View Full Version : 60K Update / Review

01-14-2008, 09:31 PM
Thought I would give a report on my X3 which is just about to hit 60K miles.

2004, April Build Date. 3.0L, 5-Speed Auto, Premium Pkg., Xenons, XM Radio using the XM Direct / Blitzsafe Adapter.

What's been repaired/replaced:

02 Sensor - Warranty
Passenger Airbag Sensor - Warranty
Wrinkled cloth on pillars by windshield - Warranty
Rattling speaker - back left door. Replaced - Warranty
Plastic Water Deflectors in front of rear tires ripped/torn. Replaced - Warranty
Felt strip on back edge of sunroof came loose. Replaced with updated rubber seal - Warranty
Replaced TCU with later model/version to be compatible with Bluetooth.

Bugs / Hiccups:

Occassionally - dash lights stay on after turning engine off. Happens every couple of months or so. Turning key on and back off solves... or they time out and go off after a few minutes if left as is. Didn't report as a problem for repair.

Remote key fob won't operate door locks - traced to security systems in certain areas. Happens very rarely - but always when parked near the doors at the local Best Buy.

Maybe three times - CD wouldn't eject. Turning off engine / turning key on - solved the problem.

Other that that - been rock solid. Very few rattles, sqeaks, etc. - and then - usually only when the weather turns colder or after a lot of rain.

Interior has held up extremely well... bit of wear on the driver's side seat bolster from entry/exits. Experienced the same in my 330Ci.

Exterior Still looks great. Black bumpers/plastic trim holding up well. I do apply Mother's Back to Black every 4-6 months.

On my second set of Pirelli Scorpions... the set that came on the X were nice enough to replace with the same. Relatively quite and great traction / stopping ability.

Still an absolute pleasure to drive.. ride seems to have softened a bit possibly - but was never a problem for me coming from a 330Ci with Sport Pkg and 18" rims.

Stopping ability never ceases to amaze me. On multiple occassions have had to do a full brake from 70 - 50 MPH... straight, true... and quick. On a dime with change so to speak... very impressive considering the weight.

Engine has used no oil, strong and always delivers when I press the accelerator. Noticed a very slight missing when accelerating at one time - which led to replacing the O2 sensor as mentioned above.

Transmission works as it should. Quick, smooth shifts. Responsive to downshifting when needed. Sport mode even better... manual shifting especially fun when hitting coastal highway with all of the twisties.

Throwing it into curves and on ramps that would send a Jeep tumbling is always fun. Hugs the road like a sedan with very little sway or top heavy feeling.

Sharp responsive steering has avoided more than one accident... and always with control and predictabilty.

The rain sensing wipers always work great... and the swiveling Xenons have spoiled me beyong belief. Drove my friends Jaguar a couple of weeks ago (no Xenons) and felt like I was driving by candlelight.

Sound system could be better... don't have the premium system - but it is adequate. One area where the 330Ci was easily 3 to 4 times bettter.

I think I can say without doubt... the best vehicle I have ever owned with an enjoyment factor that is worthy of the BMW roundel. Equal to my 330Ci - but far more useful/comfortable when carrying friends and cargo.

Would definitely buy again... and probably will when the diesel or a hybrid is available.

Oh - and kudos to my service manager Nancy and Sonnen BMW in San Rafael... they've made the BMW ownership experience everything it should be when dealing with the dealer / service department.


01-15-2008, 05:57 AM
Great to hear a positive experience!

One of the strongest first impression was the X3 braking system; quite good performance for a vehicle of this type/weight.

01-15-2008, 08:09 AM
Great write up! Still driving my 2002 330xi and get to use the wife's 2005 X3 now and then. IMHO the X3 is the best vehicle we have ever owned and I'm tempted to get out of my 330xi and into a CPO X3 until I make up my mind on the next new vehicle.

01-15-2008, 08:31 AM
Excellent summary! With 25K now on my '06 I have come to appreciate the excellent brakes and superb handling. Even the ride seems to be getting better, or perhaps my spine is just getting fused together. One question, why go all the way to San Rafael when you have a BMW store much closer in Santa Rosa?

01-15-2008, 08:36 AM
Your car should have no problem lasting well beyond 100k. (although I recommend servicing the tranny and rear dif, transfer case at some point, plus don't go 15k on your OCI's) The e46 chassis (which the e83 is based off of) has been out long enough to prove itself, there are many of them running around with close to 200k on the clock. My mom's 99 MY e46 with the M52 (predecessor to your engine) is pushing 200k and it runs great, although her interior is having issues. But then again she is hard on a car, and you have owned e46's so you know the types of things that break etc.

01-15-2008, 08:53 AM
One question, why go all the way to San Rafael when you have a BMW store much closer in Santa Rosa?

Actually - I live in San Rafael Mon thru Fri to be closer to work (Mill Valley). That 101 commute started stretching into 2+ hours on a regular basis and was making me a "not so nice" person. ;)

01-15-2008, 09:45 AM
Well that certainly explains that! Thanks for the response.

Eric in SD
01-15-2008, 11:38 AM
Nice write up Sonoman! We have just 30K on our 2005 X3 but have enjoyed it thoroughly. So much so that we have an '08 X3 on order to replace it when the lease is up next month. Totally concur on the handling, brakes, and those awesome swiveling Xenons!

Folks, these are great, practical, fun vehicles that (fortunately) most owners (who never visit internet message boards) are totally satisfied with.

01-16-2008, 02:12 PM
Thanks. Nice write up.

02-15-2008, 10:31 PM
Bit late to this thread, but that is such a good write-up, I feel compelled to add my own 4-year assessment, albeit with only 21K miles, to keep the thread going.

2004, Jan. build, 2.5i, 5-Speed Auto, Alpine White, only 1 option - Adaptive Headlights. 21K miles.
(bought privately in Aug. '04 at 4K miles, original owner optioned it just like I probably would have done)

What's been repaired/replaced under warranty:
Bremi coils to Bosch under S.I.B./Campaign (no prior symptoms experienced)

Turn signal switch (electrical fault on one side only, not mechanical - parts had to be ordered, so rare incidence?)

After 3 years, first rattle, drivers door - Carboflo (or similar) fixed it - I expect to have to re-treat, at my expense, every few years

Business CD (Philips8030) - LCD screen intermittently going blank

Bugs / Hiccups:
Windshield wiper judder and poor cleaning even with new refills under scheduled maintenance - so invested in PIAA Super Silicone refills (not blades) which work perfectly

Dash lights disappearing momentarily while in motion (2 times) - reported, alarming - but able to live with it

Dash lights staying on occasionally after removing key (3 times) - reported, but able to live with it

Did experience "the creaking" once, after 1 year, but never re-occured even on same stretch of road (maybe not having a sunroof helps in this regard)

Had the stuck passenger-side cup holder syndrome - easy to persuade it back into alignment, and can be avoided by using care when closing it

Other observations:
In 35 years of car ownership (VW, Renault, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Infiniti) the X3 has provided the best overall experience (ergonomics, driving pleasure, reliability, dealer service, etc.)

Sensatec seats don't show any signs of wear, should still look good in 10 years, and are an appropriate choice for this type of vehicle

Tire pressure imbalance monitor works very well, had early warning of nail in a Scorpion on 2 occasions, and quickly got them repaired

Micron cabin filter very easy to inspect and change compared to some other vehicles

Only needed to maneuver through snow once or twice per year, and it felt very sure-footed through mountain passes, etc.

Miscellaneous problems reported by others (roof rail corrosion, water ingress, interior trim wrinkles, seat issues, key program shortcomings, sound system performance) seem to have passed me by

Only disappointment is that it is not economically viable to upgrade for Bluetooth (being an early 2004)

02-16-2008, 08:49 AM
Glad to read honest assessments without bias...

02-18-2008, 11:38 AM
Great review! Thanks for posting.

Sent you a PM.

02-18-2008, 04:16 PM
Only disappointment is that it is not economically viable to upgrade for Bluetooth (being an early 2004)

You don't need factory bluetooth.

This is a realistic alt route that works the same including using the BMW steering wheel controls. (need both kits to work).