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2012 BMW X5 M

Overview
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2012 BMW X5 M Review

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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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2012 BMW X5 M Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 186 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.9/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.1/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Crazy Fast and does everything!

By on Saturday, June 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "multi faceted, very fast, looks, value"

Cons: "expensive new, unknown costs out of warranty"

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

"This car is amazing! Thank you to whoever optioned this vehicle when new, absorbed the nearly $70k in depreciation and made it possible for me to own it used in almost new condition! This is an E70 2012 X5 5.0i M Sport. All options except ventilated seats. It has paddle shifters, extended Merino Leather, M Sport exhaust, third row, everything. I have been fortunate to have driven many fast cars but nothing feels as rapid as this in the real world on real roads.There is very llittle out there as far as quality press reviews on this car, especially with the M Sport package (not to be confused with the X5 M) so I thought this might be helpful. I have not been able to confirm this but I believe the M Sport also gets a power bump over the standard 5.0i. It's seriously fast. The 20in M Sport wheels look amazing and with non run flat tires ride very well, surprisingly well. I would not want to drive into NYC especially through NJ with their craters that they call pot holes, but that's the case with any car that I value. At 275 section front and 315 section rears, tire replacement will be spendy and not suitable for snow. Get a set of winter wheels and tires like I did to swap out seasonally. The car seats fit snugly in the third row but I do not. This is a great feature when we have company and the kids should fit back there for years to come. There are not car seat clips in the third row but the seat belts tighten down very well, FYI. The X5 is an all around athlete that can medal in almost all events, take you out to dinner, all while serenading you with NPR worthy wit. The ease of which it gets up to speed only adds to its luxuy appeal. The eight speed ZF transmission is the perfect partner to the mighty twin turbo V8 and is a major player in making this car as fast as it is. Economy has been very reasonable and actually better than the 2009 X5 3.0i we replaced. Much of that has to do with how little effort it takes to get up to speed and stay there. There is so much torque pretty much every where that down shifting is only necessary for having fun."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I love this car - it is our second one!

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I absolutely love this vehicle. We loved the first one so much we bought a second. Had the first one for 10 years! who owns a car that long any more? Loved the drive and handling right up until the day we had to say goodbye and HELLO to the new one! again - 6 years later I still absolutely LOVE this vehicle. the room - the ride - the POWER! The V8 is the only way to go! The first X5 did have a number of issues and we did put quite a bit into it. ($18k?) HOWEVER that was over the 10 years. So we easily would have purchased another vehicle in that time and spent at least as much. Never going back to anything else - unless of course I have to!!"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

best vehicle ever

By on Saturday, May 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, insane in the snow, stereo is heaven"

Cons: "dead spot on the accelerator but it'll get tospeed"

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

"I have had only one problem with my car. It overheated because something happened with the coolant box. Other than that the only other time was a slight coolant drip but that was fixed and only costed $100 ish."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Love it excpet for the runflats

By on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Performance, handling, cold weather package"

Cons: "Run-flat tires on 19" wheels"

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

"Have owned several BMW's including 2 wagons and several Toyota 4Runners. This is the best combination of performance, handling, luxury and durability. If there's one thing I'd change its the run flat tires on 19" wheels, which are standard on the Premium model. Rough roads and potholes require a little more shock absorption."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Handles great, poor quality unreliable

By on Thursday, March 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Handling"

Cons: "Frequent repairs at low mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"At 23,000 miles I have had over $10,000 in repairs, mostly paid after warranty by BMW. The car's reliability is very low. All kinds of electrical and engine issues when most cars haven't even been broken in. Love how it drives for an SUV but would NOT buy this brand of SUV again. I think it is very poorly made mechanically. Goes thru tires like I go thru underwear with NORMAL driving. On 4th set since new in 5 years. And, because they are run flat they cost a fortune. More reliable SUVs out there for sure"

18 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Be prepared for costly repairs

By on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: lemon

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Awesome handling, great headlights, fun to drive"

Cons: "Sluggish, horrible reliability, quality, MPG"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Where do I start? Well, the problems initially started on day one when we purchased this vehicle used. Bought the 2010 X5 3.0i Xdrive as a CPO with 45,000 miles on it. Had the premium package, cold weather package, and the most expensive and useless running boards ever. DO NOT SPEND THE MONEY ON THE RUNNING BOARDS. THEY DO NOTHING BUT GET YOUR PANTS DIRTY. The first problem with the vehicle was the exhaust. Every time the SUV would come to a stop at idle, it raddled like crazy! We took it to the dealer and they said rocks were making their way into the heat shield. Second problem was when it started to become cold out (We bought the car in August) around late October. It wouldn't start and we kept getting a message that said "High Battery Discharge!" on the navigation screen. Come December, the car wouldn't start if it was 25 decrease or below outside. One of the worst problems we had with this vehicle was the time I went outside to start the car, and shut the drivers side door and IT MANAGED TO SOMEHOW BLOW OUT 3 OF THE WINDOWS! And the car would not drive correctly UNLESS it had run flats on it. We went through 3 sets of tires in the very short 2 years we owned the SUV. Something was very wrong with this car. Lots of problems, poor quality, no height adjustable seat belts, and some of the worlds worst cup holders. Aside from the handling, this car was not so great. The only thing I miss about this car is the legendary handling."

6 people out of 7 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

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