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Old 04-02-2015, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Calgary
Posts: 747
Doru is on a distinguished road
Which X3 to buy?

I have to get rid of my Tribby pretty soon and replace it with a little X3 (for my daughter), and yes, I will be taking care of it. She'll do the driving.

I am interested in the 3l engine, so that would be a start, however I am unsure which year would be the best.
I understand the pre-facelift models have the M54 engine (with which I am very comfortable), and the facelift sport the N52 engine. Also reading through different BMW forums, it reveals that the new 6 speed slush box had some issues (not sure how effective updating the software is - I can also do that, I have INPA, GT1, SSS Progman, etc and I am familiar with procedures).

To conclude, what are the common issues with pre-facelift & facelift models?
Do the pre-facelift models have cooling issues like the e39 for example (exploding radiators, hoses, expansion tanks)? The like.
Is the N52B30 engine more reliable than the M54B30? I know the M54B30 is quite a good one, didn't give me any headaches so far (except for the known CCV issue). Does the N52 suffer the same?

Thanks, looking forward for some pointers.
Stable: e92is, e46 M54B25, e83 N52, e53 N62 - sold, e39 M54B30 R.I.P.
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Old 04-02-2015, 03:43 PM
Ricky Bobby's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Wake Forest, NC
Posts: 9,344
Ricky Bobby will become famous soon enough
Get a facelifted E83 with 6MT.

Problems solved
2018 Ram 2500 6.7L Cummins 68RFE
19k miles -Bright White/Black - Big Horn Sport - Crew Cab Short Bed
2013 X5 35D (CEO's) - Born on 5/17/2013 -
82k miles - Alpine White/Cinnamon Brown/Premium Pkg, Sport Activity/Premium Pkg and Sound/20" Style 214/Running Boards

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Old 04-02-2015, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Calgary
Posts: 747
Doru is on a distinguished road
Originally Posted by Ricky Bobby View Post
Get a facelifted E83 with 6MT.

Problems solved
Hi RB. My daughter doesn't know how to drive stick....
it's just me & my son. My wife hates stick...soccer mom at best. She sports the X5. I'm the mechanic. I hate my life.
Stable: e92is, e46 M54B25, e83 N52, e53 N62 - sold, e39 M54B30 R.I.P.
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:27 PM
creisa's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: smithton,Il.
Posts: 41
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No x3- x5 all the way lol
2003 BMW X5 4.6is (Born 7/03) 68,000 miles
Titanium Silver over Black Leather
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:53 PM
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JCL JCL is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 11,853
JCL will become famous soon enoughJCL will become famous soon enough
I'd get the LCI.

We had three M54 BMWs, and now have a 2007 3.0si X3. I liked the M54 engine a lot Now I like the new one. No issues to date. 35 or so more hp. Better fuel efficiency.

I think the LCI X3s have a better ride, not as harsh. We have a panoramic sunroof on ours, but that isn't very important to me. The headlights are better, but they may have been an option.

Drive it and see if the automatic transmission shifts ok. Problem solved.

Our only issues in 8 years have been the motor in the passenger side mirror, and a broken rr coil spring. Both were straightforward to fix.

We think about trading it in, but my wife doesn't want to as she would have to get an automatic and doesn't want one.

2007 X3 3.0si, 6 MT, Premium, White

2008 535i, 6 MT, M Sport, Premium, Space Grey
2003 X5 3.0 Steptronic, Premium, Titanium Silver

2002 325xi 5 MT, Steel Grey
2004 Z4 3.0 Premium, Sport, SMG, Maldives Blue
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Old 04-05-2015, 01:16 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: So Cal
Posts: 54
overthepond is on a distinguished road
If its for you daughter I would say its probably more important to find a really well cared for X3 with lower miles than deciding between the LCI or pre-LCI.

pre-LCI, expansion tanks last 80 to 100k, oil filter housing gasket the same. water pumps the same or longer if you are lucky. my LCI's have 80k and 103k miles on them. both 6MT. rear window regulators like to go out too.
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