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BMW X3

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  • Scotth6 says, "For the people who can't comprehend why people would spend $46k on an X3 drive a M3 and it will explain itself.

    Not sure how A leads to B. The X3 and M3 have very little in common - manufacturers and uh, uh...um.

    BMW's are about 1)handling 2) not having what everyone else drives

    Wish that were true as you can't throw a stone in So Cal without hitting a BMW.

    3) the highest resale of any luxury brand(look it up if you don't believe me) 4) excellent quality

    I own a BMW and love it, but excellent quality? I don't see that in the car I own.

    5) free maintanance for 4 years 6) great looks and more."

    Yeah the maintenance is nice.

    Couldn't agree with you more, Scotth6. Those are a lot of the reasons why I'm awaiting my $49,770 X3 in early March. I don't want a common car and I want something that is fun and exciting to drive. The X3 was more fun and exciting than the X5 and close (or equal to me) than the 3 series.

    What sort of 3 series?! Maybe against an automatic 325i if you've got a manual sport package X3 3.0. I own a ZHP and I have to say after two days driving the X3 I was relieved to slip into a sports sedan again - power, RWD and nimble handling were finally back on tap.

    The X3 is a nice vehicle, but for the money...it's all about priorities.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "What sort of 3 series?! Maybe against an automatic 325i if you've got a manual sport package X3 3.0. I own a ZHP and I have to say after two days driving the X3 I was relieved to slip into a sports sedan again - power, RWD and nimble handling were finally back on tap."

    blueguy, there is no way an X3 can even come close to n ZHP. There is no way any SAV/SUV could come close. But unless you live in an area that lately has a tendency dump 4-6 snow every week on the ground, I would not even consider an AWD SAV/SUV. I am excited about having a BMW type ride in an AWD vehicle. I have to deal with this #@#$^^$% up north. :) At least until we move west.
  • scotth6scotth6 Posts: 43
    I bought a black M3 with red interior sight unseen and it was beautiful, I bought a black X3 with black carpet and Terracota interior and I said it will be beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I have owned many BMW's as previously stated and I can say for a fact having owned a 1995 325i, 1996 328Ci, 1997 528I, 1998 Z3, 2001 330CIC, 2001 X5 3.0, 2002M3 Convertible and 2003M3 coupe that the interior is on par with all the 3 series based vehicles but not quite to the same standards as the 5 series or X5 and that is why there is a $5000 upgrade to get the same specs on a X5 as a X3. My M'3 have a really nice interior and nice leather but I wouln't say they were significantly different from the X3 and in fact I find very little if any difference from my 330CIC which had leather but not the premium package. I have ridden in Lexus and they probably have a nicer interior but that's their key attribute along with quality and nice smooth ride.
    In response to the handling of the X3 compared to the X5 3.0 I own it does not have the sport package and the X3 I test drove did not either.
    The X3 just feels a little lighter and doesn't plow as much through turns and when braking. The X5 is a great vehicle and I would highly recommend it.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    you write far better than 99.975632% of the automotive journalists, who probably don't even know the difference between connolly and montana or don't have a clue how the coefficient of friction of a gear teeth helps a car... etc.

    *applause & drum rolls*

    ksso
  • Thanks. I wish I'd been as impressed with the X3 as the folks at Edmunds. But alas, the bar's set pretty high for me while my cheap gene still remains intact. I see 40k on a sticker and I expect quite a bit. Some minor interior changes and maybe some way to retard the xDrive (or a RWD option!) and I'd have been much happier with it.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 590
    if i were running a car mag, i'd fire all my joker editors (since when did all reporters become editors?) and hire you...

    ksso
  • ulepulep Posts: 63
    blueguy said "Wish that were true as you can't throw a stone in So Cal without hitting a BMW."

    I wasn't taking about BMW cars as a whole. I was talking about MY x3.

    The X3 is a perfect SAV, that's sports activity vehicle. I dont see any luxury word in SAV. If BMW says it's a luxury SUV. Then it's perfectly OK to bash on it. BMW made a perfect vehicle w/ everything on it. it's sporty,a lot of cargo room, all wheel drive and a dash of class. this car is for young people with a sense of adventure and has a sporty sense of style. not for old people who cant even balance themselves on a bike.

    Die hard BMW fans maybe saying that the X3 is a step backward for BMW. Would you be surprise if i tell you that there's a 10 seater mercedes benz family van in my country. If they introduce it here im sure people would march in the streets protesting mercedes benz. But thats how it works. welcome to the real world. Dont really care if i'm the only god forsaken human being to own an x3. for me it's a blessing. for me,price is not one of my criteria in choosing this suv. if some people cant afford it i'm sure there's a lot more capable suv to choose from. that why i know that i'm one of the few happy owners of the x3..(snobbish huh...:-))
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "this car is for young people with a sense of adventure and has a sporty sense of style. not for old people who cant even balance themselves on a bike."

    I disagree, the X3 is for people who want BMW feel, AWD, a bit more cargo area than the 3-series and don't need an X5. AWD is important, I wouldn't even be looking at AWD if it weren't for the last few winters.

    As blueguy talked about the power sapping xdrive. Well maybe it would be nice to electronically disable it, but I was very happy it was there flogging the vehicle on ice and snow. Maybe the FX offers the same feel, I dunno, but I'm not fond of the looks.

    The 3-series is as perfect as car as you can get, a SAV, any SAV by definition is a compromise. But BMW was true to itself (except for the door slam) in the X3.

    The 760s door closes with the most satisfying thunk.
  • The X3 is a perfect SAV, that's sports activity vehicle. I dont see any luxury word in SAV. If BMW says it's a luxury SUV. Then it's perfectly OK to bash on it.

    BMW's are supposed to be premium. Don't believe me, well the Chairman of BMW said so at the Automotive News World Congress:

    "With its BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands, BMW focuses entirely on the premium business..."
    http://autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat_cod- e=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=04015878

    this car is for young people with a sense of adventure and has a sporty sense of style.

    BMW really doesn't skew young. That's VW and Scion's turf. BMW skews toward $$$ and brand loyalty.

    not for old people who cant even balance themselves on a bike.

    Take a gander at the average age of BMW buyers. It's not under 30, chief.

    Die hard BMW fans maybe saying that the X3 is a step backward for BMW.

    Not at all. It's a sensible choice for BMW as a luxury player to duke it out with other compact lux SUVs like the RX and FX (really the interior volume is compact!).

    for me,price is not one of my criteria in choosing this suv.

    Priced at Range Rover's 70-80-90k level, I'd imagine you'd say otherwise.

    if some people cant afford it i'm sure there's a lot more capable suv to choose from.

    Actually, my ZHP cost about the same (MSRP was 3k higher) as the X3 3.0i I had for a few days.

    that why i know that i'm one of the few happy owners of the x3..(snobbish huh...:-))

    Few as defined by number purchased or do you believe the 40k msrp makes it exclusive? The cost would not be a stumbling block. I get you like the car but now you're acting like the X3 is some kind of exclusive, premium vehicle. Uh, it's not. If BMW can move 300k of them a year, they will.
  • aukemaaukema Posts: 19
    I can't believe how many whiners are on this site. I'm not a BMW owner but I plan to be one soon. I've been waiting for a reasonable SUV to be designed and I think the BMW team has done a very good job. When you price other SUVs and add the features provided on the BMW, the X3 is only 2 to 3 thousand extra. It gets 15 to 20% better gas mileage which is worth a $100 to $200 dollar savings per year (if you drive 10000 miles). The maintenance is free for the first 4 years (easily worth $200 per year). Then you have the extra resale value. Certainly a person could justify spending an additional $1000 for the"fun" driving experience.
  • ulepulep Posts: 63
    1. premium is different from luxury. you can have a premium sports car but not a luxury sports car.

    2.dont tell me VW and all other companies doesn't skew for money. what i'm saying is BMW targets younger costumers WITH the x3. lets face it, a 50 year old man will never look at the x3 the same way a 30 yr old will.

    3.well i dont like the range rover. could have gotten the x5 (55K) but it doesn't fit my needs.If anybody thinks they got a better suv with te same price as the x3....Congratulation. remember buying a car is a matter of taste.

    4.did i say it's exclusive..hmmm.let me go up and review my post. oh i said "Dont really care if i'm the only god forsaken human being to own an x3. for me it's a blessing. for me,price is not one of my criteria in choosing this suv. if some people cant afford it i'm sure there's a lot more capable suv to choose from. that why i know that i'm one of the few happy owners of the x3..(snobbish huh...:-)". let me explain:a lot of people hate this vehicle. i dont care if sales of the x3 plumet, Ill still be one happy x3 owner. the thing is not exclusive but for me it's a premium vehicle.
  • mamgtmamgt Posts: 67
    I enjoyed your in-depth review, though I did not agree with all of your observations. You trash the looks of the X3:

    "From the side, one might be able to guess Bimmer by the headlight design but really with is long flat surfaces, uninterrupted lines and lack of any hard creases, the X3 could easily blend in with the mini-ute crowd."

    I agree that the X3 does not scream design like some Italian cars do, but as far as I can tell, BMWs have always looked understated. That's what makes them so appealing...like a wolf in sheeps clothing, they handle great without screaming: look at me. Having said that, I do think the look of the X3 has a level of sophistication just plain lacking in the RX and FX. My first impression of the FX was: wow, now that looks cool. But the more I study it, the less I like it (it's just trying too hard). Same with the RX. What's up with the back end?

    With the X3 it was the other way around. First impression was: Could be a bit bolder. But every time I see it while driving by the dealer in the morning, it just keeps looking better and - yes -more sophisticated. Maybe that's why BMW's seem to age so well.

    But couldn't agree more with your conclusion:

    "In the end, it's the marriage of the engine, suspension, tranny and drivetrain that determine if a vehicle is up to snuff....Over the course of a few days I drove close to 200 miles with the X3 3.0. I encountered everything from city streets to rush hour traffic to wide open freeways to twisty tree-lined roads. On all of them the X3 delivered a satisfying experience."

    That captures it all in a nutshell. From what I can tell, few on this forum have complained about the X3's handling or driving experience....and that's precisely why I bought one and am looking forward to driving one.
  • Can't we just get along!!

    You all are making good points but let's not get so defensive. I've come to accept X3 was not intended to be a high-end SAV (can you say net pockets!), but a sporty one. The BMW version of Xterra. So for what it is, it is a nice SAV.

    p.s. Funny I compared the X3 to the Xterra. I just came back from a business trip where I rented a compact Nissan. The upper part of the dash with that big storage compartment looked exactly like the X3's!
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    tponchak, I said it's funny that some people have basically repeated all the arguments that I previously raised because I have a sense of humor.

    You and I have a war of words on the X3 interior, we call it quits, and then it flames up again unprovoked among entirely different parties. To me, that's quite amusing.

    I'm even more amused by your "threat" of bringing up the Ford Escape comparo. But to be fair, then you'd also have to jump on the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 and now the Nissan Xterra comparos that have also been made. Why single out the Ford Escape for such treatment?

    Also, I can't check out the X3 at the LA autoshow b/c I'm still in NYC. Will be moving out in March.

    blueguydotcom, I applaud your post #551. Masterfully written.

    This board was initially dominated by (my guess) older people who have owned and experienced a variety of luxury and sporty cars who were hoping to get a smaller, lighter, more drivable X5 without sacrificing the luxury in the X5. After checking out the X3, most of those people have left this board.

    This board will slowly but surely be dominated by X3 fans, who value the driving exp. of a BMW over luxury and want something bigger than a 3-series but don't want to be stuck in a BMW station wagon.

    For those purchasers, I have 2 words: LIGHTEN UP!

    It's great that you're happy with your car, but that doesn't mean it's without flaws. I'm beginning to believe that if someone simultaneously threw bowling balls at your X3 and your mom and you had time to step in front of only one bowling ball, some of you would hotrodding it to your mom's funeral in a pristine X3 with a big cast of plaster wrapped around your face.

    Everything blueguydotcom said about the X3 is right on. It's a great driving small SUV that needs a little extra juice, but the X3 is by no means a luxury car, and yet at $43k MSRP for an optioned out X3 3.0, it is priced as a luxury vehicle. Please take off the beer goggles when looking at this car folks and admit that there is a serious disconnect there.

    It seems many of you agree with this assessment since according to info. posted on this board most have ordered X3 2.5 and only an exclusive few have ordered X3 3.0.

    Now this is my opinion only b/c I have not test driven the X3 2.5, but it seems to me that a 184 HP engine pulling 4,000 ton vehicle is awfully weak. I mean, maybe if you floored it, you could pass a Toyota Corolla. You could not, however, pass the 200 HP Ford Escape.

    So tponchak, if we hook up in LA and you are driving an X3 2.5 and I am driving the Ford Escape that I will be buying for my dad (want to buy him something nicer but he wants a small, cheap AWD banger SUV for daily commuting and lugging), you won't even get to appreciate the Escape's interior (which will be improved for the 2005 model to be released shortly) since you'll be appreciating my rear bumpers :)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Everything blueguydotcom said about the X3 is right on. It's a great driving small SUV that needs a little extra juice, but the X3 is by no means a luxury car,"

    there is nothing for $40K that is a true luxury vehicle. The RX has a very nice interior, but it handles like a boat compared to the X3. Take the RX on snow and ice and flog it, take and X3 on snow and ice and flog it and see if these vehicles handles identically.

    BMW ensured this vehicle was true to itself. It is a premium vehicle, it may not have the luxury interior look of the RX330, but the RX330 will not handle anywhere near as well as this. Both are premium but target different markets.

    Saugtak - trust me when I say this. Your Ford Escape will be seeing the rear bumpers of the X3 2.5. I've driven the Ford Escape, it's nice for what it is and there it ends. While the 2.5 may not be the highest HP on the block, the handling will be exemplary.

    Some people like a big steak and don't care how tough it is. Others like a smaller steak, juicy succulent, flavorful. Take your pick.
  • Saugatak, I wasn't trying to say the Xterra is like the X3, but they're the same class of sporty SAVs. But X3 by far is a better one. But then again it probably cost twice as much as the Xterra also haven't looked). And that's where we agree.

    Not to get too serious here, but why the recent buyers of the X3 get so jacked up and annoyed having a simple discussion:-) May be they know the points that have been brought up by just about every review are "actually true"!

    "This board was initially dominated by (my guess) older people who have owned and experienced a variety of luxury and sporty cars who were hoping to get a smaller, lighter, more drivable X5 without sacrificing the luxury in the X5."

    Right on, except the "older part"!!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Not to get too serious here, but why the recent buyers of the X3 get so jacked up and annoyed having a simple discussion:-) May be they know the points that have been brought up by just about every review are "actually true"!"

    I agree. It's the same reason 2004 TL owners get jacked up when you tell them CR says the Honda Accord for $7K less is "almost" just as good. Could it be that it is actually true? Could any of this be really true that beyond a $15K Mazda 6 no car is worth it?

    I did not expect the luxury of the 5-series in a 3-series. I'm not sure who really does. That's part of the reason the 5-series costs more than the 3-series.
  • there is nothing for $40K that is a true luxury vehicle. The RX has a very nice interior, but it handles like a boat compared to the X3. Take the RX on snow and ice and flog it, take and X3 on snow and ice and flog it and see if these vehicles handles identically.

    Funny you left the FX off that list. 35-36k gets one into an FX that's married to good handling, lots of thrust and an interior beyond the X3's. Of course, the trade off with an FX is that you're driving an automatic vehicle with less interior space and that gets horrible gas mileage.

    Gotta love BMW's ability to properly gear their cars/trucks.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I do not believe the FX to be on the same par as an RX330 in terms of luxury. It clearly is a competitor to the X3. I think the X3 interior(wood trim) is nicer than the FX.

    I did mention the FX in an above post. That car is not for me and therefore I won't take it for a test drive. Yes the people who post on edmunds love their FX, and there is room on this planet for both.

    It would actually be interesting to take all the vehicles in this class, and flog them on hard packed snow/ice and see how they all do.
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    Where do you people get that the mileage on the FX is bad. over 13k miles I average about 17-18 in the city and 21-22 on the highway almost exactly what the epa is and only 1-2mpg less than my sedan was. You bmw lovers need to get a support group or something.

    Also the X3 interior (wood or not) is light years behind of the interior on the FX. No it's not an RX330 (doesn't pretend to be) but it is way better than the X3. The X3 also does not have more interior space than the FX. I carry 4 often and have carried 5 adults in the FX with no problem.
  • Where do you people get that the mileage on the FX is bad. over 13k miles I average about 17-18 in the city and 21-22 on the highway almost exactly what the epa is and only 1-2mpg less than my sedan was.

    That's bad gas mileage! I was beating the heck out of an X3 and still on the freeway I got 24 mpg on an engine with only 150 - 350 miles on it. We're talking constant redline shifts, on the freeway in 4th up to 80-85 before switching to 6th gear and cruising in town usually in 2nd and 3rd.

    I love Nissan's engines but they're thirsty buggers compared to BMW ones.

    Also the X3 interior (wood or not) is light years behind of the interior on the FX. No it's not an RX330 (doesn't pretend to be) but it is way better than the X3. The X3 also does not have more interior space than the FX.

    FX interior volume is something like 10-20 cubic feet less. That's a big difference.

    I carry 4 often and have carried 5 adults in the FX with no problem.

    So what, you can fit 10 clowns in a Geo, that doesn't mean it's a roomy car.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "So what, you can fit 10 clowns in a Geo, that doesn't mean it's a roomy car."

    And how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin?
  • clpurnellclpurnell Posts: 1,087
    Fanaticism at it's best. I guess 2 mpg is very important to some people.

    KD & Blue Guy I hear Osama is looking for new recruits :P
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    "Saugtak - trust me when I say this. Your Ford Escape will be seeing the rear bumpers of the X3 2.5. I've driven the Ford Escape, it's nice for what it is and there it ends. While the 2.5 may not be the highest HP on the block, the handling will be exemplary."

    Having not driven the X3 2.5, I would not know, but the Ford Escape felt like a lighter vehicle than the X3 to me, so a more powerful engine plus a lighter frame should result in an Escape victory. In any case, the Escape vs. X3 2.5 race comment was said in jest (as indicated by the :) ).
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I know your comment was said in jest. I am very adept at reading smileys. :)

    Mine was said somewhat tongue-in-cheek. On one hand the 2.5L is a very nice engine. On the other hand, it has lost the HP war at this price point. Maybe BMW thinks they don't need HP to keep up with the Joneses, I don't know. A nice 300hp+ 3.5 high-revving V8 available for the 3-series line would be nice though. However back to reality, they need to bridge the performance gap between the 3-series and the M3 somehow.
  • Fanaticism at it's best. I guess 2 mpg is very important to some people.


    You missed the point, I was pulling 24-25 mpg even though I had the engine consistently revving and jumping up to redline. In my experience, this will kill the mileage of a 3.5 VQ.

    Funny that I'm being called a fanatic when I wasn't too warm on the X3 and cited the FX as a good alternative.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,153
    fwiw, Edmunds usually lists competing vehicles in the New Cars section.

    BMW X3

    And the FX 35 is in the list :-)

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618
    been waiting, but nobody posted to your 'master of the obvious' comment :)

    a 184 HP engine pulling 4,000 TON vehicle is awfully weak.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    sorry, meant a 4 ton vehicle or a 4,000 pound vehicle.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,618
    but, on this discussion, small things can get pyrotechnic!
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