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E-Class (W212) 2010-present: E 350, E 550

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Old 02-20-2012, 03:38 AM   #1
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BMW X3 Initial Impressions v. E Class

I'm up in Northern Cali for the weekend and got a great upgrade deal to rent a BMW X3 w/ navi for only $60/day for 4 days. So far, here are my initial impressions on the X3 (Sorry if there are grammar mistakes/sorry for the outline format; i made it on my iPad):

Initial Impressions
Headrests in rear (shape) identical to ones in E class!
Soft touch surfaces everywhere, more than E class!
To open door from inside, you have to grab the handle twice
Auto HOLD function; don't need to press brake in all the way (auto park)
Speed limit warning; if I go over 75 mph, or whatever speed I set, I get a dong warning type noise - awesome feature; i often don't check my speed and when I look down, I'm going at 85 :/
Seamless shifting, much better than jerky shifts on E
Idrive is a bit confusing at first, but the graphics are incredible; I can also check oil level, my operators manual, safety systems, brake pad thickness and everything from the system; traffic on freeways is represented by brown triangles?! What the heck...?
Navi lady is a bit more robotic; no big deal though; more accurate with distances (1/4 of a mile, 500 feet, etc...)
STORAGE everywhere, even in rear doors; huge bins for storage! Great car for storage!!!!
Great armrest, thick and the cup holders open by pressing a button. When the button is pressed, two doors fold up, acting as support for drink cups.
Leather very soft; I regret not getting it on my E; I love the wrinkled patina look and it smells awesome; leather is also on doors, center console, steering wheel (although steering wheel is NOT Premium Leather - negative)
Heated seats don't automatically turn off; they stay on; I love it, esp. on cold mornings where I have a routine on my E class when after I get on the freeway, I set the heater back to setting 3 after one red bar extinguishes.
3rd row has climate control as well; not a specific temperature, but there is a dial between cold and hot and fan speed; awesome, it's standard (I think)
Great cabin layout, much more futuristic looking than boring, old E class layout. - More lines; softer plastic
Much better buy than GLK. Much quieter as well

Just thought I would compare...I was bored
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
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X3 = 3 Series = C Class = GLK
X5 = 5 Series = E Class = ML

kind of an odd comparison. not sure how i feel about the fact that there are so many pros comparing an entry level BMW with a mid-level benz haha
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Old 02-20-2012, 04:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by amaycg View Post
To open door from inside, you have to grab the handle twice
Speed limit warning; if I go over 75 mph, or whatever speed I set, I get a dong warning type noise - awesome feature; i often don't check my speed and when I look down, I'm going at 85 :/
Great armrest, thick and the cup holders open by pressing a button. When the button is pressed, two doors fold up, acting as support for drink cups.
Leather very soft; I regret not getting it on my E; I love the wrinkled patina look and it smells awesome; leather is also on doors, center console, steering wheel (although steering wheel is NOT Premium Leather - negative)
3rd row has climate control as well; not a specific temperature, but there is a dial between cold and hot and fan speed; awesome, it's standard (I think)
grab handle twice could be odd for people who ride in the car very first time but it's a safety feature and the driver can always unlock all the doors to let the passengers get out by grabbing the handle just once.
speed limit warning is also another safety feature which is useful for some. most people just set it high enough to avoid the warning or simply turn it off.
i do like their armrest and cupholders more as well.
i've noticed their leather are softer and not sure about the durability but my previous bmw's leather seats were very new after a few years usage.
yes, the dials are standard.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:52 AM   #4
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These are two totally different types of cars.

The interior on the X3 might look more "futuristic", but the E is a more premium car, and the interior is supposed to look more "stately" in comparison. Also, I like that the E's interior isn't "futuristic" as if you compare the W126 era of Benzes, which had very similar interiors to the E-Class (logical, class, not much dash, could be considered somber or boring) to futuristic interior of the 80's.... well, don't need to say which looks more timeless (I feel this will be the same case with the W212 VS cars with "futuristic interiors" today).

Not sure why your E has jerky shifts, probably another thing wrong with your car. Mine are perfect, but the 8-Speed tranny that BMW uses is supposed to be second to none. Still, I found more jerkiness on the 5-Series I drove (same tranny as the X3) than my E, but that could be due to that cars "throttle tip-in" problem.

Most of the functions of the X3 that you pointed out are BMW functions (not exclusive to the X3), shared throughout the lineup. If you like them on the X3, then I'm sure you'd be a shoe-in buyer for a 5-Series.

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Originally Posted by BM2BZ View Post
i've noticed their leather are softer and not sure about the durability but my previous bmw's leather seats were very new after a few years usage.
BMW leather is known to wear incredibly prematurely, especially if uncared for. I guess I'm just lucky, as many people on this Forum who complain about MB-Tex, I absolutely love it, lol. I honestly was thinking of how I'd feel about the pro's and con's of owning a 6-Series VS my E, and one of the "cons" to the 6 was that it doesn't have MB-Tex. I HATE conditioning my interior, and the fact that I don't have to worry or condition my seats is incredibly benefitting me. I also like the material on the seats, don't find them so different from leather. I'm sure if I got used to a Leather car and the training of keeping it conditioned I might think differently.
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Last edited by K-A; 02-20-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:58 AM   #5
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I realize I may be mixing apples and oranges here, when I compare an '06 X3 to a '12 X3. In '06 my wife was attempting to buy a new ML but couldn't get the dealership to make her the deal she wanted so we went across the street to the BMW dealership and test drove an X3. At that time there was no comparison. The ML was so far ahead of the X3, it was almost funny. As a matter of fact the X3 reminded me of a Yugo, or some other cheap no name automobile. I could not believe it was a BMW. It was small and cramped inside, cheap interior, and it had no guts. Although it wasn't fully loaded, it was the top of the line model at the time. Now the X5 was a complete different story, but much more expensive than the ML. So she bought the ML. She was a happy camper with it until we traded it in Dec. '09 for a new 2010 Escalade. Even I, a staunch MB enthusiast must admit, there is no downside to the Escalade, other than it is a little big. It is a fantastic American made SUV.

Oh, while we are talking SUVs, I just learned something about the new ML. There are no visible exhaust tips on the ML. They are actually there, but just not visible in the rear of the car. They told me at the dealership that was Mercedes attempting to appease the "green people." I'm sure some of you already knew that, but I personally found it amusing.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:36 AM   #6
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:47 AM   #7
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BMW leather is garbage. My friend bought a brand new 2011 335i M sport with the "oyster" interior. After a month, the oyster color began to fade and the a brown color began to appear. Plus they showed creasing and stretching everywhere. Him and myself maintain our leather to the same degree and my E's leather is perfect! (only the occasional blue stain from my jeans!)
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:52 AM   #8
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X3 VS E-Class, Jeep SRT8 & Gallardo VS E-Coupe (in the E Sedan Forum).

I dunno, here's my contribution:

"W212 E Class VS 1988 Pontiac Firebird"

Firebird:
1- The Firebird ran on no oil, couldn't do that with my E.
2- The Firebird didn't even need a key present to start! Try that E-Class!
3- The Firebird's paint job cost me $300 (Earl Scheib). Putting some vinyl/stickers on my E cost me well over that.
4- The Firebird cost me $300, the E costs me $300 every 15 days.
5- The Firebird ran on Regular (E requires Premium).
6- The Firebird had a working radio, heat, A/C, lights, even T-Tops for when you want to let your inner Redneck out (E only has a moonroof).
7- The Firebird has a cool "Knight Rider" interior that makes the E's look dull and boringly not-from-a-TV-show like.

E-Class:
-The E's front door can unlock (Firebird I had to unlock from the passenger door).
-The E's M-B Tex doesn't have the musty smell from who knows what.
-The E ..... Uh oh, can't think of anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrariyellow44 View Post
BMW leather is garbage. My friend bought a brand new 2011 335i M sport with the "oyster" interior. After a month, the oyster color began to fade and the a brown color began to appear. Plus they showed creasing and stretching everywhere. Him and myself maintain our leather to the same degree and my E's leather is perfect! (only the occasional blue stain from my jeans!)
Yeah, BMW interiors usually have terrible premature wearing from my experiences. On the F10 Boards, guys have posted that the graphics on their dials have already faded. BMW steering wheels usually fade and look terrible, leather is very soft and wears, and apparently they don't dye their buttons, instead place tiny stickers over them (hence the peeling). The good M-B interiors might be harder or more austere sometimes, but they will usually look new and as "fashionable" as they did the day they were designed (aka, "fashion" isn't supposed to apply).
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Last edited by K-A; 02-20-2012 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:53 AM   #9
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The reason why I compared the two was b/c they honestly felt like they were in the same class in terms of features, legroom, headroom, stuff like that... I'm just saying that if these are the features on the X3, imagine what would be on the X5 or even the 5 series.
Stuff like AutoHold, Speed Limit Warning, even better inside materials, 3rd row climate control are all added benefits
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:02 AM   #10
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The 5-Series offers even more than the X3, and is a direct competitor to the E-Class. The E, however, outsells the 5er handily, even with the 5er having a lower entry price (528i). Sales don't dictate which car is better than the other usually, however, unless E buyers are completely stupid or pure badge-******, then obviously the E shines somewhere ahead of those BMW's.

Try comparing a Hyundai Equus to a Rolls Royce Ghost, if you really want to make something look like an illogical buy.... Hell, even a Genesis can match cars that cost quadruple in so many ways.

You can also make an argument that the C-Class renders the E-Class pointless unless you need the extra size (even more-so when you compare a 3-Series to a 5-Series.... or an X3, I guess).

Somebody did one of these comparisons with a Hyundai Sonata VS an E-Class, and made a compelling case for the Sonata. Maybe we should all trade our E's in for Sonata's.

What it comes down to, is this Thread is more "BMW VS Mercedes", as much of what you like about the X3 are BMW traits (not individualized to the X3), and where you deem the E to fall short are M-B traits (smaller screen, COMAND, etc.). And finally, if features/Options are what are most valued, then BMW is always ahead of M-B. M-B rules in reliability for many reasons, one being simplified electronics.
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Last edited by K-A; 02-20-2012 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:10 AM   #11
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...3rd row climate control are all added benefits
Wow 3rd row in an X3 these days? Must be really tight!

I understand the comparison you are making, like you would expect the E to win hands down from 2 different classes of vehicle but there are definitely some notable advantages in the X3 so the thread definitely makes sense. I remember when my aunt had a Fiat Uno with keyless entry and I thought it was so cool compared to BMWs and Mercs in the family lol.

Just to add a datapoint for everyone, I find the '12 E-class overall a better car than the '91 GeoTracker
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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The 3-Series should be a helluva threat to everything then, mostly and including the 5-Series, 'cause it'll be a Sedan version of the X3, practically, with much improved dynamics.

Let's face it, when people buy in this segment, just like when they buy up the ladder in any Premium segment, first and foremost they don't look at Features and Options, they look at the "Class"/Level of the car. Manufacturers do rest on this quite a bit, as platform sharing has made these cars extremely similar these days save for size.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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X3 never grown on me either . This may sound odd but I like X1 front end over X3 .
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:51 PM   #14
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^^I agree, the X1 is a much better looking car. Still, the Q5 is my favorite...
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:22 PM   #15
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face what?? lame ??? gamers get lives what??
one thing I'll say is the OP did a nice job of laying it all out....
I was able to have an idea of what's inside a bmw....
although I'd never get one......just not for me you know?
but interesting write up all the same; thanx for sharing
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:56 PM   #16
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Thanks for the musings. The new x3 is supposed to be dramatically better than the last one in every way. Seems to me to be a competitive product in it's class. I have had glk's as rentals and recently as a loner. I think that they are pretty good as well. Comfortable and easy to drive. Good practical transportation. There is a new Acura RDX coming out in the spring. Could be a category killer if they do it right(a big if). Regards. Ned.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:54 PM   #17
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Maan, Acura needs to literally scrap their present design language and start from scratch again.

One car I really don't like is the GLK. Can't stand the thing. I'd take an X3 over it, all day, every day. Features and all will probably be superior in the X3, but that's not even the game changer, it's not anything to write home about, or attractive to my eyes, but it's easier on the eyes than the GLK, IMO. However, it's far more forgettable than the GLK (I always forget how an X3 looks, BMW SUV's, or BMW's in general, all look the same to me really).
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaycg View Post
I'm up in Northern Cali for the weekend and got a great upgrade deal to rent a BMW X3 w/ navi for only $60/day for 4 days. So far, here are my initial impressions on the X3 (Sorry if there are grammar mistakes/sorry for the outline format; i made it on my iPad):

Initial Impressions
Headrests in rear (shape) identical to ones in E class!
Soft touch surfaces everywhere, more than E class!
They tend to peel when exposed to oily products like suntan oil, bug repellent, makeup etc
To open door from inside, you have to grab the handle twice
Auto HOLD function; don't need to press brake in all the way (auto park)
Speed limit warning; if I go over 75 mph, or whatever speed I set, I get a dong warning type noise - awesome feature; i often don't check my speed and when I look down, I'm going at 85 :/
Seamless shifting, much better than jerky shifts on E
Idrive is a bit confusing at first, but the graphics are incredible; I can also check oil level, my operators manual, safety systems, brake pad thickness and everything from the system; traffic on freeways is represented by brown triangles?! What the heck...?
The safety systems and brake pad thickness is all based on guesstimates. The BMW forums are awash in complaints about the oil level sensor. The nav has good graphics but the nav system itself is pretty lousy. Doesn't the MB system have traffic alerts?
Navi lady is a bit more robotic; no big deal though; more accurate with distances (1/4 of a mile, 500 feet, etc...)
The distances may be more frequent but how many times did you hear "please make a u-turn when possible" on routes you know?
STORAGE everywhere, even in rear doors; huge bins for storage! Great car for storage!!!!
Great armrest, thick and the cup holders open by pressing a button. When the button is pressed, two doors fold up, acting as support for drink cups.
Leather very soft; I regret not getting it on my E; I love the wrinkled patina look and it smells awesome; leather is also on doors, center console, steering wheel (although steering wheel is NOT Premium Leather - negative)
The cup holders garner great criticism because they break frequently. They are abit overengineered. The stuff on the doors is not leather. Nor is there leather is on the center console. Are you sure your rental even had leather?
Heated seats don't automatically turn off; they stay on; I love it, esp. on cold mornings where I have a routine on my E class when after I get on the freeway, I set the heater back to setting 3 after one red bar extinguishes.
3rd row has climate control as well; not a specific temperature, but there is a dial between cold and hot and fan speed; awesome, it's standard (I think)
Great cabin layout, much more futuristic looking than boring, old E class layout. - More lines; softer plastic
Much better buy than GLK. Much quieter as well

Just thought I would compare...I was bored
It's funny how the grass is always greener on the other side.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:28 AM   #19
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BMW leather is known to wear incredibly prematurely, especially if uncared for. I guess I'm just lucky, as many people on this Forum who complain about MB-Tex, I absolutely love it, lol. I honestly was thinking of how I'd feel about the pro's and con's of owning a 6-Series VS my E, and one of the "cons" to the 6 was that it doesn't have MB-Tex. I HATE conditioning my interior, and the fact that I don't have to worry or condition my seats is incredibly benefitting me. I also like the material on the seats, don't find them so different from leather. I'm sure if I got used to a Leather car and the training of keeping it conditioned I might think differently.
that's weird. i guess i'm one of lucky few. my leather seats were very new on the day that i sold my car after a few years usage and i didn't even put any conditioner nor cleaner on .
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:43 AM   #20
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Can we re-label this thread - - - "Hi, i am Stunned. Please help!"
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:24 AM   #21
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...3rd row has climate control as well; not a specific temperature, but there is a dial between cold and hot and fan speed; awesome, it's standard (I think)...
Wait a minute. What 3rd row? The X3 doesn't have a 3rd row.

What car were you driving? A Kia Sorrento looks much like the BMW. Are you sure it wasn't a Kia?

Also, aren't the X3 cupholders just fixed in front of the shifter?. I don't think the current X3 has moveable "arms" like most other BMWs.

Last edited by CEB; 02-23-2012 at 11:29 AM. Reason: Added info on cupholders
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:16 PM   #22
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I meant 3 zone climate control
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:17 PM   #23
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The X3 looks narrow to me when I see them on the road. As far as small SUVs go, i think they are ok. Having had GLKs as loaners, I have to admit that I really like the GLK. Very nice riding and solid vehicle.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:07 PM   #24
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X3 = 3 Series = C Class = GLK
X5 = 5 Series = E Class = ML

kind of an odd comparison. not sure how i feel about the fact that there are so many pros comparing an entry level BMW with a mid-level benz haha

The X1 = 3 series. It is actually built on the the E91 3er touring floorplan and most of it is the same.

The X3 is built on the F10 5 series platform.

The X5 will be built on the new 7 series platform.

Just because it is called an X3 doesn't mean it is 3 series grade.
The new X3 is very nice, much nicer than the 5 series, so a very valid comparison.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:12 PM   #25
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I was in a new X3 the other day, it was the 2 litre diesel with the 8 speed auto, now the first thing that was amazing was the consumption, over 200 miles I returned 44mpg, that was sitting at 85mph for most of the journey.
But better than that was the ride quality, getting back in my E350 made it feel very fidgety, and as soon as I hit a poorer surface made me really start to think long and hard about sticking with my E Class.
My old W211 was a magic carpet after my 535d, but it seems the tables are well and truly turned this generation.

Don't knock the competition until you have tried it.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:12 PM
 
 
 
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