This is the fifth BMW that I've owned. Issues about build quality are valid I think. The car does feel plasticky and, in fact, when the car was handed over to me, the plastic clip over the auto transmission control came clean off!
The handling is excellent, and it doesn't feel like a 4x4 at all. It has a bumpy ride though, but I've got used to it now.
I have also owned Land Rover Discovery models, which rolled about all over the road. It is quite thirsty and I am getting 30mpg max on the motorway.
Getting into the car takes a little getting used to because the sports seats have a lip on them, so it's easy to hit your head on the roof as you are getting in.
My car came with Bluetooth preparation and Business sat-nav. The Bluetooth works very well but the BMW dealer was unhelpful with sorting out a compatability problem with my phone, which I eventually solved myself by looking on the internet at BMW forums.
The sat-nav is ludicrously expensive for what it is, so my advice is to forget it and get a Tom Tom, which I think is better.
The car has three power outlets, which is handy for things like DVD players, phones and PlayStations to keep the kids happy.
I took delivery of this car a few days after a pleasantly surprising test drive a couple of months ago.
The car I test-drove did indeed seem a little firm and I have since found out it was the Sport version. The car I have been driving these past few days, the SE model, has been nothing short of a joy!
My previous car was a 330d SE so I do miss some of the performance and low-range grunt of that brilliant 3.0-litre diesel engine but the ride quality and agility of the X3 2.0d SE is amazing for such a bulky car.
I consider the 'firm' ride to be actually better than my 2-year-old 330d.
I have thrown this car around at least as hard as I did my 330d and it has just sat GLUED to the road and taken corners with consumate ease. I can't express how much more fun it is to drive than I thought it would be.
I had a speaker upgrade and the sound is superb.
I was very lucky to get an incredible contract-hire deal so I don't have to suffer the admittedly higher depreciation of buying one, so this car is a bargain and well worth every penny of my monthly contract hire.
In summary, don't believe all those who slam this car as just a baby X5. Although it is overpriced, it's certainly different. But at its heart, it's fun to drive, as exhilarating as the 3 Series, with tons of space, a great image, and an xDrive system that is truly special!
I’ve had my X3 3.0 SE for about 6 weeks and driven almost 2,500 miles. I first test drove a Sport model but found the ride almost unbearable. My wife was in the front and my mother in the rear and both commented on how uncomfortable it was. I then drove an SE and it seemed better and I thought I could live with. Six weeks on I’m not so sure. I love the performance and handling but the ride!! How did BMW get it so wrong? I have owned three BMW’s with Sports suspension: 328SE (with optional sport suspension, 330 Sport Convertible and a 330D Sport Touring. While they all rode firmly they did not jitter as much as the X3.
I travel regularly between my home on the south coast and Wolverhampton using a selection of roads including M27, M3, A34 and M40. At times the car glides along but once the surface deteriorates the ride gets very twitchy and at times I feel slightly nauseous.
I bought my car second-hand. It was an ex- BMW GB Management car with only 700 miles on the clock. It was fully loaded with Professional sat-nav, TV, leather and a host of other extras. The current OTR cost would be £37,000 but I got it for under £30,000.
I have no complaints about the quality of the fit and finish, although some of the plastics do mark easier than on my previous BMW’s.
I’m hoping I get used to the ride but if not I don’t see our relationship lasting more than a year.
I've had the X3 for four months now coming up to 5000 miles on the clock. Both myself and my wife really enjoy driving this as our previous car had sport suspension and we don't find the ride on X3 bad at all.
I read reports in other mags about not liking the steering but we find this to be better than our last BMW. The only thing we could find fault with is that the plastics could be of better quality and there could be lights on the doors when they open.
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