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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.

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

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Buying this car?

2012 BMW X5 M Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 170 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.9/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.1/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Best and most fun vehicle I've ever owned.

By on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Killer fun to drive; power and handling."

Cons: "Not the best mpg - averaged 9-19"

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

"I leased this car for three years, and it was so great, I purchased it from BMW. Great handling, power, such a sweet package. I've owed about 10 bmw (Three X-5s: 4.4,4.8 and the M), several MBs, and other high-end vehicles, and By far it has been my favorite car of my life."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

best vehicle ever

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive. Practical. Fantastic mileage."

Cons: "None"

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

"Handles like a sports car. Go anywhere. Tows effortlessly. Fantastic mileage with Diesel (28-29MPG @70 Highway). All the comforts and conveniences of a great luxury vehicle."

Perfect condition, BMW X-5, 3.5 Arizona car

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Ride on the 101!"

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

"Perfect car growing family in the Valley of the Sun! Detailed frequently and exterior and interior in mint condition. Brand-new Bridgestone tires."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Good Solid Performance

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "excellent torque with the diesel"

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

"Although I have only driven a low amount of mileage, I can say that it is a solid feeling when driving this SUV. The weight of the vehicle, at around 6200lbs, gives it that quality feeling of power. It accelerates well and you feel the torque pulling you towards the seat. During this past snowstorms, I drove with no problems over snow. In general, a good investment for the value."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

2012 X5 M - SUV thinks its a sports car

By on Thursday, July 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Nimble handling, ridiculous power, practicality"

Cons: "Price, mpg, tires, tech gremlins"

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

"This vehicle shouldn't exist. 555 hp/ 500 ft lb torque in an SUV that weighs over 5000 lbs? Shouldn't work but it does. The handling is most impressive considering it's mass and the way it hides it. Feels like a 3-series and all this in a ride that has a relatively practical storage/seating space. My complaints on the X5 M are few but worth contemplating before you drop a grip on this vehicle. First, no all-weather/snow tires are available by BMW for this SUV despite being told otherwise by the salesman, the service advisor, & a parts tech. Their explanation: this SUV wasn't designed to deal with weather which seems like b.s. to me for not having an option for a slightly more practical tire. Second, power comes at a price both at purchase and at the pump. This is to be expected when buying a car/SUV that is so completely ridiculous. It still hurts... buying a company executive demo with only 4200 miles, totally loaded, saved us @ $20 grand. We put the savings towards the gas pump. This thing is thirsty! Third, there are a few tech gremlins. With so much technology in cars these days, it's kinda overwhelming. You can't defeat the parking assistance (which gets really annoying 'cuz it reboots every time you turn off the car). The stereo presets and info. settings are configurable which is really cool but they randomly reset themselves from time to time. Lastly, the software for the triptronic clutch needs to be upgraded (which I believe the '14 models have a new transmission). There's a slight lag upon the initial depression of the accelerator in auto-mode. Most likely a fuel saving measure for the 6-speed but kinda sloppy for a vehicle in this category and becomes increasingly more noticeable and therefore, more annoying. Sport modes are great as is driving in "manual" mode using the paddles. All in all, this ride is amazing! Just be sure to talk to someone who's knowledgeable about the M-series at the dealership. It's rather incredible how difficult it may be to find that person for a vehicle that is so specialized."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Love the X5

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "A hoot to drive, heavy and no floating"

Cons: "Run Flat Tires wear quickly in the front"

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

"This is my second X5. I had a 2000 4.4 w/sports package and the works for that year. I kept it for 8 years before I let it go. It handles like a champ, but what I like most about the car is the way it feels on the road. It does not feel like you are floating or get blown over when a heavier vehicle passes you. It is solid and we feel safe driving it."

1 person out of 3 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?