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      12-06-2010, 12:25 AM   #1
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Post Automobile 2011 X3 First Drive Review

Automobile has published its first drive review of the all new 2011 BMW X3. As with most other reviews and first impressions, the 2011 X3 is considered a vast improvement upon the first generation X3. Automobile calls it swifter, more agile, and significantly more refined than its predecessor.

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Nineteen-ninety-nine wasn't so long ago that we've forgotten the hullabaloo over the prospect of BMW building a sport-utility vehicle -- and building it in America, no less. But the original X5 was a real BMW after all, a 5-series-based charmer that heroically set up the 3-series-based X3 that followed a few years later. Unfortunately, the X3 proved somewhat less than worthy of its BMW roundel. It wasn't bad to look at and it was difficult to fault in the powertrain department, but road manners were on the iffy side and its lackluster interior was a serious downer. The package improved with a top-to-bottom refresh for 2007, but let's just say there'll be few tears shed over the passing of the first-generation X3.

From the curb, there's no mistaking the entirely new 2011 X3 for anything but an X3, but don't hold that against it. This is a superior vehicle: swifter, more agile, and significantly more refined than its predecessor. The sheetmetal is decidedly more twenty-first-century. The car is stout and handsome from most angles, with a dramatic swoosh on its flanks and character creases all over (the hood alone has six). The kidney-shaped grille openings are larger and tipped forward, and the headlamps are smaller but just as weirdly shaped as the old model's. At the rear, the taillamps are neatly refined, although we could do without the body-color valance under the rear bumper.
Full in depth review continued at http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews...ive/index.html
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      12-06-2010, 10:49 AM   #2
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As a previous owner of a 2004 X3 for 6 years, I will say this, the new X3 is no longer a X3. It is essentially a baby X5.

What I loved about the old X3 is gone. It's simple interior, its stout ride (soccer moms complain all you want), its willingness to please in the corners, and most importantly A MANUAL TRANSMISSION!

BMW truly lost a niche when they dropped that. All of this new "BMW" has put a sour taste in my mouth. As result I'm done. I most likely never buy a new BMW again. In fact my X3's replacement, my E90 will be gone soon.

BMW can call me when you make cars like the E46 or E83 again, then and only then will I return.

As for the reviewers, including the ones in this article, all of the things you mentioned as not being "BMW" in the old X3, you are quite mistaken.....
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      12-06-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minicrazy592 View Post
As a previous owner of a 2004 X3 for 6 years, I will say this, the new X3 is no longer a X3. It is essentially a baby X5.
As a former owner of an 07 X3, I say THANK Heavens the NEW X3 isn't like the old X3.

Saw one yesterday at a Car show in Tampa. Now the X3 is a BMW level SAV! the old X3 was a stain on the BMW brand. This new X3 is really what you would expect from BMW!
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      12-06-2010, 12:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ChasVS View Post
As a former owner of an 07 X3, I say THANK Heavens the NEW X3 isn't like the old X3.

Saw one yesterday at a Car show in Tampa. Now the X3 is a BMW level SAV! the old X3 was a stain on the BMW brand. This new X3 is really what you would expect from BMW!
I saw the X3 for the first time at that very same auto show and loved it as well.

BTW what kind of shitty auto show was that?? No Land Rover, no Porsche, no Audi, no Ferrari, there were no M cars, no AMG's... extremely disappointed to say the least
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      12-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minicrazy592 View Post
As a previous owner of a 2004 X3 for 6 years, I will say this, the new X3 is no longer a X3. It is essentially a baby X5.

What I loved about the old X3 is gone. It's simple interior, its stout ride (soccer moms complain all you want), its willingness to please in the corners, and most importantly A MANUAL TRANSMISSION!

BMW truly lost a niche when they dropped that. All of this new "BMW" has put a sour taste in my mouth. As result I'm done. I most likely never buy a new BMW again. In fact my X3's replacement, my E90 will be gone soon.
Each to their own, in my opinion it is a vast improvement over old X3

I think the sales figures will speak for themselves

Having always driven manual shift (BMW 3 & 5 Series, Jaguars) I can say the 8 speed auto in the new X3 is bloody fantastic.

What will replace the E90?
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      12-07-2010, 10:15 AM   #6
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pretty fast for an X3...5.5 0-60! That thing will keep up with the rest of the N55 powered lineup lol...
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      12-07-2010, 11:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minicrazy592 View Post
As a previous owner of a 2004 X3 for 6 years, I will say this, the new X3 is no longer a X3. It is essentially a baby X5.

What I loved about the old X3 is gone. It's simple interior, its stout ride (soccer moms complain all you want), its willingness to please in the corners, and most importantly A MANUAL TRANSMISSION!

BMW truly lost a niche when they dropped that. All of this new "BMW" has put a sour taste in my mouth. As result I'm done. I most likely never buy a new BMW again. In fact my X3's replacement, my E90 will be gone soon.

BMW can call me when you make cars like the E46 or E83 again, then and only then will I return.

As for the reviewers, including the ones in this article, all of the things you mentioned as not being "BMW" in the old X3, you are quite mistaken.....
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your future rides. On a side note, the things you are complaining about will probably be on the new x1.

With that said, I'm trying to convince my gf to buy a x3 with the n55. Can you imagine a x3 with 400hp!!
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      12-07-2010, 11:46 AM   #8
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With that said, I'm trying to convince my gf to buy a x3 with the n55. Can you imagine a x3 with 400hp!!
You should be able to apply the tunes made for 335 and 135 since it's the same platform. Not quite cayenne turbo territory but considering it's half the price
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      12-07-2010, 11:51 AM   #9
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You should be able to apply the tunes made for 335 and 135 since it's the same platform. Not quite cayenne turbo territory but considering it's half the price
Exactly. Think about it, jb4 or procede, dp, and meth, xdrive... you have a 12 second grocery grabber. I can just imagine pulling up to some modded cars and just leaving them in the dust
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      03-12-2011, 06:35 PM   #10
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2011 - X3 >>no manual transmission

I currently own a 2004 X3 with manual that performs beautifully and is a hoot to drive but it appears that the manual option has been deleted in favour of the "soccer mom" crowd.

I will not consider purchasing a new X3 unless BMW includes the manual as an option for those owners who enjoy the driving experience with a little more input ( I don't even mind paying extra for the manual).

Perhaps a diesel / or M version with manual option would be great. Considering that the X1 has several manual options why not include this option for the North America X3.
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      03-12-2011, 07:31 PM   #11
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Brother, I'm no soccer mom.
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      03-12-2011, 07:42 PM   #12
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I used to be a die-hard manual transmission guy too. But I'd be insane to claim that a manual transmission offers better performance than the 8 speed auto in my X3. When a manual transmission starts to offer better performance, it's time to move on.

And lets be realistic. The last gen X3 was one of BMW's worst cars.
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      03-12-2011, 08:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subman View Post
I currently own a 2004 X3 with manual that performs beautifully and is a hoot to drive but it appears that the manual option has been deleted in favour of the "soccer mom" crowd.

I will not consider purchasing a new X3 unless BMW includes the manual as an option for those owners who enjoy the driving experience with a little more input ( I don't even mind paying extra for the manual).

Perhaps a diesel / or M version with manual option would be great. Considering that the X1 has several manual options why not include this option for the North America X3.
You may want a manual transmission, but then when you drive this 8 speed, you'll bite your tongue. With the paddles, or even just sport mode, shifting is pretty quick, and with 8 gears, you can get your RPMs up quickly without breaking the speed limit TOO much. It sounds fantastic if you get the 35i. And the dynamic handling package is not a soccer mom choice.

We are not soccer moms. We are people with just as much driving enthusiasm as you, if not more. So go drive the car, cause you'll feel a lot more comfortable without compromising ANY driving feel or experience. And the wide track makes it more agile...AND I know I'm right...I drove the X3 in 2004 and in 2007...I know exactly what changed.
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      03-12-2011, 08:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MA78 View Post
I used to be a die-hard manual transmission guy too. But I'd be insane to claim that a manual transmission offers better performance than the 8 speed auto in my X3. When a manual transmission starts to offer better performance, it's time to move on.

And lets be realistic. The last gen X3 was one of BMW's worst cars.
amen.
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      03-12-2011, 08:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juddholland View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by subman View Post
I currently own a 2004 X3 with manual that performs beautifully and is a hoot to drive but it appears that the manual option has been deleted in favour of the "soccer mom" crowd.

I will not consider purchasing a new X3 unless BMW includes the manual as an option for those owners who enjoy the driving experience with a little more input ( I don't even mind paying extra for the manual).

Perhaps a diesel / or M version with manual option would be great. Considering that the X1 has several manual options why not include this option for the North America X3.
You may want a manual transmission, but then when you drive this 8 speed, you'll bite your tongue. With the paddles, or even just sport mode, shifting is pretty quick, and with 8 gears, you can get your RPMs up quickly without breaking the speed limit TOO much. It sounds fantastic if you get the 35i. And the dynamic handling package is not a soccer mom choice.

We are not soccer moms. We are people with just as much driving enthusiasm as you, if not more. So go drive the car, cause you'll feel a lot more comfortable without compromising ANY driving feel or experience. And the wide track makes it more agile...AND I know I'm right...I drove the X3 in 2004 and in 2007...I know exactly what changed.
And amen.
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      03-12-2011, 09:59 PM   #16
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A 2004 X3 driver claiming "sport king" status 'cause it had a manual transmission? Really?! REALLY?!?

I love this F25 and am amazed by how aggressively it can be driven, but I wouldn't hang my driving creds on it . . . well, then again I do have DHP and the upgraded stereo . . . .

Off to troll for soccer moms . . .
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      03-13-2011, 07:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahoa View Post
A 2004 X3 driver claiming "sport king" status 'cause it had a manual transmission? Really?! REALLY?!?

I love this F25 and am amazed by how aggressively it can be driven, but I wouldn't hang my driving creds on it . . . well, then again I do have DHP and the upgraded stereo . . . .

Off to troll for soccer moms . . .
Well you know what I mean. It's just a great driving car. Both the X3 and the X5 are characteristically different from other SUVs because they are among the few that actually feel like cars.

And granted the old one does feel like an agile car, but we have a better appointed interior.
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      03-13-2011, 07:58 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juddholland View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahoa View Post
A 2004 X3 driver claiming "sport king" status 'cause it had a manual transmission? Really?! REALLY?!?

I love this F25 and am amazed by how aggressively it can be driven, but I wouldn't hang my driving creds on it . . . well, then again I do have DHP and the upgraded stereo . . . .

Off to troll for soccer moms . . .
Well you know what I mean. It's just a great driving car. Both the X3 and the X5 are characteristically different from other SUVs because they are among the few that actually feel like cars.

And granted the old one does feel like an agile car, but we have a better appointed interior.

I've driven the old X3 and i don't think it's anywhere near as agile as the F25. I'd happily go tet a tet at the track against and <2011 X3 with confidence.
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      03-13-2011, 07:59 PM   #19
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I've driven the old X3 and i don't think it's anywhere near as agile as the F25. I'd happily go tet a tet at the track against and <2011 X3 with confidence.
This should happen.
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      03-13-2011, 08:05 PM   #20
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I really like the exterior of the old X3 and the interior of the new X3. I prefer manual transmissions (MT) on cars because I think they are more fun to drive and I have a 6MT sedan. I think we will all agree that it is a preference. On SUVs/SAVs my opinion is that if you combine a sophisticated engine and auto transmission (AT) you get great results like an X3/X5/X6. I owned two manual Jeep Wranglers and you wanted the control off road and you needed the MT because they were underpowered. I do not plan to take my X3 off road perhaps a farm or dirt road but I would be curious if all of the electronics would assist off road like hill descent and so forth. I also believe the AT in the BMW provides stellar acceleration and fuel economy. Take a look at the new Grand Cherokee. It has a modern V6 engine but the old 5-speed AT slows it down while burning extra fuel.
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      03-13-2011, 08:20 PM   #21
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Ando [quote=ando;9119876] I do not plan to take my X3 off road perhaps a farm or dirt road but I would be curious if all of the electronics would assist off road like hill descent and so forth. I also believe the AT in the BMW provides stellar acceleration and fuel economy.

After taking delivery at the Performance Center and driving the hill/off road course I can guarantee you it will.
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      03-13-2011, 08:24 PM   #22
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Excellent to hear. I am jealous you got to experience the delivery in SC. That is one of my BMW dreams.
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