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      09-21-2011, 02:06 PM   #1
MattUK
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Initial thoughts of my X3 3.0D M Sport (UK) (So far)

Day 11 of my X3 3.0D MSport ownership and I thought I would post up my thoughts so far..

A bit of context behind my choice.. Iíve been fortunate enough to be able to drive M cars for the most part for the last 15 years or so, so I have really been spoilt as far as performance and handling in BMW. However the cost of running such cars, fuel, UK roads and the increase in speed cameras and reduction in speed limits everywhere has really made M cars more of a second car for fun, if you can afford them. So, at the end of my 3 year lease on the current M3 I had to find something that could meet my requirement to cut my motoring costs in half and still keep me happy on the road.

Initially I had looked at the X1 and had thought it was something quite nice. After arranging a test drive, I was waiting in the dealer and ended up sitting in the X3 in the showroom as well as the X5, and then asked to also drive the 3.

Having driven the X1 with the 2.0D engine I couldnít believe how sluggish and cheap it felt, and started to worry that the 2.0D engine really wasnít going to be up to what I wanted. I then changed into the X3 with the same engine and couldnít believe how different they were, it was night and day and the engine felt so much more responsive that I thought I could actually easily live with it.

So I ordered.. and waited. During the wait the 3.0D M Sport came out so I changed my order without having driven or seeing it because I just felt the extra performance would be something I would like, and I would end up regretting getting the X3 with a 2.0, and I liked the more aggressive look of the M Sport.

Anyway.. the one worry I have had all the while waiting for the car was that I would get it, like it but not quite feel happy about changing and end up regretting something.. however I have to say since the minute I have got it I have loved it. Both in looks, interior, handling and the performance of the 3.0D engine.

Switching between normal and sports mode suspension I have to say that I have both the option of old man comfort where I can really relax (more than I have ever done in any M car) and when I want a more spirited drive with no roll and good handling, the Sports suspension really fits the bill perfectly. When in sports mode the car really feels almost like the 3 series, it doesnít feel bit or cumbersome ever and I get a grin when driving it.

Currently I am playing the game of how much I can get out of one tank without hammering it. BMW publish figures of just under 50Mpg, I took that with a pinch of salt and had told myself if I could upto 40 on a long run I would be very happy (Coming from around 22 on the M3). So far this week, I am averaging 39Mpg, with one day getting 41, but ill take it over the whole tank, and I do appreciate it is still new and may take some miles before it will get much better.

The reaction from people with the car has been very positive, has gone down very well. Had some passengers in the back for the first time this weekend, and without prompt was told how comfortable it was in the back, so much room and was it my driving or the car handling that they didnít get thrown around which was good to hear since I never get to spend time in the back.

The things I love about this car;

Upgraded sound system.. by far and away the best sound system I have had in any BMW, fantastic sound that just keeps on giving.
Look, handling, power delivery and comfort
Interior.. just feels like a top end BMW

Things I donít like..

Nothing.. Not once have I had a doubt that I made the wrong decision, this seems to be such a fantastic all round vehicle. Iíve never had so much room in the back to stick my crap.. it doesnít feel too big or too small..

I would go as far to say I think that bar the M3 CSL, this is probably the best BMW I have had from an all round package / economy scale / feelgood.

I can see me keeping this for a good few years, or maybe until the X3M comes out where temptation may be too much (or X4M)

Iíll write another report after quite a few more miles.. but so far.. well done BMW.. still the best cars out there in my view.
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      09-21-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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Thanks for the post I find it very reassuring as if I am honest I am a reluctant X3 owner. Mrs W talked me into it as she thought it would be something different and I still remain to be totally convinced...
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      09-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #3
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What are you coming from?
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      09-21-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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I've had mine 12 days so it seems our cars bunked up on the same boat.

I've come from an E93 335i, so not an M but still "respectable". The X3 is meeting or exceeding most of my expectations. The only hint of a niggle is the road noise from the the tyres on the motorway, it's not loud but just a bit more than it should be - I blame the RFTs because they are RFTs.....

I've not pushed the engine too hard yet but it's shown some considerable torque. Outright grip levels are nowhere near that of my E93 but it's are high enough and more importantly the car slides very evenly and progressively. I really never wanted my E93 to break away as when it happened the cornering forces would be so great that I'm not confident I could catch it on a public road safely.

The X3 is really impressive in quality and performance. Space is fantastic, especially in the rear. I transported my daughter and all her clobber to Uni and had 4 of us in the car.

Even at 32mpg I'm pleased vs the 19mpg my E93 did around town and 32 on the motorway. My X3 32mpg is only for my first tankful which includes quite a lot of local driving when the engine barely gets warm. I know it'll get a lot better (except when cold)

The car looks better in the flesh than it does in the pics. Where I live X3s are still very rare so it's pleasing to be exclusive for a while! It make a change from all the Range Rover Sport shopping cars around here.
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      09-22-2011, 08:08 AM   #5
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I'll too will be coming from current M3 to X3 30D Msport at some stage and very interesting to read your feedback. For me changing to a normal car (so wife can drive it) would always be a big step down but going to a SUV type vehicle with the different advantages it offers, would not.

I'me very surprised you think of the E46 CSL as an all round car. Most people on forums comment that it's gear change is awful (unless one is going for a very spirted drive) and the ride to stiff for UK roads.
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      09-22-2011, 02:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattUK View Post
What are you coming from?
Last three cars have been an E46 M3, a 987 Boxster S and a 135i cabrio, so the X3 is a bit of a departure...
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      09-22-2011, 04:13 PM   #7
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thanks for sharing... sounds great.. can't wait to pick mine up tmr.. though it's only a 2.0d.... coming from a 3.0l z4 to a 525d to x3 2.0.. i hope it won't disappoint as the engine is getting smaller and smaller!
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      09-22-2011, 04:36 PM   #8
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I have just ordered a 3.0D MSport. But unlike you BMW faithful guys I am coming from an A3 1.8TFSi Sport (and before that an x-type, and a Volvo T4)

I was planning a 2.0D, then I got to test drive a 3.0D MSport with professional media on 19" rims from Manchester to Edinburgh over a weekend. It was a revelation.

My wife was actually encouraging me to spend more. (outside my experience!). Can you imagine "I want to enjoy the drive just as much as I did this drive" YES!

But I am waiting until end May 2012...my current contract doesn't expire 'till then. At least I've locked in the current price even though my build will be post week 40 therefore 2012 spec.

It will be a long wait....

Last edited by kingbadger; 09-22-2011 at 04:49 PM.
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      09-23-2011, 03:02 AM   #9
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At 3AM today I drove on the motorway with no music playing for the first time, it was a family emergency, hence the hour..... I noticed some wind noise from the mirrors. I know this can be due to badly fitted door seals. The wind noise is not loud but it is rather more than my E93. The mirrors on the F25 are huge in comparison to the E93 so maybe some wind noise is normal. Do you guys get any wind noise from the mirrors?

The car is not noisy but it's not quite serene either due to this (and some tyre noise, surface dependent).
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Last edited by clivem2; 09-23-2011 at 05:26 AM.
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      09-23-2011, 03:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingbadger View Post
My wife was actually encouraging me to spend more. (outside my experience!). Can you imagine "I want to enjoy the drive just as much as I did this drive" YES!
- I had a similar experience where I thought the wife would be arguing against extras but she was the reason we went for pro nav and the sunroof. Very pleased with both.

The X3 is an amazing car really. The 20d is awesome. The 30d is awesome but even better

Welcome to the forum BTW
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      09-23-2011, 04:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingbadger View Post
I have just ordered a 3.0D MSport. But unlike you BMW faithful guys I am coming from an A3 1.8TFSi Sport (and before that an x-type, and a Volvo T4)

I was planning a 2.0D, then I got to test drive a 3.0D MSport with professional media on 19" rims from Manchester to Edinburgh over a weekend. It was a revelation.

My wife was actually encouraging me to spend more. (outside my experience!). Can you imagine "I want to enjoy the drive just as much as I did this drive" YES!

But I am waiting until end May 2012...my current contract doesn't expire 'till then. At least I've locked in the current price even though my build will be post week 40 therefore 2012 spec.

It will be a long wait....
Is there something your misses is after, mine tells me i've spent too much
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      09-23-2011, 09:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clivem2 View Post
At 3AM today I drove on the motorway with no music playing for the first time, it was a family emergency, hence the hour..... I noticed some wind noise from the mirrors. I know this can be due to badly fitted door seals. The wind noise is not loud but it is rather more than my E93. The mirrors on the F25 are huge in comparison to the E93 so maybe some wind noise is normal. Do you guys get any wind noise from the mirrors?

The car is not noisy but it's not quite serene either due to this (and some tyre noise, surface dependent).
Excessive wind noise generated by the mirrors has been mentioned by the majority of the press reviews I've read.
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      09-23-2011, 09:57 AM   #13
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i definately get a little noise probably coming from the mirrors at highway speeds - doesn't bother me - i like the size of the mirrors and the view I get.
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      09-23-2011, 10:45 AM   #14
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Kingbader - your the only one with a green light to spec. up without protracted negotitations - well done. Nice test drive you had with open M-way and low traffic volumes too. Did you take the back road in one direction?
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      09-23-2011, 10:58 AM   #15
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The secret is, just don't tell her!!!
I changed mine from the 2.0 to the 3.0, I wonder if she'll notice
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      09-23-2011, 11:09 AM   #16
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The secret is, just don't tell her!!!
I changed mine from the 2.0 to the 3.0, I wonder if she'll notice
I reckon I could've switched to an X5 and it would have gone unnoticed
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      09-24-2011, 01:02 PM   #17
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Having driven more local journies now the one thing I'd really like to change would be to have a faster steering rack. Given that the X3 handling is good, it deserves a quicker rack.
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      09-24-2011, 01:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Having driven more local journies now the one thing I'd really like to change would be to have a faster steering rack. Given that the X3 handling is good, it deserves a quicker rack.
Do you mean the steering is not responsive enough? Or It doesn't give enough feedback?
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      09-24-2011, 01:34 PM   #19
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With VSS feedback is acceptable. I find there's a little too much wheel twirling, something like 2.8 turns lock to lock would be better.
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      09-24-2011, 04:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Kingbader - your the only one with a green light to spec. up without protracted negotitations - well done. Nice test drive you had with open M-way and low traffic volumes too. Did you take the back road in one direction?
Oh yes...the Moffat-Peebles road alonside the Tweed. Fabulous. Better in the dry, when its quiet, and without the wife to tell me to slow down, she's feeling sick!

I also find some glam rock from the 70's works well. Think Golden Earring.
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      09-25-2011, 12:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clivem2 View Post
Having driven more local journies now the one thing I'd really like to change would be to have a faster steering rack. Given that the X3 handling is good, it deserves a quicker rack.
Yeah, I always appreciate a quick rack.
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      09-25-2011, 07:10 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Yeah, I always appreciate a quick rack.
+1
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