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bredi
02-23-2005, 01:50 AM
I'm a new owner of a metalic silver 3.0 6spd!

Thanks for all of your help here! I was frustrated and almost walked away from an X3.
I'm glad I didn't.

Here are my conclusions to my "dilemas".

Sport or no Sport Package:
The ride on the sport was just too stiff. I also just didn't have enough time during the test drives to guage it. In addition, no one in Northern california had a 3.0 manual with sport! I'm happy with my decision. It handles amazingly without it. A bit bumpy at times. Thanks to those who pointed this out. You were right!

Interior:
Yes it needs some "more". Whatever that means. But the drive is more important to me.
Trim: the dealer is going to swap out my wood trim and install the matte titanium trim from a 2.5. I have been in it for 3 hours now. And I absolutely HATE the glossy wood. I brought it over to a friends and the second thing he said was the trim looks "faux". (He did know beforehand that I'm swapping it out). You can even see finger prints on the gloss trim! I still don't know why a more expensive X3 has less trim options than the 2.5.

My beloved Coupe behind.
The performance isn't as good as my 328ci. But it is an SAV! I get the room, the AWD and the towing. If I wasn't going to get into another coupe, this would be the only car/SAV I would get. It handles almost as good as my coupe for everyday driving (under the speed limit). On those windy turns, it handles better than many sedans I have driven. I forget I'm driving an SAV. Its softer on the acceleration as expected. But its still a fast car/SAV. They are such different cars, but the X3 is the closest thing to a coupe that an SUV can get.

X3 vs X5.
This was a toughy. I liked the smallness and handling of the X3, the looks and refinement of the X5. The towing was an issue in the X3. But a couple things changed my quest for an X5.

I found out that the X3 is rated at 4500lbs with a trailer that has brakes! Which my trailer has, so this puts me a bit at ease. The X5 is still the better SAV for towing. But given the short distance I'll be towing, I'll be ok. For the long 3 hour trips it will depend on weather, altitude and grades. I will cautiously feel it out before I attempt a longer trip. I found a great source for towing info here.
http://trailerboats.com/site_page_1483/article_page_162.cfm

Another factor was cost. Getting into an older X5 lease was just too expensive compared to getting into a new X3 with the current lease factor.

Lastly, the X5 3.0 felt heavy. (which is also why its a better tow vehicle). So it was an easier transition from coupe to X3. I agree that the X5 is more polished, and more like a true BMW. But it also felt too big and heavy. Which is strange considering the X3 isn't much smaller. The X3 is sporty and nimble. The X5 is a solid, refined machine.



There are some things I should have done different.

I should have built this car. Given the limited manuals out there, I was limited in my options. I wound up with a very basic car. Not even privacy glass!
But the problem was whether or not I'd get delivery before the lease special ends on March 31st?

I should have gotton the premium sound. the IceLink solves the iPod compatability problems with satellite prep, premium package etc.
I stressed about this for no reason. I gotta have my tunes!
http://www.densionusa.com

Floor Mats.
I hate the fact that when you buy a 40k car (A BMW no less) you have to buy additional floor mats. I should have pressed harder to have them thrown in. Talk about nickle and diming. I think it is insulting. I felt this way when buying my 328ci also. Maybe from Honda, but not BMW.


Some things I wish where an option on the X3.

I really miss my "Y" steering wheel on my coupe. Like the one found on the X3 Sport Package. I don't like that the volume control is not within thumb reach. Same with cruise control. Maybe I'll get a new steering wheel later on. But I'll probably just get used to it. I wish the "Y" wheel where a stand alone option.

I also wish there was an inbetween sport suspension and stock suspension option. Say an "activity package" or something. Maybe they will adjust it or offer it in the future.

I also would have choosen the star wheels like the sport package if offered on non-low profile tires. I don't like the stock ones.

The interior needs more to it inside. But this wasn't a factor for me. The driving performance was more important.
In the end, I got the matte titanium trim of the 2.5 on my 3.0, but I think it is silly to not offer it on the 3.0. Why would a more expensive car have less options? Silly. I hated the wood trims. The Aluminum trim grew on me, but I still get dizzy looking at it. Black is just plain.

I wish they offered a 3.3 , 3.5 or 3.8.
For towing, to reach class 3 (5000lbs) and a little more zip.

I'd love to see an adjustable ride height option like on an X5.

I hope they get the Hydrogen engines out soon. I hate that I have joined the sub 20 mpg club.

This experience shouldn't have been so hard. I'm a BMW fanatic! Which is why they got a sale. But a BMW fanatic wasn't getting what he wanted. I was getting frustrated with the limitations. There needs to be more options and flexibilty with this car.

Above all. I think they should drop the price 5k, or throw in more options like leather, privacy glass and floor mats! etc.

In all honesty, I'm not completely satisfied with my purchase because of these things. But its the handling and performance of the X3 that shines over all of this.
And this is why I'm really enjoying this car... uh SAV!

Thanks again for everyones help!


bredi

motordavid
02-23-2005, 06:02 AM
bredi: pretty well done and informative review,imo.
I sorta have the hots for an X3,too: to replace the X5 or as add. for TheMissus.

Agree w/you on your nits&picsk and the ordering labyrinth and options catch22.
GL on your new ride. md

climrgrl
03-06-2005, 01:04 AM
If you don't mind my asking, what did the dealer charge you for swapping out the wood trim for the matte trim? I'm about to order one and I don't especially like any of the trims....Do you have before and after pics? Which wood trim did you have -- the dark sycamore maple or the light birch?

bredi
03-06-2005, 11:13 PM
If you don't mind my asking, what did the dealer charge you for swapping out the wood trim for the matte trim? I'm about to order one and I don't especially like any of the trims....Do you have before and after pics? Which wood trim did you have -- the dark sycamore maple or the light birch?


I negotiated it with the purchase of the car. I basically told them no deal if they didn't do it. Thats how much I hated the maple trim.

I got the matte trim and it looks much, much better. I'll take a photo and post it.

Also, I saw someone on ebay did the same thing and he posted his maple trim.
He said he did it himself. the door handles just popped off.
there is a manual out there somewhere.

i think this would be a good aftermarket thing.

bredi
03-06-2005, 11:21 PM
If you don't mind my asking, what did the dealer charge you for swapping out the wood trim for the matte trim? I'm about to order one and I don't especially like any of the trims....Do you have before and after pics? Which wood trim did you have -- the dark sycamore maple or the light birch?

check it out.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7954251746

from his post
Installation is easy:*


The door handles just pop off. Use a screwdriver to wedge and twist the ridge between the trim/door handle. Then new trim snaps on. No need to remove the door panels.

The center console trim is attached by 4 screws and 2 clamps. Lift up the shift lever boot and lift up the bottom surround trim of the AC/VENT controls to unscrew/unclamp the trim. Transfer the wires and LED light to the new trim. Screw/clamp the new trim on.

Vs1
10-30-2006, 11:44 AM
As I can remember there was an exellent DYI article post by climrgrl on the X3world how to replace the trim.

I would like to replace my wood trim with the aluminum looks but have not found it. At least not paying full retail from the dealer.

Let me know if you have a set for sale or point me in that direction.

TIA

Brent P
10-30-2006, 03:50 PM
Unfortunately the U.S. gets ripped off on its choices again for the X3. Not only is the X3 selection limited to one model, the 3.0si, but they took away the matte titanium trim option. You can still get the titanium trim everywhere else, and we will definitely order it when we change to the '07 model later this year. I hate wood, personally. It looks very cheesy and belongs in a luxomobile like dad's Cadillac, not in a performance vehicle like a BMW.

tom @ eas
11-06-2006, 05:47 PM
I should have gotton the premium sound. the IceLink solves the iPod compatability problems with satellite prep, premium package etc.
I stressed about this for no reason. I gotta have my tunes!
http://www.densionusa.com

Good job on the review - however the ice>Link has been discontinued and replaced with the DICE iPod kit in the states:

DICE iPod Integration Kit for BMW
http://www.europeanautosource.com/product_info.php?products_id=268

Let me know if you have any questions on the system - we're glad to help.