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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 07-12-2012, 06:33 PM
jayhof jayhof is offline
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Having 2nd thoughts about ordering a carbon black x3

Ok I have been doing some reading up on black cars and it looks like it can be a full time job keeping them clean. There are no touchless car washes in my area. I do not see my self hand washing the car very offen. My last car was an aruba blue audi a3 tdi and I would sometimes go a wile between car washes. I was thinking that the carbon looks really nice with the Roof rails in Aluminum Satin and may he better for resale too, since it is only available with the M package. On line the carbon black almost looks like a really dark blue so maybe I will be ok. Other colors I would consider would be Deep Sea Blue Metallic & Space Gray Metallic. Any advice would be helpful.


So would you get an x3 in carbon black or Black? does anyone have an x3 in carbon black?
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2012, 06:53 PM
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bren bren is offline
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Yes, darker colors are hard to keep looking clean. If that bothers you then definitely get a lighter color.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2012, 07:04 PM
Big W Big W is offline
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Carbon black is a nice color But if you don't keep your cars clean don't bother, go with the sparkling bronze. But we don't get the question of Carbon black or black! if you commit to keeping it clean go with carbon if not don't bother with either...
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  #4  
Old 07-12-2012, 07:40 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is online now
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Carbon black is one of the hardest colors to maintain (as well as the regular black). It shows swirl marks like crazy too. If you don't plan on keeping up on it, I wouldn't even consider it. Space gray would be a great choice for you and will hide the dirt well. Sparkling bronze, silver and mineral silver would be great choices as well if you aren't going to be able to wash it often.
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  #5  
Old 07-12-2012, 08:02 PM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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Having had Mojave Metallic (a very slight shade deeper than Sparkling Bronze) and also Sparkling Graphite (pewter gray metallic) in the past, I disagree that they are viable alternatives. They are just as hard to maintain as Black and very unforgiving with showing dings and chips and scrapes and near impossible to touch up.

White and Silver (including Mineral Silver which is Champagne colored) will always be the most forgiving colors as far as showing dirt and swirls, as well as the abovementioned blemishes.

Last edited by Wabbajack; 07-12-2012 at 08:03 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-12-2012, 09:13 PM
michael T michael T is offline
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I went with white...swirls don't show up at all.
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  #7  
Old 07-13-2012, 12:17 AM
jgroarke jgroarke is offline
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I got carbon black and never regretted it. It actually doesn't look that bad with a bit of dirt (aside from the wheels which is a problem for all). However, I do wash it by hand (don't like those automated brushy car wash things) so don't get many swirls. Also wax it every3-4 months which keeps it nice.

When it is clean though, it's cool as f**k in the sunlight. Not that we're getting much of that in sh11ty England at the moment.

Depends on your choice, remember carbon black is a M-sport only colour, and thus rather unique in the range. Black I wouldn't get, it's Carbon or other colour. My GF said white is cool, but I think that's for girls (oh oh, here come the flames ...)

Why don't you just take the leap, and call by one of those handwash car places every week or so?

J
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2012, 05:18 AM
BMW4grrl BMW4grrl is offline
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I'm just finishing week two of driving my Carbon Black X3 and haven't washed it yet (don't worry...washing it today).

It's a bit dusty right now but still looks good. With the dust on it the dark blue is not coming through as much in the sunlight but it still shows. When it's clean it is incredible. Everyone commented on the colour asking me if it was blue or black.

I does show finger marks though when clean. My 8 year olds hand prints are all over the back door handle area. But that's just life I guess!
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2012, 07:39 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I love the look of black cars but hate the maintentance of the finish. They just never seem to look "right" after a few years. Have not seen a swirling brush car wash out here on the left coast for years and years. They were horrible for "swirls" and you always had the problem of the guy before you had taken his Jeep through the mud pits last week and the grit was stuck on the brushes! The washes now use a felt strip sort of thing, or brushless which is just high pressure water jets. Never had a swirl problem on any car/SUV with either of those -- and I only use car washes, never hand wash any more (too lazy).

Last edited by UncleJ; 07-13-2012 at 07:42 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:14 PM
valeram valeram is offline
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IMHO, black is the best color IF you can maintain it. That is hand wash often to minimize swirl marks. Plain black is better than metallic black because the sheen is more reflective and deeper. Carbon Black is the exception to this. I was worried about this type of metallic black until I saw it in person.
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2012, 10:19 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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I love detailing my car but the Sapphire Metallic Black shows dust and damage. I have professional level tools for cleaning such as the speed adjustable porter cable buffer. If not for that I would have gone for white with tan/brown interior.

I used to detail cars when I was in high school and white was the easiest, black the hardest, but don't kid yourself silver is a pita as well.

If you want low maintenance get white.
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  #12  
Old 07-14-2012, 06:24 PM
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bren bren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
If you want low maintenance get white.
In my experience silver/gray cars are WAY easier to keep "looking" clean than any other color. White may hide swirls, but it shows all the black road grime/crud all over the tail.
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  #13  
Old 07-14-2012, 03:07 AM
NordicBMW NordicBMW is offline
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I chose carbon black and do not regret it at all even if the "winter test" has not been passed yet. My 3rd black car and now both our family's cars are black since my wife was very clear about what she thinks is coolest (one day I'll try to persuade her into washing them as well). Both cars need washing a little more often than my previous (dull!) grey metallic MB but it's done in 30 mins on average for both cars in the same go, once a week. During winter the solution for me is a self service wash station I have close by. Washing machines with "soft" brushes are no go.

In summer I use Autoglym polish specially produced for dark colours and liquid hard wax top coating from Autoglym as well (other brands exept the cheap ones are probably equally good) one go in spring, another round mid summer an one early fall before the day temp drops below +10 Celcius. This worked for my other black cars so I assume my new X3 will benefit from the same treatment.

This is perhaps a bit more cleaning than average according to my neighbours who drive Volvos but I don't feel like I spend a lot of time on this. It's a bit like keeping your house clean and if you don't like doing it yourself it's easy to buy the service from others.

Last edited by NordicBMW; 07-14-2012 at 03:11 AM.
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  #14  
Old 07-15-2012, 04:20 PM
BMW4grrl BMW4grrl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicBMW View Post
I chose carbon black and do not regret it at all even if the "winter test" has not been passed yet. My 3rd black car and now both our family's cars are black since my wife was very clear about what she thinks is coolest (one day I'll try to persuade her into washing them as well). Both cars need washing a little more often than my previous (dull!) grey metallic MB but it's done in 30 mins on average for both cars in the same go, once a week. During winter the solution for me is a self service wash station I have close by. Washing machines with "soft" brushes are no go.

In summer I use Autoglym polish specially produced for dark colours and liquid hard wax top coating from Autoglym as well (other brands exept the cheap ones are probably equally good) one go in spring, another round mid summer an one early fall before the day temp drops below +10 Celcius. This worked for my other black cars so I assume my new X3 will benefit from the same treatment.

This is perhaps a bit more cleaning than average according to my neighbours who drive Volvos but I don't feel like I spend a lot of time on this. It's a bit like keeping your house clean and if you don't like doing it yourself it's easy to buy the service from others.
NordicBMW...how do you wash two cars in under 30 minutes? I washed my new X3 over the weekend and I think it took me one hour! I'm now using the two bucket method and find that rinsing my wash mitt is time consuming. I've also started washing it once around only to the belt line and then washing below the belt line next. So I'm going around the car twice. The wheels are last. I hope I'll get faster with practice.
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  #15  
Old 07-14-2012, 09:39 AM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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I have the carbon black and absolutely love this color. Paint is subjective, but for me a little dirt adds character regardless of mud, kids handprints or water swirls. This is life an rather have a car to happily drive then spend time always worrying how I pretentiously look when the car is dirty.
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  #16  
Old 07-14-2012, 09:44 AM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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Keeping my car shiny and clean is for me and only me. Liking clean things is not pretentiousness—it is personal preference, no different than liking my house clean even though nobody ever comes in it.
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  #17  
Old 07-14-2012, 12:33 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbajack View Post
Keeping my car shiny and clean is for me and only me. Liking clean things is not pretentiousness—it is personal preference, no different than liking my house clean even though nobody ever comes in it.
+1. I'm OCD when it comes to keeping vehicles clean. Nothing to do with being pretentious.
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  #18  
Old 07-14-2012, 06:18 PM
Fryguy29 Fryguy29 is offline
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I love the Carbon Black. I think it is one of the most beautiful production color on any car from any automaker today. I either wash or (more often) pay someone to wash my car every one or 2 weeks and it usually looks good. I am not OCD, however. But let's be honest, if you are truly OCD, you aren't going to go more than 2 weeks without washing your white car either.
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  #19  
Old 07-14-2012, 08:17 PM
Big W Big W is offline
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I don't get it, it's ok to drive a dirty car as long as it doesnt show , so I drive a color which is not my first choice just to pretend the car is clean for me and others
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  #20  
Old 07-16-2012, 02:55 AM
NordicBMW NordicBMW is offline
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I usually just park the cars end-to-end and my simple method is like this:

- I use a high pressure washer where I can add foaming soap in a separate tank. I spray, foam and spray once more in one operation. This removes a lot of dirt. The wheels are cleaned with an old wash-up brush, sometimes I use a special spray here if they are very dirty but usually this is not required.

- I also use the two bucket method, actually four buckets when I do both cars at the same time. Microfibre mitt for applying some good quality shampoo. This goes very fast because of the prep in step 1.

- After spraying once more with clean water I use a special silicone blade to remove the water (there are many pros and cons to using this but I have stuck with it - just make sure there is no dirt on the blade) and finally a microfibre cloth to soak up what little water is left.

This is actually done in just about 30 mins as long as I do it regularly. Add the time for hooking up the high pressure washer and of course everything takes longer time if the cars are very dirty.
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2012, 04:04 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicBMW View Post
I usually just park the cars end-to-end and my simple method is like this:

- I use a high pressure washer where I can add foaming soap in a separate tank. I spray, foam and spray once more in one operation. This removes a lot of dirt. The wheels are cleaned with an old wash-up brush, sometimes I use a special spray here if they are very dirty but usually this is not required.

- I also use the two bucket method, actually four buckets when I do both cars at the same time. Microfibre mitt for applying some good quality shampoo. This goes very fast because of the prep in step 1.

- After spraying once more with clean water I use a special silicone blade to remove the water (there are many pros and cons to using this but I have stuck with it - just make sure there is no dirt on the blade) and finally a microfibre cloth to soak up what little water is left.

This is actually done in just about 30 mins as long as I do it regularly. Add the time for hooking up the high pressure washer and of course everything takes longer time if the cars are very dirty.

I have sapphire metallic black and do the same with the exception of using a synthetic shammy clothe for drying. I always clean them prior to drying or after drying to make sure I am not rubbing in tiny abrasive particles. I don't like real shammy clothes as they tend to leave little tan fibers here and there.

Never bothered me doing this as washing a car for me is very cathartic and always rewarding to see a job well done.

If I were sticking to BMW's this color would be my first pick as it changes color dependng on light of day and angle.
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2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
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2007 AT X3 RIPOS
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  #22  
Old 07-16-2012, 08:03 PM
mricharme mricharme is offline
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I just picked up my carbon black X3 today and could not be any happier with the color. At least this afternoon into night it looked more deep, deep navy blue black than black, as I was expecting in some lights in may look more black than I saw, but I'll still have to see. All of my previous cars have been darker except one silver one, and sometimes even that one was quick to show dirt. I'm sure it all depends on what the weather and driving conditions that you go through are. If color doesn't really matter to you, then get one that you won't have to worry about the dirt showing as much. If color is important, and you plan on keeping the car for a while, then I would get a color that makes you happy. For me, there is nothing that beat the carbon black.
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  #23  
Old 07-17-2012, 11:50 AM
jayhof jayhof is offline
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Thanks to everyone for there input! I have decided to stuck with the carbon black I think the color is really cool and after all I will have the car for a fer years so I should go with the color I like best. I also found a car wash that has an unlimited monthly plan so that will help me keep it looking at its best everyday.
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  #24  
Old 07-19-2012, 09:47 AM
M&A QB M&A QB is offline
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I'm looking at carbon black vs. black sapphire metallic for a 2013 X3. Dealer does not have a carbon black X3 on the lot (or any X3 with m sport package for that matter). Could one of you please confirm if carbon black has a purplish or bluish hue to it (seems to on BMW's website) or otherwise describe what the color is like on the actual vehicle (looking at colors on the website is not the best way to tell). Many thanks.
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  #25  
Old 08-06-2012, 12:58 AM
BUYSELLFIL BUYSELLFIL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&A QB View Post
I'm looking at carbon black vs. black sapphire metallic for a 2013 X3. Dealer does not have a carbon black X3 on the lot (or any X3 with m sport package for that matter). Could one of you please confirm if carbon black has a purplish or bluish hue to it (seems to on BMW's website) or otherwise describe what the color is like on the actual vehicle (looking at colors on the website is not the best way to tell). Many thanks.
Definitely more of a navy blue hue to it in the sun. Looks very nice with the Chestnut Leather.
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