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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 09-16-2009, 08:58 AM
Denver61 Denver61 is offline
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How Accurate Is the X3 MPG Gauge?

Just bought a CPO 2006 X3. Totally loving it.

In playing around with the MPG gauge, I'm getting much better mileage than I anticipated. Significantly better than the gas-hogging Honda Pilot I traded in. Is the X3's MPG meter pretty accurate?
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2009, 09:04 AM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Its not bad. You are better checking gas consumption when filling tank.

When you fill your tank reset the mileage. Then when you fill it again check the difference.
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2009, 09:49 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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+1, it is useful to give you an idea of fuel consumption. As with most of the different makes the readout is a bit on the optimistic side IMHO, but not enough to matter really. Truth be told, it probably is more accurate than the tried and true fill up and check mileage method that doesn't account for different fuel pump shut offs, gas expansion due to temperature etc. Who knows.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2009, 11:10 AM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver61 View Post
Just bought a CPO 2006 X3. Totally loving it.

In playing around with the MPG gauge, I'm getting much better mileage than I anticipated. Significantly better than the gas-hogging Honda Pilot I traded in. Is the X3's MPG meter pretty accurate?
I am getting:

City: 10 mpg (short term, will have to see if this continues to hold)

Suburban: 14 mpg

Highway: 19 mpg

Are you doing mostly highway miles?
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2009, 12:01 PM
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It's fairly accurate. A couple tenths optimistic but better than some others.

The X3 is surprisingly low on consumption once you learn the ways of "driving efficiently".
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  #6  
Old 09-16-2009, 12:31 PM
Denver61 Denver61 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post
I am getting:

City: 10 mpg (short term, will have to see if this continues to hold)

Suburban: 14 mpg

Highway: 19 mpg

Are you doing mostly highway miles?
According the Bavarian elves hiding in my dashboard, I'm getting 19-20 suburban driving and 24-26 hwy.

Much better than I anticipated.
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  #7  
Old 09-16-2009, 01:59 PM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver61 View Post
Just bought a CPO 2006 X3. Totally loving it.

In playing around with the MPG gauge, I'm getting much better mileage than I anticipated. Significantly better than the gas-hogging Honda Pilot I traded in. Is the X3's MPG meter pretty accurate?

I get around 17.5 (almost all city driving) on the X3. My Acura mdx (which has the same 3.5l engine as the pilot) gets around 15 mpg. Of course the MDX is a much bigger/heavier vehicle
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  #8  
Old 09-16-2009, 03:26 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver61 View Post
According the Bavarian elves hiding in my dashboard, I'm getting 19-20 suburban driving and 24-26 hwy.

Much better than I anticipated.
I want your elves as the 10 mpg city driving was eye popping. For that kind of gas mileage I should be driving a Ferrari or maybe that UPS truck.
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  #9  
Old 09-16-2009, 04:08 PM
Bill97Z Bill97Z is offline
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We get average of 19 mpg with ours....combo city highway

On the highway I've gotten as high as 26
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  #10  
Old 09-16-2009, 06:18 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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PPXYZ: don't know about Austrian elves, but I suppose it's possible that your brand new model has some electronic gremlins that are:

- playing havoc with the AT programming

- messing around with the ABS

- corrupting the mpg calculation

- and even affecting the fuel management and everything else

Be nice if all your problems could be pinned down to one faulty 5 cent micro-chip, wouldn't it?
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  #11  
Old 09-16-2009, 06:22 PM
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Ishniknork Ishniknork is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post
I am getting:

City: 10 mpg (short term, will have to see if this continues to hold)

Suburban: 14 mpg

Highway: 19 mpg

Are you doing mostly highway miles?
A couple of questions for you:
What speed are you going on the highway?
At what tach reading is it shifting most of the time?

A couple of pointers for better mileage:
Use the cruise control on the highway whenever possible. An un-steady foot on the "go" pedal can really eat up the gas.

Try to keep the shift point around 2250-2500 RPM during city/casual driving and use Drive or Manual mode, not Sport. This takes a little practice and a lighter foot on the accelerator but will make a difference.

In general your X3 should see an improvement in gas mileage after 800 miles or so in all catagories. I was appauled when my computer registered 12.5 MPG on my normal week-day driving routine for the first couple of months. That gradually got better and after around 800 miles I was pretty much up to the EPA rated fuel economy. Lately though I think that EVIL ETHANOL has been eating away my mileage figures. Avoid it if you can, it doesn't do anybody any good.
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  #12  
Old 09-16-2009, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
It's fairly accurate. A couple tenths optimistic but better than some others.

The X3 is surprisingly low on consumption once you learn the ways of "driving efficiently".
Is the secret driving downhill in both directions (with the wind at your back)?
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  #13  
Old 09-16-2009, 06:48 PM
The Other Tom The Other Tom is offline
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Professor Cook did a good comparison on his E90 between the MPG gauge and actual. Do a search for his posts and you'll find it.
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  #14  
Old 09-16-2009, 07:05 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
PPXYZ: don't know about Austrian elves, but I suppose it's possible that your brand new model has some electronic gremlins that are:

- playing havoc with the AT programming

- messing around with the ABS

- corrupting the mpg calculation

- and even affecting the fuel management and everything else

Be nice if all your problems could be pinned down to one faulty 5 cent micro-chip, wouldn't it?
I think the nice word is 'quirky' electronics in BMWs and other premium German cars.

I have to say this is the strangest car I have ever driven and certainly the oddest I have ever owned. Most are just get in and go. This one is ever so picky and unpredictable.

I actually like the brakes. It took a bit of getting used to them as they are very strong.
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  #15  
Old 09-16-2009, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
Is the secret driving downhill in both directions (with the wind at your back)?
I wish. I do a fair amount of miles and most of them are highway. I live in a mountainous region and the 2,5 litre works really hard to maintain cruising speed most of the time. And to get up the driveway

It's more of the same:
  • Accelerate gently (I don't exceed 2500rpm normally)
  • Leave space in front of you so you can coast as much as possible without a lot of braking. When you're coasting, you consume 0 fuel when you're in gear (or when the torque converter is locked on AT vehicles)
  • Don't drive on the freeway with the windows down. Yes I know it feels nice but it's a lot of drag at 130km/h. Minimise AC use in urban driving.
  • Use the energy control measurement/readout for longer trips.
  • Don't idle the car to warm up longer than 20-30 seconds. You're not warming anything at all.

I actually turn the engine off at redlights where the stop is longer than 45 seconds. But I'm not going to impose this on anyone because someone will complain that the starter will die one day.

My X3 does have a lot of mileage on it so it's fully broken in.
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  #16  
Old 09-16-2009, 07:14 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishniknork View Post
A couple of questions for you:
What speed are you going on the highway?
At what tach reading is it shifting most of the time?

A couple of pointers for better mileage:
Use the cruise control on the highway whenever possible. An un-steady foot on the "go" pedal can really eat up the gas.

Try to keep the shift point around 2250-2500 RPM during city/casual driving and use Drive or Manual mode, not Sport. This takes a little practice and a lighter foot on the accelerator but will make a difference.

In general your X3 should see an improvement in gas mileage after 800 miles or so in all catagories. I was appauled when my computer registered 12.5 MPG on my normal week-day driving routine for the first couple of months. That gradually got better and after around 800 miles I was pretty much up to the EPA rated fuel economy. Lately though I think that EVIL ETHANOL has been eating away my mileage figures. Avoid it if you can, it doesn't do anybody any good.
As memory serves:

Highway is pretty crowded traffic, no big long stretches of driving so probably 60 mph tops in short bursts with stopping and starting in between. Not a good example of highway usage yet.

Watching the tach in order to keep it under 4500 since it is sub 1000 miles yet plus I am easy on the car in general as I am never quite sure how it will act. Gently on the accelerator, gently on the brakes. No jack rabbiting starts, no hard braking, not even hard cornering yet.

Haven't driven in anything but D yet.

Can anyone avoid ethanol? I heard it does bad things to the car in general aside from the big drop in gas mileage. I have had a single fill up with Chevron supreme.

In general, just driving normally, I am around 14 mpg. It takes pure highway driving to get 19. I think it would be in the 20s if I could do a long stretch of highway. The city driving at 10 mpg was simply hilarious.
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  #17  
Old 09-16-2009, 07:25 PM
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PPXYZ, your X3 is brand new if memory serves me correct? Give it a lot of miles to improve consumption. It'll be better by 3k miles, I promise. Substantially lower consumption occurs usually after 10k miles or so.

It seems like 99% of petrol stations have 10% Ethanol (who knows, maybe more snuck in there?).

FYI for those with the 6-speed automatic, the torque converter lockup occurs earlier at 40 km/h so coasting at say, 60km/h should consume no fuel at all. When I had the X3 3.0si for a day and a half, I was able to achieve nearly as good fuel consumption as my own X3. The loaner had 2 miles on the clock.
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  #18  
Old 09-16-2009, 07:36 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
PPXYZ, your X3 is brand new if memory serves me correct? Give it a lot of miles to improve consumption. It'll be better by 3k miles, I promise. Substantially lower consumption occurs usually after 10k miles or so.

It seems like 99% of petrol stations have 10% Ethanol (who knows, maybe more snuck in there?).

FYI for those with the 6-speed automatic, the torque converter lockup occurs earlier at 40 km/h so coasting at say, 60km/h should consume no fuel at all. When I had the X3 3.0si for a day and a half, I was able to achieve nearly as good fuel consumption as my own X3. The loaner had 2 miles on the clock.
My car has <400 miles on it. I need to get a 30% improvement in gas mileage just to get what others are experiencing.

My 5 had the same gas mileage from the beginning. If it was a bit low in the beginning, it wasn't anything noticeable.

I think something is really wrong with my X3. I do not think any of these things are normal as others haven't seen this although the one with 12.5 mpg is pretty close!
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  #19  
Old 09-16-2009, 08:40 PM
ProRail ProRail is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denver61 View Post
According the Bavarian elves hiding in my dashboard, I'm getting 19-20 suburban driving and 24-26 hwy.

Much better than I anticipated.
Very feasible if you have conservative driving habits, as summarized in other posts. My E-39 generally gets about 35 on the Interstae, 22-24 in local driving.
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  #20  
Old 09-16-2009, 09:06 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Originally Posted by ProRail View Post
Very feasible if you have conservative driving habits, as summarized in other posts. My E-39 generally gets about 35 on the Interstae, 22-24 in local driving.
35? Nice!

I find the computer and my calculations match pretty well. I get about 24 on the highway, most was 25.
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  #21  
Old 09-16-2009, 09:18 PM
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Ishniknork Ishniknork is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post
I think something is really wrong with my X3. I do not think any of these things are normal as others haven't seen this although the one with 12.5 mpg is pretty close!
That was me... I need to correct my previous statement about the miles before gas mileage improved. I meant 8000 miles, not 800. That's when I noticed quite an improvement in my gas mileage. It went from 12-14.5/city, 21-23/hwy (@70MPH) to 16-16.5/city, 23-26/hwy. I actually got 27.2 on one 300 mile trip North but I think I had a 40 MPH tail wind that day

Believe me, I felt the same way you do right now back then. That 12.5 MPG reading scared the out of me. But I did a few road trips, got things broke in and things really improved.

This early in the game I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about things being wrong with your X3. The car isn't even broke in yet! Everything in the drive train from the engine to the wheel bearings need to wear in and loosen up a bit before it will achieve peak performance. Same with the suspension and transmission.

EDIT:
Forgot to mention... Short trips to the corner store will KILL your mileage real quick.
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Last edited by Ishniknork; 09-16-2009 at 09:30 PM.
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  #22  
Old 09-16-2009, 11:24 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishniknork View Post
That was me... I need to correct my previous statement about the miles before gas mileage improved. I meant 8000 miles, not 800. That's when I noticed quite an improvement in my gas mileage. It went from 12-14.5/city, 21-23/hwy (@70MPH) to 16-16.5/city, 23-26/hwy. I actually got 27.2 on one 300 mile trip North but I think I had a 40 MPH tail wind that day

Believe me, I felt the same way you do right now back then. That 12.5 MPG reading scared the out of me. But I did a few road trips, got things broke in and things really improved.

This early in the game I wouldn't jump to any conclusions about things being wrong with your X3. The car isn't even broke in yet! Everything in the drive train from the engine to the wheel bearings need to wear in and loosen up a bit before it will achieve peak performance. Same with the suspension and transmission.

EDIT:
Forgot to mention... Short trips to the corner store will KILL your mileage real quick.
8,000 miles?

How long does the X3 need for break in and what is it breaking in during that time? I don't do lots of miles so that will take quite a long time. How did your suspension feel when you first got it? I think the 2005's were the first iteration of the 'softer' ride but still not soft enough because they went and did it again IIRC in 2007.

Yes, I think that 10.0 mpg was quite an achievement and that wasn't even with SD.
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  #23  
Old 09-17-2009, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PPXYZ View Post
8,000 miles?

How long does the X3 need for break in and what is it breaking in during that time? I don't do lots of miles so that will take quite a long time. How did your suspension feel when you first got it? I think the 2005's were the first iteration of the 'softer' ride but still not soft enough because they went and did it again IIRC in 2007.

Yes, I think that 10.0 mpg was quite an achievement and that wasn't even with SD.
That 8,000 mile marker was when I noticed improved gas mileage. Took me a year as I don't drive long distances much either. That seems to be the point where everything starts to free up. Most of the vehicle is broken in long before that but I can't remember what the actual mileage BMW recommends for the break-in period.

The things "breaking in" were pretty much listed in my previous post. Everything from the engine through the whole drive train (transmission, transfer case, front and rear differentials, CV joints on the drive shafts and axles) and all the way to the wheel bearings. Even the shocks and suspension bushings will be a little stiff until they wear in.
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  #24  
Old 09-17-2009, 10:27 PM
PPXYZ PPXYZ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishniknork View Post
That 8,000 mile marker was when I noticed improved gas mileage. Took me a year as I don't drive long distances much either. That seems to be the point where everything starts to free up. Most of the vehicle is broken in long before that but I can't remember what the actual mileage BMW recommends for the break-in period.

The things "breaking in" were pretty much listed in my previous post. Everything from the engine through the whole drive train (transmission, transfer case, front and rear differentials, CV joints on the drive shafts and axles) and all the way to the wheel bearings. Even the shocks and suspension bushings will be a little stiff until they wear in.
OIC.

The owner's manual says to stay under 4500 rpms and under 100 mph until you reach 1000 miles IIRC. I don't remember any other admonitions except to drive it nicely during its life.

Driving some highway miles and then mostly coasting on arterials I actually achieved 20.8 mpg! I am thrilled. This is the first day it has been above 20.
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  #25  
Old 09-20-2009, 08:14 AM
bjm442 bjm442 is offline
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I'm getting about 17.5 in the city driving. When I'm on the highway I get around 24.5 to about 30. 24.5 when I'm doing 80 to 100, and around 30 if I keep it around 65 mph. I have the 3.0 and only put in shell 93.
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