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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > X Series > X3 F25 (2011 - current)

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 08-29-2012, 12:36 PM
macct macct is offline
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X3 or GLK

My lease on my 2010 Audi Q5 will be up shortly, and I have narrowed it down to 3 replacements. They are a BMW X3, Mercedes GLK and an E350. While I am bit partial to BMW as a brand, I like and have owned cars from BMW, Mercedes and Audi. The new car is meant to be the more practical selection, being able to cart a car full kids and their gear once or twice a month as well as work related trip to downtown Boston.

X3
+ ideal size, offering a nice balance between space and cargo
+ most athletic of the group, feel lighter and more nimble
+ feels quick and braking is reassuring
+ comfortable interior and electronics I am familiar with
- doesn't seem as refined as or as solid as the MB
- steering is a bit light and feedback is okay; it's better than the 5 series, though.
- run flats & no spare (I have changed them out on my last BMW & Mini)

I have not been able to test drive a car with the Dynamic Handling Package. Will it firm-up the steering? I also haven't seen a M version and the wheels choices seem more limited for 2013. While I think I prefer the M's sportier aesthetics, I haven't seen one in person. In person, does it appear more subdued or boy-racer like? Anyone regret getting this option or wished they did get it? Additionally, the start-stop doesn't seem nearly as refined as the version in the GLK (quiet and vibration free). Have you gotten use to its this feature?

GLK
+ seems very solid and refined
+ well balanced ride; feels engaging, but not as nimble as the X3
+ nice feel of the controls (steering, brakes). It's more engaging than my Q5, but not as lively as the X3
+ richer looking interior
+ hitch is much more reasonably priced (bike rack)
- back seat and storage space is okay; it's definitely tighter than the X3
- has a very nice feel to it, but it's not sporty
- dealer is less convenient

I was surprised I liked it as much as I did. While it wasn't as engaging as the X3, it did everything well without some of the X3's nuances (vibrations, interior quality). The main negative is its size. It's noticeably smaller than the X3. While that would be great for city driving (Boston), it won't be ideal the one or two times a month when I have car full of kids and their gear. It can work, but it will definitely be tight. Anyone switch from an X3 or a larger car down to a GLK?

I am also thinking about an E350. While it's not comparable to either the X3 or GLK, I still like the look and feel of the car. It's an unlikely choice. I am just not sure its worth giving up the versatility of having a hatch at least while my son is still home. (a sedan will probably have to wait until my son is out of HS). It definitely would be the most comfortable for longer rides, offering the nicest highway ride while still being engaging to drive. I test drove a 5 series during the "Drive Event", and was disappointed. The interior looked great, but the driving dynamics weren't nearly as engaging as my previous e60s. It felt like a very big car, albeit I didn't drive one with the handling package.

Overall, I like the X3 and the two MB more than my current Q5. The Q5 is fine at everything, but not very engaging. The handling is heavy without much feel. The interior, however, is very sharp and it's been a good highway cruiser. My current lease doesn't expire until December, but I am trying to decide if it makes sense to do something earlier given the Drive Event voucher. Any thoughts on the X3 and GLK would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2012, 01:08 PM
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Me530 Me530 is online now
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There will be a software update in the fall that addresses the smoothness issue with Start/Stop. DHP rocks, my X3 is a sport demon.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2012, 01:18 PM
nonagon nonagon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macct View Post
I have not been able to test drive a car with the Dynamic Handling Package. Will it firm-up the steering? I also haven't seen a M version and the wheels choices seem more limited for 2013. While I think I prefer the M's sportier aesthetics, I haven't seen one in person. In person, does it appear more subdued or boy-racer like?
DHP indeed can tighten the steering feel, as well as change the throttle response and firmness of the suspension. M Sport is a more aggressive looking package, but not at all boy-racer. I recommend both.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2012, 02:41 PM
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lbjgh lbjgh is offline
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Obviously I bought the x3, but I drove all the competition.

The kia sportage turbo was the underdog runner-up with the volvo xc60 t6 in third.

The Q5 felt like a Buick to me and the glk felt cramped and wooden.

You have plenty of time so drive all the cars in the price and size category... You might be surprised what cars impress you!
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2012, 04:01 PM
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If you're interested in such things, the GLK 250 Bluetec is coming out right around your timeframe (or perhaps a couple months after).
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2012, 04:38 AM
macct macct is offline
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It's good to read the encouraging comments about the DHP and M package options. I am surprised that so few non-ordered cars seem to have DHP. I haven't been able to find one to test drive. I am inclined to get it even without trying it out in advance based on the comments here. In terms of some of the other comments, I have test driven most of the competition. The Volvo XC60 was my second choice when I got the Audi. The X3 wasn't a contender then, knowing it was such an old platform about to be replaced. The Kia doesn't appeal to me. In terms of the GLK Bluetec, I have thought about waiting to see if I like it. It has a lot of appeal with substantial torque, better gas mileage and a long driving range. If it's like the other Bluetec models, though, it probably means settling for runflats and no spare tire.
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2012, 07:31 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The Q5 will get a TDI as well as the GLK bluetech about that time too. If you are interested in an oil burner (since BMW for whatever reason has decreed we -- in the US -- will not get an X3D) that also might be worthwhile. Drove a brand new Q5 for three days when the wife's A4 was in the shop. Loved it! Thought it was a much better package than my E83 X3. Found it better and much improved over the previous Q5's I have driven too. Will look seriously at that diesel Q5 when it is available!
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012, 08:12 AM
Randeyman Randeyman is offline
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Interesting about your Q5. You really didn't say - but I guess you really don' like it well enough to get another one?

I only compared the GLK against the X3. Other than design differences, I didn't feel that the MB "build" was really any better than BMW. The X3 definately has more seat/leg room - front and back. The cabin feels more open and spacious too. I waited for the 2013 to get the twinturbo 4 cyl. with the 8 speed. Its a nice combo and great compromise of power (acceleration) and economy (mpg). I actually LOVE the steering. The steering on my wife's 2010 C350 is WAAAY too light. And when the X3 is in the "sport" mode the suspension and steering both firm up. AND... after I coded out the annoyances I am REAL happy now....

About the worst things I can say about it is... the 4 cyl sounds a bit like a diesel when cold and the rear suspension is a bit noisy when going over big bumps (like speed bumps) Muffeled THUNKS! But the X-Drive, and 18" tire really GRIP the road... If you like fast turns/corners - get the sport seats IF they fit you. I didn't, but test drove one with them. I didn't like the fit on my sides and back.
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:01 AM
tango131 tango131 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macct View Post
It's good to read the encouraging comments about the DHP and M package options. I am surprised that so few non-ordered cars seem to have DHP. I haven't been able to find one to test drive. I am inclined to get it even without trying it out in advance based on the comments here. In terms of some of the other comments, I have test driven most of the competition. The Volvo XC60 was my second choice when I got the Audi. The X3 wasn't a contender then, knowing it was such an old platform about to be replaced. The Kia doesn't appeal to me. In terms of the GLK Bluetec, I have thought about waiting to see if I like it. It has a lot of appeal with substantial torque, better gas mileage and a long driving range. If it's like the other Bluetec models, though, it probably means settling for runflats and no spare tire.
Get the DHP package if you end up getting the x3. It transforms the car with the adjustable suspension. The m sport package is mostly just cosmetic body cladding, better steering wheel, bigger wheels, sports seats, etc.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2012, 12:30 PM
valeram valeram is offline
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The GLK caters for a different types of drivers like all MB's are, relax and luxury. The X3 is on the other side of the spectrum just like BMW's are, sporty and precise. The Audi is still finding it's niche. Volvo still have that branding as safe but boring. That is just my take.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:00 PM
grantsi grantsi is offline
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We did an extremely exhaustive car search...we had a budget of approx. $65,000 but live in Chicago so we wanted something city friendly ( size wise ).

On the low end, we tested the CRV and on the high end, a nicely equipped V6 Cayenne. However, we ultimately decided the Land Rover LR4, X3 or Q5 were the favorities ( the ML350 was too "old manish" for us albeit very comfortable ). The LR4 lost due to size and the Q5, when driven back-to-back with the x3 felt flimsy and slightly cramped.

Last Saturday we took delivery of a 2013 X3 Alpine White 35i Xdrive with all options ( including M-Sport ) except DHP and Heads Up Display. I have only driven it about 50 miles since then ( damn you office job ), but absoulltely love it. The M-Sport is not boy racer-ish at all but adds a nice agressive look.

The interior is very comfortable...roomy and well finished.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:07 PM
Jen4BMW Jen4BMW is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 X3 35i M Sport
Go 35i. 300 HP, loads of torque and a great exhaust note in sport mode make the price diff worth it. I think the Msport styling is totally worth it but aesthetics are subjective. I am a big fan of great rims and for my money the Msport wheels really stand out. I also have DHP. The steering is definitely Precise in all modes especially sport. Hope this helps!
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2012, 03:42 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macct View Post
If it's like the other Bluetec models, though, it probably means settling for runflats and no spare tire.
This is the case for all BMWs sold in the US except M models.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2012, 04:09 PM
alex md alex md is offline
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i am in a similar position and share most of youe sentiments about X3 vs GLK 350
my wife's GLK lease is up in December and we have to make a decision.
So far i am leaning towards X3/ size, ride, RFT, "free" service, fuel economy, newer model, better nav system/
We enjoyed GLK for 39 mo and it is very reliable and solid drive and interior is much richer that X3/ esp 2013 model/
If i was not limited on a price/45-50K/ i would go with PC diesel best combination of luxury,exclusivity aqnd fuel economy,but it will be 65-70 K proposition........
p.s. 2013 Q5 with NEW 3.0 T V6 might be a good choice as well......
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2012, 04:17 PM
Vortec4800 Vortec4800 is offline
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When I ordered my X3 a couple months ago, I drove a bunch of vehicles - including the GLK and even the E350. Granted, the GLK was not the new body style that was just released so my information may be a bit dated.

I thought the GLK was junk. Plastic interior, didn't like it at all. I'm guessing the new one is much better, but the layout still seems a bit funky to me from looking at pictures. I was actually expecting to love the GLK but was really let down.

I drove the E350 (coupe, but doesn't really matter) and thought it drove nice but wasn't impressed with the engine. I thought the engine is great in a smaller platform like the C class, but in the E it's just not enough. It made a lot of noise (sounded quite good actually) but I felt like the car was really working hard, whereas I feel in something like the X3 it doesn't need to break a sweat. If the E550 was in my price range I probably would have ended up with one of those - but you can play that game all day.

Anyway, I ordered mine with the M-Sport (I didn't really like the plastic along the bottom and with the M-Sport it gets rid of all that) and I feel it's not too crazy. Looks good but people don't give me weird looks and I don't think it's boy-racer looking. I also ordered the DHP with dynamic dampers without driving one with them just based on the advice on the forums and I'm really glad I did. The ride is fantastic and the truck feels totally planted and confident at all times. It's very comfortable and I would recommend it to anyone looking at the X3.

As for the start-stop, I was a bit worried after hearing everyone talk about it but now that I have it I leave it on all the time. It does make some vibrations but they don't seem to bother me. If BMW releases a software update to smooth that out it would be great, but not a requirement for me.
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  #16  
Old 08-30-2012, 04:57 PM
mspringer mspringer is offline
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Just a quick word on the start/stop function. If you don't like start/stop dealers can now set the system so that it remembers the last setting, effectively enabling it to be turned off by default (or on by default).
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  #17  
Old 08-30-2012, 05:01 PM
Vortec4800 Vortec4800 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Me530 View Post
There will be a software update in the fall that addresses the smoothness issue with Start/Stop. DHP rocks, my X3 is a sport demon.
Do you have more info on the software update? Where did that info come from?
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:11 PM
mspringer mspringer is offline
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Although not addressing smoothness of the start/stop system here is the SIB which enables the last setting mode for the system.

SI B12 15 12

INFORMATION

The Automatic Start/Stop (MSA) system is a further BMW Efficient Dynamics measure aimed at meeting BMW's commitment to reducing CO2 emissions and enhancing fuel economy.

BMW, always a leader in innovative technology, will be the first automobile manufacturer to bring MSA technology to all new models.

Automatic Start/Stop systems will become prevalent in the future, as manufacturers strive to meet increasingly stringent emissions and fuel economy requirements.

By automatically switching the engine off when the car is stationary, MSA can improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.

New F-vehicles now incorporate the second generation of MSA (MSA II), which has been further developed to operate in combination with an automatic transmission and the BN2020 electrical system.

A detailed description of the MSA Automatic Start/Stop function can be found in the ICP Technician library under Technical Training course ST1112.

SITUATION

Some drivers have expressed the desire to deactivate this function in certain situations. This can be done manually via the Automatic Start/Stop function button with the LED switched on, indicating that the start/stop function is deactivated.

However, by default, the Automatic Start/Stop function is reactivated each time the engine is started.

At the request of an owner, it is possible to modify this default logic to "Last user mode."

With this logic, the current MSA's activated or deactivated setting is stored and used on the next trip.

Note: All new BMW M models have the ***339;Last user mode” as the default setting from production.
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  #19  
Old 08-31-2012, 04:55 AM
bruno787 bruno787 is offline
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Consider a Range Rover Evoque especially in Dynamic Trim I cross shopped between a GLK, X3, and the Evoque. Even after 14 straight years of being a benz owner, i skipped the glk.
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  #20  
Old 08-31-2012, 06:13 AM
macct macct is offline
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Originally Posted by bruno787 View Post
Consider a Range Rover Evoque especially in Dynamic Trim I cross shopped between a GLK, X3, and the Evoque. Even after 14 straight years of being a benz owner, i skipped the glk.
I like the look of the Evoque, but the dealer network is spotty and not convenient.
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  #21  
Old 08-31-2012, 06:28 AM
macct macct is offline
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Drove the 6 cylinder today

I had a chance to drive the N20 and the 6 cylinder back to back. The 6 cylinder seems more refined and relaxed. Transmission shifts seem more subtle and acceleration is immediate. With that said, acceleration is still very strong with the 4 cylinder and on par with the competition. It just doesn't sound great and you sense the transmission doing a lot more work. I am not sure I really mind the added engine sounds since the performance is there. I think its hard to justify going with the 6 cylinder, at least for my needs.

I have also did more reading on the 19" runflats (GY LS-2). They seem more problematic than most runflats. I actually took the runflats off my old Mini Clubman and e60. (The tire change-out vastly improved the ride and handling in the Mini). Those two cars, however, had room for a spare tire unlike the X3. I am not sure I like the idea of having a compact spare (Bimmerzone) taking up storage space, especially since it would negate any space advantage over the GLK. Have you kept your runflats and how many miles do you have on them at this point?
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  #22  
Old 08-31-2012, 01:29 PM
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The fact that the GLK will be out in a diesel makes the X3 a no buy for me. These cars are so perfectly suited for a diesel powertrain, it makes no sense to not wait for the GLK BT. Not to mention, rumors are 30+ mpg, which is fantastic!
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  #23  
Old 09-02-2012, 08:23 PM
Big W Big W is offline
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you can always go with the e350 stationwagon
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  #24  
Old 09-05-2012, 06:01 AM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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Tried the MB GLK and felt the car was devoid of character, it seemed bland and wooden. Loved the phone keypad that should be in all cars, but space is definitely smaller. The exterior is not quite my taste and the fuel economy is horrible with similar acceleration to BMW.

Lexus RX is large and bulky and prefer a smaller city driving vehicle. Good ride and quality, but costly when adding their multiple option packages.

Audi Q5 as you already own is a beautiful car, a new updated model will arrive later this year and recommend waiting.

Volvo is a nice car as well with great safety features. Hated the pricey repairs and complex design. Space is smaller too.

Obviously my decision was the BMW is the most well balanced with driving, price, looks interior and exterior; but all these cars are excellent. MB, Audi and BMW (Lexus is another class) account for more than 85% of the vehicles in this group, so the majority seems to be in agreement you're on the right track.

I would wait until the new GLK and Q5 arrives before you decide. They might surprise with some improvements?
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  #25  
Old 09-05-2012, 06:11 AM
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The Q5 is getting the supercharged 3 liter engine and dropping the base 3.2 with the facelift and that engine is a beast. Not to mention, 3.0TDI and Hybrids coming soon as well.

The RX only makes sense if you get the hybrid. 30mpg combined is fantastic.
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