When its good it very good, when its bad its a nightmare. In general its a superb Car plenty of room, good MPG, comfortable, solid and a total work horse. I have owned 2 of these cars and both have thrown up very expensive issues that seem to be design flaws. What makes it worse is us poor unsuspecting owners have to pick up the very large hard to swallow bills for errors at the BMW works. I have had the dreaded swirl flap issue which cost me around 2.5k (Full strip down, clean & rebuild by BMW dealer). The 'you must have approved tires fitted to prevent diff damage' line which cost another 1k. Then the diff starts to rubble and then die. All of the above was X3 number 1. X3 Number 2, Folding mirror and electric window failure, severe diff rumble and whine. Leaking door seals and swirls flap issues. My point is be careful when purchasing and try to buy from approved dealer with 12 months warranty so all issues are there's for that period. Miles don't seem to matter the diffs and swirl flaps can fail at any time. FSH a must and an inspection is advised prior to delivery and handing over any cash. Tires are very costly due to the approved tire requirement. Have the swirl flaps removed and blanked off to prevent failure.
Bought a 3 year year old x3 diesel with 19,000 miles 4 months ago, overall we are very pleased with it mpg rarely moves from 30mpg not bad round town. The ride as mentioned is firmish but certainly not unpleasant, and it goes round corners like it's on rails (well for a 4x4). our car has senstatic upholstery which i wouldn't have again, other than that would highly recommend.MAT Sofield
I purchased an ex demonstrator BMW directors X3 last year, and must say that it a fantastic car to drive. The twin turbo diesel engine is brilliant, with the torque being absolutely amazing. The suspension had been changed from sports setting to 'delete suspension' setting, and has improved the ride beyond recognition. I was told by my BMW dealer that they are doing this to all their cars, unless the customer wanted otherwise, so the hard ride mentioned by other drivers is obviously a problem which has been addressed. My X3 came with several extras, although with the 'M' version, you do get a lot for your money(you need to for the price!), and after owning a 3 series 330d saloon before, I must say that this is the best BMW I have owned. My son drives a 5 series, but if he can take mine instead, he will, so it must tell you something about this car. The higher driving position, fantastic engine and performance, as well as the improved road holding has given me a car which I shall not be changing for many years.
Just 3 years old and I wouldn't buy another. Can't better 22.5 mpg and whilst I've covered 81K miles the car is only worth £13K trade in. I even got it stuck up here in the Lakes on Xmas day 2004 in snow. Couldn't move it, so I avoid any off roading. Handling is excellent but it bounces the passengers all over the place. Good auto gearbox.
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