Comparison: 2011 X3 vs 2013 X3 - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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X3 F25 (2011 - 2017)
The second generation X3 added style and new features to the BMW's mid-sized SUV. Talk about the BMW F25 X3 with other X3 owners now!

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Old 10-16-2013, 06:27 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 & X3
Comparison: 2011 X3 vs 2013 X3

I just had my 2011 X3 at the dealer for service and some minor warranty issues. They gave me a 2013 X3 as a loaner. When comparing the two vehicles I have some observations that would definitely influence what I would do if buying a new X3. Thought others might be interested.

My X3 has the M Sport package, the loaner did not. I previously did not think the M Sport package was anything more than cosmetic but I found this to be very wrong. My X3 has sport seats and they are much better than the standard seats both in terms of comfort and support. I also have the fat leather steering wheel. Of course the thickness and material of the steering wheel does not affect handling but my fat steering wheel is, without question, much more satisfying to grip. With respect to cosmetics, the black trim, instead of chrome, really appeals to me; I think it makes for a much more elegant appearing vehicle.
My 2011 X3 has 26K miles on it. The 2013 loaner had under 12000 but it was a loaner its entire life and was obviously rode hard and put away wet. Having said this, my X3 just has a much tighter and precise feel to it. I do not have Dynamic Handling, the loaner did, but my X3 was more satisfying overall to drive than the loaner, even in sport mode. The difference between sport and comfort modes in the loaner was noticeable but not much more than noticeable, in my opinion. I never tried Eco-Mode as I did not want to embarrass myself.
As I stated, Sport mode did not make more than a minor difference. Nevertheless, the car always defaulted to Comfort mode every time I returned to the car. If one chooses to use Sport mode all the time (which I would do if I had it in my car), it is necessary to manually put it in Sport mode every time you start the car. It should default to the last setting. Bottom line, if buying a new X3, I probably would not pay for this option unless it was included in a package with something else I wanted.
I absolutely positively did not like and would not tolerate, ever, ASS. No practical reason why I despised it so much as it was indeed very responsive (albeit with a mildly annoying shudder every time the engine stalled and started). I just found it very disconcerting when the engine would stall every time I stopped. I also did not like the idea that the A/C compressor obviously was not making a useful contribution when the engine stalled (something important on hot humid days in south Florida). I guess it is something I would eventually get used to but I seriously doubt this feature makes any kind of consequential improvement to fuel economy. Also offensive is that there was no feature obviously available to permanently turn the damn thing off. Yes, I could push the button next to the start button but it would default right back to ASS active every time I returned to the car.
My 2011 does not have Comfort Access but the loaner did. Comfort Access is a feature I always wished I had but I no longer regret not having it. It just did not provide any real additional convenience over just reaching in my pocket and pushing the button on the fob. Actually, when I touched the door handle to lock or unlock the car there was always a short but unacceptably annoying time delay for the locks to respond. It was just more convenient to use the fob. Using the fob also avoided the lack of positive instant gratification when touching the handle.
I did notice the information display between the speedometer and tachometer had at least one more item in the 2013 loaner, instantaneous MPG. I doubt this matters as a rapidly changing instantaneous MPG indication is mostly meaningless and is redundant, in any case, with the LCD analog indication below the tachometer.
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:46 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 X3 35i
RhoXS, I am glad you are still in love with your 2011 F25. The 2011 X3 MSport has a fixed sport suspension, personally, I would much rather have the adjustable suspension from the 2013. The sport seats are a bit more comfortable, a bit too tight for me but the thigh support extension is very nice on long trips. You must have a X3 28i, the standard 35i comes with the fat sport steering wheel. Ther black trim looks good on certain colors, but sometime the chrome looks better, depending on the color of the car.
There are quite a few complaints about the build quality of the 2011 F25 on the net, I think you are one of the lucky owners with no issues. As a rule of thumb, I always stay away from 1st year design German cars.
ASS can be program by the dealer to retain its last setting after you shut off the car. I have it reprogramed in my X3 and I still use it once a while.
My wife loves the comfort access, she doesnt have to dig thru her bag to find the key. I on the other hand can just take it or leave much like you. I guess its more of a popular option for the female.
You can turn the instantaneous MPG display on and off in your i-drive, although I dont kown why you would want to turn it on.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:06 PM
duyushui1 duyushui1 is offline
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Location: CA, US
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Mein Auto: bmw 328i
I would say the standard seat in X3 is very uncomfortable, especially for long trip. I have been driving my new X3 35i for 10 days, but I haven't found a good position making my body comfort. I didn't have the problem with my old 328i.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:35 PM
Tangsta Tangsta is offline
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Location: Calgary, AB
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 45
Mein Auto: Alpine White F25 35i
Your post reads with a staggering amount of bias. I'm glad you're happy with your 2011, but your comparison of "2011 vs 2013" is incredibly misleading.

- Handling and steering wheel is definitely more to do with M-sport vs non M-sport rather than year, and the 35i comes with the fatter steering wheel stock.
- Sport/Comfort/Eco-Pro comes stock on 2013+ models as part of the "driving experience control". Not sure if this is why you believe your loaner had DHP, but others have reported a huge difference between modes with a DHP equipped car. I personally like having the choice between Comfort, Sport, and Eco-Pro to suit my current mood. Weekday commuting = Comfort (or Eco Pro if it's heavy rush hour), Weekend = Sport mode
- ASS is definitely a bit of an annoyance, but the default to "on" is easily fixed with a trip to the dealer. I've coded mine to default to "off", but in times of heavy traffic, I've turned it on and have observed an improvement in fuel economy.
- I love my Comfort Access... not sure why you're experiencing delays, mine is always instantaneous except for a couple occasions when my smartphone was in the same pocket and possibly sending/receiving signals.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:14 PM
Doug in NC Doug in NC is offline
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Mein Auto: 2011 x3 28i
I also own a 2011 x28 with sport seats. I'm not a big fan of my sport seats. I'm a tall skinny guy and the seat bottom pushes in on my hip and makes long trips uncomfortable. Unlike my wife's VW that I can sit in almost all day.

I have the comfort access and like it very much. I hardly know where the buttons are on my remote. I only pull it out of my pocket to put in on the nightstand at night

I do like the 2011 6 better than the 2013 4 turbo. The x35 is a wonderful upgrade.

Mine is tighter than a 2013 x35 loaner I drove. Just abused I guess. The x35 was wicked fast. If I as in the market for a new one I would be buying a x35.

That's why they offer all of these variations, because different people have differing likes and dislikes.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:54 AM
RhoXS RhoXS is offline
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Mein Auto: Z3 & X3
Originally Posted by Tangsta View Post
Your post reads with a staggering amount of bias.
Of course it is biased - it is an opinion. Is there such a thing as an unbiased opinion?

I think Doug in NC put it very well "That's why they offer all of these variations, because different people have differing likes and dislikes."
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