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  • Thanks glenbert for your update. I'm not sure why they would change the interior so quickly, but it would be encouraging if they did.

    There is a lot of mixed reviews on the X3, which makes me believe BMW did not hit a home run on the first pitch, as they thought they might. Even the car magazines can't agree!

    I've been looking for a luxury mid-size SUV for some time, passing on the ML, FX, Toureg (why are there not more comparisons to the Toureg on the board?), etc. The only one I really liked was the X5 -but out of my price range (I'm a realist when it come to buying cars, I like to keep the price within a comfort zone - and with with the NO Discount policy and high price & lousy trade-in from the jerks at my local BMW dealer - no X5).

    But, all that said, what I didn't come away from my X3 Demo was no memorable attributes. After I demo'd the X5 - I thought about the commanding seating position, the look of the dash, the comfort of the seats, the feel of the ride. When I finished the X3 demo I didn't come away with anything specific.

    I'm sure BMW will do fine with the X3. As previously mentioned, lots of NEW buyers will anty up $40 large to get one...I get the feeling that they will sell a lot of 2.5L versions as entry level versions - again for the newbies.

    I recently did the BMW assembly plant tour in Spartanburg SC, and was very empressed. They in fact had a few X3's sitting around in the PREP area, but really didn't get a chance to chat with anyone...the tour moves very fast and I was harboring a nasty cold so I was not very sociable. But, I would buy a X5 in a heart beat, if I could.

    I'm going down to the NYC BMW store today, and will report back any additional info that might be interesting.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    " again for the newbies."

    2.5L is not for newbies. It's an SULEV engine choice that BMW offers and people with serious money and lot's of BMW cars under their belt buy them for THEIR own reasons. Not because one thinks of it as entry level. After checking out the vehicle and reading about xDrive, I would rather have a 2.5L X3 than other so called SAVs,SUVs,XUVs.
  • Let us know what you find out. At the risk of repeating myself, I also walked away with the same feeling. Going in really to buy the X3 but walked away thinking for nearly the same price the X5 is a much nicer car (excluding the sportiness and agility of the X3). I'm not sure even the so-called improvement of the interior will make it close. By the way, I'm assuming you were considering the 2.5 X3, otherwise the loaded 3.0 X3 is only 3-4K under the 3.0 X5.

    For those that keep saying X3's interior is great or X3 and X5 have the same interior and overall quality, you're either a BMW sales rep or blind, or both!!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "For those that keep saying X3's interior is great or X3 and X5 have the same interior and overall quality, you're either a BMW sales rep or blind, or both!!"

    That's an incredibly condescending statement.

    There is nothing wrong with the X3s interior (the wood not the metal, I hate the metal). I cannot see what the issue is. It does not look or feel "cheap" as people are saying. Hey, that's why Lexus and Audi exist.
  • Well, just got back from BMW of Manhatten (I live in FL, just here for a week or so - got bored sitting in the apartment, took a walk over). They had a Black X3/6sp/3.0/Sand-leather/Birch Grain on the floor. I thought the wood did improve the interior (thought the Maple-Dark color would have been a better contrasting choice of wood), but I was confused by the color scheme - Sand leather, gray carpeting, Birch Wood, and contrasting gray dash. It did look better than the monochromatic black leather and aluminum I demo'd a few weeks ago. I'm still not impressed with the gauge/dash area, the rear seats don't have an A/C vent, and I still don't walk away 'wanting' to go off the deep end to buy one.

    But, I think they have a real problem - with the X5 just a few $K more than a 3.0 X3, you don't want to erode your higher profit X5 with a close competitor at a considerably lower price. It is quite a juggling act for the marketing dept. BMW said that farming out the assembly to Magna Styr has cut into their profit margin, but the car is still profitable. Guaranteed the X5 is a big money maker for them, and you are treading on profits if you make the X3 a lot less expensive and divert X5 sales.

    But all that said, the X3 would be a great mid $30K SUV, I just don't think $42K+ is a good value. Time and sales will tell! I would buy one at mid $35-37K. I'm just having a problem justifying $45,000 (tax, tag etc) for a compromise vehicle. Maybe I'll wait for the ML coming out in mid 2004.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    " I just don't think $42K+ is a good value"

    It's just as good a value as an MDX or RX for that price. And you know either of these other two won't touch the X3 in terms of handling.

    It seems to be priced on par with the 3-series (give or take a couple of dollars), which is interesting.
  • shap1shap1 Posts: 77
    For those who've seen the X3 in person, would you say the rear seat is larger than the 3 Series sedan?

    I'll be coming off lease soon on my 325i, and need something with a bit more room in back. The X3 sounds like it might do the trick. I also heard the X3 has a switch to kill the front passenger air bag (so an older child could sit up front). Does anyone know??
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,260
    So I've been seeing a lot of this "well, the X3 cost this much money, but for just a little more, you can get into an X5" postings.

    I did a quick build your own on BMW's site and here's what I came up with:

    Both the X5 & X3 were configured with the following popular options):

    Metallic Paint, Leather, Steptronic (X5 lists automatic) Transmission, Xenon Headlights, Cold Weather Package, Sport Package, & Premium Package.

    X5 MSRP: $50,220
    X3 MSRP: $45,095

    The difference is $5,135. That's a lot of money. I feel like there is a big difference between the person shopping for a $45K truck & $50K truck.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • jjmanjjman Posts: 77
    Thats kinda what i figured too nyccarguy, but I think the others keep comparing a fully loaded X3 with the base X5 which is why they have problems justifying buying it.
    In my case I see a larger interior with just enough lux items and a lighter vehicle thats more fun to drive.
  • First of all Merry Christmas to all!

    I also did a quick comparison and I found the base model for both + PP + Xenon lights + Auto =
    $42,845 for the X3 (TMV price by Edmund)
    $46,208 for the X5 (TMV price by Edmund)
    For a difference of about $3400

    Checkout the two vehicle side by side,;jsessio- nid=1rI4kg7b587UhW8L0QqtgcAteXqW1My1PiMixVFenRizNscwO81z!66335485- 2?basestyleid=100344159&styleid=100374221&refid=&maxv- ehicles=5&op=3&tab=features

    Example of the quality difference:
    Spare tire: fullsize matching alloy for the X5
    Spare tire: temporary steel for the X3

    Those who have sat in both know this is consistent throughout the car. I think X3 is a nice car. Just too expensive comparing to it's sibling.

    Now I got to go open my presents :)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It's not about the X5 vs the X3. It's about the X3 vs the MDX vs the RX vs the FX etc. It's right on line with those vehicles and probably outhandles them, although it won't out accelerate the FX.
  • jjmanjjman Posts: 77
    wow doneby2010 now you are using tmv instead of msrp to compare? In which case it would all depend upon the region you buy from so it could be 3600 like you said or 7200 somewhere else. geez with comparisons like that i'd be iffy too.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    my good value is not your good value..
    one man's food is another man's poison, as the old adage went...

  • Hi All -
    shap1 - the back seat has more leg room than a current 3 series. You can actually sit back there without your knees touching the front seats, based on where I put my front seat and I'm 6'. Overall it is much more spacious than a 3, but I think, as you have read on this forum, the ammenities are not up to 3 series level.

    I have softened my opion a little recently when I saw the X3 with some wood trim rather than the monochromatic colors they seem to lean toward. BTW-I picked up the FULL X3 brochure and its very obvious from the pictures they selected that the monochromatic color scheme is what they were after. Almost all the interior shots are with the gray on gray and aluminum - which many of the posts here object to. Maybe they got bad info at their focus groups. There is one picture of the black interior with the terracotta, and it looked very classy.

    OK, so the debate will continue until the production units hit the dealers in a few weeks, and we will see how many X3 they sell. That is the ultimate test!
  • So you sat on the rear seat?? If you stayed there more than 5 minutes you probably couldn't get out of the car. It's a 1" foam covered plank!!! Try ridding in the rear seat for a couple of hours. They really missed on that one. Or, put your 5'tall wife or young granddaughter in the front seat and have her adjust the over the shoulder seat belt!!! Oh, you mean there is no adjustment?? Never mind if you're an accident the seat belt will only break her neck. Hey, that's my cup holder there in the middle. Your's is stuck on the upper right side of the dash. Never mind the slop from the Starbuck's coffee cup and after you open the door with the off centered, unbalanced door pulls, take out your drink and close the cup holder so that you don't break it off with your left shoulder as you exit. What's wrong with putting a hand hold in the arm rest to close the door???
  • ulepulep Posts: 63
    i am 6 feet tall and i sat in the rear seat for a total of 30 mins while my wife test drove was more than comfortable and the leather seats felt nice too. if some people are saying that the rear seats have little room then it's almost like saying that the x5 is very uncomfortable since the x3 has more interior room than the x5.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    I've driven X5 a few times and been passenger in the X5 for long rides. The X3 seating is definitely not as comfortable as the X5, the cushioning is not as thick and the leather is not as good, but I thought the X3's seats were OK.

    Didn't notice lack of adjustability on seat belts.

    I also agree with doneby and phastphil that BMW cut back on the X3 in order to protect their profit margins on the X5.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I've got to agree with you guys that the X3 may not be such a great value once you go to the 3.0 and start adding options. But if you look at the base model which I'm sure will be impossible to find on a dealer's lot, it is a good value.

    I've been loking at SUV's in the mid-$20K's to $30K. The 2.5 while being down in power somewhat does have many systems such as DSC that others don't have.

    So what I'm considering is a 2.5, 6-speed, only option being the moonroof. European delivery gets you a 7% discount. I believe this would run about $30.5K. I would order it, wait, and go pick it up. Maybe catch the Oktoberfest?

    That's where the value is at. Plus the warranty and maintenance that competitors at this price don't offer!
  • Ok,
    I was enthused at first with the X3 but after riding one and reading the review at : id=7592&page_number=1

    I must say that anyone who buys this car doesn't care about quality or the ride and only about the looks. What is amazing to me is the review in If you buy this car you will be dissapointed. As far as the interior, I can't believe a car cost this much and has a tin foil feel. I rather buy an FX35. Infinti seems to really have their act together and I believe their cars are just as good as Lexus
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "As far as the interior, I can't believe a car cost this much and has a tin foil feel."

    Tis true any metal interior is not to my liking, but the wood interior is very BMW. And after checking out a 3L wood interior with the 6MT, I have no qualms with the interior.
  • After PhastPhil's post regarding the post-production release I decided to take a second look at the X3. FYI, I test drove the X3 and X5 (both 3.0, PP and Auto) back-to-back.

    To me, X3 definitely has a nicer sporty feel to it and seems more responsive (more like a sports car than a SUV). It gets around the corners tight and beautifully for a SUV. I also noticed it did look better with a wood trim and baige color leather. In general, the interior was nicer than the original model but still low grade for a $40+ K car.
    The X5 has clearly (and I mean clearly!) more luxurious interior and feel. I parked the two side by side with the doors open. Hands down, the X5 has a more plush interior for a few more thouands. X5, however, does not quite match the X3 in handling and agility. The softer suspension shows as it gives around the turns and stopping the car is not as easy as the X3 due to the heavier weight. But you do get a much smoother ride on a straight away. On take off, X5 holds it's own despite the heavier weight. I can't figure this out. Heavier car with the same engine feels as quick (could it be the torque?? Need to check the manual).

    Now here is the kicker. Every sales rep I've talked to is telling me they have been selling the X3 2.5 and not much of the X3 3.0. Even they think it would be silly to buy a loaded X3 3.0 over a X5! I think BMW is got a problem and I believe they will raise the price of the X5 to remedy this. Only time will tell.
  • Shap1, I love to give you my opinions about the FX35 vs X3. I also own a MDX (my wife driving), 318i (my son driving) and I am driving the RAV4. I like the FX35 acceleration and it feels and sounds like driving a sports car. I do not like the interior layout and design, particularly on the aluminium trim. It may look sporty to some but not to me. I like the wood trim all the way. The interior panel/plastic quality is average just like the X3 interior. The X3 has a very nice interior design and layout as well as the exterior look. It is a very pretty looking car. There is something about driving the BMW is the thrill of driving one and in fact, it's true that the handling and maneuverability are superb compared to other cars I own, Accord, MDX, RAV4, Regal, etc. The X3 driving experience is excellent, the cornering, the handling, the thrill. I drove quite a number of SUV/SAV including FX35, MDX, RX300, etc. The X3 driving experience is the best. Although I have some complaints about the X3 interior quality and the stiff ride. I think you understand what I mean since you own the 325i. Driving the X3 is very much like driving my 318i. It is fun to drive. Hope it helps. I will post this writing on the X3 forum as well.
  • Like many of you, I was very interested in the X3 after seeing the vehicle at last years auto shows. My wife's last two cars were BMW 330's. She currently has a 2003 model.

    I expected to buy an X3 when they arrived but did some comparisons against other capable SUVs. First I compared it to the X5. Like others have said there is only a $3K difference between an X5 and a 3.0 X3. When you added the options I wanted it was over $43K. I just didn't want an X5 because that body style has been around since 1999.

    When I went to the dealer to see their X3 after Thanksgiving, I was really sure I didn't want the X3 because of the lack of space and the looks. It appears too much like a station wagon and not very well appointed.

    Instead, I shopped around and bought a VW Touareg last week. V8 with 4.2L engine (same as Audi A8) and optioned equivalent to the X3 I priced for $39K plus tax. The VW is a real bargain and the handling is just as good as my wife's BMW 330i. More importantly, it is larger than the X5.
  • jjmanjjman Posts: 77
    "handling is just as good as my wife's BMW 330i"!!!!

    I had to read that again, are you sure? a 5000 lb suv handling as good as the best handling sedan around? I won't even say that about the x3!!

    One thing I will admit too is that the x5 does look pretty close to being a competitor to the x3 now that I look at what it comes with. I will still get the x3 though because it is lighter and smaller and fits my lifestyle more which is active.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    I also take a second look at the X3 based on phastphil's comments. I saw one with a wood trim and it did look nicer (the tinfoil trim is just awful). However, although the tan plastic looks better, I think it's exactly the same cheap material used in the demo models.

    In any case, I test drove it again and found it to be a great ride, but I also heard some rattling in the back. I thought the overall build quality of the X3 was excellent so I suspect that adding some liner to the plastic will kill the rattle.
  • furbyfurby Posts: 14
    Has anyone driven the X3 2.5i? When will it be available for test drive? I think it was pretty smart of BMW to release the 3.0 for test drive first. I think some people will be disappointed with the 2.5. Back in 2001 I test drove the 325i and ended up with the 330i because of the smooth delivery of power on hills and highways. The X3 2.5i weigh 782lbs more than the 325i. That would make the X3 even more sluggish. For anyone interested in the X3 2.5i, maybe he/she should test drive the 325i or xi wagon. The 325xi wagon is about 500lb less than the X3 2.5i.

    I test drove the X3 3.0i and I wouldn't say it handles like my BMW 330i \w sport pkg. It handles like a BMW but not the 330i.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    or a high luxury vehicle. It is not going to have the feel of a $70K Jaguar Vanden Plas, and I don't expect it to be a "performer", equipped with either engine. Unless you carry heavy loads, all the time opt for the 2.5L, and put the money you saved towards a used performance car.

    The X3 has been designed to give modest levels of luxury and sportiness, and is offered at a relatively modest price (for BMW). It has a relatively high level of content at a base price, compared to the competition. Any premium you pay can be considered to pay for the 4/50 warranty and maintenance you get with the vehicle. The X3 as every vehicle must be looked at as an "entire package", which compromises this for that. It is good at many things, but expert at none in my opinion. Just like a Swiss Army knife.

    I see how many of you want a high level of performance and luxury, but when you start doing that with this vehicle, pushing $40K+ with options, there are better choices. It is worth looking at if you stay around the $30K mark (after discount). Keep the finger off the Option Button.

    But if you want to pay the exorbitant prices for BMW's options feel free; it'll subsidize the base models for the rest of us, which are still optioned better than 90% of the cars on the road.
  • ksomanksoman Posts: 593
    is in theory targeted towards a certain sucker in the 6 odd billion people on the face of the planet. we are all suckers for whatever we buy. I am sure (as KD likes to say, even a hundai which offers better value for money than anything else) that the X3 is mighty great in its own respect and offers the right kind of satisfaction for its target audience. If i want to step up from the CRV suckerhood and dont care so much about land rover's mini ute, then X3 is a good contender for my suckerhood.

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    " am sure (as KD likes to say, even a hundai which offers better value for money than anything else)"

    That's it...I'm throwing in the towel...I'm turning the reins over to ksso. :)
  • ulepulep Posts: 63
    a guy said that cars really are a matter of taste. it just so happens that it's my taste. pretty happy with my purchase. specially w/ the $1,600 that i shave off from the sticker price. and i also like the feeling that i'm driving a car (for me it's a car cause it drives like one)that has one off the world most advance all wheel drive systems. and as an icing on the cake, not everybody has the x3. so ill be one of the few proud owners of this sav.
        i remembered when they first came out w/ the x5, people are laughing at bmw but it turned out it was one of the best suv out there. and now its happening again. oh well as i said before, knowing what you want is the most important thing. as for me, a $41K car can be bought but the piece of mind that my love ones is safe inside that car and the satisfaction that i feel for the x3 is priceless(like a credit card ad rigth :-})
        anyway HAPPY NEW YEAR to all off you guys and take it easy with the posts. damn, its like theres a brawl in here. peace
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