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BMW X3

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  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Exactly -- Discussion forums such as this attract more posts from people who have complaints or concerns about their car.

    On the other hand, we are now on my wife's second CPO X3. The first one was a 2004 3.0i model, and now we have a 2006 model. Before we purchased it last spring, I did my research..., and yes, I was a little nervous about buying a 2007 model, due to the several threads involving 2007 X3 transmission hesitation issues found throughout the internet. Would these threads and this bad publicity have stopped me from buying a 2007 X3? No and Yes... By that, I would have considered a 2007 X3 only if I could take it for an extended test drive, and I would have considered the purchase only from a local BMW dealer.

    Having said that, I'm guessing the % of '07 X3's which have this issue are well under 10%, especially after having the firmware reprogrammed. But my guess is no better than anyone else's here! And I wouldn't hesitate with a possible future 2008 or 2009 CPO X3 purchase, whether local or out of state. And overall, even Consumer Reports reflects fairly reliable long-term operation for the X3!

    What I CAN say, for fact, is that my wife and I have been very happy with both of our X3 purchases. For an all-weather all-wheel drive SUV, you can't beat the steering, handling, and braking feel of our 2006 X3. It still feels tight as a drum, and it has been trouble-free. Everything about it provides us with a safe and secure feeling, including the capability of quickly maneuvering and avoiding a pending accident. The transmission and the throttle are very responsive. The interior design feels so open. It has a very efficient design. When we compared the X3 to other SUVs in its class, the X3 seemed to have the most usable interior space -- both for passengers as well as cargo. I emphasize the word "usable", because perhaps the numbers/specs don't reflect this? And, we average about 23mpg on a regular basis!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,015
    What I CAN say, for fact, is that my wife and I have been very happy with both of our X3 purchases. For an all-weather all-wheel drive SUV, you can't beat the steering, handling, and braking feel of our 2006 X3. It still feels tight as a drum, and it has been trouble-free. Everything about it provides us with a safe and secure feeling, including the capability of quickly maneuvering and avoiding a pending accident. The transmission and the throttle are very responsive.

    My experience with a 2004 X3 mirrors yours; I did have an SRS sensor replaced under warranty and I had the transmission firmwear upgraded(it was holding a lower gear too long on uphill runs. I plan to keep it at least another five or so years.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • My wife has an 09 that we bought new in February and have since driven for 15,000 trouble-free miles. The transmission is a bit more abrupt in its action than the 5-speed automatic on my Mercedes, but it is by no means difficult to drive or in any way unsafe, rather it has sportier programming.

    This is good in a BMW. It downshifts immediately when you stab the throttle and holds its gears to redline under hard acceleration. Sliding the shifter into sport mode dials it up a notch further, with standard mode being equivalent to sport mode on my car, and sport mode just at another level.

    Driven gently, it is just like any other well-designed, high-quality automatic. Upshifts are smooth and occur at fairly low RPM to optimize fuel economy and downshifts only occur when needed, which isn't often on the highway given the terrific performance of the new 3.0 liter engine on the 07~09 models.

    As I've said before, this has to be the best-built new car ever in my family. I've had Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mercedes and none have equalled the initial quality of the X3. The only vehicle I've ever had come close is a 2007 Ford F-150 pickup truck, but that is a stripped model with nothing on it to cause any trouble. The X3 is a considerably more complex, fully loaded vehicle and thus far, it has been absolutely flawless. Not a single squeak, rattle or imperfection.

    This car is definitely a keeper.
  • So you are feeling the 2 down to to 1 shifting when you hit the throttle hard on acceleration when doing, for example, an unprotected left turn? Do you get the hesitation that others complained about?
  • Yes, the designers did an excellent job making the smallish exterior match with a spacious feeling interior. IIRC it has about as much interior space as the X5 and the Volvo station wagon and more than say the Audi or Infinity.

    It appears that the other SUVs in this class keep getting squashed down with a higher waistline and a more rounded look to the back and a more raked and smaller windshield. Other makes feel positively claustrophobic and I think the new bodystyle of the X3 is going in that general direction.

    If it is that will be too bad because that is what keeps the X3 unique as a more utilitarian, less fussy vehicle. All the glass provides a great view and they did not scrimp on the real ceiling underneath the panoramic roof.

    I settled on the X3 because of all of these things when I could have bought any of the other competitors for about the same price or even less when you compare features. That is why I am so disappointed with this car.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,101
    gushed about how much fun & reliable our '07 X3 has been for the past 2+ years & 37K+ miles. There is NO WAY an SUV should drive like this. The brakes are great, the seats are super supportive, the steering is very direct & communicative. Nudge the shifter to the left (SD) & drop the hammer and you can pretty much pass anyone you want to. The back seat is roomy, we LOVE the panorama roof (standard on out X3, but an option on my Dad's '07 X5 that had an MSRP of $57K). The real ceiling is great too. Never realized how good it is until I drove an Audi A4 Avant without it.

    The car could use more cargo space. The paint quality stinks (for lack of a better word), it is orange peel city. Blind spots are terrible and outward visibility is poor.

    Besides scheduled maintenance, our X3 has been in the shop for a check engine light (due to a carbon filter), one of the doors wouldn't unlock with the remote, & a brakelight burnt out.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,101
    I feel bad you're not liking your X3 so much. The only person I've ever met that didn't like their X3 was an Audi salesman.

    Part of the ride harshness you may be feeling is because you're coming from a 5 series. It is extremely difficult to replicate the 5 series' balance of ride & handling given its size. My Mom had an '05 E60 530i that was the most trouble free & her favorite car EVER. When the lease was up, the 5ers were a lot more money to lease per month than what she was paying, so she decided she wanted a 3 series. She has no problems with her 328xi, but doesn't like her 3er AT ALL.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • I think the X3 is heading more toward the Audi Q5, more car than SUV. I think they are all headed toward becoming sedans with hatchbacks like the BMW X6. Not very utilitarian IMO but cushier and fancier.

    What kind of gas mileage are you getting? I'm still around 10-12 in the city but 12 only if I'm paying attention and coasting at times. I may do a decent highway mostly drive soon so I'll see if I can get above the 20.8 I've hit max so far.

    I haven't seen a paint problem in BMWs in the past. It should last a long time. I found all cars in this range to have bad blind spots. This one really needs a standard back up camera or a blind spot sensor partly because it is so tall.

    Have you had a problem with your tailgate sticking? I unlock all the doors, press and hold the tailgate button on the key and the tailgate pops open about 1/2" and gets stuck there. It won't open, it won't close. I have to do the unlock again and then I can press the button in the tailgate to open.

    I haven't heard big problems with reliability. Then again, the oldest has been on the road 6 years or less so it is probably early days yet.

    I am beginning to think that whatever they did to answer the hard ride criticisms in years past has now led to a wobbly suspension that bounces around under the mildest of conditions. So far I haven't seen a big problem with potholes but smooth, flat streets are a big problem.

    I wonder what they did and did they go too far.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,101
    The gas mileage calculator is very shall we say...optimistic in our X3. The best way to get results is to figure it out yourself. Our computer says the X3 averages around 18-19 mpg with my wife and her heavy foot driving. Gas mileage has improved since we got the X3. It used to be like 15-16.

    I've gotten 22 mpg on long straight highway trips.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • What I CAN say, for fact, is that my wife and I have been very happy with both of our X3 purchases. For an all-weather all-wheel drive SUV, you can't beat the steering, handling, and braking feel of our 2006 X3. It still feels tight as a drum, and it has been trouble-free. Everything about it provides us with a safe and secure feeling, including the capability of quickly maneuvering and avoiding a pending accident. The transmission and the throttle are very responsive. The interior design feels so open. It has a very efficient design.

    + 1 for our '06 X3.

    We've had a couple of problems, which were quickly fixed under warranty, but overall the car has been very reliable.

    Our only regret is not having the premium sound system. The Logic 7 systems in my previous 3 series and current 5 series are noticaably better.

    We are interested in replacing it - with the new X3 fitted with the twin turbo I-6!

    Bruce
  • The 06 does not have the 6-speed GM6 Automatic Transmission.

    I do not know how the ride compares to the 2009 as I have not been able to find anything that says what BMW fixed if anything from the original 2004 model. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • The 06 does not have the 6-speed GM6 Automatic Transmission.

    Not sure what you mean by this, as I never said it did.

    Our '06 X3 has the older engine with a 5 speed AT. We like that a lot, but I think we would like the more powerful engine and 6 speed AT introduced in the '07 model even more.

    If BMW offers the twin turbo in the new X3, then we would lust after that! My 535Xi has spoiled us.

    Bruce
  • OIC. Yes, you lucked out on the 06. Maybe fewer HP but many fewer potential problems.

    http://www.allworldauto.com/tsbs/NHTSA__BMW_X3_technical_service_bulletin_286325- .html

    NHTSA Item Number: 10028464
    Service Bulletin #: SIB-12-17-07
    Replacement #:
    Vehicle/Equipment Make: BMW
    Vehicle/Eqipment Model: X3
    Model Year: 2008
    Mfg Component Code: 103000 POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
    Date of Bulletin: 2008-06-01
    Date Added: 2009-05-05
    Summary: BMW VEHICLE: ENGINE ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS. POOR THROTTLE RESPONSE; LACK OF POWER WHEN ACCELERATING; ENGINE MAY CRANK TOO LONG BEFORE STARTING; LOSS OF POWER AT IDLE OR WHEN SLOWING TO A STOP. E83 (X3) MODELS. *PE
  • pp2009pp,

    What model year is your X3?

    I had not been following the transmission issue for awhile as I thought that had been resolved.

    My conjecture on preferring the engine - transmission in the current X3 over our '06 model was based on having previously owned an '06 330Xi, which I thought had the same engine and 6 speed AT as the current X3, and before that we owned an '01 330Xi, which I believe had the same engine & 5 speed AT transmission as our '06 X3.

    I never had any trouble with the transmission in my '06 330Xi, and I much preferred it's performance over the '01 iteration. I wonder why the transmission worked so well in the sedan but not in the SAV.

    Bruce
  • 2009 X3.

    The acceleration is jerky. It starts and stops and then finds a gear. It sometimes cannot move forward for awhile. Sometimes it has trouble finding R. Intermittent problems all.

    I do not know if you have the same transmission in your 330xi. Do you have an excessively strong engine brake? I have to accelerate into turns now as it will come to a complete stop all by itself. It is worse in SD.

    Can you decelerate in D while going downhill without brakes? I am curious to see who has the same problems as I do. I find it to be extremely finicky and temperamental.
  • The acceleration is nice and smooth on my 09 X3 automatic, better than my 05 C class Mercedes and easily equal to the 09 C class I test drove yesterday.

    Ignore pp2009pp, he's one of the vocal (and extremely small) minority who got a lemon. The X3 is a mature product with the bugs long since worked out.

    I had a new 07 Camry that went through rear brakes in like 5000 miles, REAR brakes. It was an issue with some 07s, and was corrected later on. Do I crap all over the Camry forums complaining that Toyota is selling junk? No, I just understand that not every single car is perfect. Except, of course, for the 09 X3 we bought earlier this year. It is, without a doubt, THE BEST new car we have ever bought.

    16,000 perfect, trouble-free, smooth shifting high-performing miles later I am still thrilled with this wonderful vehicle.

    Forget pp2009pp, you'll love the 09 X3 engine and tranny.
  • Lawman, who are you to say what I do and do not have. You have:

    1. never driven my car
    2. never ridden in my car
    3. never looked at my car

    I am not assuming anything about your car, I take your opinions to be honest. My X3 2009 is the most abysmal drive I have ever experienced. It has the herky jerky acceleration that many people have written about, the nauseatingly bouncy ride that professional reviewers have written about and the strange engine brake that many other people have experienced as a sudden pull back.

    These are well documented on the X3. Just because you are not experiencing them is meaningless to those of us who do.

    I suspect you have read the many threads that talk about these issues with the X3 along with the review that said the X3 was the worst car in the BMW lineup or the review that said the X3 had a concussive ride or the review that said the X3 suspension was made of rocks.

    I do not know for sure if I have a lemon. According to the dealership, my car drives just like the other new X3 in the lot. Do you want to dispute that with the dealership? Please do so. Then maybe they will fix my car. OTOH, if my car isn't different from other X3s then I am really shocked with BMW.

    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • OK, that was a bit harsh. I would have edited it but I ran out of time.
  • woodywwwoodyww Posts: 1,797
    I'm curious: how many times have you taken it back to the dealer? Have you researched what it'd take to get it declared a Lemon? Tried to get a "zone manager" involved, (or whatever the bmw equivilent is, if any)?

    Or, taken it to a good indie bmw repair shop to get a diagnosis, or at least confirmation of your problem (s)? That'd be my advice.......

    BTW, CR gives the x3 generally good reliability marks, but a giant black mark for the '07's under "trans., minor". (I'd assume "minor" means the trans. isn't totally failing?, not saying I think it's minor).
  • pp2009pppp2009pp Posts: 228
    The problems are intermittent which not only makes them difficult to diagnose but also makes working around them impossible. The dealer felt the ride problem when I drove with them but not when they drove by themselves.

    The AT work around involves driving in SD (which actually makes the sudden slow down more severe) or, worse, in MT mode all the time. I don't see either being remotely viable. I'm still trying to figure out how the lemon laws work on intermittent problems.

    I'll give CR a big black mark for calling this minor. It isn't minor and it isn't just in the 2007's either.
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