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Old 27th January 2022, 16:10   #1
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Default My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25) | Ownership Review

My first ever (own) car journey started in May 2005. As a sailor, I was a couple of contracts down as an officer then, and really wanted to move out of the baba-gaadi zone!
Pune wasn’t too crowded then, and keeping two cars in a mid sized house wasn’t really an issue, what with all the parking woes now.

I’d got the Ford Fusion then, the steering feedback of which(amongst other things), I still miss! I’m 6’4” tall and it was a perfect fit for me. I was also waiting for the SX4 to be launched sooner than the proposed date, but it was still sometime till “men were to be back!”
Anyways, those were the days of single hood, both, in the garage and personally, and free revving was a different ball game.

In 2010 I moved to Goa. This ofcourse was after a lot of running between Pune and Goa. The Fusion did just what it was designed for. Run like a horse endlessly. I still miss the manual transmission through the interstate drives.

In 2012, I almost had my hands on a pre-owned Skoda Laura. 1.8 TSi MT. It was a stage 2 Superchips remapped car and was a sheer pleasure to drive. It was also when I’d discovered what a TSi motor can actually do. Plus, MT. A few other things held me back from buying the Laura back then, and there is just no use of putting in an element retrospective imagination now!

2014 saw a need of getting “smaller” car to navigate through the narrow Goan roads. By this time I was already bitten by the TSi bug and in came the VW Polo GT TSi. Tight fit for me, given my size, but the car with the TSi+DSG combo was a sheer delight.
ABS sensor issues cropped up a couple of times through its life with me, but apart from that it witnessed no other niggles(thankfully!!)

My stints at sea continued during all this, like the Goa-Pune-Bombay drives. In 2016, in the 11th year of its life, I had to sell off the Ford Fusion. I’m not able to articulate the amount of endearment towards this car. It was everything, spacious, sturdy, no major electronics on it making it very very reliable. I’d shed a tear!

Anyways, the thrill of the TSi continued with me till 2019 when I’d left for Shanghai on a shore based ship construction job. With more and more reports of mechatronic failures, I’ll admit that the reliability quotient was out during interstate drives. But the drives were thrilling nevertheless. TSi+DSG combo was a brilliant experience for me and I’ll remember it for a long time to come.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-802de89ea1af46a8aaf077c1003367ba.jpeg

This was her at the last service in 2019 in VW Pune.


The project coming to an end early last year I returned home to Goa. Only to find myself be-car! And I needed one to move around like before.
I had the Ford Endeavour in mind, thinking it’ll take me back to the Fusion days. History!

I really needed something substantial in size, adequate in power, and something that would give me a thrilling experience over the 500 kms odd drives between the two states.
Meanwhile, I’d been silently tutoring myself over these 3 threads:

  • GTO’s 530d (F10)
  • Santoshbhat’s X3 (F25)
  • Iliketurtles’s 328i

I was in Bombay in September 2021 and happened to visit the VW showrooms to have a look at the Tiguan. The price, plus not being in a situation to claim depreciation didn’t make any sense to me. Meanwhile, I had also spoken to Infinity motors and had put in a word about me being on a look out for a used car.

And boy did they get back!
They had a 340i (demo car) on offer. Out of my budget. I still dream of the sound on her, though! And then they had the F25.
At 5 years old, at 34,000 kms on the odo, she was a perfect match for my needs. Spacious, fast, always serviced at Infinity Bombay, and within my budget.
I had to simply grab it before I lost it!

This is on the day of delivery.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-99d8ad4afe8e40ec89d996eef8453ae0.jpeg

It has taken me more than a couple of months to get used to everything. The engine, gear box, braking, controls, the list is endless!

Last edited by humbleroadster : 29th January 2022 at 00:36.
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Old 28th January 2022, 09:36   #2
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I am now about 4 months and 5000 kms on the car as I post this.

Keeping in mind, this is after all a 5 yr old, let me start off with my likes and experience with the likes!

1. The Engine: Explosive, to sum it up in a word.
It’s got the eco-pro/comfort/sports/sports mode. It’s really transformative in each of these modes. I’ll be frank in admitting I haven’t explored around much in the sports+ mode (yet). Still getting used to it all, and given the frequent 500 odd kms stints, I’d really like to take it easy if I’d want to see many more of those!

It’s got Noticeable lags in the eco-pro Mode and I haven’t used that much either.
The car starts by default in the comfort mode and frankly it does solve most of its purpose here. I use this in city limits when in Pune/Goa/Bombay.
In the last Pune-Goa trip the trip computer showed a consumption of 7ltrs/100 kms. That clocks to around 14.2 kmpl roughly. I frankly think it’s a very decent number, that too for a 3.0 ltr twin turbo charged 6 cylinder engine. Plus, after the Fusion, and then the Polo, this is definitely the most I’ve even got.
Goes without saying, the sports mode is a hoot! It’s ultra responsive and it’s like a bottomless pit of a high revving machine that’ll keep going more than you want it to. I’m quite overwhelmed with it all, and frankly I’m being a tad bit careful with this being my first BMW.
Since this is basically where my emotions have been maxed out, I’ve not played too much with the sports+ mode. It does have launch control and maybe someday I’ll find the road for it!

Look at the sheer size of it!

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-c21715db939b48ea965f41eb4d05cf0e.jpeg

Speaking of the engine, and another related thread describing a disappointing experience at one of the dealers, there was a brief conversation about the car having/not having a manual dipstick to check the engine oil level. There is it, behind the cylinders.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-877af5cbacc648faaaed70f4c66e098b.jpeg

With so many electronics floating around, even I found the idea of a presence of a manual dipstick quite funny, but it’s there nevertheless.

There is, at this stage/age of the car, quite a bit of engine chatter in idling. That is, when I start the car, leave it in “P” and get out to hear it. I frankly don’t how how other 5+ year old diesel bimmers sound, but I’m going to go with not normal for now.
Quick question(s) for bimmer owners/experts. Does the cladding under the hood need a change after a specific period in time, even if the cladding is in apparent good condition? Also, will this chatter/rattle have to do anything with engine mounts?
I really hope I’m able to figure this one out soon enough.

Another peculiar thing I’ve observed is that in my previous cars, the engine temperature used to settle down at 90degC. This one settles, and is steady, at a 100. I don’t really know if this has something to do with a bigger engine (3.0ltr), or more cylinders (6).
I hope this isn’t an alarming matter!

2. Soundproofing:
In continuation to the above, once inside the car with the doors closed, I can’t hear the sound in idling! It’s isolating, but enough to hear a loud horn behind you. All in all, making the cabin very silent. And silent enough to hear and catch further rattles from my front left window! Conundrum much!!
In a Pune/Bombay- Goa drive, I pass through a Nippani-Sawantwadi section. This section had good patches and really bad patches. And the really bad ones haven’t really helped in the last 4 months. Anyhow, the soundproofing is the best I’ve had so far.

3. Ambience:
I’m given to understand that the 30d M Sport comes only with all black interiors. I wonder if she would’ve looked more spacious in beige than she already is. Coming from a Fusion, and then the Polo, and then 2 years of having no car, this one’s BIG!
The inside is quite understated and everything is a snug fit.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-825bf274bffc4c7393569c6494c1e28a.jpeg

What I like most is the display of the iDrive is a part of the dash and looks neat.


My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-9a001430fc6044409447a64eee9c6671.jpeg

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-bf667631ab96475885463dcd9dca65b3.jpeg

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-c58cf5bb51b1479c8840c7eecd178b22.jpeg

All black interiors makes it look clean(even if it isn’t!)
The M steering wheel (now) looks a bit dated for my taste. I will see if I can have it swapped with the new M wheel in future.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-20e85a4c6f834c29918e61c20e3de709.jpeg

Unlocking the car switches on small lights at the door handles. This has been very nifty for me since Goa isn’t very lit up at night. I’m not sure if they can be called puddle lamps as the outreach of these lights barely manage to illuminate anything on the ground. This said, it does manage to illuminate the sides of the car well. The entire cabin lights up as well. This includes both footwells.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-a21996023ea241ac90f099287bd11063.jpeg

As a part of ambient lighting, the open tray/shelf beneath the air conditioning gets a dim light too. This is customisable to amber. This has been very useful for me.
The HUD is customisable in brightness. It changes to amber in dark when headlights are in auto. I haven’t been able to capture a proper photo for the same.

4.Gearbox:
Equipped with a 8 speed torque converter, it’s a great gear box and the best that I could compare it with (usage and experience wise) is the one from my last car, the Polo GT TSi.
First, every time I used to be downhill in a ghat section in the GT, and if I happened to press the brake a bit, the gearbox would downshift from D5 to D3 with a loud revv. I used to find this a bit unwarranted frankly and the only walk around for this came in, in 2016 when I managed to retrofit the GTI wheel with paddle shifters and I used to then upshift to M4 from D3.
This unnecessary downshifting hasn’t happened with the ZF GB. I understand these are two separate mechanisms and I’m just quoting my experience with the change.
In my first trip in the X3 into Goa, I watched out for this downshift, only to realise I don’t know which gear I’m in! The X3 shows a constant “D” on the display as opposed to D1-D7 in the GT. However, the manual mode shows M1-M8 in the X3. I would’ve liked to know which gear I’m in, or perhaps I’m just used to the GT display.
What I was also used to was the infamous thudder and vibration when the GT shifted down from D3 to D2. Again, two separate mechanisms, so that’s out. Pretty smooth to operate.


5.Steering :
Frankly, I’m still trying to understand it completely. Lot of twists and turns in the ghat sections that I frequent. It’s pretty precise and weighs up in different modes. Sums up for a pretty enjoyable experience.
Variable geometry is something that is very new for me. And I will update this in the forthcoming sections.



I won’t really say “Things that I don’t like” yet, so let’s keep it at “Things I think could’ve been better”!!

1. Footwell :

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-807be828d4604db8bb873afc8d044ba3.jpeg

It’s substantially large and the accelerator rests at the bottom. This somehow, tilts my foot at a 45 degree angle over a prolonged period in time, resulting in a slight foot ache post a long commute. This has not happened to me before. The Polo had the accelerator hanging from its upper portion. I don’t know if this makes a difference, but it’s certainly an ergonomical issue!
Again, I’m 6’4” tall and the Polo was a super tight fit for me. The X3 for me, is a playground!


2. Lack of an electric tailgate :
This is the sensor where in you hold the unnecessarily large box of groceries and do the one legged dance to magically open the boot! I learnt it’s name through Santoshbhat’s thread!

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-9894e9595a024d2daae3de8204768c70.jpeg

But seriously, look at the size of this. Opening it aside, it’s a disaster to shut it! Much like pulling a shutter down while closing shop. That’s the worst analogy ever, and my apologies for the same. But if I’m finding this inconvenient given my size, why isn’t anyone else complaining about this?!

3. Run Flats and lack of a spare wheel:
There is no dedicated space for one as well, even if you’d want to buy it after the purchase. This means either I have to risk a tyre burst (and get stalled), or I have to invest in a spare wheel, tyre, basic equipment to deal with a flat(spanner, jack etc), and something to lash it within the boot. This simply put, is a bad move!
I’m currently on 2018 manufactured Pirelli’s and given the interstate commutes, I need to address this pronto!
Yes, there should’ve been a “Things that I don’t like” section for this!

4. Runner board/side skirting(please feel free to correct the term) :

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-2c69fbd8fbee4af1aac45fdecc38e9d2.jpeg

Please allow me to explain this very bad picture. This is the side profile of the car running between the wheel arches. This is attached to the door by a clip on/off system. I’ve had to replace a couple of clips to the runner on the rear left door. But now it’s making a small noise post the “thud”! As discomforting as this is, I sure there must be some reason as to why it isn’t an integrated part of the door itself. The clips within are hard plastic and it’s evident they’re susceptible to deterioration.

Apart from these few things, the car has been a gem to be with! The sheer pleasure and the thrill that it gives me interstate turns the whole commute into a breeze!

I had her serviced from Bavaria motors, Pune in November 2021. There’s a separate thread for the same.

In January 2022 I got my car detailed along with a few cosmetic changes.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-2f6e4e66530e4444873e417c03066f1c.jpeg

This is what she looks upfront now.


The side profile was looking like it needed some change and I got the alloys painted as well.



My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-b59be875cc1d4e8089e6350e426a7ba0.jpeg

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-609eb55598ba460b9882efaf0abad99e.jpeg

The ones above are from before and after.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-c794d42330c047229a05398858cef5fa.jpeg

What with all the josh that I was in, I decided to repaint the callipers. Thinking that red and yellow are too common, I thought I’ll go in for a different colour. This hasn’t worked out well! The BMW India official page shows the recently launched X3 with red M callipers.

My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25)  | Ownership Review-e7cf4012588446558344dade67cc2e6d.jpeg

Hopefully this should be available in India. I have a feeling these are available in blue as well. Maybe I’ve not looked around for them as much.

That’s all that I have about the car for now. BMW is like uncharted waters for me so far. I hope it all counts for an enjoyable experience in the long run!

Cheers!

Last edited by humbleroadster : 29th January 2022 at 00:03.
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Old 29th January 2022, 01:58   #3
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 29th January 2022, 10:38   #4
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Congrats on picking up a new X3 30d. I must say this is a really rare car - while the 530d has always been relatively easy to find, the X3 30d has almost always been sold only on a “order in advance” basis. When I was picking up my X3 20d, I was offered a ₹10l discount on the 20d and also on the X5 30d right away. But for the X3 30d, I was told they would produce it against an order with no discounts at all (which meant it would have been costlier than the mid variant X5) and ₹20 l more than the X3 20d. Given how good even the 20d is to drive, I am sure driving this must be an amazing experience. Best wishes for lots of joyous driving with this car.
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Old 29th January 2022, 10:44   #5
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Congratulations! Any X car with the 30d is best of both worlds. You get the drivetrain from the 530d and the added safety from bad roads.

I barely see any X3 30d's on Olx or other marketplaces. All I see are just 20d's with the tiny iDrive screen and the miserable instrument cluster. Lucky break for you, I guess. This one will keep you happy for years!
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Old 29th January 2022, 10:48   #6
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Congratulations on owning this beautiful beast! For moment there I thought someone had hijacked my car's pictures . Rare car this, white X3 30d M Sport and it is just as special. This is the best time to enjoy these big lusty diesels. That engine is the best thing about this car. Paired with xDrive AWD, it just takes highway driving to another level. Tip : Get rid of the eco pro Pirelli RFTs and get some sticky tubeless tyres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by humbleroadster View Post
There is, at this stage/age of the car, quite a bit of engine chatter in idling. That is, when I start the car, leave it in ďPĒ and get out to hear it. I frankly donít how how other 5+ year old diesel bimmers sound, but Iím going to go with not normal for now.


Quick question(s) for bimmer owners/experts. Does the cladding under the hood need a change after a specific period in time, even if the cladding is in apparent good condition? Also, will this chatter/rattle have to do anything with engine mounts?
I really hope Iím able to figure this one out soon enough.

Another peculiar thing Iíve observed is that in my previous cars, the engine temperature used to settle down at 90degC. This one settles, and is steady, at a 100. I donít really know if this has something to do with a bigger engine (3.0ltr), or more cylinders (6).

I hope this isnít an alarming matter!
I suspect the engine mounts too. My car idles fairly quietly and mine has crossed 70k kms. Don't think it has got louder with age. In fact the diesel clatter from outside is much lower than most diesels I've seen. I've had petrol pump attendants expressing surprise at how quiet the diesel engine is from outside.

Don't think the cladding needs replacement. Just get the engine mounts checked and get an oil change done (if not done already after you bought it).

Engine temp needle usually rests a bit to the left of the 100 degree mark in my car. Will observe closely during my next highway drive (coming week) and update.
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Old 29th January 2022, 11:09   #7
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Hello to a fellow sailor and hearty congratulations on getting the rare X3 30d. The practicality of the X3 and the explosive 3 liter engine is a really good combination which will keep you and your family happy. All the best for your journey with the X3.
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Old 29th January 2022, 11:56   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humbleroadster View Post
Quick question(s) for bimmer owners/experts. Does the cladding under the hood need a change after a specific period in time, even if the cladding is in apparent good condition? Also, will this chatter/rattle have to do anything with engine mounts?
I really hope Iím able to figure this one out soon enough.
Congrats on a stunning engine + gearbox combo.

I have a 2012 320d which sees very little running, less than about 3k kms/year. The engine idle has gotten progressively rougher over time. Got it checked out last week and as you suspect, the engine mounts need to be swapped.

Placed an order with a trusty FNG for new engine and transmission mounts and should complete the install in about a weeks time.

Note that once moving, the engine is very smooth and you noticeable feel and hear a drop in a vibrations and sound.
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Old 29th January 2022, 11:58   #9
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Congrats on a getting a stonker of a car. Six cylinders, pure mechanical ecstasy. May the steed serve you well. Looking forward to reading the updates on your adventures with your steed.
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Old 29th January 2022, 12:09   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humbleroadster View Post
Iíd been silently tutoring myself over these 3 threads:
  • GTOís 530d (F10)
  • Santoshbhatís X3 (F25)
  • Iliketurtlesís 328i
Many congrats, amigo. And my sincerest apologies to you for poring over my thread hoping for pearls of wisdom. You'd have better luck finding an X3 30D for sale at the right price, and it seems you did!

Like Hayek rightly pointed out, you've got yourself a bit of a Unicorn. The X3 paired with that 3 liter diesel is a killer combo, it's got enough power to run a small nuclear plant, and gives enough mileage to get you to the ends of the earth and back before you realise you have to refill. And that's before you even get to how good it sounds (not just for a diesel, mind you) and how refined it is.

Santosh has correctly pinpointed the possible wear of the engine mounts, and I'd go with his recommendation of the early oil change too, coupled with all other filters. Make it a fresh start. And yes, get rid of the Pirelli's pronto. I've used their tubeless tyres in my Jetta previously, and for some time in the 328i too; good to great performance, but too damn soft. Go tubeless, go Michelin or Yoko IMO.

Enjoy her on the open road. Get a tune slapped on the engine and transmission, move that gearbox to the left and set the roads on fire, as poet-philosopher and part-time masala manufacturer Badshah says. Here's hoping you have miles o' smiles with her.
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Old 29th January 2022, 12:34   #11
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Default Re: My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25) | Ownership Review

Excellent write-up. A rare find indeed, & that too in good nick.

Must be acres of space available to you, coming from a Polo GT

With all the pre-owned BMW ownership threads popping up, really inspires confidence in looking for one.

Wishing you many trouble free kms! Do keep this thread updated.
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Old 29th January 2022, 13:53   #12
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Congratulations on your BMW X3! Wish you many happy miles with this! The red callipers give the car a very sporty look!
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Old 29th January 2022, 15:15   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
Congrats on picking up a new X3 30d. I must say this is a really rare car

Thank you! Yes, Iíve been lucky enough to get my hands on this one. After having owned a TSi and wanting to upgrade, I was hoping to find a 328i or the likes. But Iím glad I got my hands on this one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vredesbyrd View Post
Congratulations! This one will keep you happy for years!

Thank you! Yes, I hope so too! Will keep this thread alive through her life.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
Congratulations on owning this beautiful beast! Tip : Get rid of the eco pro Pirelli RFTs and get some sticky tubeless tyres.
I suspect the engine mounts too.
Don't think the cladding needs replacement. Just get the engine mounts checked and get an oil change done (if not done already after you bought it).
Engine temp needle usually rests a bit to the left of the 100 degree mark in my car. Will observe closely during my next highway drive (coming week) and update.

Thank you for all the info Santosh. Quite detailed as always! Iíve taken note of all your suggestions. Will update the thread as I get things in order.


Quote:
Originally Posted by adi.mariner View Post
Hello to a fellow sailor and hearty congratulations on getting the rare X3 30d.

Thanks Adi! She stands tall and steers well, alright!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ballfry View Post
Congrats on a stunning engine + gearbox combo.

I have a 2012 320d which sees very little running, less than about 3k kms/year. The engine idle has gotten progressively rougher over time. Got it checked out last week and as you suspect, the engine mounts need to be swapped.

Placed an order with a trusty FNG for new engine and transmission mounts and should complete the install in about a weeks time.

Note that once moving, the engine is very smooth and you noticeable feel and hear a drop in a vibrations and sound.

Thanks Sir, for this info. Will you be updating this change anywhere? Iíll keep a watch. Also, will address the mounts soon enough.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Air_Kerala View Post
Congrats on a getting a stonker of a car. Six cylinders, pure mechanical ecstasy. May the steed serve you well. Looking forward to reading the updates on your adventures with your steed.

Many thanks! Iíll keep the thread updated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iliketurtles View Post
Many congrats, amigo. Enjoy her on the open road. Get a tune slapped on the engine and transmission, move that gearbox to the left and set the roads on fire, as poet-philosopher and part-time masala manufacturer Badshah says. Here's hoping you have miles o' smiles with her.
Sir!! If thereís anywhere one needs to go to have a laugh over some witty writing, then they better dial you!
Thanks for your inputs. Have a few things in mind performance/mods wise. Hopefully these things manage to graduate to the car soon. Keep you posted!


Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekswarup View Post
Excellent write-up. A rare find indeed, & that too in good nick.
Must be acres of space available to you, coming from a Polo GT
With all the pre-owned BMW ownership threads popping up, really inspires confidence in looking for one.
Wishing you many trouble free kms! Do keep this thread updated.

Thank you Prateek! Hopefully the same confidence allows you to come over to the wild side! (Come!!)


Quote:
Originally Posted by kiredd1005 View Post
Congratulations on your BMW X3! Wish you many happy miles with this! The red callipers give the car a very sporty look!
Thanks much! Do you mean the ones in the advertisement? Mine have turned out to be a dirty shade of orange
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Old 29th January 2022, 15:27   #14
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Default Re: My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25) | Ownership Review

Nice one AM! Nicely written and super car!

When you messaged me after buying this, for some reason I thought your car was blue. When I started reading this thread I had no clue this was your car till the background stuff that Youíve mentioned made me realise that its your car and that this is you 😃

The car looks absolutely stunning though i agree with you on the calipers. That colour is not going well with the rest of the car. Red will definitely be better.

Hoping to catch up soon.

GK,Your fellow last bencher from school
Potenza is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 29th January 2022, 15:45   #15
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Default Re: My Pre-owned BMW X3 30d (F25) | Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Potenza View Post
Nice one AM! Nicely written.

I thought your car was blue.

The car looks absolutely stunning though i agree with you on the calipers. That colour is not going well with the rest of the car.
Hi GK! And thanks!
This is what happens when you donít meet!

Yes, I must address that colour soonest. It actually looks a lot worse after a highway stint, and frankly all this went without notice in stock!
humbleroadster is offline   (1) Thanks
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