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The BMW X3 is a compact luxury crossover SUV (though BMW advertises it as an SAV,. or Sport Activity Vehicle) produced by the German automaker BMW. It is based on the BMW 3-Series automobile platform. The X3 3.0i won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Sport Utility Vehicle award for 2005.
13 Reviews from Epinions.com
Mar 18, 2007
After 18 months car remains excellent!
Pros: Beautiful exterior and interior, fast engine, giant sunroof
Cons: Expensive, cryptic dashboard buttons, poor voice recognition, lame "cargo net" option
The Bottom Line:
Considering the financing promotion I received, this is the best small-mid luxury SUV on the market.
I leased the X3 new in Feb '07 with the Premium Package and a bunch of extras - MSRP was $43,570. I narrowed down the search to two cars in the $40K small-mid luxury SUV category: BMW X3 and Acura RDX. On paper both cars are superior, with more similarities than differences. But one difference was major - the financing. Over the 36 month term the X3 would depreciate to 68% while the RDX to 61%. Also the X3's finance charge was 3.6% compared to RDX's 5.1%. These differences boiled down to this - for the same monthly payment I could own a $42k X3 or a $36k RDX. So the decision was made for me and I did not bother to test the RDX.
So let me break it down this way: The good, the so-so and the ugly.
- Exterior is beautiful. Front is especially aggressive
- Interior fit and finish: lots of wood and leather, with little plastic. Seats are firm and comfortable.
- Engine is very strong and zips me nicely past the local slowpokes
- Road noise is minimal, considering the small size of the car
- Sunroof is HUGE and lights up the entire car
- Blue tooth works well, though it's a multi step process to make a phone call
- Gas mileage averages 19.1 mpg - pretty good considering mostly city/non-hwy driving
- Routine maintenance is included for the life of the lease
- Power folding mirrors are great for getting the car in and out of the garage
- Handled very well in several snowstorms
- Throttle is jerky and takes some getting used to. Push the accelerator too lightly and a there is slight hesitation; push too hard and the car lurches forward
- Non-intuitive radio and air conditioning controls: keep the owner’s manual nearby
- Voice recognition: as this doesn’t tie in to the blue tooth and cell phone address book, you need to “train” it to recognize your voice, like cell phones from a few years back. To make matters worse there was no manual - had to search the ‘net for this. This is a piece of technology from a few years back that needs updating.
- Onboard clock/thermometer/trip meter is tiny and only in view of the driver
- 2nd front cup holder is tiny and located near the passenger window air vent
- Aux input for an MP3 player is in the back row; inconvenient for the driver
- Car is relatively narrow, so three adults would be uncomfortable in the back seat
- Lack of full size spare tire
- Lack of available cargo net system, and speaking of cargo nets...
- I had to pay $150 for a “cargo net” as part of the package. This is not the type of cargo net that nicely holds things down in the trunk. Instead, it‘s a relatively useless device that divides the back seat and the trunk.
- Expensive, considering I didn't get upgrades like NAV, larger wheels or rear seat DVD. Fully loaded RDX would have cost less, though unfavorable financing negated this
- Occasional transmission mishap where the transmission won't go into first gear and red warning lights flash; I need to pull over and restart the car to fix the problem
*************Update Sep 2008*************
Car is great, no problems. Since Feb 2007 I've put on less than 15,000 miles and only had the oil changed. The car is smaller than I initially thought, and only holds 4 comfortably. Acceleration lag/jerky throttle problem persists, but it seems to be inherent in many German cars. Overall very happy with this car!
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