2008 BMW X3 3.0si
Model strengths:Reflexes like a sport sedan; plenty of room for people and luggage, with a compact footprint.
Model changes:The BMW X3, completely revised for 2007, sees only minor changes for 2008. Active head restraints are now standard, and there is a new Sport Activity Package that includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, running boards, unique trim, and privacy glass. The Premium Package now includes ambient lighting.
Model value:The 2008 BMW X3 is a sport utility vehicle that places much more emphasis on "sport" than "utility." In fact, there are few other vehicles in this segment that feel as nimble and track-ready as the X3, while costing less than $40,000. That doesn't mean the X3 is an SUV in name only, though. With xDrive all-wheel drive, hill descent control, and a cargo capacity of up to 71.0 cubic feet, the X3 is still able to capably fill the ute role. It's just that with its excellent inline six and great sure-footedness, you may forget that's why you bought it in the first place.
Model overview:The 2008 BMW X3 comes with a silky smooth 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine that makes 260-horsepower and 225 lb-ft or torque. The vehicle also comes with xDrive, which is the latest development in BMW's AWD technology. It uses a servomotor to adjust the multi-disc clutch that splits the torque between the front and rear wheels, and in many circumstances the X3 feels just like a rear-wheel-drive vehicle. Reduced traction causes more power to be fed to the front, and the DSC traction control can even reduce engine torque and brake individual wheels in order to conquer most any hill. A standard push-button hill descent control can maneuver the X3 down steep or slippery hills with no driver throttle or braking input.The X3 has one and a half cubic feet less interior volume than the X5, and offers the usual combination of BMW austerity mixed with luxury. Options include such treats as xenon headlights, a six-speed automatic transmission, park assist, navigation, and a heated steering wheel. A Premium Package includes leather seats, auto-dimming mirrors, and Bluetooth. A Sport Package adds a stiffer suspension and larger wheels. The Cold Weather Package comes with front and rear heated seats, and headlight washers. A new Sport Activity Package includes 18-inch alloys, all-season tires, running boards, and privacy glass, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
2008 BMW X3 3.0si AWD 4dr Features and Specs
Sensatec leatherette seat trim
8-way pwr front sport seats-inc: driver seat memory, 2-way adjustable headrests
Split-folding 60/40 rear seats w/fold-up center armrest
Front center console armrest-inc: storage, auxiliary pwr outlet
Front/rear floor mats
Aluminum door sill plates
Tilt/telescopic steering column
3-spoke leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel-inc: audio controls, cruise controls
Electric & analog instrumentation
LCD main & trip odometers
4-function on-board computer
Check Control vehicle monitor system w/pictogram display
Service interval indicator w/miles-to-service readout
Tire pressure monitoring system
Pwr windows-inc: front 1-touch open/close, rear 1-touch open, anti-trapping feature, open/close from exterior lock
Central locking system w/double-lock feature & 2-step unlocking
Remote keyless entry-inc: 2-step unlocking, remote tailgate release, courtesy light activation, window open
Vehicle & key memory
Coded driveaway protection
Anti-theft AM/FM stereo w/CD player-inc: MP3 capability, radio data system (RDS), Auto-Store, auxiliary input jack, (10) speakers w/(2) subwoofers
3-channel FM diversity antenna
Prep-inc: Sirius satellite radio, 6-disc CD changer, alarm, phone
Auto climate control w/micro-filter & air recirculation
Rear window defroster
Locking glovebox w/rechargeable take-out flashlight
Front/rear door storage bins
Dark ash wood trim
Illuminated visor vanity mirrors
(4) grab handles
Courtesy lights-inc: fade in/out feature, front footwells
Dual front/rear reading lights
BMW ambiance lighting
Storage nets on front seatbacks, in passenger footwell, & luggage compartment
Leather shift knob
Cargo area-inc: (2) fastening rails, velour carpet, slip-proof reversible mat, retractable cover, lighting, auxiliary pwr outlet
Be Smart, Check in Advance. CARFAX — Your Vehicle History.
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Sometimes what you don't know can't hurt you, but that's not the case when buying a used car. As an independent vehicle history provider, at CARFAX we've made it our mission to tell you everything you need to know by uncovering as many events as possible from the previous life of a used car. Our primary goal is to help you get to know your next car from the inside out before deciding to make an investment that will be part of you and your family's everyday life. We believe your next car shouldn't be hiding anything from you.
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Even if you live in a country we don't collect vehicle data from, it's still always worth checking the Vehicle Identification Number without obligation. The used car import and export market is booming and many owners would be surprised to find out exactly what happened to their vehicle during its previous life abroad.
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Second Hand — Not Second Best
Did you know that considerably more used cars are sold than new cars? We think this second-hand system is nothing short of fantastic. However, it goes without saying that it gives rise to different methods and tactics: Some sellers will disguise a car that's been in an accident under a fresh coat of paint, tamper with the odometer or conceal theft. This is one of the less appealing aspects of buying second hand. Our goal is to establish trusting relationships between buyers and sellers, since this is the best way to help customers make the right decision. Your new car should be reliable and make you feel safe, as well as make you feel like you haven't paid too much.
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Fostering strategic partnerships with registration authorities, law enforcement agencies, government departments, insurance companies, inspection centers and numerous other leading companies around the world has enabled us to compile a unique international database for vehicle histories. We use this database to help make the used car market more transparent. We give everyone in the process of buying a used car access to what is currently the world's most comprehensive source for vehicle history reports, and is growing day by day.
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2008 BMW X3
The BMW X3 enters its fifth year of production flush with success after a slew of improvements for 2007, but there's more competition than ever among smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs.
BMW's response for the 2008 model year is the addition of active head rests, a new Sport Activity Package and an upgrade to the Premium Package of features.
The 2008 BMW X3 comes with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. The BMW X3 3.0si is the only model.
The X3's drivetrain is equipped with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system, Dynamic Stability Control and Hill Descent Control, revised for 2007 to give it even better grip and control in foul weather.
The X3 is quick and fast, and almost as fun to drive as a BMW sport wagon. The xDrive puts it at the head of the class when weather or road goes north. It's roomy, both for passengers and cargo. And just as important, it's replete with active and passive safety features.
The 2008 BMW X3 comes in one model: the 3.0si with a 260-hp 3.0-liter inline-6. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic with Steptronic is a no-charge option.
The X3 3.0si ($39,425) comes with Sensatec leatherette upholstery; automatic climate control with micro-filter and air recirculation; eight-way power adjustable front seats with two-way active headrests and driver seat and mirror memory; three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with cruise control; two aluminum fastening rails and slip-proof reversible flooring in cargo compartment; split 60/40 fold-down rear seats; Panorama glass moonroof with fully automatic, two-piece glass panels, rain-sensing windshield wipers with automatic headlight control; automatic-dimming rearview mirror; AM/FM/CD audio with eight speakers, a new auxiliary input jack on the back of the center console.
The 3.0si Premium Package ($2,800) upgrades with Nevada leather upholstery, four-way power lumbar support for both front seats, automatic dimming inside rearview mirror, ambient interior/exterior lighting and BMW Assist (with four years of service) with Bluetooth integrated wireless communication system. The Premium Package Seat upgrade ($700) substitutes Comfort seats with lumbar support.
The Sport Package ($2,300) includes an 8×18-inch wheel upgrade; a full body-color aerodynamic kit with body-color side skirts; a sports suspension with stiffer springs and anti-roll bars; 235/50R18 all-season tires; Shadowline exterior trim; a sport steering wheel; and eight-way power adjustable front sport seats with two-way manual thigh support. Big 19-inch wheels ($950) with mixed-size performance tires are available with this package.
New for 2008 is a Sport Activity Package ($1,400), which includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, privacy glass, Shadowline exterior trim (black window frames), running boards and Star Spoke 18-inch wheels with all-season tires.
The Cold Weather Package ($1,000) includes a headlight washer system; a ski bag; heated front seats and heated rear seats. Other options include Servotronic steering ($250), xenon adaptive headlights with auto-leveling ($800), front and rear Park Distance Control ($700), 18-inch double-spoke alloy wheels ($300); 18-inch Star Spoke alloys ($500); heated front seats ($500); heated steering wheel ($150); cargo net ($150); navigation system ($1,800); BMW Assist with Bluetooth technology ($750); privacy glass ($350); premium sound system ($675); and comfort seats with lumbar support ($1,000).
Dealer-installed accessories include a trailer-hitch kit; skid plates; running boards; roof-rack systems; aerodynamic body components; Sirius satellite radio; six-disc CD changer; special shift knobs and handbrake grips; cargo organizer; cargo-area floor net; cargo-area carrier for two bicycles; alarm system; and interface for an iPod.
Safety features include ABS, two-stage front airbags, front door-mounted side-impact airbags and curtain airbags for front- and rear-seat head protection, front safety belts with automatic tensioners and force limiters. The upgraded braking system now integrates Brake Drying, Brake Standby, Start-off Assistant and Brake Fade Compensation, and the adaptive brake lights signal the urgency with which the driver has pressed the brake pedal. A tire pressure monitor (mandated) comes standard. Optional safety features include side-impact airbags for the rear-seat passengers ($385).
The BMW X3 resembles the larger X5, but a closer look reveals significant styling differences.
Notable design cues include the front bumper that frames the traditional twin-kidney grille, its chrome vertical slats complemented by a chrome strip along the base of the side windows. The headlight assembly has a clean look, as do the foglights. The optional xenon headlights include the corona light rings. When the Cold Weather package is ordered, the headlight washers retract into the bumper.
From the front, the stance looks much the same as the X5's, with fenders tautly blistered over wide and widely spaced tires, giving the X3 a BMW-like, road-grabbing face. The headlamp lenses and kidney grilles are shaped differently, as is the bumper and lower grille openings, and the bumper is black as opposed to the X5 bumper's body-color treatment.
The X3 looks like the X5 in side view, though the cut line from the front wheel wells to the front doors was eliminated for a cleaner look. A mild character crease bridges the space between the fender blisters, and a relatively low beltline adds openness to the side windows.
From the rear, the new X3 displays a clean, well organized light cluster with horizontal LED taillights.
Standard running gear are 17-inch wheels with all-season tires, while 18- and 19-inch wheels are available.
People familiar with BMW interiors will immediately feel at home in the X3. Controls are located where you’d expect them to be, with the proper heft and texture to the controls. Instruments are easy to read at a glance and communicate the proper and necessary information.
Overall, the interior materials provide a refined driving and riding experience. In a few areas, however, the X3's level of materials and finish quality isn't quite in the same league as its more expensive big brother, the X5.
There's much to like, including the three-spoke steering wheel, the finely grained dashboard material, the materials for the instrument panel and door panels, and the design of the gauge cluster with the instrument hood integrated into the dash.
The display for the navigation system is one of the most thoughtfully positioned of the lot, rotating up out of the top center of the dash, gray instead of black, so it's visible to driver and navigator but nestled unobtrusively halfway down in the recess where it stows when not in use.
Passengers will climb in over aluminum doorsill trim with the BMW logo and will find refined interior trim and materials. Dark ash wood trim is standard; gray poplar or light natural poplar, which we especially like, are no-cost options.
The front seats are supportive and comfortably bolstered. The standard seats are more comfortable than the Sport seats and quite adequately restrain occupants' posteriors when the road begins to wind. Seatbelts feel right, properly tensioned. Ranges of seat adjustment are extensive, to the point a six-footer can enjoy major amounts of headroom and actually put the steering wheel and forward footwell well out of reach; at these extremes, however, rear-seat legroom is seriously diminished.
In terms of roominess, the X3 interior compares favorably with its most likely direct competition, the Lexus RX 330 and Infiniti FX35, giving up or gaining an inch or so here and there. On the downside, the X3's rear seat is quite firm and virtually flat, like a bench, where the others offer more form fit and comfort.
Cargo area, at 71 cubic feet, is impressive, exceeding the X5's by 10 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, and slotting in between the RX 350's 84.7 cubic feet and the FX35's 64.5 cubic feet. With the second row of seats flipped down, Caesar, our 170-pound English mastiff tester, was happy here.
Storage areas are numerous and flexible, many fitted with netting that stretches to accommodate odd shapes and medium-sized water bottles. The mesh nets in the lower front doors, though, have been replaced by dual storage bins for better small-item storage. Rear-door map pockets forfeit several square inches to ash trays.
So much for the tape measure. Where the X3 disappoints is in the intangible and tactile, how the interior looks and feels. There are two front cup holders, but the one mounted on the center console is sized more for soda pop cans than coffee cups or water bottles and looks like an afterthought, something cobbled together and glued in place forward of the armrest/storage bin. The passenger cup holder pops out of the end of the dash by the door, where it gets bumped by knees when the passenger is climbing in or out of the car. Door closings are followed by a hint of a hollow echo, instead of the solid thunk we expect of BMWs.
BMW calls its SUVs Sport Activity Vehicles and, indeed, driving the BMW X3 is not like driving other SUVs. While the Lexus RX tends toward the luxury end of the scale, the X3 leans more to turning two-lanes and the occasional twisty dirt track into a fun drive. Our first impression after driving an X3 3.0si around the Bavarian back roads south of Munich was one of smoothness and precision engineering.
The X3 readily swallows mile after mile of high-speed highway. It feels confident in the wet, and really shines on dusty, gravel-strewn back roads and slushy boulevards. With the X3, a driver can actually improve upon their talents and reflexes, thanks to the xDrive all-wheel-drive system working with BMW's multifaceted Dynamic Stability Control. Unerringly, just about the time the driver senses the X3 begin to slide and intuitively readies a saving countersteer, the xDrive calmly tucks the rear end back in line. It's a superb system.
Dynamic Stability Control is even better, working more quickly and efficiently with the braking system. The four-wheel discs now include Brake Drying, which helps them stay dry in the wet, Brake Standby, which poises them for quicker action in emergency situations, Start-off Assistant, which automatically holds the X3 on hills to aid smooth ascents, and Brake Fade Compensation, which adjusts the clamping force in response to the slightest hint of brake fade. In other words, these are the brakes of a vehicle that can be pushed to further limits than the average SUV.
For those who are comfortable driving at the limit, Dynamic Stability Control includes Dynamic Traction Control. A button lets the driver choose a higher threshold of wheel-slip before DSC engages, and though this technique is good for starting off on loose snow, it can also be used to turn the X3 into even more of a driving machine.
The six-speed automatic proved to be smooth and precise in normal, everyday driving. Just put it in Drive and go. When pushing it in the slippery stuff, the automatic frees the driver to focus on braking, accelerating and steering, which can be a lot of fun. When so inclined, the driver can use the Steptronic feature to hold the transmission in a specific gear, manually shifting up or down as the incline or traction dictates or invites.
The six-speed manual transmission, on the other hand, is everything people who know and like BMWs have come to expect and appreciate. Shifts are smooth and precise, clutch engagement predictable and gears properly spaced to keep the engine in the sweet spot of its power band, although it is geared a bit high for relaxed long distance cruising. We prefer the automatic.
Acceleration is silky, linear and quick , thanks to the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine's 260 horsepower. The 3.0si records 0-60 mph times of 6.9 seconds for the manual and 7.1 seconds for the automatic. While not blistering performance figures, considering the vehicle's weight, are no cause for shame.
The optional Servotronic steering is flat-out wonderful. It's speed-sensitive, adding more assist at low speeds, and invisibly altering the steering ratio, so the car turns more with less steering input. Parallel-parking is a breeze, as are quick, mid-block U-turns. As speed increases, assistance diminishes and the ratio slows, making for good on-center feel and sure lane changes. Perhaps the best thing about the Servotronic steering is its transparency; unless a driver moves directly from the X3 to another vehicle without the feature and suddenly has to crank in more steering at slow speeds, it'll likely not be noticed at all.
Braking is smooth and sure, with solid pedal feel allowing linear, gradual stops when desired, unlike many over-assisted systems increasingly popular on high-end cars and SUVs. BMW usually accompanies engine upgrades with improvements to such dynamic elements as braking and handling, and it's just so with the X3 3.0si.
The X3 doesn&
The BMW X3 3.0si is hard to beat for people who want BMW's heritage, looks, powertrain and packaging, but desire the flexibility a sport-utility vehicle offers. The xDrive, Dynamic Stability Control and Hill Descent Control combine to offer excellent handling, grip, traction, stability on gravel roads, muddy two-tracks and snow-covered backroads. Overall fit is to the marque's standards, but the interior finish is disappointing. Leaving the options boxes unchecked yields an affordable and capable SUV that requires no apology, and judicious checking lets even a cost-conscious shopper have the desired luxuries.
NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Tom Lankard filed the original report from Northern California, with Greg Brown reporting on the 3.0si from the Austrian foothills south of Munich.
|Model Line Overview|
|Model lineup:||BMW X3 3.0si ($39,425)|
|Engines:||260-hp 3.0-liter inline-6|
|Transmissions:||6-speed manual; 6-speed Steptronic automatic|
|Safety equipment (standard):||dual front airbags with dual-threshold, two-stage deployment; front seat side-impact airbags; height-adjustable front safety belts with automatic pre-tensioners and force limiters; front seat active headrests; three child-seat tether anchors in rear seat area; automatic locking retractors on all safety belts; head protection curtain for front and rear seat occupants; all-wheel drive, dynamic stability control, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Brake Drying, Brake Standby, Start-off Assistant, Brake Fade Compensation|
|Safety equipment (optional):||rear-passenger side-impact airbags; BMW Assist, including automatic collision notification and SOS call function|
|Basic warranty:||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Assembled in:||Graz, Austria|
|Specifications As Tested|
|Model tested (MSPR):||BMW X3 3.0si ($39,425)|
|Standard equipment:||vinyl upholstery; automatic climate control with micro-filter; leather-wrapped, tilt-and-telescope steering wheel with redundant cruise and audio controls; wood trim; AM/FM/CD audio system with RDS, 8 speakers and 2 subwoofers; auxiliary input jack; cruise control; remote locking with key memory; 6-way power front seats with settings and outside mirror memory; power windows, outside mirrors and central locking; 3-stage heated front seats; 4-function onboard computer; rear seat and cargo area accessory power outlets; front and rear reading lights; glove box-stored, rechargeable flashlight; rain-sensing windshield wipers; automatic headlight control; halogen headlights; front foglights; rear air diffuser|
|Options as tested (MSPR):||Premium Package ($2,800) includes universal garage door opener, Nevada leather upholstery, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, interior/exterior ambient lighting, 4-way power lumbar, and BMW Assist with Bluetooth; Servotronic steering ($250); HID headlights with auto-leveling ($800); rear door-mounted, side-impact airbags ($385); on-board navigation system ($1,800); Park Distance Control, front and rear ($700)|
|Gas guzzler tax:||N/A|
|Price as tested (MSPR):||$46985|
|Engine:||3.0-liter dohc 24-valve inline-6|
|Horsepower (lb.-ft @ rpm):||260 @ 6600|
|Torque (lb.-ft @ rpm):||225 @ 2750|
|Transmission:||6-speed Steptronic automatic|
|EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:||19/26 mpg|
|Track, f/r:||60.0/60.7 in.|
|Turning circle:||38.4 ft.|
|Head/hip/leg room, f:||39.3/na/40.2 in.|
|Head/hip/leg room, m:||N/A|
|Head/hip/leg room, r:||39.4/na/35.8 in.|
|Cargo volume:||71.0 cu. ft.|
|Towing capacity:||3500 Lbs.|
|Suspension, f:||independent, strut, coil springs, twin-tube gas-pressurized shocks, stabilizer bar|
|Suspension, r:||independent, multi-link, coil springs, twin-tube gas-pressurized shocks, stabilizer bar|
|Ground clearance:||8.0 in.|
|Curb weigth:||4067 lbs.|
|Brakes, f/r:||disc/disc with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist|
|Fuel capacity:||17.7 gal.|
|Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle. All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSPR) effective as of July 17, 2008.Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable. Manufacturer Info Sources: 800-334-4BMW - www.bmwusa.com|
Bmw x3 2008
^ Price Guide:
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