We have owned a '05 X3 3.0i for about 7 months. Overall in one simple word, WOW. If you are considering this on your list, then drive one. This drives like a sports car with regards to confidence, bal...
We have owned a '05 X3 3.0i for about 7 months. Overall in one simple word, WOW. If you are considering this on your list, then drive one. This drives like a sports car with regards to confidence, balance, braking, and handling. Acceleration may not be a muscle car, but pretty powerful and balanced up and downshifts. But unlike the typical sports car that only provides balance performance in dry conditions, this one always excels. Dry, wet, snow, or ice, it is really amazing. The AWD and Stability Control, along with the weight balance of this vehicle, makes the driving so stable. It is like a sports car blended with an SUV. Check out the performance specs at Consumer Reports, and you'll see handling, emergency handling, and braking in the same league as sports sedans, like BMW 3, Acura TL. Gas mileage is decent for a car with this weight (4K) and performance (about 18-20 in town and mid to upper 20's on the hwy. Minnesota winter city driving drops to ~14 mpg). Finally, roomy backseat, low insurance cost, wireless hookup to radio for using cell phone, stadium lighting headlights, and a heated steering wheel (thought this was a gimmicky bell and whistle; Now? I would give up the heated seats before the heated wheel!)
Yes, some small annoyances. 1) Single, dash mounted power lock switch (have to reach over past the steering wheel or get in to open other doors if you don't have the FOB). 2) Speaking of the FOB, unless dealer installed, these cars don't have alarms (in Minneapolis, that is nearly 100% of them), which means there is no panic button or any horn chirp to confirm locks. Dealer installed option is ~$500 3) No MP3 jack?? 4) The HUGE sunroof can often rattle. 5) The brake dust is overbearing (creates A LOT, and hard to clean). 6) Heater/AC fan occasionally squeaks. 7) No body side molding, leaving doors exposed to parking lot dings (only one now, but seems vulnerable).
One last comment. In winter and wet driving you need to be deliberate in keeping speed down since the car seems to handle hazardous conditions so well (most of the time, it is nearly immune). And it does handle it VERY WELL, but all moving vehicles have a limit (we just haven't pushed the X3 to its limit. Our limit is much less than its).