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2007 BMW X3



  • 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 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.
  • jrynn,

    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 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.
  • 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!!!!!
  • #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:
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 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 Posts: 4,519
    "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 Posts: 52,462
    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 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.
  • 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 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).
  • I stand corrected, I got carried away.
  • 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 Posts: 4,519
    I can't help but wonder if BMW + not 1 but 2 turbos = reliability nightmares?
  • davidc1davidc1 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.
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    BMW diesel engines have been running turbos for quite a while outside of US and I do not recall reading about any reliability issues on European magazines, or friends. I really wanted to bring a 530D wagon back, but oh well.
  • bosi77bosi77 Posts: 37
    Hey guys I was just wondering: I have a 2007 X3 and I noticed whenever I want to defrost my windows when I push the defrost button hot air is blown on me as well as the windows. To be frank too much hot air is blown on me. Does anybody know how I can fix this or what I should do?


  • For the posts asking about kids/baby hauling.....
    We have a 2007 BMW X3, and a Toyota Sienna 2004 AWD XLE. Our kids are older, but I gotta tell you.... as nice as the X3 is, nothing beats a minivan for moving people and "stuff." With kids, the "push-button" door opening can't be beat. By the time you get the carrier or stroller to the car, the doors are open. And you can reach back and tend to them without opening the doors.
    The Sienna cruises at lower RPMs at highway speeds. And when we get there the in-laws can even fit in, we can all go together (is that good or bad?). For camping, I can't see taking the BMW. If I had one to choose, it'd be the van for the kids. (DON'T let the wife see this, she already beats me up for the X3!)
  • cincyartcincyart Posts: 15
    I have an X3 on order, should arrive any day !
    When I test drove an X3 I noticed a hesitation from a standing stop.
    The salesman said it was due to the cold and a cold engine.
    However, I have noticed this topic on other forums:

    Some have mentioned that a computer fix will take care of it. At any rate, I am leasing
    a BMW, in part, for their reputation for preformance,handeling,etc.
    I'm also a bit troubled about CR recent "below average" reliability rating.

    Are there any current owners who can shed any light on this........I guess I'm having some buyers remorse before taking delivery ! :confuse:
  • I, too, am concerned about CR's not recommending the X3. I am thinking of getting rid of an MDX (too big) but am worried about the X3's reliability (or lack thereof). Any bad experiences as to its reliability?
  • Why do you say that the X3 blows away the RDX? I'm debating between the two.
  • x3driverx3driver Posts: 18
    You can go back and see some posts about this debate. I bought the X3, for the reasons I posted before. But I don't think it's fair to say one blows away the other. Unless you get a bad example, you can't go wrong with either one.

    For us, whatever was on paper didn't settle it, it was the drive that did. As long as my X3 stays reliable, I'll be thrilled ever time I get in it. (Although that "hesitation" is real).
  • I read all the posts on the subject. Aside from the hesitation, are there any other issues re reliability? I am going to sell my MDX for a smaller car and can't decide between the reliable Acura RDX and the unknown X3. :confuse:
  • cincyartcincyart Posts: 15
    So...x3driver, you are saying that your x3 has the hesitation from a stop and
    it is not an objection? Do you just overlook it ? Is it something that becomes less
    pronounced after break-in ? I have not taken delivery yet, but it may be a deal breaker
    for me ! I have never owned a vehicle, new or used, that exhibited this behavior. And in a BMW ?? Thought this is why they get the big bucks ?? :confuse:
  • x3driverx3driver Posts: 18
    I've heard both good and bad on the X3's reliability ratings. I've always stayed away from cars with less than stellar reliability. We went with the X3 anyway - based in part on the 4 year / 50K mile warranty. Also, the dealer is close to us, and has a reasonable number of loaner cars if the car needs work, and we got the BMW Assist.

    We weighed the reliability issue, which, at least statistically, favors the Acura. But the "driving experience" of the BMW was overwhelming, to the point that even with the extra expense (it cost more) and risk, we dove in. We thought the Acura's dash and "attitude" etc was focused more on the car, and less on the drive.

    It's all so subjective at this level, thus my quote about the choice being art, not science. All the paper numbers and statistics went out the window when we drove the two. That's not happened in other cars I've bought over the past 25 years. It happened with the Bimmer. One mistake we made, go for the preminum sound, if you go with the X3.

    Whatever you do, enjoy the ride!
This discussion has been closed.