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      07-21-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
tango131
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Our new White/Chestnut 2013 X3 28i PCD Delivery

This will be a long post. My wife and I picked up our 2013 X3 28i on July 18 at the Performance Center Delivery (factory) in South Carolina. I will discuss both the car and the PCD delivery experience.

2013 X3 28i

As I have posted before, ours is an alpine white with Nevada chestnut leather interior and sienna wood trim with the following packages: sports activity package (sports leather steering wheel, roof rails in aluminum satin, X.-line exterior trim package, sports seats, and anthracite headliner); convenience package (comfort access, rear window shades, xenon headlights); cold weather package I (heated steering wheel, 40/20/40 split rear seats, heated front seats); dynamic handling package (performance control, variable sport steering, dynamic dampers ** more on this later); premium package (garage door opener, panoramic moonroof, auto dimming mirrors, lumbar, storage package, ambience lighting); rearview camera with Park distance control; and cargo net.

The car came from the factory with a black matte grille. I know this has been a topic of discussion here, but I can tell you that every four-cylinder car (28i, 20i, domestic or international diesel or gasoline ) that I saw in the assembly line during my factory tour had a black grille. I paid close attention to this because I am a nerd

Tires -- mine came with Pirelli Cinturato (sp?) P 7 run flat tires in the stock 18 inch size. I am very happy that these tires because they handle well, provide responsive steering, and reasonably quiet in the highway. Let's see how they hold up over time. I asked the tour guide and staff of the PCD and they say that it is completely random what tires get installed.

The new N20 four-cylinder turbo gas engine is a great little engine. This car does not need more power. Sure, it could use more (get the 35i then), but it does not need it. Even though we are currently breaking in the engine and not going over 4000 RPM for the first 1200 miles, we have not once felt that the car lacked power under any situation (passing, etc.). The engine has great torque from just barely over idle and it pulls effortlessly until our self-imposed 4000 RPM limit. BMW says the car goes to 60 mph in approximately 6.5 seconds, and I believe it. It is amazing that it does this while getting approximately 30 mpg highway (perhaps slightly more after broken in). And yes, we got 29.7 mpg in a 725 mile drive from South Carolina to Chicago over several mountain passes, etc., driving an average of approximately 70 mph (we drove as fast as 90 mph and as slow as a few mph due to stop and go traffic jams due to construction in the highway). I find that amazing (and the engine is not broken in yet) and better than anything in its class currently sold in the US (we do not yet get the diesel engines are European counterparts get, which I am sure will provide much better to economy).

The auto stop start function also works very well in the city, starting after it was turned off in fractions of a second. We will not turn it off, we will take the 10% fuel savings thank you very much. I feel like every car in 10 years will have this function. The eco-Pro function also works very well. It does neuter throttle inputs and makes the car feel a bit sluggish off the line, but it provides very smooth driving especially in stop and go city traffic. It is a perfect way to break in the car. We drove on eco-Pro mode for about 600 miles on the highway and gained about 23 miles in the little blue readout (which tells you how many miles you have gained by using eco-Pro over standard mode).

Now the packages.

SPEND THE $1400 AND GET THE DYNAMIC HANDLING PACKAGE. Seriously, I cannot emphasize this enough. I listened to the folks in this forum and I'm glad we got it. The DHP package with the dynamic dampers completely transforms the car. It is like having three cars in one, a comfy Buick, a non-sports suspension three series, and a sports suspension three series (or borderline M car). The system is fantastic and works flawlessly. We drove from South Carolina to Chicago (approximately 12 hours) and the comfort suspension setting was just that, comfortable, floating over big and small bumps and filtering out the small frequency bumps in the highway that can get annoying in a long drive -- perfect for long distance highway cruising or driving in the notoriously crappy Chicago city streets. The sport suspension buttoned down everything a notch, providing a more controlled feeling and flatter turning in corners or highway off ramps while still providing a comfortable ride (this is my preferred setting for short drives, but I drive a boxster S for my daily driver so this is how I prefer it). The sports plus setting increased damping another notch, making everything tighter still. It feels almost like my boxster in stiffness (which is not that stiff as the boxster S is very comfortable for a sports car) and like a three series BMW with sports suspension that I drove recently. A perfect setting for very aggressive driving corners and twisty roads. In sum, if you are coming to the X from driving a sporty car, check this option box, you will not regret it.

Now the weird thing about the DHP package (another well discussed topic here). My order and build sheet listed "dynamic damper control" (#223) as being part of the dynamic handling package. However, my window sticker (pictured below) does not list dynamic damper control at all. However, I know I have it because I can feel the suspension change as I change settings, the I drive screen provides me the option to select between drivetrain only, chassis only, or both, for sports mode, and I visually inspected the dampers for that cylinder connection that protrudes from the side of the strut (which I got from a picture someone posted here). A picture of the cylinder is posted below. I just think it is very weird that the window sticker does not list dynamic damper separately as the build sheet and order did. Let the debate continue

The second best option in my opinion are the sports seats, which in the US you can only get to the sport activity package or the M.-sport package. The seats are terrific, comfortable, and supportive. 12 hours of driving and not a single ache or pain in my back. Fantastic. They also look cool with the deviated stitching and thigh support extender. Another must get option in my opinion.

The convenience package is cooler than I thought it would be. The Xenon headlights are a must (which are included in this package) or can be separately optioned (for the X3 28i; they come standard on the X3 35i). The lights provide great dispersion and move horizontally as you steer (although I note that the system does not move while steering in corners as much as my Porsche). I also noticed that the driver side headlight appears to be aimed slightly lower than the passenger side light. This apparently is by design as it is exactly the way depicted in the owners manual and the X3 brochure. Probably done not to blind upcoming cars. This is fine, but in dark highways I prefer to be able to see a little bit further ahead of me. Overall, I like the xenons in my Porsche better than the ones in this car. But, it is still a must get option.

The cold weather package is a must in northern cold climates. Having heated seats and heated steering will cannot be over emphasized when is 5F (or less, a few winters ago we had lows in the -15 F) outside like it gets here in Chicago. My wife almost eliminated the Q5 from her list because it did not have a heated steering wheel.

The premium package is fine, but I think overpriced for the $3,450 they want for it. The panoramic moonroof is great as it fills the cabin with light and makes it feel like a convertible if you open everything up. The rearview dimming mirror works fine, but as others have discussed here, the rear side view mirrors do not dim as much as they should in my opinion. The rest of the package is a bunch of other "little things". If I only had $3500 to spend on options, I would pick the sports activity package (for the seats) for $1150, the dynamic handling package for $1400, and the cold weather package for $700, which all add up to $3,250 and I believe a better bang for the buck. Doing this, of course, will mean that you would get the aluminum trim instead of the wood and would not get the upgraded leather. But if I was on a budget that's what I would do.

PCD experience

This has been well-documented by many posts in this and other forums. My two cents are that if you can do it, do it as you will not regret it. The Cliff Notes versions are as follows:

We were picked up at the airport by a white 5 series GT. Arrived at a Marriott hotel and were provided with a good complementary dinner. Tried to get a good nights sleep (hard). Free breakfast and be ready at 7:30 AM for pickup in the hotel by shuttle to the BMW PCD center.

Once the PCD center, the morning starts with introductory remarks by the staff on what will be done during the day. Next all participants (usually the owners of 8 to 10 cars) head to the track. They provide you with a car that matches as close as possible the car you purchased (we got an x3 35), while others had M3s, X5s, etc. The class was divided between those that had SUVs and those that had cars. Each group took turns along a short road course that had a slalom section, and some tight turns. For those who have never driven on a track (like my wife, this was exciting and a bit nerve-racking). For me (who driven a track many times) was still fun because I've never driven an SUV on a track . I must say, the handling dynamics of the X3 were shocking to me in a good way (and the one we had did not have the DHP package). It drove like a large responsive car. My wife now has a full understanding and appreciation of the very high limits of the car. I think this makes her (and me) a better driver.

After the road course, the groups engaged in an ABS braking exercise whereby you break from 40 mph, 45 mph, and 50 mph in successive runs and steer through cones while doing it. Again, a very useful exercise, especially for those who have never driven aggressively on a track and perhaps might not realize the benefits of ABS (which are most "regular" folks out there). To this last point, there were two ladies who at first failed miserably in the ABS exercise (and went off the course) because for the first few runs, they would not slam on the brakes as instructed to activate the ABS system.

After the ABS exercise, the group went to a wet skid pad to learn car control basics and for BMW to showcase the usefulness of its stability control program. Gunning the throttle with stability control disabled while turning will make you do a 360 spin. Turn SC on, and the car maintains its intended course. Useful and fun.

Then we got to ride shotgun on a brand-new twin turbo V8 M5 with one of the professional drivers at the helm. Apparently they just received the M5 2 days before so they were brand new. Lots of tail out slides and hooliganism on purpose. That was fun. I took a few pics for those interested.

Next the group was split. Half the group went to the off-road course in half were introduced to their new cars. We went to the off-road course. It was fun and gave us a good appreciation of what the X3 can do off-road, which was very surprising to me. For example, you can wade through 21 inches of standing water. The hill descend control also worked like magic to control your speed without breaking while going down a steep hill. There was an exercise where two wheels of the car were off the ground, and it showed the prowess of the all wheel drive system to route power to the wheels with traction. I can confidently say that unless you were doing a hill climb in the Moab desert or like to traverse through fields covered in humongous boulders, the X3 will provide all the off-road ability you will need for 99% of situations.

Next we had a good lunch in the cafeteria at the PCD center where employees eat. Then we took a factory tour where all the world's X3 are built. One tidbit of information we were told during the tour: a new X4 is coming! It will begin production in South Carolina in either October of this year or March of next year (I can't remember exactly). The X4 will be to the X3 what the X6 is to the X5. I also saw in the racetrack an X1 and took a picture of it just for the heck of it.

Then we were finally introduced to our car. Some cars were set up in the lobby like they would be on a dealership. Our car was on a standalone glass surrounded room all by itself. An associate, Ray in our case (who also happens to be a driving instructor), spent over one hour (perhaps closer to two hours?) going in great detail over all the features of the car. This was extremely useful to us. Ray also set up our profiles for our respective keys and adjusted the seats, steering wheel and mirrors to the recommended driving positions. He also installed our temporary plates (which you must bring with you to drive that car out the factory). Again, very useful. We were so excited at this stage that I only took one picture.

That is it, we were on our way back to Chicago for a nice 12 hour drive. The drive home simply reinforced how fantastic this car is to drive in all respects. In comfort mode, it was a truly luxurious comfortable ride. We also were lucky enough to drive through some severe thunderstorms through Lexington and Louisville and in Chicago that left visibility to about 7 car lengths. We got to try out the fog lights and the automatic wipers, which worked flawlessly.

All in all, we are extremely satisfied with our purchase. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.

Some pics below.
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2013 X3 28i, AW, Chestnut, Sienna, ZAP, ZCV, ZCW, ZDH, ZPP, rear view, park distance, cargo net (Wife's) (Pics and story)

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Last edited by tango131; 10-26-2012 at 11:20 AM.
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      07-21-2012, 01:32 PM   #2
tango131
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pics











black grille



Interior: Chestnut leather and Sienna wood








Window sticker that does not show "dynamic damper control" unlike order and build sheet that did



Pic of front drivers side strut dynamic damper assembly with protruding cyllinder control unit for DDC



rear drivers side strut with DDC cylinder



wheel/Pirelli tire



Three 2 day old M5s used for the PC school. They took us for some hot laps







Pic of and X1 that was just chilling on the lot at the PC driving school

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Last edited by tango131; 07-21-2012 at 02:15 PM. Reason: pics
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      07-22-2012, 09:08 AM   #3
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Great write-up tango! Pcd looks like a great experience.

I'm envious of both pcd and your msrp.

Your write-up is sure to help potential buyers select the pakages that will suit them.
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      07-22-2012, 03:43 PM   #4
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Very nice! Thanks for sharing your experience!
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      07-22-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the write up. I did not do the pdc but I have the 2011 28 with all the same options and agree 100% with your comments. I did have the headlights realigned and that was an improvement... The driver was too low and the other too high. All is good now
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      08-03-2012, 06:54 PM   #6
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Nice! I clicked over here from the thread where I asked what goes good with Chestnut. I never thought I'd like Alpine White with it but it pops really nicely!

Also cool that you review the PDC. If we buy a new X3, we are definitely doing that...

Thanks again!
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      08-03-2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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wow...
we just visited the local dealer today, saw a nearly-identical X3 there that the wife and I really liked... i'm not really up to speed on packages / options, but it looks like the only thing yours doesnt have compared to the one in the showroom is the M-Sport Package ($3,900 CAD)...
anyway, the sticker price here was $62k CAD !!!! that's a big difference !!!
but anyway, the car looks great
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      08-04-2012, 08:37 AM   #8
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tango -

Thanks for the pics and writeup. We picked our 2012 X3 up at the Center in early April. Your pics brought back great memories including our orientation from Ray and we shared your same trip back to the Chicago area! The X3 was amazing on the mountain roads coming home (even with me "being good" for the break-in!).

What sold us on this vehicle was a test drive last February on a really nasty day when we'd had freezing rain followed by snow in Chicago. We went out in it and test drove the X3 on an unplowed parking lot. The vehicle was amazing on this crap. I couldn't get it to slide sideways in a turn.

We never look forward to Chicago's winters but this one will be a bit more tolerable!
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      08-06-2012, 07:42 AM   #9
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Nice looking ride and good writeup!

FWIW, after we did PCD with Ray I had a man crush. Not sure if it is the same Ray but Ray Helms was awesome. He spent the entire day with my wife and I. In fact, I'm looking into doing a 3 day Appalachian BMW motorcycle tour that he helps with.

Did he talk any about his current jobs? That guys has it made! He runs radar for NC Highway Patrol, gets to do amazing BMW driving events around the world, was given an offer to be on the shooting show Top Shot and I'm sure the list goes on. Jealous!!


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      10-26-2012, 11:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n55x3 View Post
Nice looking ride and good writeup!

FWIW, after we did PCD with Ray I had a man crush. Not sure if it is the same Ray but Ray Helms was awesome. He spent the entire day with my wife and I. In fact, I'm looking into doing a 3 day Appalachian BMW motorcycle tour that he helps with.

Did he talk any about his current jobs? That guys has it made! He runs radar for NC Highway Patrol, gets to do amazing BMW driving events around the world, was given an offer to be on the shooting show Top Shot and I'm sure the list goes on. Jealous!!


yep, that's him. great guy. what else can this guy do...play the violin, paint master oil paintings and write novels? geeesus.
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      10-26-2012, 03:24 PM   #11
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Did the PCD for X3 28i in White also did the....

Hello All: My first post in the forum. I have been reading this forum for a long time and it has been a great insight. I ordered my X3 White in September for a pickup at the PDC. My date was 10/18. The write up which started this thread was spot on. It was a blast. I took the long way back to Lansing MI via Arkansas to visit a friend. I put on about 1,300 miles. I averaged almost 30 mpg based on mileage divided by gallons in the fuel tank. This exceeded my expectations as most of the mileage was done without cruise control on.

I also did something I had on my bucket list on the trip home. When my person was doing the review of the X3 with me, I mentioned I wanted to try the "Tail of the Dragon" or "Dragons Tail" on the way home. It is located in the NW corner of NC and SE corner of TN...highway 129. He went back to his desk and sent me a message via BMW assist to my X3. I had mail. It was the location of the starting point campground. I punched it into my Nav system and a great route was built. I always wanted to try this very twisty road during my previous motorcyling days but never made it. It is a great ride and I rode really good ones during my time in service the 70s out in San Diego, CA. It was a really interesting to do in the X3. It handled the curves really well. Since the turns are blind for the most part and the road unknown to me, I did not try it at the speeds we did at the PDC. Maybe next time I will try to do it at the speeds we were rolling at the test track........
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