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  • robertvrobertv Posts: 33
    I am also interested in this information. I have a Sony MD player and I would love to be able to hook it up to the stereo and controll it much like the iPod adapter. Any advice?
  • gfourgfour Posts: 13
    Thanks, I used the wrong term. I didn't order it, I put my name on one in transit to NC port. I'll live with it this time. Glad to hear the ride is a bit less jarring than the '04 and even though I loved the Recaro's in my M3, they get damaged from blue jean buttons, etc. Hard for an old man to get in and out gracefully, I guess.
  • Hello everyone. I am looking at purchasing an X3 in the next month or so. From the posts I have been reading here I don't exactly know what to think sometimes. I read about creaks and howls and sensors not working. Do we have more complaints than raving reviews of this car? I remember when I was researching the purchase of my 3-series in 2001 that board was mainly full of praise about the car. Opinions?

  • robertvrobertv Posts: 33
    I can understand your conerns about what you've read on this forum as it had me a little worried as well. But in the end I think it has mainly to do with first model year problems. Most of the creaks, howls and sensor problems seem to be associated with the 2004 models. You don't seem to hear as many complaints about the 2005 models but I'm sure a few minor glitches still linger. When test driving the X3 I had these complaints in mind and could not duplicate them. I never heard a squeak on the doors, I went on the highway with the moon roof open and didn't hear a howl and overall thought the vehicle was worthy of my hard earned cash. The 2005 models also have some subtle upgrades that I think add up to a more professional appearance than the 2004 models. The door handles inside are nowmade of a brushed metal as opposed to plastic and the bottom door sill has a metal lining with the BMW logo.

    As a side note on the complaints of the howling sound, this is just simple physics. With pretty much any car you if you lower just the rear windows you will get a howling sound but once you crack one of the front windows thw sound will go away. It's the same with the moonroof. I've heard that in the first open position you don't hear the howling sound but when its completely open you get the howling sound until you crack open one of the rear windows and the sound goes away. Cracking the window gives the wind somewhere to escape rather than creating the bottle top like effect that causes the howling sound.
  • jeffkieljeffkiel Posts: 48
    I have had my 2005 3.0i for 2.5 months, just over 2000 miles and no complaints at all. The SAV drives like a dream, no problems.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Call us obsessive complusive and fussy test drivers (my wife and me) -- but we did indeed test the X3 extensively over more than one visit to the dealer and we tested both manual and automatics, sport and non sport equipped versions (we ONLY tested 3.0 engine versions, however).

    We could not believe the difference between the stick and auto -- two completely different cars, with the stick the car drove like, well, a BMW. With the auto, left in auto mode, the transmission could never seem to stay in any one gear for more than 5 seconds without either up or down shifting -- once we got to the Interstate this behavior pretty much went away. My friend with an X5 3.0 exclusively drives his in manu-matic mode to prevent the hunting behavior.

    Ultimately, we had the choice down to a new A4 3.2 or the BMW X3 3.0 -- equipped as she wanted each "car" the price came out to be Audi 3.2 $44K and BMW X3 3.0 $46K.

    The Bimmer lease with no up fronts (OK, $250 "down") was $581 per month for 36 months @ 15K miles per year, the Audi was $684 same terms.

    The BMW as ordered:

    Jet Black Gloss
    Terracotta Leather
    Premium Package
    Sport Package
    Winter Package
    Upgraded Sound System
    F+R Parktronic
    Sat Nav
    Sirius Sat Radio
    (Bluetooth and BMW Tele-Assist were part of a package).

    We were able to drive an X3 3.0 with premium, sport, winter with a sitck shift and were impressed how close it felt to the A4 in terms of handling. The 18" wheels and tires on the X3 (with the sport suspension and sport seats) may have improved the ride and handling to offset the "SAV" nature of the Bimmer sufficiently.

    Frankly, I think it was the stick shift that my wife was drawn to and the lack of a stick in the Audi that pushed her away. Of course there was that little matter of the Audi being $103 per month more for a car that cost $2000 MSRP less.

    Funny, we have been playing "spot the X3" for about 3 weeks and have found NONE with the sport package (tell tale sign, the 18" wheels and the fancier trim bits) -- we assume they must be 2004's since the 2004 was criticized for being too stiff, so much so that BMW revamped the suspension in May after only being on the market for five months.

    Drive one of these guys with the sport set up and a manual -- if the deals are still on for this thing, you will be grinning all the time you are behind the wheel.
  • I know BMW recommends 91 octane gas for the 3.0L, but with gas going up and up, has anyone used 89 or 87 octane with any success?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,315
    a few things about premium gas in BMWs:

    BMW engineers are smart people, they say to use premium gas, then use it. They're not in Kahootz with the oil companies.

    If you don't use premuim gas, the car's knock sensors will detect a lower grade of gas being used and therefore reduce power output. If that is the case, then save some cash and go for the 2.5i. You will notice the car's acceleration leaning toward the sluggish side and the fuel economy dwindle.

    You're spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $40K for an X3 3.0i, is the extra $.20 per gallon going to kill you? It is like the people who run out and spend $5K extra on an Accord Hybrid so they cdan save a few cents per gallon at the pump.

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

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,603
    Use premium...


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • Personally, I don't think that there is nothing wrong with using mid-grade or regular gas. I also agree, as has been posted, that you will lose power with the lower grade gas. BMW engineers recommend premium for a reason and I trust what they say. Especially BMW engineers. However, you will not be causing any damage to your engine if that is what you are asking.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    All true, all true -- but there are multiple essays, here and elsewhere, that demonstrate that is costs MORE MONEY to use regular when the car is designed for premium.

    The phrase used is false economy.

    The X3 3.0's on our dealer's lots range in price from $37 to $47K -- @ 1000 gallons per year, that is $200 annually.

    I certainly understand wanting to pay less -- heck I applaud that. But the heck of it is it will not save money to use lower grade gas. It may even cost more.

    What is for certain is that the engine will perform with less vigor, shall we say.

    You will attempt to compensate for this loss of power by depressing the go pedal a bit further.

    Tough it out, you can afford it. Indeed, you cannot afford not to use Prem.
  • beemcitybeemcity Posts: 50
    Just use premium folks. You've spent this much on the car, why not give it the proper fuel to get it to perform like you expected. I've experimented with putting mid grade, regular and premium. Hands down I can notice the difference when I put premium gas in it, it just feels and drives better - like a BMW should.
  • Thank you, just what I was looking for, someone who had tried it and good advice.

  • x3for3x3for3 Posts: 25
    Anybody knows what " audio-text " is?

    Is this the same as cd-text ? Is the cd supposed to show song title and artist when playing? I have tried doing this but screen only showed track number.

    Can someone tell me how this is done or how this works? Or a program needed?

  • beemcitybeemcity Posts: 50
    04 X3 3.0, when I'm adjusting the bass, treble, etc, after balance and fad, there is another option that shows up : "TONE LIN?", what does this mean and is it something adjustable?

    One small gripe, maybe I haven't figured out how to see this, but when playing cd's, you can't see the track minute information, meaning how long a given track is and how much has expired, etc. Is there a way to see this? I have only been able to toggle back/forth between the time display and track number display.

  • I am preparing to order the X3 3.0i and am debating the Premium Audio option. I enjoy listening to everything from classic rock to classical Bach, sometimes at concert levels. Is the standard audio capable, or for the money, is the premium setup worth it? It's fairly expensive for what on the surface seems like minor upgrades. As I understand it, the basic system has subwoofers built in.

    Any opinions out there?
  • beemcitybeemcity Posts: 50
    I can't speak to the performance of the premium sound system, it was somethign I considered, since I spend a lot of time in my car and love music, all kinds, just like you do. But ultimately the premium option was too expensive for what you got.

    However, I can speak to the performance of the standard system and it's very nice. Granted I came from driving a toyota camry, but at home it's bose and other high end equipment and the x3's system didn't dissapoint in terms of sound quality for me, but I did have gripes with the user friendliness and what seems lack of track information while a cd is playing - something that is standard in most cars.

    You won't get too much bottom end out of the standard system but you will get great track/channel separation on the front left/right speakers if you like that type of thing. I am overall really happy with the system, love cranking it up but just wish it was more user-friendly.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Test drove one with and one without -- huge difference. The lease payment difference was about $6 per month on a 36 month 15K lease. I thought it was well worth it.

    I currently have a 2003 Audi allroad with the Bose "upgraded" system.

    A. I think the Audi system is better than the standard BMW system

    B. I think the upgraded BMW system is better than the upgraded Audi system

    C. I think they (both) cost more than they ought to.

    D. We listen to lots of music and books on CD -- while it doesn't make much difference on the books, it does on the music -- hence it was worth it.

    E. We ordered Sirius Sat Radio and wanted the best it could be delivered in the car.

    The X3 3.0, as configured was MSRP'd at $46K and change. The difference was fairly minor -- no money down, 36 months, 45K lease, $581 per month (that includes the tax).

    Ordered the car March 18th, 2005. Hope to have it sometime in June.

    Every time, previously, I have "chinzted out" on a feature like an upgraded stereo, I have regretted it. My wife (me too) could really hear the difference (we always take CD's with us on the test drives).

    The margin must be fairly high, since the deal was good.

    We went back and added Servotronic to our order ($250) after reading how it "truly transformed" the car -- seemed too cheap to pass up if the auto journalists were accurate in their assessment of the "transformation."

    The releveance of this last comment was to suggest how we had initially felt that Servotronic was just a way to get another $250 out of us -- reading about the feature changed our mind (the dealer didn't even push it, but when we said we wanted it, her eyes lit up and she told us how it would improve the drive of the car.) Of course we ordered the Sport Package which the early tests of the X3 poo-pooed. Later tests were much more favorable about the SP (after the recalibration of the X3's suspension post May 2004.)
  • Every time, previously, I have "chinzted out" on a feature like an upgraded stereo, I have regretted it.

    I agree. Years ago I decided no matter what to order the biggest engine and best stereo in whatever car I was buying. Here I am again re-thinking that position. By my calculation on an outright purchase, the upgraded audio makes an $11/mo. difference. Not really a huge deal.
  • idagornidagorn Posts: 5
    I must be the only non north american bmw driver on this forum-very interesting by the way-;I chose to answer your message because it dealt with gas mileage
    I drive an X3 Diesel (yes I know diesel isn't exactly popular in the US)
    I get 30mpg out of the 204HP turbo diesel 6 cyl engine (over a period of 20000km) considering the price of the car ($60000+) in France -and just about the same in most european countries- I think you Americans are lucky when it comes to buying automobiles: big choice of models, "cheap" gas, and reasonable prices if you take the wage/price ratio into account
    just hope this little note helps bring an outsider's view about what I consider a great SUV
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    I think we would love to have the current crop of turbo diesels that are avail elsewhere -- our poor fuel quality is about to come to an end and I would suspect that our soon to be $3.00 per gallon gas will be a heafty motive to move to diesel.

    BTW, I read that Europe actually exports gas to the US because it is more profitable than selling it to EU customers. I also read that minus taxes we pay more for the PRODUCT than some of the European countries that export gas to the US. Is this true?

    You do, since a dollar is a dollor or a Euro is a Euro pay more out of pocket for petrol than we do -- but I suspect we are on the cost rise more steeply than some other countries. And, all in all that may be a good thing to allow us to have access to all the cars that we can only look at when we visit Europe.

    I, for one, would love to have a super high torque medium HP diesel (turbo) car -- I drove the Audi A4 2.5TD with a 6speed manual -- "only 180HP, at the time" but the torque was waaaayyyy more impressive.

    Color me envious of your diesel X3.
  • haakonhaakon Posts: 24
    Could X3 owners please share their experience on gas mileage for "pure" city driving and "pure" highway driving? It would be helpful if you could specify whether you have the auto or stick and 2.5 or 3.0.

  • vmerchvmerch Posts: 2
    I own a 2004 X3, 2.5. I get 28.6 on the highway (no stopping), and 18 in the city. I live in Chicago, so the city mileage reflects a lot of gridlock.

    On a separate topic - I am considering getting the Ipod accessory cable to play through the stereo. Does anyone have any experience with this? Do you have to go to the dealership? Cost? Worth it?

  • haakonhaakon Posts: 24

    Thanks for the info. I'm surprised that you get that good mileage as it is higher than the estimates (which I believe are 17mpg and 23 mpg). Do you have auto or stick? Have you been happy w. the car?

  • vmerchvmerch Posts: 2
    I was pleasantly suprised also. I have the steptronic automatic. I am very happy with the car. I have 13K on the car, and have only had the passenger cupholder fixed (wouldn't open) and a rattle checked out in the back (the jack was loose). Other than that, it's been great. I always stayed away from buying a SUV because of the bad mileage. My X3 gets better than the Mercedes C230 that I had before!
  • whchanwhchan Posts: 5
    '05 3.0 AT

    City Only: 14.5 to 15.5 mpg
    Highway Only: 24mpg at 60 mph, 21 at 70-80 mph
  • haakonhaakon Posts: 24
    Thanks for the info. Have you otherwise been happy w. the car?
  • Is anyone aware of BMW plans to bring their diesel versions to the US Market?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    . . .I have not clue one. However, I keep reading about the new US fuel standards that will apparently be in effect in 2006.

    It is our fuel (both gas and diesel) that seems to be a problem -- e.g., we can't actually take full advantage of the Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) technology currently offered by Audi -- so we have the FSI name, but we change it to Fuel Straight Injection because technically we can't fully utilize the true capability of FSI. Major good diesels from Germany keep being produced -- engines that are cleaner than ever, quieter and less detectable than ever and with enormous power and torque -- with diesel reliability, longentivity and economy.

    We clearly have some problems here -- Bush says we need more oil from the Saudi's -- they, in turn, correctly point out that pumping out extra supply will not create gasoline at the pumps unless we increase our refining capacity. We apparently can't (or haven't yet) produced the cleanest possible gasoline and diesel so we can't take advantage of both the economics and the technology that apparently is available elsewhere.

    We have GM losing over one billion dollars and then finding themselves recalling almost two million cars -- then there are the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans and anyone in the EU that cares to produce a car competing with our beleaguered automotive manufacturers.

    It would be simple to say let Adam Smith do his thing (which ultimately "he" will do, after all) -- but this is starting to become serious. GM all by itself is 1% of the US economy. And, I heard that for every 1 GM employee there are 9 jobs that are "not GM" in the US.

    The LA Times publishes an apparently less than hunky dory review of the new Pontiac G6 and GM pulls $10M in advertising and on and on.

    I, for one, am getting worried.

    OK, so our fuel is cleaned up -- what next? Will the big 3 (or 4) Germans bring their diesels to the US -- I sure hope so. But, does Detroit have some diesels that will play in a Cadillac like a BMW diesel or an Audi diesel will play in one of their cars?

    Who knows.

    I'll bet that German diesel cars are coming soon to North American, FWIW.
  • idagornidagorn Posts: 5
    diesel X3
    I bought an X3 turbo diesel here in France in March 2004 ;3.0L 204HP engine. so far I've done 17000miles without any problems at all and I get 30mpg which is about twice as much as you get with your gas guzzlers; most people here wouldn't dream of buying a SUV with a gas engine;and now you can get your X3 with the smaller 2L 150HP turbo diesel (4 cyl) for a more reasonable price.Of course the noise is just a bit higher at idle but hardly more noticeable on the road, and the toooorque!
    hope diesel engines some day make it to the US market;they are now far from being as "dirty" as some people would have us believe! and so much more economical to run!
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