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Old 03-09-2022, 01:05 AM
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Happy 18th Birthday to my “Tank”!

18 years ago today, I picked up my fairly stripped factory-order 3.0i that only had 4 options: HID, Leather, Sunroof, and Steptronic (the latter 2 option boxes should not have been checked had I know better!).

The funny thing was that the X5 wasn’t even on my radar at the time. I was looking at sport sedans and coupes back then (330Ci, G35 coupe, TL, etc) because I had valued fun to drive cars (and some practicality) above everything else. And mostly because I hated all those tall riding SUVs at the time due to the fear of rolling it (think Ford Exploder at the time). As I start building my 330Ci, practicality starts creeping in (price tag may had something to do with it). Realizing road trips (with family and gears) weren’t going to be too comfortably in the 330Ci. I was also starting to get more into snowboarding and mountain biking…so something with more cargo capacity and some added ground clearance to be able to do some soft-roading (that wasn’t a pig to drive daily) would be more ideal. Low and behold, it was there in front of my eyes all these time. As I looked across the BMW build site, an Ah-Ha moment happened - if I keep the options low, I might be able to get into an X5 at about the price of a 330Ci that I had initially wanted! One test drive (well…may be 2) and I was sold – the rest, as they say, is history.

After 18 years and 152k+ miles, I still enjoy driving it and still have a soft spot for it. And I still glance back at it after I park, even after all these years. The e53 has aged really well. It is one heck of an automobile!

She's all grown up now
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Last edited by dkl; 03-09-2022 at 01:14 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2022, 02:27 AM
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The glance back is a fantastic way to describe.

I had the same exact experience with my Chevy z28 Camaro convertible. I rarely ever came out to a parking lot and wished to get into a different car.

My e53 bumped the z28 out of the top spot for favorite car ever.

Sadly in a battle with a deer, that car "is no more". The e70 that replaced it is more or less a "tie" with favorite. 10 yr newer with perks like 20-23% better fuel economy and 80-100 in "yes". I'm not the biggest fan of the spongier steering but it is more comfortable, so the trade off is ok. Also mine is '11 and wife's is '12 so I am happy we have the same idrive and cruise interface.

I'm still blown away by the 24+ mpg at 80 mph and tank averages of 20-21 where I'm used to 16-17!

Coincidentally, almost exactly the same ratio of the recent bump in gas price so though I'm not saving any $ it hasn't gone up for me yet so good timing.
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Old 03-09-2022, 09:29 AM
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Fine azz E53, dkl!
Ours will be a 'full adult' 21 yrs old this late Summer...

Like your story it wasn't on our short list either, when we bought ours back in 2001.

I am thinking of running it and me, through one of those car crushers when it/me croak...still my 2nd Fave car in 60 yrs of having lots of different cars!

Hope you drive it until you don't!
GL, mD
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Old 03-09-2022, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
The glance back is a fantastic way to describe.

I had the same exact experience with my Chevy z28 Camaro convertible. I rarely ever came out to a parking lot and wished to get into a different car.

My e53 bumped the z28 out of the top spot for favorite car ever.

Sadly in a battle with a deer, that car "is no more". The e70 that replaced it is more or less a "tie" with favorite. 10 yr newer with perks like 20-23% better fuel economy and 80-100 in "yes". I'm not the biggest fan of the spongier steering but it is more comfortable, so the trade off is ok. Also mine is '11 and wife's is '12 so I am happy we have the same idrive and cruise interface.

I'm still blown away by the 24+ mpg at 80 mph and tank averages of 20-21 where I'm used to 16-17!

Coincidentally, almost exactly the same ratio of the recent bump in gas price so though I'm not saving any $ it hasn't gone up for me yet so good timing.
That is a great improvement in gas mileage with the e70! Sadly, I'm only averaging 14-16 mpg with mostly surface street driving and even less when the A/C is blowing. Needless to say, my heavy foot don't help in that department. With the recent gas prices (we're already in the $6 range), the X gets very little exercise. The e53 isn't my "favorite" anymore (that title goes to the MCoupe), but I've owned it the longest of any cars...so that's saying something.


Quote:
Originally Posted by motordavid View Post
Fine azz E53, dkl!
Ours will be a 'full adult' 21 yrs old this late Summer...

Like your story it wasn't on our short list either, when we bought ours back in 2001.

I am thinking of running it and me, through one of those car crushers when it/me croak...still my 2nd Fave car in 60 yrs of having lots of different cars!

Hope you drive it until you don't!
GL, mD
Wow 'full adulthood' in a blink of an eye - how times fly! I like your way of thinking
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Old 03-09-2022, 11:30 AM
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Any info on the exhaust tips? Fixing the hateful 3.0i tips is one of the few remaining things on my to-do list.
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Old 03-09-2022, 11:32 AM
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Congrats, dkl! Great looking e53

Mine turned 18 last fall. It has been a great ride. I was looking at various BMW models back in 03, including some 3 series too. I couldn't resist the 1/3 discount that the Section 179 deduction gave on the X5 in the first year. It was a great road trip car for those first few years where I was going to various golf tournaments. It has been a garage queen since then.
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Old 03-09-2022, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd View Post
Any info on the exhaust tips? Fixing the hateful 3.0i tips is one of the few remaining things on my to-do list.

Yeah...that was one of the sore thing on the 3.0i. I ultimately just caved and got the Remus cat back.
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Old 03-09-2022, 09:43 PM
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Great looking X5 and I also prefer 3.0i.
I've had 4.6is for few years and loved it but being my wife's primary vehicle, I've decided to find nice 3.0 as 4.6is was simply too much.
It took a while but I found one of the last E53's made (prod. date Agust 2006) and in all specs I wanted:
Alpine White on Black, Sport Package with 18" wheels, Dynamic Xenon and only 2006 models have silver rings on instrument cluster.

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Old 03-09-2022, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd View Post
Any info on the exhaust tips? Fixing the hateful 3.0i tips is one of the few remaining things on my to-do list.
I did some measuring and these will fit with some welding.
I am using them here for my M5 project but hopefully soon I will install them on my X5.
I've used Vibrant on few of my projects and their stuff is top notch quality.
The part# is 1326.
The 3.5" quad tips fill the valance opening nicely.






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Last edited by bmw540san; 03-09-2022 at 09:54 PM.
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2024, 12:44 AM
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After 20 years, I still stare back at the ol'girl every time I walk away from her
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