Wall Street Journal doesn’t love the new BMW X3

BMW X3 | November 28th, 2010 by 38
2011 BMW X3 TEST DRIVE 871 750x500

Wall Street Journal just published their review of the 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i. The top-model sold in the US has been taken through an intensive …

Wall Street Journal just published their review of the 2011 BMW X3 xDrive35i. The top-model sold in the US has been taken through an intensive review by WSJ and receives a less appealing grade. The write, Dan Neil expresses from the beginning his lack of love for “this of automobile which takes the virtues of an athletic German sedan and pointlessly jacks them up in the air a half-foot, so Missy or Kelly can see the road better”.

With this caveat out of the way, let’s find out more:

“I kind of dread the creeping commodification of the BMW brand, the loss of cachet and exclusivity. I find it slightly appalling that, in order to court calorically enhanced U.S. customers, BMW has been obliged to make its compact soft-roader longer, wider, taller. Why not just put in an elastic waistband?

2011 BMW X3 TEST DRIVE 871 655x435Here’s the situation: The big three German luxury-car companies are in a pitched battle over profitability. BMW, the world’s biggest luxury car maker, takes less profit per vehicle than either Mercedes-Benz or Audi. Audi enjoys the cost-sharing advantage of being part of the mighty VW Group. Mercedes is a special case, being able to charge a premium for the three-pointed star. The executive leadership of BMW has decreed that the company needs to sell a lot more cars, more profitably, and so Munich is busy coloring in any white space in global markets with new products. Enter the redesigned X3. Built in Spartanburg, S.C., the new X3 is 4 inches longer and about 1 inch wider than the outgoing model. The bigger X3 thus makes room for BMW’s genuinely small crossover, the X1, also due in American showrooms early next year. Keeping score? BMW will soon have the X1, X3, and X5, as well as the X6 “sport-activity coupe,” and the 5-series Gran Turismo, with more to come.

In the roulette of the premium-crossover marketplace, BMW is covering the table.


I still don’t love the X3 xDrive35i (BMW’s nomenclature department needs a good beating, by the way). The exterior styling is better than before—with a crisp accent line peeling up the fuselage from the front wheel openings—but that’s faint praise. It still looks snouty and unbalanced in the front, with a clumsy front-axle-to-dash ratio; and even with 18-inch wheels, the “dead-cat holes” in the wheel wells look like they could really accommodate a dead cat. Everything that’s good about the car from a driving dynamics point of view would be better with a half-foot less Z-axis. Can I interest you in an awesome 3-series?

I admit it: I’m a hostile witness.

But this is well-struck BMW coin, a fast, techy, serious machine, worthy of the badge. That’s anything but routine.”

Full review at WSJ

In our opinion, Neil is an enthusiast, and just like many others before, they saw a dilution of the brand with all the new X-vehicles, 5 GT and more niche cars to come. But one should ask the question: how can an automaker be sustainable, profitable and gain new customer, other than by extending their reach? In this case, the automobile offerings….

38 responses to “Wall Street Journal doesn’t love the new BMW X3”

  1. Tom says:

    Don’t confuse Wall Street Journal with Dan Neil. Mr. Neil can’t find a BMW to his satisfaction even if one runs him over.

  2. stapler says:

    bmwblog’s headline is misleading. the review had excellent things to say about everything except design. Neil admittedly doesn’t like suv’s. that’s all.

  3. paul says:

    i have been saying the same thing for ages…how big can these cars get? I know in the US you have room to grow but in old citys here in Europe its getting more and more difficult to drive these cars. Specially parking lots! and to be honest with you having driven both i woudnt trade this X3 for a 3ser. I bet the reviewer wasnt aware of th fact this car has a numb electrict steering as opposed to the hidraulic on the 3 ser so there would be no way this car would drive better than the current 3 ser despite having the underpinings of the next gen 3 ser…doesnt look good for the F whatever 3ser 2012

  4. efoza says:

    THe X3 is aimed at those who cannot afford the X5. This is a simple business move by BMW. SO I don’t understand all this nonsense talk about it being a free standing model.

    Its borrowed X5 and 5GT design lines will help its sale to the graduate market who are the future 5GT and X5 drivers.

    • JakeM says:

      “THe X3 is aimed at those who cannot afford the X5.”

      If you can afford an X3, you can easily pay extra for an X5. The X3 is simply for those who don’t want or need the bigger X5/X6 SUVs.

  5. FreudeKing says:

    It would make such a big difference if it was good looking.

  6. Bryce says:

    It sounds to me like he hates all SUVs… I just hate the styling of the front of the X3.

  7. Ruslan-Kz says:

    The ugly car can’t go well by default!!!

  8. sok says:

    Ugly headlights and the front styling.

    • FreudeKing says:

      It seems like almost everyone agrees with the fact that the front is the weak part of the X3. I also agree with that and the face of the car is one of the most important part of exterior design.

      The face of the X3 is fat and bloated to me. There is no sense of style or elegance. It’s like just dumpting the headlights and the BMW kidney grille together and cut out some openings for vent from a bread loaf block. There is no effort whatsoever put into making a good deep sculpture with flowing lines.

  9. Heddlu_Cymru M5 says:

    The side and the rear is already good looking but the front just looks too simple and a bit too boring to me. Have yet to see it in person but I can imagine it to not look that good when it trails the back of my car…

    To be fare, it definitely is an improvement over its predecessor.

  10. Woo Hoo says:

    “I kind of dread the………the loss of cachet and exclusivity.”

    Too late. BMW only cares about the short term profit. Brand image is secondary…like Toyota.

    • Ed says:

      When they went to their self-destructive “free” maintenance schedule it became painfully obvious that long term ownership is the least of BMW’s interests. Sell ’em or lease ’em, have them come back in 3 years and we’ll move another new one. And screw the old car, that’s the next owner’s problem.

      • FreudeKing says:

        This is the exact problem with BMW Group’s new management. They are so eager to boost short term profits and share price so that their own bonuses will increase. Their attitude is to hell with the long term of the company and the brand image knock, by the time this company goes down, we will be gone.

        This is evidenced in the cost cutting strategy, record high number of indicvidual massive recalls this year, whatever backbone strategy with new cars (i.e. the 5, 6, 7, is basically the same car, hence the poor driving dynamics of the new 5 Series as it is not a car that is specifically built to be a 5 Series, it borrowed its chassis from the 7 and most of other component), the ditching of brand image enhancing products like the CS and high end performance cars like the R8, the birth of a host of in between models to try and fill every cm between the models like the X6 (although I quite like the X6), 5GT, etc., cost cutting with a lack of marketing and advertising, allowing Audi to take over BMW’s competitive advantage in the public’s view.

        What a pity the company is now on a downward position, SHRINKING compared to its competitors.

  11. Slick says:

    Why have a SUV hater review a SUV? Since the previous generation X3 has been one of BMW’s best sellers and the new 2011 edition is clearly a much better car it’s obvious that a significant market exists for this car. As long as BMW continues to provide a wide selection of performance models like the M3 and M5, what’s the problem? Mr. Neil, please chill out. I drive a Lotus race car on the track, but for everyday commuting, a X3 is a better choice than a M3 or a 335.

  12. TMQ says:

    The review is actually positive on X3’s driving dynamics.

    Dan Neil’s gripe about SUV is a general comment – obviously he loves the 3 series and would take the 328i wagon over X3 any day.

    Dan Neil also implies that the move to cover every niche by BMW is a strategy that may actually backfire. There is a point of diminished return selling to every market segment.

  13. FreudeKing says:

    BMW’s previous X3 sold quite a large number because it was the entry level and it was the only car in its class up till the last year. So now that we have two other cars, which are arguably fresher and more appealing (besides the obvious ugly and old looks of the X3), the car should be compared to its competitors and not the old X3. The old X3 has lost its charm since the date it was launched. It is completely irrelevant to compare the new X3 with the old.

    The other problem with BMW’s performance models is that they are also starting to mess up what used to be viewed as a pure performance car. Now we have things like turbo’s, etc. One cannot help but to think that BMW is toning down these cars to be everyday road cars like the 335i. In this case, BMW’s core values of being a sporty brand is also going down the drain. It is also easy for the company to slap an M on everything and try to make short term profit, but overtime, the M brand will be worthless, liek Merc’s AMG

  14. ljm says:

    to all the X3 haters out there…can you stop staring at my rear…..zoom zoom…….

  15. Clinton says:

    If you are a car guy, and must have a SUV, X3 is your pick. And you really are just kicking tires if you are cross shopping between a SUV and a sedan.

    First of all, I drove the new X3 at Spartenberg, against MB GLK, Audi Q5 2.0t/3.2, and Lexus RX. The new X3 trounces the competition. The other guys are not even close. In terms of smal-ish to midsize luxury SUV, there really isn’t another better pick. X3 is accelerates quicker, stops faster, handles better, has more available options and full maintenance.

    There are a lot of odd comments with this one. Don’t know where some of you get your facts to back up your comments.

    “self-destructive “free” maintenance schedule” – every market report, every focus group reports I’ve read, ranks full maintenance high on the list of selling points, and importance to consumers. It is monumental in selling BMWs in the US. BMWNA in the past year has ramped up advertising dollars to reiterate this fact.

    “BMW’s core values of being a sporty brand is also going down the drain” and this ties with the comments about BMW being soft etc- BMW actually has never been more commited to maintain its sporty image. M division is still the technological forefront of motorsport and development. BMW is always first to integrate race technolgies and manufacturing process into mainsteam production. Months and years ahead of other manufacturer.

    M sport pkg is available on almost all models. I remember a decade ago, when m sport was available with a 740 or 540 people were begging for msport on a E36, and later E46. Here the deal, if you want a traditional feeling BMW, you gotta have sport pkg or Msport. A non sport pkg car or xdrive car are design to appeal to the masses, to bring more poeple to the brand. These cars are still sporty, but not what you called a “core value” car, it is a stepping stone to BMW. Whenever your read a review by a BMW owner or enthusiast, 9 out of 10 times were on a non sport pkg car, of course people are starting to think BMW have gone soft.

    The purist can cry all they want about what BMW is building, but here’s the bottom line, no matter whats involved and how you cut it, BMW is still sportier than whats out there. In my book, that is still the brand for me. Heck, if I ever need a minivan, and BMW makes one, I am sure it will be on the top of my list.

    • Bryce says:

      I’m glad you love BMW’s as much as the rest of us and I’m sure BMW appreciates your business because they know that no matter what they design you’ll remain loyal to them. While I care about driving dynamics, brand loyalty, and reliability, my wife cares only about how a vehicle looks. It is for this reason that I, and many other BMW supporters, are extremely disappointed with this design. While I love the look of it from the rear, we just can’t get over the boring and plain-looking front. My wife thinks the MB and the Audi look better than the X3, I happen to agree, therefore there will not be an X3 in our garage anytime soon. It’s a shame because we were really excited for the new design before it was introduced.

      • wazon8 says:

        So, you need to assess interior design in Audi and MB higher eighter, right? If not, my advice is to reconsider your decision – after all most of time you will spend inside a car, not outside it.

        • FreudeKing says:

          @wazon8: What kind of logic is this? So you think that because the owner spends most of his time in the car that exterior design is not important.

          What is the first thing you do when someone tells you about the launch of a new car? You look to see if the EXTERIOR of the car looks nice. For you (the only one), you will say, let me see what the cockpit looks like first before looking at the exterior.

          So no, exterior design is slightly more important than interior. and I suggest BMW to pay more attention to their ugly exterior designs.

          • wazon8 says:

            Yes, exterior design is not as important as you suggest, although – true – people pay most of attention to it at first. But then they usually recognized that there are other features of car that affect the everyday use of car in much more direct way, namely interior design and driving characteristics. Of course, it’s great when car look really nice outside, but still it’s something that one will pay less and less attention during using a car. How many times did you admire exterior desing of your car? Personally, I do it only during washing it. Contrary, the interior design is something that you are in face of whether you like it or not. It’s better to take car with best interior design than a car with best exterior design to which one will nearly stop paying attention. At least, I observed this phenomenon spreading through most of people I know.

            As for logic: Interior design is important, becuase people are interested in it at first. Is it supposed to be an argument? That’s your resoning? I don’t even see it contradicts what I’ve said before. After one used to the exterior design, some new better-looking cars appear around, one will assess higher and higher two mentioned above features and neglect exterior design more and more.

          • FreudeKing says:

            I pay attention to the exterior design of my car a lot. I take photos all the time. So exterior is very important, it is the face of my car. Both interior and exterior designs are important to me.

  16. BMfan says:

    Clueless Freudking and his clique, the sales figures will soon tell a different story and that’s all that really counts.

    • FreudeKing says:

      BMfan, So in your view, what do you want to use to measure the success of the company and this product??? Do you want to look at percentage profit/return? It’s easy to achieve that for BMW, cut production of all cars, make a BMW scooter and sell them at 100%mark up and BMW’s return would be 100%, higher than any in the industry. We can have a beauty contest – I assure you that BMW cars will lose like there is no tomorrow. What about driving dynamics? wait, BMWs don’t drive like BMWs that we know and love anymore because they have chosen to dish out inferior electric steering with poor feel and feedback. What about brand image? Well, the last time I checked, due to management’s cost cutting efforts and investments into short term profits at the expense of the company’s future success, they have now dropped behind Merc and Audi.

      So you tell me what other fields BMW is leading??? New management has messed up the company. The best indicator of success (forward looking financial indicator and current non financial indicator) IS MARKET SHARE. So instead of being just a fan boy, look at the entire picture and do some research before you comment on the fundamentals of performance evaluation and show your lack of knowledge in this field.

      • Clinton says:

        I am not sure who you work for or where you get your info. But some of your comments I just have to chime in, mean no disrespect.

        Cost cutting happens with EVERY manufacturer, its nothing new. Your local bakery cuts costs, auto empires cuts costs. Every sales meeting, every production meetings, every marketing and financial services meetings, cutting costs is a majoy topic. Mercedes cuts costs, Audi cuts costs, Porsche cuts costs. MB and Audi cut full maintainence! Can’t be more obvious than that. If they cut one of the biggest selling points, what else did they cut? So if you got issues with BMW with cutting costs, then I guess you should have issues with the entire automotive industry.

        Guess what, BMW has not cut R&D, one of the only few in the business. Up and down over at BMWAG, through many many meetings, BMW is commited to NOT cut R&D. R&D is all for long term too.

        Not sure why you got issues with BMW’s long term positioning. BMW is voted one of the most sustainable companies in the world, and all of that is for long term strategies.

        BMW is IMO the most diligent about the company’s long term success. They have already secured and implemented plans for change, where a lot of other manufacturers are still in the planning stages. Things like electric steering pump, water pumps, 8 speed auto and KERS are ways to reduce emissions and boost mpgs. And they are already well manufactured with BMW, other car companies are still trying to find an efficient and cost effective way to implement them to their cars.

        FYI, electric steering pump costs more to manufacture. More control units, more parts.

        “The best indicator of success (forward looking financial indicator and current non financial indicator) IS MARKET SHARE”

        Just so happens that BMW IS THE MARKET SHARE LEADER in just about every segment. In some of the smaller segments, it is doubling the competitions. Last month, BMW captured the top market share spot for compact luxury(3ers), midsized luxury(5ers), compact roadster(Z4). And its right there with the other segments. AND most importantly, BMW’s avg incentives is nearly half of some of the other guy’s. All of this is public knowledge, you can check that.

        I don’t know the term “fanboy” I guess I could be what you called a “fanboy” but I do have keen understanding and 1st hand experience of BMW’s operations, so I am baffled by some of your comments.

        • FreudeKing says:


          I understand that cost efficiency is one of the key aspects of running a successful business. However, extensive cost cutting in all the wrong areas is what BMW is doing, just to squeeze that extra cent for this financial year. Look at what irresponsible cost cutting has done to Merc a few years ago. It is extremely convenient for you not to consider the extra negative consequences that BMW has since this strategy has been implemented. Look at the number of massive recalls this year (record breaking!), and this is only the official recalls. How many others do we have that were not classified as a recall due to the fact that it is not a critical safety issue. I am sure seeing that you have first hand experience, you should know. The cutting of marketing and advertising is evident worldwide and this has caused the company to suffer a DECREASE in market share WORLDWIDE. Go to a university and ask the upcoming professionals which car brand they prefer and most of them will probably say Audi. Bear in mind that this group of students will be in your market in a few years’ time.

          It is a good thing that BMW is not cutting on R&D, but R&D is only a small part of the entire business operations. Furthermore, what’s the point on spending so much on R&D WITHOUT ADVERTISING THEM and other manufacturers can use the same technology in a few years time, some as soon as 2 years. In the mean time, BMW is cutting cost on advertising, allowing other brands to grab what made BMW successful in the first place and create a public perception that AUDI is a sportier brand than BMW, while you go on and advertise lame ads such as drivers smiling in BMWs telling people that they have JOY! WAKE UP!

          My problem with BMW’s long term positioning is simple: BMW is concentrating on short term profits AT THE EXPENSE OF LONG TERM SUCCESS. This is evident in the launching of this new small front wheel drive cars that DOES NOT even fit the BMW brand. BMW has pride itself with superior handling with exclusive RWD for the past few decades, telling customers that this is one of the most important reasons for their perfect handling. And now??? New management themselves even admitted that this FWD BMW is not good for the brand but gave a ridiculous reason that “the brand is strong enough” to take this knock! They could have easily launched this under another brand or the Mini brand within the BMW Group but because they want to use the BMW logo on this product to move units, they will sacrifice brand image. Another terrible backing from Robertson is that ” no one has ever told him that a Mini is not fun to drive” So is he saying that a Mini drives better than a BMW? (If not then this is not a justifiable reason). Is he saying that the expectation of a Mini owner is the same as a BMW? Does a Mini drive better than a BMW? If the answer is yes, then we should all go buy FWD cars i.e. Audi’s, clearly they have greater experience in making FWD cars than BMW and seeing that Robertson thinks that FWD cars are more fun to drive than RWD???

          Also the ridiculous survey results mentioned by the CEO regarding 80% of the 1 Series drivers didn’t know it was FWD has questionable credibility. This is clearly a piece of evidence that management use to support their decision to push for a FWD BMW, so how accurate is this number? Futhermore, this is also an extremely bad reflection on BMW, why were they not able to let the public and the customer know that this is the only RWD car in its class, i.e. offering the best handling in this class? Clearly they didn’t do their job and market the 1 Series properly. They were not able to capitalise on this highly important competitive advantage…..or were they concentrating too much on JOY without telling people where the JOY actually comes from in a BMW, as people also get JOY from driving a VW Golf GTI. Furthermore, the fact that people do not know (about FWD/RWD) does not justify giving them inferior products. The fact that I don’t know what materials are used inside the engine does not justify BMW giving me inferior quality that will not last. BMW should be giving their customers THE BEST, even if the customers do not know what is THE BEST, or what is needed to make THE BEST. This is the attitude that a top company should have, not this thing that the CEO suggested: because they don’t/won’t know, we will give them inferior stuff. What a shame!

          Furthermore, to reply to your previous comment on people needing to pay more (i.e. getting sports package etc.) to get a BMW to drive like what a BMW used to drive like. I am shocked that you think this is acceptable. A BMW has been well known for their brilliant driving dynamics, no matter the model. i.e. when you put on a BMW badge, it is a symbol for quality, style, excellent driving dynamics, performance, etc. Now you are telling me that we need to pay extra to get a BMW to drive nicely? So everything that we have come to expect from a BMW badged product is flying out the window, one by one. I think we should all re-evaluate the brand if this is the direction BMW is heading. As clearly, if this is the case, BMW is throwing away one of the brand’s core values, which made it successful throughout the past few decades.

          As for your arguement regarding introducing new technologies in new cars like the electric steering. The BMW Group shoulod be ASHAMED with their inferior electric steering. 90% of the reviews that I have read on new BMWs with this electric steering has been negative. The steering contributes significantly to driving dynamics and for BMW to have allowed such a sub-standard steering to be fit on almost all their new cars is unbelievable. They should have perfected this thing before introduction. In fact, this makes me wonder if they even tested this thing properly or were they in a rush to be one of the first ones to introduce what is clearly an inferior product.

          So what if BMW is one of the most sustainable companies in the world? Most sustainable does not mean most successful! Toyota is also one of the most sustainable companies in the world. It is easy to become more sustainable financially, target a larger population… how do you do that… you sell cheaper cars OUT OF THE PREMIUM MARKET, isn’t this what BMW is planning to do anyway??? Bring out smaller and smaller cars, soon we should have something to compete against the Toyota Yaris. I guess the difference is that BMW will be working hard to convince their customers that this Yaris competitor is premium (i.e. you should pay more for it becasue it has a BMW badge), until one day, customers realise the fact that this so called badge premium has no substance at all. Environmentally, I agree that BMW is doing well, but that is not one of the core values of the brand. BMW must remember that it must succeed and be sustainable as a PREMIUM company. We are not talking about VW here!

          Speaking of market share, I look at BMW’s performance on a global basis taking into account the long term. From my records, BMW has been slipping for the past 4.5 years and they are losing chunks of market share to Audi every single year, both in the lower end and the higher end of the premium market and in total. The only segment that BMW has managed to keep its share at a high level is the X5 & X6 segment. FYI, BMW is not the market leader in “just about every segment” I hope you are not satisfied with BMW’s performance as an employee of BMW’s with just the 5 series and Z4 being the current market leader. The 3 Series failed to beat the C Class since the new C Class was launched. This significant loss of market share is a terrible performance from BMW if you compare it to the pre2006 period when it was a clear leader in all segments.

          Alarm bells should be ringing at BMW. If you are an employee with power, I hope you are not sitting too comfortably on your chair thinking that everything is well with the company as your competitors are standing right behind you with an arrow pointing towards your head.

          • Clinton says:

            If you guess that I work for BMW, then I am going to guess that you work for MB or Audi.

            Currently, I am not affiliated or employed by BMWNA. But my background is in marketing and stretgic management. And have consulted in dealer retail level as well as corporate level for many manufacturers and brands.

            Don’t know why you see an issue with BMW’s spend management.
            Don’t know how you have an issue with BMW’s long term strategies.

            The Japanese are the posterchild of cut spending. And Audi, MB are have been following.. Cross platform sharing is probably the single most important factor to cutting cost.


            1. Advertising is always cut before R&D. No question about that.
            2. R&D IS for long term investments. Advertising is short term. You can’t argue this. So what are you talking about when BMW doesn’t care about long term
            3. Sustainability is a long term stretegic move. Manufacturing process WILL have stricter guidelines in years to come. BMW- greenest factories in the world. Again, what don’t you see about BMW’s long term positioning
            4. Decision on building FWD, again, LONGTERM!! Every country is tightening emissions standards over the next decade. You think Ferrari and Porsche really want to build hybrids? Building FWD opens a LONGTERM door for BMW both in emission compliance and expanding client base. Don’t like FWD, guess what, BMW sells RWD. The goal is to keep them in the brand by offering more.
            5. You keep saying the electric steering pump is inferior. And I think you missed my point earlier. BMW WITH A ELECTRIC PUMP IS STILL SPORTIER THAN OTHERS OUT THERE. You want sportier, IS STILL AVAILABLE, get the sport of M sport pack. Other car companies, including MB and Audi, charge more for sport, is nothing new.

            I’d agree Audi is doing well. But the market that puts Audi on the map is China, not anywhere else. And the chinese market is a whole different ball game. Conventional business models are immensely different than what’s going on over there. If you look at ROW and US only, BMW IS a leader in market share. Audi is merely a niche in many markets. Audi has to more than double its sales to over take BMW/MB or Lexus in the US. BTW BMW and MB are not far behind in China.

            There is no perfect car company. But I think BMW is doing very well. And well positioned for the future. Saying BMW is losing it is an overstatement. Saying Audi trounces BMW is also an overstatement. Personally, I do not see that happening any time soon, as Audi predicts. I think for the next 20yrs, BMW will still be the brand to beat in all aspects.

          • FreudeKing says:

            I don’t work for Audi nor MB. [If you read carefully, you would notice that I am a BMW fan] The reason why I thought you worked for BMW was because you talked about your hands on experience at an operational level at BMW.

            Success is not only dependant on how green you are or how efficient your production processes are. My point here is that BMW needs to make their products and brand more appealing. You can have a green plant, but if you make trash, you won’t have any customers. In this case, you won’t even have a long term.

            Furthermore, who says you cannot have low emissions with a RWD car? Do you think a RWD is less efficient than a FWD??? Do you know what you are talking about?

            You clearly don’t understand about brand dilution and image impairment, what are you consulting BMW about?

            The electric steering (standard form) on the new 5 Series is anything BUT sporty. You know what it’s like: it’s like a game steering console without vibration and feedback, feels like the cheapest type of game steering wheel you can get. The standard 1 Series hatch steering feels much better than that.

            Audi is gaining a lot of ground in Europe, Canada, Africa and other parts of Asia as well. It is only in the US that growth for Audi is not as great, although still gaining market share.

          • Clinton says:

            “Do you know what you are talking about?”
            “You clearly don’t understand about brand dilution and image impairment, what are you consulting BMW about?what are you consulting BMW about?”

            I see no issues with BMW’s brand image but I guess I couldn’t get my point across in my few posts. And you are right, I did missed that marketing class about branding in college. After all, I am just a fanboy on the internet telling BMW what they should do and don’t do.

  17. Dimitry says:

    I really like BMW, and prefer to think that it’s for people who love driving and to feel as connected to the car and the road as possible. But new X3 seems not awesome.
    Don’t like it’s design, but 5.5 sec for X3 is a really surprise.

  18. JimC says:

    The WSJ should have reviewed the xDrive28i. A couple of years ago I had to sell my 328is and K1200RS because of family responsibilities (i.e., I needed room for a wheelchair and an occasional caregiver), and I bought a Honda Pilot. The new X3 will give me room for stuff and improve my riding enjoyment. If I want to go fast, I will buy another K-bike. The xDrive35i looks good on paper but give me the utility. The X5 is too big and not worth the extra money.

  19. Who cares what Mr Neil says! We all have our own opinion and if he tells you to jump from a bridge because he is doing so we will follow! no thanks I will reserve my opinion when I see the x3,

  20. BIMMER1 says:

    Obviously this guy has no idea that the X1 is taking over for the X3, and the X3 took over for the gap the E53 X5 left in the lineup when the E70 showed up with a 3rd row seat.

  21. bob says:

    Yes, yes, yes. We’re all ware of Dan Neil’s pedigree. And, it is nice that he’s now writing for a reputable newspaper.

    However, as it is with even the very best of journalists, sometimes they get BMW wrong. In his case, he wrote — based on *unnamed sources* — that the 5 Series represents 50% BMW AG’s total profits.

    Like alot of things, it might be best to take it with a grain of salt…

  22. torzeck says:

    The article is tongue in cheek. Dan Neil gave the x3 a very positive review. He just says he has a a thing against SUVs.

    He sums up with “this is a well struck coin worthy of the brand.”

    You guys that think BMW is losing it are crazy. Every car company copies BMW styling. If you don’t love their styling so what? Sure the styling can be challenging but its well crafted. To me its the total package:Great driving dynamics, high functionality great technology, superior service and better resale value.

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