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      08-06-2010, 10:52 AM   #1
Jason
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Talking A Key New X3 Feature - Better Cupholders. Seriously.

No Joke Hey, if this actually increases U.S. X3 sales, more power to BMW!

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TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan -- BMW of North America was eager to improve several parts of the X3 for the new generation that goes on sale in the U.S. in January. Not least of those improvements were the cupholders.

Old X3: Bad cupholders. New X3: Good, Starbucks-friendly, American-style cupholders right below the center instrument panel.

The rise in BMW's U.S. sales over the past two years, even eclipsing BMW sales in the German home market, made designers and engineersin Munich more open to incorporating quirky American preferences, said Joe Wierda, the X3 product manager at BMW.

“That didn't mean we could take over the design,” Wierda said during a break in the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars here. “But it did mean we could get good cupholders and we won't get dinged by J.D. Power for not having them.

“That was one thing I spent the past three years doing -- trying to get the guys back in Munich to understand that we've got to get the cupholders right. We sent over Big Gulp cups and big McDonald's cups and said, ‘This is really what we have to address.' ”

It's an old joke at BMW and among the European automakers in general. Sensible German and French drivers wouldn't think of leaving for the office with a large mug of hot coffee sitting in the console of their luxury vehicle.

BMW's U.S. subsidiary has been pressing for better cupholders in its car interiors since at least the early 1990s, but with mixed results. When the first X3 appeared in 2003, engineers begrudgingly gave customers what were essentially water-bottle holders in the door panels. It was hardly adequate for American tastes and habits.

A generation later, the X3 faces a more competitive fight among a field of new small-crossover competitors, including the Acura RDX and Infiniti EX35.

BMW wants to reassert itself in the small-crossover segment, Wierda said.

“We've made improvements all over the vehicle, including an improved ride and a larger body,” he said. “But we also got the cupholders right.”

Through July, X3 sales in the United States are up 17 percent compared with the same period a year ago, to 3,998 vehicles, while BMW division sales have risen 9 percent. The U.S. market as a whole is up 15 percent.

Read more (Subscription Only): http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dl...#ixzz0vqEjTnGM
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      08-06-2010, 01:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stankia View Post
Pics?
I haven't seen a direct cupholders only photo, but you can see it in several of the official X3 photos:

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=408177
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      08-06-2010, 01:23 PM   #3
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I dont think the cupholders in my E92 are that bad.
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      08-06-2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bavarian19 View Post
I dont think the cupholders in my E92 are that bad.
Niether do I, but I can see how some people don't like them because they don't fit EVERY kind of cup or bottle...but it doesn't bother me
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      08-06-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
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not surprising, I remember reading that one of the most important features women look for when buying a vehicle is its cup holders. I'm more than happy with mine though
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      08-06-2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott@bmwhn View Post
not surprising, I remember reading that one of the most important features women look for when buying a vehicle is its cup holders. I'm more than happy with mine though
maybe...

but you gotta watch them when they check out a car..

first they get it,seat upright looking straighout and grabbing the steeringwheel.
A moment of silence.
Then they pull the mirror from above to see if it`s good for doing their make up stuff...then they look where you can store away all the stuff

and only after that the back seats and the trunk are being looked at.


"performance,hp,technical details - who needs that? "
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      08-06-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bavarian19 View Post
I dont think the cupholders in my E92 are that bad.
+1, I've never had any problems with the E92 or E90 cupholders - they are well engineered.
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      08-06-2010, 06:40 PM   #8
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i actually like my cupholders in my e92...
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      08-06-2010, 07:09 PM   #9
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Yep, i like my cupholders that can be hidden away.
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      08-06-2010, 08:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Crazy Bimmer View Post
Yep, i like my cupholders that can be hidden away.
+1

They just dont hold beer bottles real well.. Any acceleration/turning and those babies are a movin around
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      08-06-2010, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bavarian19 View Post
I dont think the cupholders in my E92 are that bad.
The E90/91/92 ones are gimmicky and crap.

So many times the front passenger will knock them off with their knees. or a small coffee cup with light and empty will almost eject itself.

http://x3.xbimmers.com/goodiesforyou.../P90063439.jpg

seems like a slightly cheaper version of the same ones as in the F10. The x3 ones are out in the open but the F10 ones have a cover and they sink lower when not in use which i prefer because I don't want to see them when not in use.
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      08-06-2010, 10:29 PM   #12
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I think the front cupholders in the M3 are adequate. I am very disappointed and confused why the M3 does not have cupholders in the back like the regular 3 series counterpart.
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      08-06-2010, 11:16 PM   #13
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I like the cupholders in my 1 series. The small one will simply hold an 12 oz aluminum can drink and the other one will hold up to a Venti Starbucks drink. Anything bigger than that is simply vulgar and the driver has no business in a BMW. They should drive a Lexus or maybe a Honda Fit with 10 cupholders for their fat high fructose corn syrup drinking selves.
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      08-07-2010, 12:33 AM   #14
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I am glad that they are bringing "proper" cupholders back here. The hidden cup holders on 3-series and 5-series are a joke to some extend. They are probably goo in a convertible or a smaller 1 series. They feel like taking up the passenger space and cut down the fact that you could use the cup holder space to put a cell phone or other stuff which you carry with you.. quite useful.. imho.
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      08-07-2010, 08:33 AM   #15
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Unlike most other typical Americans, I frankly could not care less about cupholders. I buy BMW for it's driving performance and handling abilities, not how many slurpees it can hold. Cupholders are nice to have, but not essential and won't have any impact on me either way. When I drive my bimmer, I drive my bimmer. I don't drink coffee or budweiser. I just focus on driving. If drivers are choosing BMW primarily because of the size of the cupholders, they are looking at the wrong brand.
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      08-07-2010, 09:52 AM   #16
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I really like the cupholders of the 1-/6 Series...
the cupholders in the 3er are not that good...
a small plastic bottle of coke does not stay in place when accelerating hard or cornering tight...
and the passengers always hit their knees on the cupjholders...which might be very embarassing at times!
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      08-07-2010, 10:10 AM   #17
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I think we are missing the point, Americans are mostly overweight, seriously, this articles mentions Big Gulps, McDonalds, fast food places, we don't want cup holders that fit water bottles that would be too healthy. Americans want to eat and drink in their cars. This is the difference between Americans and Germans.
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      08-07-2010, 02:43 PM   #18
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It's kinda amusing to me that cup holders get so much attention. Even more amusing to me that I'm actually gonna get in on this one...

The 3-series cup holders suck - I can't believe anyone actually likes them. They are a complete after thought. Wasn't there a version of the 3-series released in Yurp a couple years ago that was a stripper and had no in-dash cup holders? When the one for the driver is extended, it blocks the passenger vent. When the passenger one is extended it blocks the other passenger vent, and prevents the passenger from getting in/out of the car without clipping their knee. And when either one or both are extended and holding a tasty beverage container, it mucks up the beautifully designed lines of the interior.

BMW may say this design frees up console space and provides a bigger arm rest, but I don't buy. There are plenty of other car companies out there that are able to incorporate decent cup holders in the console, so why not BMW?

When I had a 3-series, I used to fold down the arm rest in the back and use the cup holders that extended out from that. Now those are fairly useful.

The 1-series has a great cup holder - the one mounted to the passenger side of the console. I find it very useful and well designed - except I've had mine replaced twice due to broken sporing clips.

BMW makes the best driving cars in their class. Period. Their strong point is obviously how their cars drive and look, but their weak points have always been creature comforts - which to some, when considering what a BMW is really about -driving - may not be important. VW/Audi have been really good about such amenities. The 3-series owner's manual doesn't even fit in the glove box, while the Passat has a slick little slot under the steering wheel for the manual, so the glove box is free and your manual is not sliding around in the trunk. I think it's great BMW is stepping up on the design of interior amenities.
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      08-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #19
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Or you could just make your own:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/s...-holder-74760/

http://www.lilligren.com/Redneck/redneck_cup_holder.htm

http://i41.tinypic.com/1z1xx09.jpg

http://myblackbrick.com/wp-content/u...s-extreme2.jpg

http://www.showcargarage.com/gallery...cupholder1.jpg

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/uploa...1209691278.jpg

http://z.about.com/d/autorepair/1/0/9/0/-/-/duct-tape-cup.JPG


http://lh5.google.co.uk/lez.briddon/...0/DSC00075.JPG
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      08-07-2010, 06:00 PM   #20
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I remember when I first got in an '06 E90 several years ago and saw the cupholders. I thought it was some cruel joke, or they were some type of "auxiliary" cupholders. They seemed like such an afterthought, and lacked functionality as described above.

Fat lazy Americans that like to eat and drink in their cars? No, more like when it's 105F in Texas in the summer, you're a fool if you don't leave the house with a cold bottle of water and expect to be running around town in the afternoon.
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      08-07-2010, 06:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bimmerforlife View Post
I think we are missing the point, Americans are mostly overweight, seriously, this articles mentions Big Gulps, McDonalds, fast food places, we don't want cup holders that fit water bottles that would be too healthy. Americans want to eat and drink in their cars. This is the difference between Americans and Germans.

+1 I think it's nuts that they are sending over big gulps and huge mcdonalds cups for mock ups. What does this say about Americans? It seems Americans have forgotten that they're operating a machine, "The Ultimate Driving Machine". Instead they'd rather feel like they're in their living or dinning rooms and the scenery outside their windows is simply a show on television they passively observe until they get to where they're going.

I would prefer my 135 to not have the cup holders or at least have the option to fold them away like the 3 series. Instead they are in the center console and just collect junk and are hard to clean out.

My 2 cents anyway.
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      08-07-2010, 06:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by BR3CK View Post
+1 I think it's nuts that they are sending over big gulps and huge mcdonalds cups for mock ups. What does this say about Americans? It seems Americans have forgotten that they're operating a machine, "The Ultimate Driving Machine". Instead they'd rather feel like they're in their living or dinning rooms and the scenery outside their windows is simply a show on television they passively observe until they get to where they're going.

I would prefer my 135 to not have the cup holders or at least have the option to fold them away like the 3 series. Instead they are in the center console and just collect junk and are hard to clean out.

My 2 cents anyway.

My point exactly. When I bought my first BMW in 1999, I learned then...that German just don't do this kind of stuff in their cars and I took notice and learned. Since that time, I never allow any food or drinks in my cars. I consider it a privileage to be a passenger in my vehicle, there driving cars, not a kitchen to sit and eat in.

Last edited by Bimmerforlife; 08-07-2010 at 07:00 PM.
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