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BMW X3 E83

BMW X3 E83 (2004-2010)

3.4 from 9 reviews

See the Best Midsize / Medium SUVs in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

Best 4WD I owned

We haven’t owned a BMW car previously and after did some research & test drive, my husband bought this car almost 5 years ago and I have been using it until now for work and family weekend. This is such a great family 4WD! Spacious, smooth drive, nice modern look, even after 5 years people still commenting how it looks new and nice!
The machine never gives us trouble, reliable, no rattling sound, A/C temperature always great, cold/ hot like we wanted, all buttons functions properly and signs inside car are easy to read or use. This car is also great with petrol, it’s very economical considering the size and weight of it. And I love the front and back sensors, really helpful!
We’re really pleased with our first BMW and thinking to buy another one like the big brother X5 for my husband.

Purchased in September 2014 for $65,000.00.

Build Quality
Value for Money
Cleaning & Maintenance
Noise Level
Acceleration / Power
Gear Shifting
Fuel Efficiency
Interior Design
Boot Size

Money Pit - Stay away from BMW's

Couldn't disagree with some on the comments. My only advise is to stay away from BMW X3 or infant overall BMW range.
They may be good under warranty as soon as you are out of warranty BMW or Dealership dont cares any more.

Incident 1 - For me around 160K kms mark it all started with 3 light death combination, Airbag + 4x4 + Cant remember.

Inspection by BMW Dealership was advised to change entire Transmission, Motor etc with an estimate of over $18K
They charged premium to just diagnose the fault as local mechanics don't have fault description. BMW Hold it tightly the entire secret.
At the end found a local guy who replaced a small gear at cost of $260.
Complaint to BMW or Dealership result in only frustration as they didn't acknowledge the fault at all.

Learning 1 - Stay away from Big guys, they are only there to empty you bank account

Incident 2 - Started with a Engine Light around 170K Kms, took straight to Excellent local mechanic, I found previously, his equipment where not sophisticated to deal with the issue but he suggested DPF issue and he advised if its real DPF look in a range of $5K to get it fixed.

Found another DPF expert on Internet, set me back $1500 to get rid of the light

Learning 2 - There is no real after sale support or one point to go to, for every issue you keep looking for another service stations.

Incident 3 - This time Little Spring Indicator light around $185K kms. Took to last know mechanic cost another $1500 to fix.

Learning 3 - Stay away from BMW, by this time totally frustrated and trying to sell this crap

Incident 4 - $187K and almost all light on the dashboard, i started calling then christmas lights. A visit to mechanic and a fix was estimated to $4K-$5K. They where not sure till they open up few components.

Learning 4 - Decided not to spent any more and took it back just with the code reset.

Currently Situation - Decided to keep driving till it goes to junk yard. Spoke to few wholesaler and they estimated the car worth $3000 in current state and $1500 if it stop working.
Driving till it die down and will sent it to Junk Yard.

Note: I have not mentioned other issues like timing belt, Bluetooth, Power Steering etc as I am thinking they are general wear and tear.

BadgexDrive20d Lifestyle
Date PurchasedJan 2013

The car drives well until you get a fault light up then get out your wallet.

Handles and drives well. good power from the turbo diesel motor.
Interior is fine. The ride is a bit hard in the back.
We bought this car from the dealer at 25,000km (little old lady owned, church on Sunday scenario). We started having issues after 80,000km.
Unfortunately there have been multiple issues with the transfer case (repairs $10,000), DPF (repairs $4,500), exhaust valve relay (repairs$8,000) and vibration caused by recall repairs replacement of the timing chain (ongoing $$$). The vehicle does a 100km round trip with minor small trips so not sure why the DPF would fail or block so early. The transfer case ended up being a $20 part and a $170 repair. The fault up for the exhaust valve issue we got reset from another mechanic and has not reappeared yet BMW quite happy to slug me $8,000 to fix. Its been 16 months of back and forth with the vibration issue and ended up getting another mechanic to look at. he found three bolts that were missing from the front diff that were removed when they did their timing chain recall.
Why BMW could find this simple problem themselves astounds me. Just happy to stick the diagnostic machine on and let the computer do the work. Hint: a computer can not see poor workmanship and missing bolts!
Handling, drive and comfort - Excellent (in the front)
Reliability - Terrible. Constant issues with a low kilometer vehicle which is sold as a premium product. Mutton dressed as Lamb
Repairs, Warranty, Services - Dodgy at best. Untrustworthy, liars and cheats.
Customer service and support - Worst I have come across ever!

April 30th 2018 Update: More Issues, different day. 130,000kM and out of action

Not the language I would generally use but after dealing with BMW locally with no joy, BMW nationally with no joy and BMW globally, it has come to my attention that they do not have a concern for any of their customers that are having ongoing issues with their cars. I have posted over 50 (other customer) terrible reviews on their Web Page to highlight their customer’s distress and they basically don't care. Maybe with the Ford case that has just been to court they might sit up and listen! Class action you say? This is what needs to happen using the thousands of BMW customers that have been affected from, not poor service, but total disrespect and in some cases fraudulent behaviour.
Just a recap. I took my X3 BMW into West Terrace for a transfer case issue which I later found out was an inherent problem with this model and should have been a recall issue. They charged me $8,000 to repair the problem which i said was ridiculous. They then said that they would wear half the cost and do it for $4,000. I took it to another European car specialist and they repaired it for $170.00!
While the car was in the workshop BMW informed us that we needed to have the timing chain replaced as part of a recall. BMW gave us no notice, no loan car and had our car for 5 days! When the car was given back it had a very bad vibration. This was noticed before getting less than a block away. I took it back and was told that this was normal and that the electronic timing system had to find itself and this would take a thousand Km's or so. After taking the vehicle back and also complaining numerous times over an 18 month period it got so bad that it couldn't be driven. We took it to another mechanic and they found that three bolts that hold the motor to the front diff were missing. BMW on West Terrace had either left three bolts out or they didn't tension them correctly. A basic issue that they couldn't find themselves or didn't bother checking. Complete arrogance! They did diagnose an entirely different problem they said would cost another extreme amount to repair which I later found out was false. Another dealer cleared the alarms and we drove for two weeks, went back and no alarms were found! Self-generated? Wrongly Diagnosed? Pretty poor for a BMW dealership!
Now there has been the online PMing of BMW letting them know of the issues I have been having and extending this through to illustrate other customer’s plights also. All I get is either a computer generated response saying that "We are very sorry that you Blah Blah Blah........." and 6 weeks later when you are still trying to get an answer another seemingly computer generated response tells me that "You matter has been dealt with and closed out in our system Blah Blah Blah......." Pathetic and yet another closed door.
The public relations person from West Tce BMW returned my call 5 days after I had left a message to say that she was very sorry and that she had this at the top of her list to resolve. She said that she would look into the notes and get back to me. I called back a week later and was told that she was just stepping into a meeting and would get back to me straight after the meeting. Another week later I rang again only to be told the same excuse again "word for word". Who do these people think they are? Now the DPF filter has gone and the turbo also. The car has only done 130,000kM with constant running from the hills to the city every week. I should have bought a Toyota!
Who is up for a Class action? Message me back and let’s show these clowns we are serious. In the interim I will chase up the solicitors that were responsible for the FORD fiasco!

Date PurchasedAug 2013

Drives great but has lot of problems

The car drives great, handling better than any other cars I had before. Having said that the car has also caused me a lot of headache as there are many faults in my 5 years ownership. some faults, if you search the internet, are the very common of this car. Number one is the transfer case fault, you will get it early or later anyway. If you don't know how to fix it yourself, the fault will set you back for a few thousand dollars and time waiting for repair. Other faults I've come across include screen wiper pumps broke down twice, turbo inlet hose cracked, leaked oil causing alternator belt snapped, side mirror electronics failed (this is a $2000+ replacement) and the original brake pads worn away the rotors like crazy. The good news is if you replace the BMW brake pads with some reputable aftermarket ceramic pads, the pads and rotors will last almost forever.



A pleasure to drive and even though fuel prices are reasonable high, I just like going for a drive. Its a 4WD in the body of a sports car.
Not too big for just the two of us. The turbo diesel motor + 6 speed auto is a great combination!! My wife thinks it is cute.
Electric seats standard would be a nice touch.



We've purchased our X3 3.0si earlier this year, absolutely love it! Excellent performance and quality build as you expect from BMW, highly recommended.
Excellent performance and sporty handling. The X3 is very nimble on the road and not as bulky as its bigger brother X5 and yet very spacious interior. It has an excellent visibility compared with 3-series and other wagon. Very good value for money.

BadgexDrive30i Lifestyle


I have been impressed with my X3 since the day I got it which was nearly four years ago now. I bought this car without having seen it as I had a 330ci but needed a car that would suit transporting a baby so bought this one even though it wasn't released in Australia at the time of ordering. It could have been a disaster but it wasn't. I have loved driving this car. I love that the seating position is just a bit higher than other cars but it isn't like driving a truck. The suspension is a bit stiff and the ride can be a bit hard, but really that is all I could say against this car.
This car is very spacious inside and has a large boot. It has an uncluttered dash. There is a lot of storage. It looks great and is easy to park. Mine has parking sensors front and rear and they are awesome, we were looking for a new car but decided not to bother as nothing else had as many features as our X3.
I think having the children's seat anchor points one third of the way into the boot is ridiculous. It means that you waste a heap of boot space. The ride is very hard in the sports model. The back seat is hideously uncomfortable.


I am not really into cars, but husband is, overall, its great car, but I am still looking forward to upgrade to X5.
Great car, handles very well with quick and sharp turn. Breaks responses well, accelerate pretty quickly. Love the comfort seats and really cant live without it (but paying extra thought, worth the penny). Very smooth driving, great performance.
The middle seat at the back row is impossible to seat for a long trip (guess its design to sit 4 only). Had problems with automatic reverse mirror, fixed it 3 times already but still having problem. People from BMW Sydney are great and willing to help. Dont like the radio as it doesnt show any track names if playing mp3.


A enjoyable wagon to drive and a solid performer great family mover but watch your speed this thing just begs to be pushed it's just enjoyable the power output. Don't buy new get a well cared for used one with good service history and save up to $30,000 approx in depreciation.
A very comfortable well built all wheel drive. Power is brake neck quick in the 3.0i 6 speed sequential shift is a joy to use and the options are just endless. Solid ride and a tough car.
TYRE WEAR, we currently have 26,000 on our 07 model and the tyres are requiring replacement. Get it serviced every 10,000 or 6 month's not factory recommended interval as engine uses oil once you exceed 9,000km which is not uncommon. Servicing costs are quite hefty and oil is a big price being Castrol Edge 0w40 which is just under $80 a fill.

BadgexDrive30i Lifestyle
I pulled one of these out of a snow filled ditch with my Nissan X-Trail !I would too, but I am sick of replacing clutchess in my X-Trail!Did you mean the Nissan entrail?

See all BMW X3 reviews

Questions & Answers

cost to replace timing chain n47 20.d july o8. or new engine?
No answers

My car starts happily but cuts out 3-4 times in the first minute while idling and when engaged in gear. After that it runs happily and doesn't repeat the performance on later startups. Any suggestions welcome. BMW service folk are puzzled. Thanks
2 answers
If there is a problem on your car, usually there will be one or more fault codes recorded in the computer. For DIY drivers they can find a suitable code reader and read the codes then go on line to find the fault code list. The fault codes can pin point where the problem is. If you are not a DIY driver, the best is to take the car to a BMW repairer, they should be able to read the codes and explain what happened to your car.Thank you. Our repairer feels he knows (after trying everything) but is reluctant to try his idea as if it doesn't solve the problem it will lead to a more serious and very costly problem. Hence our thought to ask for ideas via this site in case there were other experiences/suggestions. It might be worth getting a second BMW repairer opinion just in case. Fortunately it only happens on first start of the day but puts uncertainty in our minds in case it starts happening more often.

Do X3s from this period (200-2009) have sat nav as a standard or option?
2 answers
Hi, This feature is an option im afraid.Optional. There are two options, navigation system business and navigation system professional. The 1st option can be fitted after factory and the 2nd one has to be fitted by the factory.


BMW X3 E83 (2004-2010)
CategoryMidsize / Medium SUVs
Release dateJun 2004
Discontinuation dateDec 2010
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