After owning two X5s, I decided to downsize to the X3 2.5i Sport. I've owned the car for nearly 18 months and frankly I've been delighted with it - so much so that I really cannot understand the ctiticism that the car receives.
After over 15,000 miles, my car has not had a single fault. The only cost to me, other than fuel, has been for a set of wipers about three months ago.
I agree that the ride is rather firm, but that is what I expected and what I'm used to having owned a number of BMW sports models. Other than that, I find the car to be very easy to drive. It's quiet and it handles extremely well.
As other reviewers have said, it rides more like a saloon car than a 4x4. Mine is well equipped with extras that are too expensive (satellite-navigation, electric heated seats, full leather and so on), but overall I am very happy with the car and can certainly recommend it to anyone who wants a 'small' 4x4.
I purchased this model from new because I was given a huge discount on the retail price. In fact, it was so big that it was cheaper than similarly-specified 2.0d models in the same showroom.
It broke down three times in the first eight weeks due to faulty electrics. Finally the engine management was replaced and this has sorted it out. The service from BMW was abysmal. I would go as far as saying it was the worst customer service I have encountered. Even though it was a new car, they warned me that I would have to arrange my own replacement vehicle if the problems persisted. Well, BMW, you have lost one customer for life.
The cabin is also of a very poor standard, with the exception of the heated leather seats which are comfortable. Listening to the stereo is like listening to your grandad's wireless in a tin shed.
In summary, I will never buy a car based on price again. It is the worst car I have ever owned and I prefer to drive our five-year old Volkswagen Golf than this shed on wheels.
How I miss the A4 cabriolet I traded in for this pile of junk.
I have owned this for over eight months now. The 3.0-litre diesel is an excellent engine, and that is from someone who has driven Porsche 911s for 15 years and Audi quattros for another six years!
Having previously had other 4x4s (Shogun, Disco), the BMW is a real 4x4 and yet delivers car-like preformance and functionality. It cruises beautifully at 130kph and delivers about 38-39mpg at that speed. It's even better if you keep your speed below 110kmh.
It's a real performance engine - this is no gutless diesel. You can overtake and accelerate like in a car.
The Steptronic box is a delight. I drove for miles through the Alps this summer in the X3 and it was faultless, especially over monster passes such as the Stelvio (48 hairpins up). This is the 4x4 if you do not want to seat seven people. (Who takes seven people off road anyway?)
This car has already been used for real in the Alps last winter and it was excellent. I do not understand your comments about the poor ride quality. Ours is fine - not harsh or lumpy at all, and a hell of a lot better than our old 3.5 V6 Pajero/Shogun!
How can you rate the X5 a four-star car and yet not give the same rating to the X3? Also, have you driven the X-Trail?
The equipement is top-quality, especailly the radio, hi-fi speakers, and adaptive xenon lights.
After owning this vehicle for 18 months was glad to sell it (and take a considerable loss in doing so) due to the insolvable window creaking problem.
Had a Freelander prior to 'upgrading' to this BMW and regreated it. BMW Service consitently failed to solve the window issue. I belive the vehicle could find it's own way to their service facility as it had about eight visits, each time with no improvement. In the end I think they gave up.
Sold it and have gone back to Land Rover with a Range Rover Sport 2.7 TD SE. Did consider the X5 but after the X 3 it will be a long time before I return to BMW.
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