BMW X3 Reviews

2007 BMW X3 SE 2.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2007
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 2.0 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired8000 miles
Most recent distance65000 miles

Summary:

The BMW under the SUVs

Faults:

New carpet after the rear washer tube under the driver's seat burst.

Rear PDC sensors replaced.

Rear wiper motor replaced.

Crank shaft vibration damper replaced.

Two front rims replaced after paint blistering.

Heated mirrors replaced.

Radio reconnected.

Right rear coil spring replaced.

Left rear coil spring replaced.

BMW dealer broke two bolts while servicing my X3, and charged me for their mistake, thanks!

General Comments:

Very sporty drive.

Good for long distance cruising.

Very good in snow conditions, always gets you home.

Low fuel consumption combined with good performance.

Although good build quality, I expected less trouble from a premium brand like BMW, and I did not expect them to change only one rear coil spring when they know the other one is also going to break within months, as this is a known problem with some BMW's.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2012

16th Jul 2014, 15:37

So after doing a couple of miles in my X3 (90,000), all long distance driving and having a full BMW dealer service history, I found that there is a design fault in the 2.0D BMW engine. BMW is aware of it, but don’t give any help, support, advice or compensation.

It starts with the emission (yellow) warning light coming up occasionally; after a while this is accompanied by power failure around 2000 RPM; very dangerous as 2000 RPM is at 60mph in 6th gear and exactly the speed and RPM before you pullout to overtake, only to find that there is no power.

The engine code is MAF sensor, but after replacing this £300 sensor the problem is still there, and also the MAF sensor code comes up again.

The problem is the crank case filter/breather tends to clog up, a part that is not routinely changed at the BMW dealer service intervals; the result is that the oil level starts rising slowly as diesel vapours escaping past the valves into the sump due to the high pressure these engines need to operate, can’t escape any more, and engine oil is contaminated with diesel. The rising oil level reaches a point that it will start pushing oil out into the fuel/air pipes around the EGR and inlet manifold, and blocking these parts with carbon build up.

Some BMW dealers will deny there is a problem at all, and will start a search mission while you keep coming back and paying them over and over again; others offer to do a de-coke for £2500.

BMW is aware of this problem; the extended BMW warranty specifically excludes de-coking and sensor replacing.

So what is basically a design flaw combined with a poor BMW service routine comes to bite you around the 60,000 mile mark, just when your BMW will be out of warranty and the extended warranty does not cover it either. BMW even profits of this as they are the only ones who sell these parts at hugely over rated prices, and BMW dealers charge £99 an hour for labour.

After a lot of research, I decided to fix my BMW at a local garage using original BMW parts, the garage cleaned the EGR and removed another BMW design failure, the swirl flaps.

BMW (Bosch) MAF £300.

BMW inlet manifold £440.

BMW crank case breather £25.

Aftermarket swirl flap blanking plates £12.

Labour 4 hours £120.

Just google: BMW decoke, BMW emission warning light, BMW swirlflaps and you will find thousands and thousands of other BMW diesel owners battling with the same issues and without any BMW support.

18th Jul 2014, 08:42

Sorry to hear of your problems. I changed from my X3 to a Volvo XC60 and haven't looked back since. 90k miles in and the Volvo realistically beats the X3 in every area. Mine is the R-design model, which looks so much better than the standard model.

25th Jul 2014, 10:58

Sorry but I'm still too young to drive a Volvo, and as my X3 is fixed now, I will keep it a bit longer and switch to Audi later on.

26th Jul 2014, 17:36

How young have you got to be? I was 32 when I bought the Volvo, and trust me, the XC60 has a much younger client base than the X3. All you have to do is look at the drivers on the road.

I must admit, I was going to buy an Audi Q5, but I know of two other people (both under 40) who have just sold theirs for an XC60 and much prefer the product. I have to say, they have saved me from the blandness. The Q5 is such a BORING car. Well made, but felt like I was driving an A4 on stilts. I wanted a car that was thought about and designed with a driver in mind, and that's where the Volvo shines. That's the difference between a German product where it's all about kerb appeal, and the Scandinavian product where it's just as good, but without the whole "I've got more LEDs than you" image.

Anyway, enjoy your X3 a little longer and Audi after that... one day, when you're old enough, you will try a Volvo product and wonder why you spent years wasting your money on other cars!

2005 BMW X3 3.0i from North America

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 3.0i Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired107000 miles
Most recent distance109000 miles

Summary:

A highly built, quality vehicle

Faults:

I have only had this car for a very short time (less than a year). So far, no problems yet. I bought it with a little over 107,000 miles. This car was in very good condition when I bought it.

General Comments:

I have only had this car for a very short time. So far, no problems yet. I bought it with a little over 107,000 miles. This car was in very good condition. I bought in Milford, CT. It had a very clean interior.

It is very responsive. Very fast. The seats are a little stiff compared to my 2007 Envoy Denali. The suspension is stiff (first BMW I owned), but I am comparing it to other cars that I have owned (Ford Explorer, GMC Envoy, Acura 3.2 CL).

Overall, the car is very well built. The interior is nicely laid out. High quality interior trims.

Very happy with this car. The wife loves it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2012

Average review marks: 8.5 / 10, based on 8 reviews