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      02-28-2013, 05:35 PM   #23
noka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briant73 View Post
Was doing some research on the Grand Cherokee with 8 speed and discovered it's also made by ZF who I believe supplies the 8 speed for the X3, is this correct?
I believe the GA8HP45Z transmission is made by ZF, who makes lots of transmissions for lots of vehicles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZF_Friedrichshafen

Nots sure if they are still a supplier to BMW but Getrag also used to make a lot of their transmissions. My E39 M5 had a 6-spd manual Getrag but at that time BMW was also sourcing transmissions from ZF (automatics anyway). That was a decade ago.
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Last edited by noka; 02-28-2013 at 07:47 PM.
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      02-28-2013, 06:03 PM   #24
02420X3
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Yes. Chrysler is licensed by ZF to build ZF-designed transmissions in at least one of their transmission manufacturing plants. I don't know if they also buy transmissions direct from ZF.

BMW uses at least two different models of ZF's 8HP transmission in various BMW vehicles.
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      03-11-2013, 09:32 AM   #25
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Finally got to take an extended test drive in the X3 28i with premium package (leather and lumbar support) and here are my thoughts -

Ride - Firm but controlled and bumps and such are muted. Overall I like it.

Handling - Night and day over my current Highlander, requires more effort but rewards with a lot more control/feedback.

Power- Eco mode it feels like any other 4 cylinder SUV, comfort decent but sport mode this vehicle comes alive.

Standard Radio - I actually didn't mind the sound quality after playing with settings and getting use to it, I still would enjoy premium sound but it's not a deal breaker.

Visibility - Front windshield and it's fine, the front pillars are not a hindrance like some vehicles but I notice the middle pillars between the front and back doors can get in the way. Rear window is small so the backup camera system might be desirable.

Fit and Finish - Very solid feel and everything lined up well. The only flaw I found was the steering wheel leather had a cut in the back side that I could feel with my fingers while driving but this may have been caused by someone with a jewelry and not a factory defect.

Cargo space - Decent overall for the size of the vehicle.

Comfort - My passenger felt very happy in the passenger seat but once again I was not comfortable though the discomfort level wasn't as bad as previous test drives. At first my left leg was uncomfortable but adjusting the seat fixed that issue mostly, then my back started hurting but playing with the lumbar and seat position fixed that. So my back and left leg aren't complaining but then my right leg felt out of place. I played with the seat and but never felt completely comfortable. Looking at things it appears where the left foot rest is back a bit from where the pedals rest and maybe that is the issue, also the seat cushion depth is a bit shallower than I'm used to. Rear seat is comfortable but feels low. For the record I'm 5' 8".

Overall this is one great vehicle and I enjoy it's features and driving dynamics. Now if I could of been comfortable in it, I would be ready to start negotiations but I don't want to buy a vehicle hoping I'll get comfortable in it and never do - so still thinking things over.
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      03-12-2013, 10:13 PM   #26
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Briant73 you might want to test drive a vehicle equipped with sports seats. The premium package does not include the thigh support adjustment and adjustable side bolsters. My wife who is 5' 9' found these seats to be significantly more comfortable for her. This sold her on the car. She commutes in this vehicle so a comfortable seat was a must.
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      03-13-2013, 09:31 AM   #27
Briant73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chariotrider View Post
Briant73 you might want to test drive a vehicle equipped with sports seats. The premium package does not include the thigh support adjustment and adjustable side bolsters. My wife who is 5' 9' found these seats to be significantly more comfortable for her. This sold her on the car. She commutes in this vehicle so a comfortable seat was a must.
The dealership has a 3 series with sport seats and offered me to try those out. I would like to avoid the sport package cost but maybe the seats will be that good.

Update - it appears for 2014 the sport seats are only available in the M sport package which msrp is an additional 3k according to the information out there.
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      03-25-2013, 10:33 AM   #28
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While waiting for more details on the 2014 MY X3 and testing the sport seats (firmer but more seat depth) I test drove a 2.0t Audi Q5 and figure I'd share my thoughts :

Exterior: The Q5 is nice a looking vehicle though it doesn't speak to me like the X3 though looks are always subjective. The rear window which is small on the X3 seems even smaller on the Q5 where I feel the backup camera is almost required. Overall a clean design though maybe a bit too rounded for my tastes.

Interior - I found the front seats had a little more bottom cushion depth for the thigh support and I felt the driving position was good for me though the seat itself didn't seem as supportive. Overall the dash controls and displays seemed very well thought out except why is there an ashtray and the volume knob is next to the passenger? The cup holders are nice but to extend the armrest you cover them up. Rear seats were very nice and I felt ease of access and seat comfort beat the X3 but I don't plan on spending a lot of time in those. Rear cargo area seems smaller especially near the rear glass. My biggest grip is why does Audi force Nav to get the backup camera? Another minor thing I found not to my liking is the light grey rear view mirror color. Overall a good interior with the smaller rear cargo space being the biggest let down.

So right now the Audi actually is growing on me and though somethings aren't to my liking a lot of things are but time for the test drive -
Here is where I felt the X3 28i won out clearly - The Audi accelerated well but lacked the X3 in sport modes thrill when accelerating, The ride took bumps and road imperfections well and steering was easy but didn't feel as connected to the road or handle as well. The other factor which surprised me was how much road noise I heard while driving the Q5 compared to the X3.

I may test drive a 3.0t also though if I hear as much road noise as the 2.0t I probably will decide against it. Overall the Audi Q5 is a great vehicle and I can see why people go for it over the X3 but I can also see clearly why people prefer the X3 over the Q5.

As of now I like the X3 a lot but I worry about finding a comfortable driving position so I'm still debating. Also I am looking at the 2014 Jeep GC but it's almost apples to oranges comparison to the X3.
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      03-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #29
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My back to back test drives of the two were very informative and seeing the cars in person affected my view of visual appeal.

I drove an M sport X3. When you do your test drive of the sports seat, take the time to adjust them. I found them nothing to right home about and I erroneously thought the thigh support would be helpful to me at 6' tall. IMHO, the additional thigh support neither added or subtracted. Only you can judge the comfort for you though. YMMV

One nice thing about the X3 packaging is that you can get DHP even on the 328i whereas you have to get the top of the line 3.0T Prestige trim on the Q5 to get their equivalent.

For me, rear seat comfort on trips is important for my passengers and AFAIK, the Q5 and Touareg seem to be the only ones in the category that let you adjust the rear seat forward/backward and tilt.

Do post again after your drive.
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      03-25-2013, 01:28 PM   #30
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we own a '13 X1 standard seats and an '11 X3 which has the sport seats.
the sport seats are a vast improvment over the standard seats in the X1!
it took me several days to find my seat stettings sweet spot. for the most part i am very comfortable. every now and then i'll tweet the seat and when i want it back i just hit the memory button i have set.
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      03-25-2013, 01:38 PM   #31
Briant73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErnestHouse View Post
My back to back test drives of the two were very informative and seeing the cars in person affected my view of visual appeal.

I drove an M sport X3. When you do your test drive of the sports seat, take the time to adjust them. I found them nothing to right home about and I erroneously thought the thigh support would be helpful to me at 6' tall. IMHO, the additional thigh support neither added or subtracted. Only you can judge the comfort for you though. YMMV

One nice thing about the X3 packaging is that you can get DHP even on the 328i whereas you have to get the top of the line 3.0T Prestige trim on the Q5 to get their equivalent.

For me, rear seat comfort on trips is important for my passengers and AFAIK, the Q5 and Touareg seem to be the only ones in the category that let you adjust the rear seat forward/backward and tilt.

Do post again after your drive.
The local dealer only has X3 with the standard seats so far but I did sit in a 328i with them for a few minutes and they weren't bad but without driving can't say.

I felt the Q5 was better than the X3 for rear passengers but I need to see the X3 to really compare. One thing is I don't have more than one other passenger routinely but if I did have rear passengers more often I'd just keep my Highlander or something similar for 5 passengers it has much better room especially rear seat than any the vehicles I have looked at.
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      04-30-2013, 12:06 PM   #32
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Latest update - Dealer finally is getting some 2014 X3 stock and configurations/pricing. In the past few weeks I went out and test drove a few more vehicles while waiting.

2014 Grand Cherokee - The 8 speed V6 I enjoyed much more than the previous 2013 with 5spd I test drove. A lot of nice features and quiet to drive other than engine noise.
I do wish the front seat bottom cushions were a bit wider and the rear seat more adjustments.

2013 Acura RDX - Very competent vehicle but the passenger power seat has no height adjustment and shorter people will feel they sit very low. Also though it had a V6 it seemed to perform the same as my 2010 Highlander. Wind noise on the highway at 65 was not noticeable but could hear tire drone. Good cargo room though seats don't fold near flat, also the rear seat is one of the most comfortable I have sat in, ranks with the Audi.

So far I have ruled out the Audi and the Acura, both fine cars just not what I am looking for.

So after test driving 2013 Acura RDX, Audi Q5 2.0t, BMW X3 28i, 2013 Jeep GC v6, 2014 Jeep GC V6 I have to say the x3 28i and 2014 GC are my two favorites. The BMW just out drives all the others whereas the 2014 GC is refined but ready for anything you throw at it.

With the X3 it's odd because I still am not sure I can be comfortable in the driver seat, the rear seat is a bit low and access to it isn't great, RFT are not a selling point to me, and it gets expensive quick but yet the way it drives and performs I just keep coming back to it. I'm amazed at the driving dynamics and I haven't gone near a 35i or Msport yet, the 28i feels that good driving.

As for the 2014 GC it's a great vehicle that I think is styled great, has a lot of features and ready to take on almost any terrain/condtions but the gas mileage is less than all the others, for it's size the interior is a bit small and I am not sold on Jeep/Chrysler quality and yet I like it a lot also.

Last edited by Briant73; 04-30-2013 at 06:59 PM. Reason: wording - impressions update
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      05-07-2013, 11:18 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briant73 View Post
Latest update - Dealer finally is getting some 2014 X3 stock and configurations/pricing. In the past few weeks I went out and test drove a few more vehicles while waiting.

2014 Grand Cherokee - The 8 speed V6 I enjoyed much more than the previous 2013 with 5spd I test drove. A lot of nice features and quiet to drive other than engine noise.
I do wish the front seat bottom cushions were a bit wider and the rear seat more adjustments.

2013 Acura RDX - Very competent vehicle but the passenger power seat has no height adjustment and shorter people will feel they sit very low. Also though it had a V6 it seemed to perform the same as my 2010 Highlander. Wind noise on the highway at 65 was not noticeable but could hear tire drone. Good cargo room though seats don't fold near flat, also the rear seat is one of the most comfortable I have sat in, ranks with the Audi.

So far I have ruled out the Audi and the Acura, both fine cars just not what I am looking for.

So after test driving 2013 Acura RDX, Audi Q5 2.0t, BMW X3 28i, 2013 Jeep GC v6, 2014 Jeep GC V6 I have to say the x3 28i and 2014 GC are my two favorites. The BMW just out drives all the others whereas the 2014 GC is refined but ready for anything you throw at it.

With the X3 it's odd because I still am not sure I can be comfortable in the driver seat, the rear seat is a bit low and access to it isn't great, RFT are not a selling point to me, and it gets expensive quick but yet the way it drives and performs I just keep coming back to it. I'm amazed at the driving dynamics and I haven't gone near a 35i or Msport yet, the 28i feels that good driving.

As for the 2014 GC it's a great vehicle that I think is styled great, has a lot of features and ready to take on almost any terrain/condtions but the gas mileage is less than all the others, for it's size the interior is a bit small and I am not sold on Jeep/Chrysler quality and yet I like it a lot also.
Gas mileage of that Chrysler is horrible compared to a 28i. I'm getting over 30 mpg on the highway. Fun to drive factor - the X3 blows it away; be sure to add DHP. Chrysler quality sucks- friends that have those Jeeps have lots of quality issues. Jury's still out on X3 quality, however I expect it to be better than anything Detroit makes.
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      05-08-2013, 01:10 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briant73 View Post
Was doing some research on the Grand Cherokee with 8 speed and discovered it's also made by ZF who I believe supplies the 8 speed for the X3, is this correct?
Correct, same basic ZF design, though some parts might vary. This beautiful, smooth shifting 8 speed is used in a wide variety of vehicles, from Rolls Royce to the new Dodge Ram pickups.
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