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Old 09-19-2017, 02:10 PM   #1
robg
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X3 28i Loaner Review

Took my 2008 X3 in for the Takata recall and got a 2017 X3 loaner.

Ok, so it's a homely beast (even ugly from some angles). This one was made worse by its non-descript bronze paint.

But what a nice place to spend time. Good visibility, comfortable seats, perfect size, very high quality interior (much better than the current 3 series) and the latest idrive is perfection. The door thunk is great--sort of a return to the way BMWs used to feel. All of the controls/buttons feel old-school German as well (that's a good thing). Click the voice button and say "take me to ...." and it gets it instantly. Better than Siri for sure. Despite having Carplay I dont think i'd ever use it w/ this system...it just works so well.

As always the turbo 4 + 8 speed combo is quick enough, and it was smoother than I'd remembered, but still shifts a bit too much and makes itself known. I'd take the 6 cyl + 6 speed auto in my current x3 any day over this. The steering is way too light (even in sport), but still better than the F30. My wife felt more strongly about it-- she really disliked the steering and described it as "loose". They don't do any engine sound augmentation in the x3 and I now realize why they do it in other models. It just sounds very wheezy and decidedly "unpremium" when accelerating. Handing wasn't good or bad- just unobtrustive.

Still, I enjoyed whipping around in this car to do errands. It'd be very easy to live with (yes, i'm getting older ). If I could score a lease on one for, say, $350 a month (highly doubtful given BMWs worsening lease programs ). maybe I'd consider it. And as far as crossovers go, I suppose this is one of the best of the bunch despite being one of the oldest. You likely have to step up to something like a Macan S to get a meaningful improvement. But they're ridiculously expensive and kind of small (so why bother with a crossover at that point). I know Audi and Volvo win all the comparison tests these days, but mostly for even better interiors/practicality. You're still stuck 4 cyl turbos unless you spend a fortune on an SQ5 (and at that point why not just get a Macan).

Getting back in my old x3 felt good though -- the seats, steering, drive-train and handling are all better. But given that it's our only car, I'd rather not spin the roulette wheel of German reliability for too much longer.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:23 PM   #2
Jeff_DML
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Is 2017 the brand new platform?
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:25 PM   #3
robg
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Originally Posted by Jeff_DML View Post
Is 2017 the brand new platform?
No- it's the last year of the current one. The 2018 X3 is the new one.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:33 PM   #4
bren
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I got a flyer in the mail the other day extolling the virtues of the '18, and then offering a discount on a '17.
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Old 09-19-2017, 03:03 PM   #5
robg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_DML View Post
Is 2017 the brand new platform?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bren View Post
I got a flyer in the mail the other day extolling the virtues of the '18, and then offering a discount on a '17.
Ha! When I ran the numbers, I'd need to get about 11k off sticker to make it attractive for me and that's not realistic (even on an ex-loaner). I half-heartedly considered emailing a few dealers to see if any would bite, but couldn't quite get motivated to do so. I suppose if the perfect deal dropped in my lap I could be convinced to sign the paperowrk. At the very least, I think it'd have to be the 35i model though
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:15 AM   #6
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When I ran the numbers, I'd need to get about 11k off sticker to make it attractive for me and that's not realistic (even on an ex-loaner)
Maybe not... I received nearly 15% off MSRP on an ordered ‘17 F15 and the 2018 MY is the final year of F15 production. FYI, the final day of production for the F25 was 08.25.17 so there are still plenty available prior to the arrival of the G01 (3rd Gen) sometime in Oct.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:28 AM   #7
wdc330i
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Yeah. I think you could get close to that discount with a new model coming.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:35 PM   #8
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I had one of these as a loaner for a couple of days. It was the sDrive iteration of the 4 cylinder. It was a stripper and filthy inside--so that influenced my opinion.

It was OK. But pretty uninspiring. Kind of appliance like. I find that to be true of most base BMWs until you start ticking the proper boxes. It's a nice size for most small families.

I imagine once our kid is out of the house, we'd downsize the X5 to something this size. But, it'd probably be some Macan variant. Or a proper station wagon, if anyone would make one again. The E91 was a little small; the F31 is a better size for a family-mobile. The E63 is bigger than I'd like.

At any rate, it was great to get back in the 2 series. It's really the sweet spot for a fun daily driver with a modicum of practicality.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:18 PM   #9
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When is the LSD going in?
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:23 PM   #10
lemming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdc330i View Post
I had one of these as a loaner for a couple of days. It was the sDrive iteration of the 4 cylinder. It was a stripper and filthy inside--so that influenced my opinion.

It was OK. But pretty uninspiring. Kind of appliance like. I find that to be true of most base BMWs until you start ticking the proper boxes. It's a nice size for most small families.

I imagine once our kid is out of the house, we'd downsize the X5 to something this size. But, it'd probably be some Macan variant. Or a proper station wagon, if anyone would make one again. The E91 was a little small; the F31 is a better size for a family-mobile. The E63 is bigger than I'd like.

At any rate, it was great to get back in the 2 series. It's really the sweet spot for a fun daily driver with a modicum of practicality.
Buick. Merc. BMW. Jaguar. Audi. Volvo.

There are still some decent wagon choices.
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