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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 04-06-2012, 06:13 PM
DerStig DerStig is offline
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Question Potential X3 buyer - feedback needed

I currently own a very nice M3 sedan, love it. Unfortunately, we are moving to suburbs with our 15 month old and need a second car for a) for me to commute to work, b) for winters. Right now we are around manhattan and with public transportation and all the shopping malls and centers around apartments, you never need a car. when it snows, its no big deal, you can keep the M3 in the garage, just walk to target and get whatever you need. In suburbs, I cannot do that, plus M3 is just not a practical car.

That being said, we want to get the X3 xdrive 328i as a second car. I want to keep this car for a long time (5+ years), so I need feedback in regards to:

- Interior space : Compared to a regular 3 series sedan, is the interior bigger? My M3 is now feels a little slow with a convertible rear facing car seat, we cannot move the front passenger seat all the way to back (I'm 6' and I cannot fit in the passenger seat comfortably for instance). Is X3 any better?

- Mileage : Obviously compared to the M3, mileage will be very good, but what are the real world numbers?

- Reliability : My M3 is lease, so I have no worries it being broken down. This on the other hand has to be able to keep up with cold new york weather, and I don't want repair bills running to thousands after the standard warranty is up.

- Winter : With the standard equipment it comes on, will it drive in heavy snow? Do I need proper snow tires or chains?

- Model Refresh : Is the current X3 at the beginning of its refresh cycle like the F30 sedan or has it been a few years? I don't want to buy a car that's outdated

Thanks everyone for your input.
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2012, 06:41 PM
Big W Big W is offline
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Hey Derstig, I don't own an X3 but from what I know is this, 1- interior space is very adequate with a baby seat, the design debuted in early 2011 if not late 2010, right now you can order the 2013, the 28 comes with the new 4 cylinder turbo engine, mated to an 8 speed transmission which is good on gaz, I know that from my Audi A5. in terms of winters it all depends on winter temps, under 5 celsius which is about 40f you're better off with winter tires since they stay softer in colder temps has to do little with traction, and in terms of Xdrive it's one of the best in the industry, that being said i'm ordering mine next month, cheers...
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2012, 06:55 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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I have a 35i X3 that will be a year old in July. Love it. Gets 27 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg around town. I live in Michigan and have all seasons on it and it went very well through the snow this year. Never slid and stopped on a dime. Plenty of room in it with 2 kids in the back. I think if you test drive one you'll be hooked
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  #4  
Old 04-06-2012, 07:20 PM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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Unless you were moving to Buffalo or Syracuse, I can't imagine that the all-seasons wouldn't be enough for you. If it's that bad then nobody is out there and everything is closed anyway, ya know? But if you are a real nervous nellie and safety freak, then of course getting hardy snow tires like Bridgestone Blizzaks will give you total peace of mind. And there is no comparison as to the room the back seats have vs. any other BMW car (sedan or coupe). You will have all the room you need, even at +6'.
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2012, 07:25 PM
j3ff j3ff is offline
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the x3 interior space is bigger than a 5 series wagon. the f25 x3 [2011+] is almost as big as the original x5.

i live in ct, grew up near nyc. you will definitely want snow tires. you'll be able to go with the all weathers. the question is whether you [or your wife and baby] will be able to stop.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2012, 07:31 PM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerStig View Post
- Model Refresh : Is the current X3 at the beginning of its refresh cycle like the F30 sedan or has it been a few years? I don't want to buy a car that's outdated
It was just redesigned MY 2012.
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  #7  
Old 04-06-2012, 09:37 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbajack View Post
It was just redesigned MY 2012.
The redesign was for MY 2011, not 2012. The only thing that changed for the 2012 MY was the headliner color and shiny piano black trim on the dash vs. non glass black trim on the 2011. They changed the way things were bundled for 2012 as well.
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  #8  
Old 04-06-2012, 10:15 PM
snowboardjoe snowboardjoe is offline
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Regarding snowy weather, my 2003 325xi has been through many snowstorms over the years on the east coast. Since i moved to Seattle, I drive up the mountain passes every other week through heavy snow. While people are pulling over to chain-up or sliding off the road, I'm chugging right along up to the slopes. This is all with all season tires (Michelin Pilot Exalto). Today's AWD is far more advanced than mine. You'll have no problems getting through the snow in an X3 unless you're talking about driving in deep, soft snow on a regular basis.
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2012, 07:32 AM
DerStig DerStig is offline
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Thanks everyone for feedback. What about reliability? Would you consider this car a car that should be kept 5+ years (finance) or lease it and get rid of it after 3 years due to high probability of it breaking down.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2012, 07:55 AM
CaliRubicon CaliRubicon is offline
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I am I rather tall guy (6' 4") and have two little ones in the back. One in a rear facing infant seat and one in a front facing seat. I am very comfortable with the space available. I do put the rear facing behind the wife though. Definantly much more space all around compared to the 3 series. The x3 had to go into the shop for a small electrical glitch and the gave us a 328 which we are driving presently. Let me tell you that I can't wait to get the x3 back. Partly for my sport seats which I would never skimp on and mostly for the space. I am barely comfortable in the 328. Also getting the baby seat in the back is a struggle in the 328. Partly because it is much lower but also the door seams a bit smaller as well. Also live near Tahoe so we have played in the snow and I have been pleasantly surprised at how well it handles on the snow. Very stable. Was looking at a winter set but now I am reconsidering the need. As for repairs I tend to decide after a couple of years whether or not I want to keep a vehicle for an extended time. Life changes and you never know what you might need in a few years. For that reason I wait on extended warrantys untill I know I will keep long enough to use. Also at least in my area there are some non-dealer service places that are more reasonable for after warranty work.
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2012, 08:53 AM
j3ff j3ff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerStig View Post
Thanks everyone for feedback. What about reliability? Would you consider this car a car that should be kept 5+ years (finance) or lease it and get rid of it after 3 years due to high probability of it breaking down.
if you get the 35i, the n55 engine has been around since '09, so presumably the kinks have been worked out. the 28i is getting the new turbo 4, so it's less clear. i'm tentatively planning to keep the vehicle long term, but i worry some about all the complicated electronics down the road. otoh, i only have had it a few months and 2500 mi. it's on a 3 yr lease, so i'll see how i feel in late '14.
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2012, 05:25 PM
DerStig DerStig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j3ff View Post
if you get the 35i, the n55 engine has been around since '09, so presumably the kinks have been worked out. the 28i is getting the new turbo 4, so it's less clear. i'm tentatively planning to keep the vehicle long term, but i worry some about all the complicated electronics down the road. otoh, i only have had it a few months and 2500 mi. it's on a 3 yr lease, so i'll see how i feel in late '14.
Sorry but isn't the 28i's engine the one that's been in the 528 for a while? I think that engine is also proving itself to be quite good.

I am buying this car for a daily driver/bad weather car, not for performance reasons (which is why I'm not getting any of those sports package related things), for that I have the M3
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2012, 06:11 PM
j3ff j3ff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerStig View Post
Sorry but isn't the 28i's engine the one that's been in the 528 for a while? I think that engine is also proving itself to be quite good.

I am buying this car for a daily driver/bad weather car, not for performance reasons (which is why I'm not getting any of those sports package related things), for that I have the M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
The N20 is a turbocharged straight-4 automobile engine from BMW. It was launched in 2011 in the new BMW X1 xDrive28i.
that was how long ago?
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2012, 07:43 PM
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lbjgh lbjgh is offline
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How long has the n20 been in the z4 and x1?
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  #15  
Old 04-09-2012, 04:20 PM
OldDan OldDan is offline
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I would check out these links before I decided to purchase a new BMW:

http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtest...idding-me.html

http://wwww.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=602530

The problems discussed in those links are common in most if not all new BMW models.
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  #16  
Old 04-09-2012, 09:02 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Der-

The current x3 body style (F25) came to market about 13 to 18 months ago as a new for 2011 body style.

The difference for 2013 is that the 28i gets the turbo 4 versus the N52 inline six that I have in my 2009 X3.

Like I said, I have a 2009 x3 old body style (e83) with 84k miles on the clock and love it. I bought mine new straight off the truck from the PDC after its month long boat ride from Austria.

My car has been extremely reliable with only one major issue so far after warranty expired that BMW stepped up to the plate and covered. So far very happy with this as my daily commuter. Heck I am still on my original front brake pads and rotors and rear pads lasted to 74k. OEM tires lasted almost 60k.

I also have 3 kids (an infant and two older kids in elementary school) and every one fits fine in back seat with infant seat in middle. My parents have a brand new 2012 x3 they bought about a month ago and that back seat is moderately bigger than my 2009.

Common complaints are transmission lag (IMHO CAFE/EPA forced for higher mpg) and wind noise. Other than that this forum is like chirping crickets on problems. I would absolutely buy another X3.

I average 23 to 24 on highway and 20 to 22 in city with the inline 6 and old tranny. 26 to 27 on highway wouldn't be a stretch with new model.

Last edited by x3brian; 04-09-2012 at 09:14 PM.
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  #17  
Old 04-11-2012, 02:25 PM
jsuday06 jsuday06 is offline
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The X3 has more than enough space compared to your BMW M3 gas mileage isnt that great unless I'm doing something wrong, we get around 14-15 MPG in the city we have the 28i the power I think is more than enough for back an forth but doesnt have the power to play with the big boys. The ride is so comfortable and quiet there is some lag in the transmission but in sport mode I dont feel it. We have only brought it to the dealership twice for problems, personally I would lease it the technology to me would consider problems down the road, as someone stated.
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  #18  
Old 04-11-2012, 10:21 PM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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My only concern about long term reliability is this...

Old model X3 is considered to be quite reliable. Built by Magna Steyr in Germany
X5s seem less reliable from what I've seen. Built in Spartansburg plant, USA

New X3 is now also built in Spartansburg, USA
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  #19  
Old 04-12-2012, 01:47 AM
OldDan OldDan is offline
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I bought a new 2001 X5, drove it for 11 years, and it was remarkably reliable--a great car. I recently purchased the 2012 X3. Both were manufactured in South Carolina. The X3 assembly process is probably the most advanced available, so I expect the car will be reliable.

My main concerns with the X3 are:

1) the accelerator lag
2) the bizarre shifter
3) nanny-state "safety features" (so-called)

The accelerator lag may have been fixed. My dealer downloaded some new software from BMW and the car has much better response. I realize I could have driven the car in DS mode, but that hurts fuel mileage unnecessarily. The "fix" has changed the trannie downshift points, while keeping RPMs down. The lag has all but disappeared, and so far there is no noticeably loss of fuel mileage. Time will tell if the "fix" is permanent.

Regarding the shifter, the time honored wisdom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", would have been appreciated. But instead BMW took a half-century of wisdom in the design of auto-transmission floor shifters (including their own design) and threw it out the window. The time-honored PRND shift sequence (button on top or back) has been replaced by . . . I don't know how to explain the creature it is so bizarre. All I know is it is very confusing to switch back and forth between the X3 and my wife's older 5 series (which has the PRND shifter--same as my old X5).

Now on to Nannie-Statism. . .

At a time when government fascists are writing laws to control every aspect of our lives, I desire a little freedom when I am in my car. Unfortunately, many nanny-state "safety features" have been incorporated into newer BMW models that treat BMW owners more like children than adults.

If I want to leave my door open and my safety belt off and move the car forward or backward, then why is it the business of some IT clown at BMW to say NO? Why did BMW hire some know-it-all fascist to program the car who has obviously never backed a trailer into a tight spot, never backed a boat down a ramp, and never held a job as a valet? They should have pointed him to the USDA or the EPA. He would have fit right in in either of those regulatory hell-holes.

Continuing, why was my backup camera screen obscured by a large message reminding me that my tailgate was open, when I really needed my backup camera because I was hauling a large bungeed lounge chair that was too long for the cargo area and which obscured my vision?

And why is my wife forced to keep her seat belt on until I come to a complete stop in our garage just to avoid that horribly loud, annoying seat belt warning sound (that cannot be disabled)?

It really does make me wonder what BMW management was thinking, if they were thinking at all.

Thanks for putting up with my rant. That said, my X3 is a beautiful looking, excellent handling, comfortable riding, and exceptionally well-made vehicle. It is well worth $51k.
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  #20  
Old 04-12-2012, 11:47 AM
snowboardjoe snowboardjoe is offline
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First, or all, excellent write up here by OldDan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan View Post
Regarding the shifter, the time honored wisdom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", would have been appreciated. But instead BMW took a half-century of wisdom in the design of auto-transmission floor shifters (including their own design) and threw it out the window. The time-honored PRND shift sequence (button on top or back) has been replaced by . . . I don't know how to explain the creature it is so bizarre.
I have no idea what they were thinking. Nothing is gained by this new, fangled shifter. I really like the simple PRND of my 2003 325xi. I guess I will miss that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDan View Post
Continuing, why was my backup camera screen obscured by a large message reminding me that my tailgate was open, when I really needed my backup camera because I was hauling a large bungeed lounge chair that was too long for the cargo area and which obscured my vision?
Hmmm, on that note, my guess is the rear view is useless when the tailgate is open anyway, right? Aren't all cameras mounted on the tailgate or trunk? If it's open, the camera pointed up and towards the sky, no?
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