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2007 BMW X3

bosi77bosi77 Member Posts: 37
edited March 2014 in BMW


  • rickgarrickgar Member Posts: 8
    Any idea on availability and when pricing will be announced?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    My dealer rep, said "insignificant" $ change (but of course higher $) due to the fact that "content" is a bit higher.

    We'll see.

    That tracks with my belief of what OUGHT to happen, but my belief is NOT based on FACT, just past experience, which, as we all know, is no guarantee of future performance.

  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    According to BMWUSA's Aug. 1 press release on PR Newswire, the X3's sales volume has been tailing off in recent months.

    I'm rounding off here, but Jan-Jul '06 sales were close to 12,000 X3's. That's significantly DOWN compared to the almost 14,000 X3's sold between Jan-Jul '05.

    So even if BMW slightly increases the MSRP for the new '07, it's possible that buyers will still see a slight DECREASE in the actual sales price, if BMW wants to maintain the X3's sales volume, particularly now that more and more (cheaper) alternatives -- like the Acura RDX -- are being introduced in the small, sport SAV segment.
  • timmbojtimmboj Member Posts: 123
    BMW is showing 26 mpg highway for their 2007 X3. I guess thats a pretty decent increase over MY2006 -- especially with all those extra horses!
  • driver100driver100 Member Posts: 31,759
    I have had my 2004 X3 for just over 2 years, I have about 25,000 miles on it, and I really like it a lot. Love the handling, the room inside, the styling, the driving position with big windows, the safety features, and much more.

    I am wondering if I would buy another one. I am getting a little older each year, and I am wondering if I wouldn't prefer a little more luxury and a smoother ride next time. Thinking along the idea of a BMW 3 or 5 estate wagon. I need the room of a wagon so I think I would go that route. Probably better gas mileage too.

    I am not totally decided about this yet and I'd have to try a few cars out. Maybe the RDX would be more suitable. I think I would also like to try an Audi 4 probably in a wagon. (my wife has a MB C Class wagon and it is a really nice car, and she prefers it to the X3, but I prefer the X3 to the MB)

    Any thoughts?????

    2017 MB E400 , 2015 MB GLK350, 2014 MB C250

  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Try driving the new X3 -- it is much smoother, a bit quieter and overall even more comfortable, even WITH the sport suspension.

    The new interior is a move upscale, too.

    The new 6 speed auto is a smooooooooooth dream come true when hooked to the new 260HP engine.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Member Posts: 1,798
    The X3 is interesting, but it seems there is less support offered by the importer, and more reliance on dealers for resolution than with other brands. This seems to be a trend with most Euro importers, btw.

    Do BMW owners find that to be true, or am I misreading the posts?

    Also, have any 2007 owners run across the body panel creaking that cropped up in the X3's 2006 forums?
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    how many X3 owners or potential owners have, or would not hesitate to buy, an X3 with the leatherette interior? We have it in our Mini, and to me, it's a fabulous, low-maintenance, durable material, that would really work well in an SUV, or SAV, or a vehicle with any utilitarian function. With a leather interior, I cringe everytime my kids jump in with their rain-soaked jackets and gears. The only stigma, I suppose, is having, essentially, a vinyl interior in such an upscale vehicle.
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    I wanted to go with leatherette, but in the '06 X3's, the leatherette was AWFUL compared to the 3 series leatherette. (I think because production is outsourced to Magna-Steyr, there are a number of respects in which the quality of materials in the X3 lags behind the sedans -- leatherette being one, the dashboard instrumentation being another.)

    Anyway, the '06 X3 leatherette had shiny accents that looked and felt like nylon fabric and were an absolute 'no go' for my spouse. Total cr*p.

    If, on the other hand, we were looking now and discovered that the '07 X3 now has leatherette of the same quality as in the 3 series -- which is nearly indistinguishable in appearance from leather -- we would choose it for exactly the sorts of reasons bobdle identified. With two kids and two dogs to haul around, a low maintenance material that handles water better than leather is perfect.

    And I had a great experience with the leatherette in my 91 3 series convertible. It was aesthetically unappealing by current standards, but for a car I took to the beach and routinely got into while still damp and sandy -- and for a car I once left the top down on overnight through a thunderstorm -- it held up great.

    All that said, we are quite pleased with the Montana leather interior we wound up with in our '06 X3. Non-parents and non-dogowners might be surprised at how quickly the cheerios and fur pile up, but the X3 leather has been remarkably durable, easy to clean, and resistant to abuse.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    "...that the '07 X3 now has leatherette of the same quality as in the 3 series..."

    Is this a confirmed fact?

    BTW, is the leather seats on the X3 only for the seating surfaces, and the rest of it still the leatherette?
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    Ummm...did you miss the big "IF" at the beginning of that sentence?

    My spouse and I looked at '06 X3's. The leatherette then in the X3 was DISTINCTLY inferior to the leatherette in the 3-series. Because it was so cr*ppy, with shiny "nylon" accents, we DIDN'T consider it.

    What I then said was that IF we were currently in the market now that the '07
    X3's are out and learned that BMW has put the superior 3-series leatherette in the X3, we would consider buying it.

    But we were in the market last December, not this November, and it's not something we lose any sleep over. I suppose next month when I take the X3 in for service, I might spend a moment in the showroom looking at BMW's newer models, but it's not a priority.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    I saw the IF. I just wasn't sure if you were referring to if the '07 has the superior leatherette, or if you were in the market now.

    So I guess the answer to my previous question is "no" -- it has not been confirmed that the '07 now has the upgraded leatherette. :)
  • shikemshikem Member Posts: 7
    The 07 most definitely has nicer leatherette.
    The sensitec material on the sides is gone.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    "The sensitec material on the sides is gone."

    Thank God! ;)
  • driver100driver100 Member Posts: 31,759
    The X3 is interesting, but it seems there is less support offered by the importer,

    I find this to be very true. I love my 2004 X3 with about 22,000 miles on it but my power windows won't go down in really cold weather. The dealer tried to fix it but couldn't. Head office has no interest in my situation, and I think it is a safety issue.

    I would conside a 3 or 5 series wagon probably (I need the cargo space) or maybe an RDX if this continues to be a problem this winter. There aren't too many vehicles I would consider but possibly the new Freelander and an Audi A4 or MB wagon are possibilities.

    I doubt if head office acts in most cases. They just had a guy on TV who had about 80,000 miles on his Honda minivan and the transmission just disintegrated. Head office ignored him until they put his story on national (Canada) television. I can't think of any manufacturer who really gets involved at a head office level these days. The current quarterly reports have become so important, car companies can't go back and work on a money losing problem.

    2017 MB E400 , 2015 MB GLK350, 2014 MB C250

  • nevcoolnevcool Member Posts: 22
    I'm looking at the 2007 X3 and the 2007 328xit. I like them both. Does anyone have a stong opinion either way?

  • blundblund Member Posts: 6
    Hi all.

    I was looking to get the navigational system in the X3. Does anyone have any views on the quality of the system and if it has been upgraded recently?


  • cadreamncadreamn Member Posts: 56
    Anyone have any real-world MPG to report yet on the 2007 X3? Also, does anyone have any specifics on the hands-free bluetooth option? - does it provide the ability to dial a number by voice hands-free? does it display incoming phone numbers via the dashboard display? etc.
  • nevcoolnevcool Member Posts: 22

    The I Drive navigation system offers Traffic Updates while the X3's doesn't.

    I'll be interested if you learn anything with regard to iPod intergration and/or Satellite and the X3 Navigation System. Do song names appear on the Nav Screen?
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    That's interesting because I was comparing the exact same 2 models myself. The X3 would be a little more expensive, but I would opt for the X3. The X3 has more rear-seat room. And if I were to get AWD, primarily for the snow, then I may as well get more ground clearance to maximize snow performance. The 3-series sedans and wagons are really low-slung. I think they would get hung up on even moderate snow levels. :sick:
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    Garmin products fit very nicely inside the compartment in the top center of the X3 dash. I wouldn't bother with the BMW system.

    Not only are Garmins FAR cheaper, they are more user friendly with better map sets (that are cheaper to update annually), they can be moved from vehicle to vehicle, and they are available with instant traffic updates.

    The Garmin screen is smaller than most OEM Navs, but that hasn't been a problem in my experience.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Just on the newsstand:

    How to Choose a Navigation System: Built-in or Portable? (Inside Line)
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Our X3 is an all optioned 2005. We have, recently, test driven the 2007.

    The new 2007 X3 does NOT offer voice anything. When you press the phone button on the steering wheel, however, you can see the phone book on the Nav display, scroll through it and select a number via toggles on the steering wheel.

    The dealer rep, the dealer's iDrive guru was surprised that many of the iDrive features did NOT make it to the newly freshened X3.

    The Nav works very well, but must be completely manually programmed. The integration, however, is great and as a contrarian point of view it is this integration that makes it far more appealing than any aftermarket "portable" device.

    That is to say, read the article above and "to each his/her own."

    IF the X3 were to have voice control of the phone ("dial number," etc.) like the 5 wagon and nothing else (was voice controlled) it would be nearly perfect IMHO. I would want CD and radio control added and of course some "navigate to" functionality would be a plus, but less needed as far as I'm concerned (I have a 2005 Audi with voice and radio, CD and telephone are very important considering the number of buttons and dials and knobs one would have to deal with without voice -- but then again, the X3 is more or less traditional in that respect.)

    The power, transmission (auto) and new interior of the 2007 are wonderful upgrades if you asked me. Moreover, a $50,000+ X3 can be leased for $580 for 36 months /45K miles with no money down at present. And, at $50K this car, more expensive than an RDX, to be sure, is, after all a sports sedan at heart.

    I hope BMW adds a smart key and voice control (with or without iDrive, I care not) -- AND keeps the super subvented leases going. Our lease is up in about 16 months!

  • 2plus12plus1 Member Posts: 2
    Hi all. My wife and I are having our first child and I am beginning to look for a new vehicle for my wife to be our baby hauler. Can anyone provide some feedback on how the X3 performs in this role?
    * Does it have enough room for running errands around town and carrying all the requisite baby gear?
    * Does it have enough room for two adults and baby to take a 500 mile road trip to visit family?
  • monkstermannmonkstermann Member Posts: 27
    RE: "a $50,000 + X3 can be leased for $580 for 36 months/45K (1250 per mo) w/no money down @ present."
    Is this a nationwide thing or only in your area??? When did it become offered?? Is it on the BMW of North America website? I need more info. Because if that's true I doubt if the RDX will be in my gunsights anymore!!!! Initially looked @ X3 but salesman didn't offer that, albeit it was two weeks ago.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Member Posts: 357
    * Does it have enough room for two adults and baby to take a 500 mile road trip to visit family?

    I had my son, his gear (all of a diaper bag and a few toys and snacks, all of which fit in a backpack, and sometimes stroller) and make runs to commissary that was about 240 miles away once a month or so in our 95 Integra (this was in Germany). I had to use the other back seat for the groceries sometimes, but I think you can certainly make it work in an X3. I did the same run later with our 2002 530 as well, which still has less cargo room than the X3.
  • drjcool1drjcool1 Member Posts: 45
    Just picked up 2007 X3 - Long Island
    Premium, privacy glass, heated seats, xenon, metallic paint;
    1232 out of pocket; 565/month (including NYS taxes) for 2 year lease at 15k/year: Very happy with it!
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Consider posting details of your deal in BMW X3: Prices Paid & Buying Experience. Thanks!

    tidester, host
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250

    When my mother-in-law is visiitng with us, my wife and I take many trips that include her mother. With 3 adults, I find the X-3 provides more than enough room. And its much easier for my mother-in-law to get in and out of the back seat of the X3 than my 330Xi.

  • rickgarrickgar Member Posts: 8
    I've noticed in my part of the Chicago area, dealer inventories seem very low on the 07s, 2-3 cars per dealer. This compares to about 8-10 that I was seeing on 2006's from mid summer on. Is it pretty much the practice on BMW's to buy a car off an incoming shipment or will the inventory situation improve next year - maybe the problem is that a lot of the inventory coming in is pre-sold.

    Interesting to note that my local Acura dealer has 30 RDXs on the lot.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Build time is less than 8 weeks. The deal can be made, the car ordered and when the car exactly as you want comes in there are no surprises.

    Taxes may change the price on a new X3, but a $50K version with $2500 cap cost reduction by/from THE DEALER will be in the $580 range per month 36 months 45K miles -- you pay the sales tax, in real time or in one lump. You pay the sales tax only on the sum of the lease payments if you pay in one lump as is now required in a few states. The deals on the X3 have to do with very high residuals and fairly low money factors. If you can get more than 5% off MSRP, you may do better, you may do worse if you are unaware of the current deals -- subject to change at a moment's notice.

    Four adults can fit in the X3 with greater comfort than a 3 and nearly the same as a 5. Five people can make a 50 mile trip as long as they are not of exceptional "hips."

    The rear seat of the X3 is one of its draws, since it is larger than a car based on a 3 series would be expected to be.

    The car, speaking of leases, in the example above, had even the 19" wheel and tire option, which personally speaking I think looks great but loses the all season tires in favor of summer only tires.

    Much as I hate to say it, I would probably stick with the sport package as is, which I had also configured to come up with the slightly north of $50K price.
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    I have two kids under three. Our 2006 X3 has both a forward-facing and a rear-facing Britax Roundabout. With both babyseats installed, we can still fit a Graco doublestroller (folded flat) in the back, along with TONS of other baby gear.

    (FWIW, the X3 worked fine with the Graco "bucket" and "base" that you use to haul newborns around in before they transition to carseats.)

    The X3 is perfect for trips around town. In fact, it works just fine for trips of up to a couple of hours when the kids can be expected to be satisfied napping, playing, drinking from bottles/cups with just moderate interaction with the front seat passengers.

    For long hauls, though, it becomes more important for my wife to be able to move in and out of the backseat between the car seats so she can provide some more active attention to the kids. There isn't a comfortable amount of space for her in the back of the X3 between two carseats, so we generally take her XC90, which is wider. But if we had only 1 child/carseat, the X3 would be just fine for long haul trips, too, because she'd have a spot in the back when she needed it. Even with the full complement of babygear, we could add a couple of small rolling suitcases and other bags without any problem.

    And I can tell you this. The X3 is MUCH more fun to drive than the XC90. And the '07 should be even better, with the more powerful engine and improved interior.
  • 2plus12plus1 Member Posts: 2

    Thanks for the real world information on having the X3 with kids! It is much appreciated. The XC90 is another suv we are considering, along with the Honda Pilot, but neither seem to be as fun to drive, and call me naive, but I don't think we need that much space for one child. So, that's one more check mark next to the X3.

  • wls1wls1 Member Posts: 1
    I live in the south howeverever I am relocating to a very snowy area up north. I am about to purchase the X3. Will the X3 Sport Package with 18' all season tires work in a snowy icy area or is it better to get the X3 with the non sport package due to the conditions in up state New York. I have heard very mixed opinions and I have no idea if the 18" tires will be safe in snow and ice.
  • drjcool1drjcool1 Member Posts: 45
    First off I LOVE my new 2007 X3. I am a big Lexus and Acura fan but for me, the X3 blew away the RDX big time.

    Question #1 - This if my first German car since I owned Mercedes in the 1980's. I notice significant hesitation when first applying pressure to the accelerator. I vaguely recall a similar experience with my last Mercedes E class. Is this typical, or should I bring it in for service?

    Question #2 - While I know that premium fuel is called for, can I use regular? If I do, will I notice a real difference in performance or gas mileage?

    Any thoughts and comments are appreciated! Happy new year to all!!!!!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    #1 This is not typical. This COULD be the learning transmission, but still this just doesn't seem right.

    #2 The compression ratio of the engine is the reason for the Premium fuel requirement. The engine management computer will retard the spark to somewhat compensate for the pre-ignition that would happen if you use regular. The result of this compensation is a reduction of power and gas mileage.

    If your mission is to spend more money, have lower power and run "close to the edge" of pre-ignition (which left unchecked would damage your engine -- but I said "close" to the edge), then go with regular.

    This will cost about $3 or $4 per tankful MORE if you go the way the car was built (i.e., you use premium.)

    Regular gas has "less engergy" as far as this engine is concerned. So while it may cost a few dollars more to fill it up with Premium, it is a "false economy" to use regular.

    I would take another X3 out for a test drive re the hesitattion issue. Then make certain you bring your concern to the HEAD technical person the one with all the certificates on the wall. . . .

    I did make an assumption: you went with the autotrans. Not that that makes you a bad person. :surprise:
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    The sport pkg comes with 18" all season tires; the non-sport pkg version, too, offers all season tires.

    This is not meant to spark a debate on all season tires vs summer only vs winter vs snow tires. Some folks think all season tires a effectively "no season tires."

    The BMW X3 comes with H rated (not UHP tires that is) all seasons. They are designed for, apparently, low noise and long treadwear -- then they are designed to withstand the cold temps without going all brittle on you.

    They offer slightly more traction "capability" in the snow, none, as far as I can tell, on ice (but this is not exactly new news, eh?) An X3 in moderate snow areas with the sport package will be fine. It would be better, of course, if it had dedicated "winter" and "summer" tires.

    Most folks "slide by" with all season tires year round. The sport package is a nice addition to this car. I assume up state NY offers road clearing services to the taxpayers?

    If so, the times you would wish for winter tires may be very limited indeed.

    If you are concerned about this, however, you may consider 4 wheels with high performance winter tires perhaps of a -0 (minus zero) configuration or even a -1 (minus one) configuraion.

    In the former case the wheel size stays at 18", in the latter it drops to 17" -- in both cases the tread width is reduced and the sidewall will grow taller. If this concept is a consideration, please check out one of the on line retailers (Tirerack leaps to mind) for their explanation of the what when and why of "minus" sizing for winter.
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    Answer #1 - I wouldn't describe my X3 as having "significant hestitation" when I press the throttle. It falls somewhere between my mid-90s C280 Sport which had very SLOW throttle tip-in, and family members' Hondas, Acuras & Toyotas which have very FAST throttle tip-in. The suggestion that you test drive another X3 and see if there's a marked difference from your own X3 is a good one.

    Answer #2 - YES, YES, YES, you can use regular. Under full-throttle acceleration or if you hold the engine near the hp/torque peaks up around 6,000 rpms, you MIGHT notice a performance difference. In typical driving, it's imperceptible. As for the suggestion that you'll spend more on regular because you'll get worse fuel economy, I'd say "prove it." My own experience is that there's a negligible difference between mileage with 87 and 93 octane tanks. (What IS very noticeable is the difference between tanks where my wife does most of the driving and tanks where I do most of the driving; driving style matters far more than octane.) All that being said, more often than not, we'll put 93 in the tank.

    Happy New Year to you, too.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    While you can put regular in the tank, the car is designed to run on much higher octane.

    If you are leasing the car and you plan to ditch it before 50,000 miles, and I guess you could use regular and let the next guy live with whatever consequences there may be.

    Ask the techs, write a letter or email to the mfgr, look into this as independently as possible.

    Premium gas requirements don't impress me and generally most people wouldn't know. Why require it then?

    The reason for doing this is what? To make your customers pay for something that is not needed?

    Over a thousand gallons the difference would typically be $200. This amount is hardly a show stopper at least at this price point.

    I would be happy to use mid grade or regular, but I have read enough and talked to the techs enough to believe everyone couldn't all buy into an elaborate lie.

    Here's a suggestion, why don't we all lobby BMW to quit claiming we need premium even if it is just to save a few bucks?

    I would never urge someone to NOT follow the mfgr's published specs for fuel, oil, or any other fluids for that matter.

    It may seem OK to use regular, but most of the evidence and comments from the pros suggest that the mfgr's guidance should be heeded.
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    Mark --

    The words BMW chooses to use are significant. There is a difference between "recommend" and "require," and BMW's engineers and lawyers are smart enough to understand that difference. So when they write in the 2006 X3 Driver's Reference Guide that the use of 91 octane is "recommended" you should take that at face value.

    BMW -- like many companies -- tends to go WAY overboard in providing warnings in its product material so it doesn't have to deal with unhappy customers. The X3 manual even warns owners: "Do not remove the covers [of the LED's], and never stare into the unfiltered light for several hours, as irritation of the retina could result."

    Now, Mark, in the real world, which do you think would be the more likely problem? Owners filling up with 87 octane -- which you suggest will cause engine damage -- and insisting on expensive replacements under warranty? Or owners disassembling their dashboards and staring "into the unfiltered light for "several hours"?

    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, Mark, but reasonable people will appreciate that that BMW's engineers and lawyers know their product better than you do. Bottom line, THEY don't "require" the use of premium unleaded fuel.


    And if you want yet more 'expert' opinion, consider what the service manager of one of the east coast's largest Mercedes dealerships told the Washington Post back not too long ago:

    "It's not going to hurt anything," said Peter Gregori, service manager for EuroMotorcars, a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Bethesda. In fact, Gregori has been using regular gas in one of his own Mercedes cars for two years, and "it's perfect," he said .... Among cars that come in for service, Gregori said, he can't tell which have been sipping premium."

    And the article concluded:

    "Automotive experts say using regular gas in most vehicles does no damage and makes no discernible difference in performance. Cars made in the past 15 years have such highly refined computer controls that the engine will adjust to the grade of octane in the gasoline, even in cars sold as requiring premium gasoline. Some drivers -- in some cars under some driving conditions -- may notice a drop in horsepower, but for most people behind the wheel, it wouldn't be enough to notice, the experts say."


    And, finally, Mark, take a deep breath, because no one but you has suggested that the "recommendation" that drivers use premium is, as you put it in your post, an "elaborate lie."

    The use of 91 octane fuel permits manufacturers to achieve and, more importantly, report in brochures, higher peak horsepower and peak torque numbers, which matters ENORMOUSLY in marketing.

    Take a look for example, at the footnotes in the performance specifications on the Lexus website for any sedan. "Ratings achieved using the required premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher. If premium fuel is not used, performance will decrease."
  • davidc1davidc1 Member Posts: 168
    I generally agree but still use premium if it's recommended. On the otherhand, if your car is designed to run on 87 octane, you could damange the car by using premium.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    "On the otherhand, if your car is designed to run on 87 octane, you could damange the car by using premium."

    Really? :confuse: :surprise:
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Try a search for "detonation" or "premium" for posts like this one that discuss some of the various problems that running premium in a car tuned for regular gas can cause:

    shipo, "What about fuel types & gas mileage?" #228, 9 May 2006 5:36 pm

    It is funny you never see "regular gas required" in the manuals.

    Skip back up about 10 posts above the one linked for the start of that thread, including Shifty's great quote that there's a "common misconception that premium fuel is some kind of "doggie treat" for your car."
  • davidc1davidc1 Member Posts: 168
    This is based on my belief that modern cars designed to run best on higher octane fuel have built in knock sensors that will retard the ignition timing. But cars designed to run on regular do not have a mechanism to advance the timing in the event that higher octane is used. What would they use to sense the higher octane when there's no knocking? It was explained to me by a service manager many years ago that higher octane doesn't mean higher energy. Lower octane actually burns faster. Slow burning fuel used in engines setup for faster burning fuel sounds like trouble in the long run. Not that we are talking about a major damage.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    If the mfgr offers a vehicle that can run without damage on Regular but will improve its Power and MPG's with Premium, why not spell it out that way?

    The new 2007 Chrysler 300 specifies MID grade and says, essentially, don't waste your money on Premium. The words used include what amounts to a suggestion that "while using regular is OK, "optimum" performance is realized with mid grade."

    Several of my Audis actually rated power and mileage on the octane. This provided the data points to determine the validity of the phrase "false economy."

    Lawyers, probably, determine the wording used, hence the word REQUIRED is seldom used unless it has been determined that warranty claims will offset the law suits or better said potential law suits.

    I found several (more than two) websites that had as their number one "rule" -- "follow the mfgr's recommendation."

    I found many (more than five) websites that did claim using Regular in a car designed for Premium would NOT technically damage the engine, but several of these did hint at the loss of power and reduced MPG's that go hand in hand with this practice.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, I could not find any data that said the full amount of the price difference was consumed by the loss of power and reduced miles per gallon such behavior engenders.

    Yet, virtually all of the data says the main reason a car is said to have premium fuel recommended is that it has a compression ratio that will lead to pre-ignition (which is harmful) -- and that the ping is controlled by retarding the spark, meaning the spark happens earlier in the compression cycle, increasing pollution and decreasing mileage AND performance.

    Apparently the advent of electronic controls have offset pre-ignition's potential damage. But the issue that this causes is lower power than "one was used to" and what happens (or probably happens) is one's right foot presses further downward exacerbating this reduction in both pre-ignition and power.

    It would be my "request" for the mfgs to explicitly define power and mpg consequences of using regular, mid-grade and premium and let us all decide.

    In the mean time, without sufficient information, I would urge all drivers to "do what the manual" says (regardless of the "r" word -- require or recommend, that is.)

    The authors who appear to understand the physics and the chemistry say "you can use regular, but -- here are the consequences." At twenty gallons per week per car the difference in cost per gallon is $200 per year, the difference in opportunity cost appears to be less than that; and, some argue is a negative number.

    There appears to be a "secret handshake" we are all (or at least some of us) looking for and that is, you can buy a BMW or an Audi and despite the mfg's recommendations use regular gas without any consequences.

    If this is really true, I would imagine once enough of us figure it out, there will be at least the hint of a class action, so we "won't get fooled again."

    I suspect there is something to it more than "ego" -- for this kind of false requirement would, once it got out, also be cause for customer retailiation. At $200 per year per car, since 1973 (the year I had to buy my own gas), hmm, let's see, 34 years @ $200 per year approximately, carry the five -- well that's $6400 that someone owes me. :surprise:
  • davidc1davidc1 Member Posts: 168
    True that. Can't hurt to follow mfgr's recommendation. Re: spark timing, retarded ignition means spark happens later, not earlier, more like when the piston reaches TDC (top dead center).
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I stand corrected, I got carried away.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Member Posts: 250
    Do you think BMW will one day put the 3.0 twin turbo engine in the X3? I would think that would do a lot to distance the X3 from the evolving competition.

    In addition to the 3 series, BWM has announced this engine will now be available in the new 5 series AWD as the 535Xi.

  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    I can't help but wonder if BMW + not 1 but 2 turbos = reliability nightmares?
  • davidc1davidc1 Member Posts: 168
    Turbos are not that complicated mechanically. I've had turbos in the past and feel that water pump is more likely go before the turbochargers (water pump failed around 120k miles and turbo was still good till 170k miles when I sold it). I wouldn't worry about it. Also, replacing the turbo is also no more costly than water pump, based on my experience. Having said that, BMW parts could be much more expensive.
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