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BMW X3

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  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I was referring to the 530xi Touring (wagon). I guess I wasn't clear in my previous post. The height of the cargo area probably is lower than in the X3, but in all other dimensions, I thought it was huge. Plus, as I said, it had that nifty, cool power tailgate!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    The dealer claims that BMW is on a multi-year refresh. I think a new body style will be due in either 2008 or 2009 (calendar.) If you look back over the way BMW has done things it is usually, what, a minimum of 5 calendar years before a major refresh.

    Mid course corrections are to be expected. The X3 is "the look" they are looking for.

    The current 225HP 3.0 is a thirstier and dirtier engine than the newest 255HP 3.0 in the 3 and 5 series saloons.

    The only reason I can imagine that the X3 was saddled with the 225HP engine this year was to not "outgun" the X5.

    The new X5 will free up BMW to have more latitude with the X3.

    The X3 should expect a brand new dashboard and switchgear, the newest gen 3.0, the 6 speed steptronic and probably some suspension recalibration and perhaps even some more soundproofing.

    I would assume the X3 will offer idrive -- but that it would NOT be standard equip.

    Price? Up a smidge.

    Content, fit and finish -- up several smidges.

    Power and refinement up a decent amount and refinement up a smidge (since it, even now, is a BMW after all.)

    Option packages -- hopefully more stuff, hopefully voice command, pushbutton start, backup camera and homelink part of the "premium pack" or technology package or something like that.

    Much of this is spy site stuff coupled with dealer info from a dealer who is on the BMW "advisory" board (whatever pull or inside info that implies.)

    Audi, BMW and Mercedes need to be aware that their 255HP engines are "adequate" and be aware that both the Americans and the Japanese are putting out some higher urge cars.

    BMW, if it wishes to keep the i6 3.0 (and I think it should), needs to develop a mild tune turbo, the mid tuned turbo (they have that) and the wild version.

    The 3.0 with just a little extra deep breathing is putting out 303 HP and at least 20% - 30% more torque. 50% torque improvements are "easy" these days with the right turbo application.

    Otherwise BMW will be unable to keep up with the ever escalating HP war. . .

    A diesel option would seem to be logical too.

    Based on the drives with the 255HP 3.0, I would think it would breathe new life into the X3. And maybe for another year that would suffice if the refinement issue can be overcome.

    I know you know I think our $47K X3 was a bargain (@$581/mo 36/mo lease @ 45K) -- but $47K is serious money for a car with this kind of interior and power when you see what both the Americans and Japanese have to offer at less than this price.

    I think the new X3 will be a big step in the right direction is the sum and substance. :shades:
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Thanks for the update mark. As always your on the pulse of things.

    I was suprised BMW did a turbo thing. I lease turbos, not buy them. THey are scarey replacemtns if off warranty.

    The HP wars need to stop! We need more MPG. When is enough enough?

    The inline 6's are wonderful engines and seem to perform despite lower numbers than the competition.

    I don't understand paying $1000 for the comfort key?

    and besides the James Bond coolness, the rear camera is over rated as I think NAV is for many folks. Just my opinion folks, but if BMW gotta keep up, then they need to do what they need to do!

    THe dash needs some tweaking. Overall shape is good, but center stack needs a redue. I like the clean look.

    YEs, if they can just tweek the suspension just a tad to keep it from getting "giggy" that would be great. Not floaty or numb mind you. It can be done.

    I would say the sport suspension won't be to my taste. I dig sharp handling, but there is so much of a price I will pay.

    I like the size of the vehicle and the size is just fine.

    Does 18' wheels change this "tippy" charactor? No manual trannys, sport, or 18'wheels were available to test drive.

    I look forward to seeing these changes!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,049
    I don't feel the tippy sensation you describe -- unless that would be your description of any vehicle with a higher center of gravity.

    The nav is a must, can't, don't, won't leave home without it. Front and rear parktronic is fine for us, but the camera is "the thing" these days, go with the flow.

    My Audi's keyless start was $750. I wonder why, too.

    I like the keyless start, but the price seems about $500 too high if it HAS to be an option.

    No sticks? Pity. This thing is a blast with a stick and "challenged" with the 5speed stutter tronic.

    The 255HP 3.0 and the 6speed non-stutter-tronic would seem to be the ticket.
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Dealer here in North Carolina says demand for manual is very very small. Especially in X's and 5's.

    My Sienna mini van does not have this sensation, nor did my old ML have it nearly as pronounced. It was not a side to side "tip" but seemed to be small movements up and down. Someone on a forum bought this up and it was suggested to have dealer look at the springs that they might not have been released after shipping. IT did not feel that severe!

    Perhaps I need to drive another one, and maybe a used one as well.
  • carreragt3carreragt3 Posts: 1
    After having read the bulk of these messages & having just ordered my X3 w/ Sapph. blk./beige, Prem. & Sport Pkgs. and Step 5-auto, I wanted to chime in.

    I want to make clear the context from where I am coming. My target $400-$600/mo. payment encompassed a multiplicity of vehicles and lots of test drives. Fortunately, our current personal fleet gave me an excellent baseline for constant referral and comparison.

    Our pool consists of: Porsche GT3, Benz G500, allroad 2.7, allroad 4.2 (new), S4 5-sp Tip (new), VW Touareg 4.2 (new), Chrys. Town and Country MV (new) [we've also had a selection of Benz MLs] -- clearly, a rather vast range of speed, braking, steering, ride quality, int./ext. appointments, curb weights, etc.

    Bottom line: I bought the X3 because Porsche has priced the Cayenne out of my desired $$ range. Verdict: The X3 Sport is the next best thing as far as all-arounder, quasi-SUVs go.

    The braking and steering turn-in decimate the Audis' (including the S4's). Power is about as good as either ML's or the allroad's (perhaps the allroad 4.2 is a wee bit faster, but not torquier) and feels faster than the Touareg 4.2. The G500, however, feels fast as hell although 0-60 times don't indicate that it is all that much faster than the X3 and by the 1/4 they are both going about the same speed. Braking feel is only bettered by my GT3 and distances and g-forces seemed absurdly close.

    Ride quality is about like the Porsche's (very constrained, but never uncomfortable), and I can't stand how tippy the allroads are. The audi's air suspension never feels as sorted as the X3's, especially over speed bumps and seams--the allroads are too harsh going strait, but too leany during hard cornering. They feel like a car with mono-directional gas shocks. I think the word for the X3 is "controlled." Like the Cayennes, the X3 gives the impression that you are doing and can do things that SUVs should not be able to do. I guess s look at the skidpad #s revelas this.

    The exterior with the bodycolor-matched Aerokit I, Shadowline, privacy and 18" M'sport wheels pimps as much as anything this side of $60k. Interior materials are fine (but not even close to the Audis'--about like a non-leather Cayenne's). That said, the Montana leather is top notch. Sport seats come close to the stupid-amazing Recaros in the S4. Carpets are as nice as one would expect. Sport M-steering wheel is perfect. Dash top material is unusual, but not "cheap" at all--just different. Dash bottom material is a bit of a concern. Doorpanels are fine, but I wish the X5's had not been sitting 5 ft. away as they make the X3's look a bit lacking.

    We drove our new maxed-out S4 to our final test drive of the X3 and the X5 in order to objectify the BMWs as best we could. We had to place our order that day in order to get a production spot on the line.

    Here's the 411 from that session. The X5, albeit much more posh than the X3, drives and feels very much like the Touareg (just for the record, the Touareg's interior squashes any of the BMW's). That is, tanky and heavy with big, huge, long hoods that one can't see beyond. Never try parallel parking the X5 or the BMW after driving your 911:)

    The X3 reminds you of the S4. You feel "on top of" the car. It seems completely manageable under extremely hard driving. The X3 also reminds you of the 911...it brakes and turns in instantly--credit the 65/35 X-Drive power split and engine placement with not creating pushy oversteer as with the Audis.

    But through it all the main sensation that the X3 gives is much like that of the new 330Xi--new, new, new. It makes everything I test drove from the A3 to the Cayenne to the new Range Rover Sport feel like old engineering. I know they are not. Yet, the X3 renders itself like a car that has been developed for a 2010 release with then implemented technology.

    I just wish the beige bottom part of the dash didn't look like the door panel of our Chrysler T & C!!

    Chiming over.

    Swing for the Fence,

    Carrera GT3
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    Glad you like the X3 as much as you do from your early impressions. If you are like me, you will appreciate it even more...the more you drive it.
    Some of the blandness of the interior actually grows on you over time, the interior is comfortable and well planned, a little spartan, but it is very functional and businesslike. The steering, feel of the road, seating position, comfort, big windows and overall value are hard to beat.
    Hope you report back on what you find.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    Thanks for the pictures. You have to look pretty hard to see the difference. :confuse:

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Old news, but nice updated pictures. Anyone notice the bumper difference? Im not an owner so Im not that intimate with the changes.

    I hope they keep some of the textured surfaces on the X3. It makes it unique. I would imagine iDrive is coming and a center video screen will change the center stack. I think to compete in this crowded market the center stack controls need to be a bit upscale.

    New engine choice, maybe take the wiggles out of the suspension, and update the interior will make this vehicle a catagory killer at the high end.
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Stumbled upon these. For the first time you can see the smooth bumper treatment.

    link title

    and the back:

    link title
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    These pictures are even better. The monochrome paint done the right way and with most colors does look good (I still like the black bumpers on my white X3 - I think the contrast works better with white, and then the black gets carried to the window area too).
    The layout of the current dash is a masterpiece in simplicity and ease of use. I would like to see some contrasting colors and smoothen out that pebble affect.
    Then, it will be the perfect car :) !

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    The less busy bumper works a bit better. The back looks nice too! Lets face it, its never going to win a beauty contest. The FX infinity to me really is awful to look at. Just my opinion, but I give them credit to make the attempt. The lexus RX is also pretty bad looking.

    The Mercedes ML is a nice design. The X3 to me is very simple, clean and has a quality look to it.

    I like the pebble interior.

    I would think a double hump dash is coming with built in iDrive screen, higher quality center stack materials and beefier looking console.

    Could the Anti-roll suspension be an option? And auto steer? I'd like to see the suspension tweaked just a bit.

    This vehicle is 95% great but the updates will keep it at the head of the pack.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    The FX infinity to me really is awful to look at. Just my opinion, but I give them credit to make the attempt. The lexus RX is also pretty bad looking.

    The Mercedes ML is a nice design.


    I don't like any of these and I have driven the Mercedes M Class and found it really not up to Mercedes standards.
    FX Infinity and Muranno are examples of bad design and bad taste. Lexus tries hard but misses out with lights and clumsiness that just don't work.
    Taste is subjective, but IMO the X3 has the nicest and most creative design without going over the top. 2nd choice to me would be a Cayenne and then in the affordable category....(in looks only) is the XTerra but I know not too many would agree with that.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Xterra?! :surprise:

    Staying within the Nissan stable, I would pick the Pathfinder ahead of the Xterra. The Murano and FX are cartoon caricatures.
  • bargamonbargamon Posts: 302
    Took my Mother to shop for crossovers and.....

    Subaru tribeca is a nice value for the money and offering great deals. But ride is bumpy.

    Infiniti FX is way to tight and you can feel every jiggle. Nice interior and pickup.

    X3 very refined. Just not her taste.

    Caddy SVX or whatever they call it. Drove the best of the bunch, but just can't spend 50k on it.

    Conclusion: She will look at cars. These things don't drive as comfortable as a car. She is 69. After we got back in My allroad it felt so much smoother than those thing. What she really wants is the ride of my Sienna Limited but not as big. she will look at the Avalon and Highlander. Lexus ES350 is on the list but she wants to keep the price down.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    With all due respect, I don't think your 69-year-old mom, or any other 69-year-old woman for that matter, should be driving an SUV. What would she need one for? :confuse:
    Get her into a nice, smooth, and safe Passat 4Motion, or a MB E-class 4Matic ;)
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 39,015
    69 isn't all that old anymore. I ride the lift with women in their 70's all the time at my local ski hill. And they are driving up to the resort in their 4WD SUVs.

    Steve, Host
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    Xterra?!

    Staying within the Nissan stable, I would pick the Pathfinder ahead of the Xterra. The Murano and FX are cartoon caricatures.

    I know the Xterra is questionable, but IMO the Pathfinder is too large for the times. That is just taste (and I am judging style, not content). But I agree Murano and FX look like VW Beatles on steroids ( cartoon characters describes it well) and are ugggggggly!

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,327
    She is 69. After we got back in My allroad it felt so much smoother than those thing. What she really wants is the ride of my Sienna Limited but not as big. she will look at the Avalon and Highlander. Lexus ES350 is on the list but she wants to keep the price down.

    Women seem to like the idea of being up higher and the perceived safety of a larger vehicle...but they don't want bulkiness, harsh ride, or almost truck like qualities. Honda CRV (new model out soon), Highlander, Lexus, Volvo Crosscountry (though I had bad luck with my last Volvo), Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV 4, Suburu Forester (good choice, 4 wheel drive and 5 star rating) might suit her. There are probably more........

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

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