I had a 320D M Sport in the previous, Now having the X3 3.0D M Sport. I actually found the drive and suspension is better than the 320D, may be I am just so used to the firm ride. I had a test drive on the X3 SE model and personally didn't like the suspension which was too soft. A lot of road test verdict complained about the drive is too firm. I presumed that the car was still under 12,000miles when the test was done at the time. After 12,000miles, the suspension got softened up and in fact, even when it was new, I didnt' feel it firm or harsh. All these reviews are really down to personal preference.
What do I think of the BMW X3? Like most other people I've found the ride too hard, the performance good, the fuel consumption very good (for a car its size - 37mpg), and the handling excellent (for a 4x4). It has been entirely faultless during the time I've had it with, no gremlins, squeaks or rattles having developed, and it has also been extremely practical - not too big for parking, not too small that I can't fit lots of stuff in it.
So, after 13,000 miles, I can conclude that the X3 2.0d SE is a 'good', not a 'great', car, which is something I'm rather glad about. Had it been a great car - like the X5 (arguably), it would have been way too expensive and I would have had to wait six months to get it. Whereas, being just a 'good' car, I was able to get it on a very reasonable PCH deal and the dealer had a car in stock with the colour and specification I wanted.
So if you're thinking about buying or leasing one of these cars just make sure that you pay a 'good' car price, and not a 'great' car price. Oh, and avoid the petrol models - unless you own an oil field. You'll be more than happy.
I have had my BMW X3 2.5i Sport since November 2004. I bought it new and have not had any faults. The leather seats are quite comfy and although I would agree that the ride is firm I have never particularly minded - it's not as bad as Jeremy Clarkson says! I average 21mpg and seem to spend a lot of time filling it up. However, this was expected. The quality of the interior is not fantastic - a bit basic and 'plasticky'. Unfortunately I do find the back seat of the car slightly narrow as it won't accommodate a rear facing baby seat and two kids booster seats (maybe my baby seat is larger than average I don't know?). Anyway this is a problem so I'm looking to change the car shortly for something a bit roomier. Oh and I also can't switch off the front airbag which would be handy - apparently it costs several hundred pounds to disable the airbag and fit new seat belts and sensors (or something) so I gave up. I won't have another X3 as I've always felt it is a bit of a 'poor relation' to the X5 which always looks a bit more substantial and is definitely roomier in the back (plus looking a bit less cheaply finished inside). Am thinking of going for a Porsche Cayenne instead...... In summary the X3 has been a good car, reliable, big boot and comfy on long journeys (drove it to Paris and back) and the dealers have been good but not outstanding enough to warrant a repeat performance. Now I just have to swallow the (larger than expected) depreciation......thanks !
I purchased a used 2 year old BMW X3 2.5 SE Tiptronic in November 2006. Working and travelling within a rural area, I have found my X3 to be a comfortable and practical vehicle. It came very well specified (loaded with +£6000 in extras when new) in light blue with cream heated memory seats and has put a smile on my face ever since I bought it! My only complaint is its inability to average more than 24mpg overall fuel consumption, but as I don't do a high milage that doesnt matter too much. An excellent choice for me.
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