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2012 BMW X5 M

Overview
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2012 BMW X5 M Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

At the time of its introduction in late 1999, the BMW X5 SUV was either a revelation (for those new to the BMW brand) or an aberration (for those true to the BMW brand). Never before had BMW – or anyone else – combined an accomplished on-road dynamic with such a high degree of utility. Both substance and presence were upgraded in 2011, as the X5 received both new sheet metal and drivetrains. And those drivetrains run the gamut, from an in-line 6-cylinder delivering 300 horsepower to a twin-turbocharged V8 offering 400 horsepower, and the X5 M with 555 horsepower from the same 4.4-liter V8 displacement. At the opposite end of the consumption spectrum is the X5 xDrive35d. The turbocharged diesel provides 265 horsepower and an EPA rating of 26 mpg highway.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're enamored of the BMW marque or mystique, but require more utility than BMW sedans or wagons provide, the X5 should be right up your alley. The platform remains dynamic, while the people/cargo equation is much more versatile.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Despite its more sporting capability when compared to the SUV entries of other carmakers, you won't be taking an X5 – any X5 – to an autocross or track day. To that end, you might not wish to accept the trade-off for the X5's more aggressive performance (i.e. a more aggressive ride). If you prefer the art of shopping to the art of driving you'll find better options within BMW's competitive set.

What's New for 2012

Given the number of substantive changes (some 4,000 new parts) in 2011, the 2012 BMW X5 is largely a carryover model year for the SUV, with only minor modifications.

Driving the X5 M

Driving Impressions With a sophisticated suspension, excellent braking, communicative steering and at least 300 horsepower, the 2012 BMW X5 – in any of its iterations – provides a compelling testament to BMW's...

engineering prowess. No amount of engineering, however, can completely disguise the X5's mass, some 5,000 pounds in basic x35i form. This remains a Sport Activity Vehicle and not, notably, a sport sedan; care should be given to operate an SUV in a more conservative manner than a sport sedan or Sports/GT. If you demand a combination of "sport" and "utility," few will deliver that combo more credibly than BMW's X5.
Favorite Features

xDrive35d Diesel
Offering 265 horsepower and a stump-pulling 425 lb-ft of torque, BMW's Advanced Diesel is the perfect powerplant for the times. If going from stoplight to stoplight the diesel delivers a 0-60 time of under seven seconds. And if you're going from coast to coast expect to eke out 26 mpg. The above, in combination with a genuinely fun demeanor, makes the xDrive35d SUV the gem in this particular lineup.

xDrive Full-Time All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
With limited ground clearance and all-season tires, the 2012 X5 has few off-road aspirations, but it does have one of the best all-weather all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems available, which electronically varies front-to-rear torque and traction control to optimize grip.

2012 BMW X5 M Details
Interior

In "growing" the brand, BMW expanded X5 cargo capacity via a longer and higher body in combination with a lower cargo floor. Rear seats fold flat, and an optional third row is available. That third row is best reserved for children; BMW's target demographic for the X5 is young families. The cockpit is oriented to the driver, while a generous greenhouse provides excellent views out for both driver and passengers. Regrettably (given its starting price), leatherette is the standard seating material for both xDrive35i and xDrive35d. And a 2-piece tailgate provides access to the rear compartment.

Exterior

With its exterior updates, last year's X5 enjoyed the more organic feel of BMW's sedan lineup. That, in combination with a longish wheelbase and short overhangs, imbues the new X5 with a visual athleticism not evident on the previous generation. Eighteen-inch wheels (standard) supply the X5 SUV with a planted stance, while both 19-inch and 20-inch are available to those wanting an even more aggressive look – and more aggressive on-road capability.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All X5 models enjoy a generous level of standard equipment. The base X5, with an MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) of roughly $48,500, includes xDrive all-wheel drive (no 2WD variants offered), Hill Descent Control, 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, 10-way power-adjustable driver's and passenger's seat, iDrive system with on-board computer and controller and AM/FM stereo with 205 watts transmitted through 10 speakers. This, of course, is above and beyond the dynamic capabilities standard on every BMW. The X5 xDrive35d brings to the table 4-cylinder efficiency, prodigious torque and a third-row seat. Finally, both X5 xDrive50i and X5 M bring performance to blow your mind – along with everyone else's.

Optional Equipment

The base X5 is notable for the number of options not available. A Convenience package includes the panoramic moonroof, while navigation, heated front seats, a third-row seat and satellite radio can be spec'd separately. Opt for the X5 xDrive35i Premium, with a base of over $56,000, and your variables expand exponentially. An Active ventilated seat package, Cold Weather Package, Premium Sound Package and Convenience Package are just a few of the options you can include on your new X5.

Under the Hood

You pay your money, and you take your choice. And as with most purchases, the decision is arrived at by balancing your needs and your wants. The great thing about BMW's engine mix is that not one of them sacrifices performance; even the slowest off the line, BMW's 3.0-liter turbodiesel, delivers 60 mph from a stop in under seven seconds. If you should want to stretch the envelope to its Chuck Yeager max, opt for the X5 M. This variant (of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8) punches a full 555 horsepower to the pavement.

3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5,800-6,250 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

3.0-liter in-line 6 Turbodiesel
265 horsepower @ 4,200 rpm
425 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26

4.4-liter V8 Twin-Turbocharged
400 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20

4.4-liter V8 Twin-Turbocharged (X5 M)
555 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,650 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2012 BMW X5 M Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 158 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.1/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Great Vehicle. Had a few issues

By on Friday, March 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good mileage for a heavy SUV. Very good power."

Cons: "GPS sub-par"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Had a few recall issues related to the diesel engine components which were fixed by the dealer. No other issues. Vehicle has a pleasant ride and has a sport ride setting which I prefer. The GPS system is sub-par and the updates are also sub-par. I understand the GPS has improved in the 2013 & 2014 models. I have experienced the following mileage: 20-22 city, 28-32 Highway."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best engineered automobile I've owned

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Excellent engineering,except for the "I" Drive"

Cons: "With the engineering,Why the I Drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I had 13 New Cadilliacs, yet after I drove a BMW, you are in a different world. Being an engineer and having owned a manufacturing co.for forty yrs. I am completely aware of what goes into research and development of a product. I always purchased American,since I was an American Manufacturer. That was. Mistake! The ideas and engineering that goes into the development of BMW is top of the line! Their biggest problem,that I see, is that the Dealers try to skimp on service. Without service what have you got? ( an American car!)"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Ultimate SUV, maybe RR 2014 will beat

By on Monday, February 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Best driving SUV , reliability medium vs Asian"

Cons: "Complex and good dealer and mtce support key"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Have top of the range for 2008 4.8i + sports package - Still best styling in 2014 - Safe and solid for my wife, traction and brakes amazing. - Maybe Range Rover Sport 2014 can finally beat it but >$$ vs a 2014 BMW - Dealership quality very important as a complex beast and medium reliability in most surveys and its true. - Always buy extended warranty with a European expensive car just in case, parts and labor and alternatives are $$$ - No Japanese/US SUV I see comes close on driving experience but some report better relaibility - In the end I am looking for a Reliable gas effcient upgrade, but dont see any that will give me the pleasure of BMW overall. - If an SUV is an A to B 30mpg uber reliable investment, then get something Asian. If styling, performance, handling, safety, envy are in your vocab, then look at a BMWX5"

I love my X5! Safe, solid and fun!!

By on Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable and fun to drive!!!!"

Cons: "Expensive to fix!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Our X5 has been wonderful!! A few minor issues have popped up, but nothing too serious. My one small bit of advice to future owners is this: If your planning on buying an X5 out of warranty, spend the few bucks to have BMW do a pre-buy inspection. I almost purchased an X5 from a dealership that looked, sounded and seemed fault free. Upon inspection, we were looking at $23,000.00 in repairs to the engine! Someone had abused it. Anyhow, We found a new option, had it inspected and life is good. Also, Do not make the mistake of purchasing this SUV if you can't afford to maintain and fix it. They aren't cheap to fix!!! If you live in a metro area, do some research and check out a few reviews on foreign auto service/repair. If you can find a reasonable option for repairs, I'd say go for it!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

buyers beware!

By on Saturday, January 25, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: too many repairs

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "enjoyable to drive"

Cons: "poor quality, terrible customer service"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I owned the 2008 X5 model for 5 years, and enjoyed the 80K miles I drove, but there was also a lot of frustration. The last straw for me was when BMW customer service refused to do anything about the "banana-skin" effect which is apparently a common fault with the X5. The trim on the glove compartment door had peeled off in the corners and so the door wouldn't open any more. The national BMW customer service told me that it is a wear and tear problem and the manufacturer would not provide any solutions. I pointed out that it was clearly because of using glues unsuitable for the Southern California hot summers, but wasn't able to get anywhere. After years of dealing with high-pressure BMW service departments that were constantly trying to sell me extras, including all kinds of lubrication services not covered by the BMW maintenance, I could not take it any more and sold the car."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great to Drive But Expesnive to Maintain

By on Monday, December 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "A great design and a great driver. Has presence."

Cons: "Expesnive to maintain and Repair"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I love driving it. The steering feedback, roadfeel, responsiveness, etc. are just great; particularly for an SUV. I drove my son's 2010 520d (I am in Korea) and no comparison. Great build quality, etc....but Freude am Fahren was absent. Got back in my X5 and couldn't believe the difference. Yes, the 3 liter 6-cylinder is a bit weak for this heavy a vehicle but that was replaced with a turbo-charged version in later years. The drive train has been very reliable. The valve cover gasket has had a slow drip for over a year but I am now rebuilding the ignition system, which will include the spark plugs, coils and wires. Also will replace the enire valve cover, which includes new gaskets as well as the oil separator valve. Will also replace the 2 VANOS solenoids while we're in the area. There were also (typical) cooling system component replacments to include the inner radiator, expansion tank, hoses, etc.. And will soon do a preemptive water pump replacement. Had to replace the iDrive controller, the HVAC blower assembly and right reat talilight assembly. I love it but you have to be ready to PAY to own it...i.e. tires are $1k a set, which I replaced every 25k. The new battery just cost me over $300. If you need/want an SUV but want one that is responsive with a great design then this is for you. But if you don't care about driving dynamics and the connection between car, road and driver, then there are competent comfortable and cheaper to own vehicles out there. What are your needs? P.S. the E70 series X5 was built from 2007 through the 2013 model years."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?