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Capobranco 01-02-2013 02:32 PM

X3 35i M Sport - I was blind but now I see...
 
I have been in the market for a new suv and have tested a variety of models this past month. We use our suv for both business and fun – we don't have kids but we do have a very large German shepherd dog and a very active sports oriented life style.

I focused on BMW and Porsche offerings. I drove the X3 35i last year and found it to be a little boring so I concentrated on X5 variants. I drove the X5d, X5 35i, X5 5.0, X6 3.5 – all nice. I had fond memories of the X5d steering and given the very generous year end incentives – the diesel was clearly the early favorite. However, when I dove it this past month I found the diesel clatter – although muffled – obtrusive. Moving on to the X5 35i – nice but nothing compelling. I tested a M Sport 5.0 and liked it, but found the pervasive sense of weight off putting. Moreover, although the vehicle conveyed a sense of tank-like invulnerability the ride was stiff and less than compliant. On to the X6 – I thought it might be fun but my German shepherd hated it. At the end of the day I thought I might drive home in an X5 5.0 M Sport. I came close but did not pull the trigger – thinking about the dollars out and the very real possibility that I would take a significant hit in terms of depreciation given the X5's looming replacement - I decided to postpone the decision and ride over to my "friendly" Porsche dealer.

I was able to closely examine a CayenneD and CayenneS. In general , the Cayenne exuded freshness – and athleticism. I found the interior modern, sporty, and very comfortable. At $62K the CayenneD was a compelling value vs. the X5d especially given the somewhat dated persona of the BMW. Although the Porsche diesel was a great package overall – genetically there must be something in my DNA that keeps me from turning a deaf ear to the diesel clatter – Porsche moniker not withstanding. In general, I found the Porsche to drive "small" as opposed to X5 variants that drove "large". I found the CayenneS at $80K to be the better overall choice compared to the BMW X5 5.0 and was tempted but thoughts of my previous experiences servicing my Porsches stopped me. My Porsche experiences have been the stuff of nightmares as opposed to the trouble free and responsive care I have received by my dealer in the metro DC area- Passport BMW, and by BMWNA.

So back to Passport to buy a X5 5.0 but I just was not feeling it – wow – a bunch of money for a nice vehicle but I still had serious reservations. I was paralyzed….out of desperation asked to drive an X3 – knowing it was a waste of time. My Passport buddy brought me an X3 to drive …..Hmmm…..M Sport Carbon black….not bad – but I know I hate the very bland interior?…...nope – nice interior design that exudes a sense of sporty purposefulness and finely executed design details . The sports seats coddle my 6'3" frame just right Well….ll I know the thing drives like an economy car?…...nope – tight – responsive and fast – a feeling of connectivity and lightness pervades – feels like the same guys who designed my M3 had a hand in fine-tuning this X3. OK, I know carrying capacity has to be compromised? – no again – the X3 is cavernous.

I was really impressed with the X3 35i M Sport but I was not sure if this was passing infatuation induced by the fatigue of testing all the others - I decided to think about it especially since the loaded X3 I would order would be more than an X5d after discounts…..After thinking about it – I pulled the trigger and ordered an X3 35i M Sport Carbon Black/Oyster. Rarely do we have the opportunity to order a "perfect" vehicle in terms of our needs and desires. I feel very privileged to have found such a vehicle in my M3 and now I think I may have found another in my coming X3 M Sport. Fast, responsive, capable, comfortable, athletic, maybe the perfect compelling suv in terms of my needs and desires.

BTW my German shepherd loved it!

noka 01-02-2013 02:56 PM

:):)

Burtman 01-02-2013 05:38 PM

Congrats.........I have a 2013 X3 35i with the M package........You are going to love it !:thumbup:

alex md 01-02-2013 05:41 PM

Very nice , I was in your shoes and end up buying X33.5 M sport as well
Perfect blend of mid size SUV that fits my wife,me and soon be very large golden doodle/he is only 7 mo and 52 pounds/ Alex

Bmwlvr60 01-02-2013 09:10 PM

Hallelujah! I would say that this review has an amazing grace about it.

poker838 01-03-2013 07:35 AM

Congrats on your choice.

What has changed between your initial test drive of a "plain jane" 3.5 and an M Sport 3.5? Also, what did your dog not like about the X6?

lbjgh 01-03-2013 10:36 AM

I wondered about the 35i and the sport 35i too. :dunno:
Quote:

Originally Posted by poker838 (Post 7286564)
Congrats on your choice.

What has changed between your initial test drive of a "plain jane" 3.5 and an M Sport 3.5? Also, what did your dog not like about the X6?


Capobranco 01-03-2013 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by poker838 (Post 7286564)
Congrats on your choice.

What has changed between your initial test drive of a "plain jane" 3.5 and an M Sport 3.5? Also, what did your dog not like about the X6?

Hmmm...it's been a while...as I remember it - the car I drove was a stripper. The driving experience was underwhelming - the vehicle lacked a feeling of connectivity. There was nothing about the X3 that grabbed me and said "you gotta get this". Overall - a lot of money for not much suv. Maybe the X3 I drove really was good but I was just not mentally open to its potential. I suspect that the 2013 I recently drove has been beneficiary of many BMW tweaks in the past 16 months. Moreover, the M Sport I just drove emotionally connected with me - I luv the sports seats and the M steering wheel! Perhaps by driving so many alternatives, my eyes were open to the realization that the X3 35i M Sport is an exceptional value - this kinda sums up my feelings - BMW X3 35i M Sport There is No Substitute....at least I couldn't find one....

X6 and 100 Lb German shepherds are not a great mix - my shepherd said that the very high tail gate was a bitch - moreover once he made the effort to jump twice his shoulder height he was rewarded with a very restricted rear luggage area. The back seats were also very claustrophobic given the sloping coupe roof line. He made it very clear that if I bought the X6 that his feelings obviously counted for very little and I should be prepare myself to suffer the inevitable consequences....

Thanks guys for all the nice comments - I am very excited about my new X3 - I am counting the days! I think my Carbon Black X3 will feel right at home next to my Silverstone M3!

swood02 01-03-2013 02:04 PM

We will need pics of course. :)

Carbon black X3 M-sport is a hot combo.

ErnestHouse 01-03-2013 08:53 PM

Did you drive the Touareg TDI with it's 405 pounds of torque? It seems to price out about the same as an X3 35i but doesn't have the X3's twisted up window line of the rear quarter panel. The Touareg keeps it flat like the X5, Q5 and others. It also has a dynamic suspension.

Capobranco 01-03-2013 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ErnestHouse (Post 7288467)
Did you drive the Touareg TDI with it's 405 pounds of torque? It seems to price out about the same as an X3 35i but doesn't have the X3's twisted up window line of the rear quarter panel. The Touareg keeps it flat like the X5, Q5 and others. It also has a dynamic suspension.

No I did not, but I did test the X5d and the Porsche CayenneD. Both were about 62K – only a few thousand more than the list price of my X3. Although the BMW X5 is a bit stale, the Porsche seemed initially to be a compelling value until I drove it. We all have different priorities, but I consider a ” Porsche” Diesel that does 0 -60 in 7+ seconds to be an oxy-moron. Perhaps I should reconcile myself to the idea that God created two kinds of enthusiasts – those who savor the music of a thoroughbred gas engine and those who swoon to the tune of chitty-chitty-bang-bang….naw ...jus' joking!

BogX3 01-03-2013 11:22 PM

I'm just curious, aside from the diesel sound, would you recommend the CayenneD?

nhman 01-04-2013 04:01 AM

Capobranco, congrats on the pending arrival of your new X3 M-sport. Beautiful car especially in Carbon Black. Did you also get the Dynamic Handling Pkg (DHP)?

The most important question, is your German Shepard allowed in the M3? Silverstone is a nice color and rare in the sea of black, white and grey (M3's).

ErnestHouse 01-04-2013 04:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capobranco (Post 7288571)
No I did not, but I did test the X5d and the Porsche CayenneD. Both were about 62K...We all have different priorities, but I consider a " Porsche" Diesel that does 0 -60 in 7+ seconds to be an oxy-moron. ...

Pity, you might have enjoyed it. The Touareg Executive TDI is a clean diesel and prices out in the same ballpark but with that 405 torque does 0-60 in 5.8 like the X3 35i but with 20/29 mpg. The Cayenne also has the flat windo line. I suppose God created still other enthusiasts with BOTH eyes and ears that appreciate how it both sings and how it looks. :rofl:

Capobranco 01-04-2013 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BogX3 (Post 7288713)
I'm just curious, aside from the diesel sound, would you recommend the CayenneD?

Quote:

Originally Posted by ErnestHouse (Post 7288841)
Pity, you might have enjoyed it. The Touareg Presidential TDI is a clean diesel and prices out in the same ballpark but with that 405 torque does 0-60 in 5.8 like the X3 35i but with 20/29 mpg. The Cayenne also has the flat windo line. I suppose God created still other enthusiasts with BOTH eyes and ears that appreciate how it both sings and how it looks. :rofl:

Aside from sound? ….actually I find that sound is one of the most enjoyable aspects of driving. The sound of my M3 is one of the essential elements that magically transports me to a very special place where man – machine – road become one – a transcendental reality where I find myself living in the moment. I can go weeks without ever listening to my stereo – preferring the sensual rapture of M song.

When all is said and done the Cayenne D remains a seductive vehicle that promises Porsche cache and value. The Cayenne I tested was lighted optioned at 62K but struck me as a compelling choice especially if one were also considering a BMW X5d. However the proof is in the driving - yeah the Cayenne handles well, looks great inside and out – but it still goes like a diesel. I have owned Porsches in the past and I just can’t quite understand the idea of a Porsche diesel – which destroys my romantic memories of the brand. On a purely practical note, I would still choose a BMW X5d over a Cayenne D, even though I might give the edge to the more contemporary Porsche, given the total luxury car driving experience. My local BMW dealer and BMWNA have taken care of me when there have been issues – the Porsche experience can be more contentious and will be more expensive.

As to eyes and ears - the emperor has no clothes - a Porsche tractor or VW tractor? - pick your poison - a 4600 rpm red line is the stuff of tractor pull dreams. Speaking of oxy-morons - Presidential VW?

glennk 01-04-2013 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ErnestHouse (Post 7288841)
Pity, you might have enjoyed it. The Touareg Presidential TDI is a clean diesel and prices out in the same ballpark but with that 405 torque does 0-60 in 5.8 like the X3 35i but with 20/29 mpg. The Cayenne also has the flat windo line. I suppose God created still other enthusiasts with BOTH eyes and ears that appreciate how it both sings and how it looks. :rofl:

Odd, Consumer Reports is showing the 0-60 time of 8.4 seconds for the Touareg TDI. Where did you get your numbers at?

ErnestHouse 01-04-2013 09:39 AM

You're right. I must have misread my search on the Touareg.

ErnestHouse 01-04-2013 10:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glennk (Post 7289199)
Odd, Consumer Reports is showing the 0-60 time of 8.4 seconds for the Touareg TDI. Where did you get your numbers at?

EPILOG.... I found my source. It was Edmunds. I misread the stats for the Touareg Hybrid which is a gasoline/electric and according them is tuned more for performance than economy hence the better performance then mileage.

http://www.edmunds.com/volkswagen/to...13/#fullreview
"The Touareg Hybrid is motivated by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine paired with an electric motor. The combination generates an impressive 380 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, enough to catapult this Touareg from a standstill to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, according to Edmunds testing. The eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive also are standard."

glennk 01-04-2013 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ErnestHouse (Post 7289547)
EPILOG.... I found my source. It was Edmunds. I misread the stats for the Touareg Hybrid which is a gasoline/electric and according them is tuned more for performance than economy hence the better performance then mileage.

http://www.edmunds.com/volkswagen/to...13/#fullreview
"The Touareg Hybrid is motivated by a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engine paired with an electric motor. The combination generates an impressive 380 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, enough to catapult this Touareg from a standstill to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, according to Edmunds testing. The eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive also are standard."

That's awesome for a hybrid

Capobranco 01-04-2013 11:05 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by nhman (Post 7288814)
Capobranco, congrats on the pending arrival of your new X3 M-sport. Beautiful car especially in Carbon Black. Did you also get the Dynamic Handling Pkg (DHP)?

Thanks! I am very excited!

Damn, I just knew someone was going to ask me about DHP. Lots of angst over DHP here - way more than the $1400 cost. Long story short - I did not...at least as of this moment. I buy my cars from the general sales manager at Passport, who has become a friend over the years, and who is also an M3 enthusiast. We talked about it - more than once. He made the case that it was superfluous - indeed he told me that he has never ordered an X3 with DHP for the dealership. Although he did not have a car to drive with DHP - he said drive his car without and let's talk. The M Sport I drove was both sharp and compliant even on its 19 inch wheels - I was impressed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nhman (Post 7288814)
The most important question, is your German Shepard allowed in the M3? Silverstone is a nice color and rare in the sea of black, white and grey (M3's).

Nick is my best bud - he always has my back.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...1&d=1357327621

ErnestHouse 01-04-2013 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glennk (Post 7289621)
That's awesome for a hybrid

Yes. It has an interesting bit of technology in the form of an engine clutch that lets the gasoline engine disengage and you can run on all electric for a while. Capobranco would hate it as it has NO engine sound at that point.

noka 01-04-2013 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ErnestHouse (Post 7289691)
... Capobranco would hate it as it has NO engine sound at that point.

That could be synthesized and played over a nice sound system, if the manufacturer wanted to put the effort into it. :)

nhman 01-04-2013 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capobranco (Post 7289665)
Damn, I just knew someone was going to ask me about DHP. Lots of angst over DHP here - way more than the $1400 cost. Long story short - I did not...at least as of this moment. I buy my cars from the general sales manager at Passport, who has become a friend over the years, and who is also an M3 enthusiast. We talked about it - more than once. He made the case that it was superfluous - indeed he told me that he has never ordered an X3 with DHP for the dealership. Although he did not have a car to drive with DHP - he said drive his car without and let's talk. The M Sport I drove was both sharp and compliant even on its 19 inch wheels - I was impressed.

I am debating this for the pending order for my wife's X3. We'll be test driving one this weekend. It is equipped with the M-sport but not DHP. Back-n-forth as well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Capobranco (Post 7289665)

Nick is my best bud - he always has my back.

Nice looking Shepherd. Rare to see a coat like his.

I have two Golden Retrievers who go hiking with me all the time. Most likely they will have access to my future M3 (which should arrive in May). Cleaning out dog hair is just part of the ownership experience.

Capobranco 01-04-2013 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ErnestHouse (Post 7289691)
... Capobranco would hate it as it has NO engine sound at that point.

a dream to some - my nightmare

http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/ne...i3electric.jpg

Quote:

Originally Posted by noka (Post 7289755)
That could be synthesized and played over a nice sound system, if the manufacturer wanted to put the effort into it. :)

you are evil....

Capobranco 01-04-2013 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nhman (Post 7289864)
I am debating this for the pending order for my wife's X3. We'll be test driving one this weekend. It is equipped with the M-sport but not DHP. Back-n-forth as well.

Let me know what you decide - I think I'm going to stay with my original order.


Quote:

Originally Posted by nhman (Post 7289864)

Nice looking Shepherd. Rare to see a coat like his.

I have two Golden Retrievers who go hiking with me all the time. Most likely they will have access to my future M3 (which should arrive in May). Cleaning out dog hair is just part of the ownership experience.

Coat is not so rare - he has a "plush" coat - better pic below

You said Hiking? - On almost any given weekend, you will find Nick and me discovering a new mountain trail in Western MD or WVA - We intend to commute to the trails in our our X3!

( Promise no more dog pics!)

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...6&d=1307888164


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