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      04-11-2011, 03:47 AM   #1
coiken
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X3 of inferior build quality...

Hello,

first of all, this topic title might sound a bit like a X3 bashing topic but it's not... I'm a huge fan of the X3, did a test drive and have some clear objective remarks... some of them I've not read about before. so here it goes:

I was leaning 90% towards the X3 and 10% towards the 5 series... the I did a testdrive with both and was over impressed by the 5 and hugly dissapointed by the X3. Both had standard seats and 20d engine.
The X3 was noisy on the highway when doing around 140km/h and the seats where so terrible that I had terrible pain in my back after a 1hour drive... I also noticed the different in build quality.

So let's look at some facts:
- X3 standard seats are nowere in the neighbourhoud of the 5 series seats, comfort seats could have resolved this... but no luck as they are not available in the X3
- We had both the 5 series and X 3 parked next to eachother and with the doors opened. The build quality of both was so shocking different! While the 5 had fine, high quality finish the X3 looked cheap and of inferior quality, less leather, more hard plastic, etc...
- the navi pro screen of the X3 is smaller than the 5 series navi pro, don't let yourself be fooled by the marketing, the X3's navi screen is smaller!
- While the airco controls in the 5er are nicely integrated in the dashboard with nice black finish, the climate controls of the X3 are actually exact the same as in my current X1 series.
- The dashboard of the x3 looks plastic compaired to the 5 series dashboard... hence, my 1 series looked better finished then the X3.

The driving part is maybe more subjective but I coudn't get rid of the feeling that the x3 was a bit bouncy while the 5 series was sticking to the road as a pile of dogsh*t at a shoe... superbe!


Man, this test drive really became a painfull experience, after being so sure about the X3 I'm now full of doubt and lending more towards the 5 series. Problem with 5 series is that it's an absolute lease sl*t, so a huge amount of people are driving this exact same car while the X3 is in my opinion more unique.
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      04-11-2011, 03:56 AM   #2
JordanWindebank
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I haven't driven a 5 series however here in Aus it is $20k more expensive (20d vs 20d) so I would expect a difference in quality.

As for drive, one is a sedan and one an SUV so I expect differences.

Just my very uninformed decision though.
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      04-11-2011, 04:00 AM   #3
coiken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanWindebank View Post
I haven't driven a 5 series however here in Aus it is $20k more expensive (20d vs 20d) so I would expect a difference in quality.

As for drive, one is a sedan and one an SUV so I expect differences.

Just my very uninformed decision though.
Ow 20k price difference? that's not the case here in belgium, they are about the same price here. That's why i was so surprised in the huge build quality difference.
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      04-11-2011, 04:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coiken View Post
Ow 20k price difference? that's not the case here in belgium, they are about the same price here.
Just checked and a 520d is $5k more expensive than an X3 30d. Unbelievable.
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      04-11-2011, 04:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coiken View Post
Hello,

first of all, this topic title might sound a bit like a X3 bashing topic but it's not... I'm a huge fan of the X3, did a test drive and have some clear objective remarks... some of them I've not read about before. so here it goes:

I was leaning 90% towards the X3 and 10% towards the 5 series... the I did a testdrive with both and was over impressed by the 5 and hugly dissapointed by the X3. Both had standard seats and 20d engine.
The X3 was noisy on the highway when doing around 140km/h and the seats where so terrible that I had terrible pain in my back after a 1hour drive... I also noticed the different in build quality.

So let's look at some facts:
- X3 standard seats are nowere in the neighbourhoud of the 5 series seats, comfort seats could have resolved this... but no luck as they are not available in the X3
- We had both the 5 series and X 3 parked next to eachother and with the doors opened. The build quality of both was so shocking different! While the 5 had fine, high quality finish the X3 looked cheap and of inferior quality, less leather, more hard plastic, etc...
- the navi pro screen of the X3 is smaller than the 5 series navi pro, don't let yourself be fooled by the marketing, the X3's navi screen is smaller!
- While the airco controls in the 5er are nicely integrated in the dashboard with nice black finish, the climate controls of the X3 are actually exact the same as in my current X1 series.
- The dashboard of the x3 looks plastic compaired to the 5 series dashboard... hence, my 1 series looked better finished then the X3.

The driving part is maybe more subjective but I coudn't get rid of the feeling that the x3 was a bit bouncy while the 5 series was sticking to the road as a pile of dogsh*t at a shoe... superbe!


Man, this test drive really became a painfull experience, after being so sure about the X3 I'm now full of doubt and lending more towards the 5 series. Problem with 5 series is that it's an absolute lease sl*t, so a huge amount of people are driving this exact same car while the X3 is in my opinion more unique.
there is a reason the series are 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and quality increases as you progress up the BMW foodchain. The X3 is a 3 series level quality with some height and perfect for those who dislike the 3 wagon and it will never have the finish of a 5 series, thats reserved for the X5, but new X3 much improved over last gen...by very far.
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      04-11-2011, 04:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inamik75 View Post
there is a reason the series are 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and quality increases as you progress up the BMW foodchain. The X3 is a 3 series level quality with some height and perfect for those who dislike the 3 wagon and it will never have the finish of a 5 series, thats reserved for the X5, but new X3 much improved over last gen...by very far.
+1
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      04-11-2011, 04:40 AM   #7
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Im not sure all that can be possible, i doubt BMW uses different plastic for the dashboards. Navigator is 8.8", same size on both, unless youre telling us that BMW is deliberatly lieing and the Nevada leather is.....Nevada leather for all cars.
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      04-11-2011, 05:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inamik75 View Post
there is a reason the series are 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and quality increases as you progress up the BMW foodchain. The X3 is a 3 series level quality with some height and perfect for those who dislike the 3 wagon and it will never have the finish of a 5 series, thats reserved for the X5, but new X3 much improved over last gen...by very far.
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      04-11-2011, 05:18 AM   #9
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You're comparing apples and oranges....
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      04-11-2011, 06:20 AM   #10
acey81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kota View Post
Im not sure all that can be possible, i doubt BMW uses different plastic for the dashboards. Navigator is 8.8", same size on both, unless youre telling us that BMW is deliberatly lieing and the Nevada leather is.....Nevada leather for all cars.
Think you are right. The biggest difference is in the door sides, which are not very nice in the X3. But the basic materials in the dash are the same.

The Pro navigator is 10,2", so I don't think anyone has ever stated that they should be the same?

I think in general that the criticism BMW has go regarding the interior lately is the fact that the are much the same through out the range. I'd put the X3 interior somewhere between the current 3-series and the new 5-series. But thats more down to the layout and other features (blackpanel on the 5-series, 10" instead of 8,8" screen) rather than the materials used.

I think you can expect higher road noise from a SUV, however some cars need door and / or mirror adjusting. The road noise was quite noticeable in one of my demos, but my loaner was very different.

Get the sport seats instead of the regular. But I would like a comfort seat option.
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      04-11-2011, 07:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coiken View Post
Hello,

first of all, this topic title might sound a bit like a X3 bashing topic but it's not... I'm a huge fan of the X3, did a test drive and have some clear objective remarks... some of them I've not read about before. so here it goes:

I was leaning 90% towards the X3 and 10% towards the 5 series... the I did a testdrive with both and was over impressed by the 5 and hugly dissapointed by the X3. Both had standard seats and 20d engine.
The X3 was noisy on the highway when doing around 140km/h and the seats where so terrible that I had terrible pain in my back after a 1hour drive... I also noticed the different in build quality.

So let's look at some facts:
- X3 standard seats are nowere in the neighbourhoud of the 5 series seats, comfort seats could have resolved this... but no luck as they are not available in the X3
- We had both the 5 series and X 3 parked next to eachother and with the doors opened. The build quality of both was so shocking different! While the 5 had fine, high quality finish the X3 looked cheap and of inferior quality, less leather, more hard plastic, etc...
- the navi pro screen of the X3 is smaller than the 5 series navi pro, don't let yourself be fooled by the marketing, the X3's navi screen is smaller!
- While the airco controls in the 5er are nicely integrated in the dashboard with nice black finish, the climate controls of the X3 are actually exact the same as in my current X1 series.
- The dashboard of the x3 looks plastic compaired to the 5 series dashboard... hence, my 1 series looked better finished then the X3.

The driving part is maybe more subjective but I coudn't get rid of the feeling that the x3 was a bit bouncy while the 5 series was sticking to the road as a pile of dogsh*t at a shoe... superbe!


Man, this test drive really became a painfull experience, after being so sure about the X3 I'm now full of doubt and lending more towards the 5 series. Problem with 5 series is that it's an absolute lease sl*t, so a huge amount of people are driving this exact same car while the X3 is in my opinion more unique.
Thanks for the insights! I've been seriously considering x3 too. Have not driven yet. My comparison is towards x5. I'm trying to be more practical with x3 but it has been hard to fully jump in.
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      04-11-2011, 08:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palpak View Post
You're comparing apples and oranges....
I agree.
Automobiles should be compared within their same class of vehicle.
First decide whether you want a sedan or an SUV, then compare the X3 against its competition like Audi and MBís SUVís and compare the 5-series against their sedans.

I see these posts with every model. ďGee, my 3-series sedan drives and handles much better than an 18-wheeler truck!Ē
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      04-11-2011, 10:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coiken View Post
The dashboard of the x3 looks plastic compaired to the 5 series dashboard
The F25 X3 dash has the identical material to latest X5 (the same as the 2 new ones we have in fleet), assume the spongy dash material is coarser finish than new 5 series (coarser than my old 5 series) as the X series is meant to be a rugged SUV

Other materials are more on par with 3 series + than new 5
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      04-11-2011, 11:11 AM   #14
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The difference in cost in Canada is $12k ($42k vs $54k) for these two vehicles. Like others have said, it's like apples and oranges.
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      04-11-2011, 11:42 AM   #15
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I found this post informative. I am currently considering the x3, audi q5, lexus rx350, acura mdx. Each one is configured with NAV and same level of luxury. In the States, they are all around the same price i.e. 47k- 50k.

German cars are more expensive than Japanese cars since the rx350/mdx usually compare against the x5/q7. The fact that I'm losing something in the interior might be the deciding factor of whether I go Japanese or German. I've gotten accustomed to my Lexus' interior
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      04-11-2011, 11:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PotOdds View Post
I found this post informative. I am currently considering the x3, audi q5, lexus rx350, acura mdx. Each one is configured with NAV and same level of luxury. In the States, they are all around the same price i.e. 47k- 50k.

German cars are more expensive than Japanese cars since the rx350/mdx usually compare against the x5/q7. The fact that I'm losing something in the interior might be the deciding factor of whether I go Japanese or German. I've gotten accustomed to my Lexus' interior
I suggest you do your own research regarding interiors, and not rely on "opinions" on the internet.

That said, most Japanese interiors will be "plusher" than German interiors. If it's plush you want, buy the Lexus.
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      04-11-2011, 11:54 AM   #17
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I gave up my '09 Lexus for the '11 X3. Prefer the X3 on many levels, & comfort is one of them.

Dave
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      04-11-2011, 12:17 PM   #18
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I can say one thing. x3 has more rear leg room than the q5. In addition q5 has a big hump in the back so having 3 passenger in the back is out.
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      04-11-2011, 12:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kota View Post
Im not sure all that can be possible, i doubt BMW uses different plastic for the dashboards. Navigator is 8.8", same size on both, unless youre telling us that BMW is deliberatly lieing and the Nevada leather is.....Nevada leather for all cars.
Exactly!

And less stuff does not = "inferior build quality..." It means it's less equipped.
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      04-11-2011, 05:15 PM   #20
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Over here the price difference is about 12K... Yes, the 5 is a different beast, not on the same stable as the X3.
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      04-11-2011, 05:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PotOdds View Post
I found this post informative. I am currently considering the x3, audi q5, lexus rx350, acura mdx. Each one is configured with NAV and same level of luxury. In the States, they are all around the same price i.e. 47k- 50k.

German cars are more expensive than Japanese cars since the rx350/mdx usually compare against the x5/q7. The fact that I'm losing something in the interior might be the deciding factor of whether I go Japanese or German. I've gotten accustomed to my Lexus' interior
From having one Lexus I went back to BMW. There is no substitute in the ride, handling, and quality. BMW = BMW where as Lexus = Toyota. Lexus got me once but never again. Better technology in the German cars.
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      04-11-2011, 05:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuco44 View Post
I suggest you do your own research regarding interiors, and not rely on "opinions" on the internet.

That said, most Japanese interiors will be "plusher" than German interiors. If it's plush you want, buy the Lexus.
+1

My father was an early Lexus owner. Loved the car, it performed well, was reliable, and lasted a long time. Looking to replace the Lexus (many years later) he found the current similar model quite a bit more expensive and looked for an alternative. He encountered my 3 series and was impressed with the handling and performance. After buying, he realized he didn't enjoy the more spartan "driver focus" of the cockpit, handling, suspension, etc. All things I loved, but he missed the plusher, gadgety, and softer ride of the Lexus. Dunno what he would have thought if he'd bought a 7 series, but for him the difference was great with the 3.

We still talk, I can accept his Lexus path without judgement . . . most of the time. Parents. Sometimes they just don't grow up the way you expect . . .
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