BMW X5 Review

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BMW X5 3.0i
BMW X5 3.0i
BMW X5 4.8is
BMW X5 4.8is

The BMW X5 redefined the SUV when it was released in 2000. Providing clunky SUVs based off of truck frames a new and refined image, the X5 showed that an SUV could perform as well as a sport sedan. Straying from being an off-road vehicle, the X5 adds class and prestige to the rugged and tough image of the SUV. No longer does this new type of SUV conquer nature, but rather it conquers the urban jungles of metropolis. True to its German heritage the X5 instills confidence in its drivers and brings a real driving experience to SUV owners.

See also the main fact sheet for the BMW X5.


High Points

  • Excellent handling and drivability
  • Refined BMW interior
  • Superior fit and finish

Low Points

  • Not a highly capable off-road vehicle (New Car Test Drive)
  • Cargo capacity isn't a strong point (New Car Test Drive)
  • Four-wheel drive is less-sophisticated than others in its class (USA Today)
  • Ride is a bit rough (Car and Owner)
  • People space is limited (Kelly Blue Book)
  • V8s make you pay at the pump (Kelley Blue Book)

Performance and Handling

BMW's X5 engine
BMW's X5 engine

Thanks to the BMW tuned suspension, the X5 drives very similarly to any of the BMW sedans. With very little body roll, lane changes and twisty roads are no problem for this performance SUV. BMW has worked on the X5’s driving performance so much that they claim it can get almost identical track times as a 328i sedan.

Gas Mileage

As seen on Autos.com, in the luxury SUV car MPG rankings, the 2006 BMW X5 was in 7th place with 15/21 MPG.


The BMW X5 comes standard with the following features:

  • Dual front-impact airbag
  • 3-point safety belts and head restraints at all seating positions
  • Front safety belts with automatic pretensioners and force limiters
  • Front side-impact airbags
  • Adaptive Brake Lights
  • Battery Safety Terminal
  • Central locking system
  • Coded Driveaway Protection
  • Remote Keyless Entry

Reliability and Maintenance

BMW offers its 2007 vehicles a limited warranty against defects in materials or workmanship for 4 years or 50,000 miles. In addition there is a 12-year limited rust protection warranty, without mileage limitation, for defects in materials or workmanship that may result in rust perforation of the vehicle body.

Interior and Comforts

The X5 has a great interior. Typically BMW, it's all business and no nonsense, but it's also very luxurious. The simple, uncluttered layout, accented with touches of wood or aluminum, lends an air of elegance. The door handles have a nice brushed-aluminum finish, and the soft plastic surfaces feel more like leather. The switchgear is ergonomically well designed. Available steering wheel controls allow a number of adjustments, including climate, stereo and integrated phone without removing a hand from the wheel.

The front seats are excellent: firm and supportive, with lots of adjustments. The rear seats are also comfortable, and the seatbacks can be reclined. Despite the X5's greater exterior height, however, headroom is nearly identical to that of the 5 Series wagon.

The X5's cargo capacity is no better than a 5 Series wagon's. Nor is hauling capacity one of its strengths. With a maximum 54.4 cubic feet of cargo space (23.8 cubic feet with rear seat in place), the X5 has less volume than nearly every other luxury SUV. The rear seats are split 40/60 and can be folded down to provide a fairly flat, though not perfectly flat, surface.


There's no question who builds this vehicle. The BMW X5 looks like a 5 Series wagon on steroids, and is remarkably close to the wagon in overall size. From its kidney-shaped grille to its multi-segmented tail lights, the curvy X5 is all Bimmer. The slope of the tailgate matches that on the 5 Series wagon. The major difference is that the X5 is 10 inches taller than the 5 Series wagon, which creates a key component of its sport-utility character. Large-diameter wheels with low-profile tires enhance its aggressive appearance.

Styles and Options

BMW X5 4.4i interior
BMW X5 4.4i interior
BMW X5 4.8is interior
BMW X5 4.8is interior

The BMW X5 is available in 3 trims: the 3.0i, 4.4i, and 4.8is.

X5 3.0i

  • 3.0L 225hp Straight-6 Engine
  • 17" Silver Alloy Wheels
  • Driver Seat Memory
  • Leatherette Interior Seats
  • Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Cruise Control

X5 4.4i

  • 4.4L 315hp V8 Engine
  • 18" Silver Alloy Wheels
  • Leather Seating
  • Rear Air w/Separate Controls
  • Front and Rear Park Distance Control

X5 4.8is

  • 4.8L 355hp V8 Engine
  • 20" Silver Alloy Wheels
  • Sport Ride
  • Driver/Front Passenger Heated Seats
  • Express Open/Close Sunroof
  • Premium 12-Speaker Stereo w/6-CD Changer and Graphic EQ
  • BMW Assist Emergency System

Main Competitors

External Links

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BMW Manufacturer Sites

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