2005 BMW X3 2.5i 2.5L DOHC I6 from North America
An SUV that thinks it's a sports sedan
Upon arrival of the car to the dealer, the salesman noticed a small scratch in the bumper. It was fixed quickly and without drama.
Besides that, nothing has gone wrong with the car since purchase, but it is still very new.
Overall, I find this car to be a pleasant surprise. After growing tired of my 1996 Acura Tl (which by the way was a very reliable car), I was in the market for a small multipurpose vehicle.
The BMW X3 caught my eye because of its practical nature and the prestige associated with the BMW brand for a reasonable price.
I ended up purchasing a 2005 Flamenco Red X3 2.5i with the beige leatherette interior and the following options:
Steptronic automatic transmission, panorama roof, cruise control with multifunction steering wheel, on-board computer, and BMW assist. The total price was in the range of 34000, thanks to a clearance deal.
My first impressions of the car are generally favorable. I am very impressed with the steering and road feel of the X3, in fact it handles much more like a sports sedan than any SUV I'm familiar with. I will have to wait until winter to comment on the benefits of the all-wheel drive system, but so far so good.
As for engine performance, the standard 2.5l six produces 184 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. Though fine in the 325i, the engine becomes somewhat overburdened in the X3 due to the extra weight. BMW's website clocked the X3 2.5i with automatics 0-60 time in 9.3 seconds. To put that in perspective, a Honda CR-V, an SUV with many of the same features costing around 15000 dollars less, clocked an 8.9 second time with a 4 cylinder engine. Moving up to the 3.0l six offered in the X3 can bring prices into the 40000 range, at which point you may want to consider an X5.
I personally don't find the engine to be a major problem because it is something I can simply adjust to. Besides, you still get that signature BMW feel, just with less thrust (which is all the better for you, because you'll be having fun while getting fewer speeding tickets). The only time the engine becomes a noticeable problem for me is during around town driving on hilly roads when there's five cars behind me, at which point I'll have to bring the tachometer into the 4000 rpm range to offset the lack of torque. Ultimately, most people in the target audience of the car probably won't even care.
I thus recommend this car to anyone in the market for a small SUV with a car-like ride and the prestige associated with a brand like BMW. If the prestige factor isn't a necessity, you might find better value for your dollar in a Honda CR-V or Ford Escape.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th July, 2005
24th Jan 2006, 17:41
Alright alright, nice point. You got me there. Sheesh...
9th Nov 2006, 10:41
I was looking for a small SUV (SAV according to BMW) and the X3 caught my attention. It was not too big for my wife and it was not that small either. Just the right size for a small SUV. I had test drove the Honda CRV, the Mercedes B class turbo and and the Toyota Rav 4 prior purchasing the X3. Despite the fact that the X3 was a bit more stiff to drive comparing to those two Japanese models, it did give more pleasure driving on the highway or in the city.
The model which I have is the 2006 2.5L, steptronic with sun roof, parking sensor, and heated steering with black interior and black exterior. In my opinion, the sun roof is a must have accessory when buying a X3. It's just great to have!! I think it's the best sun roof design for any SUV. The parking sensor also is very useful, although I do find it's a little expensive.
In terms of acceleration, it may be the only weakness for this vehicle. However, this should not be a huge problem for any X3 owner. Anyone who drives the X3 will still tell you that it is a fun SUV to drive. Anyway, BMW has discontinued the 2.5l model for 2007 and replaced with the 3.0i.
Overall, I think it is a good looking car also with very good safety feature. It's fun to drive in the city and powerful enough on the highway.
29th Dec 2006, 12:59
You shouldn't need to hit the 4000 rpm if you just put the car into gear 3 or so to give it that extra punch. That way you'll ease the stress on the engine during the climb. Just tap the shift lever to the right in D and you'll get there.
1st Jun 2007, 14:16
Just got the 2006 x3. We test drove the CRV, Pathfinder, Pilot, Rav and like the other reviews found the x3 to be a lot of fun. Yes a bit pricey, but buying one that is used and with very low KM (Demo) helped ease the pain.
My wife absolutely loves it and the panorama sunroof is great for the kids especially when cruising downtown Toronto and they can see all the Buildings and CN tower.
Great performance and great features. Can't beat the warranty and the extended used warranty (almost better to buy used).
15th Nov 2008, 23:53
How much is maintenance? I'm thinking of buying an 04' so I need all the information I can get, lol.
16th Feb 2009, 22:31
I own a 2006 BMW X3 and I love it, just like all of you. I am happy with the power of the SAV because it's a 3.0i. Also I think the 0 to 60 time is about 7.8 sec. All in all, I love the car.