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2016, 2017 BMW X3


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Hey gang... I'm not up to par on BMWs, and my parents are considering buying a leftover 2016 or new 2017 BMW X3. Mom recently turned 65, dad is 69 1/2 :P and mom has desired a BMW for a while.  They sold off their 2005 Saturn VUE and want to downsize to just one car (my dad has a '13 VW Passat SE that he wants to trade in).  Any reason they should not consider the BMW X3?  The X3 is the model in their price range, mom test drove the X1 and couldn't stand it.  I can get her GM Supplier pricing on a GM CUV/SUV, but the XT5 is a little more than what she wants to spend and she initially wasn't thrilled with the Buick Envision (though she said she'd reconsider it and take one for a test drive).  I told her about the Ford Escape and Edge, Jeep Cherokee (I think the Grand Cherokee might be out of her price range but told her to look them over), and she looked at some Subaru models that impressed her but went on a "window shopping Sunday" when NJ dealers are closed. She said that this will be their last new car to take them into their 70s & 80s, so they want something reliable, dependable, and would last 10+ years.  She also ended stating that, "I've always wanted a BMW" (guilt trip because I wasn't all gungho for her to get one). I'd appreciate insight, feedback, and thoughts, on the BMW X3 and any other suggestions for SUVs/SUVs under $45k that they should look into.

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My grandmother drove Oldsmobiles when I was a kid and Buicks from my teen years till my grandfather passed.  She always wanted a BMW even when I was a kid, but my Grandfather, in spite of being a man with the means, always bought the frugal option. He was the owner of a good size company and sold it for a good chunk of money, yet drove about as basic a Ford Festiva as you could buy.

Once my grandfather passed, my Grandmother decided she was going to finally go get her BMW. She traded in her Park Ave on a new 7-series lease.  The first one was lemon-lawed out (but that's not the point of the story) and she got into another 7-series.  After getting the BMW bug out of her system, she went back to Buick and has been there since.

Moral of the story: don't try and talk your mother out of a BMW if "she's always wanted one".  Let her get it and be happy with it if that's what she wants. Just make sure she gets a Certified one with the extended warranty and maintenance. 

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Thanks for the input, Drew.  I didn't talk her out of it, I just wasn't as excited about the news as I guess she hoped I would be.  I'm not a fan of the melted-look styling of the X3, and am not really a fan of BMW as a whole.  A few people I know that own BMWs at my work say that they only lease because the new ones are too expensive to maintain once the warranty runs out.  A colleague of mine has a 2001 BMW that she will be replacing soon.  I asked her if she's getting another BMW since this one has been a very dependable car for her, and she replied "No!".  She stated that her brother has had new ones and he's been disappointed in the reliability and can see they've cut costs.  He's now in Lexus and couldn't be happier.

I know my parents.... they typically buy a car and pay it off in 3-4 years, then keep it another 7-8 years. I'd hate for them to invest time and money into a "problem child", especially since they are down to a one-car household (the Saturn was sold Monday, so it's the VW for now).  And once you drive over the curb you lose so much in depreciation, that if she has to car shop again I don't want her being burned on the trade-in.  Nor do I want to see her go through the lemon law process either.

And my dad was so excited about the VW in 2013.... didn't tell my sister or me about it until he brought it home. Once news of the diesel scandal broke, my parents wanted to get rid of it. Every dealer they've been to so far has low-balled them on the trade-in value, saying the brand is damaged and they will be saddled with it (boo-hoo for the dealer).  I told them that's bull$hit, as they're being fed garbage to try to accept a lower trade in value (I also said I wouldn't deal with anyone that tried to make me feel bad about my previous car purchase choice).  

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I'd say the 2016 leftover X3 or even certified used 2014 or 2015 as the X3 has been pretty much the same the past few years.  A certified used one would have taken the first year depreciation hit already, still have warranty coverage and then they can get the "I want a BMW" bug out of their system.  If they love it and keep it 10 years then great, if they don't like it after a few years they could sell it and not lose much since BMWs hold value pretty well. 

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