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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:56 PM
flp4bss flp4bss is offline
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Question 2006 vs. 2008 X3

New to the forum and hoping someone can provide some advice.

#1 -- Should I buy a used X3 (2006 with 62K for $15,800, or 2008 with 68K for $18500)? Both similarly equipped, but the '08 has 19" wheels. I love the car, but all of the problems detailed in this forum make me very nervous.

#2 -- Is the '06 prone to the same tranny problems?

Both are private party with no warranty remaining. 'O6 was a CPO but warranty expired in September '12. '06 had new transfer case installed at 55K under warranty.

'08 has limited service history in BMW warranty system. My local dealer said to stay away from the '08.

Plan is to drive both tomorrow and have whichever I prefer inspected by certified BWM tech.

Let me know your thoughts.

'08 can be found on Charlotte Craigslist

'06 can be found on Greensboro Craiglist
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:54 PM
mchova01 mchova01 is offline
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Hello flp4bss,

Im sure whichever version you decide on, you will be happy. Im not sure which one to pick on paper, but here are two differences to consider:
  • The 2006 will have an M54 engine, which is fairly easy to work on. However, I believe most of the pano sunroof issues happened 2006 or earlier?
  • The 2008 has an N52 engine, which is more powerful, but has added complexity to repair.

I have a 2007 and dont have the tranny issues that others discussed and I have the N52 engine. Since both are out of warranty and if you plan to work on the car yourself the 2006 is going to be a lot easier to work on due to the M54 engine and there is a lot of DIYs on the net regarding how to fix about everything, not so much with the N52 engine -- yet.

People generally dont come to places like this with positive things to say about their vehicle, as most are researching how to solve a problem not come praise their vehicle selection. I cant drive to the grocery store in San Francisco w/o seeing an X3 and it surprises me that there isnt significantly more postings on this board regarding the X3.

Overall I am very happy with my 2007 X3, except for one dent someone placed in my door, with their door a few weeks ago. It is a very fun vehicle to drive -- extremely fun in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as well as northern California coast. I plan on keeping mine for a long time.

Double check the packages as well the 2008 seems a bit underpriced to me? Id also look for a hitch thats great for carrying extra gear with you and keeping it outside of the vehicle (white water rafts, bikes, etc).

Good luck,
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:16 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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I'd lean towards the less headache of greater service history and new T-case of the '06... not to mention the ease of workability of the M54 engine.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:31 AM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
I'd lean towards the less headache of greater service history and new T-case of the '06... not to mention the ease of workability of the M54 engine.
Second, I'd go with the 2006 just because of the M54 engine. I dont know too much about the newer N model engines, but from what Ive heard they can get complicated if issues arise.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:49 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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The '06 appears to be a little overpriced. You would be hard pressed to get $10K from a dealer for one now. The '08 is priced about right, maybe a bit high but not much. I have an '06 with 92K miles on it (bought new) and while it has had its share of problems -- all after the warranty ran out at 50K miles -- it has been a useful car. Watch out for the rubber hoses, tubes, etc in the MAS, emissions system getting hard and cracking. These are costly to repair and all trigger the dreaded SES light. Front struts were also a surprise, never had one fail in any car before this one. Again about $2K for both and assorted hardware. These can be money pits and before you jump in you might want to stretch your budget a bit and look for a newer version that is still under warranty. I do not plan on getting another X3 but rather am looking for the new crop of diesel SUV's coming this year from Audi (Q5), MB (GLK), Mazda (MX5), and Jeep GC.

Last edited by UncleJ; 03-20-2013 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:28 AM
katfish1121 katfish1121 is offline
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Chose my 06 X3 because of the engine and relatively low miles (71XXX). Also the car was clean and interior barely used. The heads up on the rubber hoses was one of those "well, of course except I never thought of that" things.

We decided to ignore year VS engine type, mileage, past use, etc.
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