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      07-15-2019, 01:08 AM   #1
JohnNick72
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First 500 miles in my X3M Competition

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At the suggestion of another member, here's my early ownership notes. Hope this helps some of you guys wondering about the car or waiting for yours to arrive.

Iím quite happy with my new daily-driver/do it all X3M Competition.

Pricing

If anything, pricing is slightly better than expected. Letís face it, nothing is getting cheaperÖ. The sticker on my 2017 F80 M3 with Metallic paint, Extended Leather, Competition Package, Executive Package, Driverís Assistance, DCT, and WiFi & Enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging was just a hair under $80k. So, a sticker just under $83k for a loaded (less Driverís Assistant Pro+) X3M Competition was a pleasant surprise.

What you actually pay, your payment, whether the price will get better/worse over time Ė I donít really care. I hope all buyers get a deal they feel good about and one they can afford without adding stress their family life. Itís just a rapidly depreciating asset, I mean - a great car!

Exterior

At first, I was a little disappointed with the looks, or maybe ďunderwhelmedĒ is a better word. It doesnít look that much different than the X3 M40i. I loved the aggressive look of the M3. The slotted Carbon Roof, power bump in the hood, and the wide shoulders and hips of the F80 M3 made it look immediately superior to any regular F30 sedan. The X3M is more conservative (stealthy) at first glance. After a while, you notice the front & rear spoilers are much more aggressive and protrude a little. The rear window spoiler is bigger, and Iím not 100% sure, but I think the side skirts are wider too. For people switching from an M coupe or sedan, the side skirts are attached to the doors, so you donít have to step over them getting in/out any or worry about getting the back of your pant leg dirty.

Iím a big fan of Donington Grey. If you havenít seen it in person, itís much better than the pictures suggest. My 2nd choice would have been an individual British Racing Green (if they would have approved it). I think BMW could have done a little better with the list of color options, but what do I knowÖ.

Interior

Itís not current gen X5 or F85 X5M nice inside, but itís definitely a big step up from the F80 or the regular X3.

I like this generation of iDrive and this gauge cluster better than the newest stuff. Itís a big screen, adds touch, has voice & Siri, and itís still quick and intuitive coming from any other BMW. The digital dials are nice, very easy to read, rev in the right direction, and is a cool start up graphic (if you care). When driving, I mostly look at the HUD, and itís bigger and better than what I had in the F80, which was already very good.

The sport seats look amazing, are very supportive while still being comfortable, and theyíre very adjustable. The headrest is even electrically adjustable! The seat ventilation is a great feature in hot climates. If you are a bigger person, you may find the seats narrow. Iím 5í8Ē and 155lbs with a little stocky build (not narrow) and the seats fit me well. Seat back bolsters fully open is a little loose.

The Leather/Alcantara mix is nice, and feels luxurious. The black & beige is pretty stunning (to me). I thought Iíd do Tartufo, but once I saw this color in person, I was sold. In addition to the Alcantara pieces on the sides of the seats and seat back, the knee pads on the console are also Alcantara. The center console feels very solid, and the cupholders are far enough out on the dash that you get a full-size insulated cup in/out without any funny tilting business.

I like buttons and nobs better than touchscreens, so happy to have an overlap of both. Touchscreens pull your focus off the drive, so I prefer to use buttons, voice, and/or the HUD to tune & change on the drive. Gesture control is neat. I donít use it much (yet?), but I programed the custom gesture to ďmuteĒ, and that is quicker than pushing the volume nob from my driving position.

Also, the climate controls have the ďsyncĒ button which I always missed on the F80. They also have a feature where you can set the heated and ventilated seats to automatically come on (independently) at your desired level when the outside temperature is above or below what you set.

The rear seat is comfy, it has a good amount of (manual) angle adjustment and has plenty of legroom & headroom for anybody under 6í 5Ē (Iíd guess). The rear climate controls are all you need to stay comfy, and BMW provides a small double USB charging plug to go in the ďlighter socket.Ē

The interior lighting is nice, not as customizable as Audi, but a big step up from orange or white! The panoramic sunroof will be nice when itís not so hot. Itís huge and really opens up the cabin. If you are worried about the 200lbs, you probably arenít ready for the fast SUV segment yet. Wait for the next M3 to get your AWD enhancement.

On the downside, the piano black shifter, buttons & surround suck. Piano black is just a dumb idea anywhere in a car. Another downside is that the door pockets donít have any carpet or padding on the inside edge like every other BMW Iíve had (E70, E92, F10, & F80). The pockets and bottle cut outs are huge, but the lack of and lining allows a bottle to rattle a bit. Also, maybe the speakers need to break-in, but Iím not very impressed with the H-K system so far. Itís just OK, not bad, not good.

Ride

Mine came with the Continental Tires vs PS4s. At first, I was disappointed b/c the PS4s are an amazing tire. That said, on the X3M these Sport Contact 6 tires have a good amount of sidewall, are quiet, compliant and sticky.

Makes me wonder if BMW intentionally switched to the Contiís to soften out the ride? I have no info to base that on, but I canít understand all the ďharsh rideĒ reviews, especially Top Gearís nasty review about how unbearable the ride is.

Itís a huge step up from M3 comfort and quiet, yet not ďsloppy,Ē at all. To me itís just the right amount of firm yet compliant around town (in Comfort). I donít really feel the bumps, broken pavement, or indented drain covers. Sometimes I can hear them, but they arenít jarring. The ride reminds me of my dadís GLS 63 or my brother-in-lawís A6 with 20Ē wheels. Years ago, I had the F10 535i M-Sport with Adaptive Suspension. (I dumped the RFTs and put Pilot Sports on, but) That was plush to the point of being a little sloppy. This isnít that, but if you donít like it, you probably are past the level of sportiness the car is intended to deliver.

Performance

Iím only at 488 miles, and trying to stick to the break-in, which for me is keep it <100 MPH and <5,500 RPM. Even so, itís obvious this car will get up and go effortlessly. The sensation of speed is different than in the M3, for example. Itís quieter, and smoother, but when I look at the speed, I can tell Iím similarly quick, just with a less drama. The 8 spd is smoother than the DCT, and still very quick on manual shifts.

The car steers flat on quick lane changes, and long 30-50 mph curves (taken at 60-80 mph). I need to get used to how much speed to carry entering and when and how heavy to get on the gas on 90 degree turns, but the grip is there.

The brakes are phenomenal, typical BMW. Not grabby at the start, very progressive, and give a lot of feel. I bed in brakes too, so havenít jammed them, but based on the size of the front calipers and rotors, Iím sure it stops in a gut busting hurry.

This is not ďperformanceĒ and highly subjective, but the exhaust note is good. I liked the F80 too, but this seems a little deeper. The startup sound is nice and then quiets to a low deep grumble.

Somebody else will probably beat me there, but I'll have a much better idea on the real performance potential after the 1,200 service and the ECU is fully opened up.

Mods & Accessories

I doubt Iíll do any mods to this one, but who knows. I said the same thing about the F80, and added a bunch of carbon bits in & out.

I have swapped out the OEM floormats for WeatherTech Floor liners and a Cargo Mat with the bumper protector. I do this on all my cars, immediately. The Cargo Mat works fine, even with the raised floor for the spare vs. the standard X3 flat cargo area.

I also added WeatherTech Full Car SunShades. These are amazing. If you live somewhere hot (or cold) and park outside in the sun, these are a great way to keep your interior much cooler (silver side), or warmer (black side).

WeatherTech needs to pay me for free advertising!

Ok, I'm done.

Cheers,

John


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Last edited by JohnNick72; 07-15-2019 at 11:18 PM.. Reason: Correction
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      07-15-2019, 04:06 AM   #2
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Thanks for taking the time to share your initial ownership experience, JohnNick72. Reaffirms my thoughts on it during the brief exposure provided by the M Town Tour.

Not sure if you use it, but have you been able to determine whether the center console 'Engine Sound' button mutes ASD completely or just lowers the inside fake cabin volume, and whether it affects the exterior noise via the exhaust flaps as well? Not sure if just pulling the ASD fuse as a number have done in the G01 will work in the F97 (may not if the console button is in the loop), but I would be curious to read your thoughts on the HK sound once you get rid of the fake ASD noise. Many of us think the system sounds significantly better with ASD completely off, so just a thought if you find the HK isn't meeting your expectations.

Thanks again!
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      07-15-2019, 07:00 AM   #3
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Very helpful. Thanks !
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      07-15-2019, 12:25 PM   #4
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Seeing as customer order cars are just shipping I am assuming you took your dealers HEA car, Donnington gray with Black/beige Merino/Alcantara. Curious if your dealer gave you any discount. Mine is on order and due to be completed in 2 days, fully custom ordered (graphite with beige/black/alcantara) X3Mc fully loaded. Just wanting to get some info because I haven't finalized my deal till it arrives.

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      07-15-2019, 01:24 PM   #5
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Thank you for the review and congratulations! We do have the painted front reflectors in stock.
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      07-15-2019, 01:37 PM   #6
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Congratulations ‼️
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      07-15-2019, 01:38 PM   #7
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Congrats, it looks great, can't wait to test drive one!
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      07-15-2019, 01:45 PM   #8
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Congrats, she looks awesome
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      07-15-2019, 01:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IND-Distribution View Post
Thank you for the review and congratulations! We do have the painted front reflectors in stock.

tastes like spam
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      07-15-2019, 01:57 PM   #10
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Sounds like an impressive beast!
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      07-15-2019, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Adjuster View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by IND-Distribution View Post
Thank you for the review and congratulations! We do have the painted front reflectors in stock.
Tastes like spam
It does now doesn't it.

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      07-15-2019, 02:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnNick72 View Post

Ride

Mine came with the Continental Tires vs PS4s. At first, I was disappointed b/c the PS4s are an amazing tire. That said, on the X3M these Sport Contact 6 tires have a good amount of sidewall, are quiet, compliant and sticky.

Makes me wonder if BMW intentionally switched to the Conti’s to soften out the ride? I have no info to base that on, but I can’t understand all the “harsh ride” reviews, especially Top Gear’s nasty review about how unbearable the ride is.



Cheers,

John

I am not sure why this is not widely known. This has been common knowledge since the E36 M3 came with Dunlop vs Yokohama back in the 1990s when BMW used Dunlop and Yokohoma as their primary tire brands.

BMW specs for TWO tire manufacturers so that they can still sell cars if a production error occurs. Imagine if Michelin had an issue that prevented them from shipping tires for say.. a 90 day period.... perhaps a facility has to be shut down temporarily.. .. BMW would have a hard time delivering vehicles wouldn't they? They would have to scramble at the last second to find a company that can design and/or produce a tire for them in the volume they need !

Another reason for ordering from two manufacturers? Competition among tire manufacturers keeps the price down. If BMW only buys tires from a single vendor.. then that vendor has little reason to discount their item...

If I recall correctly... the E30 M3 came with either Pirelli P7 tires or Uniroyal Rallye tires. I am sure you can guess which tire buyers wanted back in 1989...

thanks for the writeup... as my area did not get an ///M town tour or UDE this year... we got the " LESS FILLING" version here in Dallas, and there was not a single M car present at the event... They had an X3M40, M340i, and Z4m40 and a few other vehicles but not much at all.. I had previously driven the X3 M30.... so I did not wait in line for the X3M40. I will have to stop be a dealer and test drive the X3M. I am hoping that it has a little lower ride height... closer to that of my E84 X1 than the standard X3.
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Last edited by M3 Adjuster; 07-15-2019 at 02:36 PM..
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      07-15-2019, 02:08 PM   #13
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      07-15-2019, 02:11 PM   #14
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Nice write up, and nice looking car.
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      07-15-2019, 02:28 PM   #15
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Is it just be or does the trunk badge look crooked? Seems nice, I just wish people would order their cars in colors that weren't so boring
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      07-15-2019, 02:40 PM   #16
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Congrats!!! My dealer called me on their first X3M Comp also.
Lucky that I am away for Summer break, otherwise it will be hard to resist that temptation.
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      07-15-2019, 02:44 PM   #17
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I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on the new X3M.

One question, I read that you mentioned briefly that the 8spd auto transmission is smoother than the DCT. Can you give us a more thorough opinion about the difference between the 2 and your thoughts?
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      07-15-2019, 03:06 PM   #18
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Awesome write-up, beautiful X3M Comp, thanks and congrats!
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      07-15-2019, 03:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom7835 View Post
Is it just be or does the trunk badge look crooked? Seems nice, I just wish people would order their cars in colors that weren't so boring
I doubt he ordered his as the allocations just became available, and it will take time to build them. All of the initial X3M's I have seen delivered by BMW to their dealerships so far have been Donnington Grey.
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      07-15-2019, 03:21 PM   #20
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are you happy overall with the X3MC over your previous F80?

ive had my current F80 for 4 years and have slowly warmed up to the idea of having an X3M to replace it as my daily. the prospect of a slightly comfier drive, higher ride height, and extra creature comforts is appealing to me (gettin older with a growing family). i just happen to love the F80 on the road, but lets be honest, will never take advantage of its capabilities. an X3M sounds like a more logical/eventual change for me... i just dont want to be Ďboredí by it. even as a grocery getter, the M3 keeps that excitement alive.

500 miles isnt much time/distance, but do you think the X3M will satisfy you for the next few years (unless you already have a weekend car)... would like to know your thoughts.
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      07-15-2019, 04:16 PM   #21
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Congratulations!
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      07-15-2019, 04:20 PM   #22
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Thank you for the write up!
Can't wait till the dealers have more inventories came in.
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