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BMW X3

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  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I've driven BMWs continuously since 1983. My wife recently picked up a 2004 X3 2.5. Her two previous Bimmers were a 1997 Five and a 1998 Three. She liked the Five and loved the Three, but she REALLY loves the X3. The X3 engine is just about bulletproof and the rest of the mechanicals have proven to be pretty robust as well. While I prefer the BMW's M cars, I still find the X3 to be an enjoyable drive; the truck has humiliated more than a few "sports" cars in the twisties. I anticipate running our X3 out to at least 150,000 miles with no major problems(our 1997 Five is now in the hands of its third owner and is running strong with over 135,000 miles on the clock).
  • Div2, your post was quite a help for me. Thank you. I am so very embarrassed to admit that I have driven a Camry for the past seven years. I have held on to the Camry for so long b/c it has ran perfectly and has never given me an excuse to get rid of it. But I just can't stand driving my Camry anymore and your post and the previous two other posts have helped me to feel more confident about the X3. I like the way the X3 looks so I am going to test drive one this weekend. Thank you.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    I am so very embarrassed to admit that I have driven a Camry for the past seven years. I have held on to the Camry for so long b/c it has ran perfectly and has never given me an excuse to get rid of it.

    There's nothing to be embarrased about, the Camry does exactly what it is designed to do-provide reliable, comfortable, and economical transportation. However, as you've discovered, driving pleasure isn't a part of the Camry's playbook. Try to spend at least an hour behind the wheel of an X3 and then let us know your impressions.
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    Best thing is to drive them all!

    Owning a German premium car/Suv does require more patience.

    Many first timers feel that paying alot of money entitles them to better reliability. That is not always true, or false, but beware to get performance and driver feel, sometimes things go wrong.

    Japenese cars are very reliable, but can be boring. For many, the utlity is the most important. My wife could care less about a "teutonic revelation" and being one with the road. For me, its all about that!

    Look at all the Escalade drivers. Things like status and being afraid are higher priorities.

    Kudos for interest in the X3!! Its a drivers auto and not high on the bling factor.

    I might suggest you drive an Infiniti FX35 which is good value in terms of amenities and it drives pretty nice.

    Its different than the X3, but its the only small premium Sport Utility vehicle I can think in this segment besides the awful boring lexus.

    This segment will expand with a new mercedes offering and the Q5 by Audi still not due for 2 years. The X3 has about 2 years left before a new model replaces it. Thats fine as they are refined now and because its not a hot seller, you can get a good price!

    Good luck, and happy miles
  • Our 8+ month old 2005 BMW X3 is one of my wife's favorite cars EVER (and she and I combined since 1977 have had 28 Audis and 2 BMW's -- take a deep breath that did include several company cars that were Audis.)

    She got the 3.0 with the 6spd manual and

    Premium
    Sport
    Cold Weather
    Sound system upgrade
    Bi Xenons
    Servotronic
    Sat Nav
    Sirius
    Chrome tail pipe extensions
    In car built in/removable Sony Ericsson T637 Bluetooth and mounted phone.
    BMW specific (dealer sold) Kleen Wheels

    And probably a couple other things I forget right now.

    MSRP including shipping and the three accessories mentioned above ~$47K; we put $250.00 down (for the Servotronic), sec dep and got a 36 month 15K per year lease including tax (state of Ohio) for $581/mo.

    We custom ordered the car, it took 7 weeks to come in -- black gloss (at the time the bumpers ONLY came in black, now they are body colored) with the Terracotta Leather Sport seats and the light birch wood.

    We have had the wiper blades changed once, it has over 13,000 miles on it and we have had to add one pint of oil during this period of time. Picked up the car in May 2005, car was built in April 2005. Only other visits to dealer are for weekly free car washes Starbucks and choc chip cookies avail to all customers all day Saturday.

    I assume there are changes in the 2006's beyond the dressed up bumpers.

    We thought the vehicle with the 5spd auto was adequately powered as the transmission seemed to hunt a lot (Cincinnati is the city of "7 Hills.") With the 6spd manual it was a blast and the mileage is good (~24 highway around town; in the city ~20; on long trips over 25mpg even with the A/C on.)

    Regrets: we didn't get the home link transmitter option (didn't know it didn't come with it); we didn't get the privacy glass option (the only one we've seen without it is ours); AND MAYBE the power folding mirrors, but frankly this has never been a problem so for $350 or whatever, we might re think that one.

    Encourage others to: ORDER the car with SERVOTRONIC it is "only" $250 and it transforms the steering and feeling you get via the wheel. It was here in Cincinnati a sold order option only. Beats me why. The stock sound system is lame. The upgraded system with Sat Radio and the single CD in dash is very nice.

    It is a BMW -- it is NOT based on a truck. It is NOT really an off road vehicle. It rides higher than a BMW sedan and has a firm suspension. It handles, therefore, like a somewhat taller sport sedan from Germany -- the ride is firm, at slower speeds on a "washboard" surface the sensation can be one of being jostled. This happens, to us here in Pot Hole Central, less than 5% of the time.

    This is a relatively quiet vehicle, but there is a bit less isolation than in a similar Lexus -- some people love this (my wife) some don't want to hear or feel the road -- hell, some don't even want to see the road. The X3 needs a slight upgrade to the material covering the dash. This has not been and I suspect it will not be a durability issue, it is an appearance issue. It seems to look better in black which hides the coarse pebble grain of the dash.

    With a high contrast interior, like Terracotta, it is not really too much of an issue, but for $47K you'd think they would take a page out of the book of the 3 series or from an Audi A4 for Pete's sake.

    Confidence inspiring is what my 50 year old lawyer wife says after 3 Audi TT 225HP coupes and a dozen Audis of various ilks since her first Fox in 1979.

    She likes being slightly higher off the road and the feeling of the X drive when we have one of those nasty but brief Cincinnati Snowstorms (luckily only 1 this year.)

    Hope this helps if you are a shopper at this moment in time. The deals, too, seem to be quite good as the residual (subvented or not, who cares?) on these cars seems impressive.

    Drive it like you live.

    :shades:
  • bargamon1bargamon1 Posts: 110
    A GermanCarfans has a picture of what is a spy shot of a refreshed X3.

    They point out that perhaps the interior will get touched up a bit and show the smoother front end, changed light lens, and describe the rear also gets smoothed out.

    They also assume the new motor will make it this time.

    I had read previously that there would be two years before the new X3 wouild be released. Makes sense as it would be 5 years old at that time and the competition in this segment will get crowded.

    It would appear the X3 is going a bit more upscale to strengthen sales and shore up pricing.

    I hope they do this sooner than later and in my timeframe of purchase.
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,898
    I have my wife's car in for service today, and they gave me an '05 X3 2.5 for a loaner.... About the only options I can see are the big moonroof, steptronic and heated seats.. No premium package or leather.

    I always thought that the 2.5 was too small of an engine for the X3, but this is a pretty nice little rig.. Plenty of acceleration.... Even though it doesn't have the premium package, I can't think of much I would really miss.. I usually like all of the options on a luxury car, but this isn't bad, at all... The improvement over my normal ride (CR-V) is tremendous, obviously..

    One question.. The big moonroof has two upholstered interior panels covering the opening.. I didn't have a lot of time this morning.. Can you slide these back manually? Or do they only move when you open the roof? I don't remember seeing these before.. are they an accessory item?

    regards,
    kyfdx

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • Pull the power switch backward for 1 second and release, the inner roof panel will slide partway open, repeat and it will do it the whole way, repeat and the glass opens part way, repeat and the glass opens to its maximum position (which is no 100%.)
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,898
    Thanks... since it was 29F this AM, I didn't want to play with it!!

    Seriously.. for what was probably a $35K MSRP vehicle, it is pretty nice.... and better acceleration than I expected... even though I've had the same engine in a 3-series..

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • With the 6spd I probably would have been OK, personally.

    My wife had come from a 225HP Audi TT coupe and it was "spunky."

    The 3.0 X3 did the trick, but not the 2.5.

    We drove it too, with the auto which near the BMW store made it seem to "hunt" at lot to compensate for its lower torque.

    Moot now, since only the 3.0 is offered.

    Shame is they could put the 255HP 3.0 in it in a heartbeat, but that would surely kill the X5, and, well, that isn't about to happen.

    The marketing and the manufacturing are lagging -- one or the other.

    I would think they could sell as many of the X3's as they could mint with the 255HP engine and the 6spd step or manual. But only if they kept reasonably close to the price.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    All things being equal I'd rather have the 3.0, but as you said,the 2.5 isn't bad. The BMW performance data shows the X3 2.5 to be about one second slower 0-60 than our departed 528i, but you really don't notice it in everyday driving. What I do notice is the added mass; two tons is a lot of weight to haul around. I almost got caught out by the sled on a damp downhill off-camber corner that the Club Sport laughs at. Oh well, it's my wife's truck, and she's happy with it-and it IS an excellent long distance cruiser. OTOH, MY next Bimmer-vintage or new-will be much more tossable. Not to mention track ready.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    When I first tested the X3 I tried the 3 litre and I thought I don't want to take this car back. I tied the 2.5 and it was quite adequate for me. If someone really enjoys the extra power for whatever reason, then the 3 litre is a must. But, if you just want all the advantages of an X3, and you don't need the extra horses, I don't think you will be sorry with a 2.5, and you might even get better mileage I would assume (though not necessarily - does anyone know?).

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • It is now moot, there is no 2.5 2006 X3 here anymore.
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,898
    Hey now!... some of us still consider used cars.. ;)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    It is now moot, there is no 2.5 2006 X3 here anymore.

    As someone informed me about a month ago, apparently the 2.5 is still available in Canada....

    Silly Canadians. :P
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    That's right. You can still get the 2.5 (the last time I looked), along with the econo-grade black plastic bumper covers! The 3.0 comes automatically with the body-color bumpers.

    So now it's confirmed that BMW has ditched plans to put in the 255hp motor and 6-sp steptronic until the new X5 comes out?
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    It is actually very good marketing to offer the 2.5 litre in Canada, because the 3 litre is $4,000 more! Well worth it if you really need it or more likely want it, but the 2.5 is probably adequate for 99% of the population. By the way, Canadians favor smaller cars, smaller engines, and don't buy as many SUV's. Not making any judgements, but the market is different.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • Here is a weird one for you...I just turned over 10000 mi this weekend. I was getting pretty much 20MPG on the button, but now I am getting 21-22. Weather is still the same, it was the same tank of gas (improvement seemed to start at about 1/2 way through the tank), didn't change the tire pressure, etc. This weekend, I checked the tire pressure and the fronts were 31 and the rears were 34 so I bumped them to 33/38 and I am getting 22-23 now (according to the computer).
  • You should also notice an improvement in power at this mileage interval.
  • So, there is something that ticks over in the computer at 10K? I read the manual but didn't see anything about it.
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