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Old 01-10-2020, 12:08 PM   #1
JST
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BMW M5 and X3 M

I test drove a new M5 and an X3M at CES this week. I mean, it wasn't much of a test drive--a 2 mile loop around the Vegas convention center, fully half of which was mostly stop and go traffic.

But there were a couple of places where you could get on it a little...

Anyway, the M dynamic adjustments in both were familiar to me, and the control setups generally mimic those in my F80 M3.

The M5 is fast and makes great noises. I mean, it's really fast. But it also feels nice. Bigger than the M3, for sure, and broad of beam, but well controlled and relatively nimble for its size.

The X3 M...isn't those things. Even with the adjustable suspension set to sport, it doesn't feel taught or controlled, particularly. It feels tall and stiff, like Larry Bird must when he gets off a trans-Atlantic flight.

It's fast, too, and makes decent noises, though after the M5 it feels a little less special. As I mentioned in talking about the Jaguar F-Pace, I appreciate that companies like BMW are still building cars that DON'T have 2.0L four cylinders, though.

But the X3 M left me feeling the same way the Stelvio QF did. It's fast. It's loud. But it's not fun.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:26 PM   #2
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I test drove a new M5 and an X3M at CES this week. I mean, it wasn't much of a test drive--a 2 mile loop around the Vegas convention center, fully half of which was mostly stop and go traffic.

But there were a couple of places where you could get on it a little...

Anyway, the M dynamic adjustments in both were familiar to me, and the control setups generally mimic those in my F80 M3.

The M5 is fast and makes great noises. I mean, it's really fast. But it also feels nice. Bigger than the M3, for sure, and broad of beam, but well controlled and relatively nimble for its size.

The X3 M...isn't those things. Even with the adjustable suspension set to sport, it doesn't feel taught or controlled, particularly. It feels tall and stiff, like Larry Bird must when he gets off a trans-Atlantic flight.

It's fast, too, and makes decent noises, though after the M5 it feels a little less special. As I mentioned in talking about the Jaguar F-Pace, I appreciate that companies like BMW are still building cars that DON'T have 2.0L four cylinders, though.

But the X3 M left me feeling the same way the Stelvio QF did. It's fast. It's loud. But it's not fun.
I don't think I've seen a single positive review of the x3m.
It sounds like it's miserably stiff and yet still not responsive or fun in any way. The b58 version is decent, in that it knows it's an SUV and needs to be practical and comfortable while still being 1uick and dynamic.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:52 PM   #3
robg
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Cool how you got a chance to drive them. Kinda funny how CES has become a quasi auto show (and also ironic given how BMWNA no longer participates in auto shows).
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:08 PM   #4
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Cool how you got a chance to drive them. Kinda funny how CES has become a quasi auto show (and also ironic given how BMWNA no longer participates in auto shows).
Yeah, it's weird. Everyone was showing a car; even Sony had a car that looked basically production-ready.

BMW was offering rides in their self-driving i3s, which...yawn. But they had that same fleet that's been making the rounds at the various dealers there, as well. As long as you got there by 9 AM, the line wasn't very long.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:10 PM   #5
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At least the engine in the X3M sounds decent since next M3 engine
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:00 PM   #6
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Yeah, it's weird. Everyone was showing a car; even Sony had a car that looked basically production-ready.

BMW was offering rides in their self-driving i3s, which...yawn. But they had that same fleet that's been making the rounds at the various dealers there, as well. As long as you got there by 9 AM, the line wasn't very long.
Yeah a friend of mine that's attending CES texted me about the Sony car. So random. I guess everyone is throwing their hat into the EV world.
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Old 01-11-2020, 03:38 PM   #7
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I bet the non-M x3 with the 40i engine is the better for most purposes. But then the 340i is better still.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:56 PM   #8
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I bet the non-M x3 with the 40i engine is the better for most purposes. But then the 340i is better still.
I would think your right in regards to the non M X3 ... probably the better choice ...

Gotta also agree about the 340 .... if you donít need the extra room of an suv it is an awesome car, my son is away and I drove his the other day and have to say it is a really great car and btw really fast, these cars need awd to get the power down.
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:58 PM   #9
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Does the M5 feel huge?
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:42 PM   #10
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It doesnít feel as big as I expected. Maybe Iím getting used to the M3s girth and it isnít that much larger? Idk. I mean, it feels big but not unmanageable.

I thought the shift programming in the M5 was pretty decent, as well. Much better than I remember from past BMWs. Iíd still vastly prefer a stick but if I had to have an auto, this is one of the better ones.

The X5 wasnít as good, somehow. Sloppier.
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