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Discussion Starter #1
We have come to the realization that my wife's 540iT will be due for replacement with something newer in the not-to-distant future. The problem we are having is finding a new vehicle with comparable abilities to our beloved 9-year old. Specifically, here are the priorities:
1) Quick, IE: 0-60 around 6.0 or better.
2) Have comparable handling.
3) Better than 16/25 MPG.
4) Have the same or better passenger and luggage space.
5) Must fit into the same space in our garage!

We don't care what make the replacement is, nor are we overly price-conscious. So far I have been favorably impressed with the new X3 35i and it is the front runner. BMW's GTs are horrid looking and not worth consideration for reasons 1, 4 and 5. BMW doesn't offer any Tourings in the US grrrrrrr I've driven the Q5 and it is far inferior to the X3. MB's E wagon is not very efficient or quick, or agile. Cadillac's CTS wagon is a possibility, and we will go look at one. What else is there that comes close to fulfilling our 5 criteria?
 

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Curious why you say BMW doesn't offer any tourings in the US. Not currently, but you said you were thinking about getting something "newer." If that means newer, but not necessarily brand new, what about the 535ixT? 16/24, so doesn't exactly pass your mileage test, but close. And I'm sure with some software it would be plenty quick. Plenty of CPOs available.
 

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E90/E91 335?

I think that would fulfill criteria 1,2,3 and 5. Maybe cut you a bit short on point 4 but with an ECU re-tune it will accentuate point 1 and you will forget about point 4 ;)
 

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I have a friend who has a 335i and its passing all your qualifications except number 4 by a small tad. although i am a 5'10 200 pound person and i ride around in that car easily and with great comfort in the back.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Curious why you say BMW doesn't offer any tourings in the US. Not currently, but you said you were thinking about getting something "newer." If that means newer, but not necessarily brand new, what about the 535ixT? 16/24, so doesn't exactly pass your mileage test, but close. And I'm sure with some software it would be plenty quick. Plenty of CPOs available.
-I've looked a little into the E60 535iT and it's not bad. But for the $40k or so asking prices for used examples the X3 seems a better long-term buy. More reliable, quicker, better MPG, no 1st owner (not a deal breaker, but something to consider) and better interior ergonomics.

E90/E91 335?

I think that would fulfill criteria 1,2,3 and 5. Maybe cut you a bit short on point 4 but with an ECU re-tune it will accentuate point 1 and you will forget about point 4 ;)
I have a friend who has a 335i and its passing all your qualifications except number 4 by a small tad. although i am a 5'10 200 pound person and i ride around in that car easily and with great comfort in the back.
-A 335iT would be perfect! Now tell BMW to bring it over here ouich We have no need for a sedan, that's what my M5 is for. The wife's car is for us+dog+baby+luggage.
 

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-I've looked a little into the E60 535iT and it's not bad. But for the $40k or so asking prices for used examples the X3 seems a better long-term buy. More reliable, quicker, better MPG, no 1st owner (not a deal breaker, but something to consider) and better interior ergonomics.




-A 335iT would be perfect! Now tell BMW to bring it over here ouich We have no need for a sedan, that's what my M5 is for. The wife's car is for us+dog+baby+luggage.

Yea, why would ANYONE want a touring in the US :grrrr:, I love my E34 540iT/6! I can not STAND the GT's. I dont get it, the 318ti was a BOMB in the US, but the GT is a hit??? Is it that people like 5 drs instead of 3dr, but only if its in not a touring/wagon??? I know GTI's and Foci etc hatchbacks are selling like crazy....I just dont get it, probably never will.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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Isn't there some large and vaguely capable Chrysler estate (wagon, touring, whatever you call it) with a big V8? And isn't there a GM equivalent?

Caveat to say that I have no idea if newer American cars are all as crap as the Dodge Charger I had as a rental recently, but I'm guessing they can't be. Surely...

YG
 

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Isn't there some large and vaguely capable Chrysler estate (wagon, touring, whatever you call it) with a big V8? And isn't there a GM equivalent?YG
You get a 300c with a hemi. We get it over here aswell but not sure it would compare quality wise with and old 540.

How about a late B7 audi s4 avant? It would have comparable performance/spec/quality levels and a nicer, more modern interior. Pretty bullet proof also. Would have more neutral handling and slightly smaller luggage/dog space but I have a B6 tdi quattro avant as a daily and find the space more than adequate for dog/diy/skis and any other load lugging tasks!

Iain
 

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You get a 300c with a hemi. We get it over here aswell but not sure it would compare quality wise with and old 540.

How about a late B7 audi s4 avant? It would have comparable performance/spec/quality levels and a nicer, more modern interior. Pretty bullet proof also. Would have more neutral handling and slightly smaller luggage/dog space but I have a B6 tdi quattro avant as a daily and find the space more than adequate for dog/diy/skis and any other load lugging tasks!

Iain
The problem with the B6/B7 S4 is size...it's significantly smaller than the E39, especially in back seat room which I'm guessing will be needed with his children growing, etc. Also, the rear storage area is a good bit smaller too. However, you can get the S4 with a 6MT, so it's a lot of fun to drive.

If Audi had seen fit to import the B8 S4 Avant to the USA, that would be top on my list. We'd already have one here for my wife if it was possible. But remember, here in the USA we "don't like wagons" but instead apparently want these stupid 5000lb "GT" things from BMW. Idiots.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Isn't there some large and vaguely capable Chrysler estate (wagon, touring, whatever you call it) with a big V8? And isn't there a GM equivalent?

Caveat to say that I have no idea if newer American cars are all as crap as the Dodge Charger I had as a rental recently, but I'm guessing they can't be. Surely...

YG
-We looked at a Dodge Magnum before deciding on the used 540iT. The Magnum was actually a very decent vehicle, but with no $ spent on the interior, like the Chrysler 300. The new 300 has great interior fit and finish, and we were thinking of holding out to see what becomes of the next Magnum...but I just learned that it will become an SUV! Because Americans "don't like wagons" hmmm

The GM equivalent is the CTS wagon, which is on our list to check out. My mom has a CTS, so I'm pretty familiar with the car, ergonomics, and how GM "handled" a wide-ranging recall that left many CTSs with annoying injector noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
So we went test driving today. Although it turned out we only actually drove one car. Here's why...

Mini Clubman: WAY too small.

CTS wagon: The trunk ceiling was much to low for our dog to be comfortable. And my wife didn't like the way you had to unzip part of the upholstery to access the child seat anchors. I didn't like the narrow footwell due to the curvature of the center console. This would be more aggravating on long trips. It's doesn't handle, brake or accelerate as well as the X3 and gets worse MPG to boot.

A6 Avant: Doesn't exist. That's according to the Audi salesmen (all of them). Despite it appearing on the Audi USA website, complete with "design your own" and ordering links, they say that Audi won't be bringing the new-gen Avant to the US except in A4 form.

X3: Wife liked the way it drove. The handling was acceptable (compared to Dinan S3 on her 540iT). I think it satisfies all our fitment needs, but we'll need to go back with luggage to be completely sure. I still dislike the low speed overboost of the optional variable steering, so I'll need to briefly test drive one without that feature. I hate all electronic liftgates, but that's an option that can be avoided on the X3. I took many measurements and it seems like it will fit just fine in it's designated garage space.

Conclusion: WE WANT A WAGON the same size as our 540iT! But since that's not really an option right now the only viable choice for a replacement car would be the X3 35i. So the question is, X3 35i or keep repairing 540iT. If the latter, for how long?
 

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family / wife's car = buy the X3, it's a BMW, it's new and the 540T reliability drops with age (plenty of plastic and sensors to fail with time..)
we get an X1 here but that's smaller still
X5 gigantic
 

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Speaking of reliability...what about the HPFP in the X3. :)
 

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