2004 BMW X3 3.0 from North America


Fast, cramped, uncomfortable


Cup holder in dash stuck.

Rear ash tray popped out.

Fuel sending unit went bad.

Replaced two tires after "bumping" curbs.

General Comments:

1. It's a small SUV. Lots of headroom, but the rear seats are cramped and the "trunk" area behind the seats is fairly small. Rear seats will fold down to expand area, but you have to remove the headrests if your seat setting is for a tall guy like me.

2. The leather seats are incredibly uncomfortable. Didn't think about it when I bought it, but after 3 years it's one of the disappointments. It's hard and "pebbly" and on the door arm rests actually uncomfortable. Very Teutonic comfort wise. The newer models have gone to regular leather.

3. This car can move and handle. There's no doubt about it. A hundred miles an hour up a long stretch on the turnpike without a hiccup. I use the manual shift option around town because in auto or sport options the car drags.

4. The 'no maintenance' option is really nice. You don't pay anything for standard maintenance, including oil changes, brakes, wipers, etc. I actually won't hit the 50,000 mile mark in the four years of the warranty. I expect regular service after the warranty is very expensive.

5. Well-made car. Odd problem with the instrument panel fuel gauge, but no other hiccups. Radio controls are confusing. Setting the clock is a major deal.

6. Very expensive for what you get. I've done my new BMW and SUV thing and will probably drop down to a used Acura 3.5RL, which I think for the price is the hands-down winner in this class. (The 3.5 RL, not the newer spaceship RL.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th September, 2007

4th Jun 2008, 23:21

If you look at the comments, it looks like the impression is favourable. The negatives do not outweigh the positives, and I should say, I am waiting on delivery of my new, mostly loaded x3. Manual, sport, and presently driving a 1988 4runner with 444,500 Km on it, 2006 Honda Odyssey, and just buried a 1995 Chrysler Cirrus - guess why - transmission at 186,000 then again at 188,000 (and change) and then again at 189,400 Km., then I got it, end of story. Tax receipt to the Kidney Foundation. I'll enjoy quality (fit and finish) for the next vehicle. Driving fun (manual), handling on snow or ice in -40C weather, and ability to have fun in any season.

What you like, go for it. I don't live on LA, so I like heated seats, steering wheel, rear seats, heated antifreeze for windshield, headlight cleaning, resonable clearance for unplowed streets, etc.

7th Jan 2009, 17:49

Well I think my story is love someone you have hated so much. I currently drive a 5 series E60 and owned an E46 before BMW made a blunder of the E46 successor. I think my 5 series handles so well, but it's a bit bulky. The X5 is expensive with a myriad of problems, and I am considering buying a used X3, 3.0 for my birthday. From the comments here, I think I have discovered a new love.

13th Dec 2009, 23:44

I'd have to agree with everything but the seats being uncomfortable :) I like it to be honest.

Handles great in the mountain passes in my area. Surprisingly sporty. 1,000 steps up from the old Acura I had (2003 MDX), which was just miserable in every way.

Though I'd look into the new X1 (unless you need the little rear storage space the X3 has) It's sposed to be even funner to drive than the X3. And there's the new diesel that might become an option in the US (finally), though only god knows how over priced that'll be O_O.

2005 BMW X3 3.0 from North America


I'll never own anything else!


The paint on the interior where the window controls are is peeling off.

The moon roof (which is an excellent feature on a BMW) makes a lot of noise when it's opened.

The SAV grumbles when you turn it on, when I called BMW's service department about it they said that it happens sometimes and that sometimes the car does this and it's because one of the cylinders isn't working, that was disappointing they knew the car had this problem.

General Comments:

I did buy the 3.0 and the engine is big enough to move the SAV. It handles like a car, the suspension is stiff which makes it handle that much better. Other than that, as I've said before I'll never own anything but BMW.

I love them and the service is always second to none.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2007