BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - olliew

Hey, first time poster after following this website religiously during my last car buying spree. Hope this is the right place.

I currently own a 2008 Honda Civic 1.8 VTEC which I got in early 2013. It's been a very good car so far but despite pledging to keep it for at least five years it's been jinxed by my darling wife learning to drive in it and subsequently getting it into a horrid amount of scrapes. Within a month of her passing her test she'd let it roll at speed into our hire van when moving house (claiming she thought she could roll it just like a motorbike). We've got it fixed but now after various other moments of silliness she's dented and scratched both side skirts, had a wing mirror come loose to the point of duct taping it on (we'd only just replaced it from aformentioned incident!) and managed to knock off a wheel arch trim. I hardly drive it any more since I can cycle to work and she drives to and from work and then back at lunch to play with our dog.

I'm soon to sell my mum and dad's old house since they are sadly no longer with us and I figured that with the proceeds it's time I cut my losses with the Civic and leave her to it, hopefully teaching her some car responsibility in the process if she has to pay for it! I'd like an SUV for the raised position, the extra boot space and the legroom as I'm 6'3". It's going to be used mostly for long journeys between my current home of Southampton, my old home of Croydon and my wife's various bits of family in Devon, Gloucester and other parts of the West Country as well as a bit of messing around in the New Forest. I want something bigger than the Civic's boot (480 litres) but still vaguely economical, though anything's better than the band H (I think?) that my Civic manages. It'll need to hold bikes (either in/on the back or the top; my Civic can't do anything external and be ready for our dog in the boot & eventually kids. 4WD isn't a massive need though if it comes with it that's fine. It's probably going to be the only brand new car I ever buy.

So far I've considered the BMW X3 and the Honda CR-V. The Beemer strikes me as luxurious, well equipped and fun but is right at the top of my price range with the specs I've looked at. The CR-V, even at its top spec, is a bit more palatable in terms of price but I hear it's a bit dull to drive; then again, is that such a bad thing given what I'll be doing?! I've looked at lots of others but haven't been drawn to them. I'd really appreciate any thoughts either way or any suggestions for other cars that may be a better fit.

(Sorry for the essay!)

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - Avant

Nothing wrong with the length - you've given us a good clear idea of what your needs are (although I hope your wife doesn't look at the forum!).

If you're spending what sounds like about £30,000, you need to get it right - so make sure you get a good long test drive in each of the cars you put on your shortlist. The X3 is likely to be more interesting to drive than a CR-V, but it depends on how you drive: there are lots of happy CR-V owners out there.

It's worth adding the Mazda CX-5 , Kia Sorento and Land Rover Discovery Sport to the list: all three are new models so there will be a waiting list, but you still have to sell the house anyway. You may find that you have to have a fairly basic version to keep the price from rocketing.

Good luck, and do tell us how you get on.

(Actually I have some sympathy with your wife: the Honda Civic is about the worst car I know for seeing out of, especially at the back.)

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - slkfanboy

You simply have to except the a new drive is going to get into scapes, and a moe expensive car is more expensive to fix.

A smaller car would be a better idea rather than risking more scrapes IMHO

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - daveyjp
Only advice is to go and have a drive of one. I was drawn to a BMW, had a drive and was seriously underwhelmed. I'd also not bother with new, they don't hold value any better than other cars.

The one I looked at was a year old, had done 8,000 miles and had depreciated by about £1,000 a month.
BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - gordonbennet

I like your idea of making one responsible for paying for their mistakes, however low bubble shaped cars with port holes for rear windows arn't a new drivers best bet.

As said Honda CRV owners tend to be smugly satisfied (my son and his family are one) and i don't blame them, competent quality vehicle long warranty and company that has a reputation for standing by its product, so i'd be pointing that way out of your choices, and possibly have a poke nose at Toyota's latest Rav4, another maker given to customer care rather longer than 3 years and a day.

You could get a year old version of either Honda or Toyota and still have a longer warranty remaining than German brands (Kia beats the lot though) and bank the considerable saving.

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - 72 dudes

I agree with all of the above posts.

I'd add the Volvo XC60 to your list too. Kind of a halfway house between the X3 and the CRV.

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - slkfanboy

If you intend to keeping the car I would not go the Kia route as they are rust buckets, google it if you like , I had one and it rusted badly.

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - drd63
Ford Kuga?
BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - olliew
Thanks for the help guys. Alas, when I got the Civic my wife still had her motorbike so I didn't predict she'd want to drive it! I'd get her something smaller but there's no point spending more money on another car especially given how much the body repairs would cost to get the Civic ready to part ex!

I'll sort out some test drives and let you all know. The Kuga has a smaller boot than the Civic so unfortunately it's off the list, but I'll look at the others. I must admit I'm seeing value in the CR-V but I'm still unsure as to whether I want to "play it safe" with the handling. I think it's definitely gone up in my estimation though.
BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - xtrailman

I test drove the X3 its a brilliant car to drive, but for me the interior was low rent for the money.

Test drove the XC-60 as well, it was ok but i didn't like the centre dash, or the rear view.

Test drove the Honda CRV twice, its a good car but not very exciting, it also only had a 3 year warranty.

Didn't bother to test drive a Rav4 as it was the old model at the time 2013. These have a 5 year warranty.

Test drove the Santa Fe, it was so bad to drive i only took it a mile down the road and returned it, the car looks great inside and out. Again 5 year warranty. Didn't bother with the Kia as i assumed it would drive the same.

Test drove a Mazda CX-5 four times and bought one. At the time i was driving an Xtrail T31.

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - oldtoffee

I had a similar need and ended up with a Tiguan which has 470 litres of boot. I do 25k miles a year so for me long distance comfort and smooth quiet motorway cruising were more important than space. I drove a number of SUVs including ix35, Rav4, CRV, Outlander. I've had a Santa Fe and an Outback and the Tiguan is the best place to be in for long drives and its suspension irons out most bump thump from pot holes and speed bumps. I still get to drive the Santa Fe (which crashes over the bumps) when I need the space but I'd take the Tiguan every time, it fits 99% of my needs. There's a new model looming so there are or were crazy cheap lease deals or £6k off list.

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - olliew

Thanks all again for the replies. Thought I'd update in case there are others in a similar situation. Currently I think I'm down to 5 options after annoying my wife with a load of brochures: X3, CR-V, XC60, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport. Maybe the Kuga as a wildcard, I also considered the Outlander PHEV but I don't have a driveway so I'm not sure electric is viable. I think the X3 is actually slipping down my list because of the sheer cost of options! I'm really tempted by the RR or the LR, especially as the dealer in Southampton is really close to me, but not sure whether the Evoque has enough space for me (and that rear visibility...) or if the Disco Sport is too big. Time to start test driving methinks...

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - Happy Blue!

These are potentially the same cars that I would be looking at once my son passes his driving test and I get to drive a car of my choice once again.....

A few thoughts (not having driven any of these so far)..

  • The Kuga should be a very good driving car (possibly the best after the BMW X3) but reports say the boot area is not so big and the dashboard is a mess. When they change it to match the latest Focus dashboard it will be a lot better.
  • The Evoque is quite cramped in the back and is very inefficient in terms of internal space for outside bulk. The Disco Sport is very efficient. It is shorter than the X3 I think but has seven seats. Both LR and RR have the old 2.2 diesel engine which will be replaced by the Ingenium engine shortly. Best to wait for that. The old engine is noisy and thirsty and the SatNav is apparently slow witted.
  • I found that the XC60 was nice but rather bland internally and the middle rear seat was hard to get into and out of as the foot space was very cramped. It has new engines now.
  • I did test drive a Outlander PHEV. Very interesting and spacious but that odd Japanese mix of a quality but bland interior. Could be tempted....
  • I have no experience of the X3. Probably very expensive!

I would be interested to hear your views once you have test driven a few.

BMW X3 - Mid size SUV help - skidpan

If you intend to keeping the car I would not go the Kia route as they are rust buckets


You made this same nonsense comment about Hyundai's yesterday.

You clearly have not owned or even looked at a recent Kia. Our Ceed is coming up 5 years and has no rust, even if it did its not an issue, it got a 12 year warranty.

So before you continue in this way check your facts.


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