Published on August 7th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


BMW X3 SUV used selling prices today are very interesting

Looking for the vehicle that gave birth to the name ‘sport activity vehicle’ (SAV)? It was BMW’s first ever X3 that was given this name and not the name ‘sports utility vehicle’ (SUV) as BMW wanted to position its ‘then’ all new X3 as a sporting alternative to their then successful 3-Series stationwagon.

Fast forward by 13 years and this X3 has lost its shine in the used car market and could be the family 4×4 for you to buy used today. Let us explain.

The BMW X3 was introduced in 2004 as a smaller alternative to the large and brutish looking X5. On introduction it had only one rival, the Land Rover Freelander. The X3 was sold with either a 2.5 or 3-liter 6-cylinder engine, which was shared with the popular E46 sedan (there was also in very limited numbers a 2-liter diesel with a 6-speed manual gearbox good for about 40mpg). Today we have the Q5 and the Tiguan playing in the same segment.

The interior of most X3’s are a wash of drab gray plastic which is pretty boring after the snappy looking exterior. Ergonomics overall are quite good but build quality is sadly not on par with the X5. Airbags and antilock brakes are available and these need to be checked to make sure they are working fine. The X3 comes with BMW’s Xdrive so stopping in an emergency is never a problem as long as your brakes are in good condition and off road ability is good. All X3’s come from fully imported with various specification level as some units have been imported in by parallel importers, however the most common features are climate control air conditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control, power windows, locks and mirrors and electric front seats.

Look for a detailed service record, off road abuse underneath the car, scratched interior, worn drivers seat and drivers pedals. Coolant leaks are not uncommon, including thermostat housing, hose leaks. Check to see whether all the electrical and electronic features are operating. You must take a short test drive to see if it feels like driving a (heavy) car, with everything smooth and quiet. There should be very little or no body roll on sweeping corners. Listen and feel for vibrations in the steering or drivetrain, these seem to be the most common defects if accident repair has been badly done and are hard to get rid of. Make sure the steering column adjustment goes up and down without sticking, and that the air-conditioning systems (there were a number of complaints in early models) operate normally.

All in all a used BMW X3 is an impressive piece of machinery and it ought to be for the asking price these days. Well looked after examples from 2004-2007 start selling from RM50,000 to RM58,000 for the 3-liter and for the 2-liter diesel manual version you could be paying as little as RM32,000. Prices for other variants sit in between them.

If you find a single owner, company maintained unit that has all the little bits working and no serious accident damage then look no further and start the price haggle as the X3 is one fine off and on road machine. Mechanics and specialists are plentiful and they can and will do good job as long as you know them. With cars like this you cannot be stingy with repairs when they come. Please try and shy away from used parts. Use new parts and you will have fewer visits to the workshop. Finding one should not a problem as some owners are trading up to newer better cars with attractive loans. Take your time and you will enjoy your purchase.

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