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View Full Version : Test drive of the X3 - lots of plastic!


jhwe46
09-18-2004, 07:00 AM
I test drove a 3.0L X3 yesterday and I was very impressed with the handling, etc. I have aggressive suspension on my e46 so I know what a hard ride is like - IMO the X3 with the stock suspension was pretty stiff. Not sure I'd want the Sport, personally. My wife's ML feels like a Lincoln compared to the X3!

But my real issue is with the interior. It really seemed overboard with the cheap plastic. I know it's not any more plastic than my e46 but it seemed so cheap. The black blastic exterior panels didn't help. Now I need to drive a Touraeg and an XC90 for comparsion.

Anybody else get the cheap feeling from the interior? It was leather...but :confused:

jhwe46
09-18-2004, 08:16 AM
But it's German plastic. :eek:

:thumbup:

gojira-san
09-18-2004, 11:55 AM
But it's German plastic. :eek::rofl:

ProcyonB
09-18-2004, 12:31 PM
I test drove a 3.0L X3 yesterday and I was very impressed with the handling, etc. I have aggressive suspension on my e46 so I know what a hard ride is like - IMO the X3 with the stock suspension was pretty stiff. Not sure I'd want the Sport, personally. My wife's ML feels like a Lincoln compared to the X3!

But my real issue is with the interior. It really seemed overboard with the cheap plastic. I know it's not any more plastic than my e46 but it seemed so cheap. The black blastic exterior panels didn't help. Now I need to drive a Touraeg and an XC90 for comparsion.

Anybody else get the cheap feeling from the interior? It was leather...but :confused:

The interior is a bit spartan -- my biggest gripe about the X3 has always been its interior. Both the Toureg and the Volvo have much plusher interiors, but the X3 just completely trounces them in handling / on-road performance.

RCK
09-18-2004, 01:02 PM
Now I need to drive a Touraeg and an XC90 for comparsion.



That's not fair, totally different vehicle classes.

A X5 would be more comparable :thumbup:

ProcyonB
09-18-2004, 01:07 PM
That's not fair, totally different vehicle classes.

A X5 would be more comparable :thumbup:

True, but since BMW insists on advertising the X3 against the Toureg ... :dunno:

imo neither of the X vehicles are truly comparable to the Toureg since it is a true ORV like a Jeep or Hummer. The Toureg can't compare on-road to the X's because of the equipment needed to make it such a capable off-roader.

Emission
09-18-2004, 01:45 PM
True, but since BMW insists on advertising the X3 against the Toureg ... :dunno:

imo neither of the X vehicles are truly comparable to the Toureg since it is a true ORV like a Jeep or Hummer. The Toureg can't compare on-road to the X's because of the equipment needed to make it such a capable off-roader.

I'd argue with the same tires, the X5 and X3 are every bit as good off-road as the VW, Porsche, and Jeep. The Hummer is in another class.

I took my X5 off-road with a buddy in his Jeep Rubicon. I could go everywhere he could (assuming the approach and departure angles worked for me) - I was not traction limited anywhere (and I was on street Michelins). On top of that, my X5 doesn't have X-Drive!

The X5 and X3 are very capable off-road.

ProcyonB
09-18-2004, 01:56 PM
I'd argue with the same tires, the X5 and X3 are every bit as good off-road as the VW, Porsche, and Jeep. The Hummer is in another class.

I took my X5 off-road with a buddy in his Jeep Rubicon. I could go everywhere he could (assuming the approach and departure angles worked for me) - I was not traction limited anywhere (and I was on street Michelins). On top of that, my X5 doesn't have X-Drive!

The X5 and X3 are very capable off-road.

I've never offroaded an X, but they do not have to lug around hydrolic lift-kits (whatever it's called) that allow them to raise the body of the car and ford deeper streams, et cetera -- which also means that the X's should have limitations short of the VWs OR capabilities?

My point is that comparing a 6200lb vehicles street performance to a 4300lb vehicles same performance isn't really a level playing field. The VW drives like a big plush truck, whereas the X vehicles drive like sports sedans.

btw yes Hummers are in their own class. You get them because you either a) need some serious OR capability, or b) need some serious bling to show off.

Emission
09-18-2004, 02:04 PM
You should try your X5/X3 in the mud. Pretty funny (especially watching other people in Jeeps - you should see their faces!).

ProcyonB
09-18-2004, 03:09 PM
You should try your X5/X3 in the mud. Pretty funny (especially watching other people in Jeeps - you should see their faces!).

Maybe :dunno: if I want to get it muddy. :p

Emission
09-18-2004, 03:12 PM
Maybe :dunno: if I want to get it muddy. :p

Nothing that a WetVac couldn't handle.

ProcyonB
09-18-2004, 06:17 PM
Nothing that a WetVac couldn't handle.

:yikes: :thumbup:

eddy_merckxdomo
09-20-2004, 07:45 PM
I have a new X3 - 2.5 and love it. great handling, fantastic brakes, and great engine. 2.5 may seem a little light on power but it's not bad with the 5 speed auto. Fit and finish on the car - overall - are very good, however, there is a lot of plastic. But But there's a lot plastic on a 545i which is well over $60K car loaded if that makes you feel better. Also, you can get really cheap leases on X3's.

Anyway, I drove the x3 3.0 sport package and didn't feel it was worth the extra $. Suspension was too stiff and it didn't seem that much faster.

My only complaint about the car is that the ride is a bit bouncy.

Also, I just drove a toureg. It's very nice, but it feels like a much larger, heavier vehicle, and I wasn't exactly impressed with the interior pieces either. Also, guages are illuminated with this weird purple lighting which is terrible and the dashboard layout is really busy. 3.0 seemed a bit underpowered too but you pay a big premium for the v8. Anyway, I would definitely check out the Toureg.

Eric





I test drove a 3.0L X3 yesterday and I was very impressed with the handling, etc. I have aggressive suspension on my e46 so I know what a hard ride is like - IMO the X3 with the stock suspension was pretty stiff. Not sure I'd want the Sport, personally. My wife's ML feels like a Lincoln compared to the X3!

But my real issue is with the interior. It really seemed overboard with the cheap plastic. I know it's not any more plastic than my e46 but it seemed so cheap. The black blastic exterior panels didn't help. Now I need to drive a Touraeg and an XC90 for comparsion.

Anybody else get the cheap feeling from the interior? It was leather...but :confused:

harplayr
09-21-2004, 09:19 AM
I test drove a 3.0L X3 yesterday and I was very impressed with the handling, etc. I have aggressive suspension on my e46 so I know what a hard ride is like - IMO the X3 with the stock suspension was pretty stiff. Not sure I'd want the Sport, personally. My wife's ML feels like a Lincoln compared to the X3!

But my real issue is with the interior. It really seemed overboard with the cheap plastic. I know it's not any more plastic than my e46 but it seemed so cheap. The black blastic exterior panels didn't help. Now I need to drive a Touraeg and an XC90 for comparsion.

Anybody else get the cheap feeling from the interior? It was leather...but :confused:Sounds like you need a Lexus. Got all the baubles, handles like a 60's Buick. For myself I'm very happy trading some of the plushy stuff for the excellent handling.

LeucX3
09-21-2004, 09:21 AM
Perhaps all the plastic in the e83 is a sign of things to come in the e90. The new 3 was designed after the X3 after all...Get used to it. :D

eelnoraa
09-21-2004, 12:23 PM
That's not fair, totally different vehicle classes.

A X5 would be more comparable :thumbup:

What you said is true size wise. But price wise, X3, especiialy the 3.0 is in the same range.

eel

LeucX3
09-21-2004, 01:23 PM
What you said is true size wise. But price wise, X3, especiialy the 3.0 is in the same range.

eel
Ummm, to some people $5k is still a lot of money.

Desertnate
09-21-2004, 01:30 PM
Perhaps all the plastic in the e83 is a sign of things to come in the e90. The new 3 was designed after the X3 after all...Get used to it. :D

My gripe with the plastic isn't the ammount. Its the quality of the materials and the layout. My 11-year old even noticed it.

eelnoraa
09-21-2004, 05:00 PM
My gripe with the plastic isn't the ammount. Its the quality of the materials and the layout. My 11-year old even noticed it.

yes, i am with you here. I don't consider myself have low requirement on interior. I actually think Z4 and E60 has decent interor material. But when I hopped into X3, I just cann't help but notice the subpar interior material and quality. In fact, it is the only reason keep me from getting one.

eel

LeucX3
09-21-2004, 06:00 PM
In fact, it is the only reason keep me from getting one.

eel
How about maybe also because your car isn't even a year old yet? :D

ProcyonB
09-21-2004, 07:29 PM
How about maybe also because your car isn't even a year old yet? :D

Ah that isn't a good reason not to get a car -- I have 2 '04s and I am buying an '05. :dunno:

eelnoraa
09-21-2004, 07:51 PM
How about maybe also because your car isn't even a year old yet? :D

I was chosing between X3 and 330 at the beginning of the year. I like X3 for the pratical reason, ie, cargo space, x-drive, so that I can go camping and ski with it. Its interior steered me back to 330.

eel

Christian
10-03-2004, 09:38 PM
Now I need to drive a Touraeg and an XC90 for comparsion.


I just bought a T-reg V6 over an X3. I love my current BMW, so I initially wanted another one.

I loved the way the X3 drove. Felt like a tall 3 series, steering and all. I like the appearance as well. In fact, there wasn't anything I didn't like about it. I really like the X3, and if towing capacity wasn't a deciding factor for me, there's a very good chance I'd be driving one.

I ended up choosing the VW for a few reasons. First was size. The T-reg feels as large inside and out as the X5, buy at the price of the X3. The interior fit is as good as the BMW, but I don't like the look of some of the VW plastics quite as much. Second was towing capacity. 7700 for the VW vs. 3500 for the BMW. I tow boats around so this was important to me, but to most people would be a non-issue. Third, I liked having a true low range four wheel drive for occasional off roading. The VR6 engine is every bit as smooth as the BMW engine, but it doesn't feel as responsive or as quick as the X3 due to the weight. Only time will tell if reliability is as good as my BMW has been.

I can't comment on the XC90, as I didn't drive one. However, I think they're look is very striking. In retrospect I wish I would've test drove one before my VW purchase.

Ideally I'd have bought an X5, but the cost would've been a solid 10K over what the VW cost me, even for a stripper 3.0.

Ryouko
10-22-2004, 06:32 AM
I just bought a T-reg V6 over an X3. I love my current BMW, so I initially wanted another one.

I loved the way the X3 drove. Felt like a tall 3 series, steering and all...

I ended up choosing the VW for a few reasons. First was size. The T-reg feels as large inside and out as the X5, buy at the price of the X3.... The VR6 engine is every bit as smooth as the BMW engine, but it doesn't feel as responsive or as quick as the X3 due to the weight. Only time will tell if reliability is as good as my BMW has been.



Hi, everyone. Noobie here, but I wanted to throw in my 2 cents. The end of our lease on our '01 330ci coming up, my husband and I test drove both the Touraeg and the X3. Me, having VW's for a couple years, first with an '02 GTI VR6, now the '04 .:R32, love VW.

I really liked the styling on the T-reg, and thought it would be kinda cool to have two different cars with the same engine (the R and the 6 cylinder T-reg share the same VR6. Yes, the R is a powerhouse!) The interior was beautiful, very luxurious, the ride smooth and confident feeling. What I didn't like was the slowness. Now, I knew the difference between my R and an SUV would be a huge dissapointment, but the T-reg is a heavy, heavy, vehicle, and it was to be expected. Also, the T-reg doesn't come in manual, huge detractor for me!

We then prompty test drove a manual X3 3.0, and all thoughts of the T-reg were dust. The X3 handles so similar to our 330ci, and technically, the amount of space in the T-reg is equal to the X3. With the prices so similar, we couldn't reason getting the VW over the BMW.

I do admit, the plasticness that fills the X3 is a little dissapointing, but honestly, you're driving an SUV. I don't know what all of you chose to buy an SUV for, but we need it for hauling our dog around. I felt the spartan, easy to clean surfaces were nice, and the uncluttered control panels a relief after looking at the jumbled dials and knobs on the T-reg.