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View Full Version : Test Drive 2007 X3...Some Questions...


Parker21
02-16-2007, 07:00 PM
This would be my first BMW so they may sound basic:

1) The car had the optional leather; it reminded me of 80's vintage vinyl; how's the Sensatec fake stuff...could not be much worse?

2) I though the brakes seemed exceptionally mushy..is this normal?

3) Does BMW really not offer 6-disc and duel climate control as standard and do you have to pay for mats???

4) How do the 19's ride? I drove the 18"s and the ride was great, but it looks like the wheel-wells could use a bit more?

5) I drove the automatic, but would order a manual. How's the feel of the 6-speed manual?

6) It was hard to tell, but the engine/exhaust sounded very subdued....does it make sweet sounds when you wind it out?

All in all I was very impressed with the ride, power, and steering feel, but felt that the interior, build quality, and brakes were not up to par with the Audi allroad 2.7 that this will replace.

Thanks in advance; it's down to the X3 and a used 2005 allroad 4.2 (V8 300 hp).

z51vette
02-16-2007, 07:39 PM
This would be my first BMW so they may sound basic:

1) The car had the optional leather; it reminded me of 80's vintage vinyl; how's the Sensatec fake stuff...could not be much worse?

2) I though the brakes seemed exceptionally mushy..is this normal?

3) Does BMW really not offer 6-disc and duel climate control as standard and do you have to pay for mats???

4) How do the 19's ride? I drove the 18"s and the ride was great, but it looks like the wheel-wells could use a bit more?

5) I drove the automatic, but would order a manual. How's the feel of the 6-speed manual?

6) It was hard to tell, but the engine/exhaust sounded very subdued....does it make sweet sounds when you wind it out?

All in all I was very impressed with the ride, power, and steering feel, but felt that the interior, build quality, and brakes were not up to par with the Audi allroad 2.7 that this will replace.

Thanks in advance; it's down to the X3 and a used 2005 allroad 4.2 (V8 300 hp).

You didn't like the leather?. BMW has some of the best leather of any automaker, Mercedes included. X3 is no exception. What didn't you like about it. The grain, texture? If you want smooth leather, buy a Lexus. In no time it will develop cracks that dirt will get inside of and then you have beautiful streaks to show off.

What didn't you like about interior quality. It is some of the best in the industry.

The brakes just need a bit more effort and they stop just fine. I like the brakes because you have a lot more control when they are not overly grabby. The 07 X3 has some of the shortest stopping distance of any SUV. It is 20 feet shorter from 70-0 than Allroad.

The engine in my 07 sport doesn't sound subdued at all.

Who cares about a CD changer that is so last millennium. Put an MP3 CD in there or hook up an ipod. No if it had a USB port that would be a welcome addition.

Brent P
02-16-2007, 08:02 PM
Hmmm.... mushy brakes? The braking on our X3 is nothing short of phenomenal. For the fun of it, I like to take an off ramp on my way to work at 130 kph and wait until the last moment possible to nail the brakes and it stops me dead quick with no drama whatsoever. The traction and braking performance is amazing. It also blows the Allroad away on the skidpad (0.88g versus 0.79g), a testament to its ability to stay glued to the road when cornering.

dug01
02-16-2007, 08:19 PM
This would be my first BMW so they may sound basic:

1) The car had the optional leather; it reminded me of 80's vintage vinyl; how's the Sensatec fake stuff...could not be much worse?

2) I though the brakes seemed exceptionally mushy..is this normal?

3) Does BMW really not offer 6-disc and duel climate control as standard and do you have to pay for mats???

4) How do the 19's ride? I drove the 18"s and the ride was great, but it looks like the wheel-wells could use a bit more?

5) I drove the automatic, but would order a manual. How's the feel of the 6-speed manual?

6) It was hard to tell, but the engine/exhaust sounded very subdued....does it make sweet sounds when you wind it out?

All in all I was very impressed with the ride, power, and steering feel, but felt that the interior, build quality, and brakes were not up to par with the Audi allroad 2.7 that this will replace.

Thanks in advance; it's down to the X3 and a used 2005 allroad 4.2 (V8 300 hp).
I traded in a '03 Allroad on a '07 X3--You are right the X3 is not up to the level of the Audi on interior materials quality and on exterior body gaps--I though the leather was about the same. The Audi plastics were better finished--X3 has some sharp edges and miss matches. The exhaust note can be enhanced by plugging a hose going to the muffler butterfly valve(search for "golf tee" for more info)-and yes the engine really sounds sweet and gets to 7000 RPM quickly-I don't understand your comment on the brakes--The ones I drove and the one I own have great brakes. The acceleration is better than the Audi--smooth pull from idle without the turbo surge of the Audi(although I do miss the kick)--and the BMW engine is smoother--also the X3 jumps off the line without any lag like the Audi. The Allroad rides a little smoother but the X3 takes the bumps better--and you will give up some interior room in the X3. The X3 gas mileage is noticeably better and runs fine on 89 octane. Who cares about 6 disk changer when you can get sat radio and play MP3 files. I installed XM in my allroad and never used the CD changer and only used the FM for sport games. Get the satellite radio--rip your own MP3's and make a CD with 200 songs on it. I never found the dual climate control useful on the Audi--so I don't miss it--I would rather not have Auto control--just give me a rotary knob for the temp and leave off the digital readout--I don't think the 19" are larger in dia than the 18's--just a lower profile and will ride harder. While I agree the Audi had a better quality interior and better quality hardware I soon got over that and I really like the X3--It was the best replacement I could find. If the Allroad was still in production I would have considered it but I am sure that it would have been over $50k. Good Luck

crazybelgian
02-16-2007, 08:56 PM
I agree that Audi has the best interiors around, but I am very happy with the build quality of my X3. The leather is not as soft as I was used to, but it seems to be really durable and easy to clean.
I would definately go for the manual though, the new transmission has a little bit of lag when you take off, something to do with starting in second gear versus first (unless you're in sport mode).
I have to say that i couldn't believe the value you get for the money in the X3. Great engine, panoramic sunroof, ...
You have to like it though, I never get a car that I am not excited about.

MJS
02-17-2007, 05:47 AM
I have the sensatec leatherette (vinyl) in my 2007 X3. It's not bad. Not as nice as the leather, but still ok.
Brakes - I think the brakes are amazing on this car. To me they are pretty grabby and sometimes feel over boosted. Especially compared to my M3. They definitely inspire confidence in emergency stopping.
I agree with you comments about the exhaust. It does seem a bit subdued. But I haven't had the windows down yet, as it's been below 20 degrees F for about a month now. I'm not sure I'd want it super loud though.


Mike

dug01
02-17-2007, 06:31 AM
I agree that Audi has the best interiors around, but I am very happy with the build quality of my X3. The leather is not as soft as I was used to, but it seems to be really durable and easy to clean.
I would definately go for the manual though, the new transmission has a little bit of lag when you take off, something to do with starting in second gear versus first (unless you're in sport mode).
I have to say that i couldn't believe the value you get for the money in the X3. Great engine, panoramic sunroof, ...
You have to like it though, I never get a car that I am not excited about.
The leather on the X3 is nearly the same grade as was on the Allroad I traded it--that car had 4 years and almost 70k miles and the leather still looked like new except for a slight sheen on the seating surfaces--not like the soft shiny leather in most american and Asian cars that fades and cracks in 2 years--its thick and tough but not soft like a sofa--it will wear great. Some of the X3 interior pieces disappoint--the turn signal and wiper stalk have sharp edges and mismatch fitting sections--my fingers always fall on the seam where the two pieces fit together-The rear hatch curtain is chinzy compared to the Audi and the "rubbermaid" plastic on the inside of the hatch door and front seat backs could be better quality. Also the carpet in the rear is allready showing signs of wear--maybee because of the black color. As far as getting great value I don't agree--the X3 overpriced compared to the offerings from Japan--but what do we care--its a BMW and that is what matters--The Highlander-Murrano-MDX-RDX-SEX or whatever are boring and not great looking--I bought into a vehicle that I love to drive--and that is worth the extra bucks.:D

alpinewhite325i
02-17-2007, 07:18 AM
Agreed about the leather and the interior quality. BMW leather isn't all that great. The leatherette is almost as comfortable, looks very similar, and is MUCH more durable. As for interior quality, no one is better at it than Audi.

PhilH
02-17-2007, 08:05 AM
Agreed about the leather and the interior quality. BMW leather isn't all that great. The leatherette is almost as comfortable, looks very similar, and is MUCH more durable.
The E46 leatherette is similar to leather, but the X3 leatherette feels like plastic. I like the 'ette in my E46, after feeling the X3 'ette, there was no way I was going to get an X3 with it. The 'ette in the two cars are really two totally different materials.

Evlengr
02-17-2007, 11:10 AM
Well it will be almost one week that I have owned the 07 X3. This too is my first BMW. However, I have owned a Porsche 924S, Twin turbo RX-7, 71 GTO, and many other vehicles with aggresive personalities. We had a nice ice storm the day after I bought this vehicle. What a bummer, so I thought. This SAV is/was great. Handled all conditions with the greatest of ease. The breaking already saved my behind and so did the added power ( had to get out of the way of a car that was spinning out of control on the highway).

IMO this rates as one of the best all around vehicles in the history of vehicles I have owned. Has power when needed, breaking is great ( I tried to make it lose control in an empty parking lot), my little girl loves the sun roof, and my wife (who is very petite) loves the handling at local and highway speeds as do I.

Plenty of leg room and very comfortable ( I have broken my back twice and as a result am very picky about comfort). Yeah I was a nut when I was younger. Weren't we all, Lol.

I got the Leatherette with the leather steering wheel and everything else stock (automatic btw). I traded in a 2005 grand cherokee mainly because of poor performance and gas mileage. This has hutzpah and my first tank of gas shows 18.49 mpg (not bad during break-in period).



What can I say. I love the vehicle. It's a sports car, it's an SUV, it's a family vehicle..... no no its X3. Buy it :-)

dug01
02-17-2007, 12:59 PM
What can I say. I love the vehicle. It's a sports car, it's an SUV, it's a family vehicle..... no no its X3. Buy it :-)

That sums it up for me also--
One note--there has been some issues with the leatherette breaking down and ripping out the stitches--as reported on the X3 forums. In a side by side comparison the Leather will look and feel better and I assume wear longer. I did not like the feel of it but that is up to the buyer ..

Parker21
02-17-2007, 03:26 PM
Thank you all for the thoughtful response, especially those that have also had Audis, and can relate to my concern with the interior/build quality.

The brake requires more travel than both my allroad and Q7...that means nothing for stopping distance, I simply did not like the "feel". I'm glad to hear in real-word stopping the performance is world class.

I'm leaning towards the X3 if I can work out a really good lease. I searched this site, and sounds like there's a lot of room on these to negotiate (unlike the X5).

Evlengr
02-18-2007, 05:57 AM
Funny side note. My Wife, Little Girl and I went on a short road trip (90 miles one way) to a wedding yesterday. After she drove it home last night she stated that she now is going to test drive one of the bmw sedan's in comparison with the A4 she originally wanted.

She also said she can immediately tell the difference with the leather as opposed to 'ette and would get leather. Me, as long as the steerng whell is leather I m good. Also, with a warranty as good as bmw's they can handle it if it goes wrong. I can't speak for others but needless to say Im quite pleased with this vehicle.

SARAFIL
02-18-2007, 06:20 AM
The E46 leatherette is similar to leather, but the X3 leatherette feels like plastic. I like the 'ette in my E46, after feeling the X3 'ette, there was no way I was going to get an X3 with it. The 'ette in the two cars are really two totally different materials.

The 'ette is much improved for 2007 (they got rid of that part that looked like nylon).

Overall, the interior is much improved as well for 2007, especially the door panels that look more integrated with the dash and seats thanks to better materials.

dug01
02-18-2007, 07:57 AM
Thank you all for the thoughtful response, especially those that have also had Audis, and can relate to my concern with the interior/build quality.

The brake requires more travel than both my allroad and Q7...that means nothing for stopping distance, I simply did not like the "feel". I'm glad to hear in real-word stopping the performance is world class.

I'm leaning towards the X3 if I can work out a really good lease. I searched this site, and sounds like there's a lot of room on these to negotiate (unlike the X5).

I don't know about Negotiation--where I live the dealer has no problem selling the X3's and there is not another BMW dealer within 50 miles--usually when a model sells well the deals are not as good--although there is some great lease deals--check them out--

stangmatt66
02-18-2007, 03:50 PM
Thank you all for the thoughtful response, especially those that have also had Audis, and can relate to my concern with the interior/build quality.

The brake requires more travel than both my allroad and Q7...that means nothing for stopping distance, I simply did not like the "feel". I'm glad to hear in real-word stopping the performance is world class.

I'm leaning towards the X3 if I can work out a really good lease. I searched this site, and sounds like there's a lot of room on these to negotiate (unlike the X5).

For an awesome price without haggling, check out European Delivery. You can save almost $5k right off the top and you can do European Delivery with a lease. I'm picking up my X3 in Munich in July.

alpinewhite325i
02-18-2007, 07:48 PM
The E46 leatherette is similar to leather, but the X3 leatherette feels like plastic. I like the 'ette in my E46, after feeling the X3 'ette, there was no way I was going to get an X3 with it. The 'ette in the two cars are really two totally different materials.
Interesting...I had no idea.

I would have thought BMW used the same 'ette across their entire line.

NateXTR
02-18-2007, 08:08 PM
For an awesome price without haggling, check out European Delivery. You can save almost $5k right off the top and you can do European Delivery with a lease. I'm picking up my X3 in Munich in July.

+1!


If you have a little time, do the ED. I am now waiting for our X3 to be re-delivered. Otherwise, the deal you get is dependant on the dealer. PM me if you would like to know who I got our X3 from.

BTW, when I got my 325xiT, I was looking for a CPO Allroad. It was too bad that they stopped making it, as the Allroad was a great car. Now, I am very happy that I got my BMW, it has proven to be excellent and I just love the way that it can handle some "pushing" or can be very mellow if I am stuck in traffic. Let us know what you decide.

Oh, and welcome to the 'fest!!!

Brent P
02-19-2007, 08:26 AM
The 'ette is much improved for 2007 (they got rid of that part that looked like nylon).
Actually, I like the Sensatec seats. So far everyone that has ever sat in our X3 thinks the seats are leather (with a buffalo hide finish), and the nylon inserts are practically indestructable and clean up beautifully if you get anything on them. My wife loves the nylon because it's the exact same material that's used in several of her Prada handbags (and they wear and wear and wear, whereas leather gets the crap beat out of it in a hurry).

Parker21
02-19-2007, 06:17 PM
Thanks for all the feedback; ED was not an option since my allroad lease is up in April. Anyway, I decided to give BMW a try and ordered a highland green X3 with manual transmission. Options include the xenons, privacy glass, 18" rims, heated seats and heated steering; I also sprung for the mats:)

I'm paying around $1300 over invoice; I probably could have saved a few hundred bucks by calling around to all the local dealers, but not worth my time/hassle. Went with the 24-month lease; got to love that 77% residual. Should be here around the time my AR lease ends.

NateXTR
02-19-2007, 07:16 PM
Congrats! Sounds like a beautiful X3! Be sure to post pictures when you get it!

dug01
02-20-2007, 12:05 PM
Thanks for all the feedback; ED was not an option since my allroad lease is up in April. Anyway, I decided to give BMW a try and ordered a highland green X3 with manual transmission. Options include the xenons, privacy glass, 18" rims, heated seats and heated steering; I also sprung for the mats:)

.

I got the xenon's, heated seats and wheel and 18" wheels--the best options in my opinion--The highland green is a beautiful color--what interior did you get?? Don't forget to post pics--BTW the X3 xenons are way better than the xenons I had in my '03 Allroad-on the BMW the outer lens is the low and high beam xenon--it tips a reflector for the high beams and they really project down the road--the inner headlight is only for "flash to pass" and DRL's (If you decide to have the DRL's activated)--on the Audi the high beams were just the inner halogen (at least on my '03)
Congrats.

Parker21
02-20-2007, 06:18 PM
I went with the beige Sensatec (sp?) and light poplar wood. Will post pics when she arrives.