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      01-21-2020, 02:00 PM   #1
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Questions from prospective X3M buyer

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I am considering the X3M Comp for my next car (along with the M550i). Couple of questions:

1. The ride. I know this has been talked about a lot but wanted to ask it this way - can anyone name cars that have a rougher ride than the X3M Comp? Or is it that the X3M Comp is pretty much the roughest riding stock vehicle you have driven but you still find it tolerable? I did a test drive a nearby dealer but the roads were very smooth. I'll definitely set up another test drive but wanted to get your takes in the meantime.

2. Downshifts on highway. If you're just cruising at 75mph and go up a hill, does the car downshift to maintain speed? Unless we are talking about a huge hill, most cars I have driven that are even remotely performance oriented do not downshift in that scenario.
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      01-21-2020, 02:08 PM   #2
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Test drive is an absolute must on less than perfect roads or roads that mimic your typical commute. No matter what you read I don't think it prepares you for how firm the suspension really is over uneven pavement. My last car was an M2 which was probably regarded as having the most firm ride of the M models but the X3M isn't far off. Since I have owned cars like EVO's that had even firmer suspension it doesn't really bother me as the tradeoff is an SUV that has nearly no body roll and steers and corners better than any SUV should.

Item 2 isn't a problem as you can change the shifting characteristics of the transmission to suit your preferences.
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      01-21-2020, 02:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young04 View Post
I am considering the X3M Comp for my next car (along with the M550i). Couple of questions:

1. The ride. I know this has been talked about a lot but wanted to ask it this way - can anyone name cars that have a rougher ride than the X3M Comp? Or is it that the X3M Comp is pretty much the roughest riding stock vehicle you have driven but you still find it tolerable? I did a test drive a nearby dealer but the roads were very smooth. I'll definitely set up another test drive but wanted to get your takes in the meantime.

2. Downshifts on highway. If you're just cruising at 75mph and go up a hill, does the car downshift to maintain speed? Unless we are talking about a huge hill, most cars I have driven that are even remotely performance oriented do not downshift in that scenario.
Ride is a little bit firm but coming from a m4 owner x3m right down my Ali next. In coming months!!
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      01-21-2020, 02:23 PM   #4
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Ride is a little bit firm but coming from a m4 owner x3m right down my Ali next. In coming months!!
I confirm as former M4 owner. The good news is that the X3 M suspension gets a bit softer after a few thousand miles.
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      01-21-2020, 02:24 PM   #5
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The first question I guess given all the random comments about the ride from every angle is understandable, for me it's better than my F80 M3 but much firmer than my F10 M5 (but that car was too soft for a performance car stock) It deals with most issues very well however cats eyes and some sharp ridges illicit a thump from the tyres. But you need to drive the car you cannot go on anyone else's opinion but your own.

The second question I find a bit odd but I'll try. 8th is a massive gear, geared to around 300mph at max rpm it'll change up into 8th at around 60mph on the flat but if you call for more it'll drop down if in auto, as it wants to give you more, it's seamless and instant and a non issue in fact it's one of the gearboxes best features it'll go from 8th to 4th in a nano second giving you huge amounts of punch, this car is set up to and wants to go fast. (That's in D1 with sport+ throttle)

Counter that to my old F10 M5 with MDCT that thing would go to sleep in 7th at 75mph call for more and it would do nothing you'd really have to plant it to wake it up and then all hell would break loose, the X3M is so much better in that regard you can drive the gearbox beautifully on the throttle.
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      01-21-2020, 02:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD^2 View Post
Test drive is an absolute must on less than perfect roads or roads that mimic your typical commute. No matter what you read I don't think it prepares you for how firm the suspension really is over uneven pavement. My last car was an M2 which was probably regarded as having the most firm ride of the M models but the X3M isn't far off. Since I have owned cars like EVO's that had even firmer suspension it doesn't really bother me as the tradeoff is an SUV that has nearly no body roll and steers and corners better than any SUV should.

Item 2 isn't a problem as you can change the shifting characteristics of the transmission to suit your preferences.
Thanks for the input. I have not owned a true performance vehicle but rough ride generally does not bother me. I've ridden and driven in 911s (991) and Vettes (C5 and C7) and I didn't find them bothersome. From the accounts I read, it is tough to figure out what is hyperbole.
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      01-21-2020, 02:30 PM   #7
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It's stiff but it's an M car. Feels like our M3 from a couple of years ago...planted. Honestly, it goes with the territory. If you don't want stiff, don't go M. Simples.
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      01-21-2020, 02:52 PM   #8
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1. Focus RS
2. Yes, it will downshift. But it is virtually seamless
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      01-21-2020, 03:25 PM   #9
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My MINI was crazy stiff. This is up there. But at least it's more insulated. So that's a win. Wife knows it's stiff, but she hasn't minded it surprisingly.
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      01-21-2020, 04:13 PM   #10
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It only is it an M car but the Comp pack makes it stiffer.

For me it's like an M3 Touring Competition but with the negatives of higher centre of gravity and it's a little bit fat.

Set that against the amazing performance, handing (for an SUV) and it's pretty epic.

I'm loving mine after 1750 miles. Hankering after some more power but that's because I'm a little bit mad.
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      01-21-2020, 04:44 PM   #11
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Iíve driven an old Mini with run flats, owned an e46 M3, and have a 2007 Armada.

All those vehicles had a harsher ride and were on smaller diameter tires.

I love the X3Mc ride, sans the bassy noise it makes over bumps/ bad pavement.
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      01-21-2020, 04:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young04 View Post
I am considering the X3M Comp for my next car (along with the M550i). Couple of questions:

1. The ride. I know this has been talked about a lot ...

2. Downshifts on highway. If you're just cruising at 75mph and go up a hill, does the car downshift to maintain speed?
1 - it has, repeatedly. You need to drive it and see if it works for you. We've never owned an M, but after appreciating what they did with this design when I got mine, my wife traded in her G01 X3 M40i for one. Drive it and you'll know if it's right for you. It is for us.

2 - as has been mentioned, the shifting is seamless, so why is this even a point?

Interested in reading your conclusions after your final test drives before you decide.
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      01-21-2020, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexFL View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by MForSpeed View Post
Ride is a little bit firm but coming from a m4 owner x3m right down my Ali next. In coming months!!
I confirm as former M4 owner. The good news is that the X3 M suspension gets a bit softer after a few thousand miles.
Curious since I noticed the same thing and put 13000 miles on mine since July. I wonder if it is just that we are getting used to it.

It downshifts all you need on the freeway. Especially in the sportier settings. I drive mostly freeway and that is where the X3Mc really shines. It performs in a class much higher than it is. Sort of like a middleweight fighter able to compete in the heavyweight class. My only gripes would be the conservative styling and the limitations of the X3 platform as far as options and luxury. No remote start or app start for example. If you can live with those it really is a do everything compact SUV that is a total blast to drive.

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      01-21-2020, 07:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noushy View Post
Curious since I noticed the same thing and put 13000 miles on mine since July. I wonder if it is just that we are getting used to it.

It downshifts all you need on the freeway. Especially in the sportier settings. I drive mostly freeway and that is where the X3Mc really shines. It performs in a class much higher than it is. Sort of like a middleweight fighter able to compete in the heavyweight class. My only gripes would be the conservative styling and the limitations of the X3 platform as far as options and luxury. No remote start or app start for example. If you can live with those it really is a do everything compact SUV that is a total blast to drive.

Noushy
Noushy, i don't think it's just us getting used to the car. My wife hates driving the X3, because it's so firm compared to her supersoft RR. So she recently took my X3 on a short ride (she couldn't find her keys, so she simply grabbed my keys...) and afterwards asked me if i changed something on the suspension because it felt much softer than last time (her 'last time' was just after I bought the car).
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      01-21-2020, 07:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexFL View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by noushy View Post
Curious since I noticed the same thing and put 13000 miles on mine since July. I wonder if it is just that we are getting used to it.

It downshifts all you need on the freeway. Especially in the sportier settings. I drive mostly freeway and that is where the X3Mc really shines. It performs in a class much higher than it is. Sort of like a middleweight fighter able to compete in the heavyweight class. My only gripes would be the conservative styling and the limitations of the X3 platform as far as options and luxury. No remote start or app start for example. If you can live with those it really is a do everything compact SUV that is a total blast to drive.

Noushy
Noushy, i don't think it's just us getting used to the car. My wife hates driving the X3, because it's so firm compared to her supersoft RR. So she recently took my X3 on a short ride (she couldn't find her keys, so she simply grabbed my keys...) and afterwards asked me if i changed something on the suspension because it felt much softer than last time (her 'last time' was just after I bought the car).
Great glad to hear that. My wife still hates the X3 but she doesnt mind the X5 M sport and she loved the B7. She has not been in the M8 yet.

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      01-21-2020, 08:52 PM   #16
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Iíve lowered a lot of the cars I had, so used to a firm ride.

Last car was a Lexus isf on Penske 7500 custom valved coilovers. It was firm but controlled.

My wife had a 2018 x5 and I also have a 2008 4runner limited (non-xreas) stock suspension.

In short my base x3m with 20ís rides like a dream.
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      01-22-2020, 01:44 AM   #17
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I hate the ride in my car but I am on poor "A" roads 95% of the time

I don’t think the suspension is that hard overall but it’s when you hit big undulations on the road you get thrown from side to side which makes it very unpleasant. When I am on good roads I think it rides perfect.

I am blaming the very hard/thick anti roll bars which I intend doing some testing when back home.
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      01-22-2020, 02:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I hate the ride in my car but I am on poor "A" roads 95% of the time

I donít think the suspension is that hard overall but itís when you hit big undulations on the road you get thrown from side to side which makes it very unpleasant. When I am on good roads I think it rides perfect.

I am blaming the very hard/thick anti roll bars which I intend doing some testing when back home.
What you're describing here sounds not unlike my Jeep Wrangler (Rubicon). I'll definitely do another test drive on bad roads like I said. Thank you everyone for your insight.
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      01-22-2020, 02:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young04 View Post
I am considering the X3M Comp for my next car (along with the M550i). Couple of questions:

1. The ride. I know this has been talked about a lot but wanted to ask it this way - can anyone name cars that have a rougher ride than the X3M Comp? Or is it that the X3M Comp is pretty much the roughest riding stock vehicle you have driven but you still find it tolerable? I did a test drive a nearby dealer but the roads were very smooth. I'll definitely set up another test drive but wanted to get your takes in the meantime.

2. Downshifts on highway. If you're just cruising at 75mph and go up a hill, does the car downshift to maintain speed? Unless we are talking about a huge hill, most cars I have driven that are even remotely performance oriented do not downshift in that scenario.
1. Ride is fine most of the time. I occasionally find it annoying on really bad roads. It's not really any worse than a Mini Cooper, but deep cut roads with lots of square edges, or abrupt speed bumps that are almost square edged, do seem to bounce you around more than you'd expect due to firm damping. It's not a deal breaker though.

2. Depends on what mode you are in. The car will downshift less if in Efficient as it wants to keep the revs low as much as possible, but if it needs to it will shift. In Sport and Sport Plus it will do so more readily, especially if the gearbox is also in those modes. For day to day driving, especially in efficient, you won't notice as it is so smooth. Full Sport Plus in both engine and gearbox is best managed with manual shifts as the car can be a bit uncomfortable in auto in this mode.

One issue I do have is unrelated - the M seats in the X3MC are quite narrow. I find the seat base bolsters can dig into my ass and I'm reasonably slim. My skinny wife finds them uncomfortable too, despite how great they look. Again, not a deal breaker, but an annoyance. They were perfectly fine on three 400 mile trips I've taken, but have bothered me recently, maybe as they break in. I dunno.
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      01-22-2020, 03:46 AM   #20
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Hi young04. Welcome to the forum. You mentioned your looking at x3m and m550i. 2 totally different cars. Iím assuming you are looking for a car that can give you space but also performance. I had a 5 series before moving on to the x3 and the main reason I got the x3m was more useable trunk/boot space and easier to put my son in the child seat without breaking my back and having only one car I decided to go for the performance as well. The m550i is a great car V8 455bhp more luxurious than the x3m great car to munch miles in and the boot/trunk is not bad size. So firstly you need to decide what car you need.

The ride in my opinion it not bad. Yes over rough roads you do feel the harshness and stiff suspension kicking in but on Ďnormalí roads itís really is fine. This is a M car and the majority of M will have a stiffer ride for obvious reasons. My 5 series had 20Ē wheels with low profile tyres and they were also bad on rough road conditions just like the x3m.

My brother had a m2c and that was super stiff more so than the x3m and he traded it in for a Alfa Giulia Quad.

You need to decide Saloon/Sadan or SUV first.
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      01-22-2020, 05:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Young04 View Post
I am considering the X3M Comp for my next car (along with the M550i). Couple of questions:

1. The ride. I know this has been talked about a lot but wanted to ask it this way - can anyone name cars that have a rougher ride than the X3M Comp? Or is it that the X3M Comp is pretty much the roughest riding stock vehicle you have driven but you still find it tolerable? I did a test drive a nearby dealer but the roads were very smooth. I'll definitely set up another test drive but wanted to get your takes in the meantime.
Honestly, my 428i convertible was much bumpier than this, i actually find this ride bouncy most of the time in comfort mode, it's the road noise that occurs on bumpy/broken roads that is more irritating as opposed to the ride itself.
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      01-22-2020, 06:55 AM   #22
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On the ride, I think alot of people have just been jumping on the bandwagon of reviews, I personally have been pleasantly surprised how good it rides. it's an M car after all and I much prefer the ride to my last X5 that I felt was too soft.

In the little driving that I have done so far I have notice it sits in 7th gear a good bit of the time but the gearbox is smooth and the shifts from 7th to 8th is not noticeable.
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