Last post on Apr 15, 2013 at 1:30 PM
You are in the BMW X3 & X5
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BMW X3, SUV
#2590 of 4185 Nuttin' (99%) but love. . .
May 14, 2006 (6:46 am)
Month 13, the Gloss Black with Terracotta interior 2005 BMW X3 (with nearly every option box checked) has now, just today, passed 20,000 miles. Been to the dealer for one oil change and twice (separate visits) for new windshield wiper blades.
Probably by late this year, we'll put a new set of tires on the 18" sport wheels that came with the car.
Love the car so much, we've signed up for the BMW 2 Day X-School in South Carolina this September (two days in brand new X3's and X5's for $995 for 2 drivers!)
Love the car so much, my wife is planning the color of the next one she will order in about 20 months (on a 36 month lease.)
Love the car so much we answer the follow up calls from Bend Or, rating the car and the dealer a "6" on a scale of 1 - 5!
This is a cross between a BMW 3 (with sport suspension and a stick shift -- and, BTW, getting one of these things with the 6 speed manual transforms the car from being on the cusp of underpowered -- and thirsty -- to substantially more powerful and less thirsty) and one of the newest Jeeps. The emphasis, however, is on the ON-ROAD capabilities. From where I sit (being the former owner of an Audi allroad), this car, the X3, is much more like the allroad than the Jeep.
This means if you buy the X3 expecting an SUV you were lied to -- my dealer takes great pains in correcting anyone who uses that TLA, always citing the term to use as SAV.
This is a well balanced car -- that somehow had a Jeep in the family some time ago thereby diluting the pure car DNA somewhat.
With the sport package the ride is firm.
Flawless* would be the closest ONE WORD descriptive word I can come up with were I forced to come up with one word.
But it is NOT literally without some [minor] flaws.
The main flaw -- exterior -- was taken care of in 2006 and that is the look of the unpainted bumpers (we ordered black on black so to speak which mostly negated this 2005 "flaw.") The main flaw -- interior -- will, apparently, be taken care of with the next MY refresh and that is the "rugged" interior when the rest of the car if so equipped with every option box (except auto trans) checked seems to suggest "near luxury performance sedan."
The power train flaw was only a flaw for those folks who got this car with the 5 speed steptronic (which I call stutter-tronic in this application) which seems to hunt for the right gear to be in unless used completely as a manu-matic (which I gather most folks don't). Yet, the transmission was poorly matched to the 225HP engine (3.0) in MY's 2004 - 2006. The UR (unsubstantiated rumor) has it that the 255HP engine and 6 speed steptronic will finally make their way to this car for MY 2007.
Then, we can remove the "*" from "FLAWLESS" for the most part anyway.
Quitcha complainin' -- for some folks this is the Swiss army knife of cars, no one made you buy one without a multi hour test drive, no one made you buy one with an autotrans, no one made you buy this with the crappy base sound system, and so on.
Critques of cars here? Yes, bring 'em on. Beating up on them tirelessly? Please move on.
Yet, even with that said, it is mostly a free blog, so "drive it like YOU live!"
#2591 of 4185 Re: Nuttin' (99%) but love. . . [markcincinnati]
May 15, 2006 (8:35 am)
Coming down the final few months of my allroad lease and the manual tranny desire is driving my choice.
Bought a SUbaru Outback 5speed manual 4cyl used 2002 for my son to drive, but he don't get it until next spring.
So rather than bone up an Audi without it, nor move down to a A4 with not enough back seat, Im gonna wait and see the changes occur and how pricing falls out.
The flaws are all being addressed for me. Mainly the spartan interior. After sitting in an X5 and then the X3 its a bit much. X5 is a great interior!
Im gonna sign up my son for the teen driving school in South Carolina. $700 for two days to learn defensive driving is well worth the cost! X school sounds like fun also, but I'll wait until Im a card carrying member.
Sorry the Audi Q5 is not coming out soon enough, but as we have discussed before this is the natural successor to the allroad with manual tranny.
#2592 of 4185 finally got to drive an X3
May 15, 2006 (8:48 pm)
An automatic, but I was very impressed with the motor. What ever horspower they say it is it feels much stronger.
Seating was nice and all around very nice ride! Standard set up with 17's.
One fault, it made my head bounce around. You can feel ever dip on every surface. Lateral was just fine, but horizontal movements were a bit extreme.
I drove a 5 series BMW, 525 also with basic set up and fell in love. Apples and oranges. Do I really need awd in piedmont north carolina?
Both x3 and 5 made my 3 year old Allroad feel like a box of lose bolts. New car syndrome.
I will still wait until the new X3 comes out and see if any improvements are made. Perhaps this is just its charactor and it literally sticks to the road. This x3 just seemed to suck to the highway but at the same time "tippy". I have 2 ruptured discs in my neck and am a bit sensitive to such movements. My wifes 2000 ML320 did a similar thing, but the BMW was more pronounced because of its positive handling charactoristics.
I saw somthing I found interesting. The rough interior is nice, but inconsistant. The carpet was plush and in the beige as the seats. Why not black or grey? Didn't first generation x3 have it that way? And it was all so plush. The seats also seem too dressy for that dash. They were very comfortable. I might say I liked the Black bumpers better. The mono makes the front and back profiles seem too tall looking.
Perhaps the X3 in its current form is just not for me than its not a great vehicle. Except for the "bobble head" effect on this body, I very much was impressed.
Can't say for shore its off my list, but damm that 525 was sweet! 530 with standard transmission might be even more so!
#2593 of 4185 Re: Things are slow on BMW [site] [driver100] [tidester] [div2] [bodble2] [div2] [bargamon] [steve_] [driver200] [bodble2] [driver100] [bodble2] [driver100]
May 15, 2006 (9:17 pm)
I haven't been following this thread much either -- since I already know markcinci loves his X3
What do I think is better overall? What's better, or best will always be inherently subjective. So, I dunno, Cayenne? Touareg V8? Perhaps the upcoming RDX? But without even having to leave the BMW showroom, how about the 530xi? Yeah, I know. It's not officially an SUV, or SAV, but really, aside from a bit of extra ground clearance, is the X3's purpose in life that much different? I think the 530xi can do just about anything the X3 can do, only better. Plus, as an added bonus, it is the only vehicle in the entire BMW lineup that has a power tailgate. Now, that's cool!
#2594 of 4185 Re: Things are slow on BMW [site] [driver100] [tidester] [div2] [bodble2] [div2] [bargamon] [steve_] [driver200] [bodble2] [driver100] [bodble2] [driver100] [bodble2]
May 15, 2006 (10:29 pm)
I had a friend get a 530xi as a loaner and he liked it so much that he priced it out. It was ~$60K. For that much it better be able to do whatever the X3 can do and do it a whole lot better! Maybe that is why, at least around here, you never see them on the road.
May 16, 2006 (5:04 am)
"I think the 530xi can do just about anything the X3 can do, only better."
The X3 has more cargo room heigh-wise. That makes a big difference in the type of cargo that can be carried. The extra ground clearance of the X3 makes a huge difference in heavy snow. The fold down seats of the X3 plus the extra height will allow you to carry cargo and animals in a way the 5 series will never approach.
Touareg? It's junk, IMO.
#2596 of 4185 Re: Things are slow on BMW [site] [driver100] [tidester] [div2] [bodble2] [div2] [bargamon] [steve_] [driver200] [bodble2] [driver100] [bodble2] [driver100] [bodble2]
May 16, 2006 (5:22 am)
530 is nice, but not as much cargo room, as pointed out here. I sat in one while having my first oil change in the X3 and maybe I am spoiled by the X3, but I find other vehicles, and especially BMW's do not have great vision lines. You are down a bit, looking over the hood and dash.
In the X3 you are pretty high up with huge windows and great sight lines. I find it difficult to get used to driving a regular car after the X3!
#2597 of 4185 Re: finally got to drive an X3 [bargamon]
May 16, 2006 (5:24 am)
The interior IS a mixture of the rough (dashboard) and refined (seats -- w/Montana leather option, i.e.)
The X3 is a bit of an enigma too.
It supposedly represents the "look" (style) of the upcoming X5, it has been criticized for being rough looking from the inside and it is also by many accounts in desperate need of the 255HP 3.0 and 6spd step.
Yet many -- at the dealership -- say (and then put their money where there mouth is) the X3 is "their pick for the best all around BMW currently."
One of the client advisors has given his new X3 the "M" treatment (cosmetically.) He hopes there will be an "M" option soon (perhaps the turbo charged 3.0 and a 7 speed SMG, too.)
The owner (of the BMW dealership) has a daily driver: you guessed it, an X3. The finance manager, ditto.
Perhaps the steady undercurrent of complaints (here and elsewhere) about the X3 does motivate me to defend this car (which is my wife's, BTW) moreso than I would otherwise.
Were money no object the 5 series with X drive certainly ups the luxury quotient considerably -- but factor in at least an additional $10,000 for this improvement.
Besides, the X3 rides a bit higher and does feel solid and stable -- but the price paid IS ride quality.
My wife, after three Audi TT's in a row perceives the X3's ride quality as a huge improvement.
If you've been used to a 5 series, a Lexus or even a Cadillac, the X3 will seem stiff, firm and maybe even "harsh."
If you can believe anything we can come up with here on the WWW -- and if you can wait a few months -- see what the 2007 version has in store.
My bet is that many of the roughness of look and stiffness of ride issues will be dealt with. Further, the 255HP engine with both better power and better efficiency is a virtual certainty as is the 6spd steptronic.
This go round, I would not expect the 7 spd smg transmission, though.
The X3, so it seems, has been the ugly duckling -- the swan is due, soon.
#2598 of 4185 Re: finally got to drive an X3 [bargamon]
May 16, 2006 (5:29 am)
The ride in the X3 is a little harsh, not for everyone. But, that is something I like about it. It isn't that floaty unreal ride that is boring and makes you lose the feel of the road. It is the feel of the road that makes it a BMW and not a Cadillac. For sheer comfort buy a Buick...it will be like sitting in your favorite couch.
(however, I don't know if it is the best car for someone with back problems - might want a softer ride in that case)
#2599 of 4185 Re: finally got to drive an X3 [bargamon]
May 16, 2006 (5:35 am)
I might say I liked the Black bumpers better. The mono makes the front and back profiles seem too tall looking.
I am in full agreement there. I have a 2004 in white and as I said earlier, I wouldn't want the monochrome paint if it was offered free. Makes the car look like a huge white cloud.