PDA

View Full Version : E83 Off Road Viability


jamesbirkholz
02-18-2008, 06:42 PM
Any experiences on true "off-road" capability of the E83?

I haven't had any issues in light snow or light-moderate stone crawling (about railroad-bed size stones). Just curious as to other folks' experience and DTC/DSC etc.

:thumbup:

doubledeclutch
02-18-2008, 08:03 PM
Found this cool video. The car is a 2 liter diesel on Pirelli Scorpian all seasons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiYosjuatFE

AzNMpower32
02-18-2008, 08:25 PM
The X3 is more than capable off-road given appropriate conditions. I took it on an ATV trail last summer, where there were plenty of large rocks and steep grades to climb over (I used HDC many times). xDrive handled most of the stuff just fine, the suspension never bottomed out, and the steering was communicative about whether the front wheels had traction.

Where the X3 is going to fall short (along with most SUVs) is when you ask it to go up a steep slope covered with mud. That's what Jeremy Clarkson did and he obviously got stuck since the tires were the limiting factor in that case.

Bottom line: It'll take anything you dare throw at it, as long as you're not used to a Jeep.

doubledeclutch
02-18-2008, 08:41 PM
Here's another video of a 2.0 doing some off-road work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-sYNnKsa0g&feature=related

pilotman
02-19-2008, 06:26 AM
The X3 is not suitable for off-road use, in fact, BMW's own manual acknowledges this.

The X3 doesn't have a locking differential, has very lousy ground clearance, no skidplates, and the suspension has very poor articulation. Plus the stock wheels and tires are a joke, and totally inappropriate for offroad use. Departure and approach angles blow

Anyone who knows anything about offroading would tell you to not consider taking this vehicle on anything more than a moderate dirt road, something I would take a suburu outback on very example.

iamthewalrus
02-19-2008, 07:26 AM
Anyone who knows anything about offroading would tell you to not consider taking this vehicle on anything more than a moderate dirt road, something I would take a suburu outback on very example.

For me, this is perfect. This is exactly why I got an X3 instead of an Audi A3. It's perfect for the trailheads here in Pacific NW. That said, I've gone to Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, and no, an X3 simply wouldn't cut it in Moab. My friend down there was driving a significantly modified Land Rover Defender and running support for us while we were mountain biking.

http://home.comcast.net/~jrdailey/aix/files/page10-1004-full.jpg

Andrew*Debbie
02-19-2008, 07:32 AM
We did the course at the Performance Center. Does that very well. I wouldn't hesitate to take it on a dirt road.

I wouldn't do serious off-road in an X3 or most SUVs. Clarkson is right, you need a Defender 90.


Watch out for the fording depth. Anything more than about 20" and you risk hydrolocking the engine.

jamesbirkholz
02-19-2008, 12:57 PM
Thanks, all.

These comments actually help, especially doubledeclutch's video. I only need to get to trailheads, deal with some snow, but no serious rock-crawling etc.

It'll take a little getting used to after having a Liberty before though!

STE92VE
02-19-2008, 01:21 PM
Awesome videos!:thumbup:

It always enjoy watching others abuse their vehicles.

Andrew*Debbie
02-19-2008, 02:13 PM
Someone else's photo from the Performance Center off road course:

http://www.miniummobile.com/images/OffRoad.jpg

jman103099
02-19-2008, 06:43 PM
I love those videos! The second one, when he takes it up the steps is sweet.

I wouldn't abuse my car like that though. That's what I need a rusty old Jeep or Rover for. :thumbup:

Terry J. Harris
02-19-2008, 09:13 PM
The X3 is not suitable for off-road use, in fact, BMW's own manual acknowledges this.

The X3 doesn't have a locking differential, has very lousy ground clearance, no skidplates, and the suspension has very poor articulation. Plus the stock wheels and tires are a joke, and totally inappropriate for offroad use. Departure and approach angles blow

Anyone who knows anything about offroading would tell you to not consider taking this vehicle on anything more than a moderate dirt road, something I would take a suburu outback on very example.

Absolutely.

While the X3 does fine on moderate dirt road without clearance or traction issues, either one of those (clearance or traction) reveal serious limitations. Jeeps or trucks are the vehicles for real off-road.

On the other hand, the X3 eats up and spits out our washboard mountain roads here in the Rockies, as it does our back dirt/gravel roads (sometimes also washboard) in the country. Moreover, it does particularly well in snow and even ice covered roads and highways. All of this I attribute in large part to its sophisticated AWD system and associated classic BMW "feel" for the road.

But as for serious off-road? You've got to be kidding. From the video, I suspect even my old Ford Explorer with a ho-hum set of M&S Goodyears would have eaten up that road in the video, without getting bogged down. My bud's GMC 1/2 ton would in turn have put the Explorer to shame. Those kids in the video should go back to town. ;)

pilotman
02-20-2008, 06:28 AM
Someone else's photo from the Performance Center off road course:

http://www.miniummobile.com/images/OffRoad.jpg

that doesn't appear to be an X3.

Andrew*Debbie
02-20-2008, 06:53 AM
that doesn't appear to be an X3.

No it is an X5. We drove an X3 on the same course.


The PC course takes an X3 just short of the design limits. With the low center of gravity you can pitch the car in all sorts of directions.

I found the course very educational. I have a better feel for what an X3 can and can't do.


As others have said the big issues with the X3 are clearance, traction and fording depth. The lack of a granny gear is another one, but less of a problem since the N52 has good low end torque.

Traction is mostly the street tires. While you can't lock the differentials, the dynamic control works. The car will get traction with 2 wheels off the ground. We could see the system working on the cars in front of us.

More:

http://www.edbmw.com/photos/displayimage.php?album=5&pos=15
http://www.edbmw.com/photos/displayimage.php?album=5&pos=16
http://www.edbmw.com/photos/displayimage.php?album=5&pos=17

STE92VE
02-20-2008, 07:01 AM
We drove an X3 on the same course.



I drove the X5 on the off-road course at the PC and was very impressed with the structural rigidity of the vehicle and I'm sure the X3 exhibits the same. No torquing when up on 2 wheels. The HDC (hill descent control on all X drive vehicles) demonstration was truly amazing.