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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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  #26  
Old 12-15-2012, 08:56 AM
colson79 colson79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lair12 View Post
James, glad you like yours, but can't concur with styling. I too would love a short car (have 168" A3 TDI now), but find the X1 reminds me of M-roadster coupe which I never liked (I had the M-roadster convertible). Every time I walk up to my A3, I love the look, and don't know if I can get this same feeling for the X3...I keep seeing the Hyundai Tucson and Subaru outback with all that black trim. And the nicer chrome window trim disappeared after 2011. Why?
If you don't like the black trim just order an X3 with the Msport package, it doesn't have the black trim.
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  #27  
Old 12-22-2012, 08:38 AM
241 241 is offline
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I could have written the exact same letter, I drove each vehicle twice but once I drove the x3 35i the decision made itself. I love my 35i
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  #28  
Old 12-22-2012, 11:29 AM
mibmwx3 mibmwx3 is offline
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My two previous vehicles were Ford Explorers. I wasn't happy with the new version and after test driving a few other vehicles, I went to the internet to see what was available. I saw that BMW was having a difference event the following day. I had never considered a BMW, but decided to check it out. They had a Cadillac and an Audi Q5 to drive and compare. I drove the Q5 first, and then the X3 35i. The Audi wasn't bad, but I fell in love with the X3 immediately. I decided that day to buy it and ordered one the following week. I'm normally not an impulse buyer and do lots of research before I buy anything, but the X3 was so much more fun to drive than anything else I had driven. I've never regretted my decision and absolutely LOVE driving this car. My only regret is that neither I nor my salesman knew anything about DHP. Reading now what others say about it, I probably would have ordered it or at least waited to order until after I took a test drive with an X3 equipped with it.
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  #29  
Old 12-22-2012, 06:17 PM
SSBMW73 SSBMW73 is offline
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I was torn between the Q5 and X3 myself; when I went to BMW they had a Q5 on the lot so I got to drive both. The Q5 was very smooth; however transitioning from a CLK 500, the X3 won hands down. Leased my X3 28i today; wanted all the bells & whistles so I'm waiting for it to come in. Can't wait, super excited.
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  #30  
Old 12-22-2012, 06:38 PM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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Test drove both X3 and Q5 and really loved both. I agree with most of the points about the X3 being the better drive and better interior. Q5 is such an excellent vehicle. So well designed and rides well, but confusing controls and not as fun drive. You really cannot go wrong with either vehicle and close to be a tie when driving both vehicles. The choice is really personal preference.
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  #31  
Old 12-23-2012, 03:19 AM
nhman nhman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSBMW73 View Post
I was torn between the Q5 and X3 myself; when I went to BMW they had a Q5 on the lot so I got to drive both. The Q5 was very smooth; however transitioning from a CLK 500, the X3 won hands down. Leased my X3 28i today; wanted all the bells & whistles so I'm waiting for it to come in. Can't wait, super excited.
congrats on the pending arrival of your X3. Are you going the PCD route? Being so close to the factory, it would be a really good option for you.
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  #32  
Old 12-23-2012, 06:16 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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mib, yes and I like it a lot. Since there are so many other great options out there now I like to suggest alternatives that prospective buyers might not otherwise consider. For example "wally" wanted a stick -- BMW no longer offers that option here, but others do. He is in San Francisco where a smaller car is an advantage in driving the hills and parking, so I suggested the new Ford Focus ST which by most objective accounts is rather a fantastic little pocket rocket. Nothing against BMW I have had many of them ranging from a '68 2002 through the 3 series, 5 series, 7 series and now the X3 which will be replaced -- hopefully by a Q5 TDI. If the X3 came in a diesel here I would be driving one now.

Last edited by UncleJ; 12-23-2012 at 06:19 AM.
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  #33  
Old 12-23-2012, 06:20 AM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
If the X3 came in a diesel here I would be driving one now.
I think the X3 diesel is slated for next year, no?
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  #34  
Old 12-23-2012, 06:28 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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From what I read it will be the latter half of MY14 -- about 18 months or so out. That is just a tad too long when the Q5 TDI will be here within 6 months. The thing that gripes me is we are building diesels right here in s'burg but can't get them!
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  #35  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:30 AM
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+ bmw is only offering the 2L no?

I drove the t-egg with the diesel and was impressed... The same setup for the diesel vw/audi/porsche no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
From what I read it will be the latter half of MY14 -- about 18 months or so out. That is just a tad too long when the Q5 TDI will be here within 6 months. The thing that gripes me is we are building diesels right here in s'burg but can't get them!
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  #36  
Old 12-23-2012, 10:18 AM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
....The thing that gripes me is we are building diesels right here in s'burg but can't get them!
This issue has a political aspect to it: "...the federal government has done its part to keep it that way, taxing diesel at a rate about 25 percent higher than gasoline. A recent assessment by the American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry trade group, found that federal taxes accounted for 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel but only 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline.

In Europe, where in many regions about half of the cars on the road run on diesel, these tax incentives are flip-flopped, with diesel drivers reaping the economic benefits accordingly."

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...an-diesel-cars
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  #37  
Old 12-23-2012, 10:24 AM
noka noka is offline
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Originally Posted by ErnestHouse View Post
This issue has a political aspect to it: "...the federal government has done its part to keep it that way, taxing diesel at a rate about 25 percent higher than gasoline. A recent assessment by the American Petroleum Institute, an oil industry trade group, found that federal taxes accounted for 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel but only 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline.

In Europe, where in many regions about half of the cars on the road run on diesel, these tax incentives are flip-flopped, with diesel drivers reaping the economic benefits accordingly."

http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...an-diesel-cars
Another thing is that diesel can be found at every gas station. Not the case in the US (at least not where I live in New England). If the relative price of diesel and gasoline were similar to Europe, and could be purchased at every station, I would have no problem buying a diesel vehicle.
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  #38  
Old 12-23-2012, 11:48 AM
x3oiler x3oiler is offline
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Originally Posted by noka View Post
Another thing is that diesel can be found at every gas station. Not the case in the US (at least not where I live in New England). If the relative price of diesel and gasoline were similar to Europe, and could be purchased at every station, I would have no problem buying a diesel vehicle.
I do not think it is relative price that will drive this. Diesel over here is almost always more expensive but is still the preferred choice for many SUV buyers. The absolute price of a full tank of gas is the driver. When that starts to bite the wallet especially in a larger SUV then diesel options will be sought by buyers else they will walk to other manufacturers where the options exist. You just use much less fuel than petrol. That will drive manufacturers, that will drive pump availability. This is the evolution over here although driven faster by a considerably higher pump price for fuel in general. The side benefit is much better performance. Torque glorious torque.
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  #39  
Old 12-23-2012, 12:41 PM
noka noka is offline
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Originally Posted by x3oiler View Post
I do not think it is relative price that will drive this. Diesel over here is almost always more expensive but is still the preferred choice for many SUV buyers. The absolute price of a full tank of gas is the driver. When that starts to bite the wallet especially in a larger SUV then diesel options will be sought by buyers else they will walk to other manufacturers where the options exist. You just use much less fuel than petrol. That will drive manufacturers, that will drive pump availability. This is the evolution over here although driven faster by a considerably higher pump price for fuel in general. The side benefit is much better performance. Torque glorious torque.
For me, it's mostly about availability. Secondary to that is the economics, but cost to fill the tank is not important to me, since tank sizes vary. It is more important that it be priced well relative to gas and MPG be significantly better such that it makes sense for me to switch. I guess I have my own criteria for what makes sense. Manufacturers will produce more when people show more of a willingness to switch. I only see that happening at a snail's pace right now.
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  #40  
Old 12-23-2012, 01:44 PM
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Price has nothing to do with it... torque is why most people want diesel. It's too bad our american friends don't understand this.
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  #41  
Old 12-23-2012, 03:12 PM
noka noka is offline
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Originally Posted by lbjgh View Post
Price has nothing to do with it... torque is why most people want diesel. It's too bad our american friends don't understand this.
I respectfully disagree.
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  #42  
Old 12-23-2012, 04:52 PM
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So you're suggesting people that buy S55-70K (in general) are worried about the price of fuel?

Modern diesels are amazing to drive... consider the 35d has 465 ft-lb torque... that's 50% more than a 35i. Torque is what really get a car moving not horsepower.

As an added bonus you an additional 25-30% better fuel economy over the same displacement petrol version. (for the frugal premium buyer).


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I respectfully disagree.
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  #43  
Old 12-23-2012, 05:16 PM
noka noka is offline
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Originally Posted by lbjgh View Post
So you're suggesting people that buy S55-70K (in general) are worried about the price of fuel?

Modern diesels are amazing to drive... consider the 35d has 465 ft-lb torque... that's 50% more than a 35i. Torque is what really get a car moving not horsepower.

As an added bonus you an additional 25-30% better fuel economy over the same displacement petrol version. (for the frugal premium buyer).
I'm saying that most diesel cars being sold in the U.S. (e.g. look at VW's line-up) are sold based on fuel economy, not torque. With regard to straight-line performance beyond a simple 0-60 run, I'll bet on a large displacement gas V8 over a diesel.
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Last edited by noka; 12-24-2012 at 06:44 AM.
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  #44  
Old 12-23-2012, 08:22 PM
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Perhaps in the USA.

Up here diesel VW's are well known for fuel economy and purchased because of savings. That said MB has been selling diesel models for a while now and while I was cross shopping the GLK with the X3 the MB sales guys said that for MB models available with a diesel option, 80% of buyers opted for the oil burners. Sure some MB buyers were doing it for the fuel economy but most for the driving dynamics.

It should be interesting to see BMW's M diesels...

Quote:
Originally Posted by noka View Post
I'm saying that most diesel cars being sold (e.g. look at VW's line-up) are sold based on fuel economy, not torque. With regard to straight-line performance beyond a simple 0-60 run, I'll bet on a large displacement gas V8 over a diesal.

Last edited by lbjgh; 12-24-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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  #45  
Old 12-24-2012, 05:15 AM
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The X5 has a diesel option. By all indications, the X3 and Q5 will be getting them and the reason cited is to conform to Obama administration regulations on all car manufacturers to attain higher MPG numbers. Nothing about torque.

Moving on, I notice in addition to the Q5, Audi has a "Sport Lifestyle" car called the Allroad with the ground clearance and muscular appearance of an SUV but cushy like a station wagon not unlike the Volvo and perhaps some other station wagon on steroids types of cars. Their are no diesel offerings but all the models are built around their 2.0 turbo (read fuel sipping) engine.
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  #46  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:46 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The VA(P)G diesels in the "big cars" (i.e. T-egg, Cayenne, Q-ships) are the same unit -- Porsche uses the same engine and drive train as the VW/Audi's at least for the moment in the base diesel -- a "Cayenne TDI S" is rumored to come in a few years. Most folks that I know want the oilers for fuel economy -- the torque is an added benefit! Anyone who has lived through the gas lines of the 70's (green flags, odd even days, 10 gal limits) knows that having the diesel cars -- which were exempt back then -- was a "good thing". The new 8 speed ZF transmission in the VA(P)G sav's pooches them up to around 30+ mpg on the highway -- a far cry from the old gassers that could be hard pressed to get 20! As an aside the new Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel will also have that ZF sourced transmission and a robust 240 hp/410 lbs of torque turbo V6 diesel in MY13 around spring as a '14. That engine is a VM Motori unit now used in the Jeep's overseas diesel offerings uprated for US use. The VM company is owned jointly by GM and Fiat. I would love to see that engine in one of the General's triplets too!
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  #47  
Old 12-24-2012, 09:42 AM
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Earlier this year we did the small SUV search and drove a TON of stuff (well over a dozen makes/models - new and used). I'll spare you all the details, but not surprisingly it came down to the X3, Q5 and Volvo's XC60. What IS surprising is that we ended up with the XC60.

Here is a post I made after we had driven all three (note: X3 28i was the previous straight 6 2012 model, but we also drove the 35i):
Well, as part of our NEVER-ENDING small SUV shopping for my wife we went out and test drove a few vehicles today. My wife and I have both driven XC60s (3.2 and T6s), and she had drive the Audi Q5 in both 2.0T and 3.2 trims. Neither of us had driven the X3 (we own a few BMWs as I've mentioned in other threads). In short...I wish I could combine the best of these three into one SUV. Our impressions:

1. Powertrain - This was no contest...the T6 RD simply outperformed the Audi 2.0T and X3 28. The shocker for me ( an owner of 3 BMWs) was that it felt significantly better than the X3 35 (also a turbo 3.0). I don't know if it was a combination of the BMW tranny upshifting so dang quickly that it simply lagged, and then hit with a hard downshift when you legged it or what. I would not have believed the difference to have been so dramatic if I had not experienced it. The transmission on the T6 appears well-mated and shifts occurred when they needed to. The Audi's 8 speed tranny was also pretty well matched to the 2.0t (turbo 4), but it NEEDS to be since that motor ideally needs a bit more torque. The BMW - again, a disappointment on the 35. The 28 was better, but only adequate (better than a 3.2 Volvo though). Both the Q5 and BMWs had a weird somewhat sensitive tip-in that was a bit aggravating. Ultimately, the T6 RD performance here is really compelling (esp for a guy who owns an older M3 and M5).

2. Exterior Styling - Frankly, there isn't a bad looking SUV in this bunch. The BMW is muscular looking. The Audi is elegant, and the Volvo is swoopy. From the rear, side and 3/4 rear view the XC60 is pretty nice - but from the front...meh. The Audi looks great from the front and the back isn't too bad either - the side view is more "stubby" - overall, it is probably the one most people would say "looks good, nothing 'wrong'". The BMW has a good overall presence about it, but probably lacks a distinctive specific feature...heck, I think I just forgot what it looked like! Look, this one is going to come down to personal preference more than anything. We test drove a passion red (my preference) which "helps" the XC60 IMO.

3. Interior - This one is tough, but I have to say the BMW and Audi are a step above the Volvo in terms of interior build quality and materials. The BMW appears to be the best, followed by the Audi and then Volvo. From a purely visual perspective the Volvo has a LOT of interest, especially with the two-tone RD seats. The Audi cam across as austere in all-black, but I've seen a cinnamon interior in the Audi and it looks great (and breaks up the sea of black nicely). The BMW seemed to scream "I've got money...and I spent it on this interior". The Volvo had the best rear-seat room and comfort. The Audi's rear seat seemed cramped and the bench was...well...hard! The BMW seats looked and felt great, but I swear they seemed low and I was sitting more "knees high" than the others...I need to go back and compare them again, but that's how it seemed. The durability of the leather has us REALLY concerned on the Volvo. Frankly, we drove a manager demo with a paltry 1500 miles and you could tell the seats were already wearing. I see this noted on other subforums here too. The RD looks like the leather may actually be a tad softer than the already soft XC60 leather...this and the larger bolsters could be trouble. The BMW leather looked to be able to last forever much like my wife's 11 year old 530i with dang near perfect leather. The Audi looked to be somewhere in between, but probably closer to the BMW end.

4. Tech - Volvo Sensus vs. BMW iDrive vs. Audi MMI. So, today was my first time to use any of these systems (the previous XC60's we drove were pre-sensus). Overall, the Volvo system looks to be half a generation behind the Audi and BMW setups. This is consistent with what other reviewers have reported. However, it isn't the end of the world. The Audi system seems to have everything but the kitchen sink in it and a button for everything. Some things, however, are needlessly complex (like adjusting the seat heaters). Frankly, folks, sometimes a dedicated button is just easier/better. I do like how the Audi makes use of the center gauge display as well as the screen. The BMW seemed easier to use than either of them...imagine that...after all these years, a positive review for iDrive. It did have the coolest navigation screen showing the buildings, etc. I did like the dedicated radio station buttons in the BMW and Volvo. (ironic given that the Audi had more buttons total). I would say both Sensus and iDrive are the easier of the two systems to use. Finally, all of this tech stuff is nice, but to me it is kind of a gimmick and I'm not likely to weigh it nearly as heavily as driving dynamics, interior quality, comfort, power, styling, etc.

5. Ride Comfort - The Audi (19" rims) and BMW X3 28 (non-sport) were tied for first here. The T6 RD rode more stiffly with more impact harshness. The BMW X35 also rode a bit harshly. Impact harshness and noise were probably better than the RD, but the general josstling about seemed worse. I took all of them on reasonably long test drives and purposely asked for some rougher roads, freeway, etc. Noise level (wind/road) in the XC60 and Q5 seemed comparable. The BMWs were a touch better.

6. Handling - In all honesty, none of these are sports cars or even sports sedans (despite what the manufacturers would like you to believe). I was actually favorably impressed with all three. The BMW was probably best, but I wasn't like "OMG, BMW IS KING OF ALL HANDLING!" - and the sport package on the X3 35 wasn't worth the ride comfort penalty to me. The Audi was probably the best compromise here, but the steering was much lighter than expected.

7. Build Quality - BMW = #1, Audi = #2, and Volvo = #3. Again, the BMW and Audi are just operating at another level here. I'm not slamming the XC60. It is what it is. The Germans just feel more like they are carved from a solid piece of granite. The doors shut with more of a thunk, etc.

8. Braking - Big surprise here...I give the nod to the Volvo XC60. It came down to brake feel more than anything. It was firm and linear in the Volvo while the other two were a bit grabby and non-linear. Not a decision maker in and of itself...just another data point.

If could combine them, I would probably take the Volvo's engine and tranny, the BMWs steering, suspension and front seats, the Volvo's rear seats, roominess and cargo area, the Audi's exterior (maybe somehow meld it with the Volvo's) and Audi's MMI (I am an IT guy so...).

Anyway, we actually made an offer on the XC60, but were within a $1000 and walked away...and walked right over to the BMW dealer. We test drove the BMWs there, but did not make an offer.

The wild cards here could be a 2013 X3 with the new turbo 4 (I assume the X3 is about to get it like everything else in the line-up) AND the 2013 Audi Q5 which will get the supercharged 3.0 I6.

Ugh...this search is never going to end!

Here is the post from after the purchase:

It was a long day for my wife yesterday driving these cars back to back (yeah, yeah, I know -"First world problems"), trying to decide which of the vehicles to choose. The pros/cons for each car were still true. The BMW was still in a class by itself in terms of material quality, rock solid construction, etc. and probably would have been our choice had it not been for the basic "drive" of the car. The throttle tip-in issue was simply annoying. To quote my wife during her test drive "I could probably get 'used to it'...I am driving right now with my shoe off trying to adjust to it" - I'm sorry, but having to adjust to a throttle pedal is just ridiculous. Conversely, she declared the XC60 to simply be "more fun to drive", "more intuitive", "like an extension of me". Keep in mind we own 3 BMWs (well two now) - two of which are M cars (97 M3 and '02 M5)...we are not unfamiliar with BMWs!

The Audis (2.0T and 3.2) were both really nice, but perhaps devoid of a bit of passion. There was nothing inherently wrong with them and we can see why they win all the comparisons.

I knew whichever one we chose would mean regretting something. If we chose the BMW, we would miss the Volvo's power (note: see my disappointment in the delivery of the X3 35s power) and sleek lines. If we chose the Volvo, we knew there would be a ride comfort, build quality and resale value compromise. If we chose the Audi, I would have probably felt we had a nice car, but been ambivalent about it...and I didn't want to feel ambivalent about a $40K+ outlay.

So, here we sit with our new XC60. The ride comfort is definitely the biggest compromise (as noted in my thread on that very topic) with the R-Design. I told my wife "You picked the sports car of the bunch!". She is concerned this morning (classic buyer's remorse) that passengers will find it too rough. I assured her it would be fine, but it is what it is. Keep in mind, she had been driving her non-sport 530i all day which is comparatively cushy. I know this sounds critical, but I didn't want to post some generic "We bought an XC60 and the world is all candy and roses now" kind of review! The power is awesome, the drive is easy, it looks awesome (really, very cool both outside and in), and so far Sensus seems pretty dang decent and is definitely competitive as compared to the other cars (frankly, it is a non-issue).

Our specific model is, of course, a 2012 Passion red with the off-black interior with cream accents (best combo ever...of course my last three cars were Lemans Blue, Devil Yellow and Hellrot Red so you might say I am biased to bright colors), platinum package and cold weather package. This is exactly how we would have ordered one if it hadn't come up locally. We have three Volvo dealers in the area (Dallas/Ft. Worth) and this is a pretty rare combo around here.

My favorite "feature" so far: PCC. Let's face it, not having to mess with your keys is just nice...hardly critical, but nice.

I expect to provide an update to this thread or create a new one as time progresses

Pics:






10 months later and we may or may not have made the same decision. Frankly, the Volvo's looks are better (purely subjective) and I still think the power is great. A friend got new M-sport 2013 28i (the 4 banger) and I thought the power was merely adequate compared to the T6 RD. Mileage at 20-21 on the Volvo is nothing to write home about though AND 3 months after we bought it I decided that the ride was indeed too rough and swapped out the rear shocks and springs for the standard suspension ($500 and an afternoon well spent).
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  #48  
Old 12-25-2012, 08:24 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Nice review! BTW, Audi does not offer an inline 6 -- supercharged or not. Their "VR6" is a narrow aspect -- single head -- much like an inline though. The "bigger" engines are more conventional V6's. As far as I know only BMW and Volvo still offer the classic inline 6 cyl gas engines any more. Dodge uses an inline Cummins diesel 6 in their heavy duty RAM trucks though.
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  #49  
Old 12-26-2012, 09:25 AM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is online now
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OP, you can use the steering wheel jog wheels to scroll thru radio stations and your presets. I was able to do so on my old Q7
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  #50  
Old 01-01-2013, 06:13 AM
SSBMW73 SSBMW73 is offline
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Originally Posted by SSBMW73 View Post
I was torn between the Q5 and X3 myself; when I went to BMW they had a Q5 on the lot so I got to drive both. The Q5 was very smooth; however transitioning from a CLK 500, the X3 won hands down. Leased my X3 28i today; wanted all the bells & whistles so I'm waiting for it to come in. Can't wait, super excited.
Finally got my X3 last Fri. I just started driving it yesterday (wanted to run a few more times in my Benz before I gave it up), its so much fun to drive. I guess I was so excited I forgot to post a pic.
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