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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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  #1  
Old 08-24-2019, 06:36 PM
acarpenter acarpenter is offline
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Is the 2015-2017 x3 "worth it"?

My wife is due for a new car and I'm thinking of getting her an X3.
We are finding that in our range we can easily get a 2011-2014, but I'm drawn to the 2015-2017 for visuals, and the updated engine. Do you guys think the newer one is worth it assuming the odometer and condition were the same-ish?

I do my own maintenance (had a 525xi e60 and currently a 335xi e92).
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2019, 07:35 PM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is online now
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You want to avoid the N20/N26 two-liter, four-cylinder engines made before January 2015, which means avoiding any car/SUV that has one made before maybe March 2015. They have a design flaw in the timing chain. BMW's gave these engines a six-year, 70k mile extended warranty. But, all those warranties will expire in less than 18 months. If the timing chain lets go, it usually totals the engine, and a new engine costs more than the car/SUV in them is worth. It would cost about $4k to upgrade an early N20/N26 with the redesigned parts.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2019, 03:56 AM
acarpenter acarpenter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoputzer View Post
You want to avoid the N20/N26 two-liter, four-cylinder engines made before January 2015, which means avoiding any car/SUV that has one made before maybe March 2015. They have a design flaw in the timing chain. BMW's gave these engines a six-year, 70k mile extended warranty. But, all those warranties will expire in less than 18 months. If the timing chain lets go, it usually totals the engine, and a new engine costs more than the car/SUV in them is worth. It would cost about $4k to upgrade an early N20/N26 with the redesigned parts.
I had certainly heard of the timing chain issue, but thanks for the details.
So, are there some 2015 LCIs floating around with the older engine?
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2019, 04:24 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acarpenter View Post
I had certainly heard of the timing chain issue, but thanks for the details.
So, are there some 2015 LCIs floating around with the older engine?
Probably. I read somewhere that the engines got the upgrade starting with January 2015 production. But, it takes a while for those new engines to start actually being installed in vehicles. That time would be longer for X3's, since the engines have to take a boat ride from Germany to Spartanburg, SC.

I think a VIN decoder website would tell the date a vehicle was assembled. I'd be wary of any X3 built in February 2015 for earlier.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2019, 05:39 AM
Rustynuts Rustynuts is offline
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So, best to look for a 2016 or newer? I was also looking at a 2014 for affordability, but this is disheartening. Are the 3.5i models immune to this engine problem?
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2019, 06:29 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is online now
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Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
So, best to look for a 2016 or newer? I was also looking at a 2014 for affordability, but this is disheartening. Are the 3.5i models immune to this engine problem?
… or a late 2015.

There were two turbocharged in-line sixes in that era: the N54 and the N55. The N54 was more prone to carbon build-up (CBU). According to the X3's Wikipedia page, BMW switched to the N55 from the naturally aspirated N52 sometime in the 2011 model year.

The N55's only real common problem is leaking oil filter housings.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2019, 07:09 AM
kevink4 kevink4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
So, best to look for a 2016 or newer? I was also looking at a 2014 for affordability, but this is disheartening. Are the 3.5i models immune to this engine problem?
Yes. It is the 6 cylinder model.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2019, 06:44 PM
acarpenter acarpenter is offline
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Well, not having much luck finding any 2015 or 16s with the b48. I found a 2016 with manufacture date 8-4-15 and it still has n20 based on VIN decoder.

Kinda sucks... How much worse is x3 35i gas mileage again? Haha
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2019, 07:15 PM
acarpenter acarpenter is offline
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Did you guys mean they did an updated n20? And then the b48 is for the next gen?
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2019, 09:26 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acarpenter View Post
Did you guys mean they did an updated n20? And then the b48 is for the next gen?
Yes, the N20 was updated in January 2015. The B48 was in the next generation X3 (US models).
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  #11  
Old 08-26-2019, 08:12 AM
235301 235301 is offline
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I would avoid the N20 altogether and get the 6/35i if you are hell bent on getting an X3. I have a 525xi as well, 7 years older than my 2013 X3 4/28i. At this pt in time, I have greater confidence in the 525, 6 cyl/naturally aspirated engine than that 4 cyl that's in the X3. The only good thing I can say on my X3 now that the 100k/extended warranty has passed, that it has a new timing chain and turbos so hopefully I can get a couple of more relatively trouble free years out of it. With the 525, my worst worry are electronic modules going down, given the age. The X3 I worry about the engine eating itself.

Last edited by 235301; 08-26-2019 at 07:19 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-30-2019, 04:26 AM
hogwldfltr hogwldfltr is online now
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Here is a list I found of some common N55 problems. I was warned by a local shop about the water pump being a weakness and potential engine killer. The next oil change they will check the oil filter for metal chards.

https://bmwtuning.co/n55-common-problems/

Last edited by hogwldfltr; 08-30-2019 at 04:42 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2019, 11:02 AM
pgold1230 pgold1230 is offline
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I have a '13 X3 3.5i m-sport. I would simply not get this car with the four cylinder engine, which lacks the heft, power, and sound of the six. The inline six is smooth as silk. I have nearly 60K miles on my car and have had zero issues. Love the car. Mileage averages around 22mpg city/highway. Not great, but worth it to me.
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2019, 05:06 AM
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kyfdx kyfdx is offline
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We had a 2011 with the six, and now own a 2017 with the turbo 4. As much as I love the BMW 6 cylinder (ZHP owner), I would pick the turbo, hands down.

So far, 35K miles, with no issues (I know, not a long history, but there you go)
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2019, 08:37 AM
[email protected] natejeo@gmail.c is offline
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I have a 2014 x3 xdrive35i and I have to take it to the shop tomorrow to check out the engine. I think its just the lifter tick but it sounds like a diesel big rig right now. Not sure what they will say but hopefully its nothing serious.


Last edited by [email protected]; 09-04-2019 at 08:48 AM.
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  #16  
Old 09-04-2019, 09:17 AM
Navillus09 Navillus09 is offline
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Natejeo,
I'd be interested to know what you find out. I have the same sound in my 2013 X3 35i.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2019, 09:22 AM
[email protected] natejeo@gmail.c is offline
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The car runs perfect and if you're in the car with air and radio on you don't even notice it. I'm not sure what to think really but it drives me nuts that it makes this sound. The dealer said it was due for spark plugs to be changed, but wanted to do a diagnostic first to make sure the engine is fine.
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  #18  
Old 09-04-2019, 03:27 PM
hogwldfltr hogwldfltr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgold1230 View Post
I have a '13 X3 3.5i m-sport. I would simply not get this car with the four cylinder engine, which lacks the heft, power, and sound of the six. The inline six is smooth as silk. I have nearly 60K miles on my car and have had zero issues. Love the car. Mileage averages around 22mpg city/highway. Not great, but worth it to me.
That mileage is about what I'm getting on my 2014 35i. I'm certain driving style has something to do with it. I love the feel of the six twin turbo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyfdx View Post
We had a 2011 with the six, and now own a 2017 with the turbo 4. As much as I love the BMW 6 cylinder (ZHP owner), I would pick the turbo, hands down.

So far, 35K miles, with no issues (I know, not a long history, but there you go)
I don't think the naturally aspirated six is in the same league as the twin turbo six from what I understand. Again I love the feel of the six in mine. I can't imagine it with the four as I had a mini with the four. A great engine in a lighter car. I had a loaner Mini Countryman and even in that the four felt sluggish. That's the same frame and engine as the X1.
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  #19  
Old 09-09-2019, 02:08 PM
Ipabrew Ipabrew is offline
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2015 x3

I bought a CPO 2015 x3 35i. ( in-line 6 engine w 300 hp ).

Admittedly I am a low mileage driver ( 4500-5000 a year or so ) but I really like this machine.

Longest single continuous drive so far w/o stopping is 120 miles . Comfortable

Getting 17.3 mpg in town ...
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  #20  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:34 AM
pgold1230 pgold1230 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogwldfltr View Post
That mileage is about what I'm getting on my 2014 35i. I'm certain driving style has something to do with it. I love the feel of the six twin turbo.
Agree completely. The turbo inline six in the 3.5i x-drive X3 is wonderful. Quick, responsive, and sounds great. I'm trying to find an excuse to trade it on a new or slightly used Macan S, and can't.
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  #21  
Old 09-14-2019, 07:56 AM
nate[email protected] natejeo@gmail.c is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navillus09 View Post
Natejeo,
I'd be interested to know what you find out. I have the same sound in my 2013 X3 35i.
They've had the car for a couple of weeks. The shop worked with BMW NA to try and resolve what the issue is and have come back with a 3-step repair process. I'm hoping all I need is the first step. They have been really great to work with and my SA has been the best!

1. Change Lifters
2. Change Head Gasket
3. Replace engine
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  #22  
Old 09-15-2019, 04:40 AM
hogwldfltr hogwldfltr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgold1230 View Post
Agree completely. The turbo inline six in the 3.5i x-drive X3 is wonderful. Quick, responsive, and sounds great. I'm trying to find an excuse to trade it on a new or slightly used Macan S, and can't.
Yes, the Porsches with the LED lights are quite attractive. I seriously would consider one however not with a small engine (I4). The six in the X3 definitely is superior in my mind.
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