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I'd like to point out right now, that I do not own this car, this is from my own experience from the times I've driven it, borrowed it and generally used it.
Where do I start.
The first thing to mention is that this is an Automatic with a Step-Tronic box. The power delivery is immensely smooth, the changes are short, sharp and precise and if you toe it, the car will redline before changing gear, and it STILL feels effortless, with no fuss what so ever.
The engine, is a tad overkill being a 3.0l and makes this thing go like a rocket. It's super quiet and refined, however epecially at todays prices, if you drive it keenley expect 7MPG and massive hole in your pocket.
But hey, it's a Beemer, it's a big old girl and it's supposed to be. Right?
What's the point in it, is what I want to know.
(Like to note that since I got my 607, I don't bother borrowing this anymore, as I have a nice understated executive car to do all showy flashy image stuff for my business I was/am very grateful for him allowing me to use it).
A sport, 4x4? The engine and gearbox are nice, however that is where the really good points come to an end.
The Ride - Oh dear. I personally can drive the car fine, but cannot be a passenger, it makes me feel sick. The ride is so choppy it's unbelievable. On the dual carriageway you feel every bump, crest, undulation, when you drive over a small bit of grit it could be comparable to accidently bumping into Mount Vesuvius. So I would recommend that this is definately NOT a long distance cruiser.
The Look - Outside - From the side, I think the vehicle looks OK and definately has that German, Quality feel and look to it, from the back it slants too much and the front as Jeremy Clarkson so nicely put it, will make the children sick as soon as they see it. Design wise, it's just not on par with the lovely X5.
Inside - Unfortuneately the inside has quite a bit to answer for too. I've driven 1 Series BMWs which ALL have better quality materials than this X3 does. The fake leather look dashboard is actually horrible, horrible plastic and the seats are so hard, you slip and slide all over them. It's also quite awkward to get in and out of due to being a wierd height. Not tall enough to substantiate a proper set of running boards, yet not low enough for you to be able to simply swing yourself in. It's just plain wierd.
The car does not go off road, sure it'll help you when you have parked in a grassy car park and it's been raining, hoever don't expect to drive yourself out of the amazon, leave that to it's bigger brother or a Range Rover.
I'd like to say at this point that this car is NOT made in a BMW factory along side all the other models. The whole car it outsourced to a company in austria, which may explain the extremly diverse quality issues with this car, when compared to the rest of the BMW line up.
The heated seats work lovely but I'm not sure why companies like Peugeot and Renault can offer all heated seats whilst this supposed TOTR X3 can only muster front heated seats? Is brand snobbery and the quest for making yourself look flash getting in the way of people buying value for money cars? I think so.
The sunroof is also a plus point, it's a huge two stage system that looks lovely when the interior piece has slid all the way back. I found out just the other day that the sunroof has now broken, which is 1 thing in a LONG list of problems this car has had.
Things like, broken ash tray, satnav kept freezing, bluetooth system was erratic and erased internal phone numbers in the car, It generally doesn't seem to be a thought out system like in the other BMW range.
OK, so in conclusion, I've told you about the experience, what I think of it and what is just basic fact.
Personally, I wouldn't recommend this car to anybody at all. It was a cheap shot for BMW to enter into the school run mobile sector and it shows, a quick rendition of a very poor symphony. Doggid looks, hurrendous ride, cheap feel, problems and issues, it's just not a very nice car to own. My friend wants to get a different car but can't due to being locked into finance, ouch, just goes to show how bad this car really is. Great to borrow and mess about with though ;)
oh before I finish, one feature I really do like is the self limiting cruise control, being all electronic and with the auto box, the cruise can apply the brakes too, my 607 doesn't even do that! which keeps you at a solid, rock steady speed.
If you want a 4x4, then 1.) save up a bit more or 2.) go for a slightly older - X5 for the same money and you won't be dissapointed.
Just ask yourself why do you need this vehicle? It has no use.