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DZL BMR
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

may be coming time to change and go diesel for higher mileage commute, was thinking 08 era estate diesel, better consumption, lower tax, but as estates are a little deceiving on space, the X3 came up as an option.

Have take a few out and while they are spartan (BMW's Duster) and yes, slagged for being made in Austria (home of the G-Wagon?), it's a familiar entry level 3 series feel so not really an issue there and the handling, while a little less forgiving than an E46 saloon, is ok, it's just not much fun over speed bumps!

Poke-wise, nothing to write home about, gets you there and I don't need off-road performance (Clarkson), just like the space so if it returns decent mpg, interesting change for a few years for not crazy money in the 05/06 range.

As it doesn't have the timing chain issue engine, that takes one random exploding engine component out of the equation.

Apart from personal preference, any major gotchas or recommendations?

Clutch and Gearbox - likely to get more wear due to heavier chassis and around town driving?
Transfer Box - any issues with the 4x4 system?
Tyres - understand you have to have same all round and good condition otherwise handling goes to pot.
Turbo/Swirlflaps - worth getting seen to, but any premature turbo failures reporte?
MPG - with a 2L diesel pulling that weight, will you be getting at least 40mpg?
DPF - same as the rest, needs a blow out.

thanks!

D
 

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1,857 Posts
As it doesn't have the timing chain issue engine, that takes one random exploding engine component out of the equation.
Not sure that this is true. AFAIK these had the N47 from late 2007-ish just as the 3's and 5'd did. The timing of it being installed first may have differed slightly, if at all, but not by much to my knowledge.
 

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BMW new guy
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1,185 Posts
My girlfriend picked up an 05 one in September with 155,000 miles on it. Big step up from a 00 1.4 golf.

She put on 10 miles since then (commutes from Carlow to Dublin everyday)

Within the first 6 weeks the input shaft to the transfer box started knocked. Cover under warranty. By Xmas the two passenger side calipers started seizing so just replaced them.

Economy wise she is getting 35MPGs as I said mainly commuting. It's the old 150bhp engine so a bit sluggish.

First thing in the morning when starting the car cuts out straight away. Could be clogged up emissions system. Other than in the AM it's fine.
 

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1,857 Posts
was looking at 05/06 so looks like they were safe from 05 to 07 with the M47.
Whoops, sorry I missed that detail in your original post.
 

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3,454 Posts
The wife has an X3 for years. Had a 2 litre diesel for a few years, then a 3 litre petrol auto then managed to get the original one back again. Great car and very underestimated in its ability. Lots of room and comfort and reasonable economy, 40 mpg on decent runs.

The diesel is a '05 and has been very reliable. The biggest issues were a vibration damper and clutch and flywheel, which is to be expected around 100k miles. It's serviced regularly before the computer says and I am sure this helps. The 17" alloys came factory shod with all weather Pirelli Scorpion tyres which are very good. In the bad snow 2010/2011 it went everywhere no issue.
 

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DZL BMR
Joined
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Cheers John, Andy, good to get some real world ownership feedback, appreciate that, will keep an eye out for something that has decent history and a reasonable spec and no mystery knocking noises!

the sport steering wheel is almost a must vs the big bus wheel and the sunroof is a nice extra, opens up the cab a bit.

thanks again

D
 

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DZL BMR
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64 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Having test driven a bunch of X3s, have to give them a big thumbs up!

Despite all the Top Gear nonsense, they've got plenty of space and plenty of poke for the size and are a great alternative to a touring. Entry level spec is quite bland, so M Sport wheel minimum so it doesn't feel like driving a bus and the pana sunroof is a nice touch. Leather gives it the budget X5 feel if you're into the cowhide. Lots out there with 250k+ km, some driving great, some a bit loose around the jowls so worth taking the time to pick the best cared for.

Best advice is the same as with any purchase, as much documented/receipted work as possible, these are the main things that have stood out:
Most notably the clutch and flywheel
Good maintenance record on the oil changes so the turbo has a fair chance.
DPF serviced if it's been used as a Chelsea Tractor on short school runs only.
Good matched tyres all round for best performance.

D
 
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