Another Euro Coolie review: BMW X3 3.0i

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by curiousgeorgeM3, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    So I have been driving this X3 as a loaner for the last couple of days while the ///M is in for service.

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    The one word that keeps coming to mind over and over again concerning this vehicle is "Why???. As in why did BMW bother making this vehicle? It is neither a car nor an SUV and drives like neither of them. And for north of $36K fully equiped, it ain't no bargain either.

    Let's start with the interior. As my co-worker that is a normal everyday guy that could care less about cars puts it, "This interior seems kinda.....well cheap.", as he runs his hand over the plastic...synthetic...whatever-you-want-to-call-it dashboard. The fake leather seats feel cheap too. But they are comfortable and supportive. The finish of the interior is good it just has a very sub-par feel to it. NOT very BMWish. That is the whole theme of this car.

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    The interior space in pretty good. About the same as a regular 3er.....but isn't one of the selling points of an SUV to be more roomy than your average auto??? Trunk space is also disappointing......about the same as a 3er wagon. I'd rather have the wagon....I'm sure it rides a hell of a lot better.

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    And with that.....we come to my major complaint with this car. The ride flat out sucks. Uninspiring is not a commonly used word when describing the ride of a BMW. Even most Bimmer haters that spend any real time in a BMW cannot deny that the essence of BMW is driver involvement, vehicle feedback, and inspired driving. NOT the case with the X3. First the driving position is like everything else about the car......out-of-place. You're not as low as a normal car yet not as high up as in an SUV.....it feels awkward. The ride is twitchy. When you make a turn or any type of direction change the car kinda jitters..not very solid feeling. The AWD drive system works well. I was not able to really break the car loose. But it didn't inspire confidence. You are turning and turning.....all the while with a feeling of "it's gonna give any second". You can't feel what the tires are doing so you don't really feel comfortable or confident. By contrast, Audi's Quattro system feels so planted and you are just not afraid to drive as aggressively as you want. In a word confidence. Even the X5 which is a SUV version of the 5 Series is far more capable and planted. I would gladly pay the extra money for the X5 (and probably will as my fiancee is in love with it).

    Power delivery by the X3's engine is sad. I don't know if it was the auto tranny or the drive-by-wire but when you floor the car and are at WOT there is a looong delay in power delivery. It is very disappointing and unsettling. Imagine if you needed that power in a hurry to avoid a dangerous situation? I know it isn't the engine......I had the same engine in my 330Ci and it was a joy. I will say one thing for the X3...once the power does come in, the resulting excelleration is very smooth and enjoyable. The brakes have the same push and wait feel to them also.

    Overall, I just think BMW did not put much thought or soul into the X3. They saw a popular market (one that BMW doesn't belong in) and created a car for chics and to win marketshare based on the status of their name and popularity, NOT on quality and the ultimate driving experience that they usually deliver. Personally if I were shopping in this space I'd jump on an Xterra. It's less expensive, less costly to maintain, more versatile and can actually handle off road duty not just look like it can. Let's hope they learn a lesson and make the lifespan of the X3 very, very short...............but I doubt they will.

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2004
  2. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    Hm...not surprising, to be honest. BMW should leave the small-midsize SUV segment alone.

    And boy, is it ever ugly.
     
  3. Chris87

    Chris87 flatoutperformance.com

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    You're review reads like every other one i've read. I haven't driven one yet, but I've sat in one, and what a POS.

    To answer your question of "why"?.... Money. Plain and simple. BMW wants in on all the fucking soccer mom's out there. :down:
     
  4. DSHR

    DSHR Well-Known Member

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    Nice review.
     
  5. VD

    VD Active Member

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    ya they are pretty ugly
     
  6. someguy

    someguy WWMD?

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    The X3 is even more pointless than the X5.

    I just don't get it.
     
  7. Layman

    Layman New Member

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    Good review.

    Yeah, I never got the point either. It seems like a worthless vehicle.
     
  8. Omega6_Virus

    Omega6_Virus New Member

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    Well, I think BMW figured they would get the sales of those who could not afford the X5 and didn't want a base X5 w/manual. Plus, the want for a BMW is pretty big and can sell a vehical alone.
     
  9. Redline Racer

    Redline Racer Subaru Tecnica International

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    What amazes me the most is how similar the X3 and X5 are on their comparitive size.

    X3
    Length - 4564mm
    Wheelbase - 2795mm

    X5
    Length - 4667mm
    Wheelbase - 2820mm

    The only substantial size difference between them is on height.
    Also in the UK comparitive prices for an X3 3.0 SE against an X5 3.0 SE is only £3000 difference.

    I just fail to see the logic in building something almost as big, almost as costly and far uglier than a vehicle already in BMW's range.
     
  10. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    Interesting because I have driven both and the X5 seems gobbs more roomy and larger. But by these numbers I guess it is not.:dunno:
     
  11. Redline Racer

    Redline Racer Subaru Tecnica International

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    Think the X5 is substantially wider, which probably adds to the sense of size. But still in general the dimensions are a lot closer than I thought.
     
  12. Layman

    Layman New Member

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    True. Anytime I see one of those, I think "You just HAD to have a BMW, didn't you?"

    For the money, I'd rather have a Subaru Forester XT, save $10k, and go waste Boxsters all day long. :bigthumb:
     
  13. FredBull

    FredBull *******

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    i like the X5!

    never been in an X3 though...
     
  14. M4A1

    M4A1 :)

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    I felt insulted when I sat in an X3; that mesh netting is atrocious, and it just isn't big enough. The exterior looks like a sickly X5 :down:

    nice write-up
     
  15. Read more...

    Read more... SPQR

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    It will be a good car for the rich, 16-year-old girls that will be driving most of them...
     
  16. nyuaznguy

    nyuaznguy Member

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    I had a 325Xi loaner for my service action. The X3 is by far the cheapest looking BMW i've ever sat in. I had Z4 3.0 loaner. That was a fun car to drive. Even though most people probably hate the looks. Its definitely got BMW driving dynamics everyone raves about.
     
  17. Merli

    Merli gplus.to/merli OT Supporter

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    Wow... That interior is shameful :(

    Thanks for the great write-up! :cool:
     

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