By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
Although no longer the only sport-oriented SUV on the market, the 2013 BMW X5 remains true to its original formula. Where others have grown larger, the X5 retains its modest size and seating arrangement. And, while many SUVs have moved to deliver a softer ride with compromised handling, the BMW X5 for 2013 retains, for better or worse, the same firm steering, aggressive handling and notoriously stiff ride. The X5's various trims cover a wide range, from the entry-level 6-cylinder X5 xDrive35i to the performance oriented xDrive50i with the M Performance Package to the tire-smoking X5 M. Due to a late introduction last year, the diesel-powered xDrive35d will continue as a 2012 until late in the 2013 model year.
The BMW X5's aggressive ride and handling come with a price, namely the forfeiture of a smooth ride. You can find the same electrifying performance specs from the newly-released Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and a more luxurious ride from Audi's Q7.
Changes to the 2013 BMW X5 consist mainly of a reshuffled optional-equipment list. The M Performance Package is now available on the xDrive35i Sport Activity and xDrive50i with M Sport Package. The Premium Sound Package is reduced to $950, while the Active Ventilated Seat Package is renamed the Luxury Seating Package.
Driving Impressions With a sophisticated suspension, excellent braking, communicative steering and at least 300 horsepower, the 2013 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 xDrive35i 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.
Offering 265 horsepower and a stump-pulling 425 lb-ft of torque, BMW's Advanced Diesel is the perfect engine for the times. It delivers acceleration from zero to 60 mph in under seven seconds and has an EPA highway fuel-economy number of 26 mpg.
xDrive FULL-TIME ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
With limited ground clearance and all-season tires, the 2013 X5 has few off-road aspirations, but it does have one of the best all-weather, all-wheel-drive systems available, which electronically varies front-to-rear torque and traction control to optimize grip.
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 2013 X5 SUV is young families. The cockpit is oriented to the driver, while a generous greenhouse provides excellent outward visibility. Regrettably (given its starting price), leatherette is the standard seating material for both the xDrive35i and xDrive35d. The handy 2-piece tailgate provides easy access to the rear compartment.
The 2013 BMW X5 somehow manages to hide its bulk with a series of clever angles and rounded edges. These cues, in combination with a longish wheelbase and short overhangs, give the new X5 a visual athleticism not evident on the previous generation. Eighteen-inch wheels (standard) contribute to a planted stance, while both 19-inch and 20-inch wheels are available for those wanting an even more aggressive look – and more aggressive on-road capability.
All X5 models enjoy a generous level of standard equipment. The 2013 X5 xDrive35i 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 seats, 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 the X5 xDrive50i and X5 M have stupendous performance.
The base X5 xDrive35i 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 ordered separately. Choose the X5 xDrive35i Premium model and your variables expand exponentially. A Luxury Seating Package, Cold Weather Package, Premium Sound Package and Convenience Package are just a few of the options you can include on your new X5. The M Performance Package adds 15 horsepower to the 6-cylinder trim and 40 horsepower to the V8 model.
As with most purchases, the decision is finalized by balancing your needs, your wants and your budget. The great thing about BMW's engine mix is that not one of them sacrifices performance; even the slowest, BMW's 3.0-liter turbodiesel, accelerates from a stop to 60 mph in under seven seconds. If you should want to stretch the envelope to its max, opt for the X5 M. This variant (of the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8) offers no less than 555 horsepower.
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (xDrive35i)
300 horsepower @ 5,800-6,250 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23 mpg
3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6 (xDrive35d)
265 horsepower @ 4,200 rpm
425 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-2,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (xDrive50i)
400 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (X5 M)
555 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,650 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/17 mpg
The 2013 BMW X5 xDrive35i has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $48,000. The X5 Premium begins at roughly $56,000, while the X5 Sport Activity is over $58,500. Adding V8 power elevates the window sticker some $7,000 (to over $65,000), and the X5 M is above $89,000 and easily surpasses six figures with all options. A random showroom sampling revealed an xDrive35i Premium with $4,200 of optional equipment; with destination, the MSRP was around $60,000. The competitors include entries ranging from Acura's MDX to Audi's Q7. At the performance end, the Infiniti FX and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 also give the BMW X5 a run for its money. In most instances, the X5 SUV reflects both good value and excellent resale. Be sure to check Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers are actually paying in your market area.
By EON on Monday, February 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
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"
By Scotty on Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
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!"
By long-drives on Saturday, January 25, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: too many repairs
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."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Peter on Monday, December 30, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
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."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Steve on Saturday, November 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best driving SAV ever, smooth and powerful."
Cons: "Electronics are extensive and take time to learn."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought the 2011 X5 3.5 new after my 2002 X5 was rear ended and totalled. This is such an amazing car and smooooooooth. It's not too big so it fits in the garage easily. The best part is driving it. It has power and is so smooth when it shifts. The electronics in this car continue to amaze and impress me although I will admit that it took a few months to get used to the system and figure all the stuff out. The BMW service has been pretty good and this car has been very reliable. Only one time we had to take it in for service to replace a failed sensor. We purchased the extended warranty whcih gives me a peace of mind. I worry about all the stuff that could go wrong with this even though there's been nothing so far. We are looking at replacing the tires soon and they are expensive."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By xenopup on Thursday, October 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "expensive packages"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Reviewers' concerns about turbo lag are unfounded. The delay is because BMW designed automatic transmission to start in 2nd gear to improve fuel economy. If you want to rocket forward and gulp a cup of gas, start in 1st gear. Its a blast!!"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful