By KBB.com Editors
When BMW introduced its first "crossover" SUV (CUV) in 2000, its marketers called it "SAV" for "Sports Activity Vehicle." The point was to separate it from other sport utilities of the time and position it as a BMW-appropriate blend of performance and handling with practicality, versatility and all-weather capability. For the most part, it worked, for both the positioning and the vehicle. The original X5 was not the roomiest or most practical of SUVs, but piloting it down a twisty two-lane ribbon of road was a revelation. It drove like a taller version of the 5 Series sedan, which in many ways it was.
If you would be driving an upscale German sport sedan such as a BMW 5 Series, but want or need more utility along with all-wheel-drive security, this may be the right fit for your garage.
Because the X5 is substantially more expensive than competitors with similar capabilities, and its ride/handling balance is biased toward smooth-road handling, you may be happier with something softer-riding and more affordable.
Since the X5's introduction the SUV/CUV market has become much more competitive, and BMW's own smaller X3 snuck up behind it with similar character and more cargo room for a lot less money. This second-generation X5 is larger, roomier and more powerful and offers optional third-row seating for the first time.
Driving Impressions Despite its increased size and weight and optional third-row seats, the 2007 X5 remains one of few largish utilities that can be fun to drive for serious drivers. This is...due to its sophisticated suspension (double-pivot front and multi-link rear), H-rated all-season tires, variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering and powerful four-wheel disc brakes. We're not fans of BMW's electronic shifter or iDrive multifunction controller, but once underway this CUV goes, stops, steers and holds the road like a luxury sport sedan. BMW's ultra-responsive Active Steering and larger wheels and tires, up to a 20-inch performance set, are available on the Sport Package 4.8i.
xDrive Full-Time All-Wheel Drive
With limited ground clearance and all-season tires, the X5 has few off-road aspirations but one of the best all-weather all-wheel-drive systems, which electronically varies front-to-rear torque and traction control to optimize grip.
Xenon Adaptive Headlamps
These are auto-leveled and steered in response to steering angle, vehicle speed and yaw rate to light more of the road through curves and dips, and all four are encircled by luminous rings that serve as parking and (if desired) daytime running lights.
The new X5's beautifully crafted interior has increased leg and shoulder room with fold-flat second-row seats and more cargo capacity than before. The glovebox has unique upper and lower electrically powered doors that lock and unlock with the central locking system. A multi-function keyless remote and a start/stop button replace the conventional ignition switch and key, while a console switch for the electromechanical parking brake replaces the previous lever. Fans of BMW's electronic shifter and iDrive multi-system controller will be pleased that the X5 has them for the first time. The three-spoke steering wheel has multi-function controls, including enhanced dynamic cruise control and two programmable switches.Exterior
The new X5 morphs BMW's current crease-sided design language into a tall wagon shape larger in all dimensions than the previous model yet not much different in appearance. The signature twin-kidney grilles are prominent between a sculpted power-dome hood and a black lower fascia with large intakes for radiator and brake cooling air. Clear lenses cover quad round headlamps encircled by luminous rings that double as parking lamps and daytime running lamps. The outboard fog lamps also serve as cornering lamps. In back, a functional roof spoiler houses the high-mounted brake lamp, and large oval dual exhausts are imbedded in the black lower fascia.
The X5's generous allotment of standard features includes six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, xDrive full-time all-wheel drive, variable-ratio power steering, all-season run-flat tires on 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon adaptive auto-leveling headlamps with automatic control, rain-sensing windshield wipers with heated washer fluid, rear-window wiper/washer, power tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, dynamic cruise control, 10-way power front seats with memory, leatherette upholstery, remote operating one-touch power windows, dual-zone automatic climate control and AM/FM/CD/MP3 12-speaker audio with auxiliary input. The V8-powered 4.8i model features numerous additional items, including leather and a choice of wood trims. Standard safety equipment includes Dynamic Stability Control, Hill Descent Control, trailer stabilization, rollover protection system and two-stage front, front seat-mounted side and front and rear head-curtain airbags. Both versions of the X5 get BMW Ultimate Service, which includes roadside assistance and all recommended maintenance for four years/50,000 miles.
Many X5 options are grouped into packages, including an Active Ventilated Seats Package with 20-way adjustable multi-contour front seats, a Premium Sound Package, a Rear Climate Package with four-zone climate control and privacy glass, a Cold Weather Package, a Sport Package (19-inch wheels, sport seats, electronic damping control), a Technology Package (Park Distance Control, rearview camera and navigation system with Voice Command and real-time traffic information) and a Premium Package with a dual-panel panoramic moonroof, power-fold outside mirrors, BMW Assist with automatic collision notification and (on the 3.0si) wood and leather interior trim. The long list of stand-alone options includes Active Steering, third-row seat, power tailgate, Head-Up Display, high-definition radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, rear-seat entertainment system, Nevada or Napa leather, the panoramic moonroof, the 20-way adjustable front seats, heated front and rear seats, Park Distance Control, the navigation system, performance tires and 20-inch wheels (4.8i only) and BMW Assist.
The 2007 X5 is available in 3.0si and 4.8i models, the former powered by a 260-horsepower double overhead camshaft (DOHC) 24-valve 3.0-liter magnesium/aluminum in-line six, the latter by a 350-horsepower DOHC 32-valve 4.8-liter aluminum V8. Both feature BMW's exclusive Valvetronic electronic valve actuation and Double VANOS variable valve timing, which contribute to better-than-expected fuel efficiency for such performance-oriented CUVs.
3.0-liter in-line 6
260 horsepower at 6600 rpm
225 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23
350 horsepower at 6300 rpm
350 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400-3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21
By Simon (CA) on Wednesday, June 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks, driving it and the options"
Cons: "I guess $$$$"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my X5 35d from the Mercedes dealer. I went to buy Mercedes ML350 but went home with used 27K X5 diesel and paid $5000 more than the brand new ML350. Wife complaint but Does is it worth it ? DEFINETELY YES!!! I love this Car. As you might know love hurts sometimes but still want to have it right ? I like to drive this car.. I have all the options you can think.. Very confortable and good MPG (about 23 mile per galon diesel). I've been in dealer few times for services and had to change the tires (cost me over $2000 for 4 tires). Dealer also change the brakes and diesel engine compenents under the factory warranty. I wanted to buy the extended warranty but I found non-dealer BMW service in my neighborhood and their prices a lot lower than the dealaer prices so I did not buy the extended warranty. I think, I will drive this car another 5 years. If you are very money sensitive I would recommend you to buy the Japanese cars not this one. If you decide the buy this car make sure you have plenty options."
By BostonBWMOwner (MA) on Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Appealing aesthetics justify the premium price"
Cons: "Nothing as such"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I simply admire the superior engineering of the BWM SAV which leaves its japanese competitors far behind.Even its German & US competitors find it hard to hold candle to it when its comes to confidence oozing drivability,unsurpassed quality,pure luxury,and sporty performance of it.Don't look anywhere else if you want a perfect all weather & all terrain SUV (BMW=SAV). Unrivalled overall performance and will stay miles ahead to its league!That's why Its truely called "ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE"."
15 people out of 16 found this review helpful
By FrankNJ1 (NJ) on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, value, features."
Cons: "Never enough time to drive it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Hand down this is the best SUV you can get in this class. It handles like you are driving a car. The amount of interior space is excellent. We didn't opt for the 3rd row as we diden't need it and by seeing it I feel it is a waste. We went with the Premium edition and loaded it up with a nice amoutn of options. Must have options are the Multi-Contour seats and the Premium Sound."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By LoveBMWs (IL) on Sunday, January 20, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "nice lines and very responsive about 15 mph"
Cons: "This is not BMW quality."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This is my third BMW in a row I have owned. The 2013 X5 Premium is the worst vehicle I have ever owned. It is physically exhausting to drive because the steering is so tight on the vehicle. If your normal driving route includes stop and go's, you will find the transmission frustrating because it hesitates off the line, the road noice is louder than my toyota pickup truck, not to mention the ride is stiffer than my pu truck. Don't make the same mistake I did by taking it for a test drive around the block. Do yourself a big favor and get the dealer to loan you the vehicle for a weekend and drive it in your normal environment. I own 4 vehicles and this is the last one out of the garage!"
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By BMW Leaser (AL) on Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Masculine, Great Performance, fun to drive"
Cons: "Can be a little loud during exceleration"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have leased BMWs and other luxury vehicles for that past 15 years and am very pleased with the X5 diesel. It has the performance characteristics for the 335 with a lot of extra space. If you enjoy the driving experience of a BMW you will love this vehicle. If you are more of a soft ride Cadillac person, this vehicle will not meet your needs."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Bmw previous owner (AZ) on Sunday, September 23, 2012
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Worst car I have ever owned, expensive out of warranty repairs, extremely unreliable. - My approximate mileage is 82,000
Pros: "Loved the look, drove well"
Cons: "Worst vehicle I have owned, poor reliability,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This was my first BMW, expected more from this auto manufacturer since BWM is a luxury vehicle. I was in the shop for many repairs during the warranty period. My major issues started after warranty expired. I needed to replace the radiator, followed by water pump, thermostat, fuel gauge, brakes were fixed many times and had 3 sets or run flat tires by 60 thousand miles. No one ever tells you that these tires need to be replaced every 20 thousand miles. The car was a beauty but it will be the last BMW I will every buy. The rear camera was the worst I have ever seen it had poor resolution and stayed on while I drove forward. The voice connectivity was poor, I could never use it."
47 people out of 55 found this review helpful