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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 10-14-2013, 07:17 AM
vptrails vptrails is offline
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Location: Rhode Island
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Mein Auto: 2011 X3 X35i
Observations - X3 vs X1 vs 328xi

Brought my 2011 X3 35i in for service last week and received an X1 28i M-Sport model. Additionally, I drove a 328xi. My observations are these:

1) Steering - The X1 had the best steering, it hydraulic steering was perfect. It was weighted heavily which I liked a lot. It also had lots of road feel in a good way. Additionally, the M-Sport steering wheel was terrific. I wish I knew it was thicker than the regular sport steering wheel, otherwise I would have sprung for the M-Sport over the Sport Activity Package on mine. Steering of the 3 series and the X3 was too close to call for second place.

2) Interior Layout - X3 wins hands down. The built in navigation looked better than the tablet glued to the dash look but that look is growing on me. 3 series was second place which was also nice. The X1 seem to have been designed with cup holders as an afterthought. It only had one which stick out over the passenger seat space. I wasn't liking that at all.

3) Seating Position: X3 is the winner followed by the X1 then the 3 series. X3 offered the best all around view from the cockpit. The X1 felt like every car should feel from the drivers seat. The 3 series was very good, maybe I'm just too used to sitting a little higher, but I really felt like I was sitting on floor with my butt just inches off the ground.

4) Driver Ergonomics - The X3 allows me to rest my arm on the center armrest with just the right amount of length to the shifter that allowed me to rest my hand on in a perfect position. I could not do this with either the X1 or the 3 series. They both had cut outs for the manual emergency brake level to rest my arm comfortably in the position I wanted it in and both made me angle my arm toward the passenger seat. There's just something about having the arm rest and shifter placed perfectly.

5) Transmissions: This was push - all had the 8-speed and each had good programming (the X-3 needed the latest November 2012 update to make it all right).

6) Engine: The N55 was the smoothest and most refined but the N20 is no slacker and for a 4 cylinder was impressively peppy. One thing I noted with the N20 is that when the rpms are very low in certain gears, the engine feet slightly "strained" but when down shifting, was terrific. The N55 never felt strained no matter what gear it was in. However, either choice is a matter of personal taste. I preferred the N55 myself but I could certainly enjoy any of these vehicles with an N20 under the hood.

7) Dimensions: Preference goes to the X3 for size. Length and width is perfect and passenger comfort from the back seat was better than either or the other two. Cargo room is exemplary based on its styling also. The X1 and 3 series are very good dimensionally but created a tighter back seat space and cargo area. Truck space on the 3 series was surprising big based on its exterior looks.

8) Suspension: X1 wins. It had the sport suspension but was not harsh at all. It felt the tightest and had the best damping characteristics out of all of the them. Note: The standard X3 suspension actually felt firmer than the X1's M-Sport suspension. Based on that, I could see why an X3 sport suspension is listed as "deleted" on the M-Sport models as it seems to already have a "sport suspension" as standard equipment. The 3 series suspension was the softest. All suspensions were excellent. At times the 3 series chassis did not feel as tight as the X1 or X3 under certain conditions but I'm sure on a track, the 3 series would win due to its lower center of gravity.

9) Base Stereo: Both the X3 and X1 had excellent base stereos in them. The 3 series base stereo seemed to not have the same sound quality or power. I can speak for stereo upgrade comparisons but I have no problem with either the X3 or X1 base units. The 3 series would preferably need an upgrade.

My version of a home-run: An X3 35i with an M-Sport steering wheel, the X1's hydraulic steering and associated heavy steering feel (which is heavier than the sport mode of the electric assist steering) and X1's suspension/damping characteristics would top my wish list for my next vehicle. (I'm being realistic here - no exotic cars).

Any thoughts or feedback??
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2013, 07:37 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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VP, nice run down. Had an X1 service loaner for a few days and everything you mentioned was true in the car I had. I suspect we will see a better cup holder(s) in any model refresh if they want to sell them in the US (cup holder land). One thing, I didn't really like the styling of the X1. It looked a bit too much like a hatch back wagon, sort of like the FX37, or one of the other Asian offerings. Many like that style, but it does cut cargo space and if I want a SUV/SAV I want it to look like one. Another car I drove that was impressive was the new '14 Forester Turbo. Very fast little ride and lots of green house glass with a ton of space.
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2013, 07:39 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Location: MA
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4,932
Mein Auto: 2012 535xi 2013 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by vptrails View Post
The N55 was the smoothest and most refined but the N20 is no slacker and for a 4 cylinder was impressively peppy. One thing I noted with the N20 is that when the rpms are very low in certain gears, the engine feet slightly "strained" but when down shifting, was terrific. The N55 never felt strained no matter what gear it was in. However, either choice is a matter of personal taste. I preferred the N55 myself but I could certainly enjoy any of these vehicles with an N20 under the hood.
That is my take on the N20 as well, it has to be in the right gear, otherwise, it gets blogged down easily. Whereas the N55 has enough power to overcome being in too high of a gear.
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  #4  
Old 10-14-2013, 09:53 AM
bmw_again bmw_again is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 261
Mein Auto: 2001 325i manual
Quote:
Originally Posted by vptrails View Post
Brought my 2011 X3 35i in for service last week and received an X1 28i M-Sport model. Additionally, I drove a 328xi. My observations are these:

1) Steering - The X1 had the best steering, it hydraulic steering was perfect. It was weighted heavily which I liked a lot. It also had lots of road feel in a good way. Additionally, the M-Sport steering wheel was terrific. I wish I knew it was thicker than the regular sport steering wheel, otherwise I would have sprung for the M-Sport over the Sport Activity Package on mine. Steering of the 3 series and the X3 was too close to call for second place.

2) Interior Layout - X3 wins hands down. The built in navigation looked better than the tablet glued to the dash look but that look is growing on me. 3 series was second place which was also nice. The X1 seem to have been designed with cup holders as an afterthought. It only had one which stick out over the passenger seat space. I wasn't liking that at all.

3) Seating Position: X3 is the winner followed by the X1 then the 3 series. X3 offered the best all around view from the cockpit. The X1 felt like every car should feel from the drivers seat. The 3 series was very good, maybe I'm just too used to sitting a little higher, but I really felt like I was sitting on floor with my butt just inches off the ground.

4) Driver Ergonomics - The X3 allows me to rest my arm on the center armrest with just the right amount of length to the shifter that allowed me to rest my hand on in a perfect position. I could not do this with either the X1 or the 3 series. They both had cut outs for the manual emergency brake level to rest my arm comfortably in the position I wanted it in and both made me angle my arm toward the passenger seat. There's just something about having the arm rest and shifter placed perfectly.

5) Transmissions: This was push - all had the 8-speed and each had good programming (the X-3 needed the latest November 2012 update to make it all right).

6) Engine: The N55 was the smoothest and most refined but the N20 is no slacker and for a 4 cylinder was impressively peppy. One thing I noted with the N20 is that when the rpms are very low in certain gears, the engine feet slightly "strained" but when down shifting, was terrific. The N55 never felt strained no matter what gear it was in. However, either choice is a matter of personal taste. I preferred the N55 myself but I could certainly enjoy any of these vehicles with an N20 under the hood.

7) Dimensions: Preference goes to the X3 for size. Length and width is perfect and passenger comfort from the back seat was better than either or the other two. Cargo room is exemplary based on its styling also. The X1 and 3 series are very good dimensionally but created a tighter back seat space and cargo area. Truck space on the 3 series was surprising big based on its exterior looks.

8) Suspension: X1 wins. It had the sport suspension but was not harsh at all. It felt the tightest and had the best damping characteristics out of all of the them. Note: The standard X3 suspension actually felt firmer than the X1's M-Sport suspension. Based on that, I could see why an X3 sport suspension is listed as "deleted" on the M-Sport models as it seems to already have a "sport suspension" as standard equipment. The 3 series suspension was the softest. All suspensions were excellent. At times the 3 series chassis did not feel as tight as the X1 or X3 under certain conditions but I'm sure on a track, the 3 series would win due to its lower center of gravity.

9) Base Stereo: Both the X3 and X1 had excellent base stereos in them. The 3 series base stereo seemed to not have the same sound quality or power. I can speak for stereo upgrade comparisons but I have no problem with either the X3 or X1 base units. The 3 series would preferably need an upgrade.

My version of a home-run: An X3 35i with an M-Sport steering wheel, the X1's hydraulic steering and associated heavy steering feel (which is heavier than the sport mode of the electric assist steering) and X1's suspension/damping characteristics would top my wish list for my next vehicle. (I'm being realistic here - no exotic cars).

Any thoughts or feedback??

Thanks for the write-up. Do you know if your X1 loaner had the so called "servotronic" option. They added this as part of the base now on X1, and of course not possible to deselect. Well, at least it is still hydraulic...
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  #5  
Old 10-14-2013, 10:48 AM
ScottMZ3 ScottMZ3 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 142
Mein Auto: 2014 X1 sDrive28i xLine
As a new owner of a 2014 X1 sDrive28i X-Line...your thoughts are spot on. The X1 is a great car for it's price point.

Just wanted to clarify one bit though...there actually are 2 cup holders up front. One is fixed in the center console, most likely the center armrest was slid forward in your loaner car which covers it. The 2nd cup holder is the one that extends into the passenger side footwell area a bit. It can be removed and stowed in the armrest storage compartment when not in use. Yes, a bit silly I admit! But for me I rarely drink in the car and when I do it is usually just 1 drink so it works fine.

You can see the main cup holder in this photo of my car:


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  #6  
Old 10-14-2013, 04:45 PM
vptrails vptrails is offline
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Location: Rhode Island
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 2011 X3 X35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_again View Post
Thanks for the write-up. Do you know if your X1 loaner had the so called "servotronic" option. They added this as part of the base now on X1, and of course not possible to deselect. Well, at least it is still hydraulic...
Not sure about that. The loaner only had the M-Sport package and heated seats. I didn't even have the premium package. Based on the fact that the xDrive models are the ones with hydraulic steering, I would guess no on that. It seems like something that might be tied into the sDrive model with its electric steering.

BTW, BMW's leatherette was not that bad, but I'm glad I opted for the leather seats personally. The leather appears more substantial and its smell is better than that of the leatherette.
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2013, 05:00 PM
vptrails vptrails is offline
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Location: Rhode Island
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 31
Mein Auto: 2011 X3 X35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottMZ3 View Post
As a new owner of a 2014 X1 sDrive28i X-Line...your thoughts are spot on. The X1 is a great car for it's price point.

Just wanted to clarify one bit though...there actually are 2 cup holders up front. One is fixed in the center console, most likely the center armrest was slid forward in your loaner car which covers it. The 2nd cup holder is the one that extends into the passenger side footwell area a bit. It can be removed and stowed in the armrest storage compartment when not in use. Yes, a bit silly I admit! But for me I rarely drink in the car and when I do it is usually just 1 drink so it works fine.

You can see the main cup holder in this photo of my car:


My bad. The arm rest must have been in the forward position covering up the upholder. I didn't even realize that.

Regarding price points, your right. I got curious and built the M-Sport model I had as a loaner it looks like that car could have been had for a $37,000 MSRP. While it didn't come with any bells and whistles, from a dynamic driving and pricing standpoint, the X1 really is unbeatable. If you could get 5 to 6% off the MSRP, one could be had for between 34,000 to $35,000. Not bad at all.

BTW, nice wheels on your X1.
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2013, 06:54 PM
bmw_again bmw_again is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 261
Mein Auto: 2001 325i manual
Quote:
Originally Posted by vptrails View Post
Not sure about that. The loaner only had the M-Sport package and heated seats. I didn't even have the premium package. Based on the fact that the xDrive models are the ones with hydraulic steering, I would guess no on that. It seems like something that might be tied into the sDrive model with its electric steering.

BTW, BMW's leatherette was not that bad, but I'm glad I opted for the leather seats personally. The leather appears more substantial and its smell is better than that of the leatherette.
I think "servotronic" applied to both, hydraulic and EPS. And interestingly enough it was always standard on 35i it seems. Now, it is in the base, no matter what you chose. But, it could be that M-Sport somewhat changes the steering, so that's another source of confusion.

Fully agreed on leather.
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