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View Full Version : 1497 Miles in an X3 in Europe


beware_phog
06-21-2004, 03:39 PM
I have recently returned from my ED trip where I drop 1497 miles on an 3.0 X3. Overall, my wife and I were very pleased with our purchase.

My other BMW is an '04 330Cic so that is my reference point.

We drove, slept, ate, slept and drove some more on the autobahn, in cities, on two-lane twisty roads and anything in between.

Driving--I've never had an SUV/SAV so sitting up higher took some getting used to. After a 100 miles or so I was able to get a better feel for the car and it takes a couple hundred miles for the tread to be broken in on tires.

Like you would expect (or perhaps maybe not), the car handles like my 330. I see it as a 3-series that sits higher. I didn't get the sport package due to some concern about rough ride (330 Cic does have it). After a few hundred miles, I didn't notice the height at all. I was in a BMW and could do all the things I always do in a BMW.

Acceleration was obviously not as quick as I was carrying an extra 1,000 pounds and luggage. However, as I got up to speed, driving fast (100 MPH+) was very comfortable. Driving twisty roads through the mountains was equally enjoyable. I used the steptronic most of the time pretty much to allow me to downshift quicker.

My wife sat in the back for a portion of the trip and neither of us noticed anything "rough" about the ride as others have mentioned. Perhaps due to the non-sport package or that they've toned it down at the factory. Whatever it is, the car/truck was fine.

All in all I loved it. I expected it to be a taller 3-series...and it was. (Whew!)

Interior--We had the black leather/dash. And although there were some who said the plastic and other items in the interior were cheap, I didn't think so. Seemed pretty similar to my 330. The doors "thudded" fine, the seats were very comfortable with lots of settings including lumbar support, and the steering wheel was your typical steering wheel.

The giant sun roof was great either all the way open or with multiple venting options.

We didn't have the NAV so the extra storage there is great and was perfect place for coins and cash to pay the endless number of tolls in France.

The pockets in the doors were plenty sturdy for water bottles, books, and other stuff. unlike others, I didn't find that part flimsy at all.

We got the basic radio and that was fine as we installed the aux-in. Cruising with an iPOD..nothing better. Really no complaints (complaining about the size of cup-holders doesn't count because if you want millions of cup-holders, buy a mini-van).

The hatchback didn't always seem to shut easily or lock regularly. I'll have the dealer look at that upon delivery. Everything else worked.

Other--Park Distance Control is fantastic....especially in European parking lots and garages that were designed for Mini's. Different beeps for front or back as well as directional. I know this is common in the US on most SUV's. Definitely would suggest it as a worthy although the option in expensive.

****

I'm happy and can't wait to get it to the States.

Jim H
06-21-2004, 07:41 PM
Just out of curiosity, did you install the aux input yourself, or did you have a dealer do it while you were on ED?

beware_phog
06-22-2004, 07:10 AM
Just out of curiosity, did you install the aux input yourself, or did you have a dealer do it while you were on ED?

I had a dealer do it.

LeucX3
06-22-2004, 08:50 AM
Sounds good. Glad you like the X3 as well. I've carried a lot of stuff so far and will carry more with my move coming up soon.

euro-d
09-29-2004, 01:56 PM
I had a dealer do it.

What would you expect a dealer in Germany to charge to install an AUX input on an X3 with standard radio?

Does anyone know how difficult it would be to install yourself? I will be travelling with a friend who is very handy with things like that, but it would still be too much of a hassle to carry around multiple tools if it is a complicated install or requires time-consuming dash disassembly etc.

sfca-325i
09-29-2004, 02:25 PM
What would you expect a dealer in Germany to charge to install an AUX input on an X3 with standard radio?

Does anyone know how difficult it would be to install yourself? I will be travelling with a friend who is very handy with things like that, but it would still be too much of a hassle to carry around multiple tools if it is a complicated install or requires time-consuming dash disassembly etc.

Looks to be pretty simple, although I'll admit I had the dealer install the aux input.

Instruction link (http://www.bmwmotorsports.org/crew/ucrewx5/pdf/E39_E53_E83AuxPortInstallInst.pdf)

sfca-325i
09-29-2004, 02:26 PM
DIY link (for real pictures) (http://home.comcast.net/~goriie/X3/auxport.html)

euro-d
09-29-2004, 02:47 PM
Looks to be pretty simple, although I'll admit I had the dealer install the aux input.

Instruction link (http://www.bmwmotorsports.org/crew/ucrewx5/pdf/E39_E53_E83AuxPortInstallInst.pdf)

Thanks.

I'll forward it to my friend and see if that is something feasible for him to do on the road without special tools or if I will just wait until the car gets delivered locally and have the dealer do it.

beware_phog
09-29-2004, 04:41 PM
What would you expect a dealer in Germany to charge to install an AUX input on an X3 with standard radio?

Does anyone know how difficult it would be to install yourself? I will be travelling with a friend who is very handy with things like that, but it would still be too much of a hassle to carry around multiple tools if it is a complicated install or requires time-consuming dash disassembly etc.

It took about 90 minutes and cost about $250. I can't recall the name (contact), but will get that posted later.

For me, when traveling, why waste your time on a DIY when you are in a place you never go to. Spend the $$ and enjoy an extra pint or two!

sfca-325i
09-29-2004, 07:33 PM
My dealer charged $150.

One thing I noticed is that the volume from the aux source is less than either the tuner or cd. It's bothersome if I forget to lower the volume and then switch to another audio source.

I installed an aux on my Honda Pilot. It's a Peripheral Interface device and the volume from the aux is comparable to the tuner / cd / res dvd. The intall was very easy. Remove the radio trim plate. Remove the radio. Plug the interface into the back of the radio. Thread the cables down into the lower part of the console. Add a switch for the ground connection. Took all of about an hour to install in the Pilot.

Makes me wonder if a better interface would produce better volume in aux mode for the X3.

euro-d
09-29-2004, 07:47 PM
My dealer charged $150.

One thing I noticed is that the volume from the aux source is less than either the tuner or cd. It's bothersome if I forget to lower the volume and then switch to another audio source.

I installed an aux on my Honda Pilot. It's a Peripheral Interface device and the volume from the aux is comparable to the tuner / cd / res dvd. The intall was very easy. Remove the radio trim plate. Remove the radio. Plug the interface into the back of the radio. Thread the cables down into the lower part of the console. Add a switch for the ground connection. Took all of about an hour to install in the Pilot.

Makes me wonder if a better interface would produce better volume in aux mode for the X3.

Can't you just turn up the volume on the portable device so you don't have to have high volume on the radio?

haigha
09-29-2004, 09:06 PM
Makes me wonder if a better interface would produce better volume in aux mode for the X3.
On the X5, the 1 - 6 preset buttons control the AUX volume (it's in the manual). I don't know if it's the same for the X3.

sfca-325i
09-30-2004, 06:47 AM
Can't you just turn up the volume on the portable device so you don't have to have high volume on the radio?


Sorry, I should have been more descriptive. The sound comparison between the aux and the other sources is with the portable device at full volume (it's the 60GB version of the Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen Xtra).

beware_phog
10-05-2004, 11:51 AM
What would you expect a dealer in Germany to charge to install an AUX input on an X3 with standard radio?

Does anyone know how difficult it would be to install yourself? I will be travelling with a friend who is very handy with things like that, but it would still be too much of a hassle to carry around multiple tools if it is a complicated install or requires time-consuming dash disassembly etc.

My work was done at BMW Niederlassung. It cost 167.52 Euros and took about two hours (sort of depends how busy they are, etc). It seems like a pretty big dealer with tons of BMWs in an underground garage where you take your car for service (park distance control very helpful!).

An appointment is needed. Contact Christian.Rankl@bmw.de. He speaks English and helped me out. He's a service appointment guy in the office.