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Old 3rd October 2018, 18:49   #211
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 2.5 years & 36,000 km update!

I patiently read your full post on my mobile phone and got the unexpected reward of Ferrari pictures at the end of it

Your comment is spot on about GTI vs X3. It's like a train vs go kart. Both are fun but in a totally different way. I still think you should have got 530d I don't know how often you drive solo vs full house.
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Old 3rd October 2018, 21:32   #212
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 2.5 years & 36,000 km update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
I patiently read your full post on my mobile phone and got the unexpected reward of Ferrari pictures at the end of it

Your comment is spot on about GTI vs X3. It's like a train vs go kart. Both are fun but in a totally different way. I still think you should have got 530d I don't know how often you drive solo vs full house.
Full house about 25% of the time. Rest is either solo or +1. I really liked the 530d and left to me would have picked it for sure. But coming from the Laura, the 5 felt compromised on space, both boot space and rear seat space. It's amazing how cramped it is at the back for such a big car on the outside. The X3's rear may not be in the same league as sedans in its price bracket in terms of pure comfort for the individual passenger at the back, but it's got more space when you are seating three abreast or 1 child seat + 1 booster seat + 1 pax which is the config we run many times. It's more bench like than bucket type seats. Also the boot is another strong point for the X3. Even with the space saver in place, I am able to stuff a lot of bags in there since the boot is tall and square. Laura had really spoilt the family with its humongous boot.

One other unexpected area where the X3 has thrilled me is the X drive AWD. Normally you would associate AWD as a feature which helps SUVs do a bit of offroading and a ticket to out of tricky slippery conditions. But the X drive permanent AWD in the X3 makes its presence felt even on highways. You can feel the extra grip on offer especially on long sweeping curves. You don't need to get off the throttle, just keep it pinned down and the car refuses to budge from the line you want it to take. I remember once I was being chased by a new gen Skoda Superb on the Tumkur Chitradurga stretch and a long sweeping right hander (near Hiriyur) came up. I am sure the Superb guy thought that this was his chance since his lower lighter sedan had a better chance of taking the curve at a higher speed than the taller heavier SUV. I am a veteran on this stretch and kind of know the entire road upto Belgaum like the back of my hand . I was able to take that curve at a much higher speed than him and he was the one backing off way before me. Beauty of X Drive AWD.

One other thing I wanted to mention is that on the highway I like to drive in Sports + mode quite often where the electronic nannies are toned down a bit. This may be one reason why my pads have lasted so long. Apparently the ESP/DSC uses the brakes a lot in the background to do its thing.
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Old 4th October 2018, 08:12   #213
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 2.5 years & 36,000 km update!

Good to see the positives in the ownership report. For an automotive forum, the real fun cars get a lot of stick here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
I am sure the Superb guy thought that this was his chance since his lower lighter sedan had a better chance of taking the curve at a higher speed than the taller heavier SUV.
Well! If you were on the 530d instead, the dude in the Skoda wouldn't have even dared to try!

Just kidding! Adding the GTI has completed the garage I guess. The whole being greater than the sum of its parts now.
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Old 5th October 2018, 16:41   #214
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 2.5 years & 36,000 km update!

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Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post


Well! If you were on the 530d instead, the dude in the Skoda wouldn't have even dared to try!
.
It's always better to leave a 530d alone. Forget the car, I would not want to mess with the driver. He won't be a reasonable dude, he wrote the big cheque just for the engine!
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Old 5th October 2018, 17:06   #215
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 2.5 years & 36,000 km update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
It's always better to leave a 530d alone. Forget the car, I would not want to mess with the driver. He won't be a reasonable dude, he wrote the big cheque just for the engine!
X3 30d is a sleeper in that sense. No 30d badging you see. Btw smoked a reasonable dude in a 520d yesterday

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 5th October 2018 at 17:09.
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Old 5th October 2018, 17:44   #216
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 2.5 years & 36,000 km update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
X3 30d is a sleeper in that sense. No 30d badging you see. Btw smoked a reasonable dude in a 520d yesterday
You are right about the sleeper part, crossovers have definitely breached the sedan territory but the enlightenment is yet to reach the masses. So you will have to deal with sedans trying to pass you every once in awhile
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Old 16th October 2018, 16:14   #217
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
I still think you should have got 530d
The X3 is no great off roader, but there have been several occasions like these where the softroader has given me confidence to venture into such areas. For families with small kids, the SUV body style is a lot more practical and fun than the sedan.

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_20181016_123722.jpg

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_20181016_123731.jpg
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Old 16th October 2018, 16:26   #218
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
The X3 is no great off roader, but there have been several occasions like these where the softroader has given me confidence to venture into such areas. For families with small kids, the SUV body style is a lot more practical and fun than the sedan.
Is that the way to Jenukallu Betta near Yellapur by any chance?
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Old 16th October 2018, 18:54   #219
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

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Originally Posted by Guna View Post
Is that the way to Jenukallu Betta near Yellapur by any chance?
Good guess . It's not Jenukal Betta, but from the region. There are some hidden gems known to locals only . We like chilling out at nice secluded spots such as this

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_20181015_172720.jpg

That particular path lead us down to this

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_20181016_122214.jpg

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_20181016_130754.jpg

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_20181016_130810.jpg

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 16th October 2018 at 18:56.
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Old 17th October 2018, 08:25   #220
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

^
Nice photos. But still...

Good to know there are still public places for a quiet family picnic in our country!
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Old 2nd June 2019, 15:25   #221
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

3.5 Years 50,000 kms update

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4723.jpg

Time for an update to this thread. The car is exactly 3.50 years old as of now. The mileage stands at 49,xxx kms which translates roughly to about 15,000 kms a year. Most of the running as always has been on highway runs to Belgaum. Apart from that we have taken the car out on numerous family outings and drives. Good roads, bad roads or no roads, the car has taken everything in its stride and never failed on me. It has been an absolute pleasure to own on all counts.

I am happy to report that the reliability has been top notch. The car has only visited the service centre for regular servicing with no issues faced whatsoever. Well, almost. The link connecting the AC vent slider with the internal fins is broken on the driver side since the past couple of months. I showed it to service advisor and asked for a warranty replacement. He claims it is not a part failure but broken due to misuse. I am sure it is not misuse since the car is 100% driven by me and this is on the driver side. Need to push my case harder, I guess. Still it does not feel like a 50,000 kms run car at all. The interiors still are rich and new with nothing fading or falling apart. Just the odd creak or two when you press hard on the centre armrest while getting in or out. The exterior too is nice and shiny and except for a few chip marks on the bonnet and bumper, which are inevitable during fast highway runs. The drive is as tight as ever and engine feels like it has barely just crossed the run-in period.

I feel this car is going to be with me for a long time. It’s got everything I need in terms of performance, space and luxury. And with my good maintenance and 100% self driving it is not going to age quickly. The 30d engine combined with X drive AWD makes it a very potent machine on the highway. The X drive system really helps to put all that power down to the road beautifully while still maintaining a rear wheel bias for that sporty feel. A lot of carmakers these days are preferring to equip their sporty hatchbacks and saloons with AWD systems to get that added traction while pulling away and grab the bragging rights in 0-100 times and drag races.

Diesel practicality is a huge bonus. It is very difficult to get single digit mileage figures, no matter how hard you drive. I usually average between 11.xx and 12.xx kmpl during my drives to Belgaum. The big 70L tank is handy. A tank full of diesel is good for 800 kms. I am using BMW’s diesel additive quite liberally. Using up one can per three tank fills of diesel. I find that the engine does feel smoother with the use of this additive. The additive helps keep the engine and injectors clean and also prevents build up of carbon deposits. Also I am preferring Reliance Diesel these days. Engine feels smoothest and most responsive while on Reliance Diesel. I have come to this conclusion after extensively trying Shell, Essar, PSU etc..

New BBS Rims
OK this is a long story, venture to read only if you have the patience. Otherwise scroll down for the pictures.

The car came with 18” star spoke M wheels from the factory. I was never really happy with the look of these wheels and have always been on the look out for alternatives. Initially I did not look at after market options since I was keen on keeping the warranty intact. In 18”, BMW had very few options and it didn’t make any sense to go for a replacement. I liked some 19” M sport alloys but was really uncomfortable with the idea of stepping up to 19” run flats. The ride was harsh as it is with the 18s. I let it go, but my heart wasn’t happy with the look of the alloys and I’ve been back and forth with the decision to upgrade to M 622 style 19s from BMW. I’ve had several talks with their accessory division guys. The swap wasn’t going to be cheap and that was another factor holding me back. I got a quote of almost 4.75 lakhs for the set of 19” Staggered rims and run flat Michelins. Finally, I dropped the idea in the interest of retaining the ride comfort and I did not even pursue discount offers received from them later on giving me 20 to 25% discount on their initial quote.

After my first set of run flats had worn down, one of the best decisions I took was to switch to regular tubeless and dump the RFTs. There was a huge improvement in ride quality and the car was gliding over bumps and ruts while still handling beautifully on the highway. Grip was improved too since the Pirelli P Zero Rossos were grippier and sportier compared to the Pirelli P7 RFTs.

With apprehensions about ride quality out of the way, my mind started going back to the wheel upgrade project. I saw that BMW had nothing for me and decided to look at reputed alloy wheel brands like Borbet and BBS. I had Borbet alloys on my Laura and they were magnificent. Somehow Borbet’s recent collection did not inspire me much. I looked at BBS website and immediately fell in love with BBS CH-R wheels and felt the black CH-Rs with the steel lip will look great on my Alpine white X3. The fact that BBS made wheels specifically compatible with individual BMW models really encouraged me. I immediately got in touch with their distributor in Chennai to see if he could order a set for me. But these wheels are really hard to get. I don’t know whether they produce less or there is such a great demand worldwide. He kept sending me screenshot of mails received from them stating that the wheels were out of stock and we’d have to wait a min of 3 months each time. He kept insisting me to take other designs, but my heart was set on the CH-Rs and I decided to wait. I kept following up every three months, but no luck. Black Satin CH-Rs in 18” were almost impossible to get and I gave up hope. Sometime in March 2019, I felt I could look at 19” wheels as well, since the new G01 X3 comes with 19s as standard even in India. I pinged the dealer whether the same black CH-Rs could be had in 19” and voila the 19s were readily available! He said he was getting some wheels shipped by sea in April 2019 and that he could include this set in that consignment. Two months went by and there was no news from him. BBS website even gives out info on stock availability and the CH-Rs were out of order again. I almost gave up. But then the dealer sends me a picture of a wheel called CI-R and says he has a 19” staggered set that’s compatible with the F25 X3. The CI-Rs are kind of similar to the SR but the spokes are a bit thinner and wider and in black satin with the silver lip, look quite similar to the CH-Rs from a distance. The CH-R and CI-R are from the performance line whereas the SR is from the design line. As per BBS website, performance line wheels are made using a technique called flow forming (like how a potter makes a pot) which allows for a lighter construction without losing strength. The CI-R in particular is known it’s light weight which is a good thing, since I was going one size up. Surprisingly the 19” CI-R’s weigh less than even the stock 18 inchers! (I couldn’t weigh them myself but got these facts from web research). I liked what I saw and after a bit of research, which I have explained below, decided to take the plunge.

The F25 X3 internationally comes with wheel options ranging from 17” to 20” alloys. In 19” and 20” the wheels are staggered with wider 275 section tyres at the rear and 245s in the front. The staggered set looks really cool and lends a muscular look to the car. The BBS wheels have a little more negative offset compared to the OE wheels which makes them stick out a bit more and allows a bit more clearance on the inside keeping the wheels clear of the suspension components.

Some quick comparisons with the rim and tyre specs on popular tyre calculators revealed the following.

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-xl-chart-bbs.jpg

No issues with tyre outer dia and offsets but I was reading about something called ‘Scrub radius’ for the first time. It is the distance between imaginary lines drawn through the centre of the tyre and through the centre of the suspension column at the point of contact of tyre with road. Since the suspension is angled, these two lines cross each other and depending on whether these lines cross above the road or below the road you get a negative or positive scrub radius. If the 2 lines meet exactly at the tyre’s contact patch you have zero scrub radius. Scrub radius is important to the handling characteristics of a car. It has a big role to play in how the steering feels and how much feedback flows through it to the driver. It is a very complex thing to tune and car makers do it after hours and hours of testing and a skill developed after years and years of experience. Altering the scrub radius beyond 5mm is not recommended.

Here’s a good article on scrub radius, if you are interested : https://www.carthrottle.com/post/wha...-it-important/

Now as per the table, the upgrade moves the scrub radius for the front wheels to the positive side by 8mm and for the rears by 3mm. I was a bit concerned about the front axle numbers. My aim to upgrade the wheels was purely cosmetic, and I didn’t want to ruin the handling characteristics of the car in the process. But when I fed in the data for 19” OE BMW wheels as the original set up, the scrub radius only moves by a mere 4mm or so, which falls inside the general thumb rule allowance of 5mm.

With all doubts cleared in my mind, I decide to go for the wheels and place the order and make the payment. The dealer ships the wheels to Bangalore and now I have the task of selecting tyres. Before I ordered the wheels, I did enquire with a few local tyre shops to see whether the required tyre sizes are easily available. These are odd sizes in our country, but thankfully this size is common with a few luxury car brands like Merc, BMW and Jaguar. I was told there are options available from Pirelli and Yokohama.

A chat with D-BHPian Nikhil helped me zero in on the tyres. Michelin has the 245s only in this size and that too in run flat only. The other options were Yokohama Advan 105s and grey market Dunlops. Nikhil is very happy with the Yokos on his VRS and I really did not need to look any further once he gave me a first-hand account of his experience and a positive recommendation. Most international reviews are positive for the Yoko Advans and it seem to be a good premium spec tyre with good performance in dry and wet without much of a sacrifice in comfort.

My experience with Madhus is detailed in this post (Wheel Alignment/Balancing : Madhus Enterprises (Langford rd, Bangalore)) and I am very happy that the car was in the right hands for the job.

Immediately after driving out of Madhus I was very happy to note that the ride quality had not suffered. New tyres generally feel good due to the fresh and soft rubber, but going down on the side profile was bound to affect the cushioning effect. But there wasn’t any noticeable difference. Also noticed that the ride was much quieter now. At the time of the switch to tubeless during last tyre replacement, there was a noticeable softness in the ride which came at a slight cost in sharpness while cornering. The change to 19” seems to have help regain that sharpness in handling and the car feels tauter while turning and going around corners. Straight line performance is simply superb and the Yokos just grip the tarmac like leeches. Steering feedback is much improved too.

Coming to the downsides of making such an upgrade.
  • Firstly, there is that element of cost. These big wheels and tyres don’t come cheap and are a big investment. The total cost, although much lower than the initial estimate given by BMW for their OE 19s is still quite eye watering.
  • Second is the fact that the car becomes more delicate now and I will have to be even more careful. I am usually very careful about where I put my wheels on the road. The condition of the 18” wheels after 50,000 kms is a testament to that fact. Not a single scratch or curb mark on them! But 19s will be delicate and if I crash hard on an unseen pothole, I could not only damage the tyre, I also risk bending these beautiful alloys. Getting a single piece replacement is not going to be easy. I have taken the car on many rural roads and stony/ rocky tracks before without worrying much. With these beautiful shoes on I am going to be one nervous guy when such roads confront me. On the positive side, hopefully fear of damaging alloys will help me slow down a bit in general. The 18” wheels are packed and stored away in my garage by the way. If I happen to know in advance that a particular trip will include some driving on very bad roads, I plan on switching to the 18s for that trip.
  • Thirdly I potentially stand to lose out on the remaining period of my extended warranty which is still valid for another 1.5 years. Surely suspension related warranty is gone. Hopefully BMW will not go strictly by the rule book and honour warranty claims that have no relation to the wheels. The only reason that I was bold enough to risk the warranty is the fact that the car has been super reliable to date and feels kind of bulletproof. I could be wrong, only time will tell.

I also went crazy with stickers and badging which I got from AliExpress.

Matt black X3 and //M badging at the rear. M performance stickers pasted here and there.

Now for the pictures!
Attached Thumbnails
Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4725.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4727.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4735.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4737.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4738.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4742.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4747.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4749.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4753.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4755.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4759.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4762.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4764.jpg  

Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!-img_4766.jpg  

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Old 2nd June 2019, 16:45   #222
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

Wow those BBSs are truly stunning. Surprised to hear that the ride hasn't suffered much, that is whats holding me back from upgrading to 19s. With the 18s I don't really need to slow down for too much, will wait to hear your opinion once you switch back to the 18s, for some trip.

The car is looking awesome, but the M in the X3M isn't for me.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 12:01   #223
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

Hi Santosh,

Congratulations on 50000km of fun and trouble free ownership

As you drive the GTI and X3 on the highways, and compare both engines and gearboxes to finer details (something I also love to do ), I have question about shifting manually. In GTI, I can shift up /down as I wish while keeping the accelerator pinned down and the DSG shifts smoothly with not a hint of jerk or hesitation. But in 330i, I can't do that, I have to lift off the throttle when I I want to shift else there is a clear jerk from the engine/gearbox. This is especially pronounced when I am using paddles in S mode. Do you experience the same in X3?

Cheers!
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Old 3rd June 2019, 12:14   #224
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

Nice little birthday present for the X3, I see!

Congratulations! The wheels look great, and surprisingly look very similar to the SRs on my humble little Polo. However, I guess that's where the similarities end and as you've correctly mentioned, the SR wheels do not benefit from the forged or flow-form tech and is purely for styling, whereas the CI-Rs use flow form and all that, for improved construction, etc. Shame they could not employ the same tech for the SR.

What else do you have planned for the X3?
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Old 3rd June 2019, 14:25   #225
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Default re: Power corrupts! My BMW X3 xDrive30d M Sport. EDIT: 3.5 years & 50,000 km update!

The wheels are so sexy they make we want to cry because I can't afford to spend that kind of money on them.

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Originally Posted by anandpadhye View Post

But in 330i, I can't do that, I have to lift off the throttle when I I want to shift else there is a clear jerk from the engine/gearbox. This is especially pronounced when I am using paddles in S mode. Do you experience the same in X3?
Hey, that's a feature, not a bug! No, I'm serious!

The jerk is to make shifting feel sporty. They are in fact pauses in acceleration while the next gear slams home and the acceleration resumes in its full fury. My car didn't have the Sports Auto Transmission and didn't have these furious shifts in manual mode (D or S mode), but when I got that option coded in, I was able to experience these amazingly sporty shifts. And I absolutely love them!

If you really don't like it, try manual shifting at full throttle in Eco-pro mode. You'll get smooth shifting without the pauses in acceleration, which is what you are looking for.

Last edited by d3mon : 3rd June 2019 at 14:26.
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