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FLE39 12-29-2012 09:01 AM

Buyind advise; 2008 X3 & HID's
Hey guys, I found a CPO '08 X3 with like 37k miles. White/tan which is what we want. It's a base model I believe b/c it does NOT have HID headlights. That's a huge issue for me.... IIRC it just has reflector housings making a HID conversion even harder. HID's are big sticking point for me. To the point where I will pass on the car depending on how hard a HID conversion is. And I perfer factory HID's. I've done conversions... boxes, the HID computer trickster boxes etc. PITA. Thoughts? They are asking $25,888.

Here is the link to the car:

Currently my wife has a '08 C300 Auto with 43k miles. Grey/Blk mint condition. It's a very safe car but it drives like a ho-hum vehicle. Not BMW driving. I looked at a 535i E60, '08, and it's too big for her to drive. She's 5'-00". She can't even drive a camry... hence one reason we were down to a 3 series or C class. We have a 6 month old baby now and the "stuff" if you want to call it that for traveling is crazy. That C class got small in a hurry. And the kid is going into a toddler car seat in about 2 months and they are monsters. So we have 2 items working against the C300. 1- It's getting smaller by the day. 2- It does not drive like a BMW. But it still was a better choice at the time vs the E90 3 series. Safety and size wise.

x3brian 12-29-2012 09:22 AM

Xenon and adaptive steering headlights was a separate option on the 08 and was not part of the premium package (which on my iPhone its hard to tell if this car has edit...based on pictures car does not).

My 09 had xenon from the factory so I cannot suggest how hard the retrofit is. But it has been done...

Angel eyes:

Xenon like bulb replacement:


If you are in the market for an 07 or 08 the auto transmission should be your primary concern. Read sticky.

Problem was solved in late build months of 2008 and my 01/09 build x3 is rock solid since new and currently at 107k miles it is the most reliable car I have ever owned....this is afterall a fully refined, updated and final e46....

My suggestion....if you find an x3 WITHOUT the tranny issues in the sticky after an extensive test drive BUY it. The HID headlights are far less important than an unsafe transmission. However they are darn nice to have at night on country roads!

FLE39 12-29-2012 11:01 AM

did not know about the transmission issues... interesting. Thanks for that. Yes, I agree... I may just opt for a '09+

Edit: after searching the net... seems like a lot of 07-09 X3's have Auto trans issues. Man that really worries me. It's almost like you need to get a '10+ to be really safe. Frig man. Always something.

x3brian 12-29-2012 11:27 AM

The 09 models are safe. Like I said I have one built in 01/09 with no issues at 107k miles. The transmission control module was updated around August 2008 with a new part number according to real oem.

FLE39 12-29-2012 12:25 PM

good deal. my old lady is in love with the X3. so 09 + Thanks!

x3brian 12-29-2012 01:18 PM

One word of advice though from a fester that has been there and done that before...

I bought my wife the x3 new because she wanted a bigger car for the kids. It was quickly outgrown to become my car and I had to sell my 128i vert for a bigger car for her.

It might be wise to save some $s now and just get the minivan. I got her a VW routan fully loaded with a sticker of $40k for $30k brand new. As the kids get older and you have more of them, the stuff doesn't get smaller. Plus they have more friends.

I know it's a minivan but it handles well, is comfortable and with rear seat entertainment and wireless headphones the car is a dream to take the kids on long trips.

You can get a new one for the price of a used x3.

FLE39 12-30-2012 07:12 PM

Brian- I've been going over options and thinking this through... and you're like the 3rd person to tell me this. Plus I'm still not 100% sold on the newer X3's transmission, high used cost and high cost of 5yr ownwership. And for the price of a used 2010 X3 with 45k I can get a lot of "other vehicles" that are newer if not new!, lower miles and cost much less for maintenance. The X3 is overkill for Tampa. I wear short sleeves 99% of the year. So why take on extra trans issues and maintenance and worse MPG's for no reason other than to have a wagon-esque utility. One huge issue we keep having is my wife is 5'-0". She cannot drive Camry's, 5 series, E classes Etc size "cars". Especialy b/c of the car seating position generally being low. Her favorite type of vehicle is a crossover with mini-van type seating. Like her mom's Lexus RX330 being the epitome. That's about the largest vehicle she can safely drive and she likes the tall seating that type of car has. A minivan is going to be way too big of a vehicle for her. So I think we're stuck picking a crossover and calling it a day.

I (She) has narrowed it down to:
-Lexus RX
-Acura RDX (CRV in a prom dress with slightly better roof safety numbers)
-Honda CRV
-Toyota Highlander
-GMC Terrain/Chevy whatever it's called version
-Subaru Forester? Not sure if that's the model but these things popped up out of no where in the last few years around us. Very popular.
-Ford Edge/Lincoln MKX

Any of these would be much larger than a C300. Especially being the rear seats fold down in all of the above... None of my 2 BMW's and her Benz cars even have rear seats that fold down. So any crossover will provide huge utility vs what we have. I think any of these tall station wagons will suffice. I kind of like the Acura RDX. 4cyl Turbo. Honda simplicity and cheapness with a set of HID's basically. The GM's offer a 10yr/100k powertrain warranty which is a huge plus. Need to widdle them down and see if a 2-3yr old CPO or New one makes sense and pull the trigger. No huge rush...

x3brian 12-30-2012 07:34 PM

I would add gmc Acadia/Buick enclave.

Don't discount third row seating and center row captains chairs yet...

That GM has a brilliant chassis with an awesome direct injection 6 and 45k gets you a fully loaded brand new one. Don't forget that the car guy who green lighted that project and oversaw design worked for BMW in the 70s and was the guy who brought us the original 3 series...

Also...true Mom haulers are designed with 5 ft women in mind...they usually have power adjustable pedals. When you see a car with those, it will match the other cars in the pre school/elementary parking lot ;)

As for 09 and above reliability they are rock solid. I have an 09 auto with 107k super commuter miles and it is the best and most reliable car I have ever owned.

Another user on here has a manual 09 with around 104k and he says the same thing.

This really is the ultimate e46 that had 10 years to fix every issue.

FLE39 12-31-2012 04:25 PM

^I agree but that full size cross over is WAY to big for her. She test drove a new 2013 CRV tonight. Felt like a F350 Dually vs the C300. Was really impressed vs the old CRV. I think it's going to be the CRV.... Short women just love the phone book seating. Tired of fighting it LOL. Edmunds has it as the lowest TCO for 5yrs. It gets 31mpg hwy, 23mpg city, 26 combined. On 87 Regular. Rear DVD player. 60/40 folding seats (Back to doing home depot projects!) and a backup camera. Seats were beyond comfortable. And each seat has a arm rest. I must admit. If I can't be behind the wheel of my 335i or 530i, might as well be comfy and enjoy economy and watch some TV with the kid in the backseat. B/c riding or driving the C300 does not make me happy.

x3brian 12-31-2012 04:33 PM

Good deal! Enjoy.

Have you looked at the Toyota highlander yet? I travel a ton for work and in the new rental cars I have had, I like that a bit better than the CRV. Similar size but third row. That has saved me a few times on business trips.

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