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      04-27-2013, 09:56 AM   #1
richard in NC
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My X3 After One Month

A few have asked for comparisons with an X5. I can provide some insights.
My X5 was a loaded '11 50i M Sport compared to a '13 X3 35i M Sport.

X3 pros: The X3 is smaller and feels more nimble. The X5 felt big in comparison. I just got 28 mpg on a long highway trip, the X5 couldn't crack 20, unless downhill. The X3 dynamic suspension has more range between soft and firm, plus the steering and throttle adjust too, but not on the X5. The X3 is very quiet and luxurious sounding when running around town. The X3 gauge cluster is more modern and has an oil temp gauge. I like the traditional thumb wheel to adjust the vent temp. Going into iDrive twice a day to adjust it in the X5 was a pain. To warm in the AM and back to cool on a hot day. The X3 M Sport has a heated wheel, but not in the X5. The X3 has the paddle shifters that weren't in the '11 X5. The X3 interior was given more thought for daily use, especially the back with bag hooks, dark materials, and a kick plate. The tan plastic in the X5 got marked up easily. Lastly, the X3 costs less and is a better value overall.

X5 pros: The biggest X5 pro was the super wide Bridgestone Dueller summer tires and the active roll stabilization. With no lean, the X5 had remarkable grip in corners for such a large heavy vehicle. I could chase an M3 on the twistiest of roads. The X3 Goodyear AS tires are a disappointment in comparison. Plus you need sport+ to corner as flat. I had the compact spare added to the X5, no option in the X3.
I had the nappa leather and leather dash in the X5, it always got remarks on how nice. The 20 way comfort seats in the X5 are remarkable but the sport seats in the X3 are pretty good on long trips too. The X5 had a few more luxury features such as auto power tilt wheel and auto seat side bolsters that would release on exit and return to the preset position on start up. The 4.4 TT V8 had tremendous low end torque and was easier to be quick off the line and for merging. It also had a unique growl when punched. But the X3 35i is pretty quick too when allowed to rev through the gears but is smooth and quiet when cruising. My X5 came with the rear entertainment off the lot. A rather expensive option that never got used. <no kids>.
There are other minor differences such as different cruise and steering wheel buttons are just differences to get used to.

Bottom line: The X5 was a leather lined brute of a vehicle but the X3 is a better all around daily driver.
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Gone '15 M5, '13 X3 35i, '12 335is, '11 X5 50i, '09 Z4 35i, '08 550i, 06 X3, 06 650i, '02 M5, '99 540i
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      04-27-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
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Nice comparo looks like downsizing has its benefits, there was also a forum member who moved from X6 to X3
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      04-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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Two lovely cars. I just had to sit in a new X5 to realise it was too big for my needs. Plus - I reckon that if the shopping slid to the back of the seats in the boot, I'd either have to get a pole with a hook or park facing uphill on a 30 degree incline (and I'm 6' 3'').
Nice comparison.
- F25 2.0d M Sport manual, DSB, black leather with fineline wave wood, Pan Sunroof, 368 M alloys, exterior trim and rails in matt aluminium, reversing camera, sun protection glass, windscreen with grey shade band, heated front seats, extended storage, powered tailgate, Xenon's, bluetooth c/w USB, DAB.
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      04-29-2013, 10:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by inamik75 View Post
Nice comparo looks like downsizing has its benefits, there was also a forum member who moved from X6 to X3
That's me. I had a 2011 X6 50i with the Dinan Stage 1 and Dinan Free Flow exhaust. Too much gas. loving my 2014 X3 Msport 35i. love the new faster iDrive and Navi. plus the black gauges.
2016 BMW X5 35i X Line Space Gray, Mocha Nappa Int, PureWood. Driver Assistance, Premium, Dynamic Handling, Light Pack LED, HarmanKardonSound Lux Seating w/ MultiContour, Dynamic Damper, Cermanic Ctrls, ACC StopGo. MODS: M Sport Steering Wheel w/Paddles Coded.
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      04-29-2013, 11:06 PM   #5
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      04-30-2013, 04:01 AM   #6
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A good comparison - thanks... nice pics too..
BMW i3 (BEV) 2014. . Capparis White. . Park Assist, Comfort Access, Enhanced USB
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      05-03-2013, 10:53 PM   #7
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Having owned 2 X6's, 1 2011 X5d and now my wife has a 2013 X5 35i, I would overall concur with the OP.

Only thing I would add is that the X5 has a much more luxurious interior fit and finish vs the X3...It's one of the reasons I miss the X5,

I hope the X4 is more upscale than the X3 as well.
Current Ride: 2016 535i\Xdrive\Mediterranean Blue\Oyster Nappa Interior\Premium\Cold Weather\Drivers Assistance\Drivers Assistance Plus\Harmon Kardon\Multicountour Seats

Previous Rides: M235xi, X3, E92 M3, E70 X5 35d, X6 50i, X6 35i, E60 550i, E46 M3 Cabriolet, E39 540i, E36 328i
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      05-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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I also have recently gone from the X5 to X3 and I don't find the X3 that much smaller - checking all the dimensions, it really is not a big difference in size, most of the difference is in the cargo area, that seems to be about 25-30% smaller. X3 weighs a lot less, so the 0-60 on the X3 35i is just 2-3 tenths off the x5 50i. I did not have extended leather, overall the interior of the X3 is 9/10th's of my X5 - the wood in the X5 was bettet looking, but it is better looking in my 2008 335i also. My X3 is loaded, but I do miss a few things from the X5 that are not available on the X3. I miss power adjustable steering column, I miss the comfort opening rear doors, the X3 only lets you do the front. X3 is a bit lower to the ground and easier to get in and out of, M-sport package looks nice, but the big 20" wheels and fat tires on the X5 looked killer. Overall the X5 is a better looking car (for now anyway - we will see how the new one looks). I am very happy with the new X3 and overall like a lot of the new features that the new X5 will get in September.
2008 E93 335i, MHD, HPF IC, Injen Intake, AR DPs, Xhp TCU Flash
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      05-07-2013, 04:42 PM   #9
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Nice info here. We struggled between the X3 and X5 decision for a good couple weeks. We opted for the X3 primarily due to:

1. Size - we are city drivers with a daily commute of under 5 miles (to and from). Parking and feel just seemed like a better fit.

2. MPG - I read enough about folks in their X5 getting 12-14 in the city. I will be happy if I get 15MPG in the city in the X3.

My wife currently has a CR-V AWD and get about 17.5.

It is supposedly on the truck and hope to pick up this weekend. I did like the interior better with the 5 as others have sited.

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      05-07-2013, 07:59 PM   #10
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I was treated to a brand new X5 diesel loaner for a couple of days and I enjoyed it very much, but it felt like driving a truck. If I remember right I got ~25+ mpg w/70% hwy. Definitely plenty of room to fit three comfortably in the rear seat and the extra rear storage space, other than that I prefer the X3 and agree a better all around SUV.
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