toesuf94

Had a loaner 2009 X3 3.0i Xdrive today

22 posts in this topic

Today my M5 went in for service (to say that the dealer will be ripped a new one is an understatement but that is for later) as the 'Certified' process was never actually completed, they just threw on a set of tires and called it good.

For a loaner they sent over a Titanium Silver 2009 X3 xdrive 3.0i. Nice little suv I thought - loaded with full leather interior, ultra-view sunroof, cold weather package and a few other ammenities I am not used to seeing on a service loaner. We put her through her paces today, and here are some observances:

Good: The 3 liter in-line 6 is a marvel. Smooth, turbine like power and smooth shifts from the 6-speed transmission make the little suv a blast to drive around in. I could see me owning one of these as they are decently laid out, have decent storage space, and have a great upright seating position with a good vision all around. The steering is precise and the brakes, while touchy, do a great job of bringing this thing to a stop. Managed to earn 23 mpg durring its time with us in mixed driving. Not bad for an SUV. Ergonomics are typical BMW with everything within easy reach and where you would expect it to be.

Bad: The seats have to be the most uncomfortable things I have ever sat in. Period. Seriously it was torture for me, and my ass still hurts an hour + later. I feel like they bruised my hips! Think donkey ride down a rock path through the Grand Canyon on a steel saddle and you would get close to the pain inflicted upon my person by these seats. Further, while sitting on the seats, you feel off centered, like the steering wheel is towards the middle of the car. I could just not get comfortable in the car, and I am not just talking about my ass.

The ride is very firm, and this model did not have the sport package that I could tell. It was rough to jarring at times - completely NOT what I was expecting. For the money, the SRX is a better buy by far. Hell, I am willing to put money on the new Equinox as a better driving car than this X3 was. Bold statement? I don't think so.

So overall, I am really disappointed in the X3 and found it to be nothing like I expected from BMW, a company known for wonderfully balanced driver's cars. This experience actually made me wonder how they even sell these things!

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They offer different types of seats on the X3. I would choose the "comfort" seats, which are pillowy by BMW standards and offer an articulating backrest for your shoulders.

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BMW does seem to have lost focus as of late...

Chris

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Even our X5 was fairly uncomfortable. I couldn't stand that car. I could never find a good seating position in the 76-way "comfort" seats, and because it is supposed to be "sporty" they made the ride rather stiff...perhaps it was the auto-leveling suspension (it did also have the sport package). I mean, I don't mind stiff and sporty, but that thing rode like a bucking board, and with how good those things are supposed to handle, it always felt as if it was too narrow and top-heavy...It would dig in when you pushed it, but it didn't feel right otherwise. The transmission also never shifted correctly, even after having it reprogrammed a few times. Specifically from a dead stop, it would never transition smoothly and kind of give a jolt even when lightly pressing on the accelerator. Oh, and the texture coating on the steering wheel trim pieces was prone to peeling off very easily.

I can easily understand why you weren't impressed...

Granted, I was used to a Suburban...(A far more practical, comfortable, and superior vehicle, by the way.)

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worst seats out there are probably the saturn Astra's cloth seats. its like the laid fabric over a park bench. I haven't been in a x3 yet though.

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worst seats out there are probably the saturn Astra's cloth seats. its like the laid fabric over a park bench. I haven't been in a x3 yet though.

I would not doubt that, but I would excuse it at the price point the Astra is set at. The X3 is supposed to be a premium small utility vehicle at a higher price point.

And not that any one cares...but my ass and hips STILL hurt this morning. Office work has been EXCRUCIATING to say the least.

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worst seats out there are probably the saturn Astra's cloth seats. its like the laid fabric over a park bench. I haven't been in a x3 yet though.

the astra's seats are one of the top reasons i want one. perfect firmness. although, i would get leather. the cloth is austere.

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hmmm. I guess Im a fan of driving on rolling couches.

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Further, while sitting on the seats, you feel off centered, like the steering wheel is towards the middle of the car. I could just not get comfortable in the car, and I am not just talking about my ass.

WTF, it is off center!

image001.jpg

I can tell you right know that with my long legs my right knee would trapped between the wheel and that center console and it would be digging into my shin. It's painful just to look at it.

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^ What a cheap-assed, horrible interior. That's the VERY SAME rubber disc in the middle of the steering wheel Pontiac slapped on their base wheels in the mid 1970s. Please tell me that's a late '80s pic....

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^ What a cheap-assed, horrible interior. That's the VERY SAME rubber disc in the middle of the steering wheel Pontiac slapped on their base wheels in the mid 1970s. Please tell me that's a late '80s pic....

Nah, current X3...

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^ What a cheap-assed, horrible interior. That's the VERY SAME rubber disc in the middle of the steering wheel Pontiac slapped on their base wheels in the mid 1970s. Please tell me that's a late '80s pic....

It is extremely lackluster in design (to put it lightly), but I wouldn't consider the it cheap. Knowing those itneriors, they are pretty well put together. Everything is solid and of relatively good quality.

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It is extremely lackluster in design (to put it lightly), but I wouldn't consider the it cheap. Knowing those itneriors, they are pretty well put together. Everything is solid and of relatively good quality.

IMO, design also enters into the assessment of 'cheap', as in little time was spent conceptualizing/designing it. Assembly is partly the responsibility of the line worker/ sub-contractor- and while certainly appreciable.... a well-assembled Walkman isn't all that aspirational in 2009, either. At the typical BMW (over-)price(d) point, interiors should be class-leading in all regards.

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IMO, design also enters into the assessment of 'cheap', as in little time was spent conceptualizing/designing it. Assembly is partly the responsibility of the line worker/ sub-contractor- and while certainly appreciable.... a well-assembled Walkman isn't all that aspirational in 2009, either. At the typical BMW (over-)price(d) point, interiors should be class-leading in all regards.

And on that we agree.

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What possible reason would a car company have to shift a steering wheel off centre to the seat? If there isn't an extremely good reason, that's a completely stupid oversight.

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What possible reason would a car company have to shift a steering wheel off centre to the seat? If there isn't an extremely good reason, that's a completely stupid oversight.

Don't know...but didn't some GM products have that problem in the past? It could be a packaging issue under the hood w/ the placement of the steering column and gear...

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BMW hasn't learned about U-joints / swivels yet ??

No idea...just trying to figure if there is an engineering reason behind it. I believe even the magazines have commented about the offset in the X3.

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maybe using a more direct reacting mechanism without the offset and added joints means better steering response.

do the RHD cars have the same issue?

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