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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:08 PM
shanned shanned is offline
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Opinion: Used 2006 X3?

Hello all,

I am new to this forum but not new to BMW. Looking at purchasing a used E83 X3 and would like some feed back. Came across a 2006 X3 with 95K (with Sports, NAV, PDC, Xennons) asking price is 16K.

If I decide to go through with the purchase will make PPI a requirement of sale. I am aware of the potential transfer case issues and possible automatic trans. issues. Anything else I should be on look out for? and make sure is checked by PPI.

Also for those of you who have higher mileage X3s, do you think 95K is too many miles and I am looking at too many potentials headaches immediately down the road? It should also be added that we do no put a lot of miles on our cars. Avg. about 5k/year. Primary use of the X3 will be for travel transporting us, our dogs and all the required paraphernalia that cannot be fit into the Coupe or MINI.

TIA -- Shannon
2001 BMW 330Ci, 2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:16 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I have an '06 with 84K miles (bought new) and up until just after the warranty went away it was bulletproof. Not so much lately however. I recently had to replace a leaking front strut (replaced both), a MAF, a return valve to tank, and front brakes/rotors -- brakes were maintentance however. On tap to be done are: leaking diff housing, cracking sensatech seat covers, rubber gaskets around door opening (driver's), and peeling finish from various dash areas. All in all it has been a "good" car, but not a great car. I am very disappointed in the interior which has not worn nearly as well as my old '98 Tahoe which at nearly 200K miles still looks great inside (and outside as well). If it were me and I was looking for a car to just "fill in to haul stuff" I would probably get a '06 "king cab" pick up, a Pathfinder or 4-Runner -- they will haul more and be MUCH cheaper to maintain.

Last edited by UncleJ; 07-13-2012 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 07-13-2012, 10:23 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Originally Posted by shanned View Post
.... Came across a 2006 X3 with 95K (with Sports, NAV, PDC, Xennons) asking price is 16K.

It should also be added that we do no put a lot of miles on our cars. Avg. about 5k/year.
It's not so much options, miles and asking price, but history of the vehicle and who is selling it that is the important piece of information at this stage.

A one-owner private sale is probably best for getting clues on how it has been used and looked after.

Next, a BMW dealer, and lastly a non-BMW new or used car dealer.

Personally I would avoid the latter all together.
Based on posts to this forum, those seem to be the ones that come with niggling issues.
Such as only one key, no Owner's Manual, missing tools, no cargo cover, warning lights that have been turned off and soon reappear, etc.

Options are only a plus if you really need and want them.
Some options, like NAV, PDC or especially heated seats, could be more trouble than they are worth.

I agree with UncleJ that an X3 as the backup local hauler for the family is not its best role in life.

It should have one family member using it on a regular basis for serious driving and listening out for clues on things that might need attention.

It can be an excellent and reliable vehicle for someone who enjoys driving in a spirited manner and who takes time over its care and feeding.

Some luck might be involved in getting the right used one, but you do need to be more careful than when choosing a used Nissan X-Trail for example.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:33 PM
Frenchx3 Frenchx3 is offline
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I'll chime in and say that I really like my X3 but these things ARE NOT reliable. Anyone that tells you otherwise is full of it. I have had a constant stream of nuisance issues that I've had to contend with since I bought my 05 with 41k on the clock.

Here's a few:

Windshield wiper motor no longer resets to home postion
Window drops into door (regulator/drive dog)
Intake boot torn (throws CEL)
Panoramic roof self destructed wouldn't close (replaced rails and modified)
Rear door vapor barrier leaks (foot wells fill with water) resealed with RTV
Chugging/hesitation at highway speeds (still trying to figure this one out).
AC leaks (for 2 years now...) have been able to get away with recharging.

Now...having said this, I will also say that I like working on my own vehicles and get satisfaction out of finding the source of problems and fixing them myself rather than being raped by a dealer. I consider it a trade off. I drive a great vehicle that is out of warranty for a pretty small price.. Did I say that it's fun to drive?? For now it's hanging around..
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:45 PM
LumpyJ LumpyJ is offline
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I just purchased an '04 back in March with 147K. Had my BMW mechanic go through it and found only minor issues. My point is that the mileage, while important, isn't as important as the vehicles history. Keep in mind at 95K you're looking at $1200 -$1500 for the 100K check so the asking price seems a bit high for that car, even with all the options. I agree with the others. In short, I think you can do a lot better for $16K, I only paid $9900 for my 3.0i and it included the Sport and Cold weather packages with the ski-bag. From what I gather the '04 is more reliable in general than the '06, but it just depends on the owner, how it's driven etc... My mechanic has another client with an '04 with 185K miles and it's still going strong. Depending on your market and price range I'd hold out for an '08 3.0si.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:57 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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I have an 08 MT coming up for sale. 60k miles

Maintained well and proof of it.

Washed weekly, cleaned inside every two weeks, and detailed every month.
2013 S4 Loaded (and NO RFT's) Awesome is an understatement
2008 MT X3 RIP you were a faithful sidekick and will be missed.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:45 AM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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The most important factor is vehicle maintenance history.

From a reliability stand point I will be the lone wolf because mine has been rock solid for 92k miles (09 bought new).

I agree with everyone's comment though that this car should be a daily driver. You will feel when something is breaking.

Some factors that influenced my opinion:

1) I am a super commuter and am pretty easy on cars. In the last 10 years I have commuted with 3 cars over about 650k miles and the average first real issue that cost me money was closer to 150k miles.

2) I have not yet had an issue that wasn't covered by BMW. My only big issue at 60k was a failed front diff. BMW goodwilled the repair.

3) Maintenance costs so far have been minimal (about $1,000 lifetime...6 oil changes on my dime and 2 tranny/diff/xfer case fluid changes plus an alignment). Dealer threw in the 100k BMW maintenance plan when new because they knew I commuted 200 miles a day and saw $ signs for repeat business. All other maintenance BMW has paid for.

3) this car is tracking nicely with the most reliable car I ever commuted with on wear parts (300k miles on a 2000 GMC Sonoma). My X3 is still on original front brake pads/rotors and rear pads were changed around 76k. Shocks and struts will need to be tackled in next 20k miles (if not sooner).

4) I fully expect my costs for the next 100k to double plus have parts wearing out (ie suspension, cooling system, brake pump, ect).

So keep all that in mind as you negotiate purchase price.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:48 AM
shanned shanned is offline
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Thanks for the feedback everyone I really appreciate everyone's input. I think I've decided to pass on the 06 for now. As to the responses regarding daily use, actually it will get more use than just a few trips here and there. It's just that since we both work from home we don't put a lot of mileage on our vehicles. It will actually be replacing my 2001 E46 which makes me a bit sad because that has been a wonderful car. However, we will be relocating to New England from Metro DC in about 6 months so this is another reason for moving up to an SAV. Love the way BMWs drive so not really interested in mushy handling Toyotas/Nissans.

Also, I am fully aware of the maintenance costs (again owned the BMWs for many years). But I don't have much experience with the SAV class. Minor mechanical issues don't bother me too much because I am capable of doing moderate mechanical work myself. My biggest concern was/is how much major mechanical work/expense to expect from higher mileage BMW SAVs and if there was common failures with certain model years and/or mileage. The thought of a major issue somewhere between DC and Massachusetts is what worries me the most.

Again thanks everyone for your feedback. Keep 'em coming. All feedback welcome. Hope to make a decision within next 30 days.

-- Shannon

Last edited by shanned; 07-15-2012 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:00 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Wise move! You don't need a $2K strut replacement bill on top of a move too. Sometimes those "mushy handling" cars will surprise you, like the Maxima, G37S, S2000, NSX, GT-R, WRX STi, "Z" Cars, Supra, and the rest of the mushy ones. Good luck on your move -- a compact pick up is really a pretty nice thing to have for utility!

Last edited by UncleJ; 07-16-2012 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:42 AM
shanned shanned is offline
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LOL UncleJ.

No argument from me on your list of cars, had some Japanese sports cars over the years myself. But after I my first BMW I just sort feel in love with the overall package (handling/performance/fit and finish). The "mushy" I was referring to is more related to Japanese SUV/SAVs. The likes of Lexus and Infiniti. Consumer reports likes Leuxs/Infiniti for reliability but then says the X3 handles better especially in emergency situations and with the idiots around here (Metro DC) defensive driving is a must. Then there is the constant construction zone that is 95/395/495 (beltway) never know when you are gonna have to react quickly there too (stupid drivers, tourists, and construction).
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Old 07-21-2012, 07:38 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Shan, there is a reason BMW's are called the "ultimate driving machine" -- and they do deliver! However, I believe there are other cars/SUV's out there that can do a pretty good job, perhaps even better in some cases. I would submit that both the FX37 and 50 carry the Infiniti SUV performance flag pretty well, and the Porsche Cayenne equals or betters the BMW (no surprise there!). On the domestic side the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 is hard to dismiss. Whatever you get it will be the right choice for you~! Good luck.

Last edited by UncleJ; 07-21-2012 at 07:41 AM.
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