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XBimmers | BMW X3 Forum > BMW X3 Forums | F25 (2011 - Current) > Second Generation BMW X3 General Forum » Extended test drive - 20D

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      05-13-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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Extended test drive - 20D

After a somewhat disasterous first impression at the local dealership, they've started to come good. Remains to be seen if they'll match prices with another dealer but we'll see.

Last night I had unlimited km in a 20D and had a bit of fun with a mix of suburban, rough tarmac, highways followed by some nice bends (anybody in Sydney will know the strip between Berowra and Brooklyn - very nice albeit too breif strip of road).

For anybody still wondering about the output of the 20D engine, this is a two faced car. Upto 100kph the engine revs and accelerates nicely, extremely sporty in fact. Steep climbs at 110+ were still fine, but beyond that there is slow acceleration and you'd need to plan any overtaking in advance but this would account for less than 1% of any driving we do. I came away feeling like I don't need a 30D afterall and could spend the difference on options, but will get dynamic dampers and performance control to sharpen it up a little.

Apexing on a deserted road is a little limited at first by the slightly numb steering but it is accurate, and once you've dialed into the car it is perfectly ok for most people I would think. At no time did we push it to a point where the car electronics complained but we still got a huge rush from the drive, so much that we had to go back down the hill and do it all again! My wifes comment was she felt like she was hovering above the road - the ride was incredibly smooth. I'd prefer a little more feedback but its not a deal breaker - pushed hard in the curves the car remains flat and lany oss of traction would come well after we exceeded our comfort zone. On the rough tarmac it was still fineand the xdrive always felt very secure.

But - and there's always a but... We are coming from a small car with a tight turn circle so this feels very large, especially when parking. In our space we have a vespa at the rear and a pillar next to the drivers door so its tight and this may be a deal breaker for us. The length of the car meant that it has to be parked perfectly of the rear door cant be opened without clipping the vespa. Parking elsewhere felt difficult but thats small car experience and once I know its dimensions it'll be fine. It felt like I was about to hit things but really had 30-50cm of room. Turning circle is very large and we came unstuck a few times - again its just experience.

Probably do the same with an X1 next week.
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      05-14-2011, 03:27 AM   #2
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It will of course feel much larger than your old car but you are getting much more space. In the uk parking sensors are standard but I would say they are a must for anyone. Even better the top view camera.

Re the engine my 20d is starting to loosen up nicely now and I have been impressed with it's ability to apply the power. You don't mention whether it was an auto or manual you test drove. Against the majority I have a manual gearbox and I think it's great. Yes at higher speeds you have to drop down from 6th to really plant some acceleration but I had to do that a lot more so in my old car.

Given how the 20d is and how fast it is all I can say is I wish we could get the 35i in the uk as it must be a monster. Quite jealous of our US cousins in that respect.
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