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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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  #1  
Old 12-19-2003, 06:18 PM
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SARAFIL SARAFIL is offline
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Thumbs up X3 3.0i 6-speed impressions

We got our second X3 demo on Monday, and I finally got around to taking it for a ride today to see what I thought. Let me start off by saying that while I like the styling of the X3, I am underwhelmed by the Mystic Blue/Grey one that BMW sent all the dealers a few weeks ago. It's a bit dull, and looks cheap. That being said, the Black Sapphire one that we got this week doesn't even look like it is related to the blue one. It looks great on the outside, and the two-tone interior (sand beige/dark grey) looks great. Also, the wood trim looks phenomenal in comparison to the polka dot aluminum.

Enough of that.... So, how does it drive? Clutch feels much better than our 325i, or at least that is what I thought. Much smoother clutch/throttle/gearbox motions than in our car. Overall, the gearing seems pretty good, and the car moves along just fine. Gearbox throws are smooth, but a bit long (similar to a 3er xi). The car is much, much more fun than the automatic version. Couple that with the smaller, much less massive vehicle (when compared to the X5), and this makes for a very enjoyable drive. The X5 is a bit cumbersome with the stick (I can't put it in to words-- it just feels wierd), but this thing feels much better.

Overall, my overall impression of the X3 went from a B/B+ to an A-/A. BMW still has a few things to work out (the plastics aren't top notch inside, the price is still a bit high for a relatively basic 3.0 version, and they could make it pull a bit harder from low speed by playing with the gearing a bit). Those of you that were not too impressed with the blue one should revisit the X3 and look at the black one your dealer should have or be getting soon. It's a big improvement.
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2013 BMW 335xi Sedan
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6MT, M-Sport, Premium Pkg, Cold Weather Pkg, Dynamic Handling Pkg, Tech Pkg, HK Sound, M Performance Exhaust, M Performance Power Kit

Former: 2011 335xi Coupe -- 2009 MCS JCW -- 2006 MZ4 -- 2002 325i -- 1997 318ti -- 1991 318i
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2003, 06:47 PM
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2003, 06:49 PM
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SARAFIL SARAFIL is offline
I know a thing or two...
Location: Northeast USA
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ___lk___
I'll see what I can do. I don't know if it'll be around tomorrow, though. Our GM is driving it, and I'm not sure if he'll be in tomorrow.
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2013 BMW 335xi Sedan
Estoril Blue / Black Leather

6MT, M-Sport, Premium Pkg, Cold Weather Pkg, Dynamic Handling Pkg, Tech Pkg, HK Sound, M Performance Exhaust, M Performance Power Kit

Former: 2011 335xi Coupe -- 2009 MCS JCW -- 2006 MZ4 -- 2002 325i -- 1997 318ti -- 1991 318i
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2003, 06:57 PM
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JST JST is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SARAFIL
We got our second X3 demo on Monday, and I finally got around to taking it for a ride today to see what I thought. Let me start off by saying that while I like the styling of the X3, I am underwhelmed by the Mystic Blue/Grey one that BMW sent all the dealers a few weeks ago. It's a bit dull, and looks cheap. That being said, the Black Sapphire one that we got this week doesn't even look like it is related to the blue one. It looks great on the outside, and the two-tone interior (sand beige/dark grey) looks great. Also, the wood trim looks phenomenal in comparison to the polka dot aluminum.

Enough of that.... So, how does it drive? Clutch feels much better than our 325i, or at least that is what I thought. Much smoother clutch/throttle/gearbox motions than in our car. Overall, the gearing seems pretty good, and the car moves along just fine. Gearbox throws are smooth, but a bit long (similar to a 3er xi). The car is much, much more fun than the automatic version. Couple that with the smaller, much less massive vehicle (when compared to the X5), and this makes for a very enjoyable drive. The X5 is a bit cumbersome with the stick (I can't put it in to words-- it just feels wierd), but this thing feels much better.

Overall, my overall impression of the X3 went from a B/B+ to an A-/A. BMW still has a few things to work out (the plastics aren't top notch inside, the price is still a bit high for a relatively basic 3.0 version, and they could make it pull a bit harder from low speed by playing with the gearing a bit). Those of you that were not too impressed with the blue one should revisit the X3 and look at the black one your dealer should have or be getting soon. It's a big improvement.
What's your take on the suspension? All the reviews that I've read have singled out the crashing ride as a significant drawback.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2003, 07:00 PM
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SARAFIL SARAFIL is offline
I know a thing or two...
Location: Northeast USA
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,391
Mein Auto: '13 BMW 335xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by JST
What's your take on the suspension? All the reviews that I've read have singled out the crashing ride as a significant drawback.
It's firm. My dad is looking to possibly get an X3 in the summer, and his first reaction (as an avid BMW enthusiast) was "Damn, this thing is stiff, even without the Sport Suspension!" If/When he gets one, he said he'll likely pass on SP. I think the current set up is firm yet compliant enough. I am afraid that a car with SP might be too much, though...
__________________
2013 BMW 335xi Sedan
Estoril Blue / Black Leather

6MT, M-Sport, Premium Pkg, Cold Weather Pkg, Dynamic Handling Pkg, Tech Pkg, HK Sound, M Performance Exhaust, M Performance Power Kit

Former: 2011 335xi Coupe -- 2009 MCS JCW -- 2006 MZ4 -- 2002 325i -- 1997 318ti -- 1991 318i
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2003, 10:53 AM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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Location: Lawrence
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SARAFIL
It's firm. My dad is looking to possibly get an X3 in the summer, and his first reaction (as an avid BMW enthusiast) was "Damn, this thing is stiff, even without the Sport Suspension!" If/When he gets one, he said he'll likely pass on SP. I think the current set up is firm yet compliant enough. I am afraid that a car with SP might be too much, though...
regarding the Sport Package....I like BIG wheels...what to do?

Not sure BMW fascination with the mytic blue. They look OK but I don't want that color. I've always (on every series) though the grey interor looked cheap.

thanks for the post....looking forward to driving it
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2003, 10:58 AM
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beware_phog beware_phog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SARAFIL
It's firm. My dad is looking to possibly get an X3 in the summer, and his first reaction (as an avid BMW enthusiast) was "Damn, this thing is stiff, even without the Sport Suspension!" If/When he gets one, he said he'll likely pass on SP. I think the current set up is firm yet compliant enough. I am afraid that a car with SP might be too much, though...
Are you able to compare the X3 as is to a 330 CIc with SP? Similar firm or more?
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