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2009 BMW X3

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2009 BMW X3 Review

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BMW's X3 "Sport Activity Vehicle" debuted in 2003 and has undergone a steady series of improvements year after year. Equipped with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the X3 offers all the safety and security of the larger X5 in a smaller, more nimble package. Like the X5, the 2009 BMW X3's claim to fame is successfully wedding SUV attributes (aggressive tall-wagon look, utility, all-weather security, "command" seating position) to BMW attributes of performance and fun-to-drive handing agility.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you would be driving a German compact sport sedan, such as a BMW 3 Series, but want or need more utility and all-wheel-drive security, the 2009 BMW X3 is the logical choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2009 BMW X3 is less powerful and more expensive than others in its class and its ride and handling balance leans toward smooth-road handling. You may be happier with something more powerful, softer-riding and/or more affordable.

What's New for 2009

Changes for the 2009 BMW X3 are mostly visual, with new 17- and 18-inch wheel designs, new interior trim and fabric options and new color choices.

Driving the X3

Driving Impressions The 2009 BMW X3 is sort of a tall 3 Series wagon and will entertain enthusiast drivers accordingly. Even without the available Sport Package, it stops, steers and corners like...

a BMW should. Its 260 horsepower is less than that of most rivals, and its ride is slightly stiff-legged, though recent suspension tweaks create a somewhat softer ride than in previous models. We found our automatic-equipped test vehicle's throttle response a little jerky at times during routine driving, and the single-cupholder console is lacking in places to put things. There is a covered bin at dash-top center, however, and a second pull-out cupholder at the far right of the dash. We averaged roughly 19 miles per gallon around town and 21 mpg at highway speeds.

xDrive Full-Time All-Wheel Drive
With limited ground clearance and all-season tires, the X3 has few off-road aspirations but one of the best all-weather all-wheel-drive systems on the market. It electronically varies front-to-rear torque and traction control to optimize grip.

Optional Xenon Adaptive Headlamps
Automatically leveled and steered in response to steering angle, vehicle speed and turning rate, they light more of the road through curves and dips and are encircled by luminous rings that serve as parking and (if desired) daytime running lights. This option also adds a cornering light feature to the fog lamps.

2009 BMW X3 Details
2009 BMW X3 photo Interior

The X3's interior has fold-flat second-row seats and tasteful wood trim on its instrument panel and center stack. This wood also decorates gracefully sculpted front door pulls that angle front-to-rear between twin door-storage pockets at their lower ends. The steering wheel has multi-function controls, and a convenient covered storage bin sits above twin air outlets at dash-top center. Non-fans of BMW's iDrive multi-system controller will be pleased that the X3 makes use of previous-generation 3 Series controls. Second-row head and shoulder room are good, but foot and legroom can be tight with the front seats adjusted for tall front-seat occupants.

Exterior
2009 BMW X3 photo

The 2009 BMW X3 retains the slab-sided BMW look in a tall wagon shape. Its signature twin-kidney grilles, smaller than the X5's, sit above a blacked-out over-bumper air intake. Below the bumper, its black lower fascia houses additional air intakes for radiator and brake cooling. Quad round headlamps above round outboard fog lamps are covered by wrap-around clear lenses. In back, a functional roof spoiler houses the high-mounted brake lamp, and twin round exhausts protrude from the left side of the lower fascia. One clear differentiator from the larger X5 is its kicked-up window behind the rear door on each side.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 BMW X3's standard features include a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission, xDrive full-time all-wheel drive, variable-assist power rack-and-pinion steering, all-season tires on 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a dual-panel panoramic moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, rear-window wiper and washer, halogen headlamps with automatic control, leather-wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable eight-way power front seats with memory, leatherette upholstery, one-touch power windows, power heated outside mirrors, keyless entry with multi-function remote control, automatic climate control and AM/FM/CD/MP3 eight-speaker audio with auxiliary input jack. Standard safety equipment includes Dynamic Stability Control, electronic brake proportioning, anti-lock brakes, Dynamic Brake Control, Hill Descent Control and six airbags.

Optional Equipment

The X3 offers Cold Weather, Premium, Sport Activity and Sport packages, the latter adding 18-inch wheels and sport suspension, seats, steering wheel and exterior trim. Stand-alone options include a selection of optional wheels and tires, xenon adaptive headlamps with auto leveling, front and rear Park Distance Control, heated front seats and steering wheel, navigation system, dual power lumbar seat adjusters, premium audio system, leather upholstery, HD Radio, privacy glass, rear side-impact airbags and BMW Assist Safety Services.

Under the Hood

The 2009 BMW X3 is powered by a 260-horsepower dual overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve 3.0-liter in-line six with lightweight magnesium/aluminum construction. Like BMW's V8 engines, it features Valvetronic electronic valve actuation and Double VANOS variable valve timing for better-than-expected fuel efficiency.

3.0-liter in-line 6
260 horsepower at 6600 rpm
225 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 (manual), 17/24 (automatic)

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2009 BMW X3 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 260 Ratings for the 2004 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Spirited Daily Driver

By on Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,250

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great initial quality"

Cons: "Limited interior storage, somewhat noisy cabin"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This is a crossover that drives like a sports sedan. For sheer driving fun, no other SUV/SAV and not even many sedans compare to this. Engine is smooth with plenty of power and handling is tack-sharp. Has all the comfort features you'd want and has been super-reliable so far. That said, X3s have some known-issues that come with higher mileage. So far I have had to replace oil and valve gaskets, some pumps, CCV, servomotor and some plastic hoses. Fortunately they are fairly inexpensive repairs and I'd rather spend that money than be in something that drives like a shopping cart."

no

By on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 103,671

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "worst car I have ever baugh .I paid to mutch"

Cons: "cup holders are grate."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I used to say Bunch of money wasted.now that I have one.I completely I think that's true.My car has Deen in shop 5 times in a year in a half.I,m very displeased."

Solid, powerful, fun to drive.

By on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The X3 3.0 6 speed is fun to drive, powerful, has plenty of cargo space and handles great in adverse conditions. Highly recommended for a sport ute."

This car is gorgeous inside and out.

By on Saturday, May 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very reliable car. Fun car to drive."

Cons: "Can not think of one thing."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Drives fantastic even in the rain. The Sunroof is huge. The leather seats are like new. Very good quality all the way around. Lots of room. I am a very proud owner."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Blown head gasket at 70,000 miles

By on Saturday, March 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Nice ride and comfort"

Cons: "Reliability stinks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"For all the hype of German Engineering this car could not even make it to 100K with out major engine problems. All the Fords, Chevy's and Chryslers I have owned have never had any major engine issues. Bodies would not last but powertrains would run forever. I thought I upgraded to reliable, quality vehicle but end up with a lemon. Bought it used at 30K and biggest mistake of my life. Ran great up until head gasket blew without warning. Split the expansion tank from top to bottom and left my wife stranded on interstate. Just need to get it fixed so that I can trade it in on an American car. BMW never again for me."

13 people out of 22 found this review helpful

My dream car, turns into a frustrating nightmare!!

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Sharp looking, but looks can be deseaving!!"

Cons: "Very poor over all quality for all the hype!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"When I finally was able to buy one of the car brands I had admire ever since my adolescence, I thought I had reached a milestone. Up to this point I had owned many different brands of cars some very good and some adequate. The worst car I have ever driven in terms of quality and reliability is a 1980 Ford Fairmont, the second worst is my 2005 BMW X3. At only 65K miles this car leaks more oil than the Alaska pipe line, it needs a new transmission, leaks water in the cabin, ciling lining drupping down, both back electric windows had to be replaced, window seals all around deteriorating, radio had to be replaced, a/c issues, starter and ignition system replaced, fuel pump, headlamp electric issues ( I've had to replace more bulbs in this car than in all the cars I've owned put together), passenger side airbag issues, windshield wiper fluid pumps replaced, rocker arms need to be replaced, etc, etc...... Other than that, I can truly say BMW has built the "ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE" to drive to and from the repair shop that is. I think BMW is short for Bring me More Work!! (That's good news for the mechanics!!.). LoL, LoL NOTE: this car has never even received a door ding, garaged 50% of the time and pampered like a primadona!!. When I contacted BMW's customer satisfaction team all they could say is " but you have a very beautiful, safe, high performance car Mr. RodNey, doesn't that ad weight all the other non sence " Never again BMW, THANK YOU MAZDA, TOYOTA. Best cars I've ever owned!!!!!!!"

14 people out of 24 found this review helpful

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