that is not a very thoughtful analysis, but it would be hard for me to get past that when it came down to buying one.
I have always heard good things about the Acura MDX. I know a few people who have had several of them, including one co-worker who trades his in every 2 years for a new one. But, he always gets the same color combo, which I think is a bit odd. I think it looks very generic as well. but it is hard to criticize the quality and durability of an Acura. I have never heard about any transmission issues, and did not see more complaints about it compared to the BMW on a quick Google search. It is worth looking into though, since an '04 would be out of warranty.
The Acura and the Merc both tend to blend in to the SUV crowd. The BMW's seem to stand out a bit more, particularly the e70. Have you done your homework on things like resale value, insurance, and cost of ownership estimates? I imagine the cost of ownership on the X5 is a bit high, compared to the MDX. Insurance is probably not much different between the three of them, but you never know. One may be less than the others. I would be interested to see how the resale values stack up among these three though.

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