2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i Road Test 2

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited October 2019 in BMW

image2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i Road Test 2

An Edmunds.com Road Test Review of the 2011 BMW X3 featuring reviews of its performance, comfort, function, design and build quality.

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  • DriveTimeDriveTime Member Posts: 1
    Agree to disagree... a little bit. This ultimate driving machine will take you everywhere you need, and constantly drop a knowing chuckle into your urban life. It's size is big enough to comfortably carry four adults with a child seat in the middle, and a dog in the back, out of the city to go wine tasting, but still small enough to find a parking spot between two curb cutouts. It's shape is short, wide, and tall.

    After the successful wine excursion you may test your luck in the mountains and take a 600 mile road trip, camping around the state. This car is comfortably as fast as any vehicle on the open road. But for a smile, try 40 miles of winding, narrow, potholed back roads going 40-50mph. This would be crushingly fast and scary in your Subaru, but feels so sublime and calm in this beast the dog remains asleep and the wife is chatting and looking at her phone like nothing is happening - you're just laughing inside. After, head up 3 miles of gnarly, washed out and rutted, steep back country dirt forestry roads - everyone is paying attention now, as the traction control quietly helps the 5000 pound behemoth on 45 series tires, up an 18 degree slope to the perfect camp ground. The car is very capable off road, has good clearance, but has almost no suspension travel, so its not exactly a cushy ride. Spend a night under the stars using the relatively high flat open tailgate like a picnic table to prep and cook. Then, back out the other side of the mountain range for some high speed 110-130 MPH desert dueling with a Porsche. Crash a night in a hotel and then back up the boring straight and windy interstate, where the car settles down into a comfortable 90 MPH cruise. Again, easily joining the fastest-on-the-road left-lane group.

    Other experiences abound over time. You chuckle quietly as some kid in a Doge muscle car noisily blasts by on a mountain pass, only to see them pump the breaks and scarred as hell as you take the inside lane at 95 around a a big G corner - that smooth engine, and tight steering barely break a sweat. Occasionally you take it out of soccer dad/mom mode and hit sport mode to carefully race a couple of yahoo’s on motorcycles. You laugh out loud when passing - it takes about it takes about 2 seconds to go from 40-80, and it will do it up a hill nearly as fast. The breaks are absolutely assuring, but the transmission is such pure genius that even in very spirited driving, they are almost never necessary. Yeah, its not a track car, but who other than car reviewers actually like driving those - try packing the fam in one for a ski trip, or the dog for a hike. Realistically, what is now defines “ultimate” is go anywhere, do anything, and do it fast, safe, fun, and comfortably. For that, this is the ultimate driving machine.
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