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Ot...BMW X5??

Old 09-21-2003, 10:24 AM
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I purchased an 03 X5 4.6is in December of last year. Luckily, I have not experienced any of the problems mentioned above. I have not, or will not, pull anything with the X5, but I can attest that it is an awesome SUV. Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 09-21-2003, 07:50 PM
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As far as engine technology, Benz is consistently at the forefront. If you are talking about horsepower, sporty growl, and throttle response, BMW always has the right sounds and feels...

I'll never own a BMW that is out of warranty (and I like BMW's). I've owned 4.

I prefer Mercedes, but when it comes to SUV's I don't care for the ML Benz much.

There was a negative comment on the 2002 Benz E-class. I'm not a fan of the pre-2003 E-class cars. They have been their most popular and best selling models, but to me they are rolling compromises. Go with a C or an S, skip the E. The new Bimmer 745 is still in need of further development (and needs a more traditional BMW rear end treatment in my opinion).

The little BMW 3's are their bread and butter. The X's I've driven have retained a sporty carlike feel which many like.

If I needed an SUV for driving and towing, I'd stick with a GM Trailblazer or fullsize Yukon OR an Expedition or Excursion (overkill for small stuff). I'd shy away from the Explorer and would never consider the Escape. Jeep Cherokee is still a good choice for midsize towing.

I'd not go with a Nissan of any type for towing. The new Infiniti/Nissan uses an unproven transmission technology that I'd prefer to allow others to debug for me.

Toyota offers some rugged tow machines.

Good luck.
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Old 09-22-2003, 07:48 AM
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"As far as engine technology, Benz is consistently at the forefront. If you are talking about horsepower, sporty growl, and throttle response, BMW always has the right sounds and feels..."

MC - I'm not sure I agree with you on the engine tech comment. In fact, the only way MB has been competing in the high HP arena is by slapping superchargers on their engines and not advancing them through innovative engine technology enhancements. BMW on the other hand has only created high HP engines through this method (reference M5 or M3). I am not saying which one is best or which one has more HP but instead clarifying your statement on engine technology.

BTW, I am a huge fan of the new MB's (SL's and new E-55). Love their styling and performance!!! Unfortunately MB's overall quality has taken a dump recently according to JD Powers and the latest Overall Owner Satisfaction Survey. In fact, MB slide all the way to something like 36, behind such well known poor quality as most of the American automakers. I found that to be interesting since I was going to make my next car an MB SL or E. Currently. I have 2 bimmers (a new BMW M3 cab and X5) and have owned 3 in the past 3 years. BMW placed first in that survey. Believe it or not, Buick placed second. Then was Toyota (including Lexus) and so on. I thought that was interesting and worth passing on.
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Old 09-22-2003, 10:07 AM
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No arguments on the horsepower war. BMW's M Motors are and have always been favorites of mine from a sport motor standpoint.

We're still getting mixed up on using horsepower as a primary method of assessing engine technology. Benz has been at the front of the curve from material utilization, combustion efficiency, emissions, torque curve, vibration control, winter heat-up time, serviceability, and reliability (no, I'm not interested in hearing stories about your neighbor's Dodge truck that has 426,000 miles on its original engine).

As far as "innovative engine enhancements", Benz had variable intake timing on its all aluminum Nikasil lined quadcam V8 all the way back in 1990, long before those technologies became buzzwords in the car mags. Turn the clock back a LONG way and you'll see hydraulically adjusted anvils on overhead cam motors, variable pressure assist on cam chain tensioners, high silicon content aluminum in big V8's, impressively intricate pressure lube oiling systems for valve actuation gear, and other cool stuff. The current generation of twinplug multi coil distributorless ignition, 3-valve combustion chambers, and dual length tuned intakes are not a catch-up attempt by following other makers' examples, but are a new generation of good-performing, emissions friendly, and fuel efficient engines that I find some humor in discounting as "old-tech". As far as BMW's high output motors, anybody can cam a motor and spin the dog out of it to get high output - that alone does not impress my "tech meter". To each his own, I guess.

As far as slapping on a supercharger, Benzes blower motors produce monster torque and flat torque curves without spinning the internals to dizzying RPM levels. They use silent-start electromagnetic supercharger clutches and bypass valves to make the start-stop of the blower a virtually seamless and unnoticeable affair. All that and they still idle and have good low end torque (the last M-roadster I drove was awfully soft on the bottom end). I would hardly call their choice a band-aid.

Not that I base my discussion on motors from the the "specialized" divisions (AMG/M-Sport) but the latest AMG version of the Maybach V-12 shows an output of 600 horsepower and 550 ft-lbs of torque from the quad-turbo 5.6 liter V-12.

With that said, I hope that I have made it clear that I do love BMW's for their styling and unparallelled driving dynamics (they have always been a DRIVER's car, the way it SHOULD be).

I do agree that the Benzes of late have shown lax quality issues. Combine that with the common Benz customer who has high expectations, virtually zero mechanical knowledge, and a privileged attitude and you get lots of complaints. BMW has done a great job of marketing their gems to a population of people who appreciate cars and more people have been stepping UP to buy froma pool of people who are decidedly "normal" versus the primadonnas that buy Benzes.

I work on all of my vehicles myself, sometimes even while they are STILL in warranty (I trust ME more than I trust the wrench monkey at the dealership). I have always been impressed with the level of components and the assembly/disassembly methods used in Mercedes above all other brands. I have resisted the newer S-class sedans because the content level has dropped significantly over the pre 99's.

I'm starting to ramble and the bottom line is that there are more cool cars to choose from now than we have ever had. SUV's have gone all weird and we are the benefactors of it (just look at the badass Porsche).

The local dealer in one's area will have more to do with satisfaction than the unit purchased in many cases. Check out your dealer and get comments from other customers on dealer satisfaction.

As far as the original question of this thread:

If you buy an X5 and tow with it, when it comes time to trade it, do a transmission fluid and lube service a week before you go to trade it and do NOT let anybody know that you used it to tow with. Remove any add-on trailer light pigtails and paint the inside of the hitch receiver. Add a nice plastic BMW hitch cover on it. They will kill you on trade in if they think you have been towing anything substantial with it (don't ask the dealer too many questions about towing with it now, cause they'll remember that when you come back for trade in).

I just erased 10 paragraphs on JD Powers. Suffice it to say that my BMW experience has not been as pleasant as my experience with Benzes and that my Ford truck experience has been far better then JD Power said it should be. My sister's Lexus experience has been memorably bad which is opposite of what JD Powers said it should be.

I love all cars (and all boats). But I do have my favorites, as do we all.
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