It appears BMW has been reading the reviews of its soon-to-be former X3 3.0i sport-activity vehicle. The chief complaints of economy-grade interior treatments, lack of power, harsh ride qualities and a relatively high asking price have all been addressed with the 2007 BMW X3 3.0si, which is on dealership floors right now.
You'll have to gaze hard to spot the new X3's exterior changes. The easiest to recognize are the black front bumpers with integrated foglamps, replacing the elaborately contoured body-colored bumpers, and the badge on the front-quarter panel, of course, which now reads "3.0si" instead of "3.0i."
Under the skin, however, the changes are far more pronounced.
New power The new lighter magnesium-aluminum 3.0-liter engine increases output some 35 horsepower over the outgoing engine of the same displacement and dimensions. With 260 hp available at a now higher 6600 rpm (versus 225 hp at 5900 rpm), one might think the X3 would be less happy around town. Fortunately, the peak torque, which is what you really feel, is both increased to 225 pound-feet (from 214 lb-ft) and it arrives at a much lower 2750 rpm (versus 3500 rpm).
This immediately translates to a more relaxed and powerful low end, combined with brighter, more energetic high-rpm characteristics. Despite the added power, fuel consumption (of premium-grade gasoline) has improved marginally, at 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway for the standard six-speed manual transmission, and 19/26 mpg for the no-cost optional six-speed automatic transmission.
New transmission/improved all-wheel drive That new six-speed automatic (it replaces the five-speed) is responsible for much of the X3's newfound drivability. Performance and efficiency of the new automatic are also immediately evident. Shifting is noticeably quicker (50 percent according to BMW), and the company claims the new transmission accounts for a 6-percent gain in fuel economy, offsetting the increase in power and curb weight. A new torque converter lock-up rationale (lock-up occurs nearly from a standstill) allows the X3 to feel more responsive to throttle input. Standard "Drive," "Sport" and manual-shifting positions are retained.
BMW's standard xDrive all-wheel-drive system is now integrated into the X3's dynamic stability control system (DSC), as well as ABS functions and dynamic traction control system (DTC). From our spirited highway drive, as well as a decent amount of off-roading, the results were pretty obvious. The X3 3.0si still drives like a sport wagon, but the point at which the former stability system would have made a correction is now further away. No doubt the electronics were hard at work, but the revised suspension settings were also more able to cope with irregularities in the pavement, making the X3 both smoother and more forgiving than the stiff-legged ride of yore.
When we took the X3 off-road, we tried ascending a loose-packed hill with and without DTC and found the system was definitely more effective at putting the power in the right places at the right time. Going down the other side, we were happy to use the Hill Descent Control system, which maintains the vehicle at a programmed speed (adjustable on the fly) without the need to touch either pedal.
New-ish interior For 2007, the X3 now joins the rest of the BMW lineup with a typically tasteful interior. Wood trim adorns grab handles and more of the dash has a higher-quality look and feel. A three-spoke steering wheel dominates the dash, whose geometry and two-tone hues now more closely resemble the current 3 Series. The screen for the $1,800 optional navigation system still sprouts out of the dash pad, but larger storage bins are sprinkled throughout, making the interior more useful and better integrated.
Cold weather, premium or sport packages alter the seating materials and support levels. Heated front seats are part of the Cold Weather pack, but newly optional heated rear seats are also available. Ultimate cargo room (to the window line) remains the same, a modest 54.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded and the vertical net in place.
Virtually the same price The X3 3.0si comes with all these improvements and more for a minimal $1,200 MSRP increase over the 2006 model. Still, being priced right in the sweet spot at $38,695 puts it in the neighborhood of some stiff competition from Acura's all-new RDX, the stalwart Lexus RX 330 and even the Mercedes-Benz ML350 if you go easy on the options. This X3 is as all-new as a midlife refresh can be.
With BMW's sport-utility sales slipping recently, some might criticize BMW for letting the X3 languish too long before implementing all the enhancements. If the original X3 were as good as this one is, it might've avoided some of the early dissatisfaction and enjoyed even more success than it has. If you're in the market for a small and sporty sport-ute, put the 2007 BMW X3 back on your list.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
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What's a good price on a used 2007 BMW X3 ?
Price comparisons for used 2007 BMW X3 trim styles:
The used 2007 BMW X3 3.0si is priced around $7846 with average odometer reading of 113787 miles.
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What options are available on the 2007 BMW X3?
Available BMW X3 2007 Submodel Types: M40i, Diesel, SUV
Available BMW X3 2007 Trims: xDrive28i, xDrive30i, xDrive35i, M40i, 3.0i, sDrive28i, 2.5i, 3.0si, xDrive28d
Exterior Colors: Jet Black, Black Sapphire Metallic, Space Gray Metallic, Phytonic Blue Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic, Dark Graphite Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Mineral Silver Metallic, Blue Water Metallic, Melbourne Red Metallic, Terra Brown Metallic, Vermilion Red Metallic, Silver Gray Metallic, Highland Green Metallic, Sparkling Brown Metallic, Monaco Blue Metallic, Sparkling Bronze Metallic, Titanium Silver Metallic, Dark Olive Metallic, Platinum Bronze Metallic, Silver Grey Metallic, Alpine White, Chestnut Brown Metallic, Montego Blue Metallic
Interior Colors: Black Vernasca w/Contrast Stitching and Piping leather, Black Nevada premium leather, Black leatherette, Black SensaTec leather, Canberra Beige/Black Vernasca w/Contrast Stitching and Piping leather, Saddle Brown Nevada premium leather, Sand Beige Nevada premium leather, Cognac Vernasca w/Contrast Stitching and Piping leather, Beige leatherette, Canberra Beige/Black SensaTec leatherette, Oyster Nevada premium leather, Mocha Vernasca w/Contrast Stitching and Piping leather, Black Nevada w/Gray Contrast Stitching premium leather, Oyster Vernasca w/Contrast Stitching and Piping leather, Black Vernasca w/Blue Contrast Stitching and Piping leather, Sand Beige/Black Nevada premium leather, Beige premium leather, Black, Beige, Black premium leather, Mojave Nevada premium leather, Oyster premium leather, Beige SensaTec leatherette, Black SensaTec leatherette, Chestnut Nevada premium leather, Grey, Ivory White Nevada w/Red Contrast Stitching premium leather, Sand Beige premium leather, Beige/Black SensaTec leatherette, Gray premium leather, Mocha Nevada w/Orange Contrast Stitching premium leather, Saddle Brown premium leather, Sand Beige leatherette, Sand Beige/Black premium leather
Popular Features: Post-collision safety system, Bluetooth, Alarm, USB Inputs, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Electronic Folding Mirrors, 3500lb Towing Capacity, 2500lb Towing Capacity, Upgraded Headlights, Back-up camera, Pre-collision safety system, Heated seats, Parking sensors, Navigation, Keyless Entry/Start, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Heads up display, Upgraded Stereo, Leather Seats, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Adaptive Cruise Control, 360-degree camera, Towing Hitch, Cooled Seats, AWD/4WD, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Auto Climate Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Aux Audio Inputs, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Power Driver Seat, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Sunroof/Moonroof, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer
The used 2007 BMW X3 is offered in the following submodels: SUV. Available styles include 3.0si 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M). Pre-owned X3 models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The used 2007 X3 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual.