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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 02-17-2013, 06:41 PM
Hardrada Hardrada is offline
warlord with a mom-mobile
Location: Reston Virginia
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Mein Auto: 2013 X3, 1997 C280 Sport
2013 X3 28i Break-in completed. My assessment as of 1,200 miles

Having finally gotten to the end of the break-in period, I thought I'd jot down some observations. Comments and other peoples' observations on the X3 would be most welcome

2013 X3 28i
Premium / premium sound / technology / convenience / cold weather

At 1200 miles:
MPG in and around town: 19.5
MPG on highway: 26
Overall MPG: 21

Difference in MPG between Sport and Comfort modes, tested 4 times on 20 mile circuit of mixed (highway and stop-and-go) driving: 3.4 MPG

I've been driving BMWs for many years (3 series, M3, 540i, X5, etc). Initial impressions of X3 vis-a-vis those other models:

The GREAT:

- handling, road feel - WAY superior to the X5, and about comparable to a 3 series sport sedan, excluding the flat cornering of course (but still pretty damn good). Simply the best, sportiest drive I've had in any SUV. I test drove all the competitors, and nothing is remotely close to the sportiness and road feel of the X3.

- steering - took a week to get used to the electronic steering, but once I did ... just great. Communicative and reasonably tight, no play or mushiness.

- Auto-hold feature - I turn it on as soon as I get it in the car and use it at all times. Love it.

- Sport mode - really takes the 28i's 4-pot turbo about as far as it can go. Well done. I just set it on Sport mode as soon as I get in the vehicle. I expected to regret not buying the 35i, but with Sport mode on, the 28i does get the job done.

- Interior - I'm a sucker for nice interiors, and this is one. Nice wood grain, meaty steering wheel, attractive stitched-leather seats, all in all it's great. Makes a good impression on passengers - everyone's impressed with it.

- Two 32-oz capable cup holders. First BMW I've owned that gave us thirsty Americans what we want -- a big fat cupholder, not just latte-capable but Big Gulp capable, for both driver and front passenger

The GOOD:

- Once I finally got used to iDrive, I decided it's actually pretty good. Lots of useful info at my fingertips. All my music stored on hard disk. Easy access to sirius, radio, car user manual, etc., all in one place. Not bad. I like it much better than I thought I would after reading all the criticism of it

- Bluetooth implementation is good. Can stream music from the phone, and other things of that nature.

- Rear camera (including top view) and distance warning system - excellent. Really like these features a lot and use them everyday.


The NOT-SO-GOOD:

- Navigation system is quite poor. No street names, in a 2013 nav, seriously ?!?!??! Very first time I used it, it took me off on the wrong exit from a highway. It's not totally unusable -- when I don't have my phone with Google Navigation handy, it can generally get me from point A to point B. But ... a dedicated Nav system should be better than the free software that came on my phone. Sad. Not worth the $.

- Auto Start-stop is jarring and awful. Not being able to disable it at the dealership (they won't do it anymore) almost moves it to the REALLY BAD category, but I'll be charitable. I've learned to just hit the Off switch every time I turn the car on. I don't know why anyone would use this. Apparently it saves 1 mile per gallon or something, while making you restart your car 8 times every time you go to a 7-11. OK for leasing perhaps, but for long-term owners it really seems counterintuitive and stupid.

- no cupholders for rear passengers. What the ... ?

- fit and finish is generally OK but there are some mediocre elements that just don't seem BMW-ish. Knobs, switches, window openers and seals, etc., lack the solid feel of the X5 or of other BMWs I've owned. The storage compartment to the left of the steering wheel is about as flimsy as it could possibly be without just falling off. Doors do not have the solid thud of other BMW models. One generally doesn't find much of the tank-like, vault-like quality that one associates with the BMW brand. It's sporadic - some parts are great; others very mediocre. "Value engineering" in a $50,000 vehicle - hmm.

- Lack of comfort access for the rear doors. Oddly stingy on BMW's part - why not just apply it to all four doors instead of two? More of a problem than it sounds. When you park the car, the doors are locked. If you have something in the back seat, you find yourself (a) opening the front doors by comfort access in order to release the back doors, which is weird, (b) digging the "comfort" key fob out of your pocket if you can find it, since the whole idea was that you wouldn't have to fuss with the fob anymore, or (c) re-opening the car, climbing in and reaching to the center console to unlock all the doors. C'mon BMW.

- manual steering column adjustment. When you pay for Premium and you're getting user-specific seating and side mirror position memory, it is just ludicrous for the steering stalk not to adjust electronically.

- only plays nice with iPhone. For us Galaxy S3 (and other Android) users, that is, the 70 % of the market that is not using iPhones, it's "tough luck". The $250 or whatever that I paid for BMW Apps was flushed down the commode - there is no Android implementation of them. Android phones won't connect by USB in the center console. It's great that BMW is working so closely with Apple on stuff, except it's not 2008 anymore and there are other platforms they need to support.

The REALLY BAD:

- wind and other external noise. Louder than any other vehicle I've ever owned. For $50k they couldn't stuff a bit more insulation in there? Jeez. At a red light today, I could hear the person in the lane next to me talking on her cell phone. I'm giving them an F for this.

****

Summary: I love how it drives, and it does feel like the real deal - a BMW. I'd buy it again, for sure. That said, they did cut a lot of corners, which start to show up after the initial rush of having a new bimmer starts to settle down a little. Most of the corner-cutting is tolerable, but the wind noise is really substandard, especially at this price point. Wish BMW had charged $1k more and put that $1k into tightening up some of the "value engineered" elements a bit. Still, it buries all of the competition in terms of spirited driving and fun. I'd rather drive it than a quiet Acura.

B+

Last edited by Hardrada; 02-18-2013 at 09:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:04 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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"- no cupholders for rear passengers. What the ... ? "

There are rear cupholders. They are in the middle fold down area of the rear seat.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:22 PM
Fighterpilot Fighterpilot is offline
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Fix your title

I think you mean 2013

"manual steering column adjustment. When you pay for Premium and you're getting user-specific seating and side mirror position memory, it is just ludicrous for the steering stalk not to adjust electronically"

Agree

"Lack of comfort access for the rear doors"

I think there is an iDrive setting to unlock all doors.

"Auto Start-stop is jarring and awful"

I don't use it as I'm in sport mode all the time and it's disabled by default then. I think the wear and tear on the starter will cost more than whatever fuel is saved over the life of the car.

We paid for ours outright but I think when 50K rolls around we might be inclined to move up to the X5.
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Previous BMW's
2007 525i - Totaled -->http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664410
2008 535i - Traded in
2009 535i - Totaled

Last edited by Fighterpilot; 02-17-2013 at 07:27 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2013, 02:42 AM
Hud99 Hud99 is offline
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Great review. Well balanced. Question, did you get the sport seats? Any comments about them?
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:52 AM
pbrink1 pbrink1 is offline
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I agree about the Nav system. It is pretty poor. I currently have a 2010 X5 and was looking to trade it in for a X3. The Nav system on the X5 can't find my house because there is a letter in the house number ie. 3N115 Main St. I complained to BMWNA when I purchased the car and they refunded the cost of the Nav system and told me they will update the system. Every time I bring it in for service.....no update yet available. I live in the far western suburbs of Chicago and there are thousands of addresses like mine... my $100 garmin has no trouble with these addresses. So I test drove a X3 and was ready to trade for a 3.5 and checked the Nav on the 2013 and it still hasn't been fixed. They had a 760i in the showroom with the new Nav system that will be in the 2014 X3's and that system is awesome and no problem finding my house. I'm going to wait for the 2014's and since I'm waiting I'll wait until the X3 diesel comes out. I have the diesel in the X5 and the torque of that motor would be hard to give up.
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2013, 05:35 AM
slambmw slambmw is offline
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Good review and practically touched every concern I also had.

Others include the trunk release is located to low and deep beneath the Steering. The heat feature on the Steering Wheel is kind of alone and hidden from view. Heater control is a small button that requires removing your gloves. Seats are not plush like the Audi Q5. Doors can be a problem as well, our Merc unlocks all doors from the inside if a Front seat door is opened. Would be nice if they have a Telephone keypad on the dash as offered by Merc. To make calls.

Lots of little quirks, but still an incredibly car.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2013, 10:45 AM
Hardrada Hardrada is offline
warlord with a mom-mobile
Location: Reston Virginia
 
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Mein Auto: 2013 X3, 1997 C280 Sport
OP here

Hud99 - no, I didn't get the sport seats. I had sport seats on an M3 way back, and found them too confining and not comfortable for my largish frame. I prefer the generic non-sport seats. I quite like the seats on the X3 - a bit more contoured and sporty than on the X5 (though smaller, width wise) but very comfortable for long drives.

slambmw - well that solves a mystery for me. I was wondering why BMW had not included a trunk opener. Now it turns out that they did. You just have to hoist yourself head-into-steering wheel after you park, and reach as far as you possibly can to the floor, and the good news is that in over 3 of every 10 tries, you can reach the button to open the trunk! LOL One wonders why they didn't put the trunk opening button right next to the door opening button in the center console. The odd thing about all these quirks is that they could just as easily accomplished the same thing in a non-quirky fashion. Had my first experience dropping the car off at a valet yesterday. Guy couldn't figure out how to get it from Park to Drive - I had to tell him, and then due to language barrier, get in the X3 and show him. I'm really left wondering why, since the P-D-R functionality is the same and the new gear shifter makes no noticeable improvement to anything, they fussed with the traditioanal design.

Still find it a total blast to drive, despite the quirkiness. My critiques should be taken in context - I am very, VERY happy with the X3. I just think it could use a senior executive to spend a day reviewing what all the engineers and fussbudgets came up with, and clean it all up for future competition with the increasingly strong Q5 et. al.

Last edited by Hardrada; 02-19-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2013, 11:57 AM
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edbiology edbiology is offline
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My 2013 28i mpg kept improving till around 5000 miles. I am now really getting 28/24/21.
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2013, 12:13 PM
ASG ASG is offline
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Mein Auto: X3 35i 2013/F25
Nice review!

The wind noise sounds like my rear passenger window is cracked. BMW service said they couldn't find an issue and other X3s sound that way. I even tried some of my own testing using painters tape, to no avail. That is the most disturbing aspect of my X3 and verges on deal-breaker.

I think the exterior clear coat and/or paint is substandard, especially for this price range.

I also think some non-USA features would be nice in the USA, especially when competitors here offer them: eg rear hatch close from driver seat or fob, mirrors fold in automatically, and the like.

I'd like to see a little more interior width.

I'd like to be able to have a hidden spare wheel/tire if/when I migrate from run-flats.

I love the sound of the engine and exhaust and turbo and transmission -- that's what sold me!
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2013, 12:55 PM
Fighterpilot Fighterpilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edbiology View Post
My 2013 28i mpg kept improving till around 5000 miles. I am now really getting 28/24/21.
We have not broken thru the 20 mpg on any tank yet. 1500 miles in and only city driving at this point. The one highway drive my wife went on pulled a 19.8.

I drive in manual sport mode, she drives in just regular comfort mode. Maybe more breakin is needed. Not really sure.
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Previous BMW's
2007 525i - Totaled -->http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664410
2008 535i - Traded in
2009 535i - Totaled
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2013, 01:18 PM
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edbiology edbiology is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fighterpilot View Post
We have not broken thru the 20 mpg on any tank yet. 1500 miles in and only city driving at this point. The one highway drive my wife went on pulled a 19.8.

I drive in manual sport mode, she drives in just regular comfort mode. Maybe more breakin is needed. Not really sure.
Hmm even with the not-yet broken-in engine, I think it's not likely that you can only pull 19.8 mpg on highway. Perhaps that was a average number that counted the previous local driving?
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2013, 03:21 PM
Fighterpilot Fighterpilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edbiology View Post
Hmm even with the not-yet broken-in engine, I think it's not likely that you can only pull 19.8 mpg on highway. Perhaps that was a average number that counted the previous local driving?
I keep very accurate records on fuel consumption and mileage. I know my numbers are correct. The highway trip in question was the one on 1/26 and was a 270 mile round trip. So about half of the 591 miles on that tank of gas were highway miles. The rest would have been city driving. I would have expected to pull at least over 20 MPG due to the mix. My wife is not one to really push this, or any BMW, she's driven.

Date Mileage Gals Cost Price/Gal Fillup Calc. MPG
1/12/13 5
1/22/13 278 16.443 $55.89 $3.40 Y 16.6
1/26/13 591 15.810 $52.79 $3.34 Y 19.8

January Total 586 32.253 $108.68 $3.37 18.2

2/1/13 915 16.579 $60.00 $3.62 Y 19.5
2/10/13 1216 16.153 $59.75 $3.70 Y 18.6
2/18/13 1494 14.629 $58.50 $4.00 Y 19.0

I'll give the benfit of the doubt to BMW until about March or April when the 'crapoline", i.e. reformulated gas is no longer available. I consistently lose 3 to 5 MPG between October and March due to this crappy fuel. Whomever came up with that idea might win Moron of the Year Award.
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Previous BMW's
2007 525i - Totaled -->http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664410
2008 535i - Traded in
2009 535i - Totaled
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2013, 07:55 PM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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Just a thought - if you haven't already done so, check your tire air pressure. It makes a difference, and its not uncommon for a dealer to deliver a car with incorrect tire air pressure.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2013, 06:50 AM
Fighterpilot Fighterpilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02420X3 View Post
Just a thought - if you haven't already done so, check your tire air pressure. It makes a difference, and its not uncommon for a dealer to deliver a car with incorrect tire air pressure.
If this is directed to me the pressure in tires is fine. I checked it the day I brought it home and found it was 5 PSI greater than what should be in there. Readjusted to the door plaque settings the next day after the tires cooled. I check air pressure every week, especially in the winter.
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Previous BMW's
2007 525i - Totaled -->http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664410
2008 535i - Traded in
2009 535i - Totaled
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:48 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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My experience with dealer tire pressure is they tend to overinflate them. Also on the nav -- just had a '13 328 loaner for a few days with a HUD and a great nav. The street names were on the nav and best of all -- showed up on the HUD with directions to turn. Great system, kept it on the whole time I had the car. Will definitely get this in my next ride. I suspct the mileage will improve with use -- that seems to be par for the course with any car and especially BMW's.
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2013, 08:11 AM
02420X3 02420X3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fighterpilot View Post
If this is directed to me the pressure in tires is fine. I checked it the day I brought it home and found it was 5 PSI greater than what should be in there. Readjusted to the door plaque settings the next day after the tires cooled. I check air pressure every week, especially in the winter.
I guessed that you were probably on top of the tire pressure, but it never hurts to check. It was the only thing that I could think of, other than more time on the breakin. I have no problem getting 28mpg on a 200-300 mile highway trip in my '11 35i, and would have expected that your highway mileage would be at least as good.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:23 PM
Fighterpilot Fighterpilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02420X3 View Post
I guessed that you were probably on top of the tire pressure, but it never hurts to check. It was the only thing that I could think of, other than more time on the breakin. I have no problem getting 28mpg on a 200-300 mile highway trip in my '11 35i, and would have expected that your highway mileage would be at least as good.
As I stated earlier, I'll wait until this this ****ty reforumlated fuel we're stuck with during the winter is gone and then see what happens to the MPG. It's obvious as hell what happens during the winter months in my Nissan Frontier 4x4 truck.
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Previous BMW's
2007 525i - Totaled -->http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664410
2008 535i - Traded in
2009 535i - Totaled
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2013, 06:53 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is offline
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Do you have your reset button checked off on your Idrive (for every time you fill up)? What is your X3 saying you are getting mileage wise vs. your numbers? Are they way off? I have a 35i and get 20.2 in the city and 28 on the highway and tend to be heavy footed.

Last edited by Want the Thrill; 02-20-2013 at 06:56 PM.
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2013, 07:48 PM
lair12 lair12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want the Thrill View Post
Do you have your reset button checked off on your Idrive (for every time you fill up)? What is your X3 saying you are getting mileage wise vs. your numbers? Are they way off? I have a 35i and get 20.2 in the city and 28 on the highway and tend to be heavy footed.
I'd love to know how you get that mileage. I'm not that heavy footed, but do have an i35 m-sport that gets about 17 in the city and 24 on the highway in comfort mode! Really sucks because I can from an Audi TDi that got 31/40 for the same driving.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:07 PM
Fighterpilot Fighterpilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Want the Thrill View Post
Do you have your reset button checked off on your Idrive (for every time you fill up)? What is your X3 saying you are getting mileage wise vs. your numbers? Are they way off? I have a 35i and get 20.2 in the city and 28 on the highway and tend to be heavy footed.
I reset it everytime I fill up but honestly cannot remember now. I'll make a point to look at it next time and compare it to my spreadsheet numbers.

Little disappointing right now cause our 09 535i Sport was geting low 20's and it was a twin turbo V6. I expected better from the twin turbo 4.
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Previous BMW's
2007 525i - Totaled -->http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664410
2008 535i - Traded in
2009 535i - Totaled
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  #21  
Old 02-21-2013, 11:16 PM
glennk glennk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fighterpilot View Post
I reset it everytime I fill up but honestly cannot remember now. I'll make a point to look at it next time and compare it to my spreadsheet numbers.

Little disappointing right now cause our 09 535i Sport was geting low 20's and it was a twin turbo V6. I expected better from the twin turbo 4.
There isn't a twin turbo in the X3, only a "twin power" (single turbo with two separately sized scrolls) turbo.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:24 PM
mama_jo's mama_jo's is offline
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My '12 X-3 35 got 27.3mpg last weekend on a suburban highway/artery road trip of about 32 miles. Starts and stops with short trips make the mpg go down as low as 21. the 8-spd transmission keeps the engine spinning below 2,000rpm, sometimes at 1200mpg cruising along. I am surprised at how quickly a cold engine will settle into normal idle speed.
i have the comfort access and i have selected that all doors unlock when i unlock the car. Great car, great technology ( i have an iPhone), great mileage, comfortable interior, great acceleration and comfortable cruising. Not sure i like the electric steering or the Pirelli Cinturato's. Still tends to wallow going over lane change seams.
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Old 02-23-2013, 08:24 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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"V6"? Didn't know BMW made a V6, Inline 6 (I6) for sure!
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:15 PM
Fighterpilot Fighterpilot is offline
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"V6"? Didn't know BMW made a V6, Inline 6 (I6) for sure!
Correct, I6
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Previous BMW's
2007 525i - Totaled -->http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=664410
2008 535i - Traded in
2009 535i - Totaled
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  #25  
Old 02-23-2013, 09:12 PM
Hardrada Hardrada is offline
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OP here. I discovered the split screen mode for the Nav, and now that I see turn by turn directions on screen I'm bumping the Nav up from "Bad" to "OK."

Anywho, been doing some carefully controlled mpg testing. I have a 22 mile stretch of route 7100 in northern Virginia, basically a flat, 45-50 mph road with ten lights, so I think that is a good example of suburban highway or mixed-highway driving.

In Sport mode, really pushing it hard (meaning hard acceleration after red lights): 22 mpg
In Comfort mode, with relaxed acceleration at lights, trying not to push past 7th gear: 27 mpg
In Eco mode, with very slow, Old Man acceleration at lights, basically pinning it to 8th gear as much as possible: 30 mpg

I've learned through this testing that the # 1 influencer of mileage is how many lights and how fast you accelerate out of them. Eco mode keeps it in or near 8th gear, making lights almost irrelevant, because the rpm is barely changing whether you're moving or starting up from a stop. But in sport mode with 4,500 rpm downshifts, you can knock 6 or 7 mpg off the trip mpg just at the red lights alone, everything else being equal. Maybe everyone on earth already knew that, but it was kinda news to me. It might explain why people on the boards have such disparate experiences with the mileage -- different pressure on the pedal coming out of lights.

Bumping it up from 89 to 93 octane does seem to have added an mpg or two. We don't get 91 here.
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2013 X3 28i
1997 Merc C280 Sport

Retired: 2005 X5 4.4i ... 2002 540i ... 1999 M3 ... 1997 328i ... 1988 535i
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