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

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  #101  
Old 09-18-2009, 10:49 AM
szee1 szee1 is offline
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Unfortunately we haven't had the opportunity to try a newer one so I can't speak to the ride differences. I have read they softened it in 2007 but can't speak to the changes although would like to have that opportunity. From my perspective they are likely trying to find a balance point with the consumers between comfort and handling. What probably would have made more sense is to have the base model somewhat more softly sprung and made the sport model at the level it's currently at. From what I understand the sports option is not significantly rougher than the base. All this said, I have no objections to the ride and this is from the perspective of the 2004 which is supposedly the firmest of the years.

As for the trans, not sure where I read it and it was probably on this site, but the essence was something like this. Take an American designed transmission, have it built by the French, installed by the Austrians, and controlled by German software and what do you expect. No insults intended to any country or countrymen mentioned but globalization and rushing the untested and or complex to market is not without risk.

Let's just hope the goodwill often attributed to BWM presents an opportunity for you to find resolution. It would be a shame to be stuck with a vehicle that doesn't provide you with the pleasure/satisfaction it should, particularly with this brand.
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  #102  
Old 09-18-2009, 11:53 AM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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There's nothing "up" with the suspensions. People simply complained about the firm ride. German auto manufacturers were getting slammed by the German auto press in the recent past for their continually stiffer riding cars. BMW is just accommodating customer preference. Have you tried shopping for aftermarket coils and shocks? There's a sponsor forum here.

As far as your mileage, I don't think I could get mine to drop that low if i drove around in first gear all the time. I believe there's been posts referring to abnormally low mileage that were fixed with s/w updates to the control or engine electronics.

If you just can't live with it, consider writing a respectful letter to the dealership owner describing your history with BMWs and your dissatisfaction with your X3. If you're willing to accept another model in trade maybe they'll work with you.

Good luck.
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  #103  
Old 09-18-2009, 01:07 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szee1 View Post
Unfortunately we haven't had the opportunity to try a newer one so I can't speak to the ride differences. I have read they softened it in 2007 but can't speak to the changes although would like to have that opportunity. From my perspective they are likely trying to find a balance point with the consumers between comfort and handling. What probably would have made more sense is to have the base model somewhat more softly sprung and made the sport model at the level it's currently at. From what I understand the sports option is not significantly rougher than the base. All this said, I have no objections to the ride and this is from the perspective of the 2004 which is supposedly the firmest of the years.

As for the trans, not sure where I read it and it was probably on this site, but the essence was something like this. Take an American designed transmission, have it built by the French, installed by the Austrians, and controlled by German software and what do you expect. No insults intended to any country or countrymen mentioned but globalization and rushing the untested and or complex to market is not without risk.

Let's just hope the goodwill often attributed to BWM presents an opportunity for you to find resolution. It would be a shame to be stuck with a vehicle that doesn't provide you with the pleasure/satisfaction it should, particularly with this brand.
It is hard to use words to explain what I am feeling. It is the undulations after it hits some imperfection in the road that is out of order.

The problem with intermittent problems is that it is difficult to show anyone else what you are dealing with.
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  #104  
Old 09-18-2009, 01:08 PM
dharmadoggie dharmadoggie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post
Hey, so you had the same reaction that I am currently having along with a huge helping of buyer's remorse, much head smacking and some heavy drinking (just joking). How long before you eased into the ride or became immune to its ride?

Did you make any adjustments to tires, seat positions, after market cushioning, etc.?

I looked at the Volvos but they were boat like in their steering and rather wide and flat. Nice seats though and interesting floating console.

What kind of a bath did you take on the Passat or do you remember? I'm not sure what else I would drive...I might resort to biking... After all, I just got through the entire process and settled on this!
Took 2-3 months to get used to the ride. But it was a used car, presumably already loosened up some. Then again 05's are stiffer than current. Then again after about 4 months I replaced the Bridgestone POS rocks with Nokian WRG2s.

I prefer the Volvo XC form factor to an SUV/SAV, but reliability sucked bug time. The only equivalents come from Audi and Ford, two brands I won't go near.

The Passat bath was wide and deep, peculiar to the W8 being discontinued shortly after I got it. (VW made a total of 11,000 W8s world wide, that's all. It was not a good long term hold.) And WA state sales tax. On the order of $10k.
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  #105  
Old 09-18-2009, 01:15 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HT417 View Post
There's nothing "up" with the suspensions. People simply complained about the firm ride. German auto manufacturers were getting slammed by the German auto press in the recent past for their continually stiffer riding cars. BMW is just accommodating customer preference. Have you tried shopping for aftermarket coils and shocks? There's a sponsor forum here.

As far as your mileage, I don't think I could get mine to drop that low if i drove around in first gear all the time. I believe there's been posts referring to abnormally low mileage that were fixed with s/w updates to the control or engine electronics.

If you just can't live with it, consider writing a respectful letter to the dealership owner describing your history with BMWs and your dissatisfaction with your X3. If you're willing to accept another model in trade maybe they'll work with you.

Good luck.
If nothing is up with my suspension then SHAME ON BMW for the rock sitting in my garage. It would be much better if something is up with my suspension.

Again, not talking about a firm or sporty ride. No problem with that.

I am talking about undulations and bouncing at low to moderate speeds.

I have the latest s/w.

I've already talked to the dealership. They will take my one month old X3 off my hands for a 20% hit. I'm sure I can find many people who might consider that deal.
No love for the customer there although I don't fault the dealer, I fault BMW who made this ROCK and myself for buying said ROCK.

As I said before, I am DONE WITH BMW. Why in the world would I want another BMW when, after 20 years of them, this is what they come up with? I talked with another customer, this one of a much more expensive X5 while waiting to pick up mine. He was even angrier than I was.

Now all that is left to do is and let others know about my experiences.
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  #106  
Old 09-18-2009, 01:19 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmadoggie View Post
Took 2-3 months to get used to the ride. But it was a used car, presumably already loosened up some. Then again 05's are stiffer than current. Then again after about 4 months I replaced the Bridgestone POS rocks with Nokian WRG2s.

I prefer the Volvo XC form factor to an SUV/SAV, but reliability sucked bug time. The only equivalents come from Audi and Ford, two brands I won't go near.

The Passat bath was wide and deep, peculiar to the W8 being discontinued shortly after I got it. (VW made a total of 11,000 W8s world wide, that's all. It was not a good long term hold.) And WA state sales tax. On the order of $10k.
For me, all the costs are in the car and on the order of what you are saying. That is if I would sell it back to the dealer. That is, of course, nuts.

It would be better to try and find a private sale. I haven't made any decisions. In the grieving process over my brand new **** X3, I am in the stage.

I don't care what the other stages are because I suspect I will be in this stage for the duration of ownership be it short or long.

This car has only been made for 5 years and will be discontinued in its present form for the new one made in SC. I am beginning to feel as if those who bought this **** X3 (unless, of course you love it in which case don't read the rest of this) are the guinea pigs for this type of car for BMW. Hey, let's try it out and see if anyone bites. We won't put much into fixing things that aren't quite there because we'll have the real one out of SC and not OEMed half a decade later!

I don't know. I'm feeling particularly ticked off this morning. My back hurts and I don't know if I can drive without getting queasy again.

Last edited by PPXYZ; 09-18-2009 at 01:22 PM.
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  #107  
Old 09-18-2009, 01:37 PM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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eh, this may sound somewhat condescending, but I would hazard to say that the few complaints are vocal minorities.

I knew going in that the X3 was going to be stiffer handling. Heck, on my older OEM tires (Michelin), the X3 was truly a stiff ride. Once in a great while, I'll get some strange hopping, but that's over road surfaces like train tracks... so I expect that in any car. The Pirelli's quieted the stiffness to a noticeable extent that made it an even more desireable car for me, but tastes are subjective.

The bottom line is that the X3 is simply a harsher ride than you may have expected or wanted. Buyer's remorse and staying away from all BMW's is by and large your choice, but in my opinion, silly if you didn't do your homework with proper test drives on good roads as well as bad. I wouldn't buy a a 7 series expecting the ride of a 3 series, and just because you had a great opinion of a 5 series, still doesn't excuse your lack of test driving an X3 fully.

Be mad all you want, but I would think the success of the X3 means that there's quite an audience that likes what you don't like. Wow, there's people with different opinions and tastes. Be mad, be angry all you want, but in my opinion, if you look in the mirror, you'd find who would share a little of the blame.
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  #108  
Old 09-18-2009, 01:52 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wongway View Post
eh, this may sound somewhat condescending, but I would hazard to say that the few complaints are vocal minorities.

I knew going in that the X3 was going to be stiffer handling. Heck, on my older OEM tires (Michelin), the X3 was truly a stiff ride. Once in a great while, I'll get some strange hopping, but that's over road surfaces like train tracks... so I expect that in any car. The Pirelli's quieted the stiffness to a noticeable extent that made it an even more desireable car for me, but tastes are subjective.

The bottom line is that the X3 is simply a harsher ride than you may have expected or wanted. Buyer's remorse and staying away from all BMW's is by and large your choice, but in my opinion, silly if you didn't do your homework with proper test drives on good roads as well as bad. I wouldn't buy a a 7 series expecting the ride of a 3 series, and just because you had a great opinion of a 5 series, still doesn't excuse your lack of test driving an X3 fully.

Be mad all you want, but I would think the success of the X3 means that there's quite an audience that likes what you don't like. Wow, there's people with different opinions and tastes. Be mad, be angry all you want, but in my opinion, if you look in the mirror, you'd find who would share a little of the blame.
Thank you. As I have already said many times before I blame ME. Remember that only I am taking the hit in both lack of a decent car to drive AND the potential financial hit which is also substantial. BMW and the dealer have their profits.

That does not, however, excuse BMW for making a **** of a car and it does not prevent me from voicing my opinion everyday (not here of course as that would become annoying even for me) and twice on Sundays for the duration of my ownership. Getting this kind of a reaction from a paying customer is bad on BMW.

As I have said many, many, many times before I am not talking about stiffness in the ride. I am not talking about feeling the road. I am not talking about sportiness. I am not talking about rides over railroad tracks or cobblestones or other rough surfaces. I believe I have said this many times so please stop saying it is about stiffness.

It is not about stiffness, it is bounciness. It is undulation which is about springiness not stiffness. Even though it is hard to use words to explain the situation, I believe that stiffness and springiness are not the same thing.

Success? I think they have been selling about 30,000/year until 2009 when it is less than 20,000 IIRC. I don't know what they were expecting to sell and it still makes me wonder why they are no longer manufacturing THIS particular car. The next generation is already coming up so maybe THEY KNOW about these issues and are cutting bait.
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  #109  
Old 09-18-2009, 02:41 PM
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kjboyd kjboyd is offline
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i gotta say, as one person who complained one hell of a lot about my 06 and 07, even I'M getting tired of this.

HAVE YOU GONE TO DRIVE ANOTHER X3 OR NOT?
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  #110  
Old 09-18-2009, 02:52 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjboyd View Post
i gotta say, as one person who complained one hell of a lot about my 06 and 07, even I'M getting tired of this.

HAVE YOU GONE TO DRIVE ANOTHER X3 OR NOT?
That would have been one of the first things I did! Never take the word of a dealer over first hand experience!

It sounds like he did not - probably spent too much time here writing complaints rather than taking action.
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  #111  
Old 09-18-2009, 03:01 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
That would have been one of the first things I did! Never take the word of a dealer over first hand experience!

It sounds like he did not - probably spent too much time here writing complaints rather than taking action.
As I said before I spent the better part of this week taking the car in, riding it yet again with two different shop foremen...this is driving it 3 times. I finally picked it up yesterday after spending half a day waiting around at the dealership. They felt what I felt in its most moderate form but their opinion of whether this is a defect, a hidden feature or what is different from mine.

This is the second X3 I have driven. I don't have to drive 10 of them to KNOW that something is wrong with my car. They put it up twice, looked at the components and there is nothing that they can find that is wrong with my car.

They drove it by themselves over 100 miles this week and they cannot find anything wrong with my car.

I will take my continuing complaints about the X3 to my own blog because I am do not want to upset people any longer.

Thank you.
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  #112  
Old 09-18-2009, 04:01 PM
div2 div2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wongway View Post
The bottom line is that the x3 is simply a harsher ride than you may have expected or wanted. Buyer's remorse and staying away from all bmw's is by and large your choice, but in my opinion, silly if you didn't do your homework with proper test drives on good roads as well as bad. I wouldn't buy a a 7 series expecting the ride of a 3 series, and just because you had a great opinion of a 5 series, still doesn't excuse your lack of test driving an x3 fully.

Be mad all you want, but i would think the success of the x3 means that there's quite an audience that likes what you don't like. Wow, there's people with different opinions and tastes. Be mad, be angry all you want, but in my opinion, if you look in the mirror, you'd find who would share a little of the blame.
Precisely.

Last edited by div2; 09-18-2009 at 05:02 PM.
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  #113  
Old 09-18-2009, 05:02 PM
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Zoltar Zoltar is offline
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At this point I don't think you will ever be ok with this vehicle.
Talk to someone in charge at the dealer and negotiate an exchange for a vehicle more suitable for you.
And for gosh sakes, test drive the heck out of it before you buy it.
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  #114  
Old 09-18-2009, 07:15 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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[/thread]
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  #115  
Old 09-18-2009, 08:09 PM
x3ml x3ml is offline
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X3's harsh ride explained?

Can I jump in?

I had an 04 X3 with the non-sport suspension, before that, I had the 3 series vert with sport package. Then why is the X3's suspension so stiff? Stiffer than my vert? I never tried to think of why, but the X3 sure corners well, almost too well. My 07 X3 came, the ride is not as stiff, but the handling suffered. With the hard to predict 07 AT, I just wouldn't want to take that exit ramp too quickly.

It's all about physics, I think. Building an SUV that handles well, there is no free lunch. You have a vehicle that is heavier, taller, but at the same time having about the same track as the 3 series, you better firm up those suspensions, to limit that extra body roll.

So next time when you are in a 5 series, you will know why it doesn't need a suspension as stiff as a 3 series... because it has a wider track. Is it as simple as this?
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  #116  
Old 09-18-2009, 09:09 PM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post
If nothing is up with my suspension then SHAME ON BMW for the rock sitting in my garage. It would be much better if something is up with my suspension.

Again, not talking about a firm or sporty ride. No problem with that.

I am talking about undulations and bouncing at low to moderate speeds.

I have the latest s/w.

I've already talked to the dealership. They will take my one month old X3 off my hands for a 20% hit. I'm sure I can find many people who might consider that deal.
No love for the customer there although I don't fault the dealer, I fault BMW who made this ROCK and myself for buying said ROCK.

As I said before, I am DONE WITH BMW. Why in the world would I want another BMW when, after 20 years of them, this is what they come up with? I talked with another customer, this one of a much more expensive X5 while waiting to pick up mine. He was even angrier than I was.

Now all that is left to do is and let others know about my experiences.
10 whole thumbs down - now that's some serious disappointment.

With the letter comment I was trying to throw you a bone because if the only ones you talked to were salespeople and the sales manager then you're always going to get the 20% response. I read your posts but you never said how high you pursued it.

I've got the sport suspension and, although I can feel almost every crack in the road, I've never had things bounce around or slide as you describe. But your comments caused me to observe the suspension's actions a little closer and I agree it's a little weird at times, at least to me. On harsh, high amplitude, short duration bumps you feel the impact but it recovers quickly. I like the quick recovery but would prefer better absorption. On smooth, deep and longer bumps or depressions everything seems to work slower and I actually get up to but never more than 2 rebounds. Quite the opposite from what MHO would lead me to expect. It's almost as if, figuratively speaking, the shocks were installed upside down. But I ignore the nitpicking and just enjoy the drive - it's always an entertaining experience and I enjoy the sportiness of it. As someone stated before, the whole vehicle is a compromise but it's a damn good one.

In regards to mileage and s/w. You say you have the newest. Does that apply to the whole vehicle or just to the tranny? You also mentioned you do a lot of city driving with hills. I drive hills back and forth to work each day and if I left it in D all the time my mileage would be a lot worse. My mileage seems to deteriorate quickly as the revs go north of 3000 and mine typically wants to upshift around 3100. I go manual a lot to keep the revs down and smooth out the ride. I find that 2500rpm shifts are a pretty good compromise in gas savings and torque production. Maybe it's worth a try for you.
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  #117  
Old 09-18-2009, 10:38 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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I typically shift around 4,000 + rpms and get an overall average of 18 mpgs.

Dunno how you folks shift so low. Kinda defeats the purpose of owning a BMW, Lol.

My main concerns wouldn't be so much the ride but the gas mileage at this juncture.
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  #118  
Old 09-18-2009, 11:08 PM
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  #119  
Old 09-19-2009, 07:34 AM
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Mystic1 Mystic1 is offline
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I have been reading this topic waiting for a BMW resolution to your problem (suspension) as I cannot understand why a vehicle would act this way. Our '05 with sport pkg can be considered jittery over rough roads, but not bouncy and rocking. That almost sounds like the shocks/struts are bad. I agree with others here that you really need to drive another X3 over the same roads you have the issues just to determine whether or not it is your vehicle, or if the X3's ride in general just isn't for you.
The AT is another issue. BMW has screwed the pooch on that one.
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  #120  
Old 09-20-2009, 07:08 AM
div2 div2 is offline
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There's something else going on here. X3s have a stiff ride, but nothing remotely like what the OP claims. Either something is very wrong with the suspension in the OP's X3 or the OP is hyper sensitive- Who knows?
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Last edited by div2; 09-20-2009 at 07:15 AM.
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  #121  
Old 09-21-2009, 12:01 AM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evlengr View Post
I typically shift around 4,000 + rpms and get an overall average of 18 mpgs.

Dunno how you folks shift so low. Kinda defeats the purpose of owning a BMW, Lol.
At least you'll never have problems with ticking lifters.

I'm generally conservative but I do stretch its legs every now and then. On a practical side, I'd only be able to do that for one gear because by then I'd already be at the speed limit. Another thing is the lower revs keep me at about 19mpg on the hills.

Subjectively, the sport exhaust makes it sound like I'm abusing a cheap engine. I just don't care for the sound so other than the push there's not much reward for heating it up. The non-sport I had always produced this seductive, sophisticated, addicting purr that forced me to take it out at nights just to hear. It was during these excursions that I would often have to use both hands to pull my right foot away from the pedal as I was about to reach escape velocity.
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  #122  
Old 09-21-2009, 08:03 AM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Originally Posted by HT417 View Post
10 whole thumbs down - now that's some serious disappointment.

With the letter comment I was trying to throw you a bone because if the only ones you talked to were salespeople and the sales manager then you're always going to get the 20% response. I read your posts but you never said how high you pursued it.

I've got the sport suspension and, although I can feel almost every crack in the road, I've never had things bounce around or slide as you describe. But your comments caused me to observe the suspension's actions a little closer and I agree it's a little weird at times, at least to me. On harsh, high amplitude, short duration bumps you feel the impact but it recovers quickly. I like the quick recovery but would prefer better absorption. On smooth, deep and longer bumps or depressions everything seems to work slower and I actually get up to but never more than 2 rebounds. Quite the opposite from what MHO would lead me to expect. It's almost as if, figuratively speaking, the shocks were installed upside down. But I ignore the nitpicking and just enjoy the drive - it's always an entertaining experience and I enjoy the sportiness of it. As someone stated before, the whole vehicle is a compromise but it's a damn good one.

In regards to mileage and s/w. You say you have the newest. Does that apply to the whole vehicle or just to the tranny? You also mentioned you do a lot of city driving with hills. I drive hills back and forth to work each day and if I left it in D all the time my mileage would be a lot worse. My mileage seems to deteriorate quickly as the revs go north of 3000 and mine typically wants to upshift around 3100. I go manual a lot to keep the revs down and smooth out the ride. I find that 2500rpm shifts are a pretty good compromise in gas savings and torque production. Maybe it's worth a try for you.
Latest s/w for the transmission. I asked and that was checked.

Talked to two different shop foremen. It drives like another new X3 that they tested out along with the mileage they put on mine. They did not say that it drove well, they said that it drove like the other one.

I do not actually do much in city miles. I reset the computer for short duration trips in city driving. One day it was 10 mpg and the next it was a bit less.

Mine seems to want to spend all day in the lower gears. When going up a steep hill, I have had to back off the accelerator because it was revving higher than I wanted to since it is so new.
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  #123  
Old 09-21-2009, 08:33 AM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Still not trying to upset those who love their X3. Just answering to a message in my in box.
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  #124  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:31 AM
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kjboyd kjboyd is offline
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why are you taking their word for it? why aren't YOU driving it to see if it's the same or not. that's what we don't understand.
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  #125  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:41 AM
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b-y b-y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjboyd View Post
why are you taking their word for it? why aren't YOU driving it to see if it's the same or not. that's what we don't understand.
+1

Or get someone who (a) doesn't work for the dealer and (b) has some experience with X3s.

I just don't understand this thread. I know about the AT problem from '07, etc. But this is all about one X3. There must be someone nearby who can give an additional opinion.
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