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wingrove
04-23-2005, 01:05 PM
Im about to seal the deal on a 3L sport version and te one thing holding me back is some of the negative driving reviews in the press. Now ive had a test drive obviously but theres only so much you can gather from a 10 minute burn around the dealers block. Criticism that seems to come up is wind and road noise on the freeway, exhaust note and rear bench seat comfort. I simply cant think of another car that appeals to me more, and i know that should probably be enough but would love to hear some real world users thoughts on these issues
thanks all
j

Aaron325iT
04-23-2005, 01:29 PM
I just picked up my 3.0i non-sport on Thursday. My initial impressions are pretty positive about almost everything. Road and wind noise are considerably better in the X3 than the '03 325i wagon I traded in (surprisingly). The ride and handling are excellent...the ride is firm, but not harshly so. My non-sport X3 handles as well as my sport package 325i did (and it had high performance summer tires). Probably doesn't have the same limits as the 325i, but that's fine with me. The steering feel and balance are all great, and grip is excellent with the Xdrive AWD system.

Can't really speak to rear seat comfort, but the standard power driver's seat is very comfy to me, as much as the sport seat I had in the wagon. I have more impressions in this thread, with pics (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95334) .

I love my new car so far...I try and think of places to go now just to have an excuse to drive it!

wingrove
04-23-2005, 03:18 PM
Thanks aaron, I really want to love the car enough to say yes. Its funny that Ive read some bad reviews, but drivers impressions seem to be the opposite. Those motoring journos must be fussy buggers. No power seat as standard here in OZ, option for $2750au!

99flhr
04-23-2005, 05:06 PM
Im about to seal the deal on a 3L sport version and te one thing holding me back is some of the negative driving reviews in the press. Now ive had a test drive obviously but theres only so much you can gather from a 10 minute burn around the dealers block. Criticism that seems to come up is wind and road noise on the freeway, exhaust note and rear bench seat comfort. I simply cant think of another car that appeals to me more, and i know that should probably be enough but would love to hear some real world users thoughts on these issues
thanks all
j

Since the dealer would like you to drop a very large sum, perhaps you could take an extended test drive (1/2 day) you`re the person paying and you`re the person who has to live with this thing day to day. YOURS is the only opinion that matters ;)

wingrove
04-23-2005, 05:26 PM
good call. always good to get the wife and kids opinion too.

JG
04-23-2005, 06:25 PM
Im about to seal the deal on a 3L sport version and te one thing holding me back is some of the negative driving reviews in the press. Now ive had a test drive obviously but theres only so much you can gather from a 10 minute burn around the dealers block. Criticism that seems to come up is wind and road noise on the freeway, exhaust note and rear bench seat comfort. I simply cant think of another car that appeals to me more, and i know that should probably be enough but would love to hear some real world users thoughts on these issues
thanks all
j

This vehicle is a blast to drive. Today I went through torrential downpours, high crosswinds and extremely slick road conditions - and the X3 never put a foot wrong.

I tested the brakes several times stomping from 120km/hr to 40km/hr in seconds, in the same conditions - and the X3 braked quickly and in a solid straight line.

So if fun driving, and a high level of safety, stability and road control in nasty conditions, is what you are looking for - then the X3 is a good choice.

Back seat comfort is good - lots of room. I don't understand the highway noise comments - all I can hear is the pleasant sound of the 3 litre inline 6 and a taut suspension that gives excellent road feedback.

I understand some people want to be inside a soundproof box with no feeling of connectivity to the road - not me...........

I would agree with others - your dealer should let you spend a half day putting an X3 through it's paces. If you get a steptronic - keep it in sports mode unless you are cruising at 120km/hr or more.

Try putting the pedal to the floor from 0 - 120km - then let us know how the purchasing experience went!

JG
04-23-2005, 06:59 PM
Im about to seal the deal on a 3L sport version and te one thing holding me back is some of the negative driving reviews in the press. Now ive had a test drive obviously but theres only so much you can gather from a 10 minute burn around the dealers block. Criticism that seems to come up is wind and road noise on the freeway, exhaust note and rear bench seat comfort. I simply cant think of another car that appeals to me more, and i know that should probably be enough but would love to hear some real world users thoughts on these issues
thanks all
j

One other thing....

I drove the sport along with the regular version when testing, and my feeling is that the regular suspension is plenty taught and responsive - especially if you are going to be involved in winter driving and/or if driving comfort is important to you.

wingrove
04-23-2005, 07:49 PM
Thanks JG, great feedback. Is the impresssion from eveyone that the sport is noisier / harsher than the non sport? sounds like the non is sporty enough, im only going for it for the seats and wheel / tyre combo.
jas

Aaron325iT
04-23-2005, 09:15 PM
At the end of the day you really need to test both back to back to be satisfied. I've just been for an hour's drive in the new car and I'm still loving it. Xdrive is absolutely fantastic in the wet. Anyway, I never got the chance to test a sport-package car, but as i said above my non-sport compares really well with my sport 325i.

As for the seats and wheel...I guess I would agree with the wheel, it does look nice and chunky...but again that's personal preference eh?

Whichever you get you'll be getting one of the finest four wheel drive cars on the planet!

PS JG I don't think they get much "winter" in OZ!

a burrito
04-24-2005, 02:13 AM
Im about to seal the deal on a 3L sport version and te one thing holding me back is some of the negative driving reviews in the press. Now ive had a test drive obviously but theres only so much you can gather from a 10 minute burn around the dealers block. Criticism that seems to come up is wind and road noise on the freeway, exhaust note and rear bench seat comfort. I simply cant think of another car that appeals to me more, and i know that should probably be enough but would love to hear some real world users thoughts on these issues
thanks all
j

i'd request another test drive if your that serious about getting the car, if i was a salesman i definitely wouldnt mind

JG
04-24-2005, 09:34 AM
PS JG I don't think they get much "winter" in OZ!

Actually some areas do.

I have friends that ski in Australia's Kosciusko National Park. In addition to snow in agreeably somewhat limited areas of the Australian 'Alps' - there can be real nasty wet and windy conditions.

Most of the skiing on the world's smallest continent is located on the southeastern mountain ranges along the border of New South Wales and Victoria. That is, more or less between Sydney and Melbourne.

However - it's not winter like Canada eh! :D

Aaron325iT
04-24-2005, 09:38 AM
Actually some areas do.

I have friends that ski in Australia's Kosciusko National Park. In addition to snow in agreeably somewhat limited areas of the Australian 'Alps' - there can be real nasty wet and windy conditions.

Most of the skiing on the world's smallest continent is located on the southeastern mountain ranges along the border of New South Wales and Victoria. That is, more or less between Sydney and Melbourne.

However - it's not winter like Canada eh! :D
Cool, I just learned something new. I have the stereotypical view of someone who's never been there of beaches and sharks and year-round sunshine...

climrgrl
04-24-2005, 10:04 AM
Actually some areas do.

I have friends that ski in Australia's Kosciusko National Park. In addition to snow in agreeably somewhat limited areas of the Australian 'Alps' - there can be real nasty wet and windy conditions.

Most of the skiing on the world's smallest continent is located on the southeastern mountain ranges along the border of New South Wales and Victoria. That is, more or less between Sydney and Melbourne.

However - it's not winter like Canada eh! :D

It's interesting -- you go to Mammoth, CA during the winter, and there are a bunch of Aussie ski instructors and lift operators, just chasing winter all year round.....I admit to feeling a certain amount of yuppie-to-dirtbag envy as I go back to my 8-5 job after the weekend is over.

wingrove
04-24-2005, 02:18 PM
yep we certainly get one. although the ski season is short by comparison only about 2 and a half months and it gets pretty crowded and expensive as theres alot of people for not a lot of snow. it can get quite cold in winter down to say 38 overnight and in the peak of summer the odd day will get to 108. the best bit is spring and autumn, where its a fantastic sunny and comfortable 77 (what it is now) mind you this is in sydney, its colder down south towards melbourne and tasmania and much warmer up towards kakadu and darwin where in summer they get suicide season.
jas

wingrove
04-25-2005, 12:38 AM
So i can only presume that the descriptions that suggest it rides like the rear axle is welded straight to the frame and to pack aspirin for the bumpy ride are either made from a pre production test car or early '04 models?? theres some pretty unfriendly reviews out there!

Im definately one for going with the gut feeling and not listening too much to car (or movie) reviews, but its interesting that sooo many members here and my test drive experience seems so at odds with these fairly negative reviews!


http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=7592&page_number=1


this claims to be an '05 review too.
http://www.automotive.com/2005/12/bmw/x3/reviews/

adc
04-25-2005, 10:04 AM
So i can only presume that the descriptions that suggest it rides like the rear axle is welded straight to the frame and to pack aspirin for the bumpy ride are either made from a pre production test car or early '04 models?? theres some pretty unfriendly reviews out there!

They are completely untrue.

We drove anon-sport X3 and like many others here I personally thought it was a brilliant compromise between taut and comfortable. But my wife disagreed - she said she needs it to feel as taut her her sport-packaged A4. :dunno:

So off we went and test-drove a sport version. While it is noticeably stiffer, I still think it's very reasonable. It leans a lot less in transitions and the sport seats are several notches better than the regular ones. It's these 2 features that really convinced my wife to get the sport pack.

As far as inclement weather driving, please note that the sport pack does NOT decrease the ride height (same 8" clearance). Both sport and non-sport come with all-seasons, so if you do any serious mud-driving or snow-driving, you'll need a set of specialized rubber.

The standard X3 ride was according to my butt-o-meter somewhere between a non-sport 5 series and a sport 5 series. The sport pack on the X3 seemed to me to be between my sport-pack 330 on OEM 18" wheels and the non-sport 330.

Take it with a grain of salt, of course - but the only objectionable ride compromises I've found on the sport pack was the extra noise/vibration introduced when driving over expansion joints and potholes. If you can live with that, then my guess is that you'll be ok with the "harshness" level of the suspension.

adc
03 330 ZHP

sfca-325i
04-25-2005, 10:14 AM
wingrove,

I've commented on the rear bench before, but the comment deserves a comparative framework. The rear seats in the X3 are not as comfortable as the 325i's (the X3's predecessor). However, when compared with other SUV's (our Pilot for example), the rear bench is comparable. No better / no worse.

The ride quality on our 04 X3 is firm (we have non-sport). Again, compared to our Pilot, the ride is, unquestionably, firm. But the handling is so much better. I would place the ride quality on par with the Matrix and better than the M.

The wind noise is lower than the Pilot and it's predecessor (a 96 Landcruiser).

All in all, an evaluation of the X3's merits always have to be couched in relation to the alternatives.

mkh
04-25-2005, 11:28 AM
The sport pack on the X3 seemed to me to be between my sport-pack 330 on OEM 18" wheels and the non-sport 330.
adc, I think your sport-pack 330 on OEM 18" is actually a 330i/ZHP, right? So are you saying the X3 Sport is NOT as firm as the 330i/ZHP but firmer than a non-sport 330? If yes, then I exactly know how it rides. To me, if it is not stiffer than a 330i/ZHP, it is definitely not unbearable.

adc
04-25-2005, 01:53 PM
adc, I think your sport-pack 330 on OEM 18" is actually a 330i/ZHP, right? So are you saying the X3 Sport is NOT as firm as the 330i/ZHP but firmer than a non-sport 330? If yes, then I exactly know how it rides. To me, if it is not stiffer than a 330i/ZHP, it is definitely not unbearable.

Correct, I have the ZHP and the X3 Sport is much more compliant. Over the same test roads, there were places where the ZHP would "crash" and the X3 Sport not (some really bad potholes). But the X3 Sport will get that somewhat "jiggly" ride over non-smooth asphalt.

Maybe some people mistake that for harshness - in fact it's simply informative. It let's you know precisely what's going on without crashing or cracking your tooth enamel.

If any options were possible, I would have opted for the non-sport suspension with the sport seats. But that's just to dissuade my incipient racer wife from exploring the limits too often. :bigpimp:

adc
03 330 ZHP