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2008 BMW X5

Overview
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2008 BMW X5 Review

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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. This new version is all of that, and roomier, besides.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Because the X5 is substantially more expensive than competitors with similar capabilities, and its ride and handling balance is biased toward firmer road handling, you may be happier with something softer-riding and more affordable.

What's New for 2008

The 2008 BMW X5 receives more standard equipment, including a power sliding panoramic sunroof.

Driving the X5

Driving Impressions Despite its new-found size, weight and optional third-row seats, the 2008 X5 remains one of the few largish sport 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, the X5 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 4.8i with Sport Package.

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 turning 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.

2008 BMW X5 Details
Interior

The X5's beautifully crafted interior has good leg and shoulder room with fold-flat second-row seats and a generous cargo capacity. 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 traditional 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 2008 X5 morphs BMW's current crease-sided design language into a tall wagon shape larger in all dimensions than the original 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The X5's generous allotment of standard features includes six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission, xDrive full-time all-wheel drive, all-season run-flat tires on 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon adaptive auto-leveling headlamps with automatic control, panoramic sunroof, power tilt and 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.

Optional Equipment

Many X5 options are grouped into packages, including an Active Ventilated Seat 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 power-folding 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, HD radio, Sirius Satellite Radio, rear-seat entertainment system, Nevada or Nappa leather, 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.

Under the Hood

The 2008 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 vehicles.

3.0-liter in-line 6
260 horsepower at 6600 rpm
225 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21

4.8-liter V8
350 horsepower at 6300 rpm
350 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400-3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/19

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2008 BMW X5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 166 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
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

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."

5 people out of 8 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

Love the x5! Beautiful driving machine!

By on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive. Safe. Classic. Worth the money"

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

"This is my 3rd x5. I love this vehicle. Acceleration is amazing. The drive is beautiful and actually I look forward to long road trips ! I feel extremely safe in this SUV. The navigation can be a chAllenge initially yet is a must! I would recommend this vehicle without reservation ! I have driven all over florida for sports with many kids in tow and everyone felt safe and sound."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

A well designed, comfortable vehicle

By on Monday, June 23, 2014

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

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very solid, a pleasure to drive."

Cons: "Transmission shifting: hangs lower gear too long."

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

"A very solid, well designed SUV. The Diesel engine, with its high torque is an excellent selection; it starts easily and pulls well - no problem accelerating to highway speeds. The electronic control of the transmission does not always react as expected - tends to hold a lower gear too long after you reach the top of a hill. The dealer informed me that this was programmed into the vehicle and they could not adjust it. Excellent quality and workmanship on the interior. Power seats, with lumbar support, are excellent; easy to adjust to a comfortable position."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Car! Looks great, rides wonderfully.

By on Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great Car"

Cons: "BMWs cost a bit more toe repair."

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

"This is a blast to own. My wife wants an Acura, so that's why I am selling. This car makes me feel safe on the craziest freeways in CA."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Sporty! Definite upgrade from the mini-van

By on Thursday, June 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great handling - super sporty look and feel"

Cons: "NONE"

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

"Enjoy this sporty drive and makes our frequent long trips so much more enjoyable! I feel alive driving this - which was overdue as the mini-van - although reliable as well - was just getting so boring and for holding toys for kids. So nice to have an option that is kid friendly as well as the adult appeal in the looks and driving areas!"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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