Why Our Road Trip Vehicle Is A 13 Year Old BMW

BMW X3 | March 17th, 2020 by 12
2007 BMW X3 3.0si E83 10 830x553

We love our BMW i3 BEV. It is really the ultimate daily driver but realistically it would very hard to drive it on a long road trip.  Enter the car I’ve owned the longest – A 2007 BMW X3 3.0si (E83). It is our go-to vehicle for long road trips. We just returned from an 1500 mile round trip to Colorado Mountains to go skiing and had zero hesitation taking a 13-year-old BMW with over 100k on the odometer. Over the years, we have properly maintained our E83 X3, and it has rewarded us by never breaking down on us or leaving us stranded.

I am rather fond of this old X3 in part because it represents a lot of lasts for BMW. It is the last BMW with an actual key as in, shove it in the car, twist the tumblers key. Its N52 3.0 liter is the last normally aspirated inline-six cylinder that BMW brought to America. It is good for 260 hp and 225 lbs-ft of torque and yields a modest 0-60 time of 7.2 seconds.

2007 BMW X3 3.0si E83 11 830x467

For years, the inline-six motors were the soul of BMW. There is just something about the rumble of the inline-six and the linear way it delivers torque. The E83 X3 doesn’t have your typical sport-ute handling either. It’s a joy to drive, the hydraulic steering gives nice feedback through the well-worn steering wheel.

In fact, this X3 has even participated in several auto crosses, though it does exhibit a fair amount of body roll.

For my family of three, the E83 X3 is the perfect sized car: holds all our luggage, has great ground clearance and all-wheel drive. In addition, it provides Dynamic Stability Control which helps keep the rear end where it should be and ideally keeps you on the road when it is slippery from either snow or water. When we stay at hotels, I have no fear of turning over the key to valet, unlike my E92 M3 which I’d just park myself.

We keep our 2007 BMW X3 shod with fresh wiper blades, plenty of wiper fluid and most importantly great snow tires in the winter. Currently, it has a set of Firestone Winterforce Studable Snow Tires. A former BMW mechanic bud of mine saw those and called them snowmaggedon tires because the tread is so huge.

We have driven on many different brands of snow tires and find any dedicated snow tire to be a tremendous help in bad winter weather. Read here for a comparison of some of our favorites.

We purchased this BMW X3 new in 2007 and it is actually a very easy car to perform DIY maintenance on. Now that it has over 100,000 miles on the odometer, I decided to replace the entire suspension with Bilstein shocks and springs purchased from Pelican Parts who has an extensive DIY section replete with matching parts ordering.

Here’s a short video we at BMWBLOG made of an oil change on our 2007 BMW X3.

My last DIY on it was to change the brake fluid, which is important to do every 2 years.

Through the years, our 2007 BMW X3 E83 has served as my daily driver, my wife’s daily driver and the car my teenage daughter learned to drive. Yet we are all still happy to take it on a huge road trip in the worse weather.

In short, as long as our X3 keeps on being reliable, we plan to keep it. It is hard to want to get rid of it, despite its age.

 

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