Any BMW X3 experts/owners out there?

LexDiamond

Active Member
I have been considering changing my Qashqai for something else and have been having a look around. I've been happy with the Qashqai over the last 6 years however would now like something that rides better and a bit better built. Budget is around £20k and am looking at something 2015 or newer and so far the X3 seems to be the best option. I've been doing some research and can't really see much negative written about them in terms of reliability. I test drove one and really liked it. Only two things I noticed were that the driver footwell seemed a bit weird to me - it was almost level with where the seat frame is fitted. My Qashqai and all others I have seen usually have the footwell extend down on the driver side to the same length as the passenger footwell. But didn't seem to make a difference in terms of driving. Second was the dash - seemed a bit platicky but again not a big deal. I'm looking at 2.0d at the moment as that is what I drove yesterday and it was very good for my usage.

Does anybody own one or have knowledge of these? Would appreciate feedback. I'm open to other suggestions too. So far I have looked at:

Audi Q5 - looks are not for me.
Tiguan - looks not for me and still quite new so outside of budget for R-Line
Kia and Hyundai - didn't feel much better overall than the Qashqai
Ford Kuga - liked that they have decent petrol engine but again looks not for me and interior was not great
Seat Ateca and Skoda Kodiaq - I just didn't like these for some reason which was a shame as they have a nice petrol choice in their range
Honda CRV - I really liked this. Plenty of space for a compact SUV and great VFM. Still considering this
Nissan X-Trail - most seem to be 1.6dci which is not great performance for something this size
Lexus RX450 - above budget by £5k but has a proven petrol engine so am on the fence as to whether just pay more

Any feedback or suggestions much aporeciated.
 

zeppelino

Distinguished Member
I’d probably throw the Volvo XC60 into the mix.

I think the CRV is a 1.6 although initially came with a 2.2 diesel.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I’d probably throw the Volvo XC60 into the mix.

I think the CRV is a 1.6 although initially came with a 2.2 diesel.
I believe so, the 2.0 is petrol...
 

ashenfie

Well-known Member
Think about the crv many complain about the 2.2 being discontinued

The 2.0d x3 engine is the best option. Petrol not really a good option unless you’re going straight 6

No real issues on recent models, but an absolute must with any diesel is a full dealer service history.
 

LexDiamond

Active Member
Completely forgot to mention the XC60. I haven't looked into them yet but very interested as most in the used market seem to be high spec, reasonably priced and I like the more anonymous looks.

I also had a drive of an evoque yesterday and really liked it. I didn't feel it was small as alot of the reviews suggest however am worried more by the electrical issues reported.

I didn't realise Honda had dropped the 2.2 diesel on the CRV. I thought they offered the 2.2 and 1.6 still.
 

djbsom

Well-known Member
We're looking into a replacement for my wife's car and will probably go for a Sorrento but I've noticed that the Sante Fe is very highly regarded for all sorts of reasons. If we weren't after 7 seats I'd probably go for that.
 

LexDiamond

Active Member
I like the Sorrento. It's a nice size and shape but for what I'm looking for it is outside budget. There don't seem to be many around.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member

shodan

Distinguished Member
I have a much older x3, an 07 plate.
For me, I personally DETEST dashboards that feel plasticy. However with the x3 it is of such a quality that it doesn't feel cheap or plasticy.
My car is the 3.0d which brings its own price range with it, although it also delivers a level of fun I've only other experienced in the 3 series 3.0 and 3.5d beemers.
Go for the auto box, it would be a shame not to.
Apart from my horrendous running costs relating to the 3l engine, it's an absolutely sublime car to drive and even passengers love it.
Room in the back for 6ft-ers, the boot is cavernous and I just love being in mine.
When it comes for time to change, the 2L varient will be on my shortlist.
On a side note, when we had a foot or so of snow a couple of years back, the x3 was amazing and didn't miss a beat. It was so good that I even turned off the drivers aids once just to get it to misbehave in the snow, just for a bit of fun....

I came to this from a Honda Civic which had the 2.2d engine. Fantastic car, Honda designed and build the engine for it (aluminium block I believe) and it was almost flawless. In the civic, the engine they replaced it with across the the range apparently was only an improvement in every way, performance, mpg, sound etc etc despite being smaller. However I couldn't help thinking the CRV (although amazingly popular, especially with the older generation) would suffer with the newer engine in a big body. Especially as it was pretty slow to start with.

Go with the x3, much nicer looking than the audi option..
 

LexDiamond

Active Member
I have a much older x3, an 07 plate.
For me, I personally DETEST dashboards that feel plasticy. However with the x3 it is of such a quality that it doesn't feel cheap or plasticy.
My car is the 3.0d which brings its own price range with it, although it also delivers a level of fun I've only other experienced in the 3 series 3.0 and 3.5d beemers.
Go for the auto box, it would be a shame not to.
Apart from my horrendous running costs relating to the 3l engine, it's an absolutely sublime car to drive and even passengers love it.
Room in the back for 6ft-ers, the boot is cavernous and I just love being in mine.
When it comes for time to change, the 2L varient will be on my shortlist.
On a side note, when we had a foot or so of snow a couple of years back, the x3 was amazing and didn't miss a beat. It was so good that I even turned off the drivers aids once just to get it to misbehave in the snow, just for a bit of fun....

I came to this from a Honda Civic which had the 2.2d engine. Fantastic car, Honda designed and build the engine for it (aluminium block I believe) and it was almost flawless. In the civic, the engine they replaced it with across the the range apparently was only an improvement in every way, performance, mpg, sound etc etc despite being smaller. However I couldn't help thinking the CRV (although amazingly popular, especially with the older generation) would suffer with the newer engine in a big body. Especially as it was pretty slow to start with.

Go with the x3, much nicer looking than the audi option..

Thanks for the detailed response. Really appreciate it.

Yesterday I was doing a bit more research and came to the conclusion that I am overthinking this regarding the dash. As a whole the inside is very nice place to be and X3 as a whole is exactly what I want. Was looking at XC60s yesterday but in the end I want more power so decided on the X3 with 3.0 diesel. Definitely going auto as I want a car for lazy driving with power on tap.

When you say horrendous running costs is that mpg, insurance, VED kind of stuff you mean or are there other costs associated with the 3.0?
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
When you say horrendous running costs is that mpg, insurance, VED kind of stuff you mean or are there other costs associated with the 3.0?

8 litres of FST engine oil, fat rear tyres, 35MPG, etc
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
When you say horrendous running costs is that mpg, insurance, VED kind of stuff you mean or are there other costs associated with the 3.0?
Yes, all of the above. But mine is 11 years old and designed without a second thought for the environment..
Tyres are about £220 a corner too (I've just discovered)...
About 31mpg, highest tax price insurance is cruel for a 41 year old with a clean licence etc..
Definitely do your research before laying down the cash but if your do, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
£220? :eek:

You must be buying the runflats?

I just paid £258 for a rear set of Goodyear Eagle3s in 255/30/19.
 

zeppelino

Distinguished Member
D5 XC60 is plenty powerful. And you could always look at getting it remapped...

£220 for one tyre though. Crikey
 

shodan

Distinguished Member

mjn

Distinguished Member

shodan

Distinguished Member
Hmmmm, more likely the xdrive?

Think i’ve the same autobox as you, the ZF unit?
Yes the X Drive, dunno about the name of the box though, it's 6 speed....
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Yes the X Drive, dunno about the name of the box though, it's 6 speed....

On the M57 engine of 2007 vintage? I’m 99% certain it’s the ZF box. If you fancy some better / faster / smoother changes, check out the XHP software.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
Did I mention I had it remapped...? Not done a rolling road but it is flipping rediculous..
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Did I mention I had it remapped...? Not done a rolling road but it is flipping rediculous..

In that case, get the gearbox ECU remapped as well. It takes 0.5 seconds off the 0-62 time for starters. All you need is an Android tablet / phone.
 

shodan

Distinguished Member
In that case, get the gearbox ECU remapped as well. It takes 0.5 seconds off the 0-62 time for starters. All you need is an Android tablet / phone.
It'll be a while before my priorities allow me to spend £££ to shave half a second off the 0-62 time. 80% of my driving is commuting to and from work...
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Silly question but expensive tyres are not a 3.0 issue? Would it not be the same tyres on a 2.0?

Same tyres, but the 3.0 has a shed load more torque.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
It'll be a while before my priorities allow me to spend £££ to shave half a second off the 0-62 time. 80% of my driving is commuting to and from work...

It offers more than a quicker 0-62 time. It offers an improved warmup procedure to extend the life of the box, smoother changes, raises torque limits, etc
 

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