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

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  #1  
Old 08-23-2007, 07:59 PM
jmatz jmatz is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 platinum bronze x3
Starting the Evaluation process on X3

Hello All:

I'm just beginning to compare 5 or 6 medium-sized SUVs in order to replace my Explorer with something that is higher-end in every way (not hard to do considering the sorry excuse for a car that the Explorer is).

The X3 keeps popping up in my research and I never expected to even be considering one. I went to the BMW showroom today and was totally impressed by the X3, so my comparison is already becoming biased! I never imagined that a BMW could be considered "affordable", but some surprising details are making me think that it might be within reach for me (even the mileage was a surprise).

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone here did a full-blown "Total Cost of Ownership" type of evaluation before they took the plunge and bought their X3? I could do my own spreadsheet, but hoping something already exists besides the sponsored comparisons that the magazines do. There are many intangibles such as the driving experience, the Maintenance Program (not sure anyone but BMW has this), other things that probably aren't considered in a "canned" comparison chart.

Let me know if I should be posting this in a different forum, but this one seems appropriate because the only BMW that I'm considering is the X3.

Thanks in advance for your opinions and guidance !!

John M
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2007, 05:45 AM
ToddPhilly ToddPhilly is offline
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Well not sure if you're leasing, but in terms of lease prices, the X3 was less $ than the Acura RDX, and A LOT less $ than the Land Rover LR2. Our price came in about the same as a fully loaded Toyota Rav 4. That said, we just couldn't turn it down. As far as the rest of the costs associated with owning a BMW, they're pretty minimal. I've owned bimmers for about 6 years now, and while under warranty/service plan, they cost you next to nothing. Plus, my insurance on my 2007 335i coupe is less than on my 1998 F150 4x4. I personally don't think you can go wrong with the X3. Ours just hit the dealership last night, so hopefully we'll be picking it up today! Good luck with your shopping, and we all hope to see you get to enjoy owning a BMW.

Oh and FYI, not sure if you're considering a VW Touareg...but if so, FORGET IT. Talk about high cost of ownership. We couldn't wait to get rid of ours. When it went in for service every 5k miles, I could be guaranteed a bill of at least $300. More often than not, it was over $500. Front brakes, $860. All in all, I will never buy another VW again...I can't afford it!!!
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Last edited by ToddPhilly; 08-24-2007 at 05:48 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2007, 07:53 AM
Stephenp76 Stephenp76 is offline
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If you are leasing, the X3 it is by far the best value and the best car in its class.
Plus it is very fun to drive and a pleasure in the corners.
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2007, 08:12 AM
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b-y b-y is offline
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A lot depends on you and your approach to cars. I have a 2004 X3 on the last 3 months of a 39-month lease. I could have had $zero in maintenance costs, but I chose to pay more. I was just under the 10K miles/per year, so I get a "free" oil change & service every year, rather than waiting for the 15K miles. But I pay for an additional oil change at 6 months. (Who knows if it is necessary, but I feel better doing it.) I also paid $200 one time to have several dings removed frrom the doors--again it wasn't needed.

If you don't get the sport pkg, the original tires can last quite a long time. (Tires are not covered under the included maintenance.) You do not have the choice of OEM tires. I was lucky to get the Pirellis. They are quiet and last a long time. I damaged one, and it cost about $150 to have it replaced. I got a nail in another, but it was patched for $30 or so.

The X3 seems to run better and get better mileage on premium gas, which is only 91 octane here in Calif. I get 24 mpg on the freeway, but only 15 mpg or so locally as I have to climb a small hill twice a day to and from work. Add that to the insurance and lease payments, and that is everything. Oh--I also bought rubber floor mats and and the rubber hatch area liner. And then, I liked the X3 so much I bought an M Roadster, but that is optional and not included in the X3 costs.
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2007, 08:18 AM
Doomdriver Doomdriver is offline
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Hi there:

Just traded in my 01 Explorer for an 07 X3

You can't compare them - totally different leaque. I am nothing but smiles whereas I was mostly complaining about the explorer!

One thing to watch closely if you are leasing is the hidden costs. If you have leased before you may know them but I calculated over $1300 in hidden costs despite a so called "full disclosure lease". It may have been the local dealer because when BMW called on a customer sat survey the operator couldn't believe it!

That said, I think the cost to lease the X3 is amazingly low and with very low maintenance costs - my Nissan cost me $300 for a one year checkup - I think the bottom line is very good.

The one thing you can't put a price tag on is the "Proud owner smile"

Good luck
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2007, 08:23 AM
jmatz jmatz is offline
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Thanks for the insights, everyone.

I had forgotten to consider the insurance. A quick call to my agent, and it turns out that it will only cost about $120 more per year than my 2000 Explorer.

Will probably lease, but concerned about the reputation of the dealership in downtown Chicago where I live. From comments on another thread, they tend to miscalculate and are hard to negotiate with. But leasing does seem to be the way to go.

I'll probably not get this done until winter or spring, so hopefully it will be an '08 and the transmission issue will not be an issue.

JM

Last edited by jmatz; 08-24-2007 at 09:43 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2007, 08:30 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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No one here has mentioned insurance. The X3 is actually cheaper to insure than my 05 Jeep Cherokee. It may have something to do with the vin numbers calling the X3 a wagon.

Whatever the reason it costs the same to insure my X3 as it does my wife's 05 Accord.

And I have heard the same horror stories about the Toureg VW with general maintenance repairs such as brakes. Almost $1500 for a set of four. BMW free.

However, please make sure to drive the vehicle prior to signing on the dotted line. The 07's still have not resolved the jerky transmission shifting issues.

I wish I had time to wait on the 08's. The new sideboards look nice and the illuminated door handles are a nice touch as well.

Whatever the case the X3 is the closest I have driven that meets the sports car fun with the suv practicality.

Cheers,
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2007, 10:24 AM
joev62 joev62 is offline
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Speaker of Explorers...they SUCK. Mine is a 1999 and I would never buy another one again. So I started to look around the last 6 months and I am now stuck on the X3. It is a HOT HOT vehicle. Starting the ordering and ED process in a few days. I can't wait. Munich...here I come.

Did I forget to say....the explorers SUCK!
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2007, 03:28 PM
cbj cbj is offline
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Don't forget to check out the dealer. I have received the worst service for the sales staff where I leased my X3. Nicest car I have had so far but worst car buying experience ever - I am shocked.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2007, 04:30 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Be sure to take a long look at leasing. BMW currently is running incentive leases on the remaining 2007s. There are numerous posts on how to negotiate leasing a BMW. Also look into taking European Delivery.

These programs aren't for everyone, but you can save a lot of money.

Be warned, once you lease a BMW, they will never let you go.

If you were able to take advantage of all of the programs (you can't) the lease payments get into Explorer range.

I posted a spread sheet that lets you what if pricing and leasing on a 2007. Now that the '08 prices are out I'll post an updated spread sheet.

http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~af...eetForFest.xls
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 08-25-2007 at 04:33 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2007, 05:22 AM
Wolfie Wolfie is offline
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Smile

I had an 05 F150 4 door 4x4 pickup and the insurance on my 06 X3 is cheaper!
I would call the 3 dealers in wisconsin and see what they can do for you.
Good Luck!
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2007, 06:41 AM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmatz View Post
Will probably lease, but concerned about the reputation of the dealership in downtown Chicago where I live. From comments on another thread, they tend to miscalculate and are hard to negotiate with. But leasing does seem to be the way to go.

I'll probably not get this done until winter or spring, so hopefully it will be an '08 and the transmission issue will not be an issue.

JM

If you don't like your local dealer, Try Forum sponsor Irv Robinson. He is in Barrington. I haven't worked with him, but he does have a good reputation here.


Planning that far out makes you a candidate for European Delivery. Combing ED with an incentive lease knocks the payments way down. Biggest downside is the wait for re-delivery.


Surest way to avoid the transmission software issue is to order a manual. Part of the problem with the Automatic is the sport program. Unlike most auto transmissions the sport mode on the '07 is real. It shifts like you are racing. If your last car was a Ford or a Lexus, it doesn't feel right.

BMW has already softened the suspension for the American market. I'm sure a patch to detune the transmission is on the way.


In any case it isn't a breakdown issue. You can stick to plain old 'D' and shift the transmission manually on the rare occasions you need lower shift points.
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The models and equipment (standard and optional) illustrated in this post reflect my misunderstanding of vehicles supplied by BMW AG to the German market. In other EU member states, the truthyness of my posts may vary. Please ignore this post. Subject to change.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2007, 07:27 AM
smalldog smalldog is offline
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+1 on Irv Robinson in Barrington. Although I don't live in IL, I have dealt with Irv recently regarding my planned X3 purchase, and he's been a pleasure to work with. No B.S.

As far as TCO for an X3, there's essentially $0 in maintenance costs for the first 4 years/50k miles, except for tires. And unless you get the sport package with optional 19" wheels (which come with summer performance instead of all-season tires), the tires that come with an X3 will probably last you 30-40k miles, at least, unless you drive very aggressively. Everything else--even brake pads and rotors--are covered 100% by the 4yr free maintenance program.

+1 on leasing an X3, too. BMW Financial Services heavilty subsidizes the lease programs for X3 by inflating the residual values and offering below-market interest rates (money factors, in lease parlance) for X3 compared to most of its other models. The result is a lower monthly lease payment than vehicles with similar sticker prices. Just be sure to GIVE THE CAR BACK at the end of the lease instead of buying it, since the inflated residual (buyout) price at the end is probably more than the car will be worth.

The only cons I can think of for X3 are:

- not as much cargo and seating space as some competitors
- lack of some luxury options like electric open/close liftgate, backup camera, factory back-seat entertainment system, etc.
- not a true off-road vehicle, if that matters to you
- limited towing capacity, if that matters to you

On the bright side, most BMW dealers will always give you a courtesy BMW loaner car (usually 3-series) when you take your car in for service. That's a lot better than no loaner car--or a Ford Taurus!--when you take a Ford in for service.
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2007, 08:49 AM
jmatz jmatz is offline
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Thanks everyone for some incredible advice. The only problem is that you are talking me out of even bothering with looking at the other manufacturers. Andrew*Debbie, thanks for posting the spreadsheet. I'll play around with that this weekend and see how it works for me.

I'm expecting the transmission to not be a big issue for me - I'll be in D most of the time. The other fluff features like backup camera, electric tailgates, etc. are of no use to me (I've experienced them on rentals - pointless) and are just more potential for something to go wrong.

Next step: test drive.

JM

Last edited by jmatz; 08-25-2007 at 08:53 AM.
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2007, 08:58 AM
thebmw thebmw is offline
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That's a good spreadsheet Andrew*debbie, but I'm having a tough time convincing dealers about those #'s. Those numbers are true and accurate, but so many dealers refuse to listen. Will Irv listen or does he already know these #'s are true? I've heard that MotorWerks charges a lot of fees and marks up the MF. Is that true?

Also, should we wait for the 2008 X3 and resolution of the transmission issues or get a 2007 X3? The MF now are not so great on the '07's.
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2007, 09:12 AM
smalldog smalldog is offline
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Here's the deal re: fees....

1.) All dealers markup two lease-related fees. The BMW Financial Services lease acquisition fee is $625, but dealers are free to mark it up as much as $200 (up to $825). Also, the lease money factors (interest rates), which are posted in the Ask-A-Dealer forum, are the BMWFS "buy" rates, and dealers are permitted to mark them up by up to 40 basis points. So, for example, a MF of .00215 could be as high as .00255,. Multiply the MF by 24 to get the interest rate (.00215 = 5.16%, .00255 = 6.12%).

2.) Most dealers add a fee they call "dealer prep", which can be anywhere from $100-$400, supposedly to cover costs like detailing and a full tank of gas.

3.) Some dealers that participate in the BMW North American training program add a $180 "training" fee.

4.) Some dealers, if they particpate in regional BMW advertising group, add a "MACO" fee of up to $250 or so.

5.) All dealers will add a title fee to cover the cost of temporary license plate registration, title, etc. This SHOULD be only about $50-$75 depending on your state, but some dealers try to inflate to as much as $300.


Long story short, whether you think these fees and markups are B.S. or not, you should take them into account when comparing a purchase/lease from one dealer vs. another so you're realy doing an apples to apples comparison.

For example, one dealer may offer to sell you the car for $1,000 over dealer invoice, but then add all those fees and markup the lease acq. fee and MF as much as they're allowed to, resulting in a much more expensive final cost than a dealer who offers to sell you the same car for $2,000 over invoice without as many markups and fees.

Good luck.
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  #17  
Old 08-25-2007, 02:07 PM
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Andrew*Debbie Andrew*Debbie is offline
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The $180 training fee is added by BMW NA to all US POE invoices. It is part of the invoice. Dealer has no say in it. MACO varies by region. It is $300 here in Atlanta. $500 in FL. Once again the dealer has no say in this. Fees are on the invoice. If you are negoitating an invoice+ deal, the fees are part of the invoice price. These two fees are not on the invoice for an ED car. If you choose ED, you shouldn't be paying them. My spreadsheet takes that into account.

You should be able to get invoice +$1xxx easy on a 2007 X3. Under 1K might be possible too.


MF markup and lease acquisition fee markup are negotiable. Many dealers won't budge from the full amount, but some will. If your current dealer won't, try working with some of the forum sponsors. Dealers, your CA and the F&I person need to make a living. Half of the lease markup and invoice + $1xxx is a fair deal.
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