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

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  #1  
Old 08-14-2007, 01:30 AM
Hofmeister_NV Hofmeister_NV is offline
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Day Two: Secondary Impressions

This is just a continuation of random things I've noticed/enjoyed on the 2nd day of driving my X3 . . .

[A] In playing around with the fog lights, I've been pleasantly surprised that they do not just provide light at a low level (lower horizontally, but on the same width pattern as the headlights), but instead also provide a distinct amount of "side-of-the-road" lighting, too. It's definitely a broader pattern of light. Especially around our home neighborhood, where cottontails, jackrabbits (and any number of other critters) seem to lurk by the side of the road, ready to time their dart into the road just at the right moment to make you swerve or hit the brakes . . . it's handy to be able to see them at the side of the road before they run out.

[B] No car I've ever owned or driven before has had all-red-lit primary gauges. I like it -- it's easy on the eyes at night and works really well (I think).

[C] The speedometer seems (at times) almost foolishly tiny. I'm not sure I like that as some sort of "minimalist" or "avant garde" statement . . . or if it was just a bad idea.

[D] So far, 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears are my favorites. I just feel a lot of low-level "wind up" in those gears.

[E] Even though the stereo is great (I especially like those surround-mode equalizations, such as "church" or "rock" or (especially) "jazzclub") . . . I almost find myself, at times, just wanting to turn off the radio and listen to the car. The tires on the pavement; the purr of that straight six.

[F] I'm not a tall guy by any means (5'10") but I seem to manage to whack the side of my skull nearly every time I get in. (This could be in part because I like to have my seat set very vertically and fairly close into the pedals. Blessed with stubby legs and a long torso.) I am getting better at it! I just need to start that bending process *before* trying to sit down.

[G] So, far, I'm not finding the X3 to be that much "thirstier" than the V6 Saturn sedan I used to drive. It's no hybrid, but nothing about the fuel consumption has shocked me so far. (But maybe it *is* a more accurate fuel needle than I've been used to -- I normally am not used to seeing the fuel needle move on a one-way trip of 30 miles. Then again, I've never driven a car with so many gradations on the fuel level gauge.)

[H] Like the Merkur XR4Ti I used to own, getting back used to "R" being located "push down; find the up-and-to-the-left grove; get it into gear" is, once again, slightly counterintuitive. With today's prevalence of 5-speeds, most of us are used to "up-and-to-the-right" being overdrive and "down-and-to-the-right" being reverse. I'm having to relearn the "up-and-to-the-left" reverse; the fact that the "normal" overdrive position is now 5th gear (with the 1:1 ratio -- so like 4th on most cars), and that if I really want overdrive that's "down-and-to-the-right" in 6th.

[I] Living in an area with a dearth of X3s, I've not been getting many "thumbs up" looks so far as much as looks like, "What the frick is that thing?!?!" "Did some guy have AMG modify and lower his Hyundai Tucson?" I just don't live in a BMW-savvy area.

[J] I have, however, noticed more looks from Acura and Lexus drivers. A guy in a Lexus IS 350 felt the need to cut me off within about 5' to just let me know he was there, I suppose (even though the road was clear ahead for the whole visible distance). At some level, doesn't "Lexus" translate roughly to "bad toupee, gold chains and a little pecker"? (My apologies to those of you who are dual BMW-Lexus aficionados.)

[K] Overall, I'm just way stoked. I always just thought it was B.S. marketing behind the "Ultimate Driving Machine" trademark . . . that it was probably just like a juiced-up Camry with leather (I don't know . . . like maybe a 1989 Honda/Rover "Sterling"). Today, color me formerly ignorant, wrongly skeptical, and now impressed. It's just in a whole different league than anything else I've driven.

[L] (In full disclosure . . . I've driven more "luxurious" cars . . . but I wouldn't buy a BMW for "luxury" (alone) any more than I'd buy a rib-eye steak for low fat content. For sure there are BMW "luxury" models (or configurations), but I think a BMW -- at heart -- is a "performance" vehicle that tries to stay as spartan as it can while staying within the luxury marques. It's not the car to be buying if one's idea of "luxury" is the type of "fat man features" that Frank Cannon (younger viewers: TV detective show of the mid-1970s) might have had on his 1973 Lincoln Continental.)

[M] In looking at the various on-line pictures and what have you, I definitely got a tiny bit mislead into thinking that the X3 is a "compact" car. Not so at all! Isn't it (now) all of 1.2" shorter than the X5? In person, the X3 definitely has a "beefier," wider stance than I somehow expected. It's a more sizable car than I had realized.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2007, 09:36 AM
lynn2007 lynn2007 is offline
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I enjoy reading your posts. I've had my X3 only two weeks now and had to go out of town shortly thereafter so did not get a chance to drive it much. Still figuring out functions.

May I ask, did you get the Premium sound system? I did not opt for it and find the standard is a bit weak, but I don't care about music too much when I am driving. I think drivers who are really into quality sound systems would be disappointed though.

Before I purchased my vehicle, I had my heart set on the Lexus. For months, Lexus Lexus is all I spoke about ... well at the urging of my friend, a new 3-series Bimmer owner and her constant ultimate driving machine speeches, I decided to at least test drive the X3 and that was the end of the Lexus. Initially, I preferred what I thought to be the more luxury like interior of the Lexus, but already I love the more conservative, spartan, if you will, interior of the X3. The steering wheel is so cool. Even when I don't drive the vehicle I love just sitting and looking at it. Hopefully, that part will wear off.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2007, 02:03 PM
Hofmeister_NV Hofmeister_NV is offline
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Hi Lynn2007 --

Yes; I opted for the premium sound system. On any previous test drives before actually taking delivery of *my* X3, I didn't fiddle with anything stereo-related, so I really can't say how it compares to the regular stereo.

While I can't claim to be any sort of true "audiophile,"[FN1] I'm finding that *I* like the sound of the premium stereo and find it to be very adequate for my needs. I can certainly say that (and this is only my own opinion, of course) it sounds better than any "it-comes-with-the-car" stereo that I've ever had before.

[FN1] I had the pleasure/misfortune of playing blind-side flanker (# 6) for my law school's rugby team, and I've basically had tinnitus for 11+ years from having the condyles at the upper tips of the jawbone smashed up into my ear region too many times to count. So I probably hear about as well as Pete Townshend these days, which is to say "not very good."

Another thing about stereo systems in general (while I'm on my soapbox) is that there's almost quite literally *no limit* to what one could spend to get the very best. A friend of mine sells amplifiers for a super-high-end-hi-fi company, and some people are willing to shell out $6K each (or more) for monoblock amplifiers (and you need two of those for stereo!) The range of prices is certainly more limited in the car audio sphere, but you can still seriously dent your checkbook depending on what you decide to buy. Some people can really hear the difference in the super-high-end audiophile equipment. Regrettably, I cannot.

If you *do* decide that you'd like to upgrade the stereo system in your X3, I might recommend doing business with a car audio retailer which offers a true money back guarantee (within, say, 30 or 60 days). As in, if you don't like how it sounds after they install it (because it's never quite the same outside on the road as it is in their installation bays), they put things back how they were and it's at no cost to you (some might charge a re-stock or labor fee). There's a rather famous mail-order-stereo place headquartered in Charlottesville, VA (I won't mention their name because I'm not trying to do an advertisement, but you could find them by Google easily enough), and all of my dealings with them have been very much like, "You don't like it; send it back; no questions asked."
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2007, 07:01 PM
Doomdriver Doomdriver is offline
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New 07 X3 owner

Hi there:

Very interested in your comments. I have found a couple of things that I thought odd (maybe just different). These are:
Very touchy brakes
A long step over the threshold when getting into the car
A speedometer that reads about nine kms less than the radar

Still enjoying the ride for now

Here are a few pics
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  #5  
Old 08-16-2007, 05:38 AM
lynn2007 lynn2007 is offline
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The upgrade on the sound system is not that important that I want anyone fooling around with my vehicle. Don't want to end up with any electrical problems and since I am not big on the audio stuff, I can live with it. The vehicle makes up for the crummy sound system in other ways. This is a BIG step up from my little Honda, so I am happy.

Hofmesiter, I have not used the fog lights yet, but what is the pupose of that rotary dial that is over the fog light button? I did not see that dial listed in the manual.

I have to get the vehicle washed and will be taking it to a detail place that does hand washing; no drive through brushes type car wash on this vehicle, ever. My Honda's paint job got so chipped after years of that.
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2007, 06:30 AM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynn2007 View Post
Hofmesiter, I have not used the fog lights yet, but what is the pupose of that rotary dial that is over the fog light button? I did not see that dial listed in the manual.
The one rotary knob above the fog light switch is to adjust the brightness of the backlighting/illumination of the dash. In Europe I think they have another dial there too that adjusts headlamp angle, but that is a non-issue for our models.
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  #7  
Old 08-16-2007, 02:14 PM
Hofmeister_NV Hofmeister_NV is offline
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You also tangentially raise a good point, Lynn (which I was thinking about all night after I posted my initial response).

The point being that, for the many of us X3 drivers who are leasing, I don't think we really have free reign to be altering the vehicle to accommodate different audio equipment.

(No doubt there are some installers out there good enough to put everything back the way it was at the end of the lease, but I'm not sure I'd take that chance.)
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Old 08-16-2007, 03:02 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Hofmeister_NV --

I'm with the local board for the Society for the Prevention of the Abuse of Square Brackets, or "SPASB".

Its come to our attention that your use of the square bracket, both left '[' and right ']' has exceeded the local allowance of not more than two combined sets, viz: ' [[ ]]', on a certain popular internet automotive-centered message board, bimmerfest.com.

You will be required to remit a total of $25.00 USD for each future use of a left hand square bracket '[', and $30.00 USD for each use of a right ']', by sending us a direct debit on your account details, c/o Nigerian Bank PLC, dba Scamsalot.com, Axeminster, contact: Dewey Cheatem and Howe, Ltd, London, Angelund.

Its either that or we turn your account into a direct link to PoliSci posts.

Thank you.

EDIT - Oh, and you may also no longer use the word 'tangentially" without explaining it to the rest of us, in sentences of words no longer than three syllables.




















J/K bro, keep the posts coming -- you rock.
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2007, 08:34 PM
Hofmeister_NV Hofmeister_NV is offline
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That made me laugh, Wingspan; touche! Believe me, I've heard it before. Some of my friends, upon receiving an e-mail from me, are like, "Was that an e-mail, man, or an appellate brief?"








Quote:
Originally Posted by wingspan View Post
Hofmeister_NV --

I'm with the local board for the Society for the Prevention of the Abuse of Square Brackets, or "SPASB".

Its come to our attention that your use of the square bracket, both left '[' and right ']' has exceeded the local allowance of not more than two combined sets, viz: ' [[ ]]', on a certain popular internet automotive-centered message board, bimmerfest.com.

You will be required to remit a total of $25.00 USD for each future use of a left hand square bracket '[', and $30.00 USD for each use of a right ']', by sending us a direct debit on your account details, c/o Nigerian Bank PLC, dba Scamsalot.com, Axeminster, contact: Dewey Cheatem and Howe, Ltd, London, Angelund.

Its either that or we turn your account into a direct link to PoliSci posts.

Thank you.

EDIT - Oh, and you may also no longer use the word 'tangentially" without explaining it to the rest of us, in sentences of words no longer than three syllables.




















J/K bro, keep the posts coming -- you rock.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2007, 07:10 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Originally Posted by Hofmeister_NV View Post
That made me laugh, Wingspan; touche! Believe me, I've heard it before. Some of my friends, upon receiving an e-mail from me, are like, "Was that an e-mail, man, or an appellate brief?"



Keep posting, bro, you add value to the 'fest!
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