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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 08-28-2012, 07:39 PM
3pedalE46 3pedalE46 is offline
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Location: florida
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Mein Auto: 330i
Is the E83 for me?

Preface this by saying, I love BMW's, half of my family owns at least one. I currently have a 2002 330i that is just not practicle for my job(sport suspension beating me up, tired of stick shift etc). If it were an automatic without the sports package I think it would be a perfect combo of sport/luxury for me, however if i'm getting a different car i'm getting just that, a *different* car, one that the whole family and the dog can fit in.

My next car needs to last 3-4 years driving between 25-30k a year, with my car allowance being enough to pay it off. This caps my car budget at 20k.

I've found some nice x3's in this range, found a 2006 with 28k miles for that money actually.

My questions are: How do these hold up to lots of highway miles? Is the ride more comfortable than a E46 with sport suspension? The E46 has to have cooling system etc replaced at 100k, I assume that the M54 version of this car would be the same? Are there any other major problems(transfer case...??) that should put me off from buying one?

My other favorites are either a Acura RDX(and i'd get a car allowance bonus for it being a 4cyl), or a Rav-4 limited V-6 awd.

I can do most things myself, but to be honest am growing tired of doing them(did cooling system overhaul, a/c compressor replacement/flushing of lines etc) on my E46. One of the major pluses to me on a BMW is the ability to go 15k between oil changes(at least with the highway driving I do).

Thanks in Advance,

Last edited by 3pedalE46; 08-28-2012 at 08:23 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2012, 08:59 PM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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Mein Auto: 03 330i, 04 X3
The ride in our 2004 x3 is more harsh than the ride in our 2003 330i with sport suspension and 18" wheels.
If I were you I'd look at a 2005 Lexus rx330.
The acura rdx is nice but the ride is just as stiff as the x3.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2012, 01:42 PM
3pedalE46 3pedalE46 is offline
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Mein Auto: 330i
That is dissapointing to hear. I like the aspect of a good handling SUV(SAV, CAV, whatever the heck you want to call it), but do not want the harsh ride.

The rx330/350 is out, we already have a 04 highlander limited in the stable, which is essentially the same vehicle, and although it is a great vehicle, I want something a little more sporty.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2012, 02:06 PM
MichiganApril MichiganApril is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW x3 2.5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
The ride in our 2004 x3 is more harsh than the ride in our 2003 330i with sport suspension and 18" wheels.
If I were you I'd look at a 2005 Lexus rx330.
The acura rdx is nice but the ride is just as stiff as the x3.
I SECOND that !!
lexus rx330- very nice.
wish i had thought of that before getting my '04 x3.
But as for any suv type vehicle, it's a bit rough....
note : check Top Gear's video on youtube of the x3.
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2012, 04:58 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 Mazda3 GT
The pre-LCI X3s ride worse than a E46, that's pretty much a given. Set up for absolute handling, not so much Fahrkomfort on poor roads. It does feel plenty fine at autobahn speeds though, it's just at lower speeds it gets a bit choppy over manhole covers, etc...
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2012, 09:02 PM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 BMW X3, '04 330xi
I am at 100K with my X3 and currently also own a 330xi. Granted both are 2004 so there are some differences in what you are looking at, but for the majority not much. I have spent more time and money on the X3 than any of the 20 vehicles I have owned in the past, including 3 BMWs. at 100K I had to do AC compressor, coolant system, dealt with electrical issues, new switches, broken suspension spring, I've had to do all fluids which unless you are a rocket scientist you'll never know what type of transmission fluid to put in the auto transmission. Took me six months to finally make an educated guess. I've had to replace manifold gasket, valve cover gasket, leaking intake boot, and oil filter housing gasket. This is all I can think of off the top of my head. Maintenance has seemed to be the exact same as the 3 series I've owned in the past, in fact a bit more, but the X has a little more fancy stupid stuff which has added to the list.

I get 24mpg highway and 17 city. The ride is harsh and stiff. Handles like a 3 series car, but a little bit taller. Interior looks and feels like a 3 series car, again just a bit taller. The rear leg room is lacking. Tried to put 2 adults back there this past weekend and they very kindly said they were fine, but it was tight. I can fit the dog in the back which is great and so far has been the only reason I love driving it. The automatic transmission even with the manual shift option has a mind of its own and the delay between what my mind and body do and what the car does is so long its a joke.

I love driving my manual 330 far more than the X. The ride is the same, but its far more fun. Unless I've got the dog. From a fellow BMW enthusiast and long time owner, I would recommend looking at a japanese SUV. Unless you just want a bigger 330.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2012, 09:29 PM
murderland murderland is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
The pre-LCI X3s ride worse than a E46, that's pretty much a given. Set up for absolute handling, not so much Fahrkomfort on poor roads. It does feel plenty fine at autobahn speeds though, it's just at lower speeds it gets a bit choppy over manhole covers, etc...
in 2005, bmw addressed some of the suspension issues... so i don't know how much the 04/05 models differ. i'd go find several used vehicles and test them out.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012, 06:35 AM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by can0n4 View Post
I am at 100K with my X3 and currently also own a 330xi. Granted both are 2004 so there are some differences in what you are looking at, but for the majority not much. I have spent more time and money on the X3 than any of the 20 vehicles I have owned in the past, including 3 BMWs. at 100K I had to do AC compressor, coolant system, dealt with electrical issues, new switches, broken suspension spring, I've had to do all fluids which unless you are a rocket scientist you'll never know what type of transmission fluid to put in the auto transmission. Took me six months to finally make an educated guess. I've had to replace manifold gasket, valve cover gasket, leaking intake boot, and oil filter housing gasket.
I've heard others say the same thing which I find odd since much of that stuff is identical to the E46.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2012, 08:22 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is online now
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Mein Auto: '06 X3
My '06 non sport has a horrible ride over rough roads! Would consider another car if you are looking for a smoother ride -- perhaps RX or Murano, Forester, or similar. At 86K my X3 is becoming a money pit too! Just replaced both front struts (failed - oil on driveway) for just under $2K at indy. Now have other issues to contend with -- doubt I will keep it much longer.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2012, 08:44 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 bmw 525i
Yes the ride is somewhat harsh, but considering the handling, it's not unbearable, particularly on Highway driving. We have 110k mile on our 2005 X3, my wife drives it every day and is very pleased. It is also comfortable on long trips. We do prefer a firmer ride, so I really think you have to make that decision with some test driving, making sure you drive it on roads that you expect to encounter. At the end of the day, this is personal preference.

As far as reliablility, our car has been very reliable. The only notable repair has been a recent ignition switch replacement. Of course, I drive a 2003 525i, so not much would surprise me on the M54 engine. I have done all of the maintenance personally, but that has been limited to all fluids (including transmission).

If you are experienced with BMWs and are satisified overall, I would consider the '06. reading this forum, it does seem that this year is one of the "sweet spots"
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