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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 03-26-2012, 07:45 AM
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X3 Interior / Cargo Space

I have twins on the way and will need to replace my 335i coupe with something larger. Staying in the BMW family, this means an X3 or X5. I highly prefer the X3 and am wondering if anybody has any thoughts as to how this works as a family car. It seems to me that it has basically the same interior and cargo space as an X5, and the front seat design in the X3 seems to be more suited to allowing more room for infant car seats in the back than the X5. Anything and everything you can share would be much appreciated.
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2012, 08:26 AM
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We fit a rear facing Graco35 behind the passenger seat no problem.

If you aren't super tall I'd think you could fit one behind the driver's seat as well - but I'd suggest bringing a seat to the dealer and test fit before ordering.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:38 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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With twins (!) on the way I think you would be better off with the X5. The X3 is a nice little car but with two rear facing carseats it will pretty well fill up the back seat leaving little room for the impedimenta that is required to transport the little ones with their specific requirements and what your wife thinks they need. You could do it but it will be difficult especially if you go on any kind of a trip and need to take something for yourselves . An X5 would still keep you in the family but would give you the room you really will need and provide decent mileage (especially if you get the 35d) as well. Congratulations on the impending arrival!

Last edited by UncleJ; 03-26-2012 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:20 AM
j3ff j3ff is offline
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i have 3 kids, now grown, but i remember what it is like to have little kids. an x3 will be more than adequate. i think you could go either way.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:35 AM
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Thanks everybody for your help and kind words. Its pretty exciting to have little ones on the way.

One feeling I got was that the current X5 and current X3 have nearly the same interior and cargo space, which I can't wrap my head fully around, since from the outside the X5 is obviously bigger looking. It doesn't help that BMW doesn't seem to publish the numbers for cargo volume.

One other thing I noticed at the dealer was the X5 has this "swoop-back" on its front seats that the X3 does not have. Hence why I think there would actually be more infant car seat room in the X3 than the X5. I'm 6 feet 1 inch tall so fitting two car seats in the back with room in the front will be a real concern for me. I borrowed a friends infant seat and I even had to compromise my seating position in the F10 to fit!

As soon as I pick up my own car seats, I'll definitely be heading down to the dealer again!
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2012, 02:07 PM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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On your way down to the dealer with car seats in hand stop off at your local MB store and check out the GL series -- much larger with a very nice third row. With twins you are going to be more concerned with convenience vice performance (I know I was with my two little girls - not twins but close in age) and I went from a GTV6 to a 7 Series in a heartbeat! Obviously the minivan is the real solution but we all want to avoid that as long as it is humanly possible! Finally the new GMC Acadia Denali is out with a uprated engine and lots of room. Very decent mileage too. In any event you are really buying the car for the twins not club racing on the week end. Good luck!

Last edited by UncleJ; 03-26-2012 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me530 View Post
Thanks everybody for your help and kind words. Its pretty exciting to have little ones on the way.

One feeling I got was that the current X5 and current X3 have nearly the same interior and cargo space, which I can't wrap my head fully around, since from the outside the X5 is obviously bigger looking. It doesn't help that BMW doesn't seem to publish the numbers for cargo volume.

One other thing I noticed at the dealer was the X5 has this "swoop-back" on its front seats that the X3 does not have. Hence why I think there would actually be more infant car seat room in the X3 than the X5. I'm 6 feet 1 inch tall so fitting two car seats in the back with room in the front will be a real concern for me. I borrowed a friends infant seat and I even had to compromise my seating position in the F10 to fit!

As soon as I pick up my own car seats, I'll definitely be heading down to the dealer again!
I went in looking at the X3 as I thought it almost had the same interior space as the X5, after sitting in the two back to back their seemed to be a substantial difference in interior space, the main issue for myself was the the backseat on the X3 was extremely upright compared to the X5 , have you thought about an MDX ?
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ductman View Post
Have you thought about an MDX ?
Trying to keep my garage 100% Bavarian!

Regarding cargo, my dealer just sent me this tidbit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dealer
The X3 is 27.6 cubic feet with the seat up and 63.3 cu. ft. with the seats folded down.
The X5 is 21.9 cu. ft. with the seat up and 61.8 with the seats folded down.
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2012, 10:58 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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I am amazed. I would have thought that was just the opposite. I wonder how they manage a third row in the X5 with less interior space than an X3. The X3 does not appear to have any room for a third row at all? Amazing.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me530 View Post
Regarding cargo, my dealer just sent me this tidbit:
Those same numbers are listed on Cars.com, but not so sure they are correct.

This is supposedly from a BMW presentation at the x3 launch:

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  #11  
Old 03-27-2012, 03:10 PM
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It's even more interesting- the consumer reports numbers are slightly different,according to them cargo volume is an additional 3 sq. ft. I wonder how they measure that?
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2012, 05:38 PM
j3ff j3ff is offline
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btw, when i was doing my shopping, i noticed that an x3 had more space in every way than a 5 series wagon.
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2012, 04:39 AM
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From experience I have very easily put two car seats in my 08 X3 and even had the center console arm down.

I could squeeze three in if necessary.

The newer one will be even easier.

Also, one of the easiest vehicles I have ever owned to put in and take out a car seat of any kind.

You don't need an X5.
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Last edited by Evlengr; 03-28-2012 at 04:41 AM.
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2012, 05:35 AM
Clivem2 Clivem2 is offline
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There's loads of space in the X3, at least by European standards anyway! The X3 is actually very slightly larger than the previous model X5. I think the new X5 will need to grow as there's so little to choose size-wise between the X3 and X5.
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2012, 05:56 AM
leighton leighton is offline
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It's even more interesting- the consumer reports numbers are slightly different,according to them cargo volume is an additional 3 sq. ft. I wonder how they measure that?
Consumer reports uses their own method. They have a box frame that they can adjust in all three dimensions to define the largest rectangular box that will fit with the rear seat up and down.

Thus the significant factors are the rear wheel well intrusion, hatch opening dimensions, and rake angles of the roof, hatch, and rear seat back both up and down.

This measurement was one of the reasons that the X3 ranked high on my short list.
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2012, 06:13 AM
535KDD 535KDD is offline
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I think the car seats will fit... However, a double stroller, diaper bags, etc. is questionable in the back... I'd bring a stroller along too during your test drive.... The X3 is far from "tight", but with twins.... hmmmmm.... I'd go with the X5 if you don't mind the price increase...

(I am a mom of 1.... ;-))
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2012, 06:58 AM
Clivem2 Clivem2 is offline
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The idea of space is different US to Europe! I admit my last car was tight on space but we drove from the north of England to the south of France in a 3 series vert, 2 adults + 2 kids and luggage for 2 weeks.

If the X3 doesn't work for space, the extra you get with an X5 is unlikely to be enough. Get something like a Q7 if you need loads of space.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3KDD View Post
I think the car seats will fit... However, a double stroller, diaper bags, etc. is questionable in the back... I'd bring a stroller along too during your test drive.... The X3 is far from "tight", but with twins.... hmmmmm.... I'd go with the X5 if you don't mind the price increase...

(I am a mom of 1.... ;-))
Thanks for the advice! I'm going from 0 to 2 in a hurry, so this is all new territory for my wife and I. We haven't even picked out a stroller yet....but that's a great idea, I think we'll get the carseats and stroller all at once and lug them on down to the dealer. Regarding the X5: I'm not opposed to the price increase with the X5, but I just don't know if there is enough extra room to warrant the significantly higher price!
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Clivem2 View Post
The idea of space is different US to Europe! I admit my last car was tight on space but we drove from the north of England to the south of France in a 3 series vert, 2 adults + 2 kids and luggage for 2 weeks.

If the X3 doesn't work for space, the extra you get with an X5 is unlikely to be enough. Get something like a Q7 if you need loads of space.
Honestly if it weren't for the carseats, I would rather keep my coupe!
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:38 AM
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X3KDD nailed it! The car seats fine, but what about the double stroller!! In addition to all the other impedimenta that the little ones demand and your wife requires to attend their needs and wants! I think you may be looking at something else with three rows and perhaps even a roof rack carrier.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:47 AM
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X3KDD nailed it! The car seats fine, but what about the double stroller!! In addition to all the other impedimenta that the little ones demand and your wife requires to attend their needs and wants! I think you may be looking at something else with three rows and perhaps even a roof rack carrier.
Don't say the "m" word!
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:23 AM
535KDD 535KDD is offline
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My husband has a Mercedes GL450 which we use more for our family car (for road trips, etc.) It is a great car all around with the optional third row and the cargo area is great for shopping trips to Costco, during the holiday time, etc.

I LOVE LOVE my X3 and think the space is sufficient, but it is nice that we have a bigger car in the family as well for the times we need the extra cargo space. (And as I mentioned earlier, we are only a family of 3...)

That being said though, my X3 is WAY more fun to drive than my husband's GL450 I never choose to drive his car and only am in it as a "passenger." lol The X3 is a sportier ride and handles very well. The technology is also better in my X3, as his navigation package is extermely cumbersome.

Bottom line, can you use the X3 for a family of 4 with twins? Yes... But it may be a bit tight at times depending on where you are going and how much you need to bring with you.... For example, with groceries, a double stroller, two car seats, diaper bags.... you *may* prefer something a bit larger....
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  #23  
Old 03-30-2012, 06:45 PM
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To avoid having a minivan, buy the Thule aero bars (looks sharp and more functional than bmw box bars) and a cargo box for road trips - my box fits my Bob Stroller and boppy seat just fine. The high end strollers have wheels that pop off which helps. I'm amazed at how much room strollers take up and you'll have a double. We have the big fat Brittax car seat and it fits behind me just fine, and I'm 6'1". The wide back doors on the X3 is why it is a better family car than GLK or XC60 - much easier to put the kids in!
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:08 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The problem with roof boxes (besides leaving them on all the time and getting horrible gas mileage) is shorter people getting stuff out of them. I doubt if the OP's wife will be taking a double stroller out of a Yakima or Thule box without a lot of difficulty. For someone 6'1" it is a piece of cake -- but a 5'4" woman with two kids in the car seats waiting for their stroller --- I wonder. The OP and his wife have some serious choices to make and having twins may well move them out of a Bavarian (by way of Spartanburg) in their driveway toward "something else" with lots more room. Just a thought.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:28 AM
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All of these are great thoughts.

I think the roof box is a good idea for the extended or long distance road trip where cargo space is at a major premium (and I'm with my wife). That is something I hadn't before considered.

I don't think I would need to haul as much stuff around if I am running around town doing errands or going to the zoo for the day. Well...maybe not, I don't really know!
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