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XBimmers | BMW X3 Forum > BMW X3 Forums | F25 (2011 - Current) > Second Generation BMW X3 General Forum » Test drove F25 X3 - xDrive20d and xDrive35i

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      11-19-2010, 12:50 PM   #1
T89
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Lightbulb Test drove F25 X3 - xDrive20d and xDrive35i

Just got back from my local dealership. They just received three 20d's and two 35i's earlier this week. Took both 20d and 35i out for about half an hour or so.

X3 looks much better in real life than in photos. I love the rear end. Looks purposeful. However, not so sure about the front end. I guess it'll grow on me. Also looks bigger than it does in photos. Exactly like an e53 x5. Was also surprised by interior space, especially at the back. More space than I was expecting. Quality is way up. Everything felt nice to touch and looked expensive. One of the highlights. First impressions were good.

Now on to the test drives.

X3 xDrive20d

Took a 20d first. Sapphire black. Automatic tranny. No idrive. No bi-xenons. Pretty basic. Had x-line design package. Adds a few matt silver trim on the front bumper, sideskirts, rear bumper and around the windows. Looks good with sapphire black. The contrast between black and silver makes it look classy. But if you were going for a more sporty look, then it would be better without.

The engine was great around town. A lot of low end power. Noisy though and really feels rough when you get up from a stop. But other than that it is fine around town. On highway, you can really tell it's a diesel. Runs out of puff quickly. Was cruising at 120km/h, accelerated to overtake, but took a quite a while to get up to 150km/h. Maybe I should've tried downshifting manually first. I suspect the upcoming 30d would solve this problem. However, I think this engine will be quite popular in Europe. Adequate power for the average person. Great fuel economy and carbon emissions. Calculated range was 800km on full tank!

Handling was also good. This 20d didn't have the performance control with the sport, sport+ button and neither did it have servotronic. Steering without servotronic felt light. Around town was good, but on the highway it was too light for my liking. Suspension was stiff but not uncomfortable. You could still feel all the bumps passing through but still comfortable.

X3 xDrive35i

Ok now I had a base line to compare against the 35i.

35i I tested was space grey without the x-line package. Looked good without it on this color. Space grey looks amazing on the x3. Looks classy and sporty at the same time (but then again I'm biased since my z4 is space grey ). Beige interior (forgot what it's called) with 'wave' wood interior trim. This trim is really nice. Really interesting to look at. It had full options. idrive, sport tranny, performance control, servotronic, bi xenons with LED angel eyes (sooo cool), top view camera, sport seats and whatever you could think of.

Wow! 35i with performance control and sport tranny just blew me away. What an engine! New n55 is just so smooth. Just endless power right through the rev range. After a few minutes I decided to skip the highway and take it up to some twisties in the mountain instead. Sport button engaged, the suspension tightens up and the steering instantly feels heavier. Tranny into manual and off I went. I couldn't stop smiling. The car feels so good around these corners. I was able to push it harder than in my z4. Also felt more confident in the x3 than in my z4 around these twisties. That's saying a lot. Because I love my z4.

As I made my way back down the mountain towards the dealership. I put the car back into automatic, normal mode and just cruised. It changes completely. Very docile. Very comfortable. This car combined with the n55 is just so good. Way better than expected. Just blown away.

I think I've found my 2nd car. X3 xDrive35i with performance control and sport transmission.

Now imagine what an X3 M or iS could be like. I can't wait. I hope Bmw is listening.

(Sorry no photos as it was dark as I got back from the test drives)


T

Last edited by T89; 11-19-2010 at 01:02 PM.
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      11-19-2010, 04:05 PM   #2
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Thanks for your quick review!
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      11-19-2010, 05:30 PM   #3
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Great review, thanks! I'm heading off to test-drive on Sunday. Personally looking forward to 30d or whatever they call it (N55 with diesel), will be a great company to my 135i.

Seems like I will be ticking a lot of options!
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      11-19-2010, 11:57 PM   #4
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Great Review!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexxeech View Post
Great review, thanks! I'm heading off to test-drive on Sunday. Personally looking forward to 30d or whatever they call it (N55 with diesel), will be a great company to my 135i.

Seems like I will be ticking a lot of options!
I'm also looking at getting the diesel model. Are you also able to post your review of the 20d model?

Cheers,
MPK
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      11-20-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexxeech View Post
Great review, thanks! I'm heading off to test-drive on Sunday. Personally looking forward to 30d or whatever they call it (N55 with diesel), will be a great company to my 135i.

Seems like I will be ticking a lot of options!
At launch, 20d and 35i are available. 28i will be available for order in January for March delivery. 30d will be available for order in March for April/May delivery. M pack will be available for April/May orders for June delivery.

That's what I've been told by my SA. Of course this is based on Swiss market but I'm assuming it should be the same for most of Europe.

30d will come with the same engine as in x5 xdrive 30d albeit slightly tweaked. This would be my diesel of choice as it's already strong enough in an x5 and would make up for the lack of power higher in the rev range in the 20d.

Something I'd like to clear up. The F25 isn't the best suv/sav out there handling wise. That goes to the x6 M and new cayenne. It's just that it was much more than what I was expecting out of it. Caught me by surprise. That's why I gave it high marks.

I just drove my Dad's x5 35d this morning. Quick comparison would be that the ride is stiffer in the x5. X5 is compared to sport mode on the F25. Normal mode is smoother.


T
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      11-22-2010, 10:30 AM   #6
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Thanks for your review, especially the following comment :"Steering without servotronic felt light." The same thing my dealer told me that servotronic is good and is not the same as a similar system offered before. Another reason for steering feeling light is the smaller engine. I drove 320i e92 and the steering felt really light, with a bigger engine same car with same options the steering is heavier (I presume it has to do with the weight of the engine as well). Anyways I will order mine (3.0d) with servotronic and it will also be space gray!
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      11-22-2010, 11:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Croatian View Post
Thanks for your review, especially the following comment :"Steering without servotronic felt light." The same thing my dealer told me that servotronic is good and is not the same as a similar system offered before. Another reason for steering feeling light is the smaller engine. I drove 320i e92 and the steering felt really light, with a bigger engine same car with same options the steering is heavier (I presume it has to do with the weight of the engine as well). Anyways I will order mine (3.0d) with servotronic and it will also be space gray!
I would say that steering feel around town at low speeds is almost, if not exactly the same with or without servotronic. It's when you get up to speeds on the highway that you feel a difference. With servotronic the steering becomes heavier. That way the car feels more stable.

I'm not so sure about a bigger engine making the steering heavier. I think it depends more on the tires/wheel combination. 320i would normally come with smaller wheels than say a 335i. There's a difference when switching between winter and summer sets. My summers are 19' and winters 17'. Steering becomes lighter with winters on. I have servotronic.


T
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      11-22-2010, 01:30 PM   #8
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Thx for this great review!
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      11-22-2010, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T89 View Post
30d will come with the same engine as in x5 xdrive 30d albeit slightly tweaked. This would be my diesel of choice as it's already strong enough in an x5 and would make up for the lack of power higher in the rev range in the 20d.

Something I'd like to clear up. The F25 isn't the best suv/sav out there handling wise. That goes to the x6 M and new cayenne.
And for the same amount of cash (at least in Norway) for the 3.0D you can buy a VW Touareg which is bigger, handles almost like a Cayenne and is all round a better buy. I tried to fit 3 carseats in the X3, I can't but I can in the Touareg.
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      11-23-2010, 11:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeh View Post
Uh...yeah. Ok. Right. Is this guy a marketing plant from BMW?
Haha thanks, but no. Around those particular corners up in the mountains, the x3 felt better. Road isn't completely smooth and with the z4, the rear can seem a bit skittish and crash on the imperfections (I suspect due to the low profile tires), so naturally speed has to lowered. X3 is smoother on those imperfections because of the damping and wheels/tires combo so I could push harder.


T

Last edited by T89; 11-23-2010 at 06:11 PM.
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      11-23-2010, 12:42 PM   #11
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Now thats why I am selling my 328 XI Coupe with the 18 in sport package in NJ I have 12000 miles and had to change 1 wheel and 2 tires , I dont even push the car hard the roads in NJ stick , But I love my BMW , so to keep in it the same family I ordered X28i , with more rubber on the road .
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      11-29-2010, 06:31 PM   #12
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MikeyV: X3 is much more sportier than the Touareg.. I don t know if will someone compare these two cars because they are in different classes, so it s normal for the Touareg to be roomier. Other than that I don t see any other advantage for the Wolfsburg manufacturer
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